June 2017


house clearance
room by room by room
my mother disappears

Alan Summers
Publication Credit: Blithe Spirit 26.1 (March 2016) Journal of the British Haiku Society

Touchstone Award Winner, 2016
The Haiku Foundation

Touchstone Award judges:
Gary Hotham, Ron Moss, Renee Owen, Michele Root-Bernstein, Dietmar Tauchner and Diane Wakoski.

Judges commentary:

“When I read haiku, I’m looking for an unexpected view on the well-known. I’m curious to learn about an open secret (after Robert Spiess). I’m looking for a simple (but not banal) and lucid language that expresses something extraordinary within the ordinary, something which I never read before in that way as well as something that is of beauty beyond time. ‘house clearance’ represents the pure power of haiku. Layers of meaning ascending from deeper layers of the mind (‘room by room by room’) in relation to existential truth (‘my mother disappears’). Perhaps one finds a human contradiction: memories can only get preserved vividly after “clearance.”

“An emotional and vivid image that brings sadness at first reading while effectively pointing out that taking away the physical doesn’t remove the memory.”

Charlotte Digregorio's Writer's Blog

house clearance
room by room by room
my mother disappears

by Alan Summers
Touchstone Award Winner, 2016
The Haiku Foundation

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This haiku has gained popularity since it was first read out one very hot Summer in London. It continues to be topical for one reason or another too.

David McMurray of the Asahi Shimbun called it a “brilliant haiku.”

Asahi Shimbun (Japan 2015)
the blood moon issue, Oct 2 for the eclipse of 9/28

Some of the other credits:

Anthology Credit: Heart Breaths: Book of Contemporary Haiku ed. Jean LeBlanc ISBN: 9789385945038

Publication Credit: Prune Juice : Journal of Senryu, Kyoka, Haibun & Haiga Scifaiku feature Issue 21: March, 2017 ed. Steve Hodge
from the “Nova Normandy 3044” haibun
http://area17.blogspot.co.uk/2017/04/nova-normandy-3044-science-fiction.html

Charlotte Digregorio's Writer's Blog

war moon
the flickering of humans
at birdsong

by Alan Summers
Asahi Shimbun,  Japan, 2015
Blood Moon Issue for the Eclipse of 9/28

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At a time when proof often stares us in the face, we ignore the warning dangers of change. Ah, sunlit horses, I remember, as a teenager, the wondrous ancient breed of horses indigenous to the Camargue area in southern France.

Charlotte Digregorio's Writer's Blog

is it treason
to put the planet first?
sunlit horses

by Alan Summers
Hedgerow,
#111, May 2017

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Humans are in constant conflict, and it always amazes me that some of us attempt something different. One day we may have peace, perhaps?

Charlotte Digregorio's Writer's Blog

winds of heaven
the wars we inflict
on each other

by Alan Summers
From the “Girl In An Owl” haibun
Hedgerow, #110, May 2017

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A Spring poem and of course an allusion to the famous haikai verse of Matsuo Basho about a frog and an old pond:

(Kanji)
古池や蛙飛こむ水のおと

(Hiragana)
ふるいけやかわずとびこむみずのおと

(Romaji)
Furuike ya kawazu tobikomu mizu no oto

And here is a literal translation:

Fu-ru (old) i-ke (pond) ya, ka-wa-zu (frog) to-bi-ko-mu (jumping into) mi-zu (water) no o-to (sound)

And a translation version:

an old pond
a frog jumps into
the sound of water

(tr. Jane Reichhold)

It’s worth checking out what Hasegawa Kai has to say:
http://gendaihaiku.com/hasegawa/index.html

Charlotte Digregorio's Writer's Blog

leaf wind
just enough frogs
to catch a pond

by Alan Summers
Anthology of the Samobor Haiku Meeting, Croatia, 2017

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We all have our ideas about dragons don’t we? For me it’s being free and majestic in a political world gone mad, that tries to make me feel small and powerless.

What do dragons do for you?

Charlotte Digregorio's Writer's Blog

fence painting
a wish to be the green
of dragons

by Alan Summers
Brass Bell: Colorful Haiku, May 2017

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Delighted to be featured for a whole week of haiku in this important blog!

Charlotte Digregorio's Writer's Blog

Enjoy Alan Summers’ Week! Each day from today through the 17th, one haiku by Alan will be featured on The Daily Haiku.

Alan is a regular contributor to this blog. He is President of the United Haiku and Tanka Society, and a Japan Times award-winning writer.  He is based in England, and working hard on exciting courses and projects as co-founder of “Call of the Page,” formerly known as “With Words.”

NHK TV of Japan filmed Alan for a program called “Europe meets Japan–Alan’s Haiku Journey,” covering aspects of his teaching and passion for the art of haiku: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3VS36AGVI6s

Alan’s website is: http://www.callofthepage.org

fireside story
a dad piggybacks his son
into the moon

by Alan Summers
Hedgerow,
#112, May 2017

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