to the small poem and the quiet voice within

modern haiku


Editor’s Note: This is serious, invigorating stuff for anyone out there whose heart beats haiku. I can’t recommend it enough if you’re new to the form and conception, if you’re a sometime aficionado, or if you live and breathe and dream haiku. I speak of the publication, MODERN HAIKU, An Independent Journal of Haiku and Haiku Studies. Charles Trumbull, current editor, PO Box 33077, Santa Fe NM 87594-3077. It’s one beautiful bible of the way of Basho and beyond.

The current issue, mh Vol 42.3, Autumn 2011 contains enough wonder and inspiration to keep a haiku-hand engaged for days, weeks, months, years. It covers the narrow road north (south, east, & west). AWARDS & CONTESTS: HAIKU & SENRYU; ESSAYS: The Haiku of Hasegawa Kai; Out of the Mist: The Haiku of O Mabson Southard; A Small Island of Silence: The Haiku of Pietro Tartamella—An Interview by Max Verhart; Ginko as Walking Meditation. HAIKU & SENRYU; POETRY GALLERY; HAIBUN; HAIKU & SENRYU; CORRESPONDENT’S REPORT; NOTICES; REVIEWS; JUXTAPOSITIONS; INDEX OF CONTRIBUTORS.

Some of the best writers (innovators) of modern haiku appear in this issue, among them. Jeffery Winke, who has the whole Poetry Gallery to perform in; Gary LeBel, who raises writing to music; and a raft of unknown (to me) and known, long honored, tried and true, perfect haiku pitched regulars including Roberta Beary, Michael Ketchek, William M. Ramsey, Charles Rossiter, and George Swede.

It doesn’t get any better than what you see and feel here… – – Norbert Blei

adult home: haiku

So many nights and the luna still shines quietly
A patient gazes at me then spits
On her back rags reach to the floor
She sits quietly eyes on her feet
Is that me staring in the mirror
So peaceful the stars then the day wakens the night
Looking for someone to lie with the empty chair
Tonight only the sound of my typewriter
Day after day she wears the same dress
Now and then a knock on the door

— Gerald John Conforti

Valentine’s Day
I chip away at her
icy sidewalk

— John Stevenson

talking in tongues her stockinged feet

— Mike Spikes

she says
it’s over

— John Hawk

another birthday…
crack in the foundation
still unfixed

— Jennifer Gomoll Popolis

three a.m.
the call that doesn’t come
fills the house

— Marsh Muirhead

grandma’s crazy quilt—
an old needle
rusted in place

— Charles Rossiter

we make out
of all this friction

— Peter Yovu


  1. Don

    Beautiful. Thanks, Norb. Don

  2. Judith Wiker

    Sitting at Laguardia on my way home to ChiTown…a memorable morning of sweet Haiku…thanks Norberto!

  3. Phil Hansotia

    Haiku is the new shorthand for uncomprmising insight. Cheers, Phil.

  4. Charlie Trumbull

    Wow, Norb! Thanks for the kind words.

    The beat goes on: the new issue is in print and ready to be mailed soon. Articles on Chiyo-ni, Jorge Luis Borges, haiku and holograms, and gendai haiku, plus lots of great poetry.

    Charlie @ Modern Haiku

  5. Jeffrey Winke

    Thanks Norb — I’m…. errrrr ….. blushing a bit. There are so many really top-notch haiku writers out there that I’m not sure I can stand shoulder to shoulder with them. I’m probably best located a generous several steps behind (on my better days).

    But all the good things you say about Modern Haiku are absolutely accurate. Thanks, my friend.

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