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.

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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!

Got Your Haiku Ready?

The deadline to submit up to three (3) of your best written haiku to the 2019 Syracuse Poster Project Series is quickly approaching! Is yours ready?

Are you needing some inspiration? Well, look no further! You’ll find a couple examples below of some wonderful haiku posters pulled from our archives.

2002 Walls_Ryan

From our 2002 Series: this fine,
sensory-filled haiku, was written by poet and frequent contributor, Martin Walls. In this haiku, the poet has created an “equivalency between the sound of the cicadas and the sound of the lights humming on.” The wonderful illustration is by former Syracuse University student, James Ryan, now a successful visual arts teacher and aspiring illustrator. Learn more about his work her

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

 

 

53_05_DeKing_.jpg

 

From our 2010 Series: even if you are not a dog lover, this delightful haiku, written by Cynthia DeKing and perfectly illustrated by former Syracuse University student, Sarah Chalek, will certainly make you smile! By the way, Sarah, a dog lover herself, is currently working in Los Angeles for Ingenuity Studios; and Cynthia wrote this haiku using a personal experience walking dogs!

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

 

 

2011 DiCaprio-Lee_Cedeno

 

From our 2011 Series comes a haiku
referencing an end of Summer event we are all too familiar with! Poet, Lori DiCaprio-Lee, uses fond memories and her experiences as a Mom, to create this rich, thought provoking haiku. She writes, “I’m excited about the Fair coming, but I’m also melancholy because summer is ending.” The colorful poster was illustrated by former Syracuse University student, Keisha Cedeno, now working with Freeze NY as a graphic artist.

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

 

2017Petrone_RotherFrom our 2017 Series, this wintry
haiku was written by working Dad and poet, Nicholas Petrone. By
employing his years of experience
with Syracuse winters, he writes, “…I wrote the haiku one evening after a big snowstorm. My children had been playing all day in the wind and the snow, and after I put them to bed I sat down and wrote this poem.” Marisa Rother, another former Syracuse University and now a freelance illustrator and designer, created the beautiful and imaginative poster.

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

 

As you prepare to write, remember, nearly all haiku selected for illustration by the Syracuse Poster Project, celebrate our area’s four distinct seasons, our favorite pastimes, our many diverse community celebrations and events!  Create your haiku with three lines of 5, 7, 5 syllables.  Comb through your personal experiences and use your imagination! 

Be sure to submit your poems by Friday, September 7, 2018.  

If you need more inspiration, you’ll find more good haiku here on our Poetry Blog.  If you’re new to the Project, and would like to participate this year, please click HERE for our standard entry form. To download our specially designed Invitation Brochure, click HERE.

Give it a try – what have you got to lose?!

Got Your Haiku Ready?

The deadline to submit up to three (3) of your best written haiku to the 2019 Syracuse Poster Project Series is quickly approaching! Is yours ready?

Are you needing some inspiration? Well, look no further! You’ll find a couple examples below of some wonderful haiku posters pulled from our archives.

2002 Walls_Ryan

From our 2002 Series: this fine,
sensory-filled haiku, was written by poet and frequent contributor, Martin Walls. In this haiku, the poet has created an “equivalency between the sound of the cicadas and the sound of the lights humming on.” The wonderful illustration is by former Syracuse University student, James Ryan, now a successful visual arts teacher and aspiring illustrator. Learn more about his work her

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

 

 

53_05_DeKing_.jpg

 

From our 2010 Series: even if you are not a dog lover, this delightful haiku, written by Cynthia DeKing and perfectly illustrated by former Syracuse University student, Sarah Chalek, will certainly make you smile! By the way, Sarah, a dog lover herself, is currently working in Los Angeles for Ingenuity Studios; and Cynthia wrote this haiku using a personal experience walking dogs!

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

 

 

2011 DiCaprio-Lee_Cedeno

 

From our 2011 Series comes a haiku
referencing an end of Summer event we are all too familiar with! Poet, Lori DiCaprio-Lee, uses fond memories and her experiences as a Mom, to create this rich, thought provoking haiku. She writes, “I’m excited about the Fair coming, but I’m also melancholy because summer is ending.” The colorful poster was illustrated by former Syracuse University student, Keisha Cedeno, now working with Freeze NY as a graphic artist.

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

 

2017Petrone_RotherFrom our 2017 Series, this wintry
haiku was written by working Dad and poet, Nicholas Petrone. By
employing his years of experience
with Syracuse winters, he writes, “…I wrote the haiku one evening after a big snowstorm. My children had been playing all day in the wind and the snow, and after I put them to bed I sat down and wrote this poem.” Marisa Rother, another former Syracuse University and now a freelance illustrator and designer, created the beautiful and imaginative poster.

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

 

As you prepare to write, remember, nearly all haiku selected for illustration by the Syracuse Poster Project, celebrate our area’s four distinct seasons, our favorite pastimes, our many diverse community celebrations and events!  Create your haiku with three lines of 5, 7, 5 syllables.  Comb through your personal experiences and use your imagination! 

Be sure to submit your poems by Friday, September 7, 2018.  

If you need more inspiration, you’ll find more good haiku here on our Poetry Blog.  If you’re new to the Project, and would like to participate this year, please click HERE for our standard entry form. To download our specially designed Invitation Brochure, click HERE.

Give it a try – what have you got to lose?!

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 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