MELTDOWN haiku anthology

The Hailstone Haiku Circle in Japan has launched its latest haiku anthology:

MELTDOWN — an anthology of haiku, Z to A — edited by Stephen Henry Gill, HAILSTONE HAIKU CIRCLE Kansai, Winter 2013 ISBN: 978-4-9900822-5-3

You can read a review of the anthology by Beverley George below.

Open the book, right to left, as you would expect for a book published in English and you will find a mischievous note. ‘This is the END of the book. Please go to the other end for the beginning! →’.

A simple message but it sets the tone for the explorative and wide-ranging content.

The foreword by Stephen Henry Gill (Tito) opens with a grim message from the Tohoku Disaster aftermath, echoed by several haiku in the groupings titled Zone and Tsunami.
As in a previous publication titled ‘ENHAIKLOPEDIA’, a rather informally collated, but engaging saijiki, the haiku are grouped into thematic sections, but this time with headings arranged from Z-A . These are as varied as Spell, Scarecrow, Reptile, Complaint and Bay. They set up an expectation for reading enjoyment, which is satisfied by the way in which the poems glance off, or support, those around them.

Under the heading Evening, we read:

The grazing cattle
have returned to the byre—
summer stars
Yae Kitjima

while the section Dragon includes:

Lit by dim sunlight,
an eggshell from an offering
to the dragon of the cave
Tito, Iwafune Jinja, Katano

Appealing poems from the Art section include:

A calligrapher
working in the moonlight —
his button mouth!
Hisashi Miyazaki

Mountain snow …
with each brush stroke
the deer comes alive
Duro Jaiye

From Waterbird and Kyoto sections, respectively, we can enjoy:

Black as a monk’s robe,
the cormorant has red eyes
burning with hell fire
Nobuyuki Yuasa

Arashiyama drizzle
cherry petals plastered
to the tram-car floor
Kyoko Nozaki

The book concludes with four renku of 12 verses each, written to mark the progress of the seasons.

To discover more about Hailstone Haiku Circle events visit

‘Meltdown’ costs ¥1,500 + ¥350 postage within Japan; or US$15 cash (US$20 airmail, postage paid) from overseas.

It can be ordered from:
Hisashi Miyazaki, 54-16 Hamuro-cho,
Takatsuki-shi, Osaka 569-1147, Japan

Review by Beverley George