Submissions 1 – frozen

Anyone not yet an Icebox contributor, who wishes to submit an English haiku, haiqua, tanka, or (short) haibun or renga, can do so by offering it as a comment on this page. Just type it into the reply box below and click ‘publish’. An editor might later decide to move it onto the top page.

If your contributions prove interesting and you leave an email address, you may be invited to become a contributor.

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215 responses to “Submissions 1 – frozen

  1. The pressure to be a poet, how interesting a contrast: pressure/poet. Still, in so many ways we all do need a nudge sometimes to get out of a rut, or out of the way.

    summer heat replaced
    by cooling air, joyful “Ah”s
    art class vacation

    That is, I spent the hot months over in Oregon teaching printmaking to the best
    students encountered yet. When they finally got some point, the room was filled with their “ah”s of accomplishment.

    not children, tho new
    to a wonderment of
    their creation unleashed.

    good timing: returned to
    cool rain falling on friends’
    heated brows: I laugh.

    So glad to be away,
    glad to be back, too;
    pity for the baked souls.

    • I was over on the other side of danger, basking in the shade of a coffeehouse up-Nile, when I got a request to re-write some translations into english of 5 haiku by Santoka. The translator, a long-time friend for whom I have done many proof readings and re-writings, especially Konjaku Monogatari, is working on Santoka in hopes of bringing something new to the field wherein that poet lies. As a member, not only of Hailstones but also of the Happy Hokkaido Haiku Boys circle, my friend felt I could handle haiku along with the Tales.
      I want to share with you what I have done thus far. I don’t have the original japanese, and I will spare you his initial translations, which are too straight and literal.

      Deeper and deeper I go,
      entering into
      these green mountains

      A quiet, old town;
      I taste its water,
      I bathe in its water.

      Crossing this long bridge,
      at last, returning to
      my home town.

      This fine old town;
      I fill my belly
      with its pure water.

      The river flows with a murmur
      into the setting sun;
      night comes, night comes.

      If you are familiar with Santoka’s oeuvre, you will recognize that these are not his usual output. No death thots, no drunken visions, no rain or misery. Santoka was trained as a rebel to the traditional haiku format of 5,7,5. If you care to, Google his name and add haiku. Up will come a long list of sites, and his biography, which is a fascinating read.
      Anyway, I wanted to share these with like-minded souls. Finished my proofing just as some natives busted into the coffeehouse and started shooting. I had thot all along that the noise across the river was fireworks in celebration of some Islamic holy day.

  2. Make your haiku electrifying. I love the haibun, and I share your joy of teaching, but I want your haiku to stand in a stark contrast to your prose. How? (1) Strip it bare, and (2) Let it shoot skyward. Easy said? Haha, Tad Wojnicki

  3. The above comment was a Reply to Richard Woodchopper’s haibun posted here on September 16, 2008.

  4. Not a reply, and too long for haiku, but a wish: for someone to tell Jane I tried to get in touch by email, but the (Notre Dame) email address I have for her isn’t accepting mail. If she likes, she can reach me through the email address on the page at

    (Or here? I don’t see how.)

    • I thought this was wonderful, tori inu, with great use of “hinge” words, a technique used in many classic poems. Passing storm could mean the storm abating or you taking shelter as it blows through, and then the smell and dark enclosure of the pine pervades, and then “still rain” nicely swings about in possible readings: quiet rain, yet raining, tiny droplets from each pine needle. Thank you sharing this.

  5. yes and no (the last line could mean two things and stems from those little drops of rain weighing down the pine needles throughout the tree)…

    Imagine the storm passing (no rain under the pine), but while you are under the pine (trying to stay dry) the drops are falling all around from the tree (still rain) and while appreciating the moment you notice those drops on the pine needles close to your eyes that have yet to fall (still rain)

  6. In the heat of the midday sun I stopped the rush and go
    stepped out of the flow to compose a letter to my father.
    It started with pleasantries, moving swiftly to blame and
    doubled back to self-pity. I don’t want to lose him. But I
    have never had him, he is more than the genes
    that made me, but his image is faded. This makes no sense:
    we have no memories together. No washes to wring the
    colour out, to sieve the smells, no endless meals around
    an immovable table. I have no claim on him, nor him on me,
    yet I crave his stake driven into my forbidden terrain.

    The distant father
    waves from a mountain, hidden
    by my crying hands

    • ..much understand the situation and feel it
      to be a good poem..sometimes it’s best
      to simply share some time without bringing
      up the past..>>spiros

  7. Holywell Retreat –
    Among the trees, young voices
    Call up at trapped kites.


  8. Hello Tito!

    I just wanted to drop a note in thanks for your recent visit. We enjoyed your company.

    An interesting theme you chose for your visit to our moon viewing party:

    Entering the stage
    of bumpy built up Osaka
    June’s prima donna moon

    I’ve noticed the same effect here in St. Paul. (a sister city to Nagasaki)Although, things may look different, this old town hasn’t changed for me-I know its streets and alleys like the back of my hand. An answer for you, based on a recent poem:

    new facades
    can’t disguise this old town
    light of the June moon

    bandit (willie)

  9. Good day:

    I would like to offer two unpublished haiku poems for your pages. I have enjoyed reading other writer’s submissions. I would also like to invite you to visit my poetry e-zine.

    a firefly glows
    after we kiss
    …smiling Buddha

    first day of summer
    a skunk
    also friendless

  10. (August 6, of Hiroshima)
    Sizzling chants of cicadas –
    A fire engine shoots
    Towards 64 years ago today,
    Towards ever-erupting burns today.

    (August 9, of Nagasaki)
    Rain ceases,
    A fire engine shoots
    Cutting it fine –
    Cicadas’ hum ascends.

    • This evokes memories of my own father – as he got older, the peeling and slicing became increasingly difficult for him, but his independence demanded that he do it himself. Thank you for this excellent image.

      • You’re welcome. My father used to be fiercely independent: Parkinson’s is now making inroads. There are also other layers of meaning: the tight budgeting of British pensioners and the fear of death. He’s beginning to feel ‘thin’ à la Bilbo Baggins: ‘like butter spread across too much bread.’ I guess he needs a long holiday, too.

  11. something never ends ~
    the fragrance of wild roses
    I cannot see

    warm sand
    trickles through my fingers ~
    two gulls drift apart

  12. Sunrise: The Morning After

    Orange embers glow
    on the horizon – dawn’s hearth –
    coals from night’s passion.

    Seasons By The River

    1. A Local Scent – Spring

    We sniff the air, deer-
    like, stopped by a local scent:
    fragrance of balsam!

    2. Corruption – Summer

    Odor of earth: moist,
    corrupt. The river changes –
    all that we will know.

    3. Fever – Autumn

    The fact that river-
    light is reflected does not
    cool the mind… the mind!

    4. Dry-Docked – Winter

    White masts stand against
    the blue river: boats sailing
    in the frozen yard.

  13. I am reminded of Wallace Stevens’ Thirteen Ways Of Looking At A Blackbird, stanza V: “I do not know which to prefer/ The beauty of inflections/ Or the beauty of innuendoes,/ The balckbird wishing/ Or just after.” My attempt misses its mark, but Faulkner loved his failures more than his successes

    Choose: The Thing Itself
    Or Its Memory

    Experience red:
    Ripe cherries bloody our hands,
    Lick, taste so good! Or-

    Remember cherries:
    Ripe, fingers red, taste so good,
    Boughs hang heavy: Which?

  14. punting upstream
    red leaves swirling behind
    boatman’s song echoes

    on Yakushima
    drenching rain in the forest
    heightens senses

  15. Dear Editor

    I am Clelia Ifrim , poet , dramatist, prose writer, from Bucharest , Romania . I’d like to participate at Kikazu Haibun Contest.Please, the haibun must be published or unpublished ?

    Thank you very much
    All the best
    Clelia Ifrim

  16. Haiku

    Cold of the winter,
    I’d take you in my hot hands
    but you’ll die of them

    Keen cries of the birds –
    the frozen needles falling
    on the sea mirror

    Spawn of golden fish –
    where is the unborn star dust
    from this sweet water ?

    A rag doll sinking –
    waves of ocean wipe its eyes
    painted in black ink

  17. icicles
    in muffled silence
    tumbling down

    a blanket of snow
    upon the village…
    odour of coffee

    in the sunlight…
    shafts of snow

  18. As has become our habit (and joyful tradition), we at the Haiku Bandit Society host a monthly moon viewing party, inviting any and all poets to submit haiku, tanka, kyoka, or any poetic form so we might celebrate together this enjoyable sight.

    This month offers a unique opportunity, as well as a challenge, to celebrate the rare thirteenth moon that falls not only twice in one month, but as well as on New Year’s Eve!

    Here follow a few poems that I’ve submitted:

    new year moon
    icy dusk slips away
    down river

    somehow out of place
    this thirteenth night so cold
    a young blue goose

    sweeping away
    the old drifted snow
    a new year’s moon

    Our site’s location is –

  19. 1. Finally, a thaw –
    Last year’s leafmould suspiring
    From the grass verges.

    2. New Year’s ladybird
    Appears on my armchair drape –
    ‘Home is where you are.’

  20. All unpublished:

    heavy snowfall
    a Charlie Chaplin landlord
    steps out of the film

    metal reindeer
    in and out of purple
    a girl in emo jeans

    virgin snow
    the fox making prints
    for the morning

    Father Christmas
    my fake beard becomes real
    for the little boy

    Alan Summers

  21. On the pond
    A ripple

    Laser Surgery
    The sunlight

    Step by step
    We grow apart

    A sudden breeze
    Wren and leaves
    Fall in tandem

    Naked Trees
    Await Spring Clothing

    Crusted with dead leaves
    Granny dying

  22. Over the fields
    in a marvelous curve-
    a pair of ducks.

    It is first to blossom
    this pruned ribes branch,
    alone in its vase

    A few snowflakes
    take a tour around my garden
    on Tom Cat’s back

    The first catkins
    just in time to catch
    the last snow

  23. What is a freshly cut paddy? It sounds like autumn harvest rather than just-planted lines of rice seedlings, yet the latter is more in keeping with the musical score image. Kindly clarify, Ted. Does this mean you are back in Japan?

  24. No Tito, still in Santa Fe. Just doing some spring cleaning. Speaking of which:

    Spring comes
    one plum blossom
    at a time

  25. Winter is the Quiet Time.

    Winter is the quiet time when few venture back to see me. Sometimes on Sundays, cross-country skiers happen by. Wow, you live here? What do you do for …? I shush them, listen, the jays are fighting.

    Snowshoe hares make a daily pilgrimage searching for my garden now buried deep beneath the snow. Nothing for you here, I whisper. The berries have been picked and turned to jam, which I will not share with you.

    A week’s wood to split.
    Felling, splitting, and burning—
    Three-times it warms me.

    • Thanks very much for this submission, cdsinex. We would like to post it onto the top page. A couple of things before we do so: ‘split’ and ‘splitting’ in the same haiku (can you find a way of changing one?), and your name for the credit, please. This will be a return to winter in our summer, but why not?! Do you live and write in Patagonia or the South Island perhaps? I guess you’re Alaskan, though. Nice work.

  26. Tito,

    Thank you for your comments.

    I’m new to this site, and don’t know how to, or even if I can , edit poems once they’ve been posted.

    Your point on “split”, “splitting” is well taken. Would this be better?

    A week’s wood to split.
    Felling, stacking, and burning—
    Three-times it warms me.

    As for Patagonia, I wrote this a few months ago about an event that occurred during the two years I spent in a remote cabin in Vermont. I also lived for 18 years in rural central Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost island. (I lived on the edge of a farming village with a population of about 300 people. We would get between two and three meters of snow a year, and temperatures in the -20s ~ -30s. Thinking back I guess I’ve spent half of my adult life in cold, snowy places, and often write Haiku, Senryu, Tanka, and Haibun about my experiences.

    Patagonia this time of year must be nice.


  27. Three unrelated poems

    Sweet thoughts of the past
    flutter like cherry petals–
    A faint smile lingers.

    Safe on the sidewalk.
    A squirrel pondering its fate
    looks across the street.

    Lost in love’s refrain
    the frogs keep us up all night–
    One of summer’s joys.

  28. (To my now 30-year-old son)

    The fog between us.
    You walked a few steps ahead.
    Not once looking back.
    The old photo reminds me.
    Was I really your age then?

  29. Unusual way of doing things, but, o.k., I’m not a previous contributor, though I’ve published extensively. Latest project is a collection of teen senryu and zappai. The occasional haiku has managed to sneak in, but most are in the tradition of Kerouac’s pops. Here’s one for your consideration:

    casting out nines,
    Climey’s old testament hands
    still math waters

  30. I heard your fiddle.
    Bow ensnarled in raven hair.
    The last song we wrote.
    With neither bang nor whimper. (1)
    Some things just end –unnoticed.

    (1) Borrowed from The Hollow Men, T. S. Eliot

  31. 1. Sexy hairdresser,
    Forgiven for the clippings
    In my free cuppa.

    (clippings = hair from the previous customer)
    (cuppa = cup of tea provided as a courtesy)

    2. Through a train window (Provence)

    Arrêt à Gadagne –
    Jeune fille aux baskets rouges
    Balance sa jambe.

    (Halt at Gadagne –
    Young girl in red sneakers
    Swings her leg.)

    3. At the Gare St.Lazare

    Security guard opens
    The spastic’s cola.

    (Non-PC term the only one that fits. The juxtaposed announcement and event were probably not as connected in the minds of the participants as in mine.)

    • That last one should have read:

      “Slippery Surface” –
      Security guard opens
      The spastic’s cola.

  32. With a breaking wave
    the children all scamper–
    Laughter and dry feet

    Moving with great pride
    Mallards glide on Molly’s Pond–
    Six ducklings in tow

    Staining the silence
    scolding crows mark my passing–
    I mean you no harm

    Full of memories–
    Walking on the unworn path
    that once led me home

  33. Five Unrelated Tanka

    At last the sky’s clear
    East winds keep the clouds at bay–
    The sun earns its keep
    Like a misset alarm clock
    Songbirds wake me up at five

    Thirty years gone-by
    Returning to my birthplace–
    Not really mine now
    A stranger on once-known streets
    Bright lights reveal the present

    A hand-thrown teacup
    Moonlight shines through the window
    dancing on the rim
    I sometimes feel like a cup
    filled and emptied by you

    The cool rain subsides
    Alone in a dense pinewood
    The scent draws my thoughts
    Collecting Matsutake
    More than enough to share

    Leafless New York streets
    The gray of October skies
    brightened by neon
    Two years in Saratoga
    My mind’s become much too soft

  34. Not unexpected
    summer finds you here again—
    Leaving at first frost.
    Your head nests on my pillow
    like a migratory bird.

  35. her saintliness
    draws him; simple
    waves of hand
    greeting his peachlike demeanor,
    her artistry, sanctify the air
    ..circa 2009; Copyright 2010 Spiros Zafiris
    ..channeled; spirit Ram; reaching
    into the poet’s mind

  36. you may say,
    the old man got his way:
    he wanted more visits
    –a car had to run him over,
    and break his hip, for me to cede
    ..circa 2010..Copyright 2010 Spiros Zafiris
    ..channeled; spirit Harmony; reaching
    into the poet’s mind

  37. Don’t normally give background to my haiku, but with this audience of friends thought I would share. Recently while going through my large collection of books, I came across one of my childhood favorites and was taken back to the nights I found peace within its pages….

    bed covers tent —
    where the sidewalk ends silences
    parent’s fight

    How many of you have found peace within it also?
    tori inu

  38. Town full of sea fret* –
    Dew-bespangled in the sun,
    Beachy Down** glistens.

    * Sea fret = sea mist; ** Beachy Down=the ‘shoulder’ of Beachy Head, tallest chalk sea cliff on the south coast of England

    • Very nice poem. Thank you for the “translation”.

      It reminds us once again, as Oscar Wilde wrote, “We (Brittan) have really everything in common with America nowadays except, of course, language.” The Canterville Ghost, 1887. (Often misattributed to Churchill)

  39. V to U
    a parliament of rooks
    shift their flight

    magpies and crows
    the rectangularity
    of haybales

    simple chicken dinner
    both of us know she has weeks
    I edit her final haiku

    i.m. Mary Taylor

    growing desire
    for electric blue
    my faded shirt

    Alan Summers

  40. In Memory of: Peggy Willis Lyles 9/17/39 9/3/10

    whispering wind
    in the moment
    for only a moment

    autumn winds
    and leaf blowers-
    going round and round

    late autumn heat wave
    scare crows dressed in
    tank tops and cut offs

    Michael Henry Lee

  41. tule fog
    the strength wanes
    from father’s thumbs

    fog pond
    invisible voices
    on every side

    low clouds or high fog
    heaven glimpsed through black pines
    peace now and later

  42. 3 a.m.
    well, give or take…
    my feet are cold

    woke up from a passed out drunk, drool on the couch cushions, my ass in the air, the only position to stop those spinnies, how many hours ago?

    i can’t drink like i used to – it’s not like i want to, anyway, and so many god damn meds i couldn’t if i wouldn’t, no how. throws me for a loop. i’m gettin’ better though…

    i’ve been waiting for this – winter – a little obsessed, maybe, writin’ about it, thinkin’ about it – worried about it some.

    i wonder how them Hmong folks felt, their first winter here? No snow in the Laotian Highlands, i’m sure;

    ‘kids at the bus stop, fresh from the Thai refugee camps, shivering in the cold. we ran outdoors, giving them our old winter coats, bundling them up, they, embarrassed looks on their faces, complacent though, listening to our strange language, fussing and cooing as we tucked them into ski jackets and children’s parkas. all they knew was that we, the elders of this new village, wanted them to conform to our ways and our weather. they respect their elders, you know.’

    coca – cola
    a ubiquitous icon –
    hand-me-down clothes

    an occasional sound of cars hissing past on wet streets. otherwise, it’s just the clock’s ticking, and without fail, the sounds of distant trains.

    finally, the will to go and open the blinds. looking out, motionless, i want to be far, far away…

    gusts of snow
    and the smell of coffee –
    street light in pools

  43. thanksgiving day
    thankful for the sense
    to be thankful

    holiday dinner
    a major announcement
    of the

    thanksgiving day
    that part of the farm
    that won’t be missed


    While making a stew,
    I fog glass cabinet doors.
    Fall has arrived!

    Thought best in autumn,
    what will become of reading
    in this computer age?

    Gingko fruit
    Smashed on the sidewalk.
    Autumn’s olfactory “Tadaima!”

    Leaves from
    my lone gingko
    litter the neighbor’s roof

    Bipolar autumn weather
    Makes it difficult
    To pick clothes

    Only November 2nd,
    But the Halls of Kyoto Station
    Are already decked

  45. Icebox editors and readers greetings: thought I would share some of my gunsaku. I wrote these years ago, while volunteering at a soup kitchen, cleaning up a local neighborhood in LA and reflecting on my own past as a lonely flower finding my flow.


    always in nothing
    for something

    urban kingdoms–
    metal flags
    mark the boundaries

    concrete playground–
    young interior spaces
    realize open ones

    winter night–
    rubbing nickels and dimes
    into ones and fives

    vacant lot–
    a stoop still attracts
    fiendish footsteps

    backpacks full of work
    shoulders through
    the fiends

    stepping through broken glass
    after a benz

    city soup kitchen–
    old long pinkie fingernails
    with a plate

    tori inu

    • toru inu; From The Sidewalk Cracks

      poem #4 is interesting. particularly the image/action in the second line in the context of what could be a cold, or even freezing night. i like that contrast brought out with the word “rubbing”. however, i’m not sure how cold it gets in LA in the winter, but i guess if you’re down and out, or need food, it might in some sense feel cold?

  46. Gerald: I lived in L.A. for twenty -two years and while in truth
    it doesn’t get near cold enough to freeze to death; 40s to mid
    30s, but in a stiff breeze with sub standard clothing it is in every real sense cold. I liked #2,4,5,7,6. In # 7 I was confused by benz, perhaps binge might be a more universal

    smoke stack bar-b-q
    smells better’n it tastes
    downwind and homeless

  47. An Afternoon at Mollys Falls (Three Haiku)

    The river still flows
    not yet hardened by winter—
    A few geese remain.

    * * *

    Summer people gone.
    Skipping stones break the stillness—
    My head nods in time.

    * * *

    A petulant child—
    Autumn’s taken everything
    summer had lain out.

  48. Laughing at myself and this hacking cough, I recall, inappropriately, ‘cough’ is a symbol for winter as stinging smoke wells in my nostrils.

    I’ve done my duty, a mad dash through the apartment after having been jolted awake by the one working smoke alarm’s buzzing, assured now that no one is home. A sense of foreboding wells in the stomach – just for a moment, I want to lose control of my bowels. A sardonic irony overcomes me, this fear of death…

    ‘Just a little boy in front of the television at the dinner hour. Shocking video; a news report from Vietnam. I can’t tear my eyes away from the screen.

    A Buddhist monk is situated in the picture, totally still until slowly, exorably, he becomes immolated in greasy smoke. Demonic tongues of fire lap at the air above him while his body, seemingly at peace, gradually tips over with macabre finality, its hollow charred husk, as though his soul, if there were such a thing, is wafted airily away from his body. Without seeing, I can only imagine the expression on his face.’

    As the ceiling catches fire, the acrid smoke from century old lumber fills the room, billowing and roiling unnaturally toward the floor, the fumes knocking me to my knees. Suddenly weak, I lower myself down on my belly.

    Under the couch, I catch a glimpse of the dog’s lost toy. A cartoon animal figure with a goofy face smiles back at me. “So, that’s where you went”, odd satisfaction in my voice.

    The heat is unbearable. Amidst the roaring destruction, I see the extent of my life in familiar belongings going up in flames:

    …hand me down furniture, some antique pieces that belonged to grandmother, blown glass ornaments collected over decades on an artificial tree, a few volumes of Japanese poetry, gifts from the authors, books of beautiful renderings of ukiyo-e prints, the old family photographs on the wall…

    Beneath the smoke, a small aperture of escape remains above the worn carpeting, light through the window lying in a pool, a beacon of safety gone askew. With eery calm I lay my head down on the floor’s rough texture, resigning myself to rest…

    Bright light – indistinct voices – brilliant cold beneath me; looking up, I see a fireman’s ruddy face.

    “You’re gonna be fine, buddy.” The foreign sensation of breathing oxygen through a rubber mask. “We’re taking you down to Regions for awhile, get you checked out.” Some compelling sense of courtesy makes me offer an affirmative blink.

    Looking down at my smoke-smudged form on crisp snow, I notice the dog’s toy clutched in my palm. The stars, startlingly vivid, twinkle over the city.

    moon viewing
    she’s the only one
    who makes me laugh

    • Dear Willie, Thanks so much for this – and for the haibun submitted on Nov 13. The eds are trying to work out in what form to bring them (or part of them) onto a posting. Bear with us, please (Relax Bear?). To be honest, though, if you became an Icebox contributor (shall I send you another invit?), it would be easiest. We ask for a posting once a month (or in a blue moon) and a few comments occasionally, which you already give. Scorching writing: red hot!

  49. Dear Tito,

    You are too kind. I would consider your offer only if I were not to offend any of your masterful writers and contributors.
    With all sincerity, I am but your humble apprentice.


  50. Instead of walking in the sands of Kuwait on Christmas this year, I was able to be with my family in Japan. This haiku captures what I saw Christmas morning walking my dog and when I turned away from him while he took care of his morning business. His tug on the leash was the only thing that brought me back…

    morning view–
    the far blue mountains
    have me again

  51. Another year has passed. An increment of time; longer than a moment and shorter than eternity has elapsed.
    Individual perception and circumstance may compress or prolong the previous three hundred sixty five days into a catnip or coma.
    The world has been irrefutably changed and yet remains inexorably the same. Mortal flesh and immortal soul make themselves evermore apparent.
    Yesterday cannot be changed, only perhaps-tommorow.

    acorn season
    a hollow sound comes
    from the Buddah’s head

    winter hawk
    circling the creche
    ponders the Christ child

    twenty eleven
    vowing to keep my rabbits
    in conjoint baskets
    the creche

  52. My humble apologies for the clutter,
    the last senryu should simply read:

    wenty eleven
    vowing to keep my rabbits
    in conjoint baskets

  53. I am sincerely hopeful this is not an indicator of what this year has in store. The final correction –

    twenty eleven
    vowing to keep my rabbits
    in conjoint baskets

  54. 1. Waves scour the foreshore –
    Shouldering his little girl,
    Father heads homewards.

    2. Totsuzen no
    Denryoku shadan –

    Anyone care to translate – into something of ‘haiku quality’?

  55. I love the feel of the haiku in English, and the Japanese word Shuushinji is very poetic.

    intertidal zone
    a father piggybacks her
    all the way home

    Just a suggestion.

    Intertidal zone is the same as foreshore.

    all my very best,

    Alan, With Words

  56. Would you mind posting the Haiku in kanji? Perhaps I’ve been away from Japan too long, but I read Denryoku shadan as 电力遮 (an electrical circuit breaker?) which can’t be right.

    Thank you.

    • Hello David, You may be right about the ‘circuit breaker’. I haven’t a clue, as I got it from an internet translation service, and they can be quite off the mark at times. I wanted to say words to the effect: ‘Unexpected / Power cut – / Bedtime.’ – Posting the thing in kanji is beyond me. I therefore defer to the honorable Hisashi-san…

  57. Hi Kamome-san: Your #2, literally in Japanese; 突然の/電力遮断-/就寝時. Nice 5/7/5! I suppose電力遮断 means ‘blackout’ or ‘power failure’(停電 teiden) here (right?) and therefore more correctly, 突然の/停電-/就寝時 (sudden/ blackout/ just after in bed), which is not in 5/7/5 but in 5/4/5 though. This is not haiku but senryu. Humor? Yes! Do you want to sleep as it is dark and to awake when electricity is turned on? Poesy? Little in Japanese. David, 电 is a modern Chinese character, not Japanese kanji.

    • Thank you, Hisashi-san, for your expert elucidation and correction. Well, there we have it, from one who really does know. So much for internet translation services. At least I’ve learnt a new word – teiden – and others have learnt the difference between Chinese and Japanese kanji. Ah. sou desuka!

    • Thank you for correcting my 电 misuse. I’m not sure how it happened, as I thought I was using Japanese software. And thanks for clearing up the meaning of the Haiku.

  58. Intertidal zone –
    Hastonian fisherfolk
    Set out for the kill.

    Shakespeare prowls the shore,
    Seeing store increase with loss
    And contrariwise.

    Interdicted zone –
    Smackheads pelt the bardic dunce
    With pointed pebbles.

    Interzonal tide –
    Oceanographer pounces,
    Skewering his prey.

    Shouting down the shore,
    Hastonian shinglehead
    Concludes: ‘That’s better.’

      • Hello Haikutec,
        I have never done karaoke except once or twice in Tarumi bars. I do not see the connection with my haiku. In fact, the most recently posted ones are not haiku (see submissions below).

        If Tito, our honorable kaichou-san, can coin the ‘cirku’ and ‘crossku’, I hereby announce the birth of the ‘surryu’: the surrealistic senryu.

        These are no longer (directly) wry comments on human foibles, but springboards for fantasy scenarios and outright love of wordplay: alliteration, assonance, rare words, bizarre juxtapositions, ‘objective correlatives’, etc.. In other words, very rich.

        See the mileage I got out of ‘intertidal zone’, a phrase so unpoetic and un-haiku-like that it might well have come from a surveyor’s manual. It is from such irritants that oysters make pearls.

        Thus also did Gérard de Nerval write his sonnet sequence ‘Les Chimères’, ‘composés dans un état de rêverie supernaturaliste, comme diraient les allemands’, as he explained. No-one had written anything like them at the time, and they were inevitably considered to be the product of an unbalanced mind. Now they are regarded as absolute gems which – as their creator quite rightly foresaw – ‘perdraient leur charme à être expliqués, si la chose était possible.’

        Rugby came from breaking the rules of football; haiku from breaking the rules of renga; senryu from breaking the rules of haiku. This is the way of evolutionary creativity. So, let us welcome into this world the ‘surryu’. Or should that have three ‘r’s? Speaking of which…a reminiscence:


        ‘Name?’ ‘Dodd, sir.’ ‘Is that
        One ‘d’ or two?’ ‘Er, three,sir.’ –
        ‘Take a detention.’

        How broad and open are your minds, dear Icebox contributors? It has been said that the difference between madness and creativity is that the latter seeks to communicate. How creative are you?


        P.S. I am familiar with the creative scene in Hastings. The whole town was claimed for a New Age capital of Britain. Since the recent burning down of its pier and closing of certain cultural venues, it may become more introspective, but it is a powerhouse of creativity, with new material being generated all the time.

  59. When I entered his room his face lit up with a smile. I pulled up a chair and he pulled out photos of himself in his 20’s, with his muscular body, black hair greased and slicked back which was stylish in the 1940’s. He found a snapshot of his wife in her 20’s, a slender, attractive, dancer. He talked about finding a job when he got out of the army, commuting to New Jersey, and some of the jerks he had as bosses. We would talk for hours. Although he never mentioned it, I wondered if he was lonely. Sometimes he would wince and tears would come to his eyes from the pain in his knees. He could barely walk and was mostly confined to his armchair. There was nothing I could do to help ease his pain; he was not even my patient. She was.

    Sitting beside him
    Eyes vacant and glassy

  60. Reflecting on The Social Network

    the social network
    documenting my evvvery

    a problem
    being famous
    everyone’s listening

    between social accounts
    my phone goes to voice mail

  61. My deepest condolences to all the people of Japan!

    Obon festival
    only our bravest faces
    one for the other

  62. Intertidal zone –
    Geomorphologist waits
    Upon seismic change.

    Scorsese shuffles shingle
    From his shellacked shoes.

    Haiku these are not –
    Yet should such innovation
    Be extirpèd quite?

  63. Ei Kaiwa Gakko

    His mother’s phone dead –
    Palestinian student
    Cries in the classroom.

    Japanese girls tell
    The Russian bully he’s cool –
    Now he behaves well.

    First warm days of spring –
    At last the Emirati
    Takes off his jacket.

    Libyan businessman
    Returning via Tunis –
    ‘After that, we’ll see.’

  64. Since the Parkinson’s,
    He can prepare for nothing –
    I seek out the box
    Of a long-dry birthday pen,
    And find two more cartridges.

  65. Bright Saturday
    a girl removes bunny ears
    to be a mermaid

    Alan Summers
    Bright Saturday is part of Easter

    magnolia moon  
    Fukushima needs petals  
    for everyone’s heart 

    Alan Summers 


    Magnolia haiku translated into Japanese by Hidenori Hiruta

    on the makeshift map   仮の地図
    I kiss           キスをする 
    the lost cities       今なき都市に

    Haiku by Alan Summers, translated into Japanese by Hidenori Hiruta

    The last two haiku were created into posters as part of the Japan Art Auction which raised over £4000 in one night for Japan Aid.

    I am very grateful to Hidenori as through his literal translation version of my lost cities haiku I edited my own haiku.

    Details and images showing how the posters were created will shortly go up onto Area 17:

    Alan Summers

  66. Dedicated to the victims of one of the deadliest series of spring storms on record for the Southern United States

    in a vortex
    of jasmine rain

  67. Gardens

    the wise labor still
    in their steep autumn shadows
    in gardens of truth

  68. respite

    a tempest of seas
    I am the eye of our storm
    our ocean’s great roar

    asleep by your side
    am I a ripple of tide
    come softly, ashore

    (respite from our battle with PD)

  69. Dear Editor, Keith A. Simmonds has written a poem about Fukushima that I would like to include in an anthology of grief and loss poems that I am editing. Thank you for forwarding my inquiry to Keith, so that I may
    obtain permission to publish his poem, giving due credit to your website.
    Sincerely, Robert Epstein

  70. I have tried to write something. Please help me.
    The roof leaks
    Life is such—
    Feathered-soak waiting

    • Hi Brinda! ;-)

      Brinda Runghsawmee Says:
      June 17, 2011 at 8:21 pm

      I have tried to write something. Please help me.
      The roof leaks
      Life is such—
      Feathered-soak waiting

      I do like this, but wonder if you could do away with all the upper-case letters?


      the roof leaks
      life is such—
      a feathered-soak waiting

      Just a thought.

      Alan, With Words

  71. Late June, a day
    Of no rain, just two minutes
    Late for work

    The wan hosta
    I watered at dawn
    Is now in blazing heat

  72. sky peeps at
    bougainvillea frolics on
    mango leaves— drilling.

    I would appreciate a comment. Thanks.

    • Better late than never? My own view is that the lineation of your original doesn’t work, and ‘frolics’ distracts from the central haiku image of the peace and magic of greenery (a garden or park?) contrasted with the turbid world beyond (drilling). How about

      sky peeps in through
      mango leaves and bougainvillea –

  73. Knowing who he is
    Only in opposition
    To his family:
    ‘What kind of society
    Have I fallen into here?’

    The spondylitic,
    Her illness in remission,
    Returns to lessons –
    Her countenance radiant,
    Her smile once more effortless.

    Choosing among fruit
    You have sent me through the post –
    Knowing that I touch
    Smooth surfaces you have touched;
    Knowing that you knew I would.

  74. Dear Michael, Thank you for submitting new poems to the Icebox. The *Submissions 2* page is the best place now. Would you mind resubmitting them there, please? When you’ve done so, I will erase the duplicate from the old page. We don’t want to close it, but are urging people to post on the new one. Thanks. Best regards, Stephen Gill

    • This space is frozen (not in use). Any further submissions should be offered on the current Submissions page, please. Thank you.

  75. i cannot find the email for submissions. I am looking and looking and keep bouncing around. ??? Help???

    • Thanks for the new submissions, but as this page has been frozen (no longer current), to ensure they are not overlooked at editing time, kindly repost the two haiku as a single comment on the Submissions 3 – NEW ONES HERE page. If poss., also give your name/place of residence in case one is chosen for the top page.