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!

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A Call for Haiku!

As it’s done every mid-August since 2001, Syracuse Poster Project has announced its annual call for Haiku for its upcoming 2017 season.  Entering its 16th year, Syracuse Poster Project invites you to participate in this annual call for Haiku.  Consider this as an opportunity to contribute to the culture of our City–as your submitted haiku has the chance of becoming an illustrated haiku poster!  

In fact, if your haiku is chosen to be illustrated by a senior Syracuse University Illustration student, it will be on display for one year following our unveiling event in April!  Each of our illustrated haiku posters uniquely enhances downtown Syracuse: mounted in the City’s colorfully painted kiosks, Syracuse Poster Project posters celebrate the area’s four distinct seasons, our favorite Syracuse area pastimes, our community celebrations and events.  Our posters, like our mission, continue to bridge art and poetry within our community and with our Central New York neighbors.

This year’s call for Haiku is especially noteworthy as we are also paying special tribute to the Erie Canal’s 200th birthday!  Officially, the commemoration of this notable bicentennial of the historic Canal begins in 2017.  Syracuse–and many of the towns, cities and villages along the Erie Canal Corridor–will be hosting events and festivities to celebrate this iconic landmark.  Coincidentally, Syracuse has the distinguished honor of hosting the World Canals Conference in September 2017.  Learn more about the Erie Canal here; about the NYS Canal Corporation which manages the Canal  here.  

You can contribute to the Canal’s bicentennial festivities by writing a haiku to complement our special Erie Canal poster!  Displayed below, this colorful poster was commissioned for our special tribute by Tong “Amy” Su, a graduate student in the Syracuse University Illustration Program.  If the Erie Canal, its history and its future intrigue you, consider submitting a haiku to complement Su’s charming poster!  Visit our website for entry materials and further information here.

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If you are new to Syracuse Poster Project, the 2017 poster series will consist of 15 posters created the traditional way (poem first, illustration second) and one special poster created the reverse way (illustration first, poem second).  Poets may submit up to three haiku to the traditional contest and one haiku to complement the Canal poster.  We request that your Haiku have three lines of 5, 7, 5 syllables; no need for title lines.  Need inspiration on writing haiku?  Look here for our wide selection of books on writing haiku, books about haiku artists, and compilations of our own archived haiku contributed by Central New York poets.

The entry deadline for your haiku is Sept. 9.  Poets will be notified if their haiku was selected for a poster in early December.  Our unveiling event happens in mid-April–and what a fun evening it is!

To download an entry form, click here.   To download the Call-For-Haiku brochure, click here.  If you would like to download a sample of the Ms. Su’s Canal poster, click here.  If you are an elementary and / or secondary school teacher, we would love to hear from you and your students, too!  Several posters have featured student poems and we enjoy the vision and spirit of student work.  If you have your class participate, please help with the selection work. For each class, send us the best five haiku.  Thank you.

And, don’t forget, all our posters are for sale on our website, here.  You will also find them on display locally as our traveling exhibit brightly lines the walls of area restaurants, cafes and college campuses.  

Happy writing!

We Take a Poetry Hike

Poem inscribed on log
“Off the earth’s long contour, her river-veins” Environmental art installation by Alastair Noble.

As you’ve seen by our recent posts, Autumn can be a sensory experience inspiring thoughtful haiku and beautiful art.  Autumn can also be a peaceful time whether it’s reflecting the dramatic change of view outside your window or wandering through a wooded park or sanctuary.  But, it’s not just about haiku.  Poets, artists, musicians, scientists, writers—all of us, really—have something to say about nature and its effects on us.

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Sunset along the Old Erie Canal—the stone wall at Cedar Bay Park.

Locally, you can discover art and poetry in nature by walking any of the trails along the Old Erie Canal.  The rough, hand-hewn stone bridges and aqueducts built by our immigrant ancestors are still a thing of beauty…as are the walkways and paths along which one can still become inspired by the surrounding natural beauty of the old waterway.  Or, you might find the Stone Quarry Hill Art Park in Cazenovia more to your liking.  With beautiful vistas and inspiring installation art, the park offers many opportunities for your inner artist or poet to come alive.

Speaking of installation art, you may remember Christo and Jeanne-Claude, whose masterful displays continue to inspire thoughtful reflection.  If you had the opportunity, you’ll agree that the singularly unique experience of walking through their 2005 installation of The Gates in Central Park was exhilarating!  

If you have travel plans over the holidays, or even next Spring, check out the more subtle experience of installation art found at the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park in Woodstock, Vermont.  In 2013-14, the park’s artist-in-residence, Alastair Noble, installed environmentally styled works throughout the park. Consisting of ten large ash and pine logs—planed on one side—Noble inscribed them with fragments of literature and poetry using Poe, Nietzsche, T.S. Eliot, Wittgenstein, and Shakespeare as his inspiration.  As you walk around the park, you come across the logs here and there—at first impression, mere logs.  It’s delightful how they turn up randomly, and the brevity of their inscriptions reminds us of haiku.  This incompleteness invites a kind of filling in, especially in association with the natural setting.  For a newspaper story about Noble’s art residency, CLICK HERE.

If you like your environmental poetry more fleshed out, you can also hike around the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller Park’s Robert Frost Poetry Trail.  Thirteen poems—complete and presented in conventional page-like formats—line the walking trail. They seem a little like homework assignments dogging you into the woods.  One wonders what Frost himself would say about these woodland installations.  Would he prefer them here to, let’s say, his poems printed on subway placards?

Robert Frost Poetry Trail
The poem, Come In, is one of 13 poems found on the Robert Frost Poetry Trail.

We are, of course, very proud of our own distinctive version of installation art.  Our beautifully illustrated haiku posters can be found year round in the many brightly decorated kiosks dotting downtown Syracuse NY.  If you like discovering poetry in the environment, or are fascinated by installation art, send us your photos and thoughts—we’ll share them here with our followers.

Happy Trails!