Monday, 3 December 2007


The madness of the season is upon us! The tinned Christmas music in the stores, the aggressive commercials on TV, the frantic faces of shoppers--for many of us, it all adds up to an increasing yearning for a simpler holiday time. So. This month's theme explores the good, the bad and the ugly of what Holiday means these days. Deadline is January 2, 2008.

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

and I'm wearing a lot of layers, too

wind-swept, featureless
the Flats chill me bone deep
tomorrow: the bus!

Friday, 2 November 2007


November brings a crispness to the air, and the first frosty indications of winter in the early morning. With the drop in temperature comes our new theme: Cold. It might be a bout of cold feet, getting the cold shoulder, out cold, or just feeling chilly--it's up to you. Deadline is midnight, November 30.

Thursday, 1 November 2007

Last Night

As darkness descends
the beast emerges, hovers,
surveying the street.

It chooses its first
and creeps closer, arm extended;
claws scratch at the door.

Thirty houses and
three chocolate bars later, the
red dragon crashes.

Monday, 29 October 2007

I'm having trouble with a title, too

pristine new pumpkin
canvas for much clever art
damn this carver's block!

Sunday, 28 October 2007

Jack o' Lantern

Evil spirits flee,
frightened by the fiery gaze
of his glowing eyes.

Thursday, 25 October 2007

my neighbourhood on Hallowe'en

tiny Chinese kid
scared, no costume but big eyes
oh, have a candy

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Hallowe'en Bedtime Chez Moi

Two black ninjas strike:
Rustling through the bag of treats
Under bedcovers.

Sweet and juicy

Tempting toffee coats
scrumptious red apples, crisp with
hidden razor blades.

Monday, 15 October 2007


Hallowe'en is our next theme, and brings us an opportunity to explore the macabre, be it good (happy memories of childhood trick or treating) or not so good (witches and ghosts and mummies--oh my!). Deadline is midnight, October 31.

Friday, 12 October 2007

Does the Warranty Cover Freaking Out?

The moribund Mac
stares blankly, indifferent
to looming deadlines.

Sunday, 30 September 2007


Our next theme (courtesy of the mysterious Sly Revolutionary) is something that we can all relate to: Stress. Whether it's work stress, city living stress, or just a general anxiety about things, you have until midnight of Sunday October 14 to write about your jitters.

Monday, 24 September 2007

The 39 Steps

Code song grimly hummed,
they hurtle over the moors
in flight from menace.

Saturday, 22 September 2007


Flight is our next theme, which could be a flight from the cold (like the migrating Canada geese), a flight into the unknown, a flight from one's fears (like a Hitchcock movie), or flights of fantasy. Let your imagination take flight. Deadline is midnight, Sunday September 30.

Friday, 21 September 2007

The Physiology of Taste

"You are what you eat,"
declared Brillat-Savarin.
Today: I'm pad thai.

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

Basho at the Old Springfield Pond

Plumpish frog legs flex,
and then the sound of water.
Mmmm, plumpish frog legs . . .

Sunday, 9 September 2007

Have your cake, and...

Early memory:
Chinese sweets, bearing pictures
rendered in sugar.

A pennyfarthing;
a flower; a teddybear;
all meltingly good.

I loved their look, and
loved their taste; the torment was,
I couldn't keep both.


I don't eat meat, just
the pickle's vinegar tang;
the dog gets the rest.


The taste of a simple madeleine flooded Marcel Proust with bittersweet memories, which he then described in scrupulous detail. So, we will (courtesy of Andrew) now explore Taste, one of the subtler senses, as our theme (though with much less length than Proust). Deadline is midnight, Saturday September 22.

Saturday, 8 September 2007

Better late than never

First I'll tidy up,
check the news, have a snack and
THEN post a haiku.

Thursday, 6 September 2007

Pain au Chocolat

Hunk of baguette with
chocolate melting inside––
bad day looks better.

FLASH Haiku: Bread

It's a quick round of FLASH haiku now, and the theme for it is Bread. You have 48 hours to stand, coffee in hand, at the counter of your mental bakery and decide: literal or as a figure of speech? Symbolic or slang? They all look so delicious...

Deadline is midnight, Saturday September 8.

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

Modern Life

Twenty-four hours:
not enough time to compose
fourteen syllables.

Variation on a Haiku by Lori

Yeah, that’s what I’ll do.
A percept frozen in time
needs lots of research.

Thursday, 30 August 2007

Got the title done, time for a break...

this time I'll finish
on time and...

Monday, 27 August 2007

I'll Just Do More Research. Yeah, That's What I'll Do.

Inspiration wilts
in the blinding glare of the
waiting blank white page.

Sunday, 26 August 2007


Though a deadline looms,
the urge to jump on Facebook
takes priority.

Saturday, 25 August 2007


Our new theme (courtesy of Kelly) is Procrastination. You have until midnight of Wednesday, September 5 to postpone, lag, delay, loiter, defer, shelve, prolong, and filibuster.

Wednesday, 22 August 2007


Garbed in rivulets
of water, modern Venus
rises from the sea.

Monday, 20 August 2007

About a buoy

he rocks his own boat
making waves while the sun sprays
diamonds on the lake

More fish tales

My toddler sister
drops her line, grins, and hauls forth
a leering catfish.

Sunday, 19 August 2007

Blue Birds

Blue Birds Flying High
River Running to the Sea
Oar in, oar out, oar

Saturday, 18 August 2007


There was definitely an aquatic thread running through the Summer theme, so we're going to continue, with Water as our new theme. And, like water, you can be as big as the ocean, or as delicately small as a teardrop. Deadline is Friday, August 24.

Friday, 17 August 2007

Endless Sky, Endless Water

Graceful as a bird,
the canoe glides on the lake
through reflected clouds

What was I thinking?

I start to regret
the poolside as exposed limbs
turn a telltale red.

Sounds of summer

Dad's signature cast,
launched with a pop! zing! splash!, tempts
Rosseau's smallmouth bass.

Thursday, 16 August 2007

is it hot out here or is it carbon dioxide emissions-based environmental damage?

the endless summer
no longer a wishful dream
climate change, baby


Sun could be shining
rays of pure gold. Wouldn't know.
Stuck inside working

FLASH Haiku: Summer

Our new theme is Summer, and, since it's a Flash Haiku, you have only 48 hours to write. So, time to quickly muster your thoughts and think of all that the season brings, be it good (sunshine, swimming in lakes, long days) and/or not so good (mosquitoes, heatwaves, allergies). Deadline is midnight, Friday August 17.

Wednesday, 8 August 2007

Hide and seek

Stifling giggles, the
children take turns peeking from
behind the tombstones.

Tuesday, 7 August 2007

Shortened to Hopeless, Then Became Bob

As children do, he
copied his Dad, introduced
himself: Hope, Leslie.

Wednesday, 1 August 2007

the hip hop rabbit is Chuck B

'cause he hopes along
the illiterate bunny
is called Cassidy

Tuesday, 31 July 2007


Our new theme (courtesy of Beth) is Hope, the one thing that remained after Pandora opened that ill-omened Box containing all the world's evils, winged and ready to go. Deadline is midnight of August 15.

and yet I keep trying...

soothing savage beasts
is easy with a nice wine
harder on guitar

Friday, 27 July 2007

Bad Vogon Haiku #1

Plurdled gruntbuggly,
thy micturations, to me,
echo lurgid bees.

(With sincere apologies to Douglas Adams)

Thursday, 26 July 2007

Bad Goth Haiku #1: The Lover Scorned

The hearth of my heart,
once so warm, is glacier cold
since your betrayal

Twisted vines of hate
choke the tender shoots where oncce
dwelt my thoughts of you

Revenge festers hot
rotting dreams that used to be
our golden future

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

Underwater Zombies

Rising from the depths!
Ridiculously acted,
But eerily filmed.

Thursday, 5 July 2007

what? what?

soft white kitten fur
makes babies smile and giggle
soaks up blood well, too

Wednesday, 4 July 2007

Open Haiku!

It's official: July is now a month of Open Haiku on the Haiku Club blog. This means that both members and non-members are free to post their haiku on any topic, as much as they like, until midnight of Tuesday, July 31. Thanks to Maddie for the idea.

Tuesday, 26 June 2007

Because Monkeys Are Fun

Training manual
at new job: Curious George
Learns Software Testing.

Cat lives: 9. Me: not so many

going down the hole
following the stupid cat
safe as long as ... AAAAAH!

Monday, 25 June 2007

White Rabbit

"Curiouser and
curiouser," says Alice
in Carroll's famed tale.

Curious to us
is this murky glimpse of the
Victorian Id.

FLASH Haiku: Curiosity

Curiouser and curiouser. Curiosity is the theme for the first 24 hour Flash Haiku, and your deadline is midnight of Tuesday June 26.* Now's the time to discover if you can haiku under pressure...

* Note: the official email notice goes out at midnight, but there's a two hour head start for anyone checking the blog right now...

Tuesday, 19 June 2007

shut up Shut Up SHUT UP!!!

Chance-heard, the dull song
spins madly in my brain--a
warped merry go round.

Is that Smells Like Teen Spirit? No way!

Can only escape
This elevator muzak
When I reach my floor

Those songs that move you can come back to sting you

Familiar refrain
Our song plays but not for us
Perhaps new lovers

Bm You Suck

Pick up my guitar
Barre chords make my fingers hurt
Open chords it is

when do we get the freakin' guns?

new haiku format
you are messing with my mind
that's not a bad thing

Sunday, 17 June 2007

This Week's Theme: Music

This week's theme is courtesy of Maddie, and is (considering the membership of the Haiku Club) an especially inspired choice, too: Music. Deadline is noon on June 24.

Note: No cats were harmed in the writing and uploading of this post.

Thursday, 14 June 2007

Haiku Club: New Schedule

An update on the upcoming schedule change for the summer: as of next week, we'll be moving to a whole new format of theme posting, which will be permanent rather than just for the summer. Instead of posting on the Sunday of each week, or every two weeks (as was the original plan for the summer), we'll embrace the true spirit of haiku and become more spontaneous. Haiku Club members will continue to be asked to contribute themes regularly (along with the themes posted by me), but when they will be posted and for how long will be unknown until they're up. So, some themes might have an extended stay of perhaps two weeks, while others may be an innovation suggested by Andrew: the Flash Haiku, which will be a theme posted for only 24 hours (maybe even less!). Other themes will fall somewhere in between. How themes are chosen may vary, too––for example, occasionally you might be asked to, say, visit a certain website and pick an object, colour, or concept as your theme. All this is designed to mix things up, keep us all engaged in the form, and, I hope, add to the pure enjoyment value for everyone, too. Please feel free to post your comments here on these upcoming changes, and to add any other thoughts and ideas you may have as well. I am always open to suggestions.

Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Mythological Musings

Fiery eyeball of
gods ancient and new––tell me,
why are you so mad?

Heavenly Musings

You'd never lack toast
if you had a little place
somewhere near the sun

Monday, 11 June 2007

stupid jerk sun

no-one can go out
unless they are covered in
some anti-sun goop

Sunday, 10 June 2007

This Week's Theme: The Sun

This week's theme burns brightly above us––the Sun. For millenia it has been personified as the ever-watchful eye of Varuna (India), Ahuramazda (Persia), Helios (Greece), Zeus (Roman Empire), and Ra (Egypt) respectively. Now it turns its fiery gaze Deadline is noon on Sunday June 17.


The road forked: I took
the one less travelled. That's made
all the difference.

Friday, 8 June 2007

Year in, year out, she
dusts his faded photograph,
faithful at least so.

Why is it...

When someone says that
they "regret to inform you..."
they usually don't.

Tuesday, 5 June 2007

Out, out, damned spot!

They keep me awake
their images all too clear
morning, noon and night.

Too many to count.
Pause, rewind ... erase? For now,
pass me the bottle.


Twitterku are haiku composed from random phrases pulled from the Twitter public stream. An example:

craptacular day
Up way too late yet again.

Have a look here. Via boingboing. Now back to our Regrets...

Monday, 4 June 2007

War Time

Telegram arrives.
"We regret to inform you..."
Grief descends, settles.
Unlike Edith Piaf
Qui ne regrette rien
Some of mine run deep

Sunday, 3 June 2007

This Week's Theme: Regret

Our theme for this week is something a bit different, courtesy of Andrew. It's the very human emotion of Regret, and it's played a significant role both in history and in literature. If only...

Deadline is noon, Sunday June 10.

Thursday, 31 May 2007

Fantasy futures (with a nod to Bugs)

To control time's flow -
pause, rewind. Even better
than portable holes.
Infant to toddler,
schoolboy to teen. Years fly by
but the minutes crawl.

Wednesday, 30 May 2007

Time Regained

Life's simple pleasures--
The extra hour of sleep from
Daylight Savings Time.

In Search of Time for In Search of Lost Time

Dauntingly lengthy,
Proust's meditation on time
beckons me. Someday.

Time Forgotten

Summer afternoon--
watching a bee hovering
over peonies.

Perhaps of Flesh, But Not Always of Heart

Despite the adage
Time does not erase all wounds
Some salted anew

Monday, 28 May 2007

... watch TV, probably

the minutes drag by
when will 5 o'clock get here?
I must rush home to ...?

Sunday, 27 May 2007

This Week's Theme: Time

Time is the theme for this week. Are you in search of lost time, waiting until the end of time, or just happily wasting time? Only time will tell. Deadline is noon on Sunday, June 3.

Note: Speaking of time, I may be a bit late posting the theme next Sunday, as I'll be out of town for the weekend. Rest assured that I'll post it ASAP...

How my dad says he played as a boy in the 1940's

Frozen horse dung puck
Eaton's catalogue shin pads
Barn door goaltender

Thursday, 24 May 2007

ok ok ... my ticket is actually game six

a sweep would be fun
assuming Ottawa wins
otherwise: game six!

Wednesday, 23 May 2007

Road Hockey

Canadian streets
resound in summer with the
laconic call: Car!

Tuesday, 22 May 2007

there better *be* a game five...

my game five ticket:
fifth row, behind the Sen's bench
jesus fucking christ!

Monday, 21 May 2007

Just Wondering

Grrrrrreg chose the topic
Where art his verses? So hushed,
while Kelly posts three.

Ms Torck ignites a
flood of icy metaphors
while Grrrrreg frosts silent.

Such a fiery fan,
surely he's biding his time
while the rest weigh in.

Playoff fever stalls
Response to other milieus.
Just wait -- he'll be back.

Once his fever calms,
Grrrrreg will forge his silver muse
Reflecting glory.

When the good guys win
I long to read Grrrrrreg's haiku
Lauding our heroes!

Sunday, 20 May 2007

Something to fall back on...

Playoffs, centre ice,
though not quite living the dream.
(Zamboni driver.)
They circle the puck,
glide and collide as they dive,
like hungry seagulls.
I join the army
of neighbourhood shovels to
save the smothered rink.

This Week's Theme: Hockey

This week's theme is courtesy of Greg, who's chosen our national sport: hockey! With the city currently gripped in a red-hot Sens fever after yesterday's win, it's a highly topical one, too. Deadline is noon on Sunday, May 27. Hockey buff note: the Skein Ronan (Renfrew) hockey card shown here is one of the earliest Canadian ones, dating from around 1910-2.

Thursday, 17 May 2007

(In)Famous Clown Moments

Innocence is lost.
Unbeknownst to Clarabel,
microphone's still on.

Sunday, 13 May 2007

Shifty the Clown

Rage, barely suppressed,
Seeps from under gaudy paint
Like damp in old walls.

Night after long night
He plays to the crowd, heart seamed
With deep cracks of hate.

Tonight, his new act.
Carnival mask drops, reveals
Chamber of horrors.

This Week's Theme: Clowns

So what's up with Clowns? Deadline is noon on Sunday, May 20.

Thursday, 10 May 2007

Groucho Sings!

With manic zest he
lists the scenes on Lydia,
the Tattooed Lady

Wednesday, 9 May 2007

X Philes

Ourobouros wrapped
Tail in mouth, on her shoulder.
Is the truth out there?

Slyly Fox teases:
"There's a Princeton tiger on
my fanny, you know."

The special club, the
mark that says, "We know, it's true...
We are NOT alone."

Snake, Fox, Tiger, and
ourselves: chasing 'secrets' with
our tails in our mouths.

Tuesday, 8 May 2007

Tropical Weather

Driving monsoon rain
beats a relentless tattoo
on the bowed tin roof

Monday, 7 May 2007

maybe when I go to prison

I want to get one
anchor? mother? flaming skull?
I just can't decide

Sunday, 6 May 2007


Mingled with pleasure,
painful pricks swell with colour,
revealing too much.

With time, it fades. Not
forgotten, but inwardly
absorbed, like a sin.


Intricate designs
detail the depths of my love.
What was I thinking?

Who Remembers Fantasy Island?

Eyes cast to the sky
He excitedly exclaims:
"Da plane, boss, da plane!"

This Week's Theme: Tattoo

This week’s theme is the tattoo, the living record of a rite of passage, a psychological moment, a memory, a souvenir, an initiation, a declaration or a decoration, immortalized on skin. Deadline is noon on Sunday, May 13.

Tuesday, 1 May 2007

Like King, I had one.
Not quite as grand: perspective
and humility.

(But not just for me.
Mostly for that asshole who
stole my parking spot.)

Aspire to inspire;
a worthy model for the
next generation.

(Though with climate change,
cancer rates and big business,
they're already screwed.)

alien abduction?

a sense of relief
waking up, safe in my bed
this isn't my room...

Bad Dream

Feet mired in thick mud,
I struggle through endless bogs
fleeing nameless Things

Andrew's Dream

Startled, I snap awake.
What was that? Again he stirs,
chuckles in his sleep

Flying Dream

With effortless skill
through moonlit clouds I fly, while
below the world sleeps

Monday, 30 April 2007


Half naked on stage;
noone notices?! Oh no:
I forgot my lines.

Sunday, 29 April 2007

That Dream (again)

I never get lost.
This house, this Labyrinth - like
the back of my Hand.

Deep pools dot the floor
I drop, swim, find an ingress.
Keep moving. Always.

I emerge - outside
Twisted trees; people's faces.
Things feel very Wrong.

I know a shortcut
Up to the attic. Safe there.
'Til tomorrow night.

This Week's Theme: Dreams

To sleep, perchance to Dream...of odd dreams, happy dreams, anxiety dreams, funny dreams, scary dreams, entertaining dreams, naughty dreams, obscure dreams, ominous dreams, romantic dreams, busy dreams, day dreams and dreams that are simply indescribable. Deadline is noon on Sunday, May 6. Sweet dreams!

Thursday, 26 April 2007


Swollen purple buds
make me blush as they explode
to green above me.

Tuesday, 24 April 2007

Fruit Bowl

Unripe banana
I'm hungry and frustrated
Lush, green, hard to peel.

Crisp, fresh, within reach
I will grasp for you instead
Granny Smith apple.

Bottle cap popped off
Halve then quarter then slice lime
Corona's ready.

Is it ripe or not?
Damned exotic papaya!
When do I eat you?

Moss Trilogy

Muted by soft moss,
rain falls gently on the
Japanese garden

Very old, these trees--
Moss-grown silent relics of
a primeval world

Stranded small islands,
adrift in a sea of moss--
the steps to the well

Monday, 23 April 2007

Different Shades of Green

What Hulk did for Lou
The Sydney Tar Ponds did for
Elizabeth May

Sunday, 22 April 2007

This Week's Theme: Green

For the fourth and final Colour week we’ll be looking at Green, as in spinach, racing MGs, grass, envy, money, lizards, camouflage, avocados and the Incredible Hulk––plus the eco-friendly kind of green, too (Happy Earth Day)! Deadline is noon on Sunday, April 29.
He died Christmas Eve
Jaundiced; still craving beer when
His liver gave out

Wednesday, 18 April 2007


Low afternoon sun
transforms a leaden grey lake
into liquid gold

Dancing wallpaper
when the bright sunshine filters
through the lace curtains

An overcast day
Then, sunlight bursts through the clouds.
Pleased, a child laughs

Tuesday, 17 April 2007

also, 10" floppies

fuzzy amber text
on black or green monitor

Monday, 16 April 2007

Vincent (The Sun King)

Get busy, Van Gogh,
create swirling tawny fields;
heed not broken hearts.

To the brush,Van Gogh.
Paint yourself a sunflower.
Occupy your eyes.

Release your wild sky
and cathartic dazzling sun
(better out than in).

Dive into gold paint.
At loose ends, your ear’s at risk...
idle hands crave knives.

Sunday, 15 April 2007

Confronted by thugs
-- at least, they might have been thugs --
he turns tail and runs.
He stares at her throat,
searching for a reflection.
Does she like butter?

Vlad was here (note: Vlad's my dog)

Your words I heeded:
Do not eat the yellow snow
Now I warn my kids.

This Week's Theme: Yellow

Our third Colour week is Yellow, full of sunshine, submarines, lemons, taxis, bananas, jaundice and school buses. Now's the time to draw the shades, light the warm and glowing lamps of your imaginations, and get mellow (yellow). Deadline is noon on Sunday, April 22.

Across a crowded room...

She smiles; my heart aches
Her sensuous, scarlet lips
Fill me with desire

Saturday, 14 April 2007

Rosse Buurt

Praying for clients,
she primps, hiding stocking holes
from the red light's glare.

(K with help from J)

After all, it's a children's book

Seuss at his most coy:
"Red, Ned, Ted and Ed in bed"
...sleeping, one assumes.

Friday, 13 April 2007

The Mountain Pine Beetle

Harbinger of doom
as majestic forests turn
a telltale crimson.

Wednesday, 11 April 2007

Jewel Trilogy

The garnet necklace
on her porcelain skin, like
drops of blood on snow

Ruby earrings gleam
under dark hair, a cascade
of rose petal thoughts

Rings of red coral––
ocean mementos singing
of her mermaid youth
Kiedis, Flea et al
Soothed by LA's warm red sprawl
Milk the lotus Muse.

--by the Bethanator

Tuesday, 10 April 2007

don't make me prove it!

skin tones may vary
inside we are all the same
sticky dark red stuff

Monday, 9 April 2007


Marching through Red Square
Might, Power, Strength on display
The May Day Parade.

Soviet Union
Cold War enemy threatens
Mother Russia looms.

The Berlin Wall falls
Gorbachev’s Perestroika
Glasnost brings promise.

Traditions are shed
The goose steppers have marched on
Lenin’s Tomb exposed.

"New Russians" emerge
Economy in chaos
Stalin missed by some.

Vodka kills most men
Yukos oil makes billionaires
Babushkas sweep streets.

Red: communism
Blood, lust, fire, rage, love, longing -
I want to go back.

Sunday, 8 April 2007

Any Sci Fi Screenplay, Circa 1959

Plot line: strand silver-
suited crew on angry red
planet. Add monsters.

This Week's Theme: Red

Things heat up this week with Red as the theme for the second installment of our Colour haiku series. There's poppies, fire engines, seeing red, chili peppers, stop signs, red-nosed reindeer, or even turning red as a beet to give you a start on a host of fiery red possibilities. You have until noon of Sunday, April 15 to write ‘em while they’re hot.

Vacant lot

For a few short weeks
cornflowers transform the field
beside the bus stop.

The King says...

Do anything, but
Stay off of my Blue Suede Shoes.
Blue, Blue, Blue Suede Shoes.

Noodles and springrolls here I come...

Chopsticks in the mail
A random act of kindness
Mood cannot be blue.

Thursday, 5 April 2007

Tofu Haiku!

The Toronto Vegetarian Association is hosting a Tofu Haiku Contest, which runs until May 21. It's open to anyone, anywhere, and has (tofu-based) prizes, too. You can submit up to three haiku poems (in the 5-7-5 format we use here). Winners will be announced in late June 2007.

Now back to blue...

Tuesday, 3 April 2007


Summer afternoon
Greg and I, slurping Freezies
Tongues dyed azure blue

Sunday, 1 April 2007

I love this old sad bastard...

The Old Guitarist
Picasso's Blue Period
My favourite one.

Happens when Elvis sings it too...

Chet sings Almost Blue
My eyes are red from crying
Gets me every time.

Britain AD 297: The Picts

Woad-stained, wild-eyed.
Dubbed by terror-struck Romans
"The Spectral Army"

nothing but...

azure skies thrill me
'though clouds kinda bring me down
blue skies smile at me

This Week's Theme: Special Edition

I thought we’d try something a bit different this time, and explore a linked theme that runs for the entire month of April. So, our linked theme for the month will be Colour, with Blue as the theme for the week of April 1-8. And with blue skies, the Blue Angel, bluebells, and the blues just to start with, there’s a whole world of blue out there, waiting to be written about in the perfect haiku you all do so well. Deadline is noon, Sunday April 8.

Happy Easter!

Mystery Gift Giveaway Winners!

Looks like the numerous lurkers who have been following the Haiku Club blog so closely since its inception are still diffident about actually posting, so the big winners on the first Mystery Gift Giveaway are the ones who have actively participated since the beginning––all our lovely Haiku Club regulars. Congratulations, hugs and a small prize each go out to Andrew, Greg, James, Kelly, and Maddie! Thanks to you all for your enthusiastic contributions each week––you guys make the Haiku Club blog the enjoyable (and highly entertaining) place that it is. Your gifts will be in the mail on Monday. And to our shy lurker friends out there––stay tuned. You’ll have another chance sometime over the next few months to summon your courage and take the haiku plunge for another small prize. It’s lovely once you’re in...

Thursday, 29 March 2007

Memory of Childhood

Mud-covered. Happy.
Catching tadpoles with my boot
I explore the creek.

Wednesday, 28 March 2007

Spring Hubris

Swollen and ice-choked,
the reckless creek downs the trees
that hold its own banks.

early spring

Watercolour trees,
as a hazy cloud of green
floats on bare branches

Monday, 26 March 2007


Clever marketing:
A bed spring becomes "a fun
and wonderful toy"

Sunday, 25 March 2007

Cherry Blossoms

Blooming Sakura
Petals soft, white, and fragrant
Greets Japanese spring

the lyrical beauty of spring

the snow, half melted
reveals the winter treasures
mostly gross brown stuff

This Week's Theme: Spring

Spring is in the air, adding a spring to the step, maybe a touch of spring fever, or, (if you’re in a paranoid mood) a lurking fear of having something sprung on you unawares. Whatever the case may be, it’s Spring this week at the Haiku Club, and you have until noon of Sunday, April 1 to spring into (haiku) action. Don't forget that this week's theme is also the Mystery Gift Giveaway one, too––see the post below for details.

Mystery Gift Giveaway!

The Haiku Club blog is a whole two months old now, so I thought we’d celebrate by sharing the love with our very first Mystery Gift Giveaway! There are three small prizes, all with a Japanese theme. Two will be awarded to the first two new Haiku Club members to post a haiku for this week’s theme, while the third prize will be randomly drawn and awarded to one of our delightful Haiku Club regulars. Winners will be announced on the blog at the end of the week, and the Mystery Gifts will be mailed out shortly after that. Hope you win!

This week's theme will be posted tomorrow at around noon...

Note: New members can either send their haiku to me for posting, or ask me for an invite in order to upload posts directly to the blog.

Locomotive Going Nowhere

You said you love me
and that's a fact. Then you left
me, said you felt trapped.

Gare Montparnasse, October 22, 1895

Train plows through concourse,
Lands nose-down in Place de Rennes.
Too much espresso.

Thursday, 22 March 2007

Steinbeck Would Love It

Perforce and lonely
A hobo rides the boxcar
Harmonica wails

Tuesday, 20 March 2007

It happens to me 10 times a day

I walk to my room
My train of thought gets derailed
What was I getting?

Sackville memories

Wandering at night
Mournful cry in the distance
E flat minor chord

Monday, 19 March 2007

Take the O-Train...

Riding confusion,
Engineer O'Brien drives
light rail off the tracks.

we all travel the Cthulu way

this train is so fun!
but the track was built on bones
Chinese labourers

Freud Said So

She recounts her dream
A train enters a tunnel
She must be repressed.

Sunday, 18 March 2007

A Hitchcock Trilogy

Strangers On A Train
Let's swap murders. (Smiles.)
You laugh uneasily. But
I'm dead serious...

North By Northwest
Planes, trains, a few cars.
Through all the hectic travel,
Romance stays alight.

The Lady Vanishes
From a crowded train
A sweet lady disappears.
Was she really there?

This Week's Theme: Trains

Trains are the theme for this week's (Mar 19 to 25) haiku, brought to us courtesy of James. Relive the romance of coal-fired travel in the Victorian era, take a ride on the sleek modern Japanese bullet trains, or join Jules Verne for a (rather extended) trip to the moon. Deadline is noon on Sunday, March 25.

P.S. Happy birthday, James!

Friday, 16 March 2007

CBC Radio Haiku Contest

Hey, kids--it's a Conrad Black haiku contest, courtesy of CBC Radio One (91.5)! Now's your chance to let Canada know your thoughts on the nation's trial of the century. Details can be found in the Friday, March 16 transcript (below) of As It Happens, which is running the contest. Thanks to Andrew for the tip!

The joy of haiku --
Dispense poetic justice
Through this ancient form.

What I just read was itself a haiku. And while you may detect the delicate sensibility of haiku master Masaoka Shiki in its lyricism, you're wrong: I gave some guy in the CBC food court half a muffin to write it for me.

But I can't afford to keep doing that. So, instead, we're asking you, our listeners, to give us your seventeen syllables on a story that has already inspired a number of books, and a larger number of lawsuits: the story of Conrad Black.

As you know, the trial of Lord Black of Crossharbour commenced this week in Chicago. And while tales of the jury selection revealed that residents of the Windy City seem poorly acquainted with the windy Canadian, we know things are different elsewhere. So we'd like to hear your opinions of the proceedings.

We're asking you to send us haikus on the subject of Lord Black, his exploits, and his current legal travails. We're going to be strict: the haiku should consist of seventeen syllables. And it should consist of three lines -- with five syllables in the first, seven in the second, and five in the third. And, ideally, it should consist of two sections.

This may seem unfair, given that Lord Black himself has been known to pack seventeen syllables into the first two words of a sentence. But it can be done. Here are some examples.

George Jamieson, longtime senior producer of "As It Happens", offers this scene-setting haiku:

Reporters crowd in
When the motorcade arrives:
Conrad Black on trial.

And this, also from the mind of Mr. Jamieson:

Barbara Amiel
Sitting in the second row --
Hoping to stay rich.

And, from another guy in the food court, this cinematically evocative example:

"Citizen Conrad":
The snow globe slips from his hand,
As he breathes, "Radler..."

That one cost me half a date square.

Now: clear your minds. Pick up your quills. Inscribe your haiku on a scrap of birch bark, or a dried maple leaf. And once you've written your miniature masterpiece, transcribe it into an e-mail and send it to Or read it aloud to Talkback, which you can reach by dialing 416-205-3331. We'll feature the best of the bunch in coming programs. And we'll also feature the worst.

Thursday, 15 March 2007

The First Space Disaster (D'après Méliès)

A trip to the moon
goes tragically awry.
Rocket in the eye.

Wednesday, 14 March 2007

The Electric Lives of Superheroes

Wonder Woman phones
Platypus in Paris, moons
for her winter love.

[Just because.... -- KT]

Full moon

Impotent, jealous,
the cold rock steals precious light,
erases the stars.


Is there life on Earth
Or are we food for the Moon?
Well, what's eating you?

The missing "a"

"One small step for Man..."
Did Neil Armstrong flub his line?
Or was it static?

Arthur C. Clarke’s Unpublished Early Draft

Moon dwarves wield their picks,
mining the magical cheese.
They strike Monolith . . .

A Wonderful Night for a Moon Dance

Armstrong and Aldrin
wrestle in the doorway. And
we all know who won.

Saturn’s Biggest Moon

Thin rays of sunshine
on methane lakes. Work is light
for Titan’s lifeguards.


How you’ll recognize
your huckleberry friend: he’s
waiting 'round the bend.

Moon River

Each time I hear it
I puzzle again over
"Huckleberry friend"

Monday, 12 March 2007

Dear Luna

We miss your gentle
nuzzles and comical leaps,
sweet calico soul.

damned school buses!

passing on the road
rarest of sights: not just one
two moons on display

Sunday, 11 March 2007

A Quartet of Moon Mythologies

New Moon
Monandaeg: "Moon's Day."
Sacred to the moon goddess,
Loathed by working stiffs.

Quarter Moon
Crescent-horned and fierce,
Ishtar's bull gores Gilgamesh,
Then loses its head.

Half Moon
There doesn't exist
A cracker large enough for
A whole green cheese moon.

Full Moon
The lycanthrope stirs,
Wakes from uneasy dreams. Sighs.
Outside. Nude. Again.

That time of the month...

Here it comes again,
that tingly feeling before
nose lengthens, fur sprouts.

Homegrown Homebrew

Grains sewn and then reaped
Rendered for Harvest Moon feast
Hops brewed into ale.


Her eyes full of moon
Dreams ebb and flow like the tide
She waxes then wanes.

This Week's Theme: Moon

This week’s theme is a traditional one for haiku: the moon. If you’d like some inspiration from the early masters of haiku, have a look at the links on the Haiku Club website (though that's just one starting point to a subject that's fascinated humankind for centuries). And no, we won't be using St. Patrick’s Day as a theme, as I believe writing haiku about green beer is just desperately sad. You have until noon on Sunday, March 18 to post or submit your (moon) haiku.

Saturday, 10 March 2007

Selections from A Secret History of Paris

Personals, 885 AD
Vikings seek women:
moonlit strolls, romance. Don’t make
us lay siege to you . . .

Seat of the Holy Roman Empire Moves from Paris to Aachen
Charlemagne, weary
of wine, samples quite a nice
imported lager.

The Picture of Henri the Fourth (Survivor of 23 of 24 Assassination Attempts)
Locked away, visage
melting from skull. Chanced upon
by the charwoman.

Sun King Passes Judgement
Paris: the new Rome.
Louis drops his drawers, moons it,
rules France from Versailles.

Madame de Pompadour
Midwife of the Age
of Reason and patron saint
of the Teddy Boys.

Joseph Michel Montgolfier, to His Brother
“Is it just me, Jacques,
or does this city simply
pong to high heaven?”

1789: Advent of the Unscrupulous Promoter
Oversells tickets
to inmate production of
musical Bastille!

Napoleon Passes through Paris
“I’ll be right back, ‘k?
Just have to take care of some
business in Belgium.”

Shortest Distance between Two Points
Lost in a labyrinth
of alleys, Haussmann can’t find
his favourite brothel.

Speaking of Straight Lines
Young Gustave Eiffel
cruises Montmartre, discovers
he is impotent.

Miracle on the Marne Cripples Post-War France
Thousands of taxis
drive troops to the front. Alas,
meters are running.

Excusez-moi, madame, mais où est le Louvre?
Artists converge on
Montparnasse, ill-trained in the
art of map reading.

Theories of History: Great Man vs. Chaos
“Être, avoir, faire—
these goddamn irregular
French verbs,” fumes Adolph.

May 1968
Sorbonne chapter of
Alpha Delta House. Kegger
gets way out of hand.

Uh, Yeah, Entranceway . . .
Mitterand and Pei,
closet Raelians, build a
sign for our forebears.

Friday, 9 March 2007

Purse filled with small dog
Head filled with air and vodka
More money than god

--Clare Brennan
West Ontario
Small, boring commuter town
No Mona Lisa

--Clare Brennan
Small, square and crunchy
Top them with cheese and gherkins
Must have small toasters

--Clare Brennan

Tuesday, 6 March 2007

it sure does block the view

the tower of steel
under which the hippies sleep
guards the sleepless chic

An American in Paris

An enchanted Gene
dances a slow tango with
a sinuous Cyd

Monday, 5 March 2007

The Only Way to Stick it to a Rude Service Industry Employee

Haughty French waiter
Mocked my Quebecois accent
No pourboire pour vous!

All I Studied in Classics Classes Came to Life That Day

I'll never forget
Winged Victory at the Louvre
Such beauty - I wept.

Sunday, 4 March 2007

La belle ville

Vieille, oui, mais vivante,
elle nourrit toujours de jeunes
artistes, amoureux.

Ah, Paris...

Strolling arm in arm
Along the Champs-Elysées
We step in dog poo

Café Les Deux Magots Still Life

Afternoon sunlight,
White café china bowl of
rich chocolat chaud

Notre Dame Visit

prompts a searching look upwards
for Quasimodo

This Week's Theme: Paris

The theme for this week's (Mar 5 to 11) round of haiku is courtesy of Kelly, and it's the City of Light: Paris! Sadly, we can't trade haikus while seated around a table at the venerable Café Flore, but we can share our impressions of this beautiful city through our experiences of its literature, film, and art, plus (of course) our own travels there. Deadline is noon on Sunday, March 11.

P.S. Happy birthday, Kel!

Saturday, 3 March 2007

Electric Sunshine

O the Seventies––
Trudeau's rose, hockey Cold War,
Much loved yellow top.

Friday, 2 March 2007

Kindergarten: The last time I ever listened to Jennifer Schlauekuh.

Look, trust me. Just stick
out your tongue. It’s only a
little battery.


Lightning-struck tower,
A million voices cry out.
In what do we trust?


Pen feverishly
sketches, though Thomas Alva
is gazing upward.

I gots to know!

electric city
throwing photons in the air
are the stars still there?

Wednesday, 28 February 2007

Ottawa, January 18, 2006. Jet Stream sweeps warm, moist Gulf air into Canada. Further evidence, if further evidence were needed, of global warming.

Lightning leaps through clouds,
then thunder, rain: spring above
and winter below.


Mirrors don't spare me
from the colleagues smirking at
the sock on my back.

Tuesday, 27 February 2007

I just remembered!

My mom told me once
There was a power shortage
9 months later - me!

brown out

I miss the bright words,
leaping like sparks of static,
from Sly Rev and Dave

sometimes both

sudden tingling sensation
from love or socket

Sunday, 25 February 2007

Not a Lightbulb Moment

O Haiku Pub Night
Glasses of amber swallowed
Bulb dimmed - I forgot.

Blown My Fuse

I am positive
That your negative current
Zapped my energy.

The Obsessive Compulsive (True Story)

Mornings, she kneels and
unplugs her stove––buried fears
posing as surges.

Stormy Night in Doctor Frankenstein's Lab

Overhead, bolts of
lightning course through lifeless flesh.
"It's alive!!!" he shrieks.

This Week's Theme: Electricity

Zot! The theme for this week's (Feb. 26 - Mar. 4) haiku is electricity. There's lots of room for interpretation with this one. It might be the humble electric eel, the bolts of lightning hurled by an angry Greek god, hair-raising science experiments, or the sparks of attraction between two people meeting for the first time. The deadline to post your haiku is the morning of Sunday, March 4.

Friday, 23 February 2007

I'm 12 again

Saturday morning
Dig the stars 'n' stripes outfit
Wow - look at those tits!

She Wonders

Lying on dew-soaked grass.
A strand of hair
Across your cheek.

Your laughter
Swept away by the wind.
Gulls’ raucous cries.

Grains of rice
Litter the threshing floor.
Here and there, beetles.

Snowflakes settle
On my hair (once black—
now shades of birch!)

Thursday, 22 February 2007

Pub Night!

Just a reminder about this Saturday's very first Haiku Club Pub Night at the Heart and Crown (in the Market) at 8 pm. Again, everyone is welcome, but only active Haiku Clubbers will be eligible for the free beer draw from the bento box, which we'll be doing on the spot at around 8:30. Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, 20 February 2007


Poor old Superman
He never knew what hit him:
invisible plane.

Ahh, the '70s

Can't help but wonder.
Surely Lynda and Jimmy
were not related.

Sunday, 18 February 2007

the invisible plane is a bonus

amazon princess
who could totally take out
wannabe Xena

Childhood heroine

Amazon woman:
My first role model at six
Strong, just, wise: I try.

Stern Beauty

Villains, enchanted,
Submit willingly to her
Gold Lasso of Truth.

The Amazon

Feminist icon,
Personification of
grace, strength and wisdom.

This Week's Theme: Wonder Woman

This week's Haiku Club theme is courtesy of Maddie, and takes us into the realm of pop culture: Wonder Woman! If you'd like a bit of background before you start, read more about the Amazonian warrior princess here. You have a week to compose and post your haiku, with a deadline of Sunday (afternoonish, depending on how many of us have submitted work).

Tuesday, 13 February 2007

kiss the kook

the shared breath exhaled
a small cloud in bitter air
fades like memory

Monday, 12 February 2007

Life is like a box of chocolates

He is romantic
She uncomfortably smiles
Heart-shaped box for naught.

Valentino Movie at the Odeon

His smouldering eyes
Devour her blonde loveliness.
Sighs from red plush seats.


Freshly plucked, she drones
"he loves me, he loves me not",
destroys the flower.

Beginning and End

Yearning for warm lips
Fleeting glances must suffice
Until the news breaks
Spurned, I sit weeping
Shamed in my attempts to woo
She loves another
Two souls intertwine
First one leads, then the other
May I have this dance?

Sunday, 11 February 2007

Icicle Heart

Like winter's light sunk
low, spring's eternal promise
lies broken within.
Filled with tenderness,
matching hot water bottles
snuggle in worn sheets.

Grade Four

Teeth bared, fist clutches
cartoon love. Do I run or
stay and share milk?

Happy Birthday to Me

Valentine’s Birthday
I turn forty on fourteenth
of February.

Train of Thought

Valentine of mine:
I lay down across your tracks,
I choo choo choose you.

Old Valentine

Knees stiff and bent low
Paper heart propped to hold stone
Mourning winds recall

Girl From Ipanema

She walks by, glowing.
He gazes, feels the pangs of
Unrequited love.

This Week's Theme: Special Edition

This week is a special edition of the Haiku Club theme: love, in honour of Valentine’s Day on February 14. We're looking for love haiku that's romantic, tragic, funny, cheeky, ironic, passionate, wistful, baffled––the list is endless. Have fun with it. Deadline is the evening of Sunday, February 18.

Haiku Club Pub Night

The first Haiku Club Pub Night will take place on Saturday, February 24 at the Heart and Crown (in the Market) at 8 pm. Everyone is welcome, but only active Haiku Clubbers will be eligible for the free beer draw, which we'll be doing on the spot at around 8:30. The lucky winner gets a beer (or other beverage), courtesy of a loonie each from the rest of us (secure in the knowledge that, yes, our turn will come).

Note to the shy but thirsty: there's still plenty of time to submit a haiku before the 24th...

Wednesday, 7 February 2007

Haiku News Flash

Dose Magazine reports that "...'Crazy' duo Gnarls Barkley are looking for your best haiku skills as part of a mysterious new online contest." The theme is either solitude or pineapples. Or both. More info on the contest, plus samples of the (so far, 600) submissions can be found here. Thanks to Haiku Clubber Maddie for the link.

Now back to Winter...

Tuesday, 6 February 2007

Road Salt

Life-saving; toxic.
The seasonal dilemma
stains my leather boots.


Blue nose, scarlet cheeks
White chilblained fingers and toes:
Winter colour scheme.

Monday, 5 February 2007


Clap hands and stamp feet
Turn your back against the wind
And dream of Summer

My tears fall freely
But turn to ice, as my cheeks
Feel the sting of wind

I can fall on ice

Ten fingers frozen
You coax warmth by shivering
Warm pub within view

Ice Storm

Squalid town becomes
a bright ephemeral world
of sparkling glass

Wind storm

Stanley's gift, yes. But
nature will not be denied.
Many trees lie down

I can ride on ice

sweater, jacket, coat
boots, hat, scarf, gloves and mittens
I am sick of clothes!

Bloody vancouver drivers

Car glides through stop sign
Like a duck on icy pond
Vancouver winter

Sunday, 4 February 2007

This Week's Theme: Winter

The theme for this week's (Feb. 5 - 11) haiku is courtesy of Andrew, and a classic one in this poetic form: winter. As always, the tone of your haiku is up to you, but if you'd like some inspiration for a more traditional approach, have a look at these seasonal classics by Issa. You have until Sunday evening to compose and post your haiku.

Wednesday, 31 January 2007

Haiku by Basho

Matsuo Basho (1644-1694) is one of Japan’s best known poets. Within his canon are haiku that scholars have labelled as anomalies, largely because of difficulties in interpreting certain characters (or “kanji”). For example, in this poem the anomalous kanji lends variation to the familiar theme of frog-leaping-into-water:

At an ancient pond,
a platypus takes the plunge.
The sound of water.

The kanji used by Basho is the near-nonsense “giant rat-duck.” The poem is one of a series of linked verses (or “haikai no renga”) variously called the Bizarre Giant Rat series or the Wallaby series--believed by some to be evidence that Basho, an inveterate traveller, had beaten Cook to Australia by a hundred years. Others in the series:

Spring at Edo
Cherry blossoms dance
in springtime breeze: so many
angry kangaroos.*

* lit. “rabid, giant bouncing rats”

Beneath Mt. Fuji
Mournful melody
as autumn wind caresses
my didgeridoo.*

* Some argue this poem is better classified as part of the Ribald series.

Starry Night in Australia

Scorned ugly duckling
of the animal kingdom
pipes his song, heedless

Tuesday, 30 January 2007

I am what I am

Some creature - fish? Fowl?
Glides unhurried beneath us.
Names concern it not.

In Praise of Voting

Nice, non-committal
Loathe to offend or decide
Platypus at heart
Wile E. Coyote
was a live birth, an egg hatched
Mr. Plat E. Pus

- by Maddie

Monday, 29 January 2007

Voting Change!

A change has been made in the voting procedure, as it turns out that Haiku Club members are modest and delightful people who hate to play favourites. So, instead of a formal vote, I'll be doing a monthly random draw of the names of all active participants. The chosen participant becomes the Toast of the Month, and (as before) gets a free beer (or other suitable liquid equivalent) at the Haiku Club pub gathering.

(Note to the competitive: the challenge of writing intriguing, witty, or profound haiku is still on, even if the point system isn't.)

Now back to the platypus...

a duck and an otter walk in to a bar

so you need some proof
that intelligent design
is, like, way bogus?

Sunday, 28 January 2007

I had no idea

reveals strange platypus truth.
It is venemous

True Story

Old family friends
Once named their cat platypus
I still don't know why

Charles throws up his hands

This freak of nature
gave darwin conniption fits.
Sighs. "Oh for fuck's sake."

aboriginal legend: how the platypus came to be

Persuasive indeed
was the lonely water rat
who wooed the coy duck

––Lori Langille

This Week's Theme

The theme for the week of Jan 29-Feb 4 is courtesy of Greg and a bit of a challenge––it's the platypus. If you're stumped for inspiration, have a look here for more info on this curious animal. You have until Sunday evening to write and post your platypus haiku (or, to email it to me so I can post it for you).
Trill of morning birds
Interrupts my sleep. But no!

––James Torck
One ringy dingy
Laughter falling on deaf ears
Two ringy dingy

––Kelly Torck

Friday, 26 January 2007

Current cell phones are crap

Press "end" to turn off?
Olden ways were easier
Nostalgia for dials

Dial H for Haiku

Ray phones Grace, listens
as she scissors assailant.
Blonde hair shines. Hitch stares.

Thursday, 25 January 2007


“Hey, Maher, whassup?
Wait—you hear that clicking sound?
Hang up! Wrong number!”

Wednesday, 24 January 2007

it never fails

ring ring ring ring ring
ring ring ring ring ring ring ring
@#!%$&@! (in the shower)

pop culture reference

Mr. Burns, irate,
demands I learn to use my
"telephone machine"

a disturbance in the dark

cell phone at movie
whiny cry of the once-friend
left uninvited

This Week's Theme

The theme for this week's haiku is telephone.

Important Update: The deadline for this week's submissions is Friday (January 26) at 8 pm. Voting by participants on the week's entries can be done immediately after the Friday deadline through to the following Monday (January 29), closing at 8 pm. Votes will then be counted by the moderator (me) and the winner will be awarded that week's point. All info will be posted here.

Welcome to Haiku Club

Haiku Club is like Fight Club, except without the fighting. Here's how it works. At the start of each week, one of the Haiku Club participants proposes a topic. S/he and the others then have until the end of the week to write one haiku referencing the topic (either directly or indirectly). Participants then vote on the one they like best, and the winner is awarded points. Once any one individual has amassed 5 points, all the participants meet at a downtown pub and buy the winner a beer (or equivalent). The structure of the haiku is basic:

Line one: five syllables
Line two: seven syllables
Line three: five syllables.

The mood of the haiku is entirely up to the writer. It can be pensive or frivolous, cheerful or burning with social issues. Any approach is fine, as long as it references the theme chosen for that particular week.

Happy haiku writing!