Ronald Baatz | White Tulips&

18 09 2013

Ronald Baatz | white tulips&

white tulips&

by Ronald Baatz

(c) Ronald Baatz. 94 haiku dedicated to Norbert Blei (1935 – 2013). Metropolis Press France.

White Tulips was originally published in a very limited edition by Leonard Seastone at Tideline Press in 2003. Also thanks to: BASHO’S ROAD | CULTURAL WEEKLY | DURABLE GOODS | FROGPOND | HARBINGER ASYLUM | ISSA’S UNTIDY HUT

All is emptiness
except where snow is piled
in a bird’s nest

Horny all night long
so when dawn’s light comes
I crave its untouched pinkness

The curves of your body
in the curves of mine-
when we are old and blind

Ronald Baatz | white tulips&

If you are interested in buying this book, please go here… or just click the images above.

Editors Note: Please allow 2 weeks for shipment. The book will be produced only on demand and is handmade from A to Z.

jim kacian | country mouse

18 09 2009

PoetryDispatch No. 294 | September 18, 2009

Jim Kacian

Dogs and frogs and cats and mice and bugs and birds…
God bless the creatures all (country cousins, city slickers) the way our poets do, holding them in the light of words for all to see.

After recently posting Charles Simic’s “The Toad”…I was brought to attention by Jim Kacian’s “Country Mouse”, and its “hour upon the stage.” Applause, applause… —Norbert Blei

Country Mouse

I’m just a simple poet
bum, live in the sticks,
grow my own
spinach, but each year
I make my pilgrimage
to the Big Apple,
to ease the tedium.
Just one night
on the town
and I’m suddenly
urban. All subways lead
to Greenwich
where I sweat and shout
poems from a make-shift
stage that slide
through the night’s throat
like bourbon.

[Source: from a small collection called “Chants of a Lifetime”, published in the author’s early years, privately printed and op]

James Michael Kacian, an American haiku poet, editor, publisher, and public speaker was born on July 26, 1953, in Worcester, Massachusetts, then adopted and raised in Gardner, Massachusetts. He has lived in London, Nashville, Bridgton (Maine) and now resides in Winchester, Virginia. Kacian wrote his first mainstream poems in his teens, and published them in small poetry magazines beginning in 1970. He also wrote, recorded, and sold songs during his time in Nashville in the 1980s. Upon his return to Virginia in 1985 he discovered English-language haiku, for which he is best known.

In 1993, he founded Red Moon Press, and in the same year began editing the haiku journal South by Southeast. Kacian’s Red Moon Press is the largest publisher of haiku and haiku-related books outside Japan, with a current catalog of over 60 titles in print, and producing some dozen titles a year, including 12 years of the award-winning annual Red Moon Anthology. This was followed in 1998 with the editorship of Frogpond, the journal of the Haiku Society of America.

Having proposed a new global haiku association in 1999, Kacian co-founded the World Haiku Association with Ban’ya Natsuishi and Dimitar Anakiev. In September of 2000 the WHA held its inaugural conference in Tolmin, Slovenia. From August to November of 2000, Kacian traveled to nine countries — the UK, Slovenia, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Romania, Malaysia, New Zealand, Australia, and Japan promoting a global haiku. Having invited haiku poets from around the world to submit their haiku to Frogpond, Kacian compiled and edited 2001’s XXIV:1 issue, featuring haiku from 24 countries.

In late 2008 Kacian formed and created The Haiku Foundation, a non-profit organization which focuses on archiving English-language haiku’s first century while expanding its second, with an official start-date of January 6, 2009.

Poetry collections

Kacian has written fourteen books of poetry, twelve of which are dedicated to haiku or haiku-related genres. His poems have been translated into many languages.

clouds seen
through clouds
seen through

(along with 29 other chosen haiku) is etched in a stone along the Katikati Haiku Pathway beside the Uretara Stream in New Zealand. (Poems were selected by the Katikati Haiku Pathway Focus Committee, New Zealand Poetry Society, and Catherine Mair).

His essays have been cited in such works as:

  • * “Rowland, Philip (Autumn 2008). “From Haiku to the Short Poem: Bridging the divide”. Modern Haiku 39(3), pp.23-45 ISSN 0026-7821
  • * Yovu, Peter (Winter 2008). “Do Something Different”. Frogpond XXXI, pp.51-61 ISSN 8755-156X

Kacian’s efforts on behalf of global haiku have been featured in:

  • * Global Haiku and the work of Jim Kacian (Richard Gilbert, 2003)

And 30 of his selected haiku are featured at:

  • * Mann Library’s Daily Haiku

with an additional 17 personally selected in December, 2008 at:

  • * Jim Kacian — Essays & Selected Haiku

Kacian’s work has also been anthologized in, among others:

  • * The Haiku Anthology, 3rd ed. (Cor van den Heuvel) Norton, 1999 ISBN 0-393-04743-1
  • * Haiku Moment (ed. Bruce Ross) Tuttle, 1993 ISBN 0 8048 1820 7
  • * Haiku World: An International Poetry Almanac (ed. William J. Higginson)
  • * The New Haiku (eds. John Barlow & Martin Lucas)
  • * Haiku Mind (ed. Patricia Donegan)
  • * Journey to the Interior: American Versions of Haibun (ed. Bruce Ross)
  • * How to Haiku (Bruce Ross)
  • * Haiku: A Poet’s Guide (Lee Gurga)
  • * Baseball Haiku (ed. Cor van den Heuvel)
  • * Haiku: Poetry Ancient & Modern (ed. Jackie Hardy) (also German and French editions)
  • * Haiku International Anthology (ed. Ban’ya Natsuishi)
  • * Poems of Consciousness (Richard Gilbert) Red Moon Press 2008 ISBN 978-1893959729

His poem,

my fingerprints
on the dragonfly
in amber

serves as the departure point for Richard Gilbert’s monograph on contemporary haiku technique, The Disjunctive Dragonfly, defining innovative techniques in English-language haiku.


Kacian has edited several English language haiku books and journals, including:

  • * A New Resonance: Emerging Voices in English-language Haiku (series), 1999-present
  • * Contemporary Haibun (series), 1999-present
  • * Red Moon Anthology of English-language Haiku (series), 1996-present
  • * Frogpond, the Journal of the Haiku Society of America, from 1998 to 2004.
  • * Dozen Tongues (series) (vols. 1 & 2), 2000-2001
  • * Knots: The Anthology of Southeast European Haiku Poetry (with Dimitar Anakiev), 1999
  • * South by Southeast from 1993 to 1998.


As a poet. Kacian’s haiku have won or placed in many national and international haiku competitions in English (and occasionally other languages as well), including:

  • * The Kusamakura International Haiku Competition (Japan, 2008)
  • * The Winter Moon International Haiku Competition (2008)
  • * The Cascina Macondo Concorso Internazionale de Poesia Haiku in Lingua Italiana 5th Edizione (Italy, 2007)
  • * The 17th Ito-En Haiku Competition Judge’s Award (Japan, 2007)
  • * The Hawai’i Education Association Haiku Competition (2007)
  • * The Harold G. Henderson Haiku Competition Prize (Haiku Society of America) (2005)
  • * The British Haiku Society James W. Hackett International Haiku Award (2001)
  • * Betty Drevniok (Haiku Canada (2000, 2001, 2002, 2008)

Individual collection awards

The books listed below have won The Haiku Society of America Merit Book Awards for outstanding achievement in the genre.

  • * Long After
  • * Presents of Mind
  • * Six Directions: Haiku and Field Notes
  • * Border Lands

As a publisher

Kacian’s work as publisher has also been highly recognized:

  • In 1996 his production of John Elsberg’s A Week in the Lake District was a finalist for Virginia Poetry Book of the Year (Virginia State Library).
  • In August 2000, Knots — The Anthology of Southeastern European Haiku Poetry (1999), which Kacian co-edited with Dimitar Anakiev, won second place in the World Haiku Achievement Competition.
  • In October 2008 he won the Ginyu Award for Outstanding Contribution to World Haiku (Ginyu issue 40, pp. 13-15)

Publication credits

Kacian’s poems, articles, and book reviews have appeared internationally in journals, magazines, and newspapers such as:

  • * Frogpond
  • * The Heron’s Nest
  • * Ant Ant Ant Ant Ant
  • * Simply Haiku
  • * Modern Haiku
  • * The Haiku Canada Newsletter
  • * Acorn


Kacian has read in many parts of the world, including international poetry festivals in New York, New Orleans, London, Oxford, Belgrade, Vilanice, Ohrid, Skopje, Sofia, Sydney, Hobart, Wellington, Christchurch, Auckland, Tokyo, Tenri, Kyoto, Kumamoto, Los Angeles, Toronto and Washington D.C. Some of his speeches are listed below:

  • * “So:Ba” given at the International Haiku Conference (SUNY Plattsburgh, NY, July 2008); published serially in Frogpond XXXI:3 2008 p.73 (part one) ISSN 1089-9421, and forthcoming.
  • * “Bridges” given at the Haiku North America International Conference (Winston-Salem, NC, August 2007); published as “The Haiku Hierarchy,” Modern Haiku 39(1), Spring 2008, ISSN 0026-7821.
  • * “State of the Art: Haiku in North America 2007” Second European Haiku Conference (Vadstena, Sweden, June 2007).
  • * “Dag Hammarskjöld: Haiku Poet and Photographer” (New York, New York, January 2006 — book release of A String Untouched).
  • * Welcome Address (Sofia, Bulgaria, May 2005 — World Haiku Association Conference).
  • * Welcome Address (Tokyo, Japan, October 2003 — World Haiku Association Conference)
  • * “Around the World as Briefly as Possible”, Pacific Rim Haiku Conference (November 2002, Los Angeles, California) published in Connecticut Review XXVII:2, Fall 2005 ISSN 00106216.
  • * “Looking and Seeing: How Haiga Works” given at the Haiku Society of American National Meeting, September 2002; published in Simply Haiku 2:5 (Autumn 2004); reprinted in The Red Moon Anthology of English-Language Haiku 2004 (Red Moon Press), pp. 126-153.


  • * “Tapping the Common Well” (foreword) in Knots: The Anthology of Southeastern European Haiku Poetry Red Moon Press, 1999. ISBN 978-9619071502.
  • * “Beyond Kigo — In Due Season” in Acorn Supplement #1 (2000) ISSN 1521-138X.
  • * “Van Gogh’s Shoes” in Valley Voices 8:1 ISSN 1553-7668.
  • * Renga-Daddy: A Kasen Renga between Basho, Boncho, Kyorai and Shiho in the manner of Tristan Tzara based on “The First Winter Rain” from The Monkey’s Straw Raincoat in commemoration of the 300th Anniversary of Basho’s Death; Frogpond XIX:1 ISSN.


His advocacy, along with that of such poets as Marlene Mountain and Janice Bostok, of single-line haiku in English has initiated renewed interest in this form following its rare usage during the 20th century. His work also champions several innovative techniques (as cited by Richard Gilbert in The Disjunctive Dragonfly and in his book Poems of Consciousness). Kacian’s own critical writings elaborate some of these aesthetic innovations.


  • * The White Lotus Interview with Marie Summers – White Lotus #3 (Summer/Fall 2006) ISSN1556-3987.
  • * The Cascina Macondo Interview with Alessandra Gallo (issue number 13 of Writers Magazine Italia).

Electronic media

  • * Presents of Mind CD (haiku: Jim Kacian, Shakuhachi: Jeff Cairns, Japanese reader: Takke Kanemitsu) (2006).
  • * Around the World as Briefly as Possible CD (2003).



  • * Presents of Mind (Katsura Press, 1996) ISBN 0-9638551-8-2
  • * Chincoteague (Amelia Press, 1996) No ISBN
  • * Six Directions: Haiku and Field Notes (La Alameda Press, 1997) ISBN 0-9631909-4-6
  • * In Concert (Saki Press, 1999) ISBN 1-893823-07-5
  • * Second Spring (Red Moon Press, 2001) ISBN 1-893959-21-X
  • * Iz Kamna (Drustvo Apokalipsa, 2001) ISBN 961-6314-18-1
  • * dead reckoning (Red Moon Press, 2005) ISBN 1-893959-52-X
  • * How to Haiku (Red Moon Press, (online version only) 2006) No ISBN
  • * border lands (Red Moon Press, 2006 ISBN 1-893959-58-9)
  • * Presents of Mind (Red Moon Press, (second edition, bilingual) 2006) ISBN 1-893959-59-7
  • * orbis tertius (Red Moon Press, 2007) ISBN 978-1-893959-66-8
  • * long after (Albalibri Editore, Rosignano Marittimo: Italy (trilingual), 2008) ISBN 978-8889618585


ed markowski | a poem and a note

11 10 2008

Poetry Dispatch No. 255 | October 11, 2008

ed markowski

(a poem and a note)

Ed Markowski seems to be one of those writers who awakes, walks, eats, drinks, works, plays, loves, sleeps, dreams poems. I don’t know this for sure—but I suspect it. Like the old ad for Jay’s Potato Chips: “You (he)can’t stop eating (writing) them!”

I suspect ed markowski could easily write a poem a day–or more. Most of them pretty damn good poems. Keepers.

Often he’s playful, always thoughtful, occasionally political. I’m sure he prefers the long art of a short poem to the short life (politically) on things. Nevertheless, the poem is where you find it, feel it—at that moment. And put it down.

Granted, there is a ‘momentary’ zone some of us writers are fortunate to enter almost at will. A free zone, inner time zone…the kind of thing that happens when we are consumed by that which we discover to be writing in our heads—all the time, till it finally falls in place on paper.

You nourish that, court it, stay connected with that long enough…and you enter a state of what I compare to ‘zen awareness’ where everything you see becomes a poem. I suspect, here again (and finally), that ed markowski knows and religiously occupies that zen zone on a momentary/daily basis, honoring it all—feeling it flutter inside, alive in the place where words grow into telling images of revelation.

I’m not quite sure what ed does for a living—then again, it doesn’t matter. It’s pretty obvious. He lives to write poems. —Norbert Blei

an american dream

by ed markowski

the garden of eden featured
synchronized dolphins two
roller coasters & fire eating
vigilantes who fashioned each
rosary into a noose while we
pledged allegiance to a flag
that shed its skin & became
a snake beneath an oak where
the guilty women hung their
wombs at one time or another
every raisin used steroids
at the major league level &
bloomed into barry bonds the
baseball mirage who charged
an adoring autograph 15.00 for his
illegible boy before a windstorm
uprooted the virgin who was packing
apples into the pie she crushed
for christ at the church bake sale
last week in alaska every cherry blossom
that drifted down in washington d.c.
exploded while a man cried out the
box was always more nutritious than
the burger before a horse broke loose
from a carousel & won the kentucky
derby by a nose i walked eight years
in the president’s shoes only to

[Source: Author…new poem, first publication]


right now as far as print mags go, i’ve got…

8 short poems coming out in a magazine called “labor.” jim daniels, who is a native of detroit & is the chairman of the creative writing department at carnegie mellon in pittsburg is labor’s poetry editor.

this haiku…

[Editor’s note: Sorry, wish I could print it, it’s a beauty, but first rights are elsewhere]

is due out in a british print / haiku mag called presence. presence is a top flight mag in terms of content & production.

have these two poems…

[Ed’s note: Sorry again. Same excuse]

due out in a very tiny but well respected mag called the lilliput review.

have a large number of short poems due out in the next five bottle rockets. the editor, stan forrester has a backlog of my poems. bottle rockets is well done & a lot of fun. the mag comes out of windsor, connecticut.

have two haibun due out in the winter edition of simply haiku.

have a short story due out in the next smokebox. the story is basically a letter from charlie manson to his mother. i’ll forward the piece to you.

so, that’s what’s out there now. i’know this will seem contradictory considering the list above, but i’m not all that bent on sending things out.

it’s like in another life i was a chef & now i prefer to cook for family & friends.

as much as i like print mags, i think poems & stories travel much further on the internet. after all, the most visible magazines (the new yorker etc.) have online editions.

i get invitations all the time from fledgling e mags to send poems. i realized along time ago that it’s not necessary to be published everywhere.

over the weekend i received an invite from an ezine in india called the taj mahal review. turned it down.

stan forrester asked me to write a 10 part piece on my experiences at the naropa institute.

i turned that down too. told stan, “that was 30 years ago, anything i’d have to say would be totally inaccurate. i can’t quote alan ginsberg or gregory corso thirty years after the fact, besides the most interesting part of the trip was the 2 weeks i spent in jail in central city, nebraska. my girlfriend had to live in a pup tent the whole time. she’s the one with the story.”

so , the new yorker would be nice & maybe some day i’ll get there, but if not, that’s ok too. the small press really is the backbone of american arts & letters & that’s gotten me on a bill with billy collins at the national arts club & on a stage at chautauqua & i’ve been discovered by you who i have the utmost respect for. in my book, that’s pretty good. the small press has been very very good to me.

Ed. Note: Other small poems/haiku work by ed markowski to be found on my site devoted to the small poem: Basho’s Road

ed markowski | candidates 9/3/08

9 09 2008

NOTES from the UNDERGROUND… No.150 | September 9, 2008


candidates 9/3/08

election news a woman spits up sticks & stones

sharpening the darkness of her smile a poet

the color of a crow on the clothesline is perfect

-ed markowski

Editor’s Note: Sometimes you leave it to the power (political) of the poet to find truth in words. More of Markowski’s mastery of the small poem can be found at: . “Candidates 9/3/08” will be posted there as well. –Norbert Blei

jeffrey winke | the maverick

5 09 2008

NOTES from the UNDERGROUND No.148 | September 5, 2008


Hi Norb —

I’ve decided that I want people to refer to me as a maverick. As an opinion leader in the writing / publishing world, I’m hoping that you’ll take a leadership role in my image remake. Despite the fact that I’m living a traditional boring 8-to-5 life, I want to add zest to my reputation. I also like that being called a maverick can explain away any faults, errors in judgment and screw-ups. If there is the opportunity to talk about me to anyone — say for example the clerk where you pick up your dry cleaning, you might say: “Did I ever tell you about this guy I know, Jeff Winke? (soft chuckle) Well, he’s such a maverick!” You have to include the soft chuckle because that really seals the deal. It has to be the right kind of soft chuckle though. It has to be more of a boys-will-be-boys type of chuckle — not a sneering chuckle or a lecherous chuckle or a what-an-idiot chuckle.

Do you think you can do that for me? I appreciate your help.

Jeff “The Maverick” Winke

Following a note from the webmaster:

Winke lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in a downtown industrial loft with his wife, two-thirds of his children and a posse of four cats where he plies his skills as a PR counselor, magazine editor and adjunct university professor at the Milwaukee Center of Upper Iowa University.

Jeffrey Winke co-edited the first small press North American haiku anthology, the Third Coast Haiku Anthology, published in 1977. His most recent book, What’s Not There: Selected Haiku of Jeffrey Winke is a 2002 Merit Book Award winner. His motion graphis haiku collection called Chances can be viewed here…and has been designated a “Cool Website.”

Recent books include PR Idea Book: 50 Proven Tools That Really Work (Denver: Outskirts Press, 2006) and the haiku collection What’s Not There (Chicago: Deep North Press, 2002) and Coquette Sensual haiku (Milwaukee:Distant Thunder Press, 2008) which is available now.

Sensual haiku by Jeffrey Winke

Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Winke. Design by Steve Monsen. Distant Thunder Press, 234 N. Broadway, Unit 513 Milwaukee, WI 53202 USA. Cover photo “passion” by Lev Dolgachov.

attractive woman
her shadow falls
into my arms

5 EURO incl. shipment cost world-wide by clicking here…

That Smirking Face

by Jeffrey Winke

a collection of haiku and haibun by Jeffrey Winke featuring drawings by Matt M. Cipov Distant Thunder Press, 234 N. Broadway, Unit 513 Milwaukee, WI 53202 USA.

A collaborative broadside featuring Jeff’s dark urban haiku and haibun with original art by Matt M. Cipov. “I found his business card on the floor of a coffee shop and was compelled to look up his website,” Winke says. “His direct, edgy style reflects exactly the tone of the haiku and haibun I’m currently writing.”

5 EURO incl. shipment cost world-wide by clicking here…

norbert blei | basho’s road

28 05 2008

Thanks to so many of you for all the positive comments regarding the introduction to the new site, /Basho’s Road/. The initial essay (“Basho’s Road, Part I” ) has now been archived by Monsieur K. (Click to the link at the bottom of the page “*ABOUT BASHO’S ROAD*” for those who missed it or may want to pass it on) or just here…

Speaking of Monsieur K, he deserves accolades galore in supporting the launching of this new site, not to mention his acumen in design and layout. We both worked hard to find the right graphics. And, as usual, he saw what I saw. /Merci, Monsieur K, from me and many others./

The first poem on this site belongs to Basho, deservedly so, since he is the inspiration for all I hope to present here. Since I mentioned the ‘problem’ of translations in Part I of the introductory essay (Parts II and III, in progress). I thought we might take a look at two translations of the same poem–a poem appropriate enough for this time of year as I see it, looking out at my own woods in May, considering the ‘many variations on the theme of green.’ Norbert Blei


Thanks for these. There is so much here. Among my Basho favorites:

A fishy smell–
perch guts
in the water weeds.


Don’t imitate me;
it’s as boring
as the two halves of a melon.

and from Issa

Climb Mount Fuji,
O snail,
but slowly, slowly.

Thanks again, Norb. Gar

oku-no-hosomichi — very cool….the journey begins…

norb, this is absolutely exquisite… ronald

Sometimes it feels too painful to live in this world. So I have been having a very very sad day. And then I just got this message. It has helped me to try to think beyond my sadness and beyond the meaning of anything. Once again, thank you Norb. m


….this one is a real sparkler and a terrific piece of craftwork…Zeeee


I will get this link up for you in my site. Had a chance to catch any of the shows yet? Best, Jane

Gorgeous site–I will make it one of my regular stops. J

The graphics are so perfect and beautiful for the content. How do you find time to do all this? Everything about it is exquisite. The background color, the white and red of the words, the stretch and pull haiku’s demand, The you entwined with the ancient mysteries and disclosures of zen. The way all of it is there in stillness. Creating stillness on a page. No explanation of how such a thing can ever be done, and yet, somehow done. I’m quite amazed with this. –b

That’s a stunner! Even the paintings make me want to write. I’m linking from SUFFOLK PUNCH. -BH

I am impressed. MB


A great start to an intriguing journey…I look forward to going along for the ride. –BILL

Beautiful. Wondered what you were doing with all your spare time. (HA !) I’ve already made a link from Keep the short stuff coming. – R.

Oh I love it, read it sometime around two in the morning, have to go back and look but I especially liked the essay…..e.

your first installment on haiku & the short poem is splendid. e.m.

On my way out of town for a few days, so just giving it a glance. I’m loving that you’re doing this. lv,s

This is soooooo beautiful, Norb. Thank you. A. E.

Norb, Excellent! I too am a fan of Basho. I have a translation of his “Narrow Road to the Interior” which is quite small (about 4.5 x 5). His interweaving of the journal with haiku seems so – fitting. One which I enjoy (all are enjoyable) is:

Speechless before
these budding green spring leaves
in blazing sunlight

Yes! Bill

-wow… i was just at the library the other day and got ‘rustic roads’ cause i see you have an essay in it…then i get this note from you about this neat new project…on a related note, inspired by our mutual buddy, jeff winke, i’ve been going through my road notes puling out incidents that I can use as the basis for haibun… charlie

thanks for this –here is what it prompted from today’s garden. rvf

Swallow in garden
injured and waiting for dusk
it’s mate swoops farewell

Dear Norbert,

Your new website is such a thing of beauty, I’m stunned and have nothing but ohs and ahs in reply.

It’s interesting that haiku lends itself so nicely to translation. It has to be the briefness of the poem, so that once all the parts are there (water, frog, sound) the translator doesn’t have a lot of margin for error, as it were, in terms of excess language, boneheaded interpretation, missed point. Clint studied and wrote about and translated the poetry of a couple of Bengali poets, both of which were leading lights in their respective areas (lyric and epic). The one extolled Bengal in poems absolutely revered by Bengalis and, as far as I can tell, almost impossible to translate into an English that touches us even marginally. Clint is good at what he does, and comparisons of his efforts with those by Bengalis and Bengali-wallahs prove the case that you have to be the equivalent of a native speaker in both languages in order successfully to cross the divide, which he does in several poems.

There’s an excellent memoir on translation by Gregory Rabassa (“If This Be Treason”) who is the premier translator of Latin American prose, specifically that of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, who called him “the best Latin American writer in the English language.” Had I known the dangers and pitfalls of translation, I’m not so sure I would have tackled my dissertation topic’s text, a killer of a 7th-century Sanskrit narrative. Even so, I got something out there that no one else would have attempted (you have to love such a work to allow yourself to become immersed in it and in the labor of showing it off to your fellow English speakers). It’s whatchma call a “contribution.”

As is all that you do, Norb. Your contributions to journalism and literature and to the promotion and support of other writers and poems are immense. As are your efforts to make our little corner of paradise, as many see it, a better place. Keep truckin’. Love, Gwen

When I went to Japan to visit my brother 3 years ago, Barbara Larsen gave me Basho’s book of travels. Mark took me part of the way where Basho walked, so we read his writing, and haiku’s. I also enjoyed Knappen’s review of your new issue of Meditations, I guess I must send for that one, too. g

Don’t know if I responded to this. This is great. Michael

Love the paintings / especially the one on the first “Basho” site ~~ the house / village in the mountains, as well as the Ticht Naht Hahn comments: observing a tangerine. This is like getting “University of the Air” on Haiku / via email. Many strange and wonderful things float up from out that woods out there … the one about 200 feet from where I sit … thank you. xojg

You cannot imagine how poignant I find either version! I fear I’m looking out at a half-dead orchard of some 500 Montmorencys which will produce no measurable fruit and precious few leaves…the drought of 2007. Since we hand planted and pruned them all, it’ll be like a death in the family. Jean the druid

thanks for doing this work. you’ve forced me back to my Basho. Al DeGenova

Thanks Norb. I much prefer the first translation. The translator’s art is crucial to the success of literature in another tongue. It must be especially difficult in poetry to capture the poet’s thought and feeling, to make the work evoke what the poet intended, and to make it scan satisfyingly in another language.

In many of the big opera houses today, there are translated “supertitles” projected above the proscenium. Several years ago at a performance of “Tosca” at Lyric Opera the audience roared at a translator’s gaffe. Tosca is in the church of Sant’ Andrea della Valle watching her lover, the artist Cavaradossi painting an image of the Madonna. Tosca, a raven-haired singer with dark eyes, is angered that the model he used had blue eyes, and she adjures him to darken the orbs of the lady in the painting. What cracked the audience up was the translated line, “Give her black eyes.” Marty

Lovely format! I assume you saw the National Geographic Magazine article about Basho this spring. It is nice, too. Thank you for choosing that lovely haiku for the first poem. g

You do
good work
sharp as a small
paring knife