Archive for September, 2010

On the Bullet-Train

Posted in Autumn, Poem on September 30, 2010 by Mark

That graveyard there among the stubble
of how many rice-fields and seasons?–
the merest glimpse from a window.



Posted in Autumn, Haipho with tags on September 29, 2010 by david mccullough

abandoning his waterhole

the ratsnake slips

among the first red flowers of autumn

Equinox Moon Kukai

Posted in Autumn, Event report, Haiku with tags , on September 29, 2010 by Tito

The Hailstone Haiku Circle’s recent kukai, held in Osaka – 10 present; 15 poets submitted – was won by Itsuyo Higashinaka (8 points – 3 first votes and 2 seconds) with a haiku about the funagata Daimonji

The ship shape of fire

floating in the western sky,

going where, I wonder?

Runner-up was Toshi Ida’s (6 points – 2 first votes and 2 seconds) pastoral lullaby …

The full moon

over the harvested rice fields –

villagers sleep

John Dougill led the appraisal session, which was both enlightening and fun. Hosts Akira & Shigeko Kibi provided us with tea and sandwiches, and later, a guided tour of the oldest part of Suita, which had started out as a river-port village centuries ago.

Just as we made our way back to the station, a  gorgeous moon obliged…

Veiled, numinous

Even the cat’s entranced …

Aikawa harvest moon. ….. (John Dougill)

Kikakuza International Haibun Contest 2011 – Free Entries and More Prizes!

Posted in Haibun, News with tags , on September 26, 2010 by Tito

The new rules for Japan’s first (and still solitary) haibun contest  have now been released. They have changed slightly for 2011. First of all, entries will be strictly limited to three, so if you send more, the later ones will not be read at all! Secondly, the Highly Commended category has transmuted into the Za Prizes (the Grand Prix still stands), so there is now more than one true prize to aim for. And last but not least, the Kikakuza is returning to a free-entry competition. Last year, an attempt was made to raise much-needed funds from entry payments, but it proved difficult to enforce and inhibiting to many foreign haibun writers. It is surely a generous gesture of Kikakuza and their friends to offer prizes, evaluation and publication of winners for free. So please take part! The deadline is January 31, 2011. You can send your unpublished entries from now on to the address given on the special page accessed at top right of the Icebox – ‘Kikakuza Haibun Contest 2011 Guidelines‘. Good luck!

A Cirku for Fujiwara Teika

Posted in Autumn, Cirku, Haipho with tags , on September 20, 2010 by Tito

Click on the photo to better read the poem!

This small wooden statue of the C13th compiler of Ogura Hyakunin Isshu, ‘One Hundred Poets, One Poem Each’, Japan’s best-known collection of classical tanka, is housed in a tiny wooden pavilion, the Kasenshi, within the precincts of Jojakkoji Temple in Saga, Kyoto. It is seldom unlocked. See poem no. 3 in our new collection, ‘One Hundred Poets on Mount Ogura, One Poem Each’ for a haiku about its unlocking!

Praying for no clouds, I look forward to the Hailstone kukai + moon-viewing this Thursday…

from the Icebox inbox – 15 (two welcomes)

Posted in Autumn, Senryu, Submissions, Summer, Tanka on September 2, 2010 by Tito

Welcome to David Sinex in Washington State, who has submitted manfully to the Icebox these past months. We will now be able to enjoy his own posts and more of his comments on others’ work, it is hoped. Two of his poems have been selected from the inbox. Both have a Japanese feel. The matsutake of the tanka is a delicious mushroom.

Temple irony ..

Monks spraying for mosquitoes ..

Do they not have souls? ..

.. The cool rain subsides

.. Alone in a dense pinewood

.. The scent draws my thoughts

.. Collecting matsutake

.. More than enough to share

And welcome back, Ronan Bligh, Moya’s son! We walked and talked again during the Jizobon Festival in Saga, Kyoto recently. Ronan would like to join Hailstone on a group ginko sometime, but we’ll have to wait: he’s now in China, and back in Oxford soon after … Click on the photo to enlarge.