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

 

Finding Solace in Haiku

It’s difficult.  Finding the right words to use when tragedy strikes.  Again.  When lives are cut short.  Not wanting to sensationalize.  But, wanting to say something.  Something that will support, comfort and soothe.  

Eagles nestled in                                                                                                                                                        High above the peaceful shore                                                                                                                           Watching, protecting                                                                                                                                                                    By Michael Brigandi / 2014 Syracuse

Our archives hold many haiku describing love, hope and the clear, simple splendor of Nature.  We’ve chosen only a few with the hope that you will find solace in their words.

Heaven’s cries resound                                                                                                                                            Weeping tears open flowers                                                                                                                                   New day springs alive                                                                                                                                                                  By Deb Bateman / 2002 East Syracuse

Our featured poster is from the 2010 collection.  The beautiful haiku was written by Peggy Liuzzi and the gorgeous illustration by former Syracuse University Illustration Student, Alec Acevedo, now a freelance illustrator and in-house artist for Jay St. Video Games in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.

White trilliums light / the dark forest floor glowing / ghostly like spilled stars

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Pulse.  We are touched and saddened by what’s happened in Orlando.  One of many horrific events that will be in our hearts for a long time…like Sandy Hook, Aurora and Columbine, San Bernardino, Ft. Hood, Boston, Charleston, Oklahoma City….

Love, come sit by me                                                                                                                                                    The sun is tucking in now                                                                                                                                           My shoulder is yours                                                                                                                                                       By Kathryn Hammer / 2015 Syracuse  

With our deepest sympathy.

Over graves and drifts                                                                                                                                              frozen teardrops of snow sigh                                                                                                                                   and whisper soft grief.                                                                                                                                                                  By Mary Taitt / 2011 Grosse Pointe Farms

The Syracuse Poster Project  

Our April Event!

Syracuse Poster Project is proud to announce the unveiling of its 2016 collection on Thursday, April 14.  Our festivities will be a gathering of poets, artists, friends and other supporters of public art.  Food, drink, music and of course, a display and haiku reading of each of the 16 new posters will be served!  This year’s merriment begins at 6:00 p.m. in the Atrium of City Hall Commons, 201 E. Washington Street, Syracuse.  Click here and here to see photos from a few of our past openings and recent kiosk displays.  

We hope you will join our celebration of this year’s series!  In addition to our “traditional method” of creating posters from contributed haiku, this year’s collection includes another poster created by what we like to refer to as a “reverse process” poster–meaning, we solicited haiku to complement an illustration.  We added this unique process to our annual call for haiku in 2009.  Two of our many favorites created by “reverse process” are:

From the 2009 collection: Keely Bowman, poet and Donald Kilpatrick, artist

Branches reach for you / A forest of decisions / Which tree will you climb?

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And, from the 2012 collection: Sara Parrott, poet and Skip Frost, artist–

Community builds / bridges of thought between us, / hope for the future.

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Our 2016 reverse process poster was created by artist and Syracuse University adjunct professor, Tim Coolbaugh. His captivating poster was spotlighted last August on our blog post: Meet the Illustrator of Our Dog Rescue Poster.  In response to Tim’s poster, we received over 70 haiku submissions; five semi-final haiku were selected and then passed along to the artist for his decision.  Of these five, Aubrey Joy Cooper’s (Auburn) haiku was selected to accompany Tim’s poster.

Dare I hope again? / Human eyes reveal few truths. / Still, I hope once more.

Here are the other four (4) semi-final haiku:

Roaming the streets, lost / Looking for love, a fiend, warmth / Today…a new home.               Michael Brigandi, Syracuse

…and we have a cat. / So, that’s the whole family. / Let’s go home–my friend.                              Karl Krohl, Syracuse

Driving through the ‘Cuse / A shelter dog by my side. / A life worth saving.                                         Justin Blok, East Syracuse

A neglectful past / A hopeful future awaits / Rescued, loved again                                                  Philip Andon-McLane, Syracuse

Our thanks to the many poets who submitted haiku for the 2016 poster series.  We had an excellent response: approximately 100 of you submitting a total of 168 fresh haiku! Combined with submissions from past years, we had a total of 371 poems to pass along to our Syracuse Univeristy Illustration students whose efforts this year–as you will see–were outstanding!  Our thanks to these talented student artists and their faculty members who have worked closely with Syracuse Poster Project since our very beginnings–we are fortunate and blessed to have you!  Finally, our thanks to our wonderful volunteers without whom this event would not have been possible!

See you Thursday night!

March Madness

It’s that time.  The Ides of March, when the tables turned on Caesar, and the battle for power…oh wait… I mean, that time of year when the battles of March, played on basketball courts around the country, determine who will be the 2016 National Champion!

East, West, South, Midwest–what better way to express the excitement of March Madness than our featured 2008 Syracuse Poster Project haiku poster created together by poet, Pat Flowers and former Syracuse University Illustration student, Gabe Eng-Goetz:

Fenced in glory hoops / leap in air toward heaven / endless chatter scores

22_09-Flowers-&-Eng-Goetz

Congratulations to the Syracuse University basketball team for their selection to play in the 2016 NCAA Tournament.  In another day or so from this posting, they’re scheduled to play the Dayton Flyers.  And, while the game won’t be here at home, Michael Brigandi’s (Syracuse) 2013 haiku resonates with our hopes for them:

Dark walking through snow                                                                                                                                  Uphill, wet cold, bundled, warm                                                                                                                          Back down, Orange win

Good Luck!