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:

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


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

Armies of snowplows
Invade snowbound neighborhoods
Winter prison break

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

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

Here’s hoping March goes out like a lamb!


Haiku for St. Valentine’s Day

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Rosalyn M. Carroll for The Syracuse Poster Project

Haiku to Warm Up January

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

It’s Winter…and, it’s Cold!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Stay Warm!

Winter Hues

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cardinal, feathered masked bandit





Cardinal, feathered

masked bandit on a snowy

limb–all can see you!








Go find some color!