January 29, 2012

Cyril Childs 1941-2012

From the Haiku NZ website, edited by Sandra Simpson, comes the sad news that Cyril Childs passed away on January 27, 2012 less than three months after being diagnosed with cancer.

80 haiku poets who attended the presentation of papers at the 4th Haiku Pacific Rim Conference at Terrigal, NSW, Australia, in September 2009, were privileged to hear a presentation by Cyril titled "Haiku 45 South" in which he gave a brief history of the genre in New Zealand and showcased poems by a number of highly regarded New Zealand poets.

The biographical note provided by Cyril for Wind Over Water : an anthology of haiku and tanka by delegates of the Fourth Haiku Pacific Rim Conference edited by Dawn Bruce and Greg Piko, reads:

'Cyril Childs became intrigued with haiku while in Matsuyama for ten months 1989-90. Intrigue soon led to enthusiasm and passion. Cyril edited the 1993 and 1998 New Zealand haiku anthologies; co-edited (with Joanna Preston) a 2002 anthology of haiku and haibun by Christchurch writers; and has judged several haiku competitions.'

His own poems, chosen by Cyril, for inclusion in the Wind Over Water anthology are:

no name
for its colour
tea-table rose

full white moon
touching . . . not touching
the top of the hill

amidst mountains
she pauses to admire

(These poems were first published in Modern Haiku XXV:1; Frogpond XVI:2; Frogpond XXIII:1, respectively)
It was my personal pleasure and privilege to meet Cyril childs at Haiku Aotearoa 2008; and at 4HPR 2009.
Condolences to Christine and to each of Cyril's family and friends.

Beverley George
Convenor: 4th Haiku Pacific Rim Conference September 2009
President: Australian Haiku Society 2006-2010

Tributes can be sent to

IHS International Haiku Competition 2011

Hearty congratulations to Quendryth Young who has won the international section of the fourth Irish Haiku Society Competition 2011 with the following haiku:

turning tide
the buoy bobs

Read all the winning haiku:

January 24, 2012

Maths Haiku Competition, Japan – Update

My name is Mitsuru Hosobe, Board of Directors, Harvard Club of Japan. I am now working for the Mathematics Institute of Japan, supervised by Ministry of Education, Science and Technology.

We have just decided 3/14 is the day of Mathematics for 3/14 reminds us of π=3.14・・・

To commemorate the day we are now asking everyone to create and post Haiku and Senryu related to math, arithmetic and number and Evaluation Committee will evaluate them to nominate for award.

Entries are due by 29 February 2012 as described below.

We, the Japanese, very much appreciate Australians to support Japan in disaster relief following the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami.

To commemorate 3.11.2011 we plan to launch the Day of Mathematics on 3.14 through “Japan Spring” to create Haiku and Senryu globally.

The Mathematics Certification Institute of Japan proudly announces that March 14(3.14) is the Day of Mathematics because π=3.1415・・・

One of the characteristics of Haiku and Senryu is its artistic brevity. Haiku and Senryu are traditional forms of Japanese poetry with a primary number 5-7-5 syllable structure that makes them the shortest forms of poetry in the world and now globally appreciated.

Art work: Please create a piece of art work including image of number, arithmetic and mathematics

Individual: Two pieces of work at one contribution
Organization (School, Family): Any number of pieces at a time

Two areas of contribution:
One, Senryu
Education : individual and school
Adults: individual and family

Two, Haiku
Education: individual and school
Adults: individual and family

Two-sided, Coin decides, Kick-off (Probability)
(Source: Junior High School Textbook -Dainippon Tosho)
Hill climbing, As it gets higher, It gets colder (Linear Function)
(Source: Junior High School Textbook -Dainippon Tosho)
Fellmer, Finally solved, Everybody happy
Casino, Subtraction, Spoiled son

Spring: Single plum, Only single, Warmth
Summer: Early summer rain, Rapidly gathering, Into the Mogami (river)
Autumn: 4-5, Moon shadow, Dancing
Winter: January, A moon in the river, Middle of a valley

Prize: Japan
Senryu and Haiku for each
Individual : 1 Grand Prix / 2 Distinguished / 10 Prize
Organization: School Prize / Family Prize

Prize: International
(US, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and India for the 1st year)

1. At final stage, internationally
Individual: 1 Grand Prix / 2 Distinguished / 10 Prizes
Organization: School Prize / Family Prize

2. For each country,
Individual: 1 Grand Prix / 2 Distinguished / 3 Prizes
Organization: School Prize / Family Prize

Art work should be new and not be in public.
Change of work and inquiries about result of the announcement are not to be answered.
Art work contributed is to be subject to MCIJ.

Application deadline: February 29, Wednesday. Please submit via:



Announcement: Homepage of MCIJ on March 14, 2012
Award winner will be informed separately.

Selection Committee
Chair: Seiichi Morimura (Author)
-Rie Yasumi (Senryu Artist)
-Yoshihiro Enomoto (Haiku artist)
-Kyuzo Hayashi (Rakugo artist)
-Takashi Tsukakoshi (Announcer Fuji TV)
-Yoichi Mukoyama ( Chair TOSS)
-Hideyasu Watanabe (Navigator Rakugo)
-Takuo Mitsui (Fine Artist)
-Tatsu Yoshida(NHK Enterprise)
-Shizumi Shimizu(President, MCIJ)
-International Evaluators are now under consideration.
The host: The Mathematics Certification Institute of Japan
Collaboration: TOSS
Participating Companies: Widex, Otsuka Corporation

Thank you.
Mitsuru Hosobe
The Mathematics Certification Institute of Japan

January 11, 2012

Haiku Bindii Vol 1, Journeys – How to purchase

The Adelaide based, Bindii poetry group has released its first publication.

The volume is a 60 page saddle-stitched book with colour cover and black and white illustrations. It contains haiku, senryu, haiga, haibun, haiku sequences, tanka, tanka sequences, tanka prose by members of the group. Please see Patricia Prime’s review on for samples of the work included.

The book is for sale in Australia for $8 for one copy (posted) and $13 for two copies (posted). Payment can be made by cheque or direct debit.

Please direct enquiries, including overseas postage rates, to Treasurer Alexander Ryan:

Haiku Bindii Vol 1, Journeys – Review by Patricia Prime

Haiku Bindii, Journal of the Bindii Japanese Genre Poetry Group, Vol. 1, Journeys. Convenor: Lynette Arden (2011) 60 pp. ISSN 1839-4337.

Reviewed by Patricia Prime.

In this collection, the first published by the Bindii Japanese Genre Poetry Group, is gathered the work of twenty Australian poets. The categories included are haiku, tanka, haiku and tanka sequences, Renku, haibun, tanka prose and haiga. The book is a beautifully produced collection, lavishly illustrated by haiga, photos and black and white drawings. Here, I’ve discovered familiar names, and new favourites among the poets represented.

My favourite haiga are by Belinda Broughton, whose illustration is of a doll reflected in a mirror and accompanies:

at the auction
of her grandfather’s estate
nappy change

Also delightful are Lynette Arden’s haiga of a stone Buddha with its accompanying tanka:

beside stone stairs
small statues wear
rain stained and torn
tugged by the wind

and Alexander Ask’s beautiful photo of a dog, with its poem:

d r I f t I n g one moment
to the next
a dog’s life

The haiku in this collection represent moods, feelings, or moments. They are often charming, funny, and sometimes sad:

Anzac sunrise
the old bugler’s lips

Bett Angel-Stawarz

red flower
slowly withering
in memoriam

Lesley Charlesworth

cherry season
she cleans
the child’s grave

Lee Bentley

Like most tanka writers, the poets are inspired by nature and the seasons, personal experiences, love, emotions, travels and the sea. Lynette Arden’s tanka takes us back to the childhood awe of holding a shell to the ear to listen to the sound of the sea:

each collected shell
holds the ocean’s roar
sea longing
will overcome me
in this dusty suburb

Athena Zaknic’s fine tanka illustrates the grief at the loss of a loved one:

in cemetery
widow’s repeated overtures
her repentance
all over again
an audience of bats

while Bett Angel-Stawarz concentrates on the drought that often causes hardship to Australian farmers:

red winds
bury fence lines
with the drought
lines on country faces

Subjects in the haibun range from “Granite Island Haibun” and Chaos And Calm Haibun (Nigel Ford), Dream Garden” (Maeve Archibald), “Weight of loss” (Rachael Mead), “The Policeman’s Cow” (Lynette Arden), “Perfect Weather” (Lee Bentley), “Corellas (Belinda Broughton), “Journey through Paradise” (Jill Gower), “My slice of paradise” (Judith Ahmed), while the tanka prose piece “Piety” is by Pam Brow.

My favourite of the haibun is probably Jill Gower’s “Journey through Paradise”. Gower has the knack of covering her subject without ever losing the plot or theme. She also has a way with humour that holds a subtle tinge of poignancy, but still tempts you to smile and admire the way she has captured the scenery, the people and her own thoughts.

The “Shisan Renku: Armchair Travel” by Lee Bentley is a form to which I’m a relative newcomer, but Bentley’s approach in this solo shisan is sensitive and enlightened, the language is concise and to the point, through always leaving space for deeper insights and various interpretations. Standout poems for me are verses 6 and 7:

armchair travel
one tea at a time

driving through
a kaleidoscope
of tulips

Alexander Ask and Julia Wakefield’s “Shisan Renku: Life’s Inner Journey” not only explores their surroundings but also their minds and hearts. The natural treatment of the theme results in freshness and modernity. It is significant that they make us realize the way in which nature helps us to explain our deepest feelings. Two fine verses from the shisan are Alexander Ask’s verse 5 and Julia Wakefield’s verse 8:

balmy evening
mother’s war stories
amongst mosquito corpses

wind blow love letters
from sky to earth

The verses of Lynette Arden, Marilyn Linn and Alexander Ask in their “Triparshva Renku: Last Summer’s Bushfire” illustrate the plight caused by

last summer’s bushfire
how cold the frost
on charred land

Marilyn Linn

and the way in which nature and human nature overcome natural disasters and, by the close of the Renku, life returns to normal with new birth in Lynette Arden’s verse 22:

in the old tree hollow
a rosella chick breaks shell

Haiku sequences are by Beth Angel-Starwarz, Lynette Arden, Alexander Ask, Rachael Mead and Athena Zaknic. Here are two haiku from Rachael Mead’s “Autumn nights” and two from Athena Zaknic’s “Christmas haiku”:

footsteps at night
on my skin
a spider

cloud swathed moon
another quilt
on the bed


small child
to bed for the longest night
Christmas eve

yearly gathering of the clan
for Christmas dinner
silent night

There is also one tanka sequence, “A Pair” by Belinda Broughton. This is the last tanka from her sequence:

on the naked tree
blue light
his aging eyes

Here, gathered in a single volume, are some of the best Australian writers of Japanese short form poetry. Showcasing poems from accomplished writers, the collection also introduces new writers. The poems in Haiku Bindii Journeys testify to the poets honest and loving relationships with the Australian landscape, their memories of place, nature and people, evoked and explored (sometimes with humour) through closely observed detail. To sum up, a really judicious selection has resulted in a collection which accurately reflects the poets’ abilities, their flair for sensing and conveying the depth of uncommon moments. This collection would make a beautiful addition to anyone’s bookshelf or a wonderful gift.

January 08, 2012

Genjuan Haibun Competition - Reminder

Just a reminder that entries for the Genjuan International Haibun Competition close on 31 January 2012.

Guidelines for 2012
1 Subject: Free.
2 Style: No restrictions, but special attention must be paid to honour the spirit of haikai.
3 Length: In total, not more than 30 lines with 80 spaces in each line on a single sheet of A4-size paper.
4 Haiku: At least one haiku should be included.
5 Format: Print on one sheet of A4-size paper and write at the bottom your name and your pen name, if you have one, together with your address, telephone number, and email address. Your privacy will be strictly protected, and the judges will not see your names until the result has been decided.
6 Deadline: All entries should reach the following address by 31 January 2012. Entries received after this date will not be accepted. Please send your entries to:
Ms. Motoko Yoshioka, Regalia 907, 7-32-44 Fujimi-cho, Tachikawa-shi, Tokyo 190-0013, Japan. Please avoid sending by express, and using extra- large envelopes. Please write your home address on your envelope, too.
7 Entry Fee: None
8 Restrictions: Entrants can send up to three entries. They should be unpublished. As we cannot return your entries after screening, please retain your own copies.
9 Questions: All queries should be sent to the address above.
10 Special Request: The authors of the decorated works will later be requested to send us their works by email. In this, we expect your cooperation.
11 Results: The results and the judges’ comments will be sent by post to all the entrants in spring. The certificates of merit and prizes will be sent to the winners by early summer.