a small space
between wit and wonder
left vacant

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

First Frost

autumn ridge ~
in and out of the wind
at the door


the white mums
bend almost to the ground  ~
this grey sky!


late autumn ~
the birdbath overflows
yet empty

furnace sounds
intermittent in the space ~
first frost

An attempt to photograph a Murano Glass bottle turned out to be quite a challenge without special studio equipment. This chilly morning, though, reflections and refraction reveal an inner world beyond the lens. 

Friday, September 21, 2012


as days shorten 
morning overcast returns 
nights grow cooler

the quality of the light
changes with the angle 
of the sun . . .

sunlight's aura
on the colors of autumn ~
one last kiss

sunset ~
around the temples
wisps of white

autumn dusk ~
the last surge of roses
in stillness

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Late Summer

Last dinner with company before Labor Day marks the end of summer vacation-time in the North American culture. In the quiet moments, just after company departs, evening descends with its most unusual soft pinstriped patterns:

Monday, July 9, 2012

Summer Pleasures

liatris ~
my summertime friend's

latest launchpad

a quiet spot
under deep blue canopy
clouds drift off

near sunset . . .
petals tucking in
for the night

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Doll Festival - March 3rd

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ancient women . . .
so long in service
without fans

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A modern-day display of Hina Matsuri dolls that celebrate Girls Day on March 3rd in Japan

Photo: public domain

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An antique photo of a Girls Day celebration in Japan (believed to have been taken in the late 1800s) 

Photo: public domain

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silk-faced girl
from Okinawa . . .
such a doll

This type of doll was a kimono maker's example of contemporary fashions he produced

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girls day dolls . . .
she dreams of court life
and marriage

(Closeup photo of two of tthe Hina Matsuri figures, the Empress and her Attendant: public domain)

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away from their nest . . .
all five matryoshka dolls
celebrate girls day

Girls around the world join in the celebration, thanks to the internet and the loving spirits that celebrate Saijiki Topics - a calendar for haiku and related forms (such as senryu) appropriate to the season

(Photo of Matryoshka: Russian Nesting Dolls my mother collected)

Friday, February 17, 2012

The Good Goblet

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Photo: Mud Men on a Jade Stand by E. Andre
Overall Size of the Mud Men figurine: 
30 X 48mm (approx. 1-3/16th" X 1-7/8th")

game of go ~
see the good goblet
that we share

The haiku is based is on the Confucian Commentaries in the I Ching 
for the change "Chung Fu"  -  "Inner Truth":

A crane calling in the shade.
Its young answers it.
I have a good goblet.
I will share it with you.

The "Mud Men" playing Go represent two of the "Seven Sages in a Bamboo Grove," a favorite Literati painting subject depicting the Seven Chinese Sages, two of which are often depicted as playing Go.

In a Japanese version there is a "poetic" name for the scene of the two Go Players is titled: 
Ranka らんか【爛柯】.
Ranka, in Japanese, means "rotten axe handle", and it comes from the following legend:

A woodcutter stopped by to watch a game of Go played by two mountain sages. When the game finished, so much time had passed that he found that the handle of his axe had rotted away. (See painting below)

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Some versions present the Go Players in the foreground:

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The ranks of the sages is expanded in the Ukiyo-e Woodblock images of the Floating World (17th to 20th centuries), in which Geisha are celebrated as feminine versions of Literati Artists, also Go Players:

See my haiku and photo entry, which was added to the World Kigo Database today:

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Silk for the Soul ~

Whitney Elizabeth Houston 
August 9, 1963 –– February 11, 2012

A haiku (senryu) tribute to Whitney:

bronze beauty
with the golden voice
now silent

silk for the soul ~
only angels sing
with her voice

(photo from the movie The Bodyguard – 1992)

"I Will Always Love You" - official version:

Whitney Houston was an American singer, actress, producer, and model. Houston was the most awarded female act of all time, according to Guinness World Records. Her list of awards includes: 
  • 2 Emmy Awards 
  • 6 Grammy Awards 
  • 30 Billboard Music Awards 
  • 22 American Music Awards 
  • a total of 415 career awards as of 2010

Houston was also one of the world's best-selling music artists, having sold over 170 million albums, singles and videos worldwide. Inspired by prominent soul singers in her family, including her mother Cissy Houston, cousins Dionne Warwick and Dee Dee Warwick, and her godmother Aretha Franklin, Houston began singing with New Jersey church's junior gospel choir at age 11.

After she began performing alongside her mother in night clubs in the New York City area, she was discovered by Arista Records label head Clive Davis. Houston released seven studio albums and three movie soundtrack albums, all of which have diamond, multi-platinum, platinum or gold certification. On February 11, 2012, Houston was found dead at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, in Beverly Hills, California, of causes not immediately known. Beverly Hills paramedics found the singer unresponsive and performed CPR for about 20 minutes before declaring her dead at 3:55 p.m.

Local police said there were "no obvious signs of criminal intent."

Friday, January 20, 2012

Ice Dragon & Crystal Palace

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A winter storm affords an opportunity to experience the wonder of nature's ability to transform our world. With the initial 8" - 10" of snow came a layer of ice that bent twelve foot tall bamboo to the ground:

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The red tones of the Japanese Maple shown through ice:

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All sorts of ice sculptures - fleeting marvels, a crystal palace:

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Monday, January 9, 2012

Winter & Kit's Closet

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Rarely do we come across an idea that stops us in our tracks. The photo above was posted on a Facebook list along with the artist's haiku. Both were so beautiful that I sought permission to post them here as a haiga composition, joining the haiku and image. 

Kit Nagamura lives in Tokyo with her husband and teenage son. She is a long-term columnist for the Japan Times, a fiction editor at Kodansha, Ltd., an art photographer, public speaker in support of Japanese artisans, and a member of the Haiku International Association. 

Through our few messages to one another, I learned that Ms. Nagamura's father designed the Ichimura Japanese Garden in Miami, Florida. His daughter has had a lifetime of close association with his genius, which has helped to fine-tune her senses to the Japanese garden esthetic. Still, this does not account for the inspiration her haiku reveals - a storehouse of lovely imagery. 

Thank you, Kit. You made my day! 

See examples of Kit Nagamura's photos:

See a brief description of the Ichimura-en in Miami:

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Window Dressing

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It all depends on perspective. The photo of frost ferns on a windowpane is just about equal parts shadow and light. Most of the shadow tones are toward the warm side of grey. Most of the lighter frost is aqua, but with glints of sunlight warming the edges. We are in a warm place close to the boundary between the warmth inside and the frozen outside. 

For those of us who live in the northern hemisphere it is just the beginning of winter. Yet, the days are growing longer by a minute or more each day. 

We share a virtual cup of hot chocolate, the sensuality of a fine woolen blanket, the surprise of sparks that suddenly crackle in the fireplace.  

Though the plant world is dormant, the force of life insists upon signs of growth such as these frost crystals. Our world is rich with more than mere window dressing.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A Quiet Esthetic

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Haiku usually have a seasonal theme, but in this case, as a new year begins, the theme is for all seasons. 

The three artisans who created the magnificent Portland Japanese Gardens on a 5.5 acre plot left only this small post cap (approximately 3.5" square) scribed with their mon [crest] to mark their monumental four years of work. The post stands near the poetry stone, which is the singular example of poetry in the entire garden.

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In Japanese, the haiku on the stone by the renowned 20th century haiku poet, Shuoshi Mizuhara (1892-1981) who visited the garden in 1966, reads:

Koko ni kite
Nihon no haru hi
Teru gotoshi

The English translation:

Here, miles from Japan,
I stand as if warmed by the
Spring sunshine of home

May this new year be filled with great works of beauty accomplished with esthetic restraint!