ashland.news
July 14, 2024

Poetry Corner: Haiku, please

Photo and haiga by Barry Vitcov
June 12, 2024

Haiku, senryu, tanka, cherita and an invitation to haiga

By Barry Vitcov

When Ashland.news editor Bert Etling was editor of the Ashland Tidings, he introduced the popular Haiku Corner, which featured the work of local poets. The Haiku Corner continued with the Medford Mail Tribune until its demise. Now, Bert Etling has created the Ashland.news Poetry Corner, which, because it’s in an online publication, provides more space to showcase local poets. It is truly an opportunity for haiku — and beyond!

There are many types of short form poetry. Haiku is one of the most popular, along with its direct cousins senryu and tanka, and the closely-related cherita. The haiga began as a pairing of a painting and haiku, written in calligraphic script. It has evolved to be a pairing of image and any short form poetry. The haiga shown at the top of this column combines a picture with a senryu. You are invited to submit your own haiga, but know it needs to be in a horizontal orientation of approximately 600 pixels high and 900 pixels wide.

Of course, the Poetry Corner is a place for all types of poems. This edition features haiku and senryu by two local poets, Elaine Maveety and Jim Flint. Elaine’s haiku were recently submitted; Jim’s have been rescued from the unpublished poems submitted to the now defunct Tidings and Tribune.

Four Haiku

By Elaine Maveety

Water slaps the shore
black and white grebes dance duets
seagulls dip and dive

Just over my head
two eagles soar together
perfect symmetry

Ponderosa pine
where did you get that red bark?
your beauty stuns me

Dozen shades of green
cascading down the hillside
Oregon springtime.

Elaine Maveety has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Oregon, where she earned a graduate teaching fellowship and taught poetry and composition. For many years she served as Coordinator of the Gender Studies Program and Symposium at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, during which time she and Professor Jean Ward co-edited two women’s history books: “Pacific Northwest Women, 1815 to 1925,” and “Yours for Liberty: Selections from Abigail Scott Duniway’s Suffrage Newspaper.” Now retired, she and her husband, Patrick, also retired, live at Running Y, where they enjoy the natural beauty and wildlife which abound in beautiful Southern Oregon.

Four Senryu

By Jim Flint

Welcome diversion
on dad’s long-ago car trips
thank you, Burma Shave

Sign of road fatigue
happy to stop and visit
the reptile garden

Dog on its haunches
in the middle of nowhere
stares as I drive by

Backcountry road trip
bringing home a camera
full of sagging barns

Jim Flint lives in Talent. A retired owner-publisher of community newspapers in Washington state, he and his wife Karen moved to Ashland in 2009. He then began writing for local and regional newspapers, which he continues today. His poetry has been published in anthologies, and his haiku have been featured in the Jefferson Journal and Mail Tribune. His book, “Haiku from a Childhood,” went into a second printing. (“My son wanted a copy.”)

If you are interested in submitting original work, email your poems to Poetry Corner editor Barry Vitcov at haikubjv@gmail.com. There are only two restrictions on submissions: First, poems need to show a connection to Ashland and/or Southern Oregon. Your interpretation of that connection is fairly loose! Second, poems need to be aligned to the left margin. The publishing platform used by the Ashland.news has issues with the creative use of space! There are no length restrictions but try to keep your poems to no more than 30 lines. Be sure to include the title of your poem, your name as you would like it to appear, the city or town in which you reside, and, if you wish, your preferred pronouns.

Send poems to Barry Vitcov at haikubjv@google.com.

Picture of Barry

Barry


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