Let me say that I am making a strategic retreat to my chosen areas of creative sanctuary.
I have had much going on behind the scenes since my last update here. Most of the time was taken up with looking for and finally finding a new home for my family and I to move into. Then came the packing, pruning back, and shifting to a major change of scene then turning our new accommodation into our home.
The only submissions of work for publication were single parallels to Otata for issues 43 & 44.
June saw the publication of a volume of a haiku collaboration in three parts by Kala Ramesh, Don Baird and myself titled Triptych.
That same month I also met met up with Michael Dudley, a haiku poet visiting from Canada. Michael is one of the few haiku poets I have met in person so it was an added thrill to meet up with him again in early August together with Dick Whyte from Wellington.
Some extra time and effort was spent in late July to assist Richard Gilbert (Japan) and Clayton Beach (U.S.A.) to create a forum site for all things haiku away from the ever-vigilant algorithms of Facebook and other ever-present giant corporations. Haiku Sanctuary went live on the first day of August.
Is this how harvest time begins? This southern hemisphere autumn sees the fruit of small pods of words that I have broadcast here and there ripening where they will.
Reading back over my poems written in March’s first fortnight, I was shaken by how the tone and content of many of them seemed to prefigure the terrible events of 15 March enacted in two mosques in Christchurch. I was moved to submit a number of these at the end of the month to the editor of Otata.
In accepting sixteen of my pieces (including nine parallels) for Otata 40, John Martone observed that “The parallels are something new to … world(?) poetry. The form will endure.”
As far as I know there are only three regular writers of what their originator, Johannes S. H. Bjerg, has called parallels. The other two people working in the form at present seem to be Michael O’Brien and myself. Each of us imprint the form with our own characteristic approach to being and language.
The prolific Bjerg has a number of books of parallels that may be obtained and read from within his blog. An essay about the original impulse behind the form is included.
Five of my more traditional style haiku appear in Number Eight Wire (The Fourth New Zealand Haiku Anthology) edited by Sandra Simpson and Margaret Beverland, Piwakawaka Press (2019)
One of my three-line pieces was accepted for Red Hand Pointing edited by as guest haiku editor Elizabeth McMunn-Tetangco. This is the third time in which I have had work accepted for a haiku-focused issue of this journal.
Fifteen pieces were published (with editorial commentary) in New Resonance 11 edited by Jim Kacian and Julie Warther, Red Moon Press (2019).
One of my three-line pieces was spotlighted on the Haiku Foundation’s website for 24 March as part of the site’s Per Diem themed haiku feature.
At month’s end, I was grateful to find one of my older haiga selected and commented on by Failed Haiku editor Michael Rehling for a retrospective issue of the journal.
Don Baird has also advised that his book of photographs titled Faces and Places – Huntington Library/Gardens was now published. Each photograph faces a haiku written by one of seven poets written responsively to the accompanying photograph. Ten of my pieces (listed under my real name) are included together with pieces by Don Baird, Richard Gilbert, Deborah P Kolodji, Michael Rehling, Michael Dylan Welch, and Kala Ramesh.
March ended with my wife and I taking a much needed break for a holiday in Auckland in which to meet up with some of my blood relatives on my father’s side.
This month saw the acceptance of the six parallels submitted for Otata 39, a three-line piece for Failed Haiku 39, and two three-line pieces for Prune Juice. I am awaiting the outcome of submissions to another three journals.
Recent additions to my reading pile are Raymond Roseliep – Man of Art Who Loves the Rose by Donna Bauerly, The Collected Haiku of Raymond Roseliep edited by Randy & Shirley Brooks, and Haiku – This Other World by Richard Wright edited by Yoshinobu Hakutani & Robert L. Tener.
On the writing front, I had all three of my parallels submitted for Otata 38 accepted and published at the month’s end.
The month also saw three ku, a thirty-one verse sequence of one-line ku, and a parallel accepted and published in Failed Haiku 38 also at the month’s end.
The first two weeks of 2019 have almost come to an end with the promise of improving health and a more concerted focus on offering my writings for publication at venues that it most pleases me to see them appear.
The year began with the publication of a 13 part sequence titled a wake of vultures (originally written in 2013), 2 haiku, and 6 parallels in Otata 37 on the first day of 2019. In accepting them, editor John Martone very graciously wrote “Thank you for these. I’ll take them all. the Parallels are just glorious.”
This was followed with the publication of an experimental parallel and a haibun in the inaugural issue of Human/Kind journal.
Later during the year a selection of 15 of my haiku will be published in New Resonance 11 edited by Jim Kacian and Julie Warther for Red Moon Press.
A selection of some of my older pieces will be included in the Fourth NZ Haiku Anthology which is being readied for publication now.
I have also begun preparing a chapbook of my work for publication.