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

Our 2019 Haiku Poster Series – An Update!


Selecting the 2019 Series

In case you missed it, we recently announced the poet – artist selections for our 2019 Poster Series!  As you may recall, for this year’s event, we reached out to independent artists from throughout the community to help create our haiku posters.  A record 34 artists responded!

Responding artists selected haiku from hundreds of poems submitted by new and former contributors.  A total of 15 posters were finally decided upon by a panel of five judges. This blind selection included awarding a first-, second-, and third-place poster–also new this year!  And, because we received such a wealth of good work, our Board selected two additional haiku posters–“board picks”–bumping the 2019 Series to 18 posters, up from our usual 16!

You may not be aware of this, but in addition to each year’s call for haiku and securing the artists to illustrate these wonderful poems, we also engage a local advertising and marketing firm to help us.  This year, we are very pleased to announce that the Syracuse office of Mower has joined us with their support, including a one-of-a-kind contribution by one of its Creative Supervisors, Steven Peters.

Our annual unveiling event for the 2019 Series is tentatively scheduled for the evening of Thursday, April 18.  Mark your calendars and help us celebrate this wonderful union of art, haiku and community!

Thanks again to our judges, board members, contributors, sponsors and supporters!  And, Congratulations to the poets and artists of our 2019 Series!

Listed below are the 2019 poet-artist pairs, ordered by poet’s name first. Former, contributing poets or artists are bolded; by clicking on their name, a link will take you to their previous work with us. 

Peter Allen & Aaron Lee

Dianne Apter & Kathleen O’Dell

Mary Jane BeVard & Erin Nowak

Laura Braaten & Dani Pendergast

Sherry Chayat & Steven Peters

Aubry Cooper & Cayetano Valenzuela

David Harper & Eva Hunter

Shari Hemsley & Alexandra Grant

Perri Hogan & Daniel Shanahan

Kyle Johnson & Hall Groat Sr.

Diane Lansing & Jill Pierce Long

Michele Madonna & Alyssa Dearborn

Elina Park & Anne Lathrop

Elizabeth Patton & William Padgett

Carolyn Senft & Jamie Santos

Marilyn Shelton & Marianne Dalton

Erin Stepowany & Jamie Ashlaw

James & Barbara Yonai & Paul Lilly

Rosalyn M. Carroll for Syracuse Poster Project

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