Haiku for the Holiday Season!

The Holidays! Oh, the excited anticipation of them all! The planning and the decorating; the ever-changing shopping lists–two miles long; the food and the get-togethers with all that wine! And, then there’s the writing out of Christmas cards and the wrapping of presents; the lighting of candles and the Yuletide tree; the sounds of music in the air, at the school concert and in stained-glassed churches everywhere!

Phew! So, between the stress and the laughter, we’d like to offer you these few haiku from our archives to brighten your celebration of this season of light and love, hope and peace!

The holidays are Cookie Exchanges and building Gingerbread Houses with the kids:

Gingerbread delights
The Erie Canal is trimmed
With giggles and smiles!

Jane Verostek (Syracuse 2012)

It’s the hunt for the perfect Christmas tree:

Horse-drawn sleigh ride to
Cut a Christmas tree just right–
We build traditions!

Rosalyn M. Carroll (Manlius 2006)

Or, for the perfect gift:

Mom clutches my hand
We rush through winding traffic
Holiday shopping

Mary Demetrick (East Syracuse 2004)

The holidays are Mistletoe and Holly and beautiful Poinsettias:

Crimson-tipped arrows
Pointing North, East, South and West
Christmas arsenal

Michelle Miles (Amman, Jordan 2016)

Or, they’re a night time drive through darkened snowy streets for a visual treat; where Christmas and candle lights brighten neighborhood windows and lampposts, doorways and rooftops:

Levitating lights
Vivid vista sparkling home
Where the heart is full

Ronnie Bell (Syracuse 2010)

And, for many, the holidays are not complete without going downtown for the ceremonious “lighting of the tree”:

Huge pine in the Square
Anticipates the signal,
Then lights up Winter

Marilyn Shelton (Dunmore 2008)

Our featured Poster Illustrates just such a scene. The haiku poster is from our 2009 Series. The cheerful haiku was written by Nancy Liccione (Clay 2003) and brightly illustrated by former Syracuse University Illustration Student, Yealim Kong, now a Home Textile & Graphic Designer based in New York City.

Nighttime in the Square / Tree lighting and carols sung / Skaters mingle there

2009 Liccione_Kong

However you spend these last few days of 2017, we wish you a warm and merry Holiday Season!

Ripped fingertip gloves
Cold keys and warm melodies
Fill dark streets with light

 Elizabeth Westfall (North Syracuse 2014)

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Haiku For a Thanksgiving Holiday

It’s Thanksgiving! An American celebration of thanks steeped in history and tradition.

Stone canoe floating
Onondaga Lake gives thanks
Peacemaker returns

Tom Huff (Nedrow 2006)

It’s “Over the river and through the woods” time! While some families are packing up the car to travel far and wide for the long weekend, others are preparing for the long-awaited arrival of loved ones. From our 2003 Series, this featured haiku poster nicely captures the spirit of arriving home with the hubbub of holiday activity downtown. The haiku was written by long-time contributor, Claire Bobrycki, and illustrated by former Syracuse University student, Sarah Mellgren.

Long drive, weary eyes— / Cityscape lights the night sky / Syracuse, I’m home!

2003Bobrycki_Mellgren

It’s Turkey stuffing days! While plump turkeys are roasting and all manner of pies baking, there are those tracking tackles and downs, too.

Spiral in the air
Raucous cheering of the crowd
Pigskin in the zone

Susan Bigler (Liverpool 2009)

It’s still Autumn! Leaves have fallen, leaving trees mostly dark and bare.

Fading sun spot lights
Roosting crows in bare fall trees,
Night black fruit to pick.

Thomas Stock (Fort Plain 2016)

It’s late November! The weather is crisp and getting colder, while windy days are growing shorter and starry nights, longer.

Slanting golden sun
A red leaf drifts to the ground
Seasons change like moons

Patsy Scala (New Woodstock 2010)

It’s the “Holidaze” season! Grocery stores are stuffed with shoppers while traffic delays are just beginning as Christmas Holiday sales lure folks to the mall.

Produce from the earth
In crowded marketplaces
Displayed with purpose

Sharon Rorer (Syracuse 2006)

It’s time to sit in front of a cozy fire burning in the fireplace! From our 2014 Series, this featured haiku poster was beautifully created by former Syracuse University illustration student, Andrew Casadonte, (now a storyboard artist at DreamWorks TV Animation), using the fine phrasing of another of our long-time contributors, Paul Goat Allen.

Winter is coming / wool socks and long underwear / the long sleep is near

2014 Allen_Casadonte

We hope we’ve made your Thanksgiving Holiday a bit richer with these wonderful poems gathered from our archives of contributed haiku!  And, if you’re looking for a special Christmas gift for the poet or artist in your family, be sure to check out our Shop Page for some great ideas!

Happy Thanksgiving! Safe Travels!

Halloween Inspired Haiku

It’s Halloween! Pumpkins are carved, costumes are at the ready, stuffed candy bowls wait patiently for trick-or-treaters.

On cold, dark porch steps,
Jack O’Lanterns grin and wait.
Beware, you tricksters!
Rosalyn M. Carroll, (Manlius 2015)

With a harvest moon drifting lazily overhead, stormy skies and thick fog are the perfect backdrop for ghoulish sights on Halloween night.

October moon hangs
spectral light and shadows fall
luminous clouds fly
Karl Krohl, (Syracuse 2015)

Dry leaves rustle in the wind, owls who-hoot at midnight and ghosts roam the shadows of Syracuse.  Oh my!

On the old canal,
a ghost barge drifts soundlessly
a fallen leaf rides.
Michael Sickler, (Minoa 2012)

Lilac vapor trail
Landmark Theater ghost performs
one more curtain call
Sheila Forsyth, (Fayetteville 2011)

The ghosts of yester
sequestered in their oak grove
welcome each new dawn
Garrett Heater, (Syracuse 2015)

Our featured haiku poster is from our 2013 Series.  Poet, Robin Gross, and former Syracuse University Illustration Student, Dylan Allen, whose work was recently exhibited at Apostrophe’s Art Gallery in Syracuse, have created a hauntingly beautiful recipe for a spooky Halloween night!

Under Harvest Moon / Landmark Theatre Ghost Shrieks / Boo! Trick Or Treat Me
2013Gross_Allen
As you can see, Halloween conjures up a cauldron-full of images, feelings and memories, too.  We hope you have enjoyed these Halloween-inspired haiku from our archives!

Ghosts of trains, whispers
of smoke, standing at the old
station, long ago
Catherine Foster, (Soddy Daisy, TN 2013)

Grand Ballroom twilight
costumed masqueraders grin
tricks and treats within
Abigail Lent, (Baldwinsville 2017)

Happy Haunting!

A Haiku Nod to Sunflowers

As the end of Summer draws near, sturdy Sunflowers still stand shoulder high.  While their full-seeded heads seem to be nodding, Farewell, their brilliant shades of yellow add a unique dimension to the colorful arrival of Autumn.  

From our archives, we found some Sunflower-themed haiku to share with you–what better way to show our appreciation for this beautiful flower that bridges Summer into Autumn!

Brilliant sunflowers                                                                                                                                       cast against slate sky, red birds                                                                                                                       fly in for dinner                                                                                                                                                                          by Sheila Forsyth (Fayetteville 2008)

 Lofty sunflowers                                                                                                                                             arrayed in golden splendor                                                                                                                           heads above the rest                                                                                                                                                            by Sharon Rorer (Syracuse 2007)

Van Gogh Sunflowers                                                                                                                                      paint themselves across the fields                                                                                                                  Camillus, New York                                                                                                                                                           by Joan Cofrancesco (Camillus 2009)

From our 2010 Syracuse Poster Project Series, our featured haiku poster was written by Claire Bobrycki and illustrated by former Syracuse University student, Catherine LaPointe, now a children’s book illustrator and graphic designer–see more of her wonderful work here.

Blue Moon, Big Dipper / Sunflowers under porch lights / Peace on the South Side

2010Bobrycki_LaPointe

We conclude with three more gems:

Sunflowers drooping                                                                                                                                      looking for a warm embrace                                                                                                                        oh, where is the sun?                                                                                                                                                                   by Kelly Bargabos (Syracuse 2010)

Sunflower faces                                                                                                                                               a swoosh of yellow and black:                                                                                                                        goldfinch dinnertime                                                                                                                                                               by Ellen Barnes (Syracuse 2014)

A smile on your face                                                                                                                                         is brighter than sunflowers                                                                                                                         at the farmer’s stand                                                                                                                                                                  by Jungtae Lee (Syracuse 2006)

We hope you’ve enjoyed our brief tribute to the Sunflower! What do you see when you gaze upon a Sunflower?  

Inspired Haiku

We recently announced our call for haiku for the 2018 Syracuse Poster Project Series. The deadline for submissions is Friday, September 8! 

Stuck for an idea? Why not visit the newly redeveloped Morningside Cultural Trail?  In fact,  its official Grand Opening Event is Wednesday, September 6 at the Barry Park Field House.  Festivities begin at 5:30 pm.  Learn more about the opening event here and a brief history of the project here.  Celebrating Syracuse’s Eastside, with its 7-mile walking path, the Morningside Cultural Trail crosses through three notable neighborhoods (Map) and includes a Public Arts Pathway (Map).  For photos of the Trail, check out their Facebook page here.  With trails meandering through Oakwood Cemetery (Map), the Morningside Cultural Trail offers interesting reflections–just the kind you might need to write some haiku!  

There is much to learn about Oakwood Cemetery.  Its assortment of mausoleums and monuments have inspired several haiku from our haiku contributors.  From Peggy Liuzzi (Syracuse 2014) a fine sensory approach to haiku:

With each step, dry leaves / speak of memories.  Oakwood / whispers Autumn’s song

And, from Mark Shevalier (Henderson 2007), a warm reflection inspired by a walk through Oakwood’s hallowed grounds:

And there they all sleep / Beneath the earth and granite / Oakwood their fine bed

Visitors to Barry Park may find a tennis game going on or kids playing soccer–just like Meganne Oakleaf (Fayetteville 2010) did in her cheerful haiku:

Fall sees Barry Park / ablaze with colorful leaves; / soccer jerseys, too.

The Barry Park Pond may offer you some inspiration, too, as it did for Jessica Cuello (Syracuse, 2010):

At Barry Park Pond / black-webbed geese crowd two children. / Small hands tear soft bread.

Meadowbrook and Westcott, two of the neighborhoods the Morningside Cultural Trail crosses through, has inspired several haiku from our contributors–including this one from Jane Cassidy which, in turn, inspired this beautiful poster from our 2006 Series by former Syracuse University illustration student, Natalie Zuk :

Unexpectedly / a stone staircase in the woods— / very Narnian

2006 Cassady_Zuk

Walk the Morningside Cultural Trail and Get Inspired!

 

Got Haiku?

A call for haiku is now underway for the Syracuse Poster Project’s 17th annual series of haiku posters! In fact, you’re invited! Please consider participating in this community-wide event by submitting up to three (3) of your best haiku which reflect our fair city’s multi-cultural heart, the Central New York countryside or Syracuse at large!  

Nicora_Gangi_Poster 2018

In addition, we have commissioned Syracuse artist, Nicora Gangi, to create a poster giving you the unique opportunity–in essence, an Ekphrastic challenge–to write at least one (1) haiku inspired by her wonderful image!  That image being, fittingly enough, of our city as a place of welcome to all people and cultures.  Ms. Gangi will select the winning haiku.  To read a review of her superb work, click here.

Each haiku you submit before Friday, September 8 will be presented to a senior class of Syracuse University illustration students.  Ultimately, your haiku may be chosen to be illustrated by one of these students!  Of all the posters created, 15 of the best haiku posters will be selected for display in downtown Syracuse kiosks next April, 2018.

Need inspiration?  Not sure how to capture a moment?  Consider how these frequent contributors approach writing haiku–

Walk…along an Erie Canal pathway, where, as Rosalyn Carroll (Manlius 2007), writes:

Wildflowers sway bright / Dragonflies buzz and fish bite / Erie traffic hums

Watch…as Debra Alexis (Jamesville 2016) does:

Moonbeams hitch a ride / onto lazy waves, while the / leaves flutter and fall

Look…as Anton Ninno (Syracuse 2014) does:

Pond at Barry Park / tall reeds in quiet water / heron strikes–and eats!

Listen…as Paul Goat Allen (Camillus 2004) does:

Sidewalks spill laughter / Armory Square fellowship / downtown Summer night

Feel…as Barbara McCleary (Fulton 2009) does:

Walking by the lake / Icy winds that sear my soul. / My cheeks are burning!

Remember, any season, any place, any subject–write about your experiences in a haiku using three lines of 5, 7, 5 syllables, and submit your poems by September 8, 2017.  For further details, click here for this year’s brochure.  For additional entry materials, click here.  If you’re new to writing haiku, click here for general guidelines.  Find more good haiku by local poets in this poetry blog.  

Get Writing!

 

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