A blog devoted mainly to haiku and senryu and to thoughts about, and inspired by, haiku and senryu.

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Location: New York, New York

Haiku is to poetry as espresso is to coffee.

Thursday, April 04, 2013


autumn breeze
a butterfly drifting
out of the garden

International Kukai, March 2013


Blogger V.C. said...

Bill, I've followed your blog for a while and love your work. Once question for you (which I'd ask through some better medium if I knew how): how do you balance posting new work to your blog and submitting to journals? Lots of places won't publish poems that appear on personal websites, etc. Do you refrain from posting your best stuff until after it's been published? Would appreciate your advice very much.

8:12 AM  
Blogger Iris said...

Hi Bill
nice haiku about autumn.
Let me recall here my photo "Dying Gaul" because I just regreted I could not mention the autumn in my inscription under this photo.

8:57 AM  
Blogger Bill said...

You're right, V. C., that most journals won't accept work that's been blogged; Prune Juice, a senryu journal, is an exception, but it seems to be inactive right now.

My approach is sadly unsystematic. When deadlines role around, I go to my files to see what's available (unblogged, unpublished, etc.). From that I select what looks most promising and send those off. The rest remain bloggable. Occasionally, I'll hold one back because I think it's right for some specific journal; my judgment in this matter is not infallible.

As you know many of the ku on the blog have been published or entered in kukai. Some have originated as comments on other blogs. Some come from the file. Some are topical, related to holidays, news stories, etc. And some are the work of impulse, turning up here because that's what they tell me they want. Good luck with your work.

Thanks for the visit, Iris. Yes, autumn was missed there, but what was there was nice.

5:03 AM  
Blogger Monika said...

Your're right to post an automn ku par les temps qui courent. It seems that we missed spring and summer and are back to cold!

8:56 AM  
Blogger Crafty Green Poet said...

butterflies, oh when will they come back to our gardens?

8:58 AM  
Blogger polona said...

gossiping neighbours
a brimstone flits between
mounds of dirty snow

(from tha latest Shiki Kukai)

9:12 AM  
Blogger Bill said...

Monika and Juliet, thanks. The assigned kigo was "butterfly," by the way; looking ahead to autumn was my idea.

Thanks for the ku, polona.

10:22 AM  
Blogger V.C. said...

Thanks so much for the response, Bill.

11:27 AM  
Blogger Danièle Duteil said...

Be patient ! The wild geese have left my country...

11:41 AM  
Blogger Magyar said...

__An autumn breeze, always seems to have a different 'taste.' Here, I see a summer butterfly... caught in the season's change; we all read differently, and appreciate what we feel.
__Lovit, Bill. _m

7:12 PM  
Blogger Bill said...

My pleasure, V. C.

Daniele, thanks for the news. Spring begins to look like more than a rumor.

7:15 PM  
Blogger Bill said...

Doug, our messages must have crossed. For me, the summer departs with the butterfly. Thanks for your comment.

11:28 AM  
Blogger Adelaide said...

What I saw in this is what you saw, Bill: as the butterfly goes, so does summer. Very well expressed.

a cold spring—
the butterfly bush
waiting to bud


6:06 PM  
Blogger The Haiku Apprentice said...

This is an achingly beautiful haiku Bill.

If I were an artist I would paint a haiga, or in fact a series of haiga to explore the subtle and delicate beauties of this poem.

It is autumn where I live, and it is in fact the first time autumn has returned since I commenced writing daily haiku myself, so I am much more attuned to the colours, the scents, and the dynamics of this season than at any previous season of my life. The paling intensity of the blue sky, the golden glow of sunlight, amplified by the changing colour of leaves; the earlier evenings and the slight chill in the air that makes one happy to return home and put on a cardigan. All this conjured with the two opening words.

But the second line, what a wistful and poignant image! The choice of the word "drifting", rather than a more stereotypical "fluttering" or even "flitting", completely changes this from a mere pretty garden idyll into an existential work of sabi melancholy. The season is finishing. The fertilizing work the butterfly is complete, and the garden is probably now full of ripening fruits and vegetables. The butterfly has no more energy left to give and can no longer even flap its wings. It drifts, carried out of the garden by the breeze of the season. Into the golden afternoon sun? Is it a kindly spirit, this breath of autumn wind? That is the great mystery facing all living beings. One we will only learn when we are led by the autumn spirit to take a final stroll in our own autumn garden, hopefully surrounded by the fruits and harvest of a life productive and well-lived.

1:01 AM  
Blogger Warren said...

Love the soft emotions this haiku brings - and it's as if the butterfly emerged from an opening flower and fluttered to life. Terrific poem, Bill.


6:33 PM  
Blogger Gillena Cox said...

leaving the garden, and soon to follow the seasonal warmth, nice juxtaposition

much love

8:41 AM  
Blogger John McDonald said...

delightful Bill

7:55 AM  
Blogger Bill said...

I've been away for a few days; simply very busy. But your comments are deeply appreciated.

4:44 PM  

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