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Messages - Don Baird

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Journal Announcements / Re: Faces and Places - Just Released!!!
« on: January 07, 2015, 11:55:49 PM »
I am thinking about my second book Faces and Places - San Francisco. I will be visiting there this Spring and doing a lot of shooting to capture the shots that aren't on postcards - the true stories of San Francisco - its Faces and Places.

If anyone is interested in submitting haiku, watch for the announcements at later in the year. Also, let me know in advance if you like. I will put you on a list and let you know when to submit.

Peace and Blessings!


Journal Announcements / Re: Faces and Places - Just Released!!!
« on: January 04, 2015, 10:35:44 PM »
Thank you, Jennifer! I appreciate your comment very much. I'm glad you like it!

Peace and blessings to you and yours,


Journal Announcements / Faces and Places - Just Released!!!
« on: January 03, 2015, 12:15:14 AM »
Faces and Places is now live!!! Here is a direct link for reading: (this link has a banner at the top ... just click the X at top right corner and it goes away ... it has nothing to do with reading the book ... ignore it) :)

And it is here as well on our bookshelf at the Living Haiku Anthology Flipbooks Library. Just look for the cover and click away!

I hope you enjoy it! Haiku were submitted separate of the images. They were paired, painstakingly, by me -- over a hundred hours of work to figure the presentation between images and poetry. Be sure to read the last page for information as to how the book came about.

Thank you for the submissions. I'm sorry I couldn't accept them all ... but, each poem had to work perfectly with each image ... and some very good haiku were not chosen as a result -- they didn't quite fit the project but are terrific on their own. I'm very appreciative of everyone's efforts.

Thanks again for all of you who submitted poems. I greatly appreciate it.



Field Notes / Re: Field Notes 8: What is your relationship to haiku now?
« on: December 16, 2014, 04:24:04 PM »
Late to the party . . .

Haiku are to me today as they were yesteryear in that I arrive at them from a blend of my inner cosmos with that of the outer. I find truth and mix it with imagination (not fiction) and develop the haiku. Over the years, maybe I've gotten a bit better at it, but my process remains the same — I notice something in the external-goings-on and mix it with my imagination (internal perceptions) and creative forces to select the correct presentation (words). Simply put: word choices, musicality, imagery, and solid disjunction, combined, constitute the core of my internal process of composing haiku; the Universe at large is my exterior stimulus that presents ideas and, therefore, the poetic material that I crave.


Journal Announcements / Under the Basho, Second Issue, 2014
« on: December 04, 2014, 02:37:06 AM »
Under the Basho - 2014, is now published!

After a year of growing poet by poet, haiku by haiku, the journal has completed its path.
Drop by and spend some time with us!

Click on the Current Issue, 2014 in the middle of the home page. Also, for your convenience and quick reference, you can revisit and browse easily by clicking on Current Issue by the drop down menu at the top!

Enjoy your visit. Take some time, and peruse.

We're very thankful for the wonderful poets who have submitted their finest work to us. Without these talented people, Under the Basho wouldn't exist!

Thank you poets!

And thank you Team! Our editors really covered our backs this year, considering my health, and several family issues Hansha carried on his shoulders. Our terrific team of editors jumped in, and really helped us out.

Thank you Team.

And, thank you readers!!!

Journal Announcements / A Call for Submissions
« on: November 02, 2014, 09:41:56 PM »
This is an open call for haiku poets to submit poems to Faces and Places -- a book of photography and haiku combined. Basically, it is an anthology with photographs!

The link to the temporary book is the following:

Look it over for inspiration. Submit haiku that are published or not -- either way. If published, be sure to give me the publisher's credits.

Ignore the preface etc... and title page ... and cover. Those are already changed to Faces and Places, etc.

The call for submissions is to acquire, screen, and accept haiku that I feel will be complimentary to the book -- enhancing the reader's experience. We are not trying to create haiga. It will remain a photography book with haiku as seasoning to the visual experience -- mixing urban and nature is a plus. Be sure that the haiku you submit will indeed enhance the reader's experience in the wondering and wandering through the book.

Please submit up to ten haiku. I'm not certain of how many I will accept in total, but not more than 75 and probably not less than 30.

This will remain a digital book and not go to print. It's too expensive with the photos. But, it will be a really nice book that will stand the test of time, I'm certain of that. We will place the book on the digital book case at the Living Haiku Anthology.

Submit to [email protected]. Include in the subject area Submission to Faces and Places. If any questions, use the same email address. Submission deadline is December 15th.

Thank you!

Peace and Blessings.

(all styles of haiku entertained)

Field Notes / Re: Field Notes 7: Off-topic #2
« on: August 29, 2014, 03:54:32 PM »
I ponder that a key problem in this wrestling match of ideas (what haiku finally is and is not) is possibly single fold — not everyone is attempting to identify it as a genre. I've heard numerous poets posit "I don't care if it is haiku ... it just needs to reach me," or something along that line of thought. But, there are others that believe haiku (in English and all the other languages around the world) is a genre — a practice of sorts — with reasonable expectations of its minimal requirements. My mantra has been that a waltz is a waltz and not a cha-cha.

The threshold between a free-style poem and a haiku often contains/retains a blur of lines — each crossing over into the other's bounds. I don't particularly hold that notion close to heart. I think it's a dangerous threshold to cross for the genre of haiku to no longer know what constitutes it even if that constituting is broadly presented.

hand/birds ... and once again, I think out loud, "so." There is something not striking about it, maybe more than what is striking. There is an emptiness — a lack of poetic fiber and "stay-power." What's left to think about — that is meaningful? I imagine we can leave it up to the reader. But, then again, is it haiku, short poem, or a mind game?



This little poem is a trick question. ;)

But the real question, "does it make the cut?" Is it a haiku? Some will say, "it doesn't matter, cuz I hate it." Others will say "it is a short poem" while a few will claim it to be a "brilliant two word haiku." In closing, when I'm writing poetry such as sonnets, tanka, haiku, hokku, waka, haibun, haiga, sijo and et al, I, for one, would like to understand and enjoy the knowledge and skill that begs me to write the genre well. I feel, genre counts.

One measure; does  shoe/feet  draw upon deeper feeling -- deeper emotional tugs of the reader? Is it memorable? Is it evocative? (such as Basho's summer grasses poem and a thousand others). Is it musical? Does it have a pleasing or displeasing rhythm; does it have a rhythm? Is it an empty word game — a mental toy for the linear intellect to mess with?

What is the purpose of poetry? On second thought, lets not go there. ;) I imagine this is a subject that is bigger than us all — collectively.

This FN - Off Topic exploration is interesting, well presented with keen sensibilities. I'm enjoying the thread very much. And, I appreciate everyone's efforts and differing opinions and ideas.


Field Notes / Re: Field Notes 7: Off-topic #2
« on: August 28, 2014, 11:05:27 AM »
"What happens though when we juxtapose two EL words, made from letters, not visual images of things? Don's

envelope       silence

is interesting, not as a completed haiku but as sketch/ draft for a haiku ... perhaps for his now famous

nagasaki . . .
in her belly, the sound
of unopened mail


- Lorin

Lorin, you nailed it exactly!   envelope     silence  . . . a core aspect of the nagasaki haiku. Very intuitive!



Field Notes / Re: Field Notes 7: Off-topic #2
« on: August 27, 2014, 09:40:51 PM »
"That said, as words on their own they don’t create any kind of scene, any kind of context, so the reverberation is more intellectual than 'felt'.” ~ Paul Miller

Yes, this is a primary concern, I feel — "so the reverberation is more intellectual than felt" — being the antithesis of what haiku represent, historically, as a genre. There are posits from all sides of a 49-sided coin regarding haiku aesthetics; but, few disagree that "feeling" is a primary target of the haiku poet — reaching into the depths of the reader's heart/soul.

I fear that once haiku become more intellectually based, that the genre is in danger, once again, of being reduced to word-play and clever thought. Word play can be a boring sport when paired with haiku ... leaving the reader with not-much-to-ponder or carry forward. The horizontal axis of story line is one aspect; the vertical axis of meaning is another: both need to be fulfilled to form a quality haiku, as I see it.

I'm not convinced that two words can do that. And, problematically, I'm not easily swayed that one word or two ... is even a poem — to each his own.

However, for the sake of thinking out loud, these are humble attempts:

zebra        baggage

cowhand       wide-angle

zipper       dashing

beyond       mirage

envelope       silence

. . . . . a subject worth pondering.


Other Haiku News / Shameless Heads-Up! :)
« on: August 27, 2014, 02:22:28 PM »
A few of my latest books on Amazon:

An 80's book Transcending the Void is republished and amongst them! Let me know how you like it.

Haiku Wisdom (not on this page but found through Amazon search, for some reason) is a mix of "easy access haiku," stories, and kung fu philosophy. Light and hopefully thought provoking. As the Crow Flies is a book of more challenging haiku combined with advanced kung fu thoughts and perceptions. Haiku - the Interior and Exterior of Being, is a haiku book that reaches deep into the reader's experience of life. Hopefully, each haiku triggers a great deal of feeling and thought -- and adds to the reader's awareness of the activities (comings and goings) of the Tao and all her ways. This book is my most recent haiku endeavor. It was read at Vroman's bookstore (last month). A packed audience ... haiku ... and good times filled the air! I'm still on a high from that adventure!

pipe puffs . . .
an old man adds
to the storm

—fanning spring . . .
the last seagulls
become a cloud—

over his shoulder;
soldiers come home
one by one

the sound of gunfire

woodpecker —
the unusual tempo
of this morning

the suddenness
of it all

her curves in the hands of the moon

in the space between words     worlds

the distance
between grass blades —
this one ant

powder across the pines across

longing for home I become a memory

daydreaming how quickly my mind

each rose the wind leaves behind

tsunami shore;
the child's hands washed
in blood

the rock—
thinking about rolling,

Drop by, browse, and enjoy!

Thank you.

Field Notes / Re: Field Notes 7: Off-topic #2
« on: August 26, 2014, 11:55:29 PM »
I believe "the list" as follows ...








... does have a bit of the DNA of haiku but minimal. There is, within these poems, disjunction (toriawase) via the art of pairing and separation of which might bring about additional meaning to the reader. However, a second aspect of haiku DNA (as I see it) is the short poem's ability to tap into the reader's feeling (response through feeling and not just mind). This protects the genre from becoming a word game such as was being played when Basho came upon the scene; he brought out greater aesthetics and deeply admonished word-play (not that we're to answer to the "old days"). Another aspect of haiku DNA is defined by the word "memorable." Neither of these two are memorable (nothing personal to the poet; just my honest response).


... and I say ... so?

It is one thing to play; it is another to draw out readers to engage them with emotional response systems ... hearts ... depth ... resonance.


This one is clever but I can't imagine it brings out much feeling (an important aspect of the genre of haiku and its DNA, I feel).

Now compare those two with this one by Jim Kacian:

my fingerprints
on the dragonfly
in amber

This is a memorable haiku (modern yet resonates with the DNA of haiku/hokku). I realize there is no actual cut-marker but the poem is indeed cut. That isn't the argument. The poem has wonderment; it has mystery; it has imagery; it makes the impossible possible; it draws on the reader's feeling -- heart ... a wabi/sabi, if you will; and, it lingers on the mind for awhile. And though modern, it is fraught with haiku DNA.

The two-line poems I have picked as examples simply do not seem accomplish much (with me).


... and once again ... so?  (I don't mean this as anything rude ... I simply mean it as ... and?) I read it; I move on. It doesn't linger in any important or interesting way, for me.

clouds seen
through clouds
seen through

Another fine haiku by Jim Kacian. There seems to be a defining difference between one word/two word short-poems and the ones of authentic seeds (DNA) of the haiku genre.




Other Haiku News / Re: Haiku Registry
« on: August 03, 2014, 09:57:32 AM »
Thanks Alan! Yes. We are indeed accepting new submissions to Living Haiku Anthology - previously published haiku, generally.

Feel free to submit.

We are also accepting submissions to Under the Basho Haiku Journal until September. It is an organic process throughout the year until the deadline. Then, we close it for the year and begin again after the first of the year. (for unpublished poems)

Take care.


Religio / Re: The Devil You Know
« on: July 26, 2014, 09:57:13 PM »
I agree. :)

In-Depth Haiku: Free Discussion Area / Re: Idea for a journal
« on: July 23, 2014, 10:22:02 AM »
Everyone's dreams are their dreams. Follow your what you aspire; enjoy your life. If that means creating a new fangled journal, then go for it! Folks will like it; folks will hate it: it isn't unlike anything else in life.  8)

Blessings and good luck.


Field Notes / Re: Field Notes 7: Challenge
« on: July 20, 2014, 01:24:36 PM »
@Tom: :)

I enjoyed what you have written; it sparks a clarity of what I am generally pursuing with my more recent writings.

So, my notion is "what if there was no pond, no frog, while the sound of plop (water's sound) was in Basho's mind (Hasegawa Kai)? What if none of his story is truth, in a way, yet truth in another? Is imagination also truth? Could be. Over the years Basho has listened to frogs, he's heard rocks skip and/or drop into water-sound ... he's dreamed of these events ... imagined them, witnessed them ... in his world where imagination and truth combine — a threshold that Basho crashed through with his frog poem -- the interplay between truth and imagination becoming his inspiration -- changing hokku/haiku forever.

It is this that challenges me -- to pair truth and imagination in haiku to achieve poems that exceeds readers' abilities to understand (reader resistance; Richard Gilbert) while luring the same readers to "read again for deeper meaning." This technique of separating/joining (toriawase) is traditional. I'm encouraged. I asked myself at some point, why not separate and combine truth and imagination? But, the question already had its answer via Basho's frog. I just couldn't see it clearly.

This is my latest challenge in writing haiku -- to keenly separate and join these two parts -- for stronger vertical axis of meaning, with decent reader resistance to keep things interesting, and to become fresh once again in style. :)

My haiku:

nagasaki . . .
in her belly, the sound
of unopened mail

... is a product of this thought process -- a product of Basho's wisdom and insight, of which I've attempted to understand through the narrow road to my brain (resistant as it is) and develop my most recent approach to writing haiku, hopefully exhibited by my humble attempts above and below:

dried in the rain her ego

kamikaze —
flying into the sunset
of a regime

Thanks Tom for prodding me to finally write my thoughts. This FN had me stumped -- as haiku does in general!  8)

*kamikaze - spirit wind/divine wind - English translation, roughly.

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