Our Annual Call for Poetry 2021 – 2022

Our Annual Call for Poetry is happening now for our 2022 Poster Series. The Syracuse Poster Project cordially invites you to participate!

Flea market treasures
found midst heaps of cast—off junk
start a second life.

Poet: Ellen Agnew
Artist: Chelsea Fierst
Series: 2011

But first, a quick note: as we begin our 21st year of bringing poets and artists together to create civic art in Syracuse, we are modifying our approach to this unique creative collaboration with two basic changes:  

One: we are altering the poetic prompt to encompass our new theme of ‘Seven Syracuse Spirits’. With this thematic poetry prompt, we are seeking expressions of place that evoke the character and spirit of Central New York. Rather than ‘naming names’, think of these Seven Syracuse Spirits as muses, personae or archetypes–essentially, the essence of places and experiences that make our region special. The 2022 list of ‘spirits‘ can be found here

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

Poet: Martin Walls
Artist: Paul Jacob
Series: 2002

Two: in addition to our usual request for haiku (5-7-5), poets may now submit up to three (3) short, three-to four-line poems in the spirit of haiku. We are asking that these short poems have lines no longer than eight words each. Poets can select up to three ‘spirits’ and submit one haiku / poem for each.

Snow is falling thick,
Covering me with white lace.
I've wed my shovel.

Poet: Rosalyn M. Carroll
Artist: Erica Bortnick
Series: 2012

If you’ve submitted poetry before, consider contributing more, honing earlier submissions, or sharing this call for poetry with a friend. If you’re new to the Syracuse Poster Project, think of it as a chance to share your creative talents. Did you know that beyond posters, your work stands a chance of being shared with the public in other ways—through our Shop via specialty note cards and booklets; on our poem-of-the-day features and on large-format flat screens; you may also find your poetry included here on Our Blog.

Empty factories
Swapping machines for tenants
Neighborhoods are born

Poet: David Manfredi
Artist: Ellen Edgerton
Series: 2021

So, get writing! The deadline for submissions is September 30. To download an Entry Form, click here. To download the Call for Poetry Brochure, click here. Or Contact Us here to be put on our mailing list. We will notify poets of the 2022 Series selection in December.

And, for all you artists out there: If you are interested in participating with this year’s Poster Series, please send your contact information to jim@posterproject.org by September 30.  For further information, please check out our FAQ Page For Artists, here

Finally, a note for elementary and secondary school teachers: We enjoy the vision and spirit of student work. If you have your class participate, please help with the selection process: for each class, send us five of your best student hai

Thank you!

Posted by Rosalyn M. Carroll for Syracuse Poster Project.

Haiku For The Great New York State Fair

✲✲✲✲✲✲✲✲✲✲

crowds herded through gates
sights, smells, sounds teasing senses --
New York State Fair time 

by Nancy Prosser (Auburn 2009)

When the Coronavirus Pandemic forced the cancellation of The Great New York State Fair in 2020, reactions were mixed:

Engulfed by Covid,
some cry wolf and mask their fear.
Others cry, No Fair.

by Brian Jamelske (Syracuse 2020) 

Around, up and down
Thrills and chills on the midway.
Life's fun at the Fair.
Poet: Louis Wassel
Artist: Emily Watanabe
Poster Series: 2011

For some, it certainly seemed like an unceremonious end to Summer:

State Fair mania
Thrill, play, pet, eat, ride, drink, walk
Summer, down in flames 

by Alexa Carter (Fulton 2009)

Sorely missing were the unique Fairground sights and sounds that so many looked forward to on an annual basis:

I went to the fair
for a glass of milk and ah,
the butter sculpture.
Poet: Gerard Crinnin
Artist: Kathleen O’Dell
Poster Series: 2020

But while last year’s cancellation caused some disappointment, the State turned the Fairgrounds into an effectively coordinated Covid-19 Vaccination site:

at the fairgrounds no
rides just a sea of rolled up 
sleeves to fight Covid

by Rosalyn M. Carroll (Manlius 2021)

By April 2021, this vaccination effort had been so successful that Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the go-ahead for a 2021 Reimagined New York State Fair. In fact, the Fair will take place August 20 – September 6 with ongoing support of the NYS Department of Health which intends to keep the momentum going with Vaccinations and Rapid Tests available for all visitors, vendors, contractors and staff.

Ferris wheel stands tall
laughter and screams of delight
The New York State Fair 
Poet: Alex DeSantis
Artist: Dylan Cownie
Poster Series: 2015

No matter the day or time of year, The Great New York State Fair will always elicit crowds and bright lights, inviting food stands galore and music for every taste, educational animal exhibits and artistic butter sculptures, Midway rides and laughter:

in the midway crowd
a little boy’s sleepy eyes
bright with State Fair lights 

by Robert Gaurnier (Syracuse 2001)

However you choose to enjoy the Fair this year, be Covid-safe and have fun! 

Season finale
neon lights illuminate
the wheel rises high 

by Victoria Reaume (Syracuse 2013)

✲✲✲✲✲✲✲✲✲✲

Posted by Rosalyn M. Carroll for The Syracuse Poster Project

Haiku Reflections For Memorial Day

☆☆

Eagles nestled in
High above the peaceful shore
Watching, protecting

By Michael Brigandi (Syracuse 2014) 

A well-written Haiku can say a lot in only a few words and 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. 

Heroes defended 
Liberty and freedom rang 
Stars and stripes rippled 

              by Michelle Miles (Ft. Wayne 2016)

☆☆

From our 2003 Poster Series, our featured haiku poster thoughtfully reflects the haunting memories of war. The wonderful and unambiguous haiku was written by poet, Bryan Wilbur. The poster was beautifully illustrated by former Syracuse University illustration student, Robert Franceschini, who writes, “…. I felt that the haiku was explaining a man paying his respect to the soldier who fought in the war. I also portrayed one of the “fallen soldiers” returning the respect with a salute in the cast shadow of the figure.”

Emptiness echoes 
around monuments. A man 
remembers shadows.

☆☆

Memorial Day was originally set aside as a day to honor and remember those Americans who have died while serving and defending our country in all its wars. While it remains a day of solemn observance, it has also become the symbolic start of Summer. Now that many COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted, and as more folks are vaccinated, some traditional Memorial Day celebrations and remembrances will be easier to participate in this year. So, wherever you find yourself this Memorial Day–whether it’s laying a wreath or raising a flag, marching along with a parade or gathering with family for a barbecue–remember those who have fallen and keep peace in your heart. 

Be safe and be well! 

Rosalyn M. Carroll for the Syracuse Poster Project

More Haiku For Mother’s Day

💗💗🌷🌸🌱🌺💗💗🌳🌹🌵🍒🌱🌷💗💗

Between cement cracks
Fragrant wildflowers blossom
kissed by golden rays

by Deb Bateman (East Syracuse 2001)

Ready or not, Mother’s Day will be here soon. A pleasant reminder, if you will, that Spring has sprung at last...well, at least, that’s what the calendar says!
It’s here, falling fast!
Snowflakes land wet and heavy.
Tulips sadly droop.

by Rosalyn M. Carroll (Manlius 2021)

Despite the snow and chilly rain of late, (we need the rain, or so ‘they’ say), the wild abundance of Daffodils and Tulips this year should make a perfect Mother’s Day bouquet! Their warm and familiar colors seem to rival all those joyfully bursting yellow Forsythia found growing everywhere this year! 

drops of rain water 
dangle under a tree branch,
temporary pearls

by Sara Parrott (Nedrow 2017)

Nothing, though, seems to rival all the wind storms that this Spring has sprung…

so much wind today
kids blow kisses through their wands
bubbles chase me home

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

💗💗🌷🌸🌱🌺💗💗🌳🌹🌵🍒🌱🌷💗💗

To celebrate Mother’s Day, our featured haiku poster is from our 2004 Series. Artist, Meaghan Arbital, has created a colorful complement to the wonderful haiku written by Poet, Molly English.

Onondaga Lake
Shoreline; a nesting hotbed.
Make way for goslings

Looking at this cheerful poster, it’s easy to see, even in nature, Mother’s Day seems to be synonymous with Spring blooms, birth, growth and nurturing. 

Buds and baby birds
grow together on branches
fly away in fall

by Megan Reed (Liverpool 2009)

Despite ongoing Covid-19 restrictions, we hope your Mother’s Day is a pleasant and Spring-infused one! 

💗💗🌷🌸🌱🌺💗💗🌳🌹🌵🍒🌱🌷💗💗

And, last, but not least, in case you missed it, the 2021 Virtual Series Event and 20th Anniversary Celebration was a huge success and a lot of fun! Such good work this year by poets and artists! Thanks again, also, to our sponsors and donors, our interns, volunteers and board members. Please enjoy the roughly half-hour presentation of the 2021 Virtual Series Event and Anniversary Celebration by clicking this link: https://youtu.be/R8N-DmL9CxY. By the way, if you see a new haiku poster you just have to have framed and hung in your family room, click here to shop!

Thank you!

Posted by Rosalyn M. Carroll for Syracuse Poster Project

Our 20th Anniversary and 2021 Series Event

We’re celebrating our 20th Anniversary! 

The Syracuse Poster Project is celebrating 20 years of bringing together community poets and artists to create an annual series of poetry posters for the poster kiosks in downtown Syracuse. Co-founded in 2001 by long-time Syracuse resident, Jim Emmons and Roger DeMuth, artist and former Professor of Illustration at Syracuse University (SU), the Poster Project’s first Series was unveiled in 2002. 

I spoke recently with Jim about the driving force behind the creation of the Syracuse Poster Project:

Founded in 2001 and formally established as a non-profit in 2010, the Syracuse Poster Project was formed to solve an issue with the city’s image. The problem arose after a major renovation of the downtown streetscape in the mid-1990’s. Included in this renovation were approximately 25 poster panels, or kiosks, intended as advertising venues for downtown merchants. Instead of flourishing, these kiosks languished, often displaying outdated material or nothing at all. Like empty storefronts, the panels blighted downtown. The Poster Project addressed this problem by bringing together and artists to create civic poster art for the panels. We did this by inviting writers to write Syracuse-themed haiku, then having the best of these haiku illustrated by art students from the illustration program at Syracuse University. 

Downtown Kiosk
From our 2008 Poster Series 
Poet: Rosalyn M. Carroll 
Artist: Rebecca Zomchek

I asked Jim to expand upon how Syracuse University art students became involved with the Project in its early days: 

2015 Poster Series
Poet: Peggy Droz

Artist: Roger DeMuth

Jim first became aware of the illustration program at SU after reading a story in the SU Alumni Magazine about Professor Roger DeMuth. At the time, Professor DeMuth would assemble a collection of his students’ work, in postcard format, to present to prospective employers at an art and design convention in New York City. Intrigued by the graphic quality of this work, Jim reached out to DeMuth and proposed teaming up by having DeMuth’s students illustrate haiku-based posters for the city’s poster kiosks. Professor DeMuth accepted, and continued to participate in the Project, annually, for 15 years until his retirement from SU.





Once the source for posters was resolved, I asked Jim, why haiku?

While brainstorming ideas for better ways to use the downtown kiosks, Jim also consulted with an advertising professor at SU and pitched several ideas to the Downtown Committee of Syracuse. One of those ideas was to create haiku-based posters. This seemed a viable possibility as there was already a tradition of people writing haiku in Syracuse for the Syracuse New Times Syr-Haiku contest. In addition, the brevity of haiku lent itself to the brevity of communication required of poster art. The Syracuse New Times let us tap its collection of haiku, which we immediately supplemented with our own call for haiku. A year or two later, the New Times ceased its contest, and we relied entirely on our own call for haiku.

Syracuse New Times
Syr-Haiku Contest

Eventually, the Syracuse Poster Project’s annual call for haiku included a kind of Ekphrastic challenge. I asked Jim about this challenge–where a poster is commissioned and poets have the chance to submit a haiku to fit the illustration:

2012 Poster Series
Poet: Sara Parrott

Artist: Skip Frost

For the 2012 poster series, we created the first of several “reverse process” posters, in which we commissioned an illustration and invited poets to write haiku to complement the image. The first instance of this arose when Onondaga Community College (OCC) asked us to create a poster in celebration of its 50th Anniversary. We commissioned Skip Frost, an art instructor at the college, to paint a scene of OCC’s iconic footbridge, which was then completed with a haiku submitted by Sara Parrott


In 2018, shortly after Roger DeMuth retired from SU’s Illustration Program, Syracuse Poster Project initiated an open call for Central New York artists to participate in the production of the 2019 poster series. I asked Jim about the success of this change:

It has been tremendously successful. From 2001 to 2017, we collaborated with a senior illustration class at Syracuse University, whose students would select and illustrate haiku. In 2018, we broadened our reach by implementing an open call for Central New York artists. Each year, approximately 40 artists have committed to participating. After screening submitted haiku, we allot four of our favorites to each artist to participate. Artists then select and illustrate their preferred haiku.

2019 Poster Series
Poet: David Harper

Artist: Eva Hunter

As we celebrate our 20th Anniversary, I asked Jim to briefly reflect on the success of the Syracuse Poster Project:

Photo: Rosalyn M. Carroll, 2018

If numbers are any indication of success, consider this:

In 20 years, the Syracuse Poster Project:

  • Has worked with more than 500 artists and 600 poets
  • 3,136 haiku have been submitted for consideration
  • approximately, 320 haiku posters have been completed
  • 440 of those posters have hung in kiosks in downtown Syracuse

Over the years, the Syracuse Poster Project has grown tremendously and has implemented new ways of fulfilling its mission to enliven the city of Syracuse and to build community between poets, artists and the community at large. 

Along with a well-constructed website, an active Blog and social media presence, Syracuse Poster Project also sells poster prints and poster-related products in their online Shop, at local events, such as the annual Syracuse Arts and Crafts Festival, and at our annual (pre-pandemic) Series Unveiling Event in April. 

2017 Poster Series
Poet: Ross Getman

Artist: Tong “Amy” Su

Among other community building events, including occasional  poetry workshops and the Erie Canal Museum Poster Installation, there is also a traveling exhibit of framed poster prints that has contributed to the wide audience Syracuse Poster Project currently enjoys.


As Jim explained to me, “….each year, we print 16 unique posters and up to 10 copies of select posters for a total of approximately 22 posters to appear in the kiosks. So: 22 posters per year over the course of 20 years amounts to 440 posters.”

Upon further reflection, Jim added this note of thanks: 

Interns: Yunhu Zhu & Jiaqi Liu
Photo: Jim Emmons, 2020

Our success would not be possible without the support of our generous sponsors and dedicated Board members, our tireless volunteers and enthusiastic interns.

We also thank our poets and artists for their spirit, skill and creativity, and a tremendous thank you to our larger circle of community supporters for keeping faith in us. Together, we’ve helped to make Syracuse a place of civic art.

Board member: Marc Maynard
Photo: Jim Emmons, 2015

In closing, our 20th Anniversary celebration would not be complete without the unveiling of our newest Series!

With yet another year of pandemic quarantining, we are unable to meet and mingle in person as has been our tradition. Instead, we will be presenting our 2021 Series Unveiling Event virtually. Like last year’s virtual unveiling, the YouTube premiere of the 2021 Series will combine posters, poems, video clips by the artists and poets, and live commenting. This special event will take place on Thursday, April 22 at 6:00PM.  To watch and participate, go to the Poster Project’s YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/theposterproject. Please join us!

Enjoy a few photos below from our previous Unveiling Events or click here for more!

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

Halloween Inspired Haiku

It’s Halloween! One of our favorite days of the year! Pumpkins are carved, costumes are at the ready, stuffed candy bowls wait patiently for trick-or-treaters.  

On cold, dark porch steps,
Jack O’Lanterns grin and wait.
Beware, you tricksters!
Rosalyn M. Carroll, (Manlius 2015)

With a harvest moon drifting lazily overhead, stormy skies and thick fog are the perfect backdrop for ghoulish sights on Halloween night.

October moon hangs
spectral light and shadows fall
luminous clouds fly
Karl Krohl, (Syracuse 2015)

Dry leaves rustle in the wind, owls who-hoot at midnight and ghosts roam the shadows of Syracuse.  Oh my!

On the old canal,
a ghost barge drifts soundlessly
a fallen leaf rides.
Michael Sickler, (Minoa 2012)

Lilac vapor trail
Landmark Theater ghost performs
one more curtain call
Sheila Forsyth, (Fayetteville 2011)

The ghosts of yester
sequestered in their oak grove
welcome each new dawn
Garrett Heater, (Syracuse 2015)

Our featured haiku poster is from our 2013 Series.  Poet, Robin Gross, and former Syracuse University Illustration Student, Dylan Allen, whose work was recently exhibited at Apostrophe’s Art Gallery in Syracuse, have created a hauntingly beautiful recipe for a spooky Halloween night!

Under Harvest Moon / Landmark Theatre Ghost Shrieks / Boo! Trick Or Treat Me
2013Gross_Allen
As you can see, Halloween conjures up a cauldron-full of images, feelings and memories, too.  We hope you have enjoyed these Halloween-inspired haiku from our archives!

Ghosts of trains, whispers
of smoke, standing at the old
station, long ago
Catherine Foster, (Soddy Daisy, TN 2013)

Grand Ballroom twilight
costumed masqueraders grin
tricks and treats within
Abigail Lent, (Baldwinsville 2017)

So, while the pandemic may limit the number of kids at the front door, it’s a great time to use your mask…and, to stay at least 6 feet from any goblins you meet!!

Happy Haunting! Hope it’s ‘boo-ti-ful’ under tonight’s Blue Moon!!

Haiku For Falling Leaves

🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂

Autumn. Another wonderful season of sensory experiences….and inspired haiku!  We’ve written about Autumn on these pages before, but there is always one more haiku from our archives which we think will enhance the colors and sounds of this amazing October!  

So, from our archives…

🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁

Autumn can be a smorgasbord for the senses!  It can be visually mesmerizing as leaves turn from Summer green to warm shades of red, yellow, orange and gold. 

Autumn rolls out quilts
along Route 20…wrapping
the fields in color.

by Sally Lloyd (Cazenovia 2010)

🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂

As daylight grows shorter and nights longer, Autumn weather turns accordingly—and unpredictably, too.  Warm and sunny days play tag with grey and chilly days.  By the end of October, Autumn is warm sweaters tugged tight and blankets pulled up close.

Sweaters warm the skin
The leaves burst into red flame
The snow approaches

by Caitlin Moriarty (Manlius 2016)

🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁

Autumn’s sound is underfoot with the crunch of dried leaves. It’s the sound of rain and wet leaves hitting darkened window panes. It’s the wind, tossing tree branches wildly about, their colorful leaves breaking free, blanketing the earth.

Autumn leaves fly past
my window, dancing in the
wind. Bare trees shiver.

by Rosalyn M. Carroll (Manlius 2020)

🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂

Autumn is the deliciousness of red apples…

Sun-ripened skins gleam
boughs of crimson temptation
Autumn’s crisp reward

by Laura Ferrel (Camillus 2016)

…or the taste of harvested grapes that have been kissed by a warm sun.

Riesling, Cab delight
Drink in delicious views, sip
vineyard’s offerings

by Arlene Quizon (Renton 2014)

🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁

It’s the smell of the earth as it begins its descent into Winter’s solitude.

At Clark Reservoir,
Autumn colors everywhere.
Fossils etched in stone.

by Joan Cofrancesco (Camillus 2007)

🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂

We have a number of wonderful haiku posters illustrating the beauty of Autumn.  Our featured poster today is from our 2019 Series.  We think you’ll agree, the colorful illustration by Erin Nowak (learn about her other work here) clearly captures the words of the vivid haiku skillfully written by Mary Jane BeVard

Wind disrupts raked leaves / Once peaceful piles now swirling / whirling dervishly

🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁

Even with a pandemic hovering in the background, Autumn elicits tailgating parties at the home game, memories of childhood capers running through raked-high leaves and the smell of cinnamon wafting from a freshly baked apple pie.  It’s also a quiet time as life moves indoors for awhile.

Leaf-strewn yards glow bronze.
Sisters five, they stand reborn.
Love comes moving in.

by Patricia Ziemba (Syracuse 2010)

🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂

What do you love about Autumn and the falling leaves? Leave us your thoughts in a haiku in the Comment Section!

And, get raking!  

Rosalyn M. Carroll for the Syracuse Poster Project

🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁

Haiku for a Summer’s End

✻✻✻✻✻✻✻✻✻✻✻✻✻✻✻✻✻✻✻✻✻✻✻✻✻✻✻✻✻✻✻✻✻✻✻✻✻✻✻✻✻✻✻✻✻✻✻✻✻✻✻✻✻

Summer’s end is often bittersweet, isn’t it? The warm days, without the need of a jacket, quickly become a distant memory as the thermometer gradually drops to the low 50’s by mid- September. While sweaters replace shorts and flip-flops, the deep green leaves of the Geraniums turn yellow and the familiar sing-song of crickets begins to fade as windows close tight against chilly nights.

Ruby dragonfly
alights on the garden gate
Summer still lingers

by Joan Loveridge-Sanbonmatsu (Syracuse 2015)

No doubt you’ve noticed this slow change over the last few weeks, beginning with the pale sun rising later and later to mark the start of the day to its setting in the West way too soon in the early evening.

Owl hooted at Dawn
as she tucked in the Moon and
Stars — Morning rose Blue

by Rosalyn M. Carroll (Manlius 2020)

Aside from the date on the calendar–and children going back to school–there are other signs in Nature reminding us that this Summer of COVID-19 is coming to an end.

Overhead a skein
of honking geese stitch clouds in
gray and downy quilts

by Mary Taitt (Grosse Pointe Farms 2001)

Other signs of this colorful change in season include the multitude of farm stands that have cropped up (no pun intended) on country roads and on city streets.

mums, melon, mushrooms
Summer’s bountiful buffet–
bustling farm market.

by Evelyn Ayers-Marsh (Syracuse 2001)

When you think about it, this time of year is the only time in Central New York that you can enjoy sun-sweetened corn-on-the-cob and plump red, farm-grown tomatoes!

tomato-warmed palm,
teeth tear, taste ray’s explosion.
Sliced sunlight on bread.

by Rachael Ikins (Baldwinsville 2016)

The end of Summer is also elephant-high sunflowers and cornfields. It is golden bales of hay laying round and full on plowed-under fields. From our 2020 Series, our featured haiku poster deftly illustrates such a scene. The richly-worded haiku was written by Philip Nast and the colorfully detailed poster was illustrated by Tammra Cook.

yellow rounds of hay / cast shadows in stubbled field / sun slips behind hills

Perhaps one of the most telling signs that Summer is making its exit is the quiet at the bird feeder. As our feathered friends leave us for warmer climates, their departure ushers in the golden beauty of the Autumnal Equinox. They leave us with warm and cheerful memories along with the promise of new beginnings and peaceful days ahead.

Hummingbirds fly South
signaling Summer’s Swan Song
and Autumn arrives.

by Mark Calicchia (Letchworth State Park 2020)

A change of season, a change of light — what strikes you the most during these days of change? Let us know in the comments below or send us a haiku!

Be well and stay safe!

Rosalyn M. Carroll for the Syracuse Poster Project

✻✻✻✻✻✻✻✻✻✻✻✻✻✻✻✻✻✻✻✻✻✻✻✻✻✻✻✻✻✻✻✻✻✻✻✻✻✻✻✻✻✻✻✻✻✻✻✻✻✻✻✻✻

Haiku For Social Distancing

************************************************************************

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 COVID19 Summer

Tiger lilies bloom
Orange beauties of July–
Summer days fly by

by Rosalyn M. Carroll (Manlius 2020)

Hello, there! It’s hard to believe we’re closing in on the middle of July already! Summer — it’s way too short, but oh, so sweet!

Garden Festival
Plants dancing in the moonlight
Rutabaga Waltz

by Dale Sherman (Manlius 2011)

Air thickened like flour,
clouds whipped and mixed overhead.
Sweet, sticky rainfall.

by James Macris (Liverpool 2017)

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

by Jay Cox (Pompey 2001)

With many of us experiencing a variety of “new normals” due to COVID19, it’s good to know that one thing hasn’t changed this Summer: Mother Nature! In fact, it seems this Summer’s birdsong is brighter, the air cleaner and neighborhood roads are mostly unhurried.

Leaves of sunlight caught
in the arc of a rainbow
cattails sway and dance

by Bonnie Ryan (Syracuse 2017)

Thunder and Lightning
dance over Onondaga
‘til rainbows cut in

by Ellen Agnew (Syracuse 2008)

A Summer sunrise
over the downtown buildings
farmers’ dreams ripen

by Jungtae Lee (Syracuse 2006)

Our featured haiku poster is from our 2020 Series. With its colorful haiku written by Joan Dear-Houseman, the lovely summertime Poster was created by Ryan Wood, a Syracuse-based artist and designer.

Languid lavender dances slowly in the breeze―Honeybees rejoice

While the Summer of 2020 is still unfolding with pandemic uncertainties, the beauty and wonders of the season continue to shine through the many haiku of our talented contributors:

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

by Diane Lansing (Syracuse 2014)

It evaporates,
warm rain soothes irate asphalt
Summer spirit, rise

by Thomas Stock (Fort Plain 2013)

On a moonlit night
the inner harbor shimmers
in mid-summer heat

by David Manfredi (Syracuse 2009)

Enjoy these Summer daze while they’re here!! As always, please leave us a haiku in the comments if you’d like to share your Summer or COVID19 experience with us!

Riding through cities.
Hold on tight, red light, green light.
With wind in my hair.

by Grace Carroll (Syracuse 2014)

Oh, one more thing! In case you missed it, the opening reception for our 2020 Series was held virtually this year due to the pandemic lockdown in April. With all the Series’ poets and artists participating in a fabulous video created especially for this unique occasion, our Live Stream on April 23rd was a huge success! Cheering each other’s great work within our group’s Watch Party was great fun, too! You can still view our Virtual Unveiling Event via YouTube, here. Look for our new posters to go up in their usual downtown kiosk locations sometime this Summer! If you see one you like, visit our SHOP to purchase it!

Stay Well and Stay Safe!

Rosalyn M. Carroll for The Syracuse Poster Project

Haiku: Setting the Stage for Halloween

It’s the last week of October and Halloween is just about here! Costumes are at the ready and the candy bowl sits waiting for trick-or-treaters. But first, let’s set the scene. October days have grown shorter, with mornings chilly and foggy; its nights are crisp and long:

Trees stand silently
In morning’s Autumn darkness
Soon bright with sunlight

by Anonymous (2019)

Most trees stand bare now, too, with Autumn leaves piled high or blanketing the yard. Yet, here and there, the striking beauty of a Burning Bush or a tall Oak tree still garners a “wow”:

The mighty oak tree,
last to lose its leaves in Fall
see the red colors!

by Nanette Scogin (Watkins Glen 2019)

Now, listen to the cackle of crows as they roost in those bare treetops. What a mood they set:

“Ha!” Crow says, airing
wings atop the dead maple
creaking in the wind

by Jay Cox (Pompey 2007)

And, as dry leaves rustle and fly in the wind, look for ghosts roaming the
shadows of Syracuse:

Walking on Water
Ghosts of ancient barges pass
Soaked in history

by Evelyn Ayers-Marsh (Syracuse 2006)

Our featured haiku poster is from our 2018 Series and fits well with the revelry of Halloween! Poet, Mary Huling, and former Syracuse University Illustration Student, Elise Beauchamp – now a Los Angeles-based Illustrator – have created a perfectly spooky theme for Halloween using their love of Autumn’s colorful fire and light!

Season of color / Scraping out seeds within /Lighted orange smile

And, at last, as Pumpkins are carved and lit, the stage is set for a ghoulish Halloween night:

Jack O’Lanterns grin,
Skeletons jangle and roll
Halloween is here!

by Rosalyn M. Carroll (Manlius 2009)

Happy Haunting!

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 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 A Heat Wave

Since the Summer Solstice, it’s been sunny and warm–just the way Summer should be! But, with a heat wave hovering about for a few weeks now, we could all use some relief! What better way to survive the heat than by reading some wonderful haiku from our archives which warmly reflect this Summertime occurrence!  

When it’s hot, Joan Loveridge-Sanbonmatsu’s (Syracuse 2008) cheerful haiku describes one way to find some quick relief:

In Summer’s fierce heat
Sparrow hops into backyard
birdbath: cooling, splash.

Mary Gardner’s (Skaneateles 2003) vivid haiku reflects how Summer and the many opportunities for outdoor musical activities go hand-in-hand…despite the heat:

Heat hung low and haze
Hinders not these hearts at play–
Music in the square

The familiar sounds of a Summer’s heat wave are nicely reflected in Ellen Agnew’s (Syracuse 2005) spirited haiku:

Waves of locust songs
ebb and flow with no excuse
except Summer heat.

And, Ruthnie Angrand (Syracuse 2014) offers an energizing prescription for those of you who are fitness or sports minded and love Summer’s many opportunities to be outdoors:

Drip. Stew. Drive. Swelter.
Severe heat and haze, focus.
West. Run. Keep Running.

You can practically feel the heat of the street and its buildings with this beautifully illustrated haiku poster from our 2010 Series.  Illustrated by former Syracuse University Illustration student, Hee Soo Cho, the poster heartily reflects the glowing words of Michael McAnaney’s haiku.

Summer sun mirrors / a gallery of faces / Salina glitters

2010_McAnaney_Cho.jpg

Lastly, we’d like to thank our readers for their responses to our last blog (see Haiku For a Summer Solstice).  We received this delightful Summertime haiku from Yvonne Kovits (Little Falls  2018)–there’s no denying the music of Summer found her poem! Thanks, Yvonne!

Warm breeze, colored sky
Crickets lite chatter, toads croak
Peaceful twilight..mosquito

Summer.  It’s here at long last! Stay Cool and read Haiku!

 

Haiku For A Summer Solstice

The Summer Solstice: a day to celebrate the first day of Summer! And with that, some of our favorite Summertime activities come alive with haiku from our archives!

From Jennifer Groff, (Lancaster 2010), a colorful haiku with great imagery and a wonderful play on words:

Freshly picked berries
Summer-stained fingers and lips–
memory preserves

So many rich Summer images in Nan Gartner’s, (Fayetteville 2011), haiku, too:

Purple Loosestrife and
Yellow Finches brighten the
Canal bikers’ path

From poet, Martin Willitts, Jr., (Syracuse 2011), an imaginative Summertime haiku with an interesting twist:

Syracuse Summer
Heid’s hot dog clouds, ominous,
digested by sun

Enjoying music and the outdoors–a favorite Summertime activity–lyrically described by Jay Cox, (Pompey, 2003):

Texas Blues drift with
the moonlight through a Summer
night in Clinton Square

From Meg Catanzarita, (Syracuse 2009), a Summer sports-themed haiku served up with another set of a rhythmic play on words:

Sedgwick Farm hosts love
Red clay courts city players
Singles anyone?

And, on the heels of the Summer Solstice, the long lazy days of Summer provide a time for reflection and pensive introspection. Our featured poster is from our 2018 Series. Wistfully written by long-time Syracuse Poster Project contributor, Omanii Abdullah, this Summer-themed poster was deliciously illustrated by Syracuse University Illustration student, Claudia Lewis.

I sold lemonade / back when times were innocent / and not bittersweet

2018 Abdullah_Lewis

As we observe the sunny arrival of the Summer Solstice, a double-edged haiku for you to ponder from first-time Syracuse Poster Project contributor, Charlie Carroll, (Manlius 2017):

Summer Solstice joy!
Alas…now the slide begins
T’wards Winter’s darkness.

Do you observe the Summer Solstice with a special tradition? What do you look forward to once Summer has arrived? Share your thoughts in a haiku in the comments below and we’ll add them to the next blog!

Cheers!

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!

Warm Weather on Your Mind?

If you’re on our mailing list, or follow us on social media, you know that we frequently highlight our activities and events with a short newsletter-style email blast. This short bulletin also features a poster from our archives that best matches our latest news–and, it’s usually offered at a special discount! (**See how you can get on our mailing list below!)

Our latest newsletter teases us out of our Winter doldrums with a wonderful haiku poster from our 2013 Series showcasing Columbus Circle on a bright Summer’s day. Written by Ricky Maeweather and illustrated by Walter Kampf-Lassin, this wonderful scene certainly allows us to forget–even for a moment–the cold, dreary weather we’ve been having this January!

large buildings stand tall / the center always crowded / square blocks building lofts

298_07_Maeweather_Kampf-Lassin

It will be a few months yet until the sun warms us up as it does in this bright haiku poster, but we are always warmed by the responses we receive from our followers to things we’ve written about in our newsletter–and, our blog!

In fact, we’d like to say ‘thanks’ to our long-time–and now, long-distance–friend of the Syracuse Poster Project, Patricia Rickard, for her comment to our Columbus Circle dispatch.  From sunny Florida, where she is researching publishers for her book, ‘The Complete Guide to Child-Centered Musical Theater’, Patricia writes, “I hear from family and friends back in Syracuse and the North Country that Winter is already old and cold, and it’s only January.  Spring will eventually come to Syracuse in two more months!! So, close your eyes and be transported with this Haiku!”

Sun, Sea, Sand, Blue Skies;
Palm Trees Sway, Seagulls Swooping;
Red Hibiscus Bloom!

How simply marvelous…can you feel the warmth, now, of a soft, sunny blue day in January? Thank you, Patricia!

So, hang in there all you Central New Yorkers…it’s almost February!!

Rosalyn M. Carroll for the Syracuse Poster Project


**If you’d like to join our mailing list to receive news about our activities, invitations to submit poetry and notices of shopping deals, please contact us here. We’ll keep you informed by email and occasionally by direct postal mail. Rest assured, we do not share contact information or email addresses.

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

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?  

Hot Haiku

Summertime, when days are warm and humid…we’ve had a few of them here in Central New York recently.  It’s days like these that make Summer simmer (no pun intended)!  If you’re a frequent reader of this blog, you know that we often highlight seasonal themes, sometimes focusing on singular characteristics of the season we’re in. Hot, humid and hazy Summer days happen to be the subject of many haiku found in our archives contributed by Central New York poets.  We thought it would be timely to add these to our Blog before Summer ‘daze’ slip away.

There’s a unique sound to warm Summer days. You can practically hear the sultriness in this fine haiku written by frequent Syracuse Poster Project contributor, Ellen Agnew (Syracuse 2005):

waves of locust songs                                                                                                                                                                          ebb and flow with no excuse                                                                                                                                                       except Summer heat

Along with spindly grasshoppers, the sound of crickets and cicadas are even more noticeable when days are long and warm.  It’s easy to imagine the captivating scene detailed in Anna Pyrohanych’s (Auburn) colorful 2012 haiku:

Sun sets, moon rises–                                                                                                                                                                  Shimmer across still waters…                                                                                                                                                       Summer crickets sing

When there’s a stretch of days in the high 80’s, even the inevitable thunderstorm offers little relief, as perfectly described in Karl Krohl’s (Syracuse) 2015 haiku:

Thunderheads tower                                                                                                                                                                           Summer, a breathless haze–still                                                                                                                                                            the cicadas drone

From our 2006 Poster Series, former Syracuse University Illustration student, Lauren Katz, beautifully conceived Jane Cassady’s (Philadelphia 2005) fine haiku:

Humid moon rises / over the stopped clock tower / like a real city

89_04_Cassady _Katz

Now that it’s August, you can forget the heat with this delightful haiku by another frequent Syracuse Poster Project contributor, Mary Gardner (Skaneateles 2003):

Heat hung low and haze                                                                                                                                                                    Hinders not these hearts at play–                                                                                                                                                   Music in the square

Speaking of music, don’t let the heat deter you from enjoying the other sounds of Summer as Sheila Forsyth’s (Fayetteville 2008) haiku vividly describes:

Sizzling riffs from sax                                                                                                                                                                            “Jazz in the City” heats up                                                                                                                                                                        Cool, full moon evening

Finally, there’s no doubt we’ve all shared Michele Reed’s (Oswego) feelings from time to time as crisply expressed in her 2015 haiku:

sound of cicadas                                                                                                                                                                                       on a sultry Summer’s eve                                                                                                                                                                        and I dream of snow

What do you find distinctive about warm Summer days?  However you spend these remaining hot, hazy ‘daze’, stay cool!

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

 

Haiku to Welcome Summer

At long last, it’s coming on Summer!  From our archive of contributed haiku, we’ve found a few to highlight the return of this sunny season.

Spring flowers have faded, making way for bright Summer blooms.  Everything’s comin’ up roses, too, as vividly described by Joan Loveridge-Sanbonmatsu (Syracuse), in her 2011 haiku:

 A burst of petals                                                                                                                                      flame red, melon, pale yellow                                                                                                             Summer rose gardens

After a long Winter and wet Spring, neighbors are slowly emerging from their homes, greeting each other like old friends.  Beth Miller (Auburn) skillfully creates such a scene in her 2015 haiku:

Warm friendly greetings                                                                                                                       Summer on South Geddes Street                                                                                                           Flowers lead to porches

Outdoors, there’s the sound of lawns being mowed and the comforting smell of fresh cut grass.  Green grass and Summer–there is nothing quite like it as Thomas Stock (Ft. Plain 2014) describes in his mirthful haiku:

Cool clover carpet                                                                                                                                   seduce my bare feet with dew                                                                                                               Summer night, you muse!

The arrival of Summer also means weekends are suddenly booked with music festivals, sporting activities, sun gazing and weddings!  Our featured poster from our 2004 Series notes this traditional season for wedding celebrations with a cleverly written haiku by Ralph Long, Jr. and a beautiful illustration by  Elizabeth Couturier, former Syracuse University Illustration student.

In a Rose Garden / at the top of Campus Hill / wedding dresses bloom

2004Long_Couturier

Of course, Summer’s arrival also means construction season is underway everywhere you turn. When artfully expressed in a haiku, such as this one by Dianne Apter (Syracuse 2015), delays don’t seem quite as dreadful:

Summer highway rite                                                                                                                             Orange cones stretched forever                                                                                                                   A sea of detours

How do you welcome Summer?  Write us a haiku in the Comments and we’ll publish it next time on our blog.

Happy Summer!

Haiku for a Slow Start to Spring

Pink clouds dot the sky                                                                                                                                                                            Black crows fly past crescent moon                                                                                                                                                       A change of weather

                                                                                     by Peter Allen (Syracuse 2013)


Whether or not you care much about the weather, it is one of the major topics of conversation anywhere, anytime, anyhow, no matter the day or the time of year.  It pretty much affects everything around us and everything we do.  We, at Syracuse Poster Project, would rightfully guess that we receive more haiku written about weather–like the fine poem above–than about any other subject!

Changes in the weather often signal a change in the season, too.  For instance, in Central New York today, while the calendar may say Spring, the weather these past few weeks has been mostly cold, dismally grey and, well…cold.  In fact, on St. Patrick’s Day–usually a fine day to celebrate the imminent arrival of Spring–there were snowbanks here that were as high as an elephant’s eye! The tulips and daffodils that had started to peek out from the cold March ground were quickly sent packing.  

Moving from March to April isn’t always easy or fast.  Thank goodness for Haiku to put this change of season into perspective!  Take, for example, this poignantly expressive haiku from frequent Syracuse Poster Project contributor, Jay Cox (Pompey, 2001):

Treetops’ sprawling arms                                                                                                                                                                        tremble, holding pale gray sky–                                                                                                                                                           snow patches linger.

Or, consider the perspective found in this uplifting haiku from Anton Ninno (Syracuse, 2008):

Last snow of the year                                                                                                                                                                                crashes down, heavy and wet                                                                                                                                                                 young buds shake it off

From Craig Overbeck, (Fayetteville, 2015), a stirring haiku with an artistic glimpse of what awaits us this Spring:

To the south, rain falls.                                                                                                                                                                  Gray brushstrokes sweep from dark clouds                                                                                                                                        To paint the hills green.

We think you’ll agree, this warm and delightful haiku by Rachel Guido deVries (Cazenovia, 2001) enriches any conversation about the weather or change of season.  Her words create a feeling beautifully captured in this poster from our 2015 Series by former Syracuse University Illustration student, Lise Sukhu.  To see more of Lise’s artwork, click here.

Dog sleeps safe from rain, / nestled in blankets, my feet / warm up, beneath her

2015Guido_de_Vries_Sukhu

Over the past several months we’ve highlighted many fine haiku written by our contributors about the weather and the change of seasons in Central New York.  Our accompanying featured posters beautifully underscore and accentuate the fine work we receive.  We hope you’ve enjoyed reading these poems as well as the few highlighted here today.  

And, remember, as we move from snow to rain this season, keep this cheerful haiku, written by Michelle Miles (Amman, Jordan 2016), in mind:

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

Until again, stay warm, stay dry! Happy Spring!

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!

 

It’s Official–Autumn Is Here!

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 Fall.

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 2015 collection.  Illustrated by former Syracuse University Illustration Student, Gabrielle Bittel, (now a Central New York-based concept artist), the poster beautifully complements the colorful haiku written by Roseanne Olszewski.

Golden crimson leaves / Infused with sunlight hue–fall / blazing my pathway394_14_olszewski_bittel

For many of us, it’s sad to see Summer leave.  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!

And finally, for this blogger, a delightfully straightforward haiku from Angelina Allen (Camillus 2014), the young daughter of frequent Syracuse Poster Project contributor, Paul Goat Allenpretty well sums it up:

   Summer is over                                                                                                                                                                   the first day of school is here                                                                                                                                          leaves fall from the trees

How do you feel about the Autumn Equinox? Can you put your feelings about this change of season into a haiku? Leave us your thoughts in the comments below–we’d love to hear from you!

Happy Autumn!

The End of Summer “Daze” or It’s Labor Day Already!

The end of August can be somewhat bittersweet: The warm, lazy days of Summer are slowly becoming a sweet memory.  Parents, students and teachers are gearing up for a new school year to begin and college campuses have already begun conducting classes.  Baseball season is winding down while high school soccer games and football practice are largely underway. But, even though the Great New York State Fair and Labor Day officially mark the end of the Summer season, Summer stays with us until September 21!  Days remain mostly warm and sunny, the nights a bit cooler.  And, although tall, golden-eyed Sunflowers have settled back home facing East, there remain colorful songbirds at the feeder and the hum of cicadas and crickets are still lulling us to sleep.    

This time of year clearly resonates with many of our haiku contributors who savour this slow transition to Autumn.  Sheila Forsyth’s (Fayetteville 2014) haiku says goodbye to Summer with a beautiful image:

Evening cricket plays                                                                                                                                                        farewell to Summer on its                                                                                                                                              hind leg violin

As does Ellen Barnes’ (Syracuse 2014) haiku:

  Sunflower faces                                                                                                                                                                  A swoosh of yellow and black:                                                                                                                                       Goldfinch dinnertime

And, Jay Cox (Pompey 2010) pays homage to Summer’s end with this expansive and thoughtful haiku:

Monarch butterflies                                                                                                                                                          dance with fading wildflowers                                                                                                                                     as the sun slides low

We wanted to share with you a series of delightful haiku posters from our collection which clearly display these final “daze” of Summer.  Enjoy!

From our 2009 Series, Artist: Q. Cassetti and Poet: David Hitchcock who writes: “Although I’m often inspired by the interplay of sound and thought, I also write about my own experiences and try to put into words memories that will resonate with others. In these poems, I want people to say, “Yes, I remember that feeling.”  I also think a little humor can open them to thoughts that they may not have had otherwise. So here the poem opens with a little humor, two puns in four words. Then it becomes slightly nostalgic, remembering summer as a child, and how fast it goes, and how baseball games and swimming can remind us of that time. There’s all that in just three little lines.

Chiefly close to home, / catching fast flying Summer / in a baseball mitt.

From our 2011 Series, Artist: Keisha Cedeno and PoetLori DiCaprio-Lee:

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

From our 2002 Series,  Poet: Martin Walls and Artist: James Ryan, now an Illustration teacher in Central Massachusetts:

Fizz of cicadas / Slows as evening cools—lights hum / On in Armory Square

 

Summer’s Small Treasures

Summer.  Long days.  Blue skies.  Bright evening stars.  Among its simple pleasures: the sweet cacophony of birdsong, the laughter of children playing, the chirping of crickets lulling us to sleep.

Many of our archived haiku reflect these simple joys of Summertime.  Here are a few of them!

Syracuse Poster Project haiku contributor, Dianne Apter (Syracuse 2011) offers up a delightful poem which warmly embraces one such Summer treasure – the company of friends:

  Old-older-oldest                                                                                                                                                                Summer’s eve front porch sitters                                                                                                                                  Wine-laughter-gossip

And, Jacquelyn Green’s (Syracuse) 2015 haiku cheerfully evokes a Summer treasure that never gets old:

 Dreaming of Summer.                                                                                                                                                 Double Dutch, hopscotch and friends.                                                                                                                          Good times and laughing.

For some, nothing says Summer like chasing Fireflies!  Their magical flight, on a starry Summer night, can still take us by surprise.  As part of our 2015 Syracuse Poster Project collection, our featured poster beautifully reflects a childhood we can still remember when we chased a brightly lit Firefly.  Eloquently written in 2014 by frequent contributor, Thomas Stock, this charming poster was illustrated by former Syracuse Illustration Student, Sophia Openshaw, now a freelance illustrator from Annapolis, Maryland.  

Fireflies blink brightly / Caught in jars of summer dreams / Where I once left them.

396_16_Stock_Openshaw

We’ll leave you with this 2014 haiku by Syracuse native and poet, Martin Willitts, Jr.  He writes vividly of another Summer treasure which certainly cannot be denied:

 Summer night concert                                                                                                                                               Black crickets on violins                                                                                                                                                  Bullfrogs on bassoons

What do you treasure about Summertime? Let us know in the comment section below or on our Facebook page! And, don’t forget, if you see a poster you would like to own for your home or office, visit our Shop page!

Stay Cool!

Celebrating Summer With Music

From our 2011 Syracuse Poster Project Series, poet Nancy Liccione and former Syracuse Illustration student, Kerff Petit-Frere, now a freelance illustrator out of Brooklyn, joined forces to create this telling poster of summers in Syracuse:

Fountains echo words / Blues and jazz reverberate / Summer in the Square

230_12_Liccione_Petit-FrereMusic. Festivals. Summer.  They’re synonymous with one another.  Celebrating the season nearly every weekend of Summer, festivals fill Syracuse squares and parks with all kinds of music, ethnic foods and treats, crafters and artists of all kinds, individuals and families enjoying the outdoor opportunities of coming together as a community.

Joseph Whelan’s  (Syracuse) 2015 haiku nicely describes this sense of community on one such Summer’s evening–perhaps an evening enjoying Syracuse’s Candlelight Series in Armory Square:

 Music in the night                                                                                                                                                              Neighbors gather in the square                                                                                                                                      Dancing in the street

Frequent Syracuse Poster Project contributor, Ellen Agnew (Syracuse) similarly recounts the pleasures of one of Syracuse’s most popular neighborhood festivals, the Westcott Street Fair with her 2015 haiku:

 Westcott Festival                                                                                                                                                                  brings out musicians, artists,                                                                                                                                         cooks, friends, and their dogs.

Peggy Liuzzi’s (Syracuse) 2009 haiku colorfully describes our collective refusal to have rain hold us back from celebrating Summer’s annual rituals, including the Syracuse Jazz Fest which inevitably has one rainy night in its lineup:

 Music fills square.                                                                                                                                                               Rain falls and the crowd blossoms                                                                                                                              With bright umbrellas.

Another Syracuse Poster Project contributor, Arlene Quizon (Roseville), richly reflects how music–think Jazz in the City or Northeast Jazz & Wine Fest–can bring us together in her 2009 haiku:

 Great Summer jazz songs                                                                                                                                               Together neighborhoods bond                                                                                                                                      Clap worries away

Even late Summer festivals, such as the Syracuse Irish Festival, bring music and community together as expressively described in Sheila Forsyth’s (Fayetteville) 2002 haiku:

 Warm Summer night’s wind                                                                                                                                          Whispers Celtic music through                                                                                                                                        Armory Square streets

Jay Cox’s 2003 (Pompey) haiku brilliantly reminds us that Summer in CNY is incomplete without celebrating the blues–as in the NYS Blues Fest:

 Texas blues drift with                                                                                                                                                       the moonlight through a Summer                                                                                                                                night in Clinton Square

When all is said and done, our 2003 Syracuse Poster Project series haiku poster–written by Claire Bobrycki and illustrated by former Syracuse University Illustration student, Julia Cocuzza, now a working artist living in Brooklyn–says it beautifully:

Steamy Summer night– / ribs smokin’, guitars wailin’ / Blues Fest makes it right

121_03_Bobrycki_Cocuzza

Do you have a favorite Summer festival? Let us know in our comment section below, or even on our Facebook, and we’ll find a place for it in our next Blog Post!

Happy Summer!

 

Haiku to Welcome Summer

Ah, Summer!  Sunshine (mostly), long, warm days (usually), soft breezes (often)!  What better way to officially welcome Summer – and all that it promises – than with a few haiku from the Syracuse Poster Project archives!

You can practically feel one of summer’s little pleasures with this beautifully written 2014 haiku by Thomas Stock (Fort Plain):

 Cool clover carpet,                                                                                                                                                              Seduce my bare feet with dew                                                                                                                                         Summer night, you muse!

And, on an early Summer’s morning, you might be surprised to hear the unique sound of hot-air balloons overhead–like Rosalyn Carroll (Manlius) did in her 2015 haiku:

 colorful balloons                                                                                                                                                             drift lazily overhead                                                                                                                                                           breathing like dragons

….or, from a distance, you’ll see what Nan Gartner (Fayetteville) describes in her colorful 2007 haiku:

 hot-air balloons rise                                                                                                                                                       and a riot of color                                                                                                                                                               blossoms in the sky

Either way, a sure sign Summer has arrived in Central New York, is the annual Jamesville Balloonfest held at Jamesville Beach Park.  One of many Syracuse Summer festivals to feature arts and crafts, food and music, this festival is special for its lovely venue and beautiful hot-air balloons!  

And, if heights aren’t your cup of tea, perhaps you’ll find one of the many Summertime events hosted by the Onondaga Historical Association, such as the Ghostwalk Tour of Oakwood Cemetery, more to your liking!  James Tobey (Cazenovia), former host of Jazz Impressions on WAER radio, found majesty in Oakwood’s grounds with his 2015 haiku:

 rooted in Oakwood                                                                                                                                                            old trees towering above                                                                                                                                                  granite monuments

….as did Mark Shevalier (Henderson) with his 2007 tribute to this tranquil and historic Syracuse landmark:

 And there they all sleep                                                                                                                                                    Beneath the earth and granite                                                                                                                                        Oakwood their fine bed

Summer would be incomplete without a visit to Thornden Park’s Amphitheater where you can help celebrate William Shakespeare’s 400th Birthday by catching a variety of theatre productions presented by the Syracuse Shakespeare Festival.  While you’re there, smell the roses (!) and become inspired–as did our poet, Rosalyn Carroll, and former Syracuse University Illustration Student, Rebecca Zomchek, now a full time Illustration professor at the Columbus College of Art and Design.  Rebecca’s motivation behind her beautiful poster: “I have always loved Shakespeare and was very excited about the opportunity to illustrate a piece about the wonderful Shakespeare Festival in the park. I love walking out to the amphitheater in the Spring when the roses in the park are in bloom.  I wanted to create a fun and interesting piece and tried to give my version of Shakespeare a unique look and personality.  I hope this piece reflects those ideas and the wonderful haiku, and encourages everyone to enjoy the wonderful festival, garden, and arts here in Syracuse.”

Drama in the round, / Roses, far and wide abound. / Shakespeare would be proud.

18_05-Carroll-&-Zomcheck
Summertime events and haiku – what a great combination!

A Taste of Summer

Though the Summer Solstice is still three weeks away, Memorial Day Weekend and the first week of June, essentially welcomes Summer! And now with the season of fun in the sun officially underway, so are its many celebrations, including outdoor festivals, concerts, craft fairs, art shows, field days, Highland Games, baseball games, boating events…we could go on forever!

And, believe it or not, there are haiku from our archives that fit nearly every summertime occasion imaginable!

For instance, during the first weekend in June, the Taste of Syracuse event in Clinton Square has celebrated the opening of Summer for the past 20 years.  Food tasting and music dominate downtown Syracuse for two days and two nights.  Our illustrated haiku poster from the 2011 collection gives you an idea of the crowds that have enjoyed this annual event.  The poster was created by former Syracuse University illustration student, Rebekah Mackay, and written by frequent Syracuse Poster Project contributor, Robin Gross.

Craft shows, concerts, food / Taste of Syracuse so fine / Dance to the music

228_10_Gross_MacKay

Meanwhile, in the nearby Village of Chittenango, Oz-Fest celebrated its 39th year this first weekend of June by again painting the town yellow—er, green!  This Oz-stravaganza celebrates the birthplace of L. Frank Baum with parades, hot air-balloon rides, munchkin races and Dorothy look-alike contests.  Manlius writer, Sylvia O’Connor, describes this bright occasion with her 2014 haiku:

 Immoderate Spring                                                                                                                                                           Bursting into leafy green                                                                                                                                                 Emerald as Oz

History lessons and re-enactments are part of the 24th annual Peterboro Civil War Weekend next weekend.  The home of the National Abolition Hall of Fame and Museum and the Gerrit Smith Estate National Historic Landmark, Peterboro was an important  stop on the Underground Railroad.  The legacy of the abolitionist conductor’s use of codes–such as the North Star–on the freedom trail is one interpretation of Judith McGinn’s (Skaneateles) brilliant 2007 haiku:

  Hearing freedom’s call                                                                                                                                                    heroes boldly save the day                                                                                                                                              guided by a star

Whether you’re out on Cazenovia Lake with the Caz Rowing Club or preparing for the Onondaga Cup and Lakefest in July, you will like Sheila Forsyth’s (Fayetteville) beautiful 2005 haiku:

  Peaceful lake morning                                                                                                                                                      Sculls glide over the water                                                                                                                                                Leaving V-Shaped wakes

What’s your favorite Spring into Summer festival?

April – Come What…May

April.  The word itself elicits all things Spring: April showers that bring May flowers, soft breezes and memories of April in Paris, cherry blossoms and lilacs, love poems and songs…think Simon & Garfunkel, April Come She Will and Frank Sinatra’s rendition of I’ll Remember April.  

Joan Loveridge-Sanbonmatsu’s (Syracuse) 2007 haiku easily describes an April scene some of us woke up to this morning:

 High walls of Spring snow                                                                                                                                            Line the roads of the city.                                                                                                                                        When will the tulips bloom?

April is also a month of celebration.  In fact, Syracuse Poster Project is celebrating its 15th year!  Bringing together community poets and Syracuse University artists and illustration students,  Syracuse Poster Project creates an annual series of poetry posters which are hung in kiosks throughout downtown Syracuse.  Be sure to catch our annual haiku-poster unveiling event on Thursday April 14 at 6:00 p.m. in the City Hall Commons, 201 E. Washington Street.  

Coincidentally, this April marks the 20th Anniversary of National Poetry Month; and it also marks the Smithsonian’s 14th annual celebration of Jazz Appreciation Month (JAM).  Speaking of Jazz, a Syracuse shout out to this year’s SAMMY’s Music Educator of the Year, jazz guitarist, Mark Copani and to Andrew Carroll on his Syracuse SAMMY Award for Best Jazz Recording for his debut album, Alliterations.  

April is also the start of fishing season and the first heady days of baseball season.  We think you’ll agree that our featured Syracuse Poster Project haiku poster from our 2007 collection beautifully depicts an April scene. The haiku was written by poet Claire Bobrycki and illustrated by former Syracuse University Illustration student, Wei Hsing.  

Cold hands, smoky breath / Brown trout jumping Nine Mile Creek / in the April dawn

68_04_Bobrycki_Hsing

Our thanks to one of our readers, (Anonymous), for this wonderful Spring haiku:

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

Responding to our recent question, What is your favorite sign of Spring?, we think you’ll agree, this beautifully descriptive haiku evokes all the hopes of Spring that April brings.  

Happy Spring!

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?  

March Madness

It’s that time.  The Ides of March, when the tables turned on Caesar, and the battle for power…oh wait… I mean, that time of year when the battles of March, played on basketball courts around the country, determine who will be the 2016 National Champion!

East, West, South, Midwest–what better way to express the excitement of March Madness than our featured 2008 Syracuse Poster Project haiku poster created together by poet, Pat Flowers and former Syracuse University Illustration student, Gabe Eng-Goetz:

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

22_09-Flowers-&-Eng-Goetz

Congratulations to the Syracuse University basketball team for their selection to play in the 2016 NCAA Tournament.  In another day or so from this posting, they’re scheduled to play the Dayton Flyers.  And, while the game won’t be here at home, Michael Brigandi’s (Syracuse) 2013 haiku resonates with our hopes for them:

Dark walking through snow                                                                                                                                  Uphill, wet cold, bundled, warm                                                                                                                          Back down, Orange win

Good Luck!

The Music of March

March has arrived – whether as a lion or a lamb, it’s too early to say – but, there is certainly music in the air!  You can hear it in the wind.  Just listen to the lion’s roar in Rachael Ikins’  (Baldwinsville) 2011 haiku:

 Always hungry, March,                                                                                                                                         Sub-zero gales, snow knives cut.                                                                                                                        Peaceful arc, tender spring.

You can hear it in Thomas Stock’s (Ft. Plain) inspired 2015 haiku:

 Hear eager March sun                                                                                                                                                Turn Winter packed icy eaves                                                                                                                                  To notes of spring song.

And, like Eric Darby, (California, 2009), you can hear it in the lilting song of our fine-feathered friends:

 A robin perches                                                                                                                                                            on the snowplow blade, singing                                                                                                                                  its bright orange song.

Speaking of the cheerful sound of birds, you can find this beautiful 2007 illustrated haiku on our Syracuse Poster Project Shop page.  Poet: Claire Bobrycki and Artist: Mike Tanoory.  

Ten below zero / Chickadees go on chirping / Outside my window

Ten below zero Chickadees go on chirping Outside my window

Lion or lamb, March has a beautiful sound all its own.  Listen for it and let us know what you hear!

 

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 For March, 2021

🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀

It’s hard to believe that roughly one year ago, the Coronavirus blew into March like a lion. Still roaring strong, the pandemic has changed all our lives quite dramatically. Adapting to these changes and the resulting “new normal” hasn’t been easy. Thankfully, the constancy of March and its promise of Spring hasn’t changed! 

Thus far this March, Central New York has seen a few sunny days mixed with bitter cold and snowy days. Notwithstanding those few wild and windy grey days, there is absolute joy when spotting Crocus blooming or Tulip shoots pushing their way up through worn patches of snow!

Poster: From our 2018 Series
Poet: Laura Feldman
Artist: Anna Schwartz

Pale winter lifts her
hooded veil and buds appear
in a burst of spring

Despite crowd restrictions and masked coaches, college hoop fans are checking their brackets and watching games from home as March Madness gets underway this week. Out of 68 teams, will a “Cinderella” team emerge this year? Which two teams will progress to the Championship Game on April 5th? Fingers crossed!!

Poster: From our 2016 Series
Poet: T. Michael Duncan
Artist: Cecily Thomas

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

For the safety of marchers and revelers alike, Syracuse was among many cities that did not schedule a St. Patrick’s Day parade. Disappointing as this is, be sure to celebrate the day by donning some green and cooking up your own Corned Beef and Cabbage. And though nothing beats a well-poured draft of stout at your local pub, be sure to raise a pint at home to St. Patrick and the many contributions of the Irish.

Poster: From our 2017 Series
Poet: Abigail Lent
Artist: Mack Muller

At a corner stool
Beige froth nearly overflows
Silky Guinness poured

March will always be the month when the sounds of Spring fill the air. Whether it’s the chirping song of returning Robins or the sharp splat of rain against the windowpane or the howling wind of a sudden snow squall or even listening to Celtic music on St. Patrick’s Day, March is still the perfect prelude to Spring!

Poster: From our 2015 Series
Poet: Ellen McNeal
Artist: Dianna Wendell

Lone violinist
strains against a wintry blast.
Snowy walk. Encore.

For more haiku celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, click here. Check out our March Madness posts here. And, for more Spring haiku, click here! As always, if you love any of our posters, click here to Shop!

Happy Spring!

Stay well and be safe!

Posted by Rosalyn M. Carroll for Syracuse Poster Project

Haiku for Black History Month – 2021

❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤

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)

❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤

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 Grey and Cloudy January

↖↗↘↙↖↗↘↙↖↗↘↙↖↗↘↙↖↗↘↙↖↗↘↙↖↗↘↙↖↗↘↙↖↗↘↙↖↗↘↙↖↗↘↙↖↗↘↙↖↗↘↙

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

🌲🌲🌲🌲🌲🌲🌲🌲🌲🌲

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)

🌲🌲🌲🌲🌲🌲🌲🌲🌲🌲

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

🌲🌲🌲🌲🌲🌲🌲🌲🌲🌲

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