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 2018 Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving–a day steeped in tradition, handed down to us from our nation’s original immigrants in celebration of a bountiful harvest. A time for community, a time for family and friends. However you spend this thanksgiving day…

….whether in the smallest of gestures, as exemplified simply in Mary Taitt’s (Grosse Pointe Farms, 2001) haiku:

to eat stale bread and
coo small thanks, pigeons gather
at our elder’s feet

….manning a soup kitchen as frankly described in Silvia de la Garza’s (Manlius 2011) haiku:

black and white faces
awaiting the noon-day meal
and Samaritans

….spending the day outdoors, as cleverly described in Linda Liddiard’s (Moravia 2010) haiku:

Oak leaves drift softly,
men on fields in bright colors.
Tight spirals land hard.

….or gathering around the dining room table with family and friends as warmly described in Anne Mackenzie’s (Homer 2014) haiku:

kinfolk gathering
pepper specks on buttered corn
black starlings scatter

….we wish you a Happy Thanksgiving with our featured haiku poster from our 2012 Series: finely written by Sara Parrott and wonderfully illustrated by professional artist and instructor, Skip Frost.

Community builds / bridges of thought between us / hope for the future.

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 Columbus Day

Autumn has finally settled here in Syracuse. With its tendency towards capricious weather and warm-colored landscapes, you could say that October is the official beginning of the ‘holidaze’ season — from Columbus Day to New Year’s Day!

Speaking of Columbus Day, did you know that this October event became a national holiday in 1937? And that groundbreaking for our very own Columbus Circle–with its wonderful bronze homage to the explorer–took place on Columbus Day, 1932?!

Exploring our haiku archives, (no pun intended), Columbus and Columbus Circle have often been highlighted over the years by several Syracuse Poster Project poets and artists. What better way to celebrate today’s holiday by featuring a couple of them here!

A bronzed Columbus2006Gaurnier_Shuback
in front of the Cathedral
found by stray pigeon

The poem, by Robert Gaurnier,
contains a wonderful play on words, don’t you think? As the poet mused for this 2006 Series poster, “….Columbus….sailed a long way to find this land only to be now found by pigeons.”

The poster, created by former Syracuse University student,
Jeremy Shuback, handily “….
capture(s) one side of Syracuse and
one side of Mr. Gaurnier’s fantastic
haiku.”  (Read more about Jeremy
and what he’s been up to since his
days at SU, here.)

 

2009Miori-Merola_Ceneta

 

Roosting in bare trees
Over Columbus Circle
The crows are black leaves.

We think you’ll agree, this 2013 Series haiku poster beautifully illustrates the poet’s words.  It also highlights the strong character of Columbus Circle and its ofttimes, serene atmosphere. The artist, former Syracuse University
student, Danielle Ceneta, now a New York-based artist, has even created the feel of an “…Italian piazza…” in this poster–exactly what the original designers had hoped to achieve with this space.

Doreen Miori-Merola wrote the sensory-driven haiku and describes her experience: “…Looking around, I noticed that the trees had already lost (what I thought was) almost all of their leaves. Then there was a loud noise. I’m not even sure what it was. The sound startled this incredibly large flock of black crows that had been roosting in the bare trees around the old library. Suddenly Columbus Circle came alive with the fluttering of black feathers. It reminded me that perhaps we are never truly alone. The haiku developed in my head with that momentary sensory experience.”

If you’re on our mailing list, or follow us on social media, you know that Syracuse Poster Project strives to bring our community together through art and poetry.  We are fortunate to have so many poets who use haiku as a way of confirming their affection for Syracuse and the Central New York area, its well known landmarks and festivals, its many diverse parks and neighborhoods, our wonderful music and art scene.  We hope you enjoyed this brief history guide, if you will, of our city’s tribute to Columbus!

Haiku For a Thanksgiving Holiday

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

Stone canoe floating
Onondaga Lake gives thanks
Peacemaker returns

Tom Huff (Nedrow 2006)

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

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

2003Bobrycki_Mellgren

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

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

Susan Bigler (Liverpool 2009)

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

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

Thomas Stock (Fort Plain 2016)

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

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

Patsy Scala (New Woodstock 2010)

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

Produce from the earth
In crowded marketplaces
Displayed with purpose

Sharon Rorer (Syracuse 2006)

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

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

2014 Allen_Casadonte

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

Happy Thanksgiving! Safe Travels!

Halloween Inspired Haiku

It’s Halloween! 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)

Happy Haunting!

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?  

Thanksgiving Greetings

Wishing you a cornucopia of good wishes for a healthy, happy and bounteous Thanksgiving Holiday Weekend with all the trimmings, warmth and comforts of the season.

From our 2014 Syracuse Poster Project Series: created by poet: Vinh Dang and artist: Chad Wallace a professional illustrator who also writes and illustrates books for children.

                                                            Shining farm market                                                                                                                                                       Season of splendid colors                                                                                                                                               Flowers kiss flowers

2014dang_wallace

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!