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:

Accumulations.
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

2011_Kenty_McGonagle

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!

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Hot Haiku

Summertime, when days are warm and humid…we’ve had a few of them here in Central New York recently.  It’s days like these that make Summer simmer (no pun intended)!  If you’re a frequent reader of this blog, you know that we often highlight seasonal themes, sometimes focusing on singular characteristics of the season we’re in. Hot, humid and hazy Summer days happen to be the subject of many haiku found in our archives contributed by Central New York poets.  We thought it would be timely to add these to our Blog before Summer ‘daze’ slip away.

There’s a unique sound to warm Summer days. You can practically hear the sultriness in this fine haiku written by frequent Syracuse Poster Project contributor, Ellen Agnew (Syracuse 2005):

waves of locust songs                                                                                                                                                                          ebb and flow with no excuse                                                                                                                                                       except Summer heat

Along with spindly grasshoppers, the sound of crickets and cicadas are even more noticeable when days are long and warm.  It’s easy to imagine the captivating scene detailed in Anna Pyrohanych’s (Auburn) colorful 2012 haiku:

Sun sets, moon rises–                                                                                                                                                                  Shimmer across still waters…                                                                                                                                                       Summer crickets sing

When there’s a stretch of days in the high 80’s, even the inevitable thunderstorm offers little relief, as perfectly described in Karl Krohl’s (Syracuse) 2015 haiku:

Thunderheads tower                                                                                                                                                                           Summer, a breathless haze–still                                                                                                                                                            the cicadas drone

From our 2006 Poster Series, former Syracuse University Illustration student, Lauren Katz, beautifully conceived Jane Cassady’s (Philadelphia 2005) fine haiku:

Humid moon rises / over the stopped clock tower / like a real city

89_04_Cassady _Katz

Now that it’s August, you can forget the heat with this delightful haiku by another frequent Syracuse Poster Project contributor, Mary Gardner (Skaneateles 2003):

Heat hung low and haze                                                                                                                                                                    Hinders not these hearts at play–                                                                                                                                                   Music in the square

Speaking of music, don’t let the heat deter you from enjoying the other sounds of Summer as Sheila Forsyth’s (Fayetteville 2008) haiku vividly describes:

Sizzling riffs from sax                                                                                                                                                                            “Jazz in the City” heats up                                                                                                                                                                        Cool, full moon evening

Finally, there’s no doubt we’ve all shared Michele Reed’s (Oswego) feelings from time to time as crisply expressed in her 2015 haiku:

sound of cicadas                                                                                                                                                                                       on a sultry Summer’s eve                                                                                                                                                                        and I dream of snow

What do you find distinctive about warm Summer days?  However you spend these remaining hot, hazy ‘daze’, stay cool!

Celebrating Summer With Music

From our 2011 Syracuse Poster Project Series, poet Nancy Liccione and former Syracuse Illustration student, Kerff Petit-Frere, now a freelance illustrator out of Brooklyn, joined forces to create this telling poster of summers in Syracuse:

Fountains echo words / Blues and jazz reverberate / Summer in the Square

230_12_Liccione_Petit-FrereMusic. Festivals. Summer.  They’re synonymous with one another.  Celebrating the season nearly every weekend of Summer, festivals fill Syracuse squares and parks with all kinds of music, ethnic foods and treats, crafters and artists of all kinds, individuals and families enjoying the outdoor opportunities of coming together as a community.

Joseph Whelan’s  (Syracuse) 2015 haiku nicely describes this sense of community on one such Summer’s evening–perhaps an evening enjoying Syracuse’s Candlelight Series in Armory Square:

 Music in the night                                                                                                                                                              Neighbors gather in the square                                                                                                                                      Dancing in the street

Frequent Syracuse Poster Project contributor, Ellen Agnew (Syracuse) similarly recounts the pleasures of one of Syracuse’s most popular neighborhood festivals, the Westcott Street Fair with her 2015 haiku:

 Westcott Festival                                                                                                                                                                  brings out musicians, artists,                                                                                                                                         cooks, friends, and their dogs.

Peggy Liuzzi’s (Syracuse) 2009 haiku colorfully describes our collective refusal to have rain hold us back from celebrating Summer’s annual rituals, including the Syracuse Jazz Fest which inevitably has one rainy night in its lineup:

 Music fills square.                                                                                                                                                               Rain falls and the crowd blossoms                                                                                                                              With bright umbrellas.

Another Syracuse Poster Project contributor, Arlene Quizon (Roseville), richly reflects how music–think Jazz in the City or Northeast Jazz & Wine Fest–can bring us together in her 2009 haiku:

 Great Summer jazz songs                                                                                                                                               Together neighborhoods bond                                                                                                                                      Clap worries away

Even late Summer festivals, such as the Syracuse Irish Festival, bring music and community together as expressively described in Sheila Forsyth’s (Fayetteville) 2002 haiku:

 Warm Summer night’s wind                                                                                                                                          Whispers Celtic music through                                                                                                                                        Armory Square streets

Jay Cox’s 2003 (Pompey) haiku brilliantly reminds us that Summer in CNY is incomplete without celebrating the blues–as in the NYS Blues Fest:

 Texas blues drift with                                                                                                                                                       the moonlight through a Summer                                                                                                                                night in Clinton Square

When all is said and done, our 2003 Syracuse Poster Project series haiku poster–written by Claire Bobrycki and illustrated by former Syracuse University Illustration student, Julia Cocuzza, now a working artist living in Brooklyn–says it beautifully:

Steamy Summer night– / ribs smokin’, guitars wailin’ / Blues Fest makes it right

121_03_Bobrycki_Cocuzza

Do you have a favorite Summer festival? Let us know in our comment section below, or even on our Facebook, and we’ll find a place for it in our next Blog Post!

Happy Summer!

 

It’s Winter – isn’t it?

Well, it’s officially Winter – or so the calendar says.  The Season of Light, the Winter Solstice, New Year’s Eve – all behind us now.  But for the balmy 50 degrees weather we’ve been having on and off since Thanksgiving, you wouldn’t know that it is January in Central New York.  So, where’s Winter?

Equating snow with Winter – as most of us do in CNY – frequent Syracuse Poster Project haiku contributor, Gary Weinstein (Syracuse NY), mused this question in 2004:

Strange…I miss the snow.                                                                                                                           The endless blanket that tucks                                                                                                                             us in all winter.

From the sound of the howling wind tonight, one can only imagine Winter as we know it will soon be here.  Scott Austin (Brooklyn NY) anticipated Winter with his 2011 haiku:

Listen to the wind                                                                                                                                            And you can hear snow approach                                                                                                                       Moments before flakes

CNY’s first major snowstorm of the 2016 season, (post New Year’s Eve weekend), has already been washed away by warm weather, high winds and lots of rain after only a few days on the ground.  Tom Westpfal, (Fayetteville NY), captures this somewhat muddled Winter we’re having in his 2013 Syracuse Poster Project haiku contribution:

Grass poking through snow                                                                                                                           Has winter just ended—nope                                                                                                                                It has just begun

Thankfully, it doesn’t seem we will be having the long, bitter cold Winter we did last year – or like folks are now having in the Midwest.  Regardless, this beautifully illustrated 2005 Syracuse Poster Project haiku poster – written by Ellen Agnew and illustrated by former SU Illustration student, Ivy Hickam – sums up the ‘warm’ side of Winter.

Nature's gift of snow allows us to slow our pace, take time to reflect
Nature’s gift of snow, allows us to slow our pace,  take time to reflect

 

Here’s to Winter and a Happy New Year!