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

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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.

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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!

Haiku for a Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving Day–a day steeped in tradition, handed down to us from our nation’s original immigrants in celebration of a bountiful harvest.  However you spend this Thanksgiving Day…

….whether in the smallest of gestures, as exemplified simply in Mary Taitt’s (Grosse Pointe Farms, MI) 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 NY) 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, NY) 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 vividly described in Anne Mackenzie’s (Homer NY) 2014 haiku:

  Kinfolk gathering                                                                                                                                     Pepper specks on buttered corn                                                                                                                        Black starlings scatter

….we wish you a Happy Thanksgiving!

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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!

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.

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      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.

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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!