Hello and welcome to episode one of the third series and a Happy New Year to you! I’m Patricia and I started the haiku pea podcast 2 and a bit years ago. At the time, I was trying to reignite my ability to write anything creative, but poetry in particular. I was having rather bad brain fog at the time and completely lost my ability to create anything at all. Stupidly I thought if I took up the art of haiku it would be easy. After all, I thought, how difficult would it be to write a poem of 17 syllables?

Despite having learnt so much, I still have a great deal to learn and need to work hard to improve my craft.

This year I want to look at the essence of haiku. I know it helps me to revisit techniques, and I’ll do that this year too, but I’m pretty sure a good look at the essence and perhaps a little history of haiku will help too. Initially, I thought perhaps I could combine my thoughts, those that I have read, and those that you have sent me into one or two episodes but as I started to put everything together I realised that it’s going to take some time to work my way through it. So I shall start in February and it will probably go on for a few months. Still time to comment.

In this episode I’m not even going to start. Instead, I’m going to offer you some of the fruits of my reading over Christmas as well as the renku, which is nearing conclusion.

For some reason over Christmas I returned to Shakespeare. I’ve enjoyed reading Shakespeare since I was a preteen. Naturally I have some favourites, Othello for example, is my absolute favourite. Has there ever been a better play written? Answers in an email please.

What I was doing, and want to share with you today, was looking at pieces in which I think I might have found some haiku or senryu; pieces from Macbeth, my second favourite play and Romeo and Juliet.

From Macbeth I chose:

Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

in which I found:

the last syllable
of recorded time—
all our yesterdays

From Romeo and Juliet:

But soft! What light through yonder window breaks?
It is the East, and Juliet is the sun.
Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon,
Who is already sick and pale with grief
That thou her maid art far more fair than she.

I found:

what light
through yonder window breaks?
envious moon

The Alexander Text of the complete works of Shakespeare

Reading them again, and thinking about the essence of haiku I’m questioning whether they actually are haiku. Any thoughts? Either way I’m going to have to get better at this because Roger Watson suggested that we do found haiku and it’s in the diary for October. Plenty of time then, fingers crossed!

The renku is coming to a close. I’d like to thank the following poets for their contribution so far:

Kim Russell Richard Bailly. wendy c bialek, m shane pruett, Veronica Hosking, James Young, Andrew Syor, s zeilenga, B S Saroja and Rickey Rivers Jnr., Craig Kittner and Mineko Takahashi. Check it out on the poetrypea website to see who exactly has written each verse.

marble steps
sculpted by endless soles
a welcome chill

Kim Russell

mural tablets—
how ancient my son’s name


wind in the willows
unanticipated storm
green blades impaling

Richard Bailey

will the night be dark
or give no shelter?


kissed moon
all those unfinished poems

wendy c. bialek

empty leaves
the fading colours

shane m pruett

an old quilt
grandmother’s warmth
passes down

shane m pruett

bitterly cold
she adds peat to the fire


hypnotic glow
involuntary shiver
reaches his soul

Veronica Hosking

snow glitter
in the alpine air


shawl bent
the long trudge through winter
collecting logs

James Young

a returning trapper
offers his assistance

Andrew Syor

breaking bread
news from another village
northern lights

s zeilenga

the sky lamp shines long tonight
love birds

B S Saroja

urgent flight
whisking wings
gallows bright

Rickey Rivers Jnr

red dawn
a new life divides


market square
mired in slush
a solitary rose petal

Craig Kittner

people gather and scatter
tides wait for no one

Mineko Takahashi

a die cast
no going back –

Mineko Takahashi

Spring quickening
she vomits on the deck


I think it’s coming along nicely, only a couple of verses left to complete. Thanks everyone.

My thanks to all who helped me to put today’s podcast together. Next time we meet in a couple of weeks it will be one of our specials in which you and I are writing about animals. The submission period for that podcast is well and truly over, but of course you can submit your haiku and senryu for the next topic, it’s love! The submission period ends on the 1st of February, emails only please.

Speaking of submissions I just wanted to update you on one of the projects for the year, the children’s anthology. I will open the submission period for that in April and it will close at the end of August. Start collecting your ideas, I’m really looking forward to putting this together.

Next month I will definitely be starting my series on the essence of haiku and if you haven’t commented with your thoughts I’ll be happy to receive your emails. I may not always agree with you but I think we should be able to speak openly and honestly to one another because that’s the only way to learn isn’t it?

That’s it for today thank you very much for coming along and listening I look forward to receiving your thoughts, comments and submissions by email. So it’s time to get writing.


Series 3 Episode 1: Happy New Year

BMC logoBuy me a coffee