Haiku For A Heat Wave

Since the Summer Solstice, it’s been sunny and warm–just the way Summer should be! But, with a heat wave hovering about for a few weeks now, we could all use some relief! What better way to survive the heat than by reading some wonderful haiku from our archives which warmly reflect this Summertime occurrence!  

When it’s hot, Joan Loveridge-Sanbonmatsu’s (Syracuse 2008) cheerful haiku describes one way to find some quick relief:

In Summer’s fierce heat
Sparrow hops into backyard
birdbath: cooling, splash.

Mary Gardner’s (Skaneateles 2003) vivid haiku reflects how Summer and the many opportunities for outdoor musical activities go hand-in-hand…despite the heat:

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

The familiar sounds of a Summer’s heat wave are nicely reflected in Ellen Agnew’s (Syracuse 2005) spirited haiku:

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

And, Ruthnie Angrand (Syracuse 2014) offers an energizing prescription for those of you who are fitness or sports minded and love Summer’s many opportunities to be outdoors:

Drip. Stew. Drive. Swelter.
Severe heat and haze, focus.
West. Run. Keep Running.

You can practically feel the heat of the street and its buildings with this beautifully illustrated haiku poster from our 2010 Series.  Illustrated by former Syracuse University Illustration student, Hee Soo Cho, the poster heartily reflects the glowing words of Michael McAnaney’s haiku.

Summer sun mirrors / a gallery of faces / Salina glitters

2010_McAnaney_Cho.jpg

Lastly, we’d like to thank our readers for their responses to our last blog (see Haiku For a Summer Solstice).  We received this delightful Summertime haiku from Yvonne Kovits (Little Falls  2018)–there’s no denying the music of Summer found her poem! Thanks, Yvonne!

Warm breeze, colored sky
Crickets lite chatter, toads croak
Peaceful twilight..mosquito

Summer.  It’s here at long last! Stay Cool and read Haiku!

 

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Haiku For A Summer Solstice

The Summer Solstice: a day to celebrate the first day of Summer! And with that, some of our favorite Summertime activities come alive with haiku from our archives!

From Jennifer Groff, (Lancaster 2010), a colorful haiku with great imagery and a wonderful play on words:

Freshly picked berries
Summer-stained fingers and lips–
memory preserves

So many rich Summer images in Nan Gartner’s, (Fayetteville 2011), haiku, too:

Purple Loosestrife and
Yellow Finches brighten the
Canal bikers’ path

From poet, Martin Willitts, Jr., (Syracuse 2011), an imaginative Summertime haiku with an interesting twist:

Syracuse Summer
Heid’s hot dog clouds, ominous,
digested by sun

Enjoying music and the outdoors–a favorite Summertime activity–lyrically described by Jay Cox, (Pompey, 2003):

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

From Meg Catanzarita, (Syracuse 2009), a Summer sports-themed haiku served up with another set of a rhythmic play on words:

Sedgwick Farm hosts love
Red clay courts city players
Singles anyone?

And, on the heels of the Summer Solstice, the long lazy days of Summer provide a time for reflection and pensive introspection. Our featured poster is from our 2018 Series. Wistfully written by long-time Syracuse Poster Project contributor, Omanii Abdullah, this Summer-themed poster was deliciously illustrated by Syracuse University Illustration student, Claudia Lewis.

I sold lemonade / back when times were innocent / and not bittersweet

2018 Abdullah_Lewis

As we observe the sunny arrival of the Summer Solstice, a double-edged haiku for you to ponder from first-time Syracuse Poster Project contributor, Charlie Carroll, (Manlius 2017):

Summer Solstice joy!
Alas…now the slide begins
T’wards Winter’s darkness.

Do you observe the Summer Solstice with a special tradition? What do you look forward to once Summer has arrived? Share your thoughts in a haiku in the comments below and we’ll add them to the next blog!

Cheers!

Haiku For Syracuse

On Memorial Day, freedom is one of many blessings we celebrate.  As a special day of remembrance, Memorial Day is also a reminder of the costs of freedom–including the costs to those we continue to protect against tyranny.  As they make the oft-times wrenching decision to leave their homeland behind, people from around the globe who flee war, political oppression and poverty, hope that freedom, safety and a better life will one day be theirs.

One of the main themes of this year‘s Syracuse Poster Project Series was that of Syracuse as a City of Welcome–for the hundreds of refugees and immigrants who set sail for the United States, many land here in Central New York!  Two artists, Nicora Gangi and Nada Odeh, were commissioned by the Poster Project to illustrate this theme.  Local poets were given the opportunity to write and submit haiku inspired by the beautiful images displayed in the two posters.  As you can see below, the haiku chosen for these two posters–one by long time Syracuse Poster Project contributor, Vinh Dang and the other, by poet, Jean Fahey–were splendid.

At the April unveiling, which happened to fall as it always does during National Poetry Month, artist, Nada Odeh, spoke of what inspired her to create her illustration and why she chose Vinh Dang’s haiku: “…. The boat image in my poster represents the crisis of the refugees seeking hope and a safe place to stay. It portrays a strong visual and overwhelming emotions while questioning how these people had to go through such harsh living conditions in their native countries. They are seeking refuge in another country and hoping to be welcome regardless of their origin or political status. The reason why I chose this haiku is because it speaks for me in a simple way and reminds me of how I feel about living in Syracuse.”  

Poet, Vinh Dang, a quiet spoken gentleman, recalled his own journey from Vietnam to America and the challenges of  building a new home in Syracuse while still keeping memories of his homeland close to his heart.  2018Dang_OdehHis haiku was inspired by these memories, as he stated, “…But what most inspired me was the greyish blue smoke flowing out of each family’s thatched roof, where mothers and wives were cooking the evening meal, promising a sweet reunion of the whole family under an oil lamp.”

 

White clouds drifting where? Over ocean or dark wood. Homeland hearth–blue smoke

 

Artist, Nicora Gangi, was unable to attend the event’s festivities, but she writes about her work, “…. I envisioned a round table positioned at the center to illustrate symbolically a place where a culture meal is shared, one’s national stories can be told, and events past, present or future can be discussed. A variety of written languages decorated the borders of the image to refer to the nations. There is a Syracuse city skyline in the background to convey that the city is here to welcome all nations from around the globe.”  

Ms. Gangi’s illustration spoke to Jean Fahey’s pride in Syracuse as a Sanctuary City.  She writes, “…We are their beacon of hope, the promise for a better tomorrow. 2018Fahey_GangiOur city was named for a beautiful city in Sicily by people who fled there to start a new life; for freedom and a chance to be anything they want to become. Since then, other people from different countries have fled here for different reasons but seeking the same dream. We are their light in the darkness. We are their new home.”

 

A beacon of hope, city of welcoming arms–a place to call home

 

You can find photos from the April unveiling event, here.  Please be sure to check out the other beautiful and inspired posters from the 2018 Series, here, or in designated kiosks throughout downtown Syracuse.  And, don’t forget, if you love these posters, you can always purchase them at our online shop, here!

So, if you are new to these pages or to our fair city of Syracuse…Welcome!

This is your home,                                                                                                                                          you whisper in my ear.  Here is                                                                                                                      where your roots will grow.                                                                                                                                                              By Karen Krull Robart

A Haiku for Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day. Bouquets of flowers and blue, Forget-Me-Nots.  They seem synonymous, don’t they?

To celebrate this very special day, we searched our archive of haiku posters and found the wonderful gem below from our 2004 Series!  

Written by frequent Syracuse Poster Project contributor, Marilyn Shelton, the colorful poster was illustrated by former Syracuse University illustration student, Aja Gibson.

Corner vendor shouts / Flowers! Flowers! Flowers! Makes / City women smile

2004Shelton_Gibson

Happy Mother’s Day!

It’s Our Annual April Event!

2002Stebbins & Theiller
Suddenly flowered
dresses everywhere. Hurray!
The snow has melted!

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On Thursday, April 19, please join us in celebrating the unveiling of our 2018 Syracuse Poster Project Series!  Beginning at at 6 p.m., you’ll find us in our usual spot in the City Hall Commons Atrium, located at 201 E. Washington St., Syracuse. Wondering how to find City Hall Commons? Here’s the map.

The 2018 Series includes 14 posters created the traditional way–poster illustrations created by Syracuse University students and inspired by haiku written by Central New York poets.  This year, students had 483 haiku to choose from: we had submissions from 81 returning participants and 56 new participants. With each participant submitting up to three haiku, we received a total of 251 new haiku. We then added haiku still active in our archives for a total of 1,101 active haiku, and then selected one haiku from each poet to pass along to the student artists.  Many of the haiku selected by students for the 2018 Series were written by new participants!

In addition, we commissioned two specially themed posters this year, and invited poets to write haiku to complement the theme: Syracuse as a place of welcome to all people and cultures.  We received 64 haiku submissions in response to the beautiful poster created by Nicora Gangi and chose a haiku by Jean Fahey to complement it.  For the other poster, beautifully illustrated by Nada Odeh, a haiku by frequent Syracuse Poster Project contributor, Vinh Dang, was selected by the artist.

On Thursday evening, along with congratulating our 16 poets and artists, Darren Chavis, of Creole Soul Cafe, will be serving up some vegetarian jambalaya, blackened sausage, and creole chicken to munch on. We’ll also have tasty contributions from The Sweet Praxis and Wegman’s.  Adding to the overall vibe of our festivities will be D.J. Bella, also known as Jasmine Coan, a LeMoyne College graduate who earned her D.J. credentials at Scratch Academy.

So, please do join us on Thursday evening, in Congratulating the 2018 Poet – Artist Pairs:


Omanii Abdullah (Syracuse) and Claudia Lewis
Travis Bartlett (Brewerton) and Alena Sceusa
James Bush (Skaneateles) and Ariel Dinero
Rosalyn Carroll (Manlius) and Mya Parker
Sean Conrey (Syracuse) and Jake Penman
Vinh Dang (Syracuse) and Nada Odeh
Jack Davis (North Syracuse) and Eduardo Figueroa
Terry Eckert (Syracuse) and Kim Truong
Jean Fahey (Syracuse) and Nicora Gangi
Laura Feldman (Jamesville) and Anna Schwartz
Mary Huling (Baldwinsville) and Elise Beauchamp
Dennis Kinsey (Syracuse) and Jake Navarro
Mary Ann Laidlaw (Syracuse) and Zoe Karikas
Sara Marsh (Syracuse) and Victoria Thomas
Devon Moore (Syracuse) and Shawna Stevenson
Lorraine Piazza (Syracuse) and Bernardo Rodriguez

The evening promises to be a great opportunity to see all the new posters in one spot, meet the poets and artists, and mingle with friends of poetry and public art.  So, dress up, come out, and party with the rest of our poster peeps!

See you there!

The Syracuse Poster Project

Our featured poster above is from our 2002 Series with a cheerfully Spring illustration and haiku by Jennifer Theiller and Mary Taitt, respectively!

 

 

Haiku For St. Patrick’s Day

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Green attire swishes
Fast feet, giddy crowds sip ale
Leprechauns walk by

By Pearl Popiak (Syracuse 2011)

Parades, Irish music, food and drink, are all hallmarks of how we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day!

a green line runs through
downtown streets–St Patrick’s Day
paraders walk it

By Rosalyn M. Carroll (Manlius 2013)

It’s a day to revel in the sounds of bagpipes, bodhrans, Irish flutes and fiddles! And, it’s a great day for Irish dancing and singing of Danny Boy!

Dancers jig and clap
Bagpipes blast a cheering tune
Leprechauns skip by

By Gabrielle Gardner (Camillus 2013)

It’s a day that would be incomplete without corned beef and cabbage or a frothy Guinness Stout at your favorite Irish pub! Best of all, St Patrick’s Day is a sweet prelude to warmer weather!

on St. Patrick’s Day
the city dances with green,
welcoming Spring

By Heidi Stephens (North Syracuse 2008)

Syracuse Poster Project is celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with haiku, of course, and we’re offering a specially themed poster from our 2014 Series at a 10% discount from our online shop here. The well-crafted haiku was written by self-published poet, Seneca Wilson, and colorfully illustrated by former Syracuse University Illustration Student, Erick Friely, now a professional Illustrator and Visual Development Artist based out of Oakland, CA. Learn more about Erick’s work here.  We’ve even made a video of this fine poster for your viewing pleasure! Click here to view!

Luck of the Irish / Green beer, white snow, orange pride / Reversed traffic light

2014Wilson_Friely

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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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!