Monday, October 26, 2009

same same but different - thanks Bandit!
happy halloween

and Bandit's Halloween post featuring one of my favourite poets Lorin Ford, the delightful Devika, too cool for school William Sorlien, the overly artistic Comrade Harps, the ever popular Alan Summers and yours truly

lamplit breath
floats along the shore
ghost stories

Herons Nest Volume XII, Number 1: March, 2010


  1. This is very strong.
    Usually, I think it bad form to post haiku on another's blog comments, but let me offer this as a sister 'ku to yours (from our just completed ginko):

    ghosts and hooligans
    the river's current darkest
    in it's deception

  2. May I offer your 'ku as a lead to a tan-renga at our site? I think you see my thought here.

  3. woo hoo, you rock, this is hauntingly beautiful!

  4. WOW! A Knock Out, Absolutely Dalloway :)

    Happy Halloween!


  5. hey Bandit, youre most welcome to kick things off with the this... Id be honoured.

    many thanks Lorraine and Devika... this one was inspired by a ghost tour at the historic Quarantine Station at North Head, Sydney

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. Sorry for the delete...I had a typo.
    I had said...FANTASTIC!!! This is chilling in a good way. Absolutely love it. :)

  8. Brilliant. Nothing else to say.

    Best wishes

  9. many thanks... happy halloween

  10. Anonymous11/01/2009

    I'm at a loss for words to describe how I feel about the image and the words melting with a quiver in that corner. Thanks!!!


  11. Stunning addition ;)

  12. While you were out trick or treating, Em, don't forgot Comrade Harps slipped in the window, and a brace of fine haiku from Alan Summers laid on the cutting board.
    You were so gracious to combine your powerful haiku with mine in Tan-Renga form. I hope too many people were not disappointed. In true Halloween haiku fashion, your unselfish gesture was entirely unexpected.
    FYI: all the photos at the Bandit rag Halloween post are from Swede Hollow in St. Paul, Minnesota, USA.
    Thanks again! Now I must go howl at the moon...

  13. And now the pill arrives.

    I think that what everyone has said about the imagery is right on - it's intensely evocative. However, it doesn't feel very haiku-like (and that may be your intention?). I think it says too much - and I keep wanting to pare it down, you know, the "less is more" philosophy...

    For example, I love the image of a lamplit breath "floating" along the shore. But, painful though it may be, the word "floating" strikes me as overkill. (Is there breath that doesn't float?) But I also know what you're trying to evoke with the word "floating". Sometimes haiku poets cheat (including the old Japanese Masters). They give their haiku titles. This one might benefit from a title if you wanted to pare it down.

    Also, the word deceptive, I think, is best left unstated or implied. Typically, even modern haiku tend not to editorialize on their images.

    And I'm also not sure that the word "dark" is necessary. This is already implied by "lamplit breath". In other words, how else could a breath be lamplit unless it were dark? So... using the word "dark" unnecessarily restates what has already been beautifully suggested by "lamplit breath".

    So.. just throwing out ideas:

    "Ghost Stores"

    the black
    river's currents - lamplit


    the river's
    black currents - lamplit breath

    (In the latter, the word floating takes on two possible meanings, which gives it extra heft - Is the breath floating, or is the person floating on the river's black currents? In this respect - floating takes on more than a redundant sense?)

  14. Welcome back Patrick :)

    Picking up on your comment about 'floating'. I agree. It is overkill, I thought that at the time, but stuck with it anyway. Halloween, well the images that trickle over from the States about Halloween, are very cheesy, so the orginal haiku was cheesy. It was a cheesy piece of fun.

    The haiku was written for an All Hallows haiku competition that was run in the virtual world of Second Life at the delightful Shin Tao Haiku Retreat. Shin Tao is run by a talented, published leopard with a quirky and intelligent sense of humour called Dante OsakaDechanel. Im honoured to say my ku won first prize.

    Bandit (William Sorlein) used it as the lead to a tan-renga on his site. I was so touched, I changed the artwork to incorporate his words. I think it works.

    Second Life, I might add, hosts a surprisingly large, very supportive writing community. They run competitions, hold open mic nights, display their work etc... Its a good place to rub shoulders with published writers (and publishers Im told). Worth checking out in an idle moment, although making your person (avatar) look reasonable takes some time.

    I digress... thanks for coming over and offering up suggestions... always appreciate your comments. For me, the first one could take quite a sinister turn with something like:

    by a black river current
    their lamplit breath

    a nice mix of Bandit and my words... might go a' howlin' with Bandit now

    xx Dalloway

  15. Excellent points in the sense of haiku, Patrick, especially in relation to floating, or, as originally stated, 'floats'. Have you seen Emma's original haiku? Perhaps, in order to preserve traditional form, 'floats' may have been added to lengthen line 2, though not to true tekei length.
    I especially like your idea of "floating" in a sense of pivot for a line 2, along the order of:
    breath in lamplight::
    floating along
    the hall (hall was the original content)
    L 3, 'ghost stories', may have been the original intent in light of the season.
    Still, a striking "tell" and image, of course.
    Lines 4 and 5, from a haiku that was not submitted as a candidate for a ginko kukai from a Mississippi river walk, didn't work so well out of the original context, though when edited slightly made a decent enough tan-renga attempt while maintaining "accepted" norms for line lengths, plus the freedom allowed in tanka to "elaborate" some, without drastic change to Em's original intent.
    Please don't think me argumentative, Patrick! Your points are on the mark, most certainly welcome, and such wonderful poems you've provided!
    I would be honored if you'd stop by anytime with critique or comment, (I don't receive nearly enough) and I anxiously look forward to reading your blog!

  16. Oh, look! Writing at the same time! Well, what do you know-you won a prize! What fun.

  17. Emma -- the original haiku -- spooky ... triggering memories of kids trying to out-scare each other during Todos Los Santos. Congratulations on the 1st prize.

  18. Emma, congratulations! You deserve it. I should really make more of an effort to submit my own haiku. You're inspiring.

  19. You should, Patrick. You've got some great stuff.


Thanks for taking the time to write something.