Thank You – Our 2023 Series Selected

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Bustling marketplace
Crowds of vendors calling out 
Selling to the crowd

“Spirit of Community Friendship” by Nicole Chen

In case you missed it, we recently announced the poet / artist selections for our 2023 Syracuse Poster Project Series! The series selection began back in September by reaching out to community-wide poets and artists. We received many wonderful haiku from this year’s call which allowed, once again, for short poems outside the tradition of haiku as well as several “Syracuse Spirit” poetry prompts. 

Excited gulls screech and swirl and 
descend upon a concrete jungle. 
Close your eyes and
imagine the sea.

“Spirit of Native Flora and Fauna” by Pearl Popiak

With 81 returning poets and 15 new poets, we received a total of 274 poems! From these, we selected 120 semi-final poems and allocated four poems to each of the 27 participating artists. Each artist selected one poem to illustrate and 22 haiku posters were completed. 

March into April.
Shed the outer cloak, breathe and 
take the umbrella...

“Spirit of Regional Flavors” by Michelle Miles

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In early December, we engaged an enthusiastic group of guest panelists to select nine (9) posters for this, our 22nd series. The panelists also presided over a blind selection of these nine posters to award a first-, second-, and third-place designation. 

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In addition, we received a total of 41 poems to complement a specially-themed State Fair poster illustrated by Lydia Nichols. From these, our Board, and a group of State Fair representatives, selected four semi-final poems. Of these four, Lydia selected this colorful haiku by Shari Hemsley:

The finest forelock,
primping feathers, wool and fur
side eyes on the prize

As always, we will release this year’s 10 posters at our annual unveiling celebration tentatively set for April 20, 2023.

Highland Forest hike
turns to conversation with 
chattering squirrels

“Spirit of Parks and Wild Places” by Jay Cox

A heartfelt thank you again to all who submitted haiku this year and to all the artists who created an illustrated poster for consideration. Your creative contributions once again have helped to define Central New York as a place of passion and poetry. Thanks also to our guest panelists and Board members for all your hard work in making this another successful year for the Syracuse Poster Project. Special thanks, also, to the New York State Council on the Arts whose generous grant allowed us to pay an honorarium to the selected poets and artists—a first for us!

Vintage wedding gown. 
Handmade quilts sewn long ago. 
Time never fading.

“Spirit of TimeWorn Treasures” by Cynthia DeKing

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Please join us in congratulating the selected poet-artist pairs:

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Our guest panelists this year included:

Cheryl Chappell: Owner of Edgewood Gallery
Anthony Pham: Marketing assistant for the Downtown Committee
Elizabeth Judge: Marketing manager for Visit Syracuse
Chris Capella: Art teacher at LaFayette High School
Gabrielle Eure: Architectural designer at C&S Companies

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Hope to see you in April for another joyful celebration of poetry and art!

Snowflakes glide and twirl 
tiny dancers in tutus 
Mesmerized, I watch

“Spirit of Cozy Wintering” by Jean Fahey

Thank you!

Posted by Rosalyn M. Carroll for the Syracuse Poster Project

Haiku For a Blustery End of December, 2022

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Winter wind blows blue.
Brings a new season's rich hue.
Blank, white... it calls you.

by Ana Morley

As the end of December quickly draws near, the long days of Winter have begun with a bitterly cold and blustery snowstorm — just in time for Christmas! 

Winter's white blindfold
blankets fields of dormant grass.
Blue jays bloom in trees.
Poet: Gloria Heffernan
Artist: Alyssa Dearborn
Series: 2020

Even the joyous music of Christmastime in this Season of Light is intensified by the bitter wind howling its own tune.

Blizzard, god of snow 
decrees, "let there be snowbanks, 
if you get my drift."


Poet: Mary Jane BeVard
Artist: Jill Long 
Series: 2022

And of course, with the promised light of the Winter Solstice, even grey skies seem bright — well, almost!

Fluffy, fat flakes fall
City's heart shimmers with light
Life in a snow globe.

Poet: Alexa Carter
Artist: Christina Mastrull
Series: 2015

Roadways seem busier, too, this December. With Covid restrictions mostly lifted, holiday shoppers and scrambling travelers — some of whom may still be stranded at the airport — are filling long lines at grocery and department stores, shoveling driveways and keeping their birdfeeders filled.

Cold December wind.
Brave blue jay scans horizons,
seeking his last meal.


Poet: George Wojtowycz
Artist: Hillary Cianciosi
Series: 2014

Wherever the end of December finds you this year, stay safe and stay warm!

Ribbons of music 
Giftwrap me as I delight 
In the busker's song.

by Diane Lansing

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As always, to read more about each poet and artist listed above, click on their name where highlighted. To read more Winter–related haiku on our Blog, click HERE. Click HERE for more haiku about December. And, if you’d like to purchase any of the illustrated haiku posters featured on this post, click on the highlighted Series Year; if you’d like to view and purchase any of our other beautiful haiku posters, click HERE — they make great gifts!

Thank you!

Posted by Rosalyn M. Carroll for the Syracuse Poster Project

Haiku For A Valentine

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Valentine’s Day–a sweetheart of a day, dedicated to the celebration of love! Symbolized by red hearts and roses, chocolate kisses and candle-lit dinners, whimsical cards and love poems, it’s one of our favorite days of the year!

Haiku being our forte, we’re often searching our archives for poems and haiku posters that perfectly fit an occasion or holiday. For this St. Valentine’s Day post, we come back to these wonderful haiku from our talented contributors.

Oubon Phommanyrath’s (Syracuse 2013) poem beautifully elicits love and transcends the ordinary:

I chase the song of
life. My heart knows the hidden
path where love finds me.

From Meg Catanzarita, (Syracuse 2010), a whimsical haiku whose word-play has Valentine’s Day all over it:

Alphabet clusters
beget confabulation
PS I Love You

Frequent haiku contributor, Marilyn Shelton (Dunmore 2003) sweetly notes a merry and colorful moment between two sweethearts:

Young opera moon,
you caught us stealing kisses
Under red awnings!

And, Sandra Hewett’s haiku (Syracuse 2014) sets the scene for a memorable Valentine’s Day dinner:

Candles glow brightly
On the table as we eat
Faces full of love

Speaking of love and romance, it might be frightfully cold outside, but our featured 2007 Syracuse Poster Project haiku poster is sure to warm you up on this St. Valentine’s Day. The poet is long-time Syracuse Poster Project contributor, Robert Gaurnier; the poster was illustrated by former Syracuse University Illustration student, Bret Supranowicz, now working as a designer and illustrator in New York City.

Beneath many stars / diners feast on sweet music / in Armory Square

If you’re stuck for an idea for something special to give your sweetheart, feel free to download one of our specially commissioned St. Valentine’s Day cards here. As we have done in years past, each of our Valentine’s Day cards are created with a wonderful background and enough space to give you an opportunity to write your own love poem. Our 2019 card can be downloaded here. It was artfully designed by Jiaqi Liu, our Spring semester graphic design intern.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Rosalyn M. Carroll for Syracuse Poster Project

Winter Haiku


As you might expect, Winter’s yearly grip upon us is the topic of many haiku from our talented contributors and artists. 

Crystal blue twilight 
Oak tree stands frozen, under 
Winter's icy spell 

by Karl Krohl (Syracuse 2016)

If you’ve lived in Central New York for a while, you know that Winters here can be pretty brutal at times. 

Ice, salt, sleet and snow,
white elements underfoot
my cold, slush-soaked toes

by Paul Moran (Syracuse 2007)

The same pub warmth that
Melted the slush I stepped in
Will help me forget!

Poet: Martin Walls
Artist: William Schmidt
Series: 2002

In spite of the frequency of grey days and frigid temperatures, we do enjoy the occasional bright blue day with warm hints of sunshine. 

Blue skies in winter, 
the sun makes us feel hopeful --
Bundle up outside 

by Diana Graser (Liverpool 2018)

Snowflakes hitch a ride
Like an uninvited guest
Leave my scarf dripping

Poet: Tanya Raymond
Artist: Lara Hirschberg
Series: 2017

But when blustery snow storms barge in and leave a foot of snow and knee-high drifts, it’s time to snuggle into a good book and under a warm blanket. 

Snow deeper tonight--
streetlights smudge the tall darkness.
Sometimes we like cold.

by William Neumire (Liverpool 2009)

crystal quilts of ice
fluffy blankets of snow with
dreams that warm the soul

Poet: Arthur Flowers
Artist: Erin Schechtman
Series: 2008

To find more Wintry-themed haiku on our Blog, click HERE. If you’d like to purchase one of the illustrated posters featured on this post–or any of our beautiful haiku posters–click HERE.

And as always, stay warm and stay safe!

cold weather, warm food
short days and long nights, time flies
snowflakes fall and sleep

by Anton Ninno (Syracuse 2008)

Posted by Rosalyn M. Carroll for Syracuse Poster Project

★🎄🌕 Haiku For December 🌕🎄★

December. An extraordinary month of cherished traditions, we find many ways to observe the Season of Light that December holds in its frosty days.

The towering tree
Stands still and silent, waiting
To light up downtown

by Christina Lee (Syracuse 2010)

As December days grow shorter and shorter, with their long, cold nights, we celebrate the Solstice on the 21st when days typically become a bit longer–and warmer–again.

First Winter snowfall
Silent, swirling, descending…painting
Blue Spruce white.

by Robert Stone (Baldwinsville 2013)

Not only is December the last month of the year, it is also one of the busiest months of the year. Among other things, December embodies Winter holidays and long school breaks, cookie exchanges and gift shopping, family feasts and get-togethers with close friends. 

Bright lights, days of old
‘tis the season windows glow
downtown walking, looking, joy

by Michael Brigandi (Syracuse 2013)

With its short crisp meter, haiku can uniquely express many of our December reflections. For Nan Gartner, “….I wrote this haiku about a scene which I haven’t necessarily been in but I have imagined, which pleases my romantic instincts. I know that wintertime strolling can be romantic, and I think people are fortunate to have that experience. I don’t think there’s anything prettier than large white snowflakes falling quietly, especially in the evening by moonlight, what could be more beautiful?

Poet: Nan Gartner 
Artist: Amy Cunningham-Waltz 
Series: 2021



December snowflakes
Fall by moonlight on late night
strollers in the square

If you like this beautifully illustrated haiku poster, consider purchasing it as a gift to yourself from our Shopper’s Guide here. And, for more wintry haiku to brighten up these last few days of December, click here to read past Blog posts.

Tree lights and skate blades
Illuminate Clinton Square.
Silent stars wink by.

by Ellen McNeal (Summerville 2002)

And so, from all of us at Syracuse Poster Project, Happy Holidays!

Stay safe and Stay Warm!

Posted by Rosalyn M. Carroll for the Syracuse Poster Project

Haiku For Veterans Day

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A well-written Haiku can say a lot in only a few words and 17 syllables–it can tell a story and even express deep emotions; it can also be political and make us pause to reflect upon the world around us. Like other forms of poetry, haiku can speak to war and peace, heroes and fallen soldiers, victory and defeat, freedom and sacrifice, and gratitude. 

Souls of the soldiers
march and quiet names surround
Freedom’s arena

by Mark Shevalier (Henderson 2007)

While Memorial Day is a day of solemn observance reserved to honor and remember all Americans who have died while serving in our country’s military service, Veterans Day is reserved for all Veterans who have served in our country’s Armed Forces whether in war or peace, alive or dead. 

Price of our freedom
evident within these walls,
veterans — heroes.

by Ellen Wheeler (Fayetteville 2012)

Originally called Armistice Day, this federal holiday commemorated the end of World War 1 — ‘the war to end all wars’. Its name was changed to Veterans Day in 1954 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower and the holiday was eventually amended to honor and thank all American Veterans of all wars for their many sacrifices.

Heroes defended
Liberty and freedom rang
Stars and stripes rippled

by Michelle Miles (Denver 2016)

Our featured haiku poster this Veterans Day is from our 2019 Series. The colorful haiku was written by contributor, Michele Madonna and beautifully illustrated by community artist, Alyssa Dearborn. We think you’ll agree, the poster exemplifies the strength, freedom and goodness of our nation and its Veterans.

Flying on moonlight
above Onondaga’s waves
Eagle’s wings dancing

Monuments, ceremonies and parades typically celebrate Veterans Day. With the pandemic cancelling most of these special events this November, we hope you’ve enjoyed these few haiku from our archives that best express our observation of Veterans Day and our gratitude for all our Veterans!

Soldier’s homecoming
duties satisfied for now
Toddler gets a hug

by Pearl Popiak (Syracuse 2011)

Thank you!

Rosalyn M. Carroll for the Syracuse Poster Project

Haiku for Black History Month – 2021

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Hidden on Rose Hill
Courageous lives not honored
Freedom seekers rest.

by Terry Eckert (Bridgeport 2014)

Each year, Black History Month concentrates on a unique theme which explores, recognizes and celebrates the many achievements, advancements and continuing struggles of Black Americans. 

Captured in dark bronze
Unfettering Jerry’s limbs
Black Lives do Matter

by Martin Sweeney (Homer 2020)

In 2021, Black History Month’s focus is on “The Black Family: Representation, Identity and Diversity”. 

Communities cry
the streets swallowing them whole
Mothers light candles

by Marissa Saunders (Syracuse 2016)

Made even more visible over the past year, Black American families have suffered greater socio-economic hardships due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

During pandemic
masked folk of all types gather
Black lives do matter

by David Hitchcock (Fayetteville 2020)

Families torn apart by racism and violence in 2020 found a newborn voice in the Black Lives Matter Movement.

All kinds of people
seeking respect and justice 
for Black Lives Matter 

by Brian Mitchell (Baldwinsville 2020)

With a new administration in the White House, attainable diversity was seen with the election of the country’s first Black American Vice President, Kamala Harris.

Faith is a fruit tree
decades past planted promise
bearing gifts today

by Thomas Stock (Fort Plain 2016)

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For the 2009 Poster Series, we received special permission to use two splendid illustrations by Donald Kilpatrick, a professional illustrator from Detroit who, at the time, was studying graduate work at Syracuse University. We then invited poets from the CNY community to complement his work with a haiku.

Black or white, light or ~ dark, we all call this city ~ our home. We are one.

Former Syracuse University student, Matt Sattler, recalls writing his wonderful haiku to fit Mr. Kilpatrick’s exceptional illustration above: “This image reminded me that there are racial differences, and people have different skin colors, but underneath it we’re all trying to achieve the same goals…. beside the image, my inspiration for this poem came from Barack Obama. At the time, he was still running to be elected, and the whole racial issue came to life every night on television. Watching the election coverage, I became more enlightened, realizing that there’s all sorts of different races out there, and we should do our best to represent them all.”  We think you’ll agree, this wonderful haiku poster speaks volumes in support of both Black History Month and Black Lives Matter. 

As you can see, human nature and different aspects of the human condition are well-suited for haiku. To read other haiku from our archives highlighting Black History Month, Click Here! If you’re interested in purchasing this poster, its matching Note Card Collection, or any of our other Syracuse Poster Project haiku posters, Click here!

Thank you!

Posted by Rosalyn M. Carroll for the Syracuse Poster Project

Haiku For a Mask

ᐇᐇᐇᐇᐇ  *****  ᐇᐇᐇᐇᐇ  *****  ᐇᐇᐇᐇᐇ  *****  ᐇᐇᐇᐇᐇ

summoned by sunlight
masked pedestrian shadows
avoid each other

by Joe Sarnicola (Auburn 2020)

ᐇᐇᐇᐇᐇ  *****  ᐇᐇᐇᐇᐇ  *****  ᐇᐇᐇᐇᐇ  *****  ᐇᐇᐇᐇᐇ

Since last March, when the Coronavirus pandemic first put us all in lockdown, wearing a face mask to protect each other has become de rigueur. 

Halloween each day,
masked eyes measuring six feet,
a faceless future.

by Ann Scholl (Skaneateles 2020)

While it has not been an entirely easy adjustment for everyone, masks have become part of our new normal.

Masked folk walk, bike, run
the Erie Canal towpath
during pandemic.

by David Hitchcock (Fayetteville 2020)

In fact, at work or play, masks have become essential…as has a new level of patience when wearing one—or when trying to understand your dentist who’s wearing 3 or 4 layers of masked protection as he tools about your mouth!

Off to work -- pause, breathe.
Mask, gown, gloves. Patients. Patience.
I smile with my eyes.

by Jaclyn Sisskind (Manlius 2020)

At the start, finding the right mask to wear was a difficult prospect as there were few to be found. Now, from “how to sew your own” to the expensively styled and marketed, face masks have also become the new look du jour. 

Masking to combat
One-hundred years pandemic
assorted facewears

by Audia Denton (Ithaca 2020)

From our 2013 Series, our featured haiku poster adds a bit of lighthearted comfort to our current mask situation. Highlighting the colorful imagery of the poet’s words, the poster was beautifully illustrated by former Syracuse University student, Carolyn Glavin. The haiku was written by Janice Scully, author of Salt City Verse.

Cardinal, feathered ~ masked bandit on a snowy ~ limb — all can see you!

Despite the politicalization of wearing a mask during this pandemic, the experience, like many others created by Covid-19, has captured the imagination of poets and artists everywhere. For us, haiku reflects this experience quite neatly.

Dread phantom of the
coronavirus awaits
final unmasking

by James and Barbara Yonai (Syracuse 2020)

What has been your experience this past year with wearing a mask? Let us know in the comments! We’d love to hear from you! And, be safe out there!

ᐇᐇᐇᐇᐇ  *****  ᐇᐇᐇᐇᐇ  *****  ᐇᐇᐇᐇᐇ  *****  ᐇᐇᐇᐇᐇ

Face masks, and first bumps’
socially six feet apart.
Be Corona safe.

by Patricia Teska (Syracuse 2020)

ᐇᐇᐇᐇᐇ  *****  ᐇᐇᐇᐇᐇ  *****  ᐇᐇᐇᐇᐇ  *****  ᐇᐇᐇᐇᐇ

posted by Rosalyn M. Carroll for the Syracuse Poster Project

Haiku For a Grey and Cloudy January

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It’s only the start of the New Year, but the promised light of December’s Winter Solstice seems to have temporarily disappeared behind unmovable grey clouds.  Along with cold temperatures, lingering patches of dirty snow offer little consolation to already Covid-bleak days.  

Blue sky illusions 
scrape Winter's gray haze—slogging
numb down Salina

by Jay Cox (Pompey 2007)

But for the brief moments of early morning or late afternoon sun, cloudy skies remain the dominant trademark of Winter in Central New York.  While a backdrop of grey and cold is not wholly unexpected this time of year, we certainly could use some clear, blue skies — and even some snow!

City lights sparkle
morning glow--snow falls--silence
smoke stacks touch the clouds 

by Cynthia Perrine (Fabius 2011)

When endless grey cloudy days turn into endless grey cloudy nights, missing a clear night sky full of stars or the wondrous phases of the moon can be downright sad! It was certainly a disappointment missing the rare alignment of Saturn and Jupiter in December, wasn’t it? 

Meteor showers
Aurora borealis
Hidden behind clouds. 

by Norman Cohen (Jamesville 2011)

As you might expect, writing haiku can bring a whole new perspective to these two words, grey and cloudy.  And, it’s a perfect antidote for cabin-fever made harder again this year with the pandemic lockdown!  

Mostly cloudy with 
a chance of grey and cold - I've
got those Winter blues!

by Rosalyn M. Carroll (Manlius 2017)

Speaking of Winter blues, our featured haiku poster from our 2018 Series is sure to warm you up! Alluding to Syracuse’s well-tuned reputation as a music town, poet Dennis Kinsey suggests, “….Winter, that’s when you feel like you need some music!” For artist Jacob Rivera Navarro, former Syracuse University Illustration Student, “….Music always felt like an escape from the [Syracuse] tundra to me. This is why I related so much to this haiku.” 

Cold in Syracuse , I need the Blues to warm me. Summer is for Jazz.

Along with music, adding an artist’s eye to your haiku can easily turn grey skies from dull to stunning!  

Fronts collide to paint 
Phenomenal cloud skyscapes
Swirling overhead

by Pamela Lynch (Oneida 2013) 

As these few haiku from our archives show, writing Haiku provides a way of expressing deep emotions while seeing the world around us from a variety of perspectives.  So, when the grey and cloudy skies of Winter make you blue, write a Haiku!

Stay warm!

Rosalyn M. Carroll for Syracuse Poster Project

Haiku for a Covid Christmas

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Out of Clinton’s Ditch
with bronze soldiers standing guard
A Christmas tree glows

by Ralph Long, Jr. (Syracuse 2002)

This Holiday Season, there seems to be no getting around the ongoing roadblocks created by the Coronavirus pandemic.

I skate alone now
while I watch the snow fall down
by the lighted tree

by Amanda Funiciello (Baldwinsville 2008)

Fortunately, pandemic restraints aside, holding onto some simple holiday traditions, like a trip to the tree farm or a drive around the neighborhood to see the Christmas lights, can certainly brighten things up!

We search snowy fields
of tall firs fit for trimming–
Yuletide tradition

by Rosalyn M. Carroll (Manlius 2006)

Lights on the Lake” shine
Full moon sparkles on black lake–
Syracuse light show

by Alexa Carter (Fulton 2016)

As it’s been for most of 2020, safely gathering together indoors to celebrate the holidays–Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa–will be especially difficult, if not impossible for many of us.

Tears blur rooftop tree
peering through third floor window
Hospital Christmas

by Nancy Prosser (Auburn 2016)

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In light of our new normal, many of our traditional festivities have required us to adapt new and creative ways of communicating, socializing and sharing time with family and friends. Think Zoom, FaceTime, Messenger, WhatsApp. From our 2019 Series, our featured haiku poster brightly illustrates one way of getting together over the holidays — despite the wintry cold! Frequent haiku contributor, Dianne Apter’s vivid haiku was the inspiration for local artist Kathleen O’Dell’s colorful poster. Ms. O’Dell explains, “….I suppose wine, laughter, gossip, and congregating on the front porch is something people in many cities enjoy and relate to. I set the scene at Christmas time, playfully depicting the quirkiness that accompanies many family gatherings, especially during the holidays.”

Syracuse front porch / Ladies young—older—oldest / Wine—laughter—gossip

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And, while gift giving in person may be different this year, Mother Nature’s many gifts will continue to cheer us forward — from the wonders of the Winter Solstice to the first breath of Spring!

Snow’s coming in the
clouds. See how they drop their gifts?
One by one by one!

by Michelle Miles (Denver 2019)

As always, if you’re interested in purchasing one of our many Holiday-themed haiku posters, click here. And, if you’d like to read more Holiday haiku, click on the Categories Section of our Blog.

Here’s to a safe and healthy Holiday Season and hopes for a good New Year ahead!

Rosalyn M. Carroll for the Syracuse Poster Project

Haiku for a Thanksgiving in the Time of COVID-19

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It may be hard to believe, but COVID-19 is still playing havoc with us even as we approach the end of November!

Covid creeps quiet
through silent Syracuse streets
yet hope happens here

by Bob Lewis (Liverpool 2020)

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Adapting to the rapidly changing dynamic of this pandemic, traditional Thanksgiving festivities and family get-togethers will be dramatically different this year.

Expressions of love
concealed in faint colored masks
breathe silent kisses

by Donna Ancillotti (Liverpool 2020)

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Scaled back feasts are the order of the day as is the increased loneliness of continued isolation of family members and friends during this special holiday.

Separated by
Glass, our hands touch….we laugh, your
eyes Sparkle…miss hugs

by Yvonne Kovits (Little Falls 2020)

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And, while Zoom, FaceTime, WhatsApp, Messenger and Google Duo allow us brief moments of virtual togetherness, the fact that we are still able to share these brief moments is a wonderful thing!

We must together
find and gather to tether
ties to each other

by Mark Shevalier (Henderson 2008)

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As the pandemic has forced us into a new normal, one thing that remains relatively the same for many of us is our relationship with nature. In some instances, we have been given an opportunity to renew that relationship by breathing it in anew. From our 2020 Series, our featured haiku poster beautifully illustrates one such experience. As poet, Ana Morley, writes, “[Green Lakes]….has been the backdrop for some of my favorite memories with the people I love most.” To see more of artist, Lucie Wellner’s, wonderful work, click here.

Walk the Green Lake path…
Lush and open, Earth to sky.
Whispers: “You and I”

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If there is anything positive that the pandemic has wrought, it is the Thanksgiving prayer of gratitude for even the smallest things in our changed lives.

Homeless eyes widen
as Rescue Mission worker
plunks hot turkey down
.

by Lee Savidge (Liverpool 2017)

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What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving? Let us know in the comments! And, if you’re looking for more Thanksgiving haiku, check out the Categories List on this page.

Have a good Thanksgiving and breathe deep all the moments of the day! Stay safe and Take Care!

Rosalyn M. Carroll for the Syracuse Poster Project

Haiku For Social Distancing

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With the onset of COVID-19 lockdowns this past March, our lives have taken on a new normal. In some respects, by slowing down a bit these last several months, some things seem new again this Summer.

Listen: among gray
towering buildings, summer
crickets serenade.

by Mary Taitt (Grosse Pointe Farms 2001)

Along with directives on wearing masks and proper hand washing, we’ve added new terms to our vocabulary, such as self-quarantine and social distancing.

As summer sun sets,
ethereal realms emerge.
Firefly festival

by Michael McCollumn (Manlius 2013)

Despite signage with clever slogans everywhere you turn, staying 6 feet apart from each other has certainly been challenging—particularly when it’s been such a lovely Summer!

two blue dragonflies
settle into canal reeds –
uninhibited

by Karl Krohl (Syracuse 2013)

During this crisis, as we try to do our best to protect each other by following the rules of engagement, as it were, don’t look to the birds at your bird feeder for any guidance on how to do this…

Sunflower faces
A swoosh of yellow and black:
Goldfinch dinnertime

by Ellen Barnes Syracuse 2014

…or those sassy turtles who’ve emerged from murky depths for some sunshine…

Black armored turtles
Lie six to a limb, sunning
Erie beach party

by Rosalyn M. Carroll (Manlius 2016)

….and certainly, don’t ask any of the other wild creatures buzzing about on a warm, Summer’s night!

Summer night concert
black crickets on violins
bullfrogs on bassoons

by Martin Willitts Jr. Syracuse 2014

Of course, Mother Nature’s resistance to social distancing is easy to understand — it’s clearly not in her vocabulary! This is beautifully depicted in a poster from our 2020 Series. The delightful haiku was written by Sheila Forsyth and the wonderful poster was created by Amy Cunningham-Waltz. Find more of Amy’s stunning artwork here.

Lingering summer / Light fades—fireflies check in for / the evening shift

Pandemic or no, this Summer will end way too quickly. So, whether you’re working remotely or taking a well-deserved staycation at home, drink up the wonderful sights and sounds of August before they’re gone! And….”be smart, stay 6-feet apart”….

Days fly by—like wind,
like rain, like snowflakes—jewels
that melt on your tongue

by Craig Overbeck (Fayetteville 2019)

Stay Well!

Rosalyn M. Carroll for Syracuse Poster Project

Haiku for a Pandemic

Early April snow flurries are keeping many of us indoors this Spring. So has COVID-19. With “stay-at-home” and “social distancing” directives, the imposed quarantine on all but essential workers and businesses has created more than uncertainty and fear — it has created a new normal.

on empty roads at
rush hour, no ribbons of lights…
just the rising moon

by Rosalyn M. Carroll (Manlius 2020)

When news of the Coronavirus first came to us from China, followed by reports of its rapid spread through Italy and Europe, we were horrified by its crushing destruction of life.

A thief in the night,
Preying on vulnerables.
Who is this creature?

by Patricia Rickard (Syracuse, 2020)

As we were waiting for any good news about the virus slowing down overseas, the pandemic slammed our shores with a fury all its own. A number of stressful decisions had to be made rather quickly to meet the unknown ramifications of the virus. Spring vacations and long-awaited events were cancelled indefinitely; schools and universities suspended classes and scrambled to find a way to reach students online; grocery store shelves were stripped bare by anxious citizens; and small businesses were left stranded.

Syracusans pause —
Flightless birds upon a wire —
Waiting for the Spring

by Donald Sheridan (Syracuse, 2020)

Since the end of March, we’ve all worked hard to find new ways to go grocery shopping, conduct businesses, teach or work remotely, exercise, and stay connected. Zoom, FaceTime, WhatsApp and YouTube have become the go-to platforms for many of us to gather around.

University
Fair in our hearts and minds
Evermore, Zoom U

by Travis Hayden (Manlius, 2020)

And, while Spring hasn’t stopped blooming–despite the constant wind, rain and snow–neither has COVID-19 stopped the squirrels from playing tag or the birds from gathering at the birdfeeder! Nor has it kept us from creating, reflecting or finding new ways to connect with one another.

With free reign of house
and windowsills, indoor cats
know no quarantine

by Wendy E. Kaplan (Villas, N.J., 2020)

With Spring as the one constant we can depend on right now, our featured poster, from our 2019 Series, seems to fit these past few weeks of April, 2020 pretty well. The gorgeous illustration was created by Marianne Smith Dalton, a Fine Artist, Curator and Archivist whose other works can be found here. Thoughtfully written by frequent haiku contributor, Marilyn Shelton, her haiku reflection parallels our stay-at-home status and inspires us to be hopeful: “….To me, the Lily of the Valley is such a tiny thing to have strength, even when hibernating, to overcome harsh winters to be reborn….[and] holds the full sensual promise of the approaching Spring.”

Snow melts to lilies / Of the sweet valley, reborn / In sensuous spring

Among the many events cancelled this Spring is our annual Poster Series unveiling event. As much as we like the festive togetherness of this traditional treat, we’re doing our part to “flatten the curve” by hosting the event online. Please join us Thursday, April 23 at 6 p.m. for a virtual evening of fun on YouTube where our our newest haiku posters will be featured along with video clips submitted by the poets and artists talking about their work. There is also a chance for you to participate: during the premiere, you’ll be able to comment by chat and we’ll be able to chat back. The video and chat stream will then be archived on our YouTube channel where you can see it again and share with your family and friends. You can check out and subscribe to our channel here.

In the meantime, we hope you are taking some time for peaceful reflection, long invigorating walks and finding ways to take care of yourself emotionally, spiritually, mentally, and physically. Be sure to breathe in the beauty of Spring blooms and listen to the beautiful voices of nature all around us. Most importantly, have patience–we are, each of us, in this together.

Wishing you well — stay safe!

If you’d like to submit a haiku with your own reflections on COVID-19, please add them to the comments below or email them to us, c/o Jim Emmons at jim@posterproject.org.

A Haiku For Black History Month 2020

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Before we leave February behind in the snow, we wanted to add one of our illustrated haiku posters to this year’s celebration of Black History Month.  As we’ve posted on these pages before, what began as the brainchild of Carter G. Woodson in 1926 to celebrate “Negro History Week”, Black History Month was expanded in 1976 to include the entire month of February. And, for each year’s month long celebration, ASALH, or the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, focuses on a central theme based on the Black experience, race relations and the many accomplishments and contributions of Black Americans throughout our history.  

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<p class="has-drop-cap" value="<amp-fit-text layout="fixed-height" min-font-size="6" max-font-size="72" height="80"><span class="uppercase">F</span>or this year’s theme, <a rel="noreferrer noopener" aria-label=" (opens in a new tab)" href="https://asalh.org/asalh-announces-2020-black-history-theme-african-americans-and-the-vote/&quot; target="_blank"><strong><em>African Americans and the Vote</em></strong></a>, ASALH <em>“. . . . marks the centennial of the Nineteenth Amendment and the culmination of the women’s suffrage movement.  The year 2020 also marks the sesquicentennial of the Fifteenth Amendment (1870) and the right of black men to the ballot after the Civil War."</em> What a fitting theme indeed for this Election Year!For this year’s theme, African Americans and the Vote, ASALH “. . . . marks the centennial of the Nineteenth Amendment and the culmination of the women’s suffrage movement.  The year 2020 also marks the sesquicentennial of the Fifteenth Amendment (1870) and the right of black men to the ballot after the Civil War.” What a fitting theme indeed for this Election Year!

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Our featured haiku poster from our 2008 Series beautifully depicts one aspect of a struggle many people fight for.  While Poet, Kali Huff’s words provide the hopeful message, James Ransome’s strikingly poignant illustration beautifully embodies her words. As Mr. Ransome states, “. . . . I wanted to illustrate something emotional. So I thought it would be best if I found a poem that symbolized African Americans’ struggles, or women’s struggles, or some group’s struggles. That’s what got my attention, this idea of struggling and succeeding against the odds.

Like the red lotus / I bloom from mud. A symbol / for struggle; new life

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To read other haiku from our archives highlighting Black History Month, Click Here! If you’re interested in purchasing this poster, its matching Note Card Collection, or any of our other Syracuse Poster Project haiku posters, Click here!

Thank you!

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Haiku for Valentine’s Day

Ambling with “the one”
my neighborhood is lovely
steal a quick kiss–now!

by David Pasinski (Fayetteville 2010)

Valentine’s Day! A day for stolen kisses, red roses and candy hearts, candle-lit dinners, whimsical cards and love poems. From our trove of wonderful haiku, we thought we’d come back to these very special Valentine Day haiku from our talented contributors:

From Meg Catanzarita, (Syracuse 2010), a whimsical haiku whose word-play has Valentine’s Day written all over it:

Alphabet clusters
beget confabulation
P.S., I Love You

Oubon Phommanyrath’s (Syracuse 2013) poem beautifully elicits love and transcends the ordinary:

I chase the song of
life. My heart knows the hidden
path where love finds me.

Marilyn Shelton’s (Dunmore 2003) haiku sweetly catches a merry and colorful moment between two sweethearts:

Young opera moon,
you caught us stealing kisses
Under red awnings!

Speaking of sweethearts, our featured haiku poster is from our 2009 Series. Brightly illustrated by former Syracuse University Illustration student, Emily Meluch, now an illustrator and designer living in Cleveland, Ohio, the haiku was written by frequent contributor, Janine DeBaise. Inspired by the many small coffeehouses and restaurants found here in Syracuse, Janine writes, ”I like the sounds in those places — the clinking of the plates and mugs, the swirl of chatter as friends gather over steaming cups of tea or coffee. I was thinking about the way people have to lean close in that setting, to hear each other’s voices. I like the intimacy of that gesture, being close in a room crowded with people.”

Amidst the chatter / and clink of white coffee mugs / I drink your voice in

Check out our other “love” themed haiku posters by clicking here.  If you haven’t picked up a Valentine’s Day card yet, create something original for your sweetheart by using one of our free, downloadable Valentine’s Day cards like this one from one of our graphic designers, Jiaqi Liu, a native of China, who exercised her dual language skills to come up with this cute Valentine’s Day card featuring a punning owl. “Punny”, isn’t it? 

Click here to download this colorful card!  Click here to see some of our other do-it-yourself Valentine’s Day cards! You add the words, we’ll do the rest!

Wherever love finds you on this Valentine’s Day, enjoy and live, laugh, love!

Trees roots growth love home
Sisters shouting in the yard
Laughing joyously

by Sylvia O’Connor (Manlius 2014)

Holiday Haiku

The Holidays! Oh, the excited anticipation of it all! There’s the planning and the decorating, the ever-changing shopping lists…two miles long. Then, there’s the food and the get-togethers, the writing out of Holiday Greeting cards and the wrapping of gifts. And, don’t forget the lighting of candles and the Yuletide tree or the sounds of music in the air — at the school concert and in stained-glassed churches everywhere!

Phew! So, between the stress and the laughter, the rain and the snow, we’d like to offer you these few haiku from our archives to brighten your celebration of this season of light and love, hope and peace!

….the Holidays are Cookie Exchanges and Gingerbread Houses:

Gingerbread delights
The Erie Canal is trimmed
With giggles and smiles!

by Jane Verostek (Syracuse 2012)

….it’s the hunt for the perfect Christmas tree:

Horse-drawn sleigh ride to
Cut a Christmas tree just right–
We build traditions!

by Rosalyn M. Carroll (Manlius 2006)

….and, the hunt for the perfect gift:

Mom clutches my hand
We rush through winding traffic
Holiday shopping

by Mary Demetrick (East Syracuse 2004)

….the Holidays are Mistletoe and Holly and beautiful Poinsettias:

Crimson-tipped arrows
Pointing North, East, South and West
Christmas arsenal

by Michelle Miles (Jerusalem 2016)

….they’re a night time drive through darkened snowy streets for a visual treat; where Christmas and candle lights brighten neighborhood windows and lampposts, doorways and rooftops:

Levitating lights
Vivid vista sparkling home
Where the heart is full

by Ronnie Bell (Syracuse 2010)

For many, the Holidays are not complete without going downtown for the ceremonious “lighting of the tree”:

Huge pine in the Square
Anticipates the signal,
Then lights up Winter

by Marilyn Shelton (Dunmore 2008)

Our featured Poster Illustrates just such a scene. The haiku poster is from our 2009 Series. The cheerful haiku was written by Nancy Liccione (Clay 2003) and brightly illustrated by former Syracuse University Illustration Student, Yealim Kong, now a Home Textile & Graphic designer based in New York City.

Nighttime in the Square / Tree lighting and carols sung / Skaters mingle there

However you spend these last few days of 2019, Happy Holidays!

Ripped fingertip gloves
Cold keys and warm melodies
Fill dark streets with light

by Elizabeth Westfall (North Syracuse 2014)

Haiku For The Start of Autumn

The Autumn Equinox arrived quietly last week, and as if on cue, end-of-September days have become cooler and starry nights, longer.  From the Syracuse Poster Project archives, our haiku contributors have found interesting ways to describe Summer’s prelude to Autumn.

Syracuse Poster Project contributor, Maggie Iribarne (DeWitt 2012) observes this seasonal passage of time with her evocative haiku:

Green gorge glimmering
Summer’s last cold splash summons
Fall’s red-gold promise

And, Sharon Rorer (Syracuse 2007) gently describes how the days following the Equinox tend to be around here:

Single Leaves flutter
on delicate air currents
still feels like Summer

Meanwhile, Deirdre Tait’s (Syracuse 2013) haiku vividly describes what many of us look forward to with the coming of Autumn: 

Rolling hills surround
orchards hold the gift of Fall
crisp, juicy goodness

Our featured haiku poster is from the 2019 Series.  Illustrated by CNY Artist, Steven Peters, the poster beautifully complements the colorful haiku written by frequent Syracuse Poster Project contributor, Sherry Chayat.

Hurled from their branches / Golden leaves swirl everywhere / Onondaga wind

Summer days are tough to leave behind, but as Mary Cappelli (Syracuse 2013) writes, there is beauty in the leaving:

a new slant of light
butterflies flit in gold leaves–
So long, sweet Summer!

Did you notice this year’s late arrival of the Autumn Equinox? Are you able to put your experience with a change of season into a haiku? Leave us your thoughts in the comments below–we’d love to hear from you!

Happy Autumn!

Haiku For A Winter’s Day

Ice and snow and howling winds — oh, my! Just when the sun peeks out for a day or two, Winter strikes back for one more round of cold, grey days. We’ve written here before of Winter’s many faces and while daylight is lasting longer–thank goodness–this singular season is anything but over! So, before we bid adieu to February blizzards, black ice, wind chill, freak rain storms, thick fog and ice tsunamis, here is one more wintry blog to enjoy.

From our archives of submitted haiku:

With Jean Fahey’s (Syracuse 2017) haiku, the brilliant warmth of a Winter sun on a crisp and clear morning after days of snow is wonderful—-take out your sunglasses!

the dazzling sunlight
after snowstorm is over
makes diamonds of snow

If you have little kids, you’ll know that by wearing one’s pj’s inside out all snowy night long, there’s a good chance of a sensational snow-day tomorrow…you can almost hear the groans of disappointment in Erin McConnell’s (LaFayette 2010) haiku:

Up early for school.
Snowplow rumbles on the road.
No snow-day today.

A cold, wintry scene is set in Marsha Egan’s (Cicero 2009) dramatic haiku:

Snow blankets the earth:
the brittle silence is broken
by passing footsteps.

Winter storms aren’t complete without a little wind howling through bare trees and underneath the roof eaves! Rosalyn Carroll (Manlius 2019) wrote this haiku during one such storm:

Wild winter winds crashed
through the trees knocked on my door
Delivered fresh snow

Our featured haiku poster—-from our 2012 Series—-says it all on a cold, snowy day in late February! The poem was written by our frequent haiku contributor, Michele Reed, and illustrated by former Syracuse University illustration student, Anna Rettberg, now a busy and successful illustrator living in Seattle. See more of her wonderful work here.

Hear the snow crunch / underfoot as I’m walking / I dream of the beach

We’ll leave you with this artistic point of view from Mary Taitt (Grosse Pointe Farms, 2011):

Snowflakes in simple
brushstrokes sweep over drifts, pile
in long arching curves.

Stay Warm — only 21 more days ‘til Spring!

Rosalyn M. Carroll for Syracuse Poster Project

Haiku For A Valentine

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Valentine’s Day–a sweetheart of a day, dedicated to the celebration of love! Symbolized by red hearts and roses, chocolate kisses and candle-lit dinners, whimsical cards and love poems, it’s one of our favorite days of the year!

Haiku being our forte, we’re often searching our archives for poems and haiku posters that perfectly fit an occasion or holiday. For this St. Valentine’s Day post, we come back to these wonderful haiku from our talented contributors.

Oubon Phommanyrath’s (Syracuse 2013) poem beautifully elicits love and transcends the ordinary:

I chase the song of
life. My heart knows the hidden
path where love finds me.

From Meg Catanzarita, (Syracuse 2010), a whimsical haiku whose word-play has Valentine’s Day all over it:

Alphabet clusters
beget confabulation
PS I Love You

Frequent haiku contributor, Marilyn Shelton (Dunmore 2003) sweetly notes a merry and colorful moment between two sweethearts:

Young opera moon,
you caught us stealing kisses
Under red awnings!

And, Sandra Hewett’s haiku (Syracuse 2014) sets the scene for a memorable Valentine’s Day dinner:

Candles glow brightly
On the table as we eat
Faces full of love

Speaking of love and romance, it might be frightfully cold outside, but our featured 2007 Syracuse Poster Project haiku poster is sure to warm you up on this St. Valentine’s Day. The poet is long-time Syracuse Poster Project contributor, Robert Gaurnier; the poster was illustrated by former Syracuse University Illustration student, Bret Supranowicz, now working as a designer and illustrator in New York City.

Beneath many stars / diners feast on sweet music / in Armory Square

If you’re stuck for an idea for something special to give your sweetheart, feel free to download one of our specially commissioned St. Valentine’s Day cards here. As we have done in years past, each of our Valentine’s Day cards are created with a wonderful background and enough space to give you an opportunity to write your own love poem. Our 2019 card can be downloaded here. It was artfully designed by Jiaqi Liu, our Spring semester graphic design intern.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Rosalyn M. Carroll for Syracuse Poster Project

Haiku To Warm Up January

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Snow and slush and sleet
and rain and hail–and sun!–and
clouds and ice and salt.

As dryly described in Matt Tompkins’ (Owego 2013) haiku above, this January has been cold and snowy–and everything else inbetween!

Haiku has the perfect ability to express these Winter days in such a way that you can nearly forget it’s January…well, almost! It’s too early for Spring Fever, so try warming up with these few haiku found in our archives and written by our wonderful contributors.

When it’s not too cold or blustery, January offers a great time to be outdoors. In his colorful haiku, poet Lee Savidge (Liverpool 2013) sets the mood for a day of skiing. Can you feel the anticipation?…the thrill of a good day on the slopes?…not noticing the cold on your face?

Perfect packed powder,
Exhilarating ski trails–
Lean forward and smile

In just a few words, Kate Stewart’s (Cazenovia 2012) vivid haiku describes a unique experience known only on a clear Winter’s night:

Snow diamonds twinkle.
Crisp night air, I hear only
Softly, gliding skis

If you have ever snowshoed, you know you’ve made an indelible path on your journey–even if it’s just to get to the backyard to fill the birdfeeder! Snowshoeing at night? Finding your way isn’t a problem at all, as Joan Cofrancesco’s warm haiku (Camillus 2001), describes:

Moon looms over pines
Along the Beaver Lake trail
Snowshoes left behind

Speaking about enjoying outdoor activities during the Winter months, it seems only appropriate that we feature once again, this rich haiku poster from our 2014 Series.  The haiku, with a wonderful play on words, was written by Dianne Emmick and richly illustrated by former Syracuse University student, Ash Merkel.

Cars trapped in driveways. / Skiers glide softly mid—street / Making morning tracks.

Lest we forget, have you noticed the neighborhood kids with their colorful sleds? Do you remember, as a kid yourself, climbing that big hill in your own backyard, dragging up your new red Flying Saucer, holding on tight and getting that head-start of a push from behind?  If you do, you’ll enjoy this haiku by Elisabeth Anderson, (Lafayette 2001):

We haul our sleds up,
and push off. Trees blur, snow leaps
aside. We can fly!

As Thomas Stock (Fort Plain 2014) cheerily writes, Winter can be a sensory feast:

I am your haiku
In red ski vest gliding through
Your white city park

All in all, when you have a haiku warming your insides, January isn’t too bad!  Do you have a Winter haiku to share? Send it in the comments below and we will post it in our next Blog!

Stay Warm!

Rosalyn M. Carroll for Syracuse Poster Project


Haiku for Autumn

A week ago, a Sunday drive through apple country revealed mostly yellow, yellow-green hillsides. Since then, following a damp and chilly October week of grey clouds and mostly rain, Autumn still lingers with plenty of reds and oranges appearing around every bend!

These autumnal changes in Central New York are given colorful definition in Mary Ellen Morgan’s (Syracuse 2011) brilliant haiku–“multiplicity”, indeed!

Green hills, Autumn leaves
Unpredictable sunshine
Multiplicity

“Unpredictable sunshine”—another unique characteristic of Autumn, but one that is sometimes tough to get used to! With Judith Friedman’s (Fayetteville 2014) lovely, sensory-driven haiku, you can practically feel October’s brilliant sun as it flickers through the trees and “shatters” on the breeze!

                                                                 October maples                                                                       Sunlight through crimson stained glass
  Glow briefly, shatter

Lest we forget, Autumn is also Baseball’s Postseason, the end of Fall Crew and of course, Football Season! Paul Goat Allen’s (Camillus 2014) Autumn haiku is as bright as it is smart!

Autumn’s golden glow
Orange football in the Dome
Tailgater’s heaven

Our featured haiku poster is from our 2017 Series. William Padgett’s (Woodstock 2008) wonderful poem “…gives just enough information for the reader to capture the moment, place, and feeling…” of an Autumn day! Former Syracuse University Illustration student, Autumn Wilson, now a freelance illustrator and designer in Southern California, warmly answers William’s haiku with her beautiful depiction!

Crisp autumn sunshine
Shadows stretch while dry leaves dance
Warm scarf pulled tightly

2017 Padgett_Wilson

A post about Autumn and the transitions going on around us would not be complete without a haiku about migratory birds. Frequent Syracuse Poster Project contributor, Peggy Liuzzi’s (Syracuse 2011) vivid haiku is both joyful yet somewhat melancholy, isn’t it? Can you hear those mighty flocks as they fly away with Autumn?

The Autumn skyway
Sings with the high, wild sound of
Geese yearning southward

What do you love about Autumn? What moves you about Nature’s colorful transformation? Let us know in a haiku and we’ll publish it on these pages!

Happy Autumn to you!

Haiku For Syracuse

On Memorial Day, freedom is one of many blessings we celebrate.  As a special day of remembrance, Memorial Day is also a reminder of the costs of freedom–including the costs to those we continue to protect against tyranny.  As they make the oft-times wrenching decision to leave their homeland behind, people from around the globe who flee war, political oppression and poverty, hope that freedom, safety and a better life will one day be theirs.

One of the main themes of this year‘s Syracuse Poster Project Series was that of Syracuse as a City of Welcome–for the hundreds of refugees and immigrants who set sail for the United States, many land here in Central New York!  Two artists, Nicora Gangi and Nada Odeh, were commissioned by the Poster Project to illustrate this theme.  Local poets were given the opportunity to write and submit haiku inspired by the beautiful images displayed in the two posters.  As you can see below, the haiku chosen for these two posters–one by long time Syracuse Poster Project contributor, Vinh Dang and the other, by poet, Jean Fahey–were splendid.

At the April unveiling, which happened to fall as it always does during National Poetry Month, artist, Nada Odeh, spoke of what inspired her to create her illustration and why she chose Vinh Dang’s haiku: “…. The boat image in my poster represents the crisis of the refugees seeking hope and a safe place to stay. It portrays a strong visual and overwhelming emotions while questioning how these people had to go through such harsh living conditions in their native countries. They are seeking refuge in another country and hoping to be welcome regardless of their origin or political status. The reason why I chose this haiku is because it speaks for me in a simple way and reminds me of how I feel about living in Syracuse.”  

Poet, Vinh Dang, a quiet spoken gentleman, recalled his own journey from Vietnam to America and the challenges of  building a new home in Syracuse while still keeping memories of his homeland close to his heart.  2018Dang_OdehHis haiku was inspired by these memories, as he stated, “…But what most inspired me was the greyish blue smoke flowing out of each family’s thatched roof, where mothers and wives were cooking the evening meal, promising a sweet reunion of the whole family under an oil lamp.”

 

White clouds drifting where? Over ocean or dark wood. Homeland hearth–blue smoke

 

Artist, Nicora Gangi, was unable to attend the event’s festivities, but she writes about her work, “…. I envisioned a round table positioned at the center to illustrate symbolically a place where a culture meal is shared, one’s national stories can be told, and events past, present or future can be discussed. A variety of written languages decorated the borders of the image to refer to the nations. There is a Syracuse city skyline in the background to convey that the city is here to welcome all nations from around the globe.”  

Ms. Gangi’s illustration spoke to Jean Fahey’s pride in Syracuse as a Sanctuary City.  She writes, “…We are their beacon of hope, the promise for a better tomorrow. 2018Fahey_GangiOur city was named for a beautiful city in Sicily by people who fled there to start a new life; for freedom and a chance to be anything they want to become. Since then, other people from different countries have fled here for different reasons but seeking the same dream. We are their light in the darkness. We are their new home.”

 

A beacon of hope, city of welcoming arms–a place to call home

 

You can find photos from the April unveiling event, here.  Please be sure to check out the other beautiful and inspired posters from the 2018 Series, here, or in designated kiosks throughout downtown Syracuse.  And, don’t forget, if you love these posters, you can always purchase them at our online shop, here!

So, if you are new to these pages or to our fair city of Syracuse…Welcome!

This is your home,                                                                                                                                          you whisper in my ear.  Here is                                                                                                                      where your roots will grow.                                                                                                                                                              By Karen Krull Robart

Haiku for Winter Storms

Remember that old saying, “When March comes in like a lion, it goes out like a lamb”? Well, let’s hope it holds true this year! Since March 1, Winter storms have wreaked havoc up and down the East Coast, dropping snow, rain and sleet from Hilton Head to Connecticut to London to the French Alps; they’ve caused power failures across New York State; and broken tree limbs are strewn about everywhere one looks!  Quite a lion of a start if there ever was one!

As Michelle Miles (currently, in sunny and warm Amman, Jordan) wrote this week:

A haiku would say
that springtime is on its way–
but first, a detour!

Meanwhile, the not so melodious sounds of snow blowers, snow shovels and loud, rumbling snow plows, continue to break the sometimes eerie silence of softly falling snow! A search of our archives reveals many haiku contributed by Central New Yorkers who’ve contemplated our fierce Winter snow storms alongside the sound–and the glory–of these useful snow storm tools! Here are a few to consider as you look out your window at the falling March snow!

From Thomas Michael Duncan (East Syracuse 2011), you know it’s going to be a long day for the city’s snow plow driver:

Accumulations.
The monstrous yellow machines
remove snow–spread salt.

A beautiful image from Laura Ferrel (Skaneateles 2013):

Pre-dawn whirs and scrapes–
a community chorus
born of snowy nights

A familiar scene, aptly described by Chen Chen (Syracuse 2014) — read more about this talented A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize winning author here:

Just the front scraped clean–
our car after blizzard wears
a mullet of snow

Our featured poster is a fine tribute to Winter snow storms! It’s from our 2011 Series with the clever haiku by Jim Kenty (Syracuse 2008) and the colorful illustration by former Syracuse University Illustration student, Maura McGonagle.

Syracuse snowflakes / meet their fate on the blade of / my shovel of doom

2011_Kenty_McGonagle

Aside from waiting for Spring to arrive by mid-March, if we learn anything from late Winter snow storms, it’s learning to have patience. However, if your street doesn’t get plowed for hours, you may feel like Elizabeth Patton (Elbridge 2008), in her vivid haiku:

Armies of snowplows
Invade snowbound neighborhoods
Winter prison break

Or, rather than impatience, you may feel like Ellen Agnew (Syracuse 2005):

as snow plows lumber
through the blizzard leftovers
grateful cars make room

Here’s hoping March goes out like a lamb!

Haiku for St. Valentine’s Day

If you follow us on FaceBook and Twitter, or if you receive our newsletter, you know that St. Valentine’s Day is one of our favorite occasions!  Over the last couple of years, besides highlighting love-themed haiku from our archives on this Blog, we have offered St. Valentine’s Day cards to download–free of charge–from our Website.  With some, by adding your own words of love with a specially commissioned drawing, you have the perfect card for your special Valentine!

For this year’s card, we turned to long-time friend of the Syracuse Poster Project, William Padgett, for both his design skills and for his aesthetic and poetic sensibility.  To view and download this latest addition to our special collection of St. Valentine’s Day cards, check out the “Free Stuff” section of our Website.  Pictured below, this year’s card celebrates both St. Valentine’s Day and the 2018 Winter Olympics.

Cold Ice, Warm Heart. Happy Valentine’s Day!

2padgett

And….speaking of the many ways we express love, please enjoy our featured haiku Poster below from our 2013 Series. The poster’s warm haiku was written by Tom Rhoads, who comments, “This particular haiku is really just about the love and loyalty of an old friend and how that love and loyalty is a special joy.”  The poster was illustrated by former Syracuse University Illustration Student, Katie Hampton, now a Massachusetts-based artist/designer currently working as a Digital Production Design Specialist at Forrester Research in Cambridge, MA.  Check out her collection of wonderful work here.  

Old and loyal friend, waking to find pure fresh snow, leaps like a puppy.
2013Rhoads_Hampton

If you like this poster, you can find it for sale in our Shop section of our Website here.

This February, have a wonderful St. Valentine’s Day! Enjoy the Winter Olympics! And, stay warm!

Rosalyn M. Carroll for The Syracuse Poster Project

Haiku to Warm Up January

Snow and slush and sleet
and rain and hail–and sun!–and
clouds and ice and salt.

Typical of January, it’s been cold and snowy–and everything else inbetween–as mischievously described in Matt Tompkins’ (Owego 2013) haiku above. Dark frigid nights seem to last forever this time of year, too, though daylight is (thankfully) lasting longer. Haiku has the perfect ability to express these Winter days in such a way that you can nearly forget it’s January…well, almost! Try warming up with these few other haiku found in our archives and written by our wonderful contributors.

When it’s not too cold or blustery, January offers a great time to be outdoors. In this colorful haiku, poet Lee Savidge (Liverpool 2013) sets a sensory mood for a day skiing. Can you feel the anticipation?…the thrill of a good day on the slopes?…not noticing the cold on your face?

Perfect packed powder,
exhilarating ski trails–
lean forward and smile!

In just a few words, Kate Stewart’s (Cazenovia 2012) haiku beautifully describes a different kind of sensory experience only known during the long Winter months:

Snow diamonds twinkle.
Crisp night air, I hear only
Softly, gliding skis.

Like skiing, if you have ever snowshoed, you know you’ve left an indelible path on your journey. If it should snow overnight, you might have trouble finding that path again in the morning. But on a clear, moonlit night, you might not have any problem at all–as cleverly described in Joan Cofrancesco’s haiku (Camillus 2001):

moon looms over pines
along the Beaver Lake trail
snowshoes left behind

Reminiscent of the first ‘no school day’ of January, our featured haiku poster is from our 2014 Series. The haiku, with the wonderful play on words, was written by Dianne Emmick and richly illustrated by former Syracuse University student, Ash Merkel, now a working artist whose fine illustrations, sketches and ceramic work can be found here.

Cars trapped in driveways. / Skiers glide softly mid—street / Making morning tracks.

2014Emmick_Merkel

Speaking of ‘snow days’ have you noticed the neighborhood kids with their sleds? Do you remember, as a kid yourself, climbing that big hill in your own backyard, dragging up your new red Flying Saucer, holding on tight and getting that head-start of a push from behind? If you do, you’ll enjoy this haiku by Elisabeth Anderson, (Lafayette 2001):

We haul our sleds up,
and push off.  Trees blur, snow leaps
aside. We can fly!

All in all, when you have a haiku warming your insides, January isn’t too bad! Do you have a Winter haiku to share? Send it in the comments below and we will post it in our next Blog!  As Thomas Stock (Fort Plain 2014) cheerily writes, Winter can be a sensory feast:

I am your haiku
in red ski vest gliding through
your white city park

Stay Warm!

Rosalyn M. Carroll for the Syracuse Poster Project

Haiku for the Holiday Season!

The Holidays! Oh, the excited anticipation of them all! The planning and the decorating; the ever-changing shopping lists–two miles long; the food and the get-togethers with all that wine! And, then there’s the writing out of Christmas cards and the wrapping of presents; the lighting of candles and the Yuletide tree; the sounds of music in the air, at the school concert and in stained-glassed churches everywhere!

Phew! So, between the stress and the laughter, we’d like to offer you these few haiku from our archives to brighten your celebration of this season of light and love, hope and peace!

The holidays are Cookie Exchanges and building Gingerbread Houses with the kids:

Gingerbread delights
The Erie Canal is trimmed
With giggles and smiles!

Jane Verostek (Syracuse 2012)

It’s the hunt for the perfect Christmas tree:

Horse-drawn sleigh ride to
Cut a Christmas tree just right–
We build traditions!

Rosalyn M. Carroll (Manlius 2006)

Or, for the perfect gift:

Mom clutches my hand
We rush through winding traffic
Holiday shopping

Mary Demetrick (East Syracuse 2004)

The holidays are Mistletoe and Holly and beautiful Poinsettias:

Crimson-tipped arrows
Pointing North, East, South and West
Christmas arsenal

Michelle Miles (Amman, Jordan 2016)

Or, they’re a night time drive through darkened snowy streets for a visual treat; where Christmas and candle lights brighten neighborhood windows and lampposts, doorways and rooftops:

Levitating lights
Vivid vista sparkling home
Where the heart is full

Ronnie Bell (Syracuse 2010)

And, for many, the holidays are not complete without going downtown for the ceremonious “lighting of the tree”:

Huge pine in the Square
Anticipates the signal,
Then lights up Winter

Marilyn Shelton (Dunmore 2008)

Our featured Poster Illustrates just such a scene. The haiku poster is from our 2009 Series. The cheerful haiku was written by Nancy Liccione (Clay 2003) and brightly illustrated by former Syracuse University Illustration Student, Yealim Kong, now a Home Textile & Graphic Designer based in New York City.

Nighttime in the Square / Tree lighting and carols sung / Skaters mingle there

2009 Liccione_Kong

However you spend these last few days of 2017, we wish you a warm and merry Holiday Season!

Ripped fingertip gloves
Cold keys and warm melodies
Fill dark streets with light

 Elizabeth Westfall (North Syracuse 2014)

Haiku For a Thanksgiving Holiday

It’s Thanksgiving! An American celebration of thanks steeped in history and tradition.

Stone canoe floating
Onondaga Lake gives thanks
Peacemaker returns

Tom Huff (Nedrow 2006)

It’s “Over the river and through the woods” time! While some families are packing up the car to travel far and wide for the long weekend, others are preparing for the long-awaited arrival of loved ones. From our 2003 Series, this featured haiku poster nicely captures the spirit of arriving home with the hubbub of holiday activity downtown. The haiku was written by long-time contributor, Claire Bobrycki, and illustrated by former Syracuse University student, Sarah Mellgren.

Long drive, weary eyes— / Cityscape lights the night sky / Syracuse, I’m home!

2003Bobrycki_Mellgren

It’s Turkey stuffing days! While plump turkeys are roasting and all manner of pies baking, there are those tracking tackles and downs, too.

Spiral in the air
Raucous cheering of the crowd
Pigskin in the zone

Susan Bigler (Liverpool 2009)

It’s still Autumn! Leaves have fallen, leaving trees mostly dark and bare.

Fading sun spot lights
Roosting crows in bare fall trees,
Night black fruit to pick.

Thomas Stock (Fort Plain 2016)

It’s late November! The weather is crisp and getting colder, while windy days are growing shorter and starry nights, longer.

Slanting golden sun
A red leaf drifts to the ground
Seasons change like moons

Patsy Scala (New Woodstock 2010)

It’s the “Holidaze” season! Grocery stores are stuffed with shoppers while traffic delays are just beginning as Christmas Holiday sales lure folks to the mall.

Produce from the earth
In crowded marketplaces
Displayed with purpose

Sharon Rorer (Syracuse 2006)

It’s time to sit in front of a cozy fire burning in the fireplace! From our 2014 Series, this featured haiku poster was beautifully created by former Syracuse University illustration student, Andrew Casadonte, (now a storyboard artist at DreamWorks TV Animation), using the fine phrasing of another of our long-time contributors, Paul Goat Allen.

Winter is coming / wool socks and long underwear / the long sleep is near

2014 Allen_Casadonte

We hope we’ve made your Thanksgiving Holiday a bit richer with these wonderful poems gathered from our archives of contributed haiku!  And, if you’re looking for a special Christmas gift for the poet or artist in your family, be sure to check out our Shop Page for some great ideas!

Happy Thanksgiving! Safe Travels!

A Haiku Nod to Sunflowers

As the end of Summer draws near, sturdy Sunflowers still stand shoulder high.  While their full-seeded heads seem to be nodding, Farewell, their brilliant shades of yellow add a unique dimension to the colorful arrival of Autumn.  

From our archives, we found some Sunflower-themed haiku to share with you–what better way to show our appreciation for this beautiful flower that bridges Summer into Autumn!

Brilliant sunflowers                                                                                                                                       cast against slate sky, red birds                                                                                                                       fly in for dinner                                                                                                                                                                          by Sheila Forsyth (Fayetteville 2008)

 Lofty sunflowers                                                                                                                                             arrayed in golden splendor                                                                                                                           heads above the rest                                                                                                                                                            by Sharon Rorer (Syracuse 2007)

Van Gogh Sunflowers                                                                                                                                      paint themselves across the fields                                                                                                                  Camillus, New York                                                                                                                                                           by Joan Cofrancesco (Camillus 2009)

From our 2010 Syracuse Poster Project Series, our featured haiku poster was written by Claire Bobrycki and illustrated by former Syracuse University student, Catherine LaPointe, now a children’s book illustrator and graphic designer–see more of her wonderful work here.

Blue Moon, Big Dipper / Sunflowers under porch lights / Peace on the South Side

2010Bobrycki_LaPointe

We conclude with three more gems:

Sunflowers drooping                                                                                                                                      looking for a warm embrace                                                                                                                        oh, where is the sun?                                                                                                                                                                   by Kelly Bargabos (Syracuse 2010)

Sunflower faces                                                                                                                                               a swoosh of yellow and black:                                                                                                                        goldfinch dinnertime                                                                                                                                                               by Ellen Barnes (Syracuse 2014)

A smile on your face                                                                                                                                         is brighter than sunflowers                                                                                                                         at the farmer’s stand                                                                                                                                                                  by Jungtae Lee (Syracuse 2006)

We hope you’ve enjoyed our brief tribute to the Sunflower! What do you see when you gaze upon a Sunflower?  

Cloudy Haiku

In just a few syllables, Haiku are a perfect way to capture a scene, a memory, or even a mood.  Regardless the season–or time of day–clouds can do pretty much the same thing. Mountainous thunderstorm clouds can be majestic.  Serene, wispy cirrus clouds can make a sunset heavenly.  In color and shape, or by how quickly they’re moving, clouds will let you know if you need to carry an umbrella or if you’re likely to rev up the snowblower–in which case, if they’re very low and grey, you might consider going back to bed!  But, on a bright Summer’s day, when clouds are drifting lazily, high in the sky, watching these seemingly magical shapeshifters is pure joy.

From our archives of contributed haiku, we’ve selected a cloud-themed few for your Summer reading pleasure.  Can you tell which season the poet is describing?  Have you ever experienced the same feelings as expressed in the haiku?  Do you remember a day the clouds were just like those characterized by the poet?

From Cynthia Perrine (Fabius 2015):

Sun breaks through the clouds / Mist rises from the water / Day begins anew

From Jay Cox (Pompey 2005):

Cumulus clouds float / in a deep-blue sky–downtown / petunias in bloom.

From Pamela Lynch (Oneida 2013):

Fronts collide to paint / phenomenal cloud skyscapes / Swirling overhead

From Michael Brigandi (Syracuse 2014):

Playing in the grass / Childhood days slipping away / Like clouds rolling by

From Nancy Preston (Syracuse 2013):

Clouds heaped like meringue / cumulus jubilation! / Summer sky party

From Maggie James (Syracuse 2010):

One, then two at once! / Colorful balloons drift east / Low clouds they vanish…

From Diane Lansing (Syracuse 2014):

Dragonfly’s kiss makes / once still pond pulsate rings of / fractured clouds and trees.

From our 2004 Syracuse Poster Project Series, a wonderful display of Summer.  The haiku was written by Jennifer Sanford and the poster illustrated by Cally Jones, former Syracuse University Illustration student.

Summer breezes lift / gull and dragon kites across / Onondaga Lake

2004 Sanford_Jones

Wishing you carefree Summer days where, as Rosalyn M. Carroll (Manlius 2017) writes:

Daydreaming on a / Cotton candy cloud–oh, the / Places I can see

 

A Haiku for Two Full Moons–Neither Blue

Springing forward this year, Daylight Savings Time brought with it the unusual surprise and delight of a full moon appearing twice over two evenings!!  Our beautiful moon was equally full on the evenings of March 11 and 12.  

This curious lunar event brings to mind the enchanting haiku poster from our 2002 Series.  A collaboration of words by poet, Bryan Wilbur, and art by former Syracuse University Illustration Student, Andy Walker, the poster reflects the view outside on this wintry March evening on the cusp of Spring.

Syracuse’s crows / laugh as a fairy ringed moon / paints the frozen peace

2002 Wilbur_Walker

Stay warm and think Spring!!

Posted by Rosalyn M. Carroll for Syracuse Poster Project

A Haiku for Black History Month

What began in 1926 as the brainchild of Carter G. Woodson’s Negro History Week, Black History Month was decreed a national observance in 1976 by then President Gerald Ford to honor and celebrate the many accomplishments and contributions of Black Americans throughout our history.  It was not lost on its tireless proponents that Black History Month be celebrated in February – the month in which two of the most iconic figures in the history of slavery in our country were born: Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.

Although he settled in Rochester in 1847, Frederick Douglass made several trips to Syracuse between 1840 and 1870.  In August of 1850, he lectured on the evils of slavery during a stop at Syracuse City Hall — he was on his way to nearby Cazenovia for the Fugitive Slave Law Convention which he helped organize.  More information about his travels through Syracuse, as well as a look at a rare daguerreotype of Mr. Douglass during this time, can be found at the Onondaga Historical Association on Montgomery Street, Syracuse.

From our 2008 Series, our featured haiku poster is a fitting tribute to Frederick Douglass and Black History Month here at Syracuse Poster Project.  With Bryan Wilbur’s fine haiku as its centerpiece, the wonderful depiction of Frederick Douglass was illustrated by artist, David Hicock, a Syracuse University Instructor of Film in the Department of Transmedia and owner of Animotion, Inc.

Frederick Douglass / spoke as cheering thousands sang / under this same sky

2008wilbur-hicock

Hope you’ve enjoyed this brief connection between haiku, Syracuse and Black History Month!

Haiku for Your Valentine!

We’re celebrating Valentine’s Day here at Syracuse Poster Project with a newly designed–and, free–Valentine’s Day Card! Since we began issuing Valentine’s Day cards in 2013, we’ve had some beauties, but we’re especially happy with this one by Naomi Masingale. Naomi is our Outreach Intern for the Spring Semester. She graduated from Pratt with a degree in Communication Design and Illustration and is currently working on her Master’s Degree in Arts Administration at Le Moyne College.

You can find Naomi’s Valentine’s Day Card here.  If you’re the do-it-yourself type, you can download any of our other specially designed cards here and print them yourself. You’ll have a PDF of an 8.5 x 11-inch sheet, which you can trim and fold into a 5 x 7-inch card.  Writing a haiku to your special someone couldn’t be easier!  

And, as haiku is our forte, we have searched our archives for words of Love that might inspire your own!  Here, we re-post some haiku from our 2016 Valentine’s blog.   

Oubon Phommanyrath’s (Syracuse 2013) haiku transcends the ordinary with her thoughtfully chosen words:

     I chase the song of                                                                                                                                                             life. My heart knows the hidden                                                                                                                                    path, where love finds me.

Kathryn Hammer (Syracuse 2015) speaks tenderly of love with her endearing haiku:

     Love, come sit by me                                                                                                                                                         The sun is tucking in now                                                                                                                                                My shoulder is yours

Marilyn Shelton (Dunmore 2003) engages us in a stolen moment of love with her charming haiku:

     Young opera moon,                                                                                                                                                           you caught us stealing kisses                                                                                                                                          Under red awnings!

Sandra Hewett’s (Syracuse 2014) haiku nicely sets the scene for a romantic evening shared with a loved one:

     Candles glow brightly                                                                                                                                                       On the table as we eat–                                                                                                                                                Faces full of love

Speaking of romance, it might be snowy and cold outside, but our featured 2007 Syracuse Poster Project haiku poster is sure to warm you on this St. Valentine’s Day. The poet: long-time Syracuse haiku contributor, Robert Gaurnier, and former Syracuse University Illustration student, Bret Supranowicz, now working in New York City as a designer and illustrator; he is also the Creative Director at Xtreme Time Inc..

Beneath many stars / diners feast on sweet music / in Armory Square

2007-gaurnier_supranowicz

If you are still stuck for ideas to give your Valentine, check out our Pinterest Board, where another of our volunteers, Naomi Coufalhas cleverly gathered together several romance-themed posters from our archives for easy viewing and shopping.

Wishing you a warm and happy Valentine’s Day!

Winter’s Grey Hue

The promised light of December’s Winter Solstice seems to have temporarily disappeared behind grey clouds this January in Central New York.  Along with cold temperatures, lingering patches of icy dirty snow have also made for some rather bleak days here.  But for the brief moments of morning sun, or the colorful flight of cheerful Cardinals and noisy Blue Jays, cloudy skies remain the dominant trademark of Winter in Syracuse.  While a backdrop of grey is not wholly unexpected this time of year, we certainly could use some clear, blue skies!

As you might expect, writing haiku brings a whole new perspective to cloudy and grey.  And, it’s a perfect antidote for cabin fever.  Digging through our archives of wonderful haiku contributed over the years by Central New York poets, we found a few which might give you pause to reflect before going completely stir-crazy!

Frequent Syracuse Poster Project contributor, Jay Cox (Pompey 2007), vividly taps into our search for blue skies while braving the cold on a wintry Syracuse day:

     Blue sky illusions                                                                                                                                                               scrape Winter’s gray haze—slogging                                                                                                                          numb down Salina

Pamela Lynch’s (Oneida 2013) graphic haiku brings an artist’s eye to this discussion of grey Winter skies which can indeed be quite stunning at times:

     Fronts collide to paint                                                                                                                                                       Phenomenal cloud skyscapes                                                                                                                                        Swirling overhead

From Elizabeth Patton (Elbridge), the ominous feeling of another impending storm is quite striking in this evocative 2005 haiku:

     Iron sky holding                                                                                                                                                                back the snow; the roar of rail                                                                                                                                       cars, then grave quiet

Frequent Syracuse Poster Project contributor, Janine DeBaise (Kirkville 2002) and Associate Professor of Printmaking at Syracuse University, Holly Greenberg, worked together to create this remarkable poster from our 2006 Series.  Clearly, you can find beauty on a stark Winter’s day.

Snow sweeps the sidewalk / Piles fluff onto bare branches / Turns gray to glisten

2006debaise_greenberg

Frequent Syracuse Poster Project contributor, Sherry Chayat (Syracuse), finds both beauty and a kind of acceptance of Winter’s hold on us with her captivating 2009 haiku:

     geese skim the river                                                                                                                                                          as clouds gather overhead                                                                                                                                              bittersweet season

Hope you’ve enjoyed these few samplings from our archives.  It’s wonderful how writing Haiku provides a way of expressing deep emotions and seeing nature from a variety of perspectives with just a few words.  So, when Winter’s grey is making you blue, write a Haiku!

It’s Winter…and, it’s Cold!

It’s only the first month of Winter, and already, it’s cold, grey and snowy!  But, inbetween thick bursts of Lake Effect snow, we’ve had occasion to soak in brief periods of sunshine.  Sometimes,  just seeing blue sky is enough to warm up and brighten one’s mood, but overall, it’s been just plain cold!  Living with snowy, cold Syracuse Winters has been the subject of numerous haiku contributed by Central New York poets.  We’ll try to warm you up with a few of them!  

Despite the cold, getting outdoors is one way to tackle Winter.  Can you picture yourself in Rachel Brown’s (Baldwinsville, 2008) fine haiku?

     I bundle up warm                                                                                                                                                              laced up tight, feet on the ice,                                                                                                                                        the cold air at me

As cold as it is, sometimes, just standing in the falling snow can be something wonderful. Syracuse poet, William Neumire’s (2012) haiku beautifully depicts such an occasion:

     Snow in lamplight stills                                                                                                                                                   the streets until we all stop                                                                                                                                            and reach out our hands

Our featured poster from our 2007 Series exemplifies ‘cold’ in its many forms.  By using the proximity of Clinton Square’s Ice Skating rink with Syracuse’s Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument, Skaneateles poet and regular contributor to the Syracuse Poster Project, Mary L. Gardner, paints a vivid picture.  Former Syracuse University Illustration student, Chris Cascianonow a professional Illustration Artist, beautifully captures the essence of Mary’s words with his poster.

Sculpted heroes stand / guard on the icy square where / cold blades dart and glide

2007_gardner_casciano

Baldwinsville poet and frequent Syracuse Poster Project contributor, Martin Walls (2012), finds warmth in one of Winter’s many sounds:

     Snowflake settles on                                                                                                                                                         The skating rink with the sound                                                                                                                                    Of children laughing

And, Jay Cox’s (Pompey, 2001) haiku vividly describes a typical Winter’s day in Syracuse: 

     Skaters swirl around                                                                                                                                                         Clinton Square—Lake Effect snow                                                                                                                              blankets the city

Stay Warm!

Sparkling Lights of the Season

This Holiday Season, Central New York has been white, grey and cold!  Fortunately, December traditionally warms us up a bit as it sparkles with the twinkling glow of Menorah Candles, the soft gleam of red, black and green Candles of Kwanzaa, and with the brightly colored lights wrapped ‘round a freshly cut Yuletide Tree.  As Teddi Caltabiano (Liverpool 2011) writes:

     Sidewalks gleam                                                                                                                                                                 Holiday lights softly shine                                                                                                                                              Christmas in the ‘Cuse

A nighttime drive through Syracuse’s snowy streets can indeed be a visual delight. Varicolored Christmas lights and decorations adorn neighborhood lawns, lampposts, doorways and rooftops.  Lit up Christmas Trees can be spied through curtained windows and storefronts, too.  From our 2004 Series of Posters, artist Elizabeth Crosby beautifully captures such a scene using poet, Beth Miller’s captivating words:

A Christmas Tree glows / Through windows of memory / Jasper Street – my home

2004-miller_crosby

A drive around Clinton Square on a snowy December night will make you smile, too, as warmly dressed ice skaters, laughing and singing, fly past the City’s brightly lit Christmas Tree.  This giant of a tree is covered from top to bottom with glistening lights of red, blue, green, yellow! It’s the perfect backdrop for the Square’s rink as delightfully imagined in this poster from our 2003 Series.  The haiku was written by frequent Syracuse Poster Project contributor, Robert Gaurnier and illustrated by former Syracuse University Illustration student, Erick Ledesma, now a busy Studio Artist living in his homeland of Puerto Rico.

around Clinton Square / flakes of falling snow dissolve / on Christmas tree lights

2003_gaurnier_ledesma

And, lest we forget, Nan Gartner (Fayetteville 2010) reminds us of the warm light of the moon, too:

     December snowflakes                                                                                                                                                       Fall by moonlight on late night                                                                                                                                    strollers in the square

Wishing you a de-light-ful Holiday Season!

The Color Orange

The color, Orange, is alive and well in Central New York.  Visually beautiful, Orange is the height of the season this year.  Shades of Orange–from Yellow-Orange to Red-Orange, light Orange to deep, nearly Brown-Orange–still dress many trees here.  But look around, and you will see blankets of Orange covering wooded stands of near-naked trees, carpeting front lawns and backyards, raked high on neighborhood curbs, stuck in the tangle of low, fading bushes, crowded into window-well corners, plugging up gutters.  Drive in the howling rain and Orange comes slapping at your windshield and paints the roadway slick!  

Bright Orange Pumpkins have been a smash hit this year, too–no pun intended!  Add to this their colorful family members, Gourds and Squashes, we now have a lush harvest, too. Syracuse Poster Project haiku contributor, Jean Somlo (DeWitt 2014), affirms this plenteous season of Orange with her evocative poem:

     Farmer’s bounty here                                                                                                                                                       Colorful and succulent                                                                                                                                                      Cooks delight tonight

Meanwhile, up on the Syracuse University Hill and all along the Orange Corridor, the color Orange dominates playing fields aplenty!  Frequent Syracuse Poster Project haiku contributor, Paul Goat Allen (Camillus), adeptly wraps it up with his rich 2001 haiku:

     autumn’s golden shine                                                                                                                                                     harvest, sweet corn and football                                                                                                                                  the orange city

What better way to celebrate the season of Orange than with this splendid haiku poster from our 2015 collection.  The poet: Christopher Caskey (Sicklerville 2011) and the artist: former Syracuse University Illustration Student, Rob Byers now a freelance illustrator and designer.

Leaves raked–a mile high.  Young ones dive, imagining football field of glory.

2015caskey_byers

What inspires you as Autumn leaves fall?  What connotations does the color Orange instill in you?  Write your thoughts in a haiku and add it to the comments below.  We’ll publish your haiku here on our blog!

Happy Raking!

Autumn’s Brilliance

Every year, it seems, we assure ourselves that Autumn will be as colorful as the year before–our memory clearly remembering the rich Fall colors of years past.  With such a dry, hot Summer of 2016, the theory was there’d be no color to witness this Fall. Thankfully, that didn’t happen!  We think you’ll agree, this year, Autumn in Central New York has surely outdone itself what with its brilliant and long-lasting shades of red, red-orange, orange and golden yellow–even shades of mauve dressing the leaves of certain trees!

In fact, many of Central New York’s old, towering trees, some with their trunks draped in red kudzu, make for beautiful canopies along local byways and highways. Their striking colors, comforting in their familiarity, seem as warm as blankets!  This feeling is delightfully described in Sally Lloyd’s (Cazenovia 2010) haiku:

     Autumn rolls out quilts                                                                                                                                                     along Route 20 . . . Yellows                                                                                                                                            reds, golds warm our hearts

These last several days of October can be felt in this picturesque haiku by William Padgett (New Woodstock, 2008):

     Crisp Autumn sunshine                                                                                                                                                   Shadows stretch while dry leaves dance                                                                                                                    Warm scarf pulled tightly

Frequent Syracuse Poster Project haiku contributor, Bethaida Gonzalez (Syracuse 2014) and former Syracuse University Illustration Student, Anna Ellis, combined their love of Autumn in this charming poster from our 2015 series.

Autumn winds comfort / spreading scents of the season / like an ocean breeze

2015gonzalez_ellis

Joan Loveridge-Sanbonmatsu’s (Syracuse 2005) haiku adds another colorful dimension to the beauty of Autumn:

     Sea oats shimmer gold                                                                                                                                                     in October’s dimming light                                                                                                                                            waves in Autumn wind

And, from Peggy Liuzzi (Syracuse 2010), a somewhat nostalgic perspective of Autumn:

     I miss you most when                                                                                                                                                       the Autumn skyway sings with                                                                                                                                      the calls of wild geese

Autumn–it is a season of color, earthy smells and the rustling sounds of leaves flying. What is your favorite sensory experience of this season?  We’ve chosen only a few of the many beautiful haiku we have in our archives about Fall to share with you here–write us your thoughts in the comments below and we’ll share them in the next blog.

Happy Reading!

 

Finding Solace in Haiku

It’s difficult.  Finding the right words to use when tragedy strikes.  Again.  When lives are cut short.  Not wanting to sensationalize.  But, wanting to say something.  Something that will support, comfort and soothe.  

Eagles nestled in                                                                                                                                                        High above the peaceful shore                                                                                                                           Watching, protecting                                                                                                                                                                    By Michael Brigandi / 2014 Syracuse

Our archives hold many haiku describing love, hope and the clear, simple splendor of Nature.  We’ve chosen only a few with the hope that you will find solace in their words.

Heaven’s cries resound                                                                                                                                            Weeping tears open flowers                                                                                                                                   New day springs alive                                                                                                                                                                  By Deb Bateman / 2002 East Syracuse

Our featured poster is from the 2010 collection.  The beautiful haiku was written by Peggy Liuzzi and the gorgeous illustration by former Syracuse University Illustration Student, Alec Acevedo, now a freelance illustrator and in-house artist for Jay St. Video Games in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.

White trilliums light / the dark forest floor glowing / ghostly like spilled stars

57_09_Liuzzi_Acevedo

Pulse.  We are touched and saddened by what’s happened in Orlando.  One of many horrific events that will be in our hearts for a long time…like Sandy Hook, Aurora and Columbine, San Bernardino, Ft. Hood, Boston, Charleston, Oklahoma City….

Love, come sit by me                                                                                                                                                    The sun is tucking in now                                                                                                                                           My shoulder is yours                                                                                                                                                       By Kathryn Hammer / 2015 Syracuse  

With our deepest sympathy.

Over graves and drifts                                                                                                                                              frozen teardrops of snow sigh                                                                                                                                   and whisper soft grief.                                                                                                                                                                  By Mary Taitt / 2011 Grosse Pointe Farms

The Syracuse Poster Project  

The March to Spring!

It’s been a chilly, rainy “March” to Spring this year.  Much different than what we experienced last year–a cold, snowy, and seemingly interminable journey!  But still, Spring has sprung at last, and when mornings awaken blue and bright, it’s as wonderful as this 2015 haiku by Syracuse Poster Project contributor Sean Conrey (Syracuse):

     A spring breeze still cold                                                                                                                                                   All nerves beneath the black oak                                                                                                                                    A new leaf unfurls

Depending on where you live, you may still have patches of snow on the ground.  But that hasn’t stopped the green shoots of tulips and daffodils from pushing their way up through the soggy Winter ground just as imaginatively described as in this 2012 haiku by Jane Woodman (Syracuse):

    Syracuse snow banks                                                                                                                                                          cover heat-seeking missiles                                                                                                                                             of Spring daffodils.

No doubt you’ve also seen colorful blooms of crocuses cropping up everywhere you turn.  More than Winter’s white and grey, these sweet hints of Spring colors to come is delightful–as is this 2011 haiku by Sam Donnelly (Syracuse):

    Blossoms in short shorts                                                                                                                                                   Sunbathing between snow banks,                                                                                                                                  Blooming in the thaw

…Or this 2014 haiku by Andrew Schep (Syracuse):

    forsythia arms                                                                                                                                                                     sleeved in little bursts of sun                                                                                                                                           shoveling the snow

While the earth is renewing itself, our fine-feathered friends are returning home, too.  Robins, of course, among the first signs Spring has arrived.  Surprisingly, even Gulls, as vividly described in this 2008 haiku by Alexa Carter (Fulton), herald hope:

    Gulls like drifts of snow                                                                                                                                      Gather on the shores in spring                                                                                                                         Harbingers of fun to come

One of our many favorite posters from the 2009 Syracuse Poster Project Collection, written by longtime Syracuse Poster Project contributor, Jay Cox and illustrated by teacher and former Syracuse University Illustration student, Devin Scannell aptly describes this taut time between Spring and the last of March snows.  

A blackbird sways on / a goldenrod stalk covered / with afternoon snow

34_05_2009Cox_Scannell

Finally, a fitting tribute to Spring by another of our haiku contributors, Marilyn Shelton (Dunmore, 2005):

    Snow melts to lilies                                                                                                                                                              Of the sweet valley, reborn                                                                                                                                              In sensuous spring

What is your favorite sign of Spring?  

Posted by Rosalyn M. Carroll for Syracuse Poster Project

Celebrating Black History Month With Haiku

February may be the iconic month of Winter Celebrations. There’s Groundhog Day, Valentine’s Day, President’s Day, Mardi Gras and Fat Tuesday, the first lunar day of the Chinese New Year, and Winterfest.  February is also Black History Month.  

We are celebrating Black History Month with two haiku posters from our 2008 Collection. Both haiku, at once, powerful and beautiful, were written by Syracuse poet and educator, Omanii Abdullah.  One poster was illustrated by Dusty Herbig, a Syracuse University Associate Professor; the other by Rod Martinez, also a Syracuse University Associate Professor.  Both posters can be found on and purchased from our Shop page.

I am from the hood / The hood did not enslave me / I am my master   15_02-Abdullah-&amp;-Herbig

I have no boundaries / In this city of my birth / I, too, roam freely

14_01-Abdullah-&amp;-Martinez

It may surprise you to learn that the celebrated American author, Richard Wright (1908 – 1960), also wrote haiku – thousands of them!  Better known for his novels, (Native Son, Uncle Tom’s Children), short stories and non-fiction (Black Boy), his haiku were written between 1959 and 1960 – the last year of his relatively short life.   A collection of his haiku was first published in 1998 as Haiku: This Other World and again in 2012 as Haiku: The Last Poetry of Richard Wright.  We’ve chosen a few of these beautiful pieces to share with you. We think you’ll agree, they aptly celebrate both Winter and February!

  Standing in the field                                                                                                                                                       I hear the whispering of                                                                                                                                                 Snowflake to snowflake

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   In the falling snow                                                                                                                                                            A laughing boy holds out his palms                                                                                                                            Until they are white.

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  From across the lake,                                                                                                                                                     Past the black winter trees,                                                                                                                                         Faint sounds of a flute.

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   Standing patiently,                                                                                                                                                          The horse grants the snowflakes                                                                                                                                  A home on his back.

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Do you have a favorite haiku by Richard Wright?  Send us your comments, we’d love to hear from you!

 

 

Valentine’s Day Wishes

Valentine’s Day: a sweetheart of a day, dedicated to the celebration of love, symbolized by red hearts and roses, chocolate kisses, maybe a candle-lit dinner, whimsical cards and love poems.  

Haiku being our forte, we searched our archives for words of love that might inspire your own celebration.   Oubon Phommanyrath’s (Syracuse) 2013 poem transcends the ordinary and beautifully elicits love:

     I chase the song of                                                                                                                                                                                    life. My heart knows the hidden                                                                                                                                                            path, where love finds me.

Kathryn Hammer (Syracuse) expresses love endearingly in her 2015 haiku:

     Love, come sit by me                                                                                                                                                                                The sun is tucking in now                                                                                                                                                                        My shoulder is yours

Marilyn Shelton (Dunmore 2003) sweetly notes a cherished moment of love in her 2003 haiku:

     Young opera moon,                                                                                                                                                                                  you caught us stealing kisses                                                                                                                                                                Under red awnings!

And, Sandra Hewett (Syracuse) shares a special Valentine’s Day moment with her 2014 haiku:

     Candles glow brightly                                                                                                                                                                              On the table as we eat                                                                                                                                                                              Faces full of love

This year, we at the Syracuse Poster Project, are celebrating Valentine’s Day by offering two, newly designed and downloadable, Valentine’s Day Cards.  Thanks to Zhongwen Hu, a native of China now studying for a master’s degree in illustration at Syracuse University, this Valentine’s Day card includes a text box for writing your own haiku. You can see more of Zhongwen’s work at her Behance site or her Instagram site.

Our thanks also to  Shiwen Su, another native of China who is also studying for a master’s degree in illustration at Syracuse University.  Her delightful Valentine’s Day card has plenty of white space on its cover for writing your own haiku. You can check out more of Shiwen’s work at her Tumblr site.

If you still stuck for an idea, you will find a couple of our older, and just as whimsical, Valentine’s Day offerings and other inspirational items by clicking here and here.

It might be freezing cold outside, but our featured 2008 Syracuse Poster Project haiku poster is sure to warm you on this St. Valentine’s Day weekend.  The poet: long-time Syracuse haiku contributor, Jungtae Lee ,and former Syracuse University Illustration student, Sahng-Yeon Lee:

A curious moon  / peeping over the rooftop  /  in Armory Square                                                                    11 Lee &amp; Lee

Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

Winter Hues

Grey skies got you feeling blue?  Does it seem there’s not much more to Winter in CNY than the grey skies that tend to dominate our wintry landscape?  Well, our frequent haiku contributors have offered up some colorful images that may cheer you up.

Take, for instance, this joyful haiku by Michele Reed (Oswego, 2002):

   Red scarf, blue mittens                                                                                                                                                    A blur of color through snow–                                                                                                                                    Clinton Square skaters

Or, Ellen Wheeler’s (Fayetteville, 2015) mirthful haiku:        

   Evergreens wearing                                                                                                                                                        their coats of wintery white–                                                                                                                                      time for snow angels!

If the site of blackened roadside snowbanks distresses you, look in the radiant direction of Joan Loveridge-Sanbonmatsu’s  (Syracuse, 2006) haiku:

    Chunks of ice melting                                                                                                                                                     in the cold silver-blue lake                                                                                                                                           Snow lilies floating

Or, look up, and you might see this glowing image as written in a haiku by Jay Cox (Pompey, 2005):

   Icicles glitter                                                                                                                                                                      and clouds shadow now-cloaked hills                                                                                                                      in a full moon’s light

There is so much to see in white, falling snow, too.  Take this beautifully vivid haiku by Laura Ferrel (Skaneateles, 2014):

   Snow spins through streetlights,                                                                                                                                  delicate silver threads of                                                                                                                                                downtown’s winter cloak.

Besides white, of course, David Hitchcock’s (Fayetteville 2008) haiku reminds us of another familiar color we’ll find on a snowy day:

   In the Salt City                                                                                                                                                                    a yellow snow plow sows salt                                                                                                                                        as our town grows cold

Our featured image, part of the 2013 Syracuse Poster Project collection, is a vibrant and rich reminder of all the color that can be found on a dreary Winter’s day.  Illustrated by former Syracuse University Illustration student, Carolyn Glavin and poet, Janice Scully, this haiku poster is certain to cheer.

Cardinal, feathered masked bandit

 

 

 

 

Cardinal, feathered

masked bandit on a snowy

limb–all can see you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Go find some color!

 

Provisions for a Winter’s Day

 

these Syracuse blues two parts snow and two parts cold soul red hot to burn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From the 2007 Syracuse Poster Project Collection: poet: Arthur Flowers and former SU Illustration Student, Lydia Nichols

 

 

If grey skies have got you blue, and you’re tired of the cold already, why not head down to Provisions Bakery & Restaurant in Armory Square.   Serving warm comfort for breakfast and lunch, the newly renovated site is currently hosting our travelling exhibit of framed poster prints – a visual delight!

As Norman Cohen’s (Jamesville NY) 2010 haiku cheerfully exclaims:

Climb over snowbanks                                                                                                                                                                         Navigate icy sidewalks                                                                                                                                                                                Hot cocoa inside!

What better provision for a cold Winter’s day!

Stay Warm!

It’s Winter – isn’t it?

Well, it’s officially Winter – or so the calendar says.  The Season of Light, the Winter Solstice, New Year’s Eve – all behind us now.  But for the balmy 50 degrees weather we’ve been having on and off since Thanksgiving, you wouldn’t know that it is January in Central New York.  So, where’s Winter?

Equating snow with Winter – as most of us do in CNY – frequent Syracuse Poster Project haiku contributor, Gary Weinstein (Syracuse NY), mused this question in 2004:

Strange…I miss the snow.                                                                                                                           The endless blanket that tucks                                                                                                                             us in all winter.

From the sound of the howling wind tonight, one can only imagine Winter as we know it will soon be here.  Scott Austin (Brooklyn NY) anticipated Winter with his 2011 haiku:

Listen to the wind                                                                                                                                            And you can hear snow approach                                                                                                                       Moments before flakes

CNY’s first major snowstorm of the 2016 season, (post New Year’s Eve weekend), has already been washed away by warm weather, high winds and lots of rain after only a few days on the ground.  Tom Westpfal, (Fayetteville NY), captures this somewhat muddled Winter we’re having in his 2013 Syracuse Poster Project haiku contribution:

Grass poking through snow                                                                                                                           Has winter just ended—nope                                                                                                                                It has just begun

Thankfully, it doesn’t seem we will be having the long, bitter cold Winter we did last year – or like folks are now having in the Midwest.  Regardless, this beautifully illustrated 2005 Syracuse Poster Project haiku poster – written by Ellen Agnew and illustrated by former SU Illustration student, Ivy Hickam – sums up the ‘warm’ side of Winter.

Nature's gift of snow allows us to slow our pace, take time to reflect
Nature’s gift of snow, allows us to slow our pace,  take time to reflect

 

Here’s to Winter and a Happy New Year!

Autumn’s Last Hurrah

It’s Halloween night.  In a few hours, Daylight Savings Time ends and Autumn drifts more quickly towards late Fall.  Leaves that just last week were peaking in glorious color have now mostly fallen, leaving trees bare.  And if the wind doesn’t blow them down the hill and off your lawn soon, you’ll need to go out there and rake them up in the morning!

While the world around us is going through its seasonal changes, this time of year can sometimes be a bit melancholy—summer has clearly ended, leaves on trees are mostly gone, the weather is colder and wetter, you need a sweater when you leave the house, and winter is not too far behind.  But, Fall can also be a colorful opportunity for peaceful reflection, long invigorating walks, breathing in deep the smell of crisp clean air and listening gladly to the memorable sound of crunching leaves underfoot.

Syracuse poet, Amy Nicholson, contributed this skillfully written adieu to a blessedly gorgeous October in 2010:

  Round apples, red leaves                                                                                                                                             Snowflakes on jack-o-lanterns                                                                                                                                             Fade to November

Frequent Syracuse Poster Project haiku contributor, Rosalyn Carroll, (Manlius NY) deftly describes in her 2012 haiku, a carefree, joyful moment that can only happen in late Autumn:

 As I run through it,                                                                                                                                                                      a blanket of red, gold leaves                                                                                                                                                      dances behind me

Another of our favorite posters which beautifully captures Autumn’s peaceful essence was created for the 2007 Syracuse Poster Project year.  It was written by frequent Syracuse Poster Project haiku contributor, Claire Bobrycki (Syracuse) and illustrated by former Syracuse University Illustration student Lucas Slominski, now an artist for ZeniMax Online Studios in Maryland.

Breathe in--step, crunch, look. Red, gold, orange, brown--breathe out. Fall in Syracuse
Breathe in–step, crunch, look. Red, gold, orange, brown–breathe out. Fall in Syracuse

In 2008, Syracuse Poster Project haiku contributor,  William Padgett, (Woodstock NY) wrote this vivid poem, beautifully echoing Autumn’s last hurrah:

Crisp autumn sunshine                                                                                                                                                   Shadows stretch while dry leaves dance                                                                                                                           Warm scarf pulled tightly

So, don’t forget to set your clock and ‘fall back’ til Spring, put away those Halloween treats, get your sweater on and rake up those leaves!

Happy Autumn!

Autumn’s Apple Harvest

Apples, Apples, Apples! Nothing says Autumn better than apples–Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Cortland, Cameo, Paula Red, Granny Smith, Gala, Ginger Gold, Macoun, McIntosh, Empire, Fuji, Jonamac, Jersey Mac–take your pick!  Red, green, soft, firm or crisp, there is nothing like the sweet essence of fresh Autumn apples. Add a little sugar–maybe some flour and butter, too–and you have apple crisp, apple fritters, apple sauce, apple pie and apple donuts.  Of course, don’t forget sweet or hard apple cider, apple wine, even apple vodka!  Need we say more?  

Well, yes, actually…our local poets have plenty to say about apples, too!  Digging through our archives, we found several haiku from our contributors.  We thought we’d share a couple with you including this artfully written haiku by Sallie Bailey (Fayetteville NY) in 2010.  If you’ve ever driven south on I-81 towards Lafayette and Beak and Skiff Apple Orchards, you’ve seen this remarkably beautiful scene! 

 South of the city                                                                                                                                                                        Orchards unfold like carpets                                                                                                                                               Patterned with apples

Kathleen Nyzio’s (Skaneateles NY) charming 2011 haiku deftly describes the sensory effects apples can have on us–even in our dreams and memories!

 Sweet apple orchards                                                                                                                                                            Cinnamon spice flooded dreams                                                                                                                                                  Wake me up, autumn!  

And since we’re speaking today of apples, we could not resist (no pun intended) revisiting this gorgeous 2004 Syracuse Poster Project haiku poster.  The poet: frequent Syracuse Poster Project haiku contributor,  Peggy Liuzzi.  The artist, former Syracuse University Illustration student, Morgan McArdle, now a storyboard artist and illustrator living in Sherman Oaks, CA.

Like Eve in Eden I wander apple-lush hills dreaming my first bite
Like Eve in Eden
I wander apple-lush hills
dreaming my first bite

Whether apple picking or baking an apple pie with your mother, whether a warm memory of hot cider after raking fallen leaves or bobbing for apples at a Halloween party, apples and Autumn go hand-in-hand.  We think you’ll agree, Marilyn Shelton’s (Baldwinsville NY) 2005 haiku exquisitely captures Autumn’s many treasures:

 Twilight’s harvest sky                                                                                                                                                                Frames apple boughs, pumpkins, drifts                                                                                                                                       of leaves. We are home.

Happy Autumn!

Autumn Storms

By now, you’ve no doubt noticed the hundreds of fallen Autumn leaves blanketing your yard!  A beautiful, summer-like Columbus Day weekend, was bookended by slate-grey skies and stormy weather.  Wind, rain and mostly cloudy skies have been the norm ever since.  With the wind howling and blowing so hard at times, one would think Hurricane Joaquin had decided to stay in Syracuse for a few days! Leaves have been flying all about like heavy snowflakes, slapping windshields and office windows, scurrying across busy roadways, drifting against sidewalk curbs, piling up into small colorful mounds inside window wells and under porch steps.  Along with the wind, cold rain has left roads slick with wet fallen leaves, covering neighborhood lawns and city streets.  Fall has most certainly made a landing here in Syracuse!

If you’ve been out and about during any of these storms, we think you will agree: this 2007 Syracuse Poster Project publication vividly describes a scene you may have witnessed in your travels.  The poem was written in 2001 by Syracuse’s Sherry Chayat; the artist, former Syracuse University Illustration student, Maria Teresa Madariaga, a freelance illustrator from New York.

Geese Honking Southward Over Onondaga Creek-- Whirling Dervish Leaves
Geese Honking Southward
Over Onondaga Creek–
Whirling Dervish Leaves

Pompey poet, and Syracuse Poster Project contributor, Jay Cox, richly captured a similar blustery scene with his 2006 haiku:     

  A world of faces                                                                                                                                                       congregates at a crosswalk—                                                                                                                                           leaves pass in the wind                                                                                                                                                            

Another of our archived haiku, which splendidly reflects Autumn’s ofttimes tempestuous weather, was written in 2008 by Jungtae Lee of Syracuse:

  Winds gather the clouds                                                                                                                                                         the city moves through the leaves                                                                                                                                         my collar goes up

What moves you when stormy Autumn weather brews up a howling wind?  Write us your thoughts in the comments – we’d love to hear from you!

Happy Autumn!

Scarecrows, Pumpkins and Mums, oh my!

Have you noticed all the playful scarecrows and plump pumpkins on your drive into work these first few weeks of Autumn? They seem to be everywhere–decorating lamp posts and porch steps and cheering up many a cloudy morning.  And don’t forget those towering sunflowers and short colorful mums wherever you look!  

We found this lovely tribute to early autumn sunflowers in our archives.  It was written in 2007 by Syracuse Poster Project contributor, Sharon Rorer of Syracuse, NY:

Lofty sunflowers
arrayed in golden splendor
heads above the rest

Autumn is undoubtedly transforming the CNY landscape as we say goodbye to Summer.  Shorter days, cooler nights have been the most noticeable, with treetops turning red and gold overnight.  Elephant’s eye-high corn fields have been mostly cut or built into crazy mazes for Halloween fun, while local pumpkin patches are overflowing with vivid shades of orange.

Using pumpkins as her theme, a 2012 haiku by Syracuse Poster Project contributor, Jane Verostek of Syracuse, New York, charmingly depicts this change in the season:

Sunset awakens
winding trails of pumpkin dreams
nature is glowing

Our featured Syracuse Poster Project image this week beautifully illustrates autumn’s slow and colorful transformation of the Syracuse area.  Created in 2007, the haiku was written by Syracuse, NY poet Sherry Chayat and illustrated by former Syracuse University Illustration student, Emily Lopuch, now an illustrator and aspiring writer living in Rhode Island.

Flotilla of ducks Swimming toward Armory Square Don’t know summer’s gone
Flotilla of ducks
Swimming toward Armory Square
Don’t know summer’s gone

Syracuse Poster Project haiku contributor, Sheila Forsyth of Fayetteville, NY, wrote this touching farewell to Summer in 2011.

Traitor trees with their
Turncoat leaves give up summer
To winds of autumn

How do you celebrate the arrival of Autumn? Can you sum it up in a Haiku? Send us your haiku in the comments and we’ll publish it here on the Poetry Blog next week!

Happy Autumn!

Harvest Scenes from CNY

While the calendar says Autumn, it still feels like Summer in CNY. The sound of crickets has quieted at night and the kids are gone back to school. But the hustle and bustle at your local farmer’s market is still hopping! Last week, we wrote about celebrating the change of seasons with the bountiful harvests found nearly everywhere you turn here in CNY. In fact, you can still gather late summer fruits and vegetables from one of the many fruitful markets dotting Syracuse area communities.

When we did not receive any new Harvest Haiku in response to our last post, we decided to dig a little deeper into our archives of un-illustrated haiku. We came across a few which splendidly reflect these end of September harvest days.

This richly worded haiku was written in 2009 by frequent Syracuse Poster Project contributor, Sherry Chayat, from Syracuse, NY. Can you just picture this singular moment?

in harvested fields
geese forage for a last meal
then rise up shrieking

Or this haiku? A picture postcard scene you might see on a drive down a country road in CNY! The poem was written in 2014 by Kathleen Pickard from Jordan, NY.

Corridor of corn, 
Rows of stately sentinels
guarding country roads

Another of our favorite haiku posters reflecting our bountiful CNY home was created in this beautiful Syracuse Poster Project illustration in 2003. The poet: Michele Reed. The former Syracuse University illustration student: Sebastian V. Martorana now an artist living and working in Baltimore, MD.

2003SYR13
      rich purple eggplant             vies for space in my basket    with summer’s last greens

Lynn McDonald, formerly of Syracuse and now living in Utah, beautifully sums up this week’s thoughts in her 2008 haiku:

harvested corn and
red leaves of autumn whisper
cornucopia

What is your favorite September moment? Send us your haiku in the comments and we’ll publish it here on the Poetry Blog next week!

Happy Harvest!

A Reason to Celebrate

One of our primary tenets here at the Syracuse Poster Project is to celebrate our hometown of Syracuse and its CNY neighbors with illustrated haiku.  Oftentimes, a change of season in CNY is seen as a time of celebration and offers a wellspring of ideas for many of our haiku contributors.  

In fact, the time between late August and mid-September, when purple Asters and Queen Anne’s Lace still line country byways, is also the time we celebrate the region’s bountiful harvests and bid farewell to summer.  

Over the years, we’ve received wonderful haiku about this time of year.  We recently dug into our treasure trove of un-illustrated poems and found several delightful haiku describing singular moments of this colorful season.  

Take this richly imaged haiku, for example, written in 2009 by Syracuse, NY poet, Sherry Chayat:

                                                       in harvested fields                                                                                                                                    geese forage for a last meal                                                                                                                              then rise up shrieking                                                                            

And this cheerful haiku, written in 2013 by Martville, NY poet, Carol Corwin:

                                                        doe with spotted fawn—                                                                                                                        heads raised above rows of corn                                                                                                                          ready for harvest    

You may have seen some of our harvest themed haiku beautifully interpreted by our Syracuse University illustration students as posters in the many kiosks dotting Syracuse’s downtown.

One of our favorite haiku posters of this bountiful CNY season was created in 2014. The haiku was written in 2010 by Manlius, NY poet, Rosalyn Carroll and illustrated by former SU Student, Abbey Lossing, now an art director at Buzzfeed.

04_Carroll_Lossing

What do you like most about this time of year? Send us your Harvest Haiku in the comments and we will publish it here on our Poetry Blog.

Happy Harvest!

Haiku On the Eve of Thanksgiving

It’s Thanksgiving! An American celebration of thanks steeped in history and tradition.

Stone canoe floating
Onondaga Lake gives thanks
Peacemaker returns

Tom Huff (Nedrow 2006)

It’s “Over the river and through the woods” time! While some families have packed up the car to travel far and wide for the long weekend, others are preparing for the long-awaited arrival of loved ones. From our 2003 Series, this featured haiku poster beautifully captures the spirit of arriving home with the hubbub of holiday activity downtown. The haiku was written by long-time contributor, Claire Bobrycki, and illustrated by former Syracuse University student, Sarah Mellgren.

Long drive, weary eyes—
Cityscape lights the night sky
Syracuse, I'm home!
2003Bobrycki_Mellgren

It’s Turkey stuffing days! While plump turkeys are roasting and all manner of pies baking, there are also those watching and tracking tackles and downs, shots and goals!

Spiral in the air
Raucous cheering of the crowd
Pigskin in the zone

Susan Bigler (Liverpool 2009)

It’s still Autumn, of course! Leaves have mostly fallen, leaving trees dark and bare. But if you look closely, there is still beauty to be found all around us as November comes to an end.

Fading sun spot lights
Roosting crows in bare fall trees,
Night black fruit to pick.

Thomas Stock (Fort Plain 2016)

It’s late November! The weather is crisp and getting colder. There’s even been some snow! Certainly, days are growing shorter and mostly starry nights are getting longer!

Slanting golden sun
A red leaf drifts to the ground
Seasons change like moons

Patsy Scala (New Woodstock 2010)

It’s the “Holidaze” season! Grocery stores are stuffed with shoppers while traffic delays are just beginning as Christmas holiday sales lure folks out and about — be patient!

Produce from the earth
In crowded marketplaces
Displayed with purpose

Sharon Rorer (Syracuse 2006)

It’s time to sit in front of a cozy fire burning in the fireplace! From our 2014 Series, this featured haiku poster was beautifully created by former Syracuse University illustration student, Andrew Casadonte, using the fine phrasing of another of our long-time contributors, Paul Goat Allen.

Winter is coming
wool socks and long underwear
the long sleep is near
2014 Allen_Casadonte

However you spend the day, we hope we’ve made your Thanksgiving Holiday a bit richer with these wonderful poems gathered from our archives of contributed haiku!  

As always, to read more about each poet and artist listed above, click on their name where highlighted. To read more Autumn – related haiku on our Blog, click HERE. Click HERE for more Thanksgiving-related haiku. And, if you’d like to purchase any of the illustrated haiku posters featured on this post, click on the highlighted Series Year; if you’d like to view and purchase any of our other beautiful haiku posters, click HERE — they make great gifts!

Happy Thanksgiving! Safe Travels!

Posted by Rosalyn M. Carroll for the Syracuse Poster Project

Haiku For the Fading Colors of Autumn

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Rustling vibrant leaves 
Falling off the tall oak trees 
Fall rakes the city

by Nicole Chen (2022)

Right now, there are at least one hundred different shades of Autumn blanketing the ground here in Central New York. Along with the usual shades of brown, red, yellow and orange, you can also see yellow-green, lime-green, rusted-yellow, golden-yellow, yellow-orange, red-orange, burnt-orange, maroon, mauve, and even pink!

View from my window
Heron fishing in the pond
Autumn leaves falling

Poet: Michele Reed
Artist: Christine Mitchell
Series: 2007 

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Acorn caps scattered 
Remnants of an autumn feast 
as squirrels wax round

by Laura Ferrel (2022)

While feasting on the visual beauty of Autumn, its earthy aroma can also lift one’s spirit. A walk through the woods, too, with the crunch of drying leaves beneath your feet, is uniquely satisfying. And on a windy day, as all your hard work of raked-high leaves skitters across the street — oh, dear — imagine the sound of little fairy feet scurrying quickly!

There are so many other ways that Autumn can inspire. For poet, Elizabeth Westfall, ”….I was inspired by the ambience of Autumn. The colors, warmth, and feelings of love and comfort were considered throughout. Autumn is a time to be grateful for those in our lives and for the beauty we get to see in nature every day. Autumn foliage is breathtaking and vibrant, as can be love you feel for someone else. I just wanted to capture the amber tones, visual and emotional, of my favorite season.”

Leaf—strewn vibrant woods
Cinnamon spice and sweaters
Your hand in my hand

Poet: Elizabeth Westfall
Artist: Gabriella Silverstein
Series: 2017

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Autumnal colors
muted by November greys
Time-Life Progression   

by Mark Calicchia (2021)

Most recently, we’ve had warm days and startling blue skies highlighting this year’s wonderful Autumn colors. But on those windy and rainy days, moody grey clouds can create an almost somber atmosphere: as the last leaves drift from their branches, Autumn once again reminds us that it will soon be leaving us behind. 

From the past they speak.
We can hear the stories told.
Their memory stays.

 Poet: Evelyn Stelmashuck
 Artist: Aletta Ren
 Series: 2022

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Drained of color, the
Burning Bush has lost its fire.
Red blankets the ground.

by Rosalyn M. Carroll (2022)

As always, to read more about each poet and artist listed above, click on their name where highlighted. To read more Autumn – related haiku on our Blog, click HERE. If you’d like to purchase any of the illustrated haiku posters featured on this post, click on the Series Year next to the poster; if you’d like to view and purchase any of our other beautiful haiku posters, click HERE.

Stay inspired and stay warm! Thank you!

Autumn chill at last
zipper, button, don the hood. 
Dodge covid, skip flu

by Michelle Miles (2022)

Posted by Rosalyn M. Carroll for the Syracuse Poster Project

Haiku Deadline Approaching for 2023 Series

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The deadline to submit up to three (3) of your best written haiku for the 2023 Syracuse Poster Project Series is quickly approaching! Are yours ready? Are you still procrastinating? Need some inspiration? Read on to find a couple of fine examples of haiku selected from our past series and learn more of what inspired the contributing poets to write them.

↓←↑→↓

From our 2002 Series: this fine, sensory-filled haiku, was written by frequent haiku contributor, Martin Walls. Part of the inspiration for his haiku began with where he lives:

 “I live in Solvay. So that’s where the image originates. I see Solvay in the distance when I’m driving home from the city. So I’ve seen storms brewing [there]….coming from the west….one of the first things you notice driving to Solvay, say along Route 690, by the lake, are the seagulls. When a storm comes—I know this from my childhood home in England, where there are lots of seagulls—they start to get very antsy. The cloud of umbrellas, I’m imagining a sort of metaphorical pun. The storm clouds become a cloud of umbrellas, which are also thick and black.”

Clearly, former Syracuse University Illustration student, Paul Jacob, puts a creative and captivating spin on this wonderful poem. As he remembers, “….I ended up taking a piece of the skyline in Solvay, and taking a seagull, and having him play with the umbrella, rather than having him fly around. Giving it a more singular point of attention. You might say I’m stereotyping Syracuse weather. Things are gloomy, gray and overcast, as people like to accuse it of being. I don’t know—I kind of like it.”

Storm over Solvay—
Bright gulls skirl about a thick
Cloud of umbrellas

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From our 2010 Series: even if you are not a dog lover, this delightful haiku, written by Cynthia DeKing and perfectly illustrated by former Syracuse University student, Sarah Chalek, will certainly make you smile! 

For inspiration, our poet recalls how she “….did some pet sitting and dog walking. I noticed that when you click the leash on a dog’s collar, they’re raring to go and take right off. One dog in particular was around 11 years old. She just kept trotting along and didn’t stop. Even though I didn’t know the way, she did. She was on a mission.”

As a dog lover herself, the colorful haiku easily grabbed artist, Sarah Chalek’s attention: “….In high school, I earned money by painting dog portraits, so when I read this haiku, it seemed like the perfect fit for me. The dog depicted differs from a typical dog portrait because instead of painting a real dog, I invented a breed of my own. Since the haiku begins with “Ears flapping in wind,” I had to choose a dog with floppy ears. I searched for pictures of basset hounds, but it needed to be a big dog in order to walk its owner. The final creation is a cross between a basset hound and a Great Dane. I chose a small girl as the dog walker to emphasize the humor of the haiku.

Ears flapping in wind
trying to keep the dog’s pace
walking me instead

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From our 2005 Series, a beautifully illustrated poster which nicely captures the spirit of the haiku. For poet, Tom Huff:

“When I give talks, or do stone carving workshops, I’ll ask people if they know of the Onondaga. I’m usually surprised at how many people don’t know, or don’t care….They don’t know that Onondaga is the capital of the Iroquois Confederacy, or that Iroquois government influenced American government—that we gave root to American democracy….New York is full of  Iroquois, from Lake Erie, through the St. Lawrence Seaway, all the way to Albany. People aren’t taught that, but they should be. To understand who we are would eliminate stereotypes. The outside world would gain an understanding. And that would be better for all of us.”  

For artist and former Syracuse University Illustration student, Lindsay Dedario was “….intrigued by the vista to the south of the city, but knew nothing of its history. The longer I lived in the area though, read the newspaper, etc., the more I realized how extensive the Native American history in this area is, and how unaware most people are of its presence. This is why this poem struck me.”

Through the southern hills
Ancient American roots
and nobody knows

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From our 2017 Series, this wintry haiku was written by poet, Nicholas Petrone.

By employing his years of experience with Syracuse winters, he writes, “…I wrote the haiku one evening after a big snowstorm. My children had been playing all day in the wind and the snow, and after I put them to bed I sat down and wrote this poem.”  

Inspired by this wonderful haiku, former Syracuse University Illustration student, Marisa Rother, created a beautiful and imaginative poster. Marisa recalls, “As a child, I was always making up stories and characters. For this piece, I wanted to convey a sleepy, whimsical feeling. I love cool colors, so I incorporated blues and purples to create a snowy, wintry atmosphere. The child is wearing dragon pajamas, alluding to the dragon constellation in the background. I wanted the child’s dreams to be represented in the sky.”

Children sleep soundly
in warm winter pajamas—
snowman guards their dreams.

↓←↑→↓

So, as you prepare your submission, remember, you can submit haiku and other short-form poetry in the spirit of haiku (three to four short lines) which reflect any of this year’s list of “Ten Syracuse Spirits.” You can also submit a poem to complement a special “reverse process” poster about the New York State Fair. Click HERE for more details and entry materials! 

So, stop procrastinating! Comb through your personal experiences and use your imagination!  Be sure to submit your poems by Friday, September 30, 2022.  We’re looking forward to seeing your work!

If you need more inspiration, you’ll find more good haiku right here on our Poetry Blog.  

As always, to read more about each poet and artist listed above, click on their name where highlighted. To read more New York State Fair-related haiku on our Blog, click HERE. If you’d like to purchase any of the illustrated haiku posters featured on this post, click on the Series Year next to the poster; if you’d like to view and purchase any of our other beautiful haiku posters, click HERE.

Thank you!

Posted by Rosalyn M. Carroll  for the Syracuse Poster Project

Fair Haiku and a Call For Poetry

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Guests descend buses
Ferris wheel whirls, midway calls 
Great New York State Fair

by Nancy Prosser (Auburn 2019)

It’s that time of year again: 1) The Syracuse Poster Project’s annual invitation to submit haiku and short poems for our 2023 Series is in the mail with an entry deadline of September 30, 2022 and 2) the New York State Fair opens this week and runs through Labor Day!

Extravaganza!
The State Fair kaleidoscope 
days of sights, sounds, tastes

by Ann Gymburch-Schramp (Lee Center 2017)

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Ferris wheel stands tall
Laughter and screams of delight
The New York State Fair

Poet: Alex DeSantis
Artist: Dylan Cownie
Series: 2015

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Sweet butter dripping
Fried Twinkie in other hand, 
Delights of State Fair

by Arlene Quizon (Renton 2018)

Coincidentally, our invitation for the 2023 Series includes an opportunity for poets to write a poem to accompany a ‘reverse poster’ — a special poster created first in order to inspire a poem! This year’s vibrant illustration — “Spirit of Blue Ribbons” — is the result of a wonderful collaboration between the New York State Fair and a 2007 Poster Project alumnus, Lydia Nichols. A former Syracuse University Illustration student, Lydia is an active artist and illustrator in the Syracuse community and was recently highlighted in our “Where Are They Now” Instagram series. To view her website, click HERE; to read our Instagram article, click HERE!

Poet: ____________
Artist: Lydia Nichols
Series: 2023 -- Spirit of Blue Ribbons

You can submit up to three poems inspired by any of this year's list of Ten Syracuse Spirits. We will consider one additional poem to accompany our specially illustrated poster celebrating the New York State Fair. Click here to view the list of spirit prompts.

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Vivid colors and
dazzling lights make for a grand 
State Fair atmosphere.

by Christina Lee (Syracuse 2010)

Fried dough, Midway thrills,
baby pigs, blue ribbon shows, 
State Fair memories

by Deborah Rahalski (Baldwinsville 2018)

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When the Great Fair comes
school cannot be far behind.
Summer ends too soon.


Poet: Lori DiCaprio-Lee
Artist: Keisha Cedeno
Series: 2011

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So, as you meander through the many sights, smells and sounds of the Fair, put your experience into words. See if you can frame your poem with the ‘reverse poster’ in mind, too. Remember, in addition to standard haiku (5, 7, 5 syllables), we will accept other short, three-to-four-line, poems. (What is “short?” Aim for lines no longer than eight words.) And, don’t forget to submit your work by September 30th!

Happy Memories.
The smell of cotton candy. 
Great New York State Fair.

by Teresa Niziolek (Fayetteville 2016)

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Whether or not you’re able to catch some time at the Fair, we hope you enjoy these last few days of August!

Great New York State Fair
Roller coaster memories 
Cotton candy day

by Ricky Maeweather (Syracuse 2016)

If you’d like to submit a haiku or other short poem and you haven’t received our 2023 Call For Poetry brochure and Entry Materials, you can download the brochure HERE and the entry form with the list of spirit prompts HERE. For more details on how to participate with the Syracuse Poster Project, click HERE.

As always, to read more about each poet and artist listed above, click on their name where highlighted. To read more New York State Fair-related haiku on our Blog, click HERE. If you’d like to purchase one of the two illustrated haiku posters featured on this post, click on the Series Year next to the poster; if you’d like to view and purchase any of our other beautiful haiku posters, click HERE.

Posted by Rosalyn M. Carroll  for the Syracuse Poster Project

Haiku For A Sizzling Summer

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Cicadas ring out
The glory of Summer days, 
Crickets praise the nights

by Karl Krohl (Syracuse, 2016)

Through mid-August of this year, we’ve had a sizzling hot Summer here in Central New York. For weeks, high temperatures, sunny days and clear warm nights have been the norm. Though it’s gotten a bit cooler the last couple of days, we’re pretty sure the Cicadas and Crickets are having a delightful Summer!

Like the empty husk–or shell–of a Cicada, the haiku below by Matt Tompkins is a rich play on words. And, of course, the illustration beautifully accompanies his haiku! Matt’s haiku was inspired by “….Syracuse’s faded industrial past and the ways in which its physical remnants—the brick-and-mortar husks of its factories and foundries and warehouses—remain as fertile ground for the city’s current artistic and cultural flourishing. From the university’s arts and literary programs, to the Everson, to ArtRage, to the Redhouse and the Landmark, to the individual studio spaces of working artists, to the Poster Project itself, the city’s creative shoots and artistic climbing vines—its present and artistic handwork and heart work—are rooted in and wrapped around the vestiges of its historic manufacturing body.

The old cicada
shells of factories lay strewn
with bright new flowers

Poet: Matt Tompkins
Artist: Leah Hennessey
Series: 2021

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Free Summer Concert:
crickets in black tuxedos 
playing violins.

by Martin Willitts, Jr. (Syracuse, 2017)

Early Summer lawns of bright green have turned dusty and brown in the hot weather, and the sweet sound of Goldfinches feeding around the birdfeeder have been drowned out by the dull hum of air conditioners. Of course, that hasn’t stopped the Cicadas and Crickets from singing — loudly.

Buzzing up above
Cicadas in the treetops
Shower me with songs.

Poet: Craig Overbeck
Artist: Rachel Barry
Series: 2014

For poet Craig Overbeck, “....I love haiku because it's a cool challenge to capture an entire moment in 17 syllables. I often compose haiku in my head when I’m running. That’s how this one came about. I was running at Green Lakes, under the trees in July, and the cicadas provided the singing.”

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The night is buzzing
The cicadas sing their song 
My heart knows the words

by Leora Sapon-Shevin (Syracuse, 2013)

One of the unique features of haiku is its spare use of words all the while creating an image. As evoked in the wonderful haiku poster illustrated below, the poet Martin Walls has created an “….equivalency between the sound of the cicadas and the sound of the lights humming on.”  

Fizz of Cicadas
slows as evening cools--lights hum 
on in Armory

Poet: Martin Walls
Artist: James Ryan
Series: 2002 

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Summer symphony
Crickets, cicadas, tree frogs... 
Trill in harmony

by Pearl Popiak (Syracuse, 2020)

Throughout this dry Summer, trying to keep cool has been a challenge. Thank goodness for relatively low humidity, pleasant evenings and all kinds of outdoor music to keep us moving!

Vanessa Castillo’s illustration below colorfully fits poet Joe Sarnicola’s lyrical haiku below. When writing this haiku, Joe “….was hoping to combine my love of the form of haiku poetry with my love of music in a poem that honored Syracuse. I have been to the Jazz in the City concerts, so I tried to reflect the rhythmic elements of jazz in the rhythmic elements of my poem.” 

Clinton Square back beat
to a twelve—bar—blues rhythm
Jazz in the City

Poet: Joe Sarnicola
Artist: Vanessa Castillo
Series: 2016

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The hottest Summer
will soon be forgotten when 
the winter winds blow

by Peter Allen (Syracuse, 2020)

As August begins to cool down — at last, sadly — the songs of this sizzling Summer will soon quiet down. But, until then, we hope you enjoy the many remaining days of this splendid Summer!

Essence of August
Peach juice dribbling down my chin
Crickets sing all night

by Mark Calicchia (Nunda, 2020)

To read more about each poet and artist listed here, click on their name where highlighted. To read more Summer-inspired haiku on our Blog, click HERE. If you’d like to purchase one of the illustrated posters featured on this post, click on the Series Year next to the poster; if you’d like to view and purchase any of our other beautiful haiku posters, click HERE.

Thank you!

Posted by Rosalyn M. Carroll for the Syracuse Poster Project

☀️🦋 Summer Inspired Haiku

Gossamer flutter
Pushes the soft Summer air
Lands on petals fair

by Sally Hendee (Fair Haven 2013)

Last week, the Summer Solstice blew in on fairly warm breezes. So far, as is usual with the start of Summer, we’ve had a fair mix of thunderous rain storms and warm sunny days. Regardless of the weather though, what better way to express the joys of Summer than through haiku and art!

As we’ve noted before on these pages, inspiration for writing haiku and other forms of poetry can be had when paying close attention to what’s around you. Summer is special in that it showcases the many wonders of Mother Nature not necessarily seen during the cold days of Winter. For poet Martin Walls, inspiration for his haiku below was dressed in blue:

“I was driving along Onondaga Lake Parkway, and I saw a blue heron land. It’s a spectacular sight, because they are such large birds and so uniquely constructed….in my collection of poems I use an image in which I compare the heron….to an umbrella, because they have the delicate, angular and clumsy structure of that object. They seem no more than bones and feathers. This time the heron stretched its huge wings and immediately the phrase “city-wide” came to mind—and there was the sudden “panning out”—close observation to expansive—that my haiku needed.”

Blue heron stretches
City wide wings—Summer haze
Settles on the lake

Poet: Martin Walls
Artist: Vanessa Lauria
Series: 2003

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Look, it is raining.
Now we're dancing in the street.
Oh what summer fun.

by Jacquelyn Green (Syracuse 2015)

For many, Summer is a time to relax and reflect and to simply enjoy the sights and sounds around us. It’s also all about being outdoors and staying active. For artist Meaghan Arbital:

“….[Rosalyn’s] haiku….was appealing because it elicits feelings of a beautiful summer day in Syracuse. Sipping warm coffee with the sun on my face and listening to the birds outside sounded like food for the soul….I want[ed] the illustration to evoke feelings of calm, warm comfort and happiness. The sun is such an important part of our health, whether we realize it or not. We should always make time to get a little sun on our faces, even when it seems to be hiding in the winter. Taking a moment to relax with a warm drink, enjoying the quiet, or some nice music, goes a long way towards wellness.”

Coffee in hand, I
watch the sun dance through the trees.
I drink in birdsong.

Poet: Rosalyn M. Carroll
Artist: Meaghan Arbital
Series: 2020

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At the old ballgame
night sky explodes with colors—
children's eyes get big.

by Nicholas Petrone (Syracuse 2013)

Summer sports, camping out, swimming and vacationing are front and center for many of us this time of year, too. Poet Peter DeBlois reflects on his haiku:

“This haiku honors the Haudenosaunee, the People of the Long House, who taught us how to play lacrosse, how to govern, and how to relate to nature….The poem begins with a soft dawn image in the Onondaga hills and ends with the bracing sharp crack of two hickory wood lacrosse sticks echoing through crisp morning air and traveling out, like Oren Lyons, with an invitation to engage indigenous values and the land.”

Smoke threads over a
Haudenosaunee sunrise,
two lacrosse sticks crack.

Poet: Peter DeBlois
Artist: Tyler Bates Hill
Series: 2016

🌼☀️🏊🍉🌼🏖️🦋☀️🐞🍉🚴☀️🌼

Music on the shore
A crisp new amphitheater
Cool breeze, relaxing

by Michael Brigandi(Syracuse 2015)

It wouldn’t be Summer without outdoor concerts, neighborhood gatherings, ethnic festivals and craft shows! As Poet Audia Denton reflects on her haiku below:

“….[my] summer haiku was about music and the wonderful summer concert series that Syracuse puts on. Although I was thinking about music in general, the Blues is one of my favorite genres and the Jazz Fest is one of the biggest concerts in the summertime.”

Sensuous summers
Jazz—Blues, waft by eager ears
Sway Syracuse, sway

Poet: Audia Denton 
Artist: Katherine Mills
Series: 2011

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Cumulus clouds float 
in a deep-blue sky—downtown 
petunias in bloom. 

by Jay Cox (Pompey 2001)

Of course, there are countless ways that Summer inspires and comforts us. For Poet Christina Finn, fond memories from “simple lakeside living” inspired her haiku below. For Artist William Padgett:

“….I went deep from Finn’s verbal cues, especially “positioned dutifully / worship mother sun,” which took me back to one of the first times people worshiped the sun at STONEHENGE and then brought it to where we are today with CHAIRHENGE, still worshipping.”

Adirondack chairs
positioned dutifully
worship Mother Sun

Poet: Christina Finn
Artist: William Padgett
Series: 2020

What inspires you about Summer? How does Summer inspire your writing and art?

To read more about each poet and artist listed here, click on their name where highlighted. To read more Summer-related haiku on our Blog, click HERE. If you’d like to purchase one of the illustrated posters featured on this post, click on the Series Year next to the poster; if you’d like to view and purchase any of our other beautiful haiku posters, click HERE.

Enjoy a good Summer!

Posted by Rosalyn M. Carroll for the Syracuse Poster Project

Our 2022 April Event

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Mama mourning dove
shivers and huddles in nest,
Spring snow squalls whip by.

by Joan Loveridge-Sanbonmatsu (2021)

It’s April! Time for Spring cleaning and April showers. Best of all, it’s also time for Syracuse Poster Project’s Annual Unveiling Event! After two pandemic-related years of virtual celebrations, we are pleased to announce that the opening event of the 2022 poster series will be held, in person, at 6:00 pm on Thursday, April 21 in the Atrium at City Hall Commons, 201 E. Washington St., Syracuse.

Magnolia blooms burst
Pink and purple pageantry.
The sweet scent of Spring.

by Joan Dear-Houseman (2021)

Please do join us as we return to an in-person celebration! It will be a wonderful opportunity to see our new posters before they’re placed in the various kiosks lining downtown Syracuse.

You’ll also meet the poets and artists of the 2022 series and it will be a good time to mingle and chat with our many friends of poetry and public art. As always, we will have music, appetizers and beverages to make the evening extra special. So, dress up, turn out and party with the Poster Project!

Hats glow like halos —
Colorful Procession climbs
Stairway to heaven.

Poet: Anna Pyrohanych
Artist: Yvonne Buchanan 
Series: 2013

How to find us: City Hall Commons is located on East Washington Street, between Warren and Montgomery streets.

It’s the Flat Iron Building just south of the State Tower Building. And, if you’re wanting to purchase any of the new posters or those from our archives, we’ll also be selling prints at this annual event. By the way, click on any poster featured on this blog and it will take you to our SHOP page!

Purple loosestrife and
yellow finches brighten the
canal bikers' path

Poet: Nan Gartner
Artist: Joyce Backus
Series: 2021

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So, as we welcome Spring, with grasses growing green, please join us in congratulating the Poets and Artists of our 2022 Series!

Listed here by poet and artist:

Mary Jane BeVard (Liverpool) & Jill Long (Syracuse)
Emily Buchanan (Minoa) & David Hicock (Syracuse)
Ellen McCauley (Syracuse) & Tommy Lincoln (Manlius)
Timothy Muir (Marcellus) & R. Paul Lilly (Syracuse)
David Pasinski (Syracuse) & Tyler Hill (Nedrow)
Cynthia Perrine (Fabius) & Thomas Harris (Syracuse)
Michele Reed (Oswego) & Patrick Volz (Liverpool)
Evelyn Stemashuck (Parish) & Aletta Ren (Syracuse)
Jane Verostek (Fayetteville) & Meg Stephens (Syracuse)
Amy Zamkoff (Syracuse) & Leah Hennessey (Baldwinsville)

Happy Spring!

Posted by Rosalyn M. Carroll for the Syracuse Poster Project

March Madness Haiku

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Hoops hysteria
basketball stars down the court
Orange Carrier

by Jennifer Fulco (Syracuse, 2012)

Tomorrow, March 15, 2022, may be The Ides of March, but it also marks the official start of March Madness and the 2022 Men’s and Women’s  NCAA Basketball Tournaments

The town with the MOST
We play basketball and boast
On streets we all coast

by Nick Ghezzi (Canastota, 2011)

As you may have guessed, we’re celebrating March Madness — the kind of madness when watching non-stop hoops and the constant checking of brackets takes on a life of its own — by highlighting some fun haiku from our archives with an eye on Basketball!

Fenced in glory hoops
leap in air toward heaven
endless chatter scores

Poet: Pat Flowers
Artist: Gabriel Eng-Goetz
Series: 2008

With carefully scheduled contests in the East, West, South and Midwest, brackets help keep track of the teams that ultimately make it to the Final Four. And every year, it seems, there’s always the question: will there be a Cinderella?

Tick tock, tick tock, tick
Thirty-five second countdown
Orange brings it home.

Poet: Abigail Lent
Artist: Yoomin Cheong
Series: 2014

From the many teams selected from across the country, to the Sweet Sixteen, to the Elite Eight and down to the Final Four, March Madness is certainly an exciting tradition to welcome Spring!

Thousands march like ants
Uphill. Wearing orange, blue
Invade a white dome.

Poet: T. Michael Duncan 
Artist: Cecily Thomas
Series: 2016

However your team progresses this year, and whatever the outcome, have a “ball”!

The stakes are rising,
screams echoing through the Dome,
the shot’s up, it’s in!

by Nolen Brann (Jamesville, 2018)

🏀🏃🏀🏆🏀     🏀🏃🏀🏆🏀     🏀🏃🏀🏆🏀     🏀🏃🏀🏆🏀

Posted by Rosalyn M. Carroll for Syracuse Poster Project