for a moment of joy or moments no one pays for, i give myself a ‘jornal’. this makes me rich. try it.

my ‘yikes!’ haiku (from a suite of the first-ever haiku I submitted to THN)

moon rise
on church window,
mom and I holding hands

magnolia petals
in the wind—
the rush at my wedding

shredded blooms
on my hair—
writing on my journal

spring rain—
the taste of salt spray
the first time

first spring walk—
a clump of drooping snowdrops
black patch smaller

against the haze
a hedge of briar roses—
my unfinished poem

These and the rest in the suite of ten haiku, of course, came back declined. You might want to let me know why, first, and then, I’ll write a self-critique.


March 26, 2011 - Posted by | haiku, poetry, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. Alegria,

    I really do not know. I have been rejected multiple times by THN. I admire your pluck to show us, the world, your haiku and ask for feedback. I liked #1 and #4. If anything, I notice the “my” point of view. Many a good haiku has a self at the center. But it makes the battle to publish harder to write with my, me, I, myself hanging in the wind. Or so I think. I am still very much on the journey. You have such gifts of imagery. Keep at it.


    Comment by Sully | March 27, 2011 | Reply

    • Hi again, Sully!

      Wheeww, I just finished editing my first reply to your kind comment, which was rife with mistakes! I dashed it off on my way to a conference on ‘women and media’ at the University of British Columbia. I’m sorry about that, sorry for the winch-ing I must have caused you.

      Thanks again!!!

      Comment by alee9 | March 28, 2011 | Reply

  2. Thanks, Sully, for your thoughtful read, always the first, too, to respond to my ‘prompts’ for a critique. I do need it, who is the writer who doesn’t? The briefest of words have helped me see my hazy way through and I believe I’ve gained ground in my writing of haiku because of these.

    Thanks for taking note of my ‘pluck’!!! I developed it from experiences in writing classes I attended in Manhattan more than a decade ago when I dared to enroll in writing classes at NYU. Guess how it went with me the only non-native writer and speaker of English in a class of New Yorkers…the ‘bashing’ though drew out my ‘pluck’!

    Thanks for picking out nos 1 and 4 in this half-suite of haiku. I, too, think, these are quite good enough though something in there might make it better to be GOOD haiku. Indeed, we never know, do we? But, too, indeed, reading suggested haiku reasource links by Michael Dylan Welch and Alan Summers, and most of those that Melissa includes in her ‘haikuverse’, as well as more and more published haiku, or editors choices in some journals, have helped.

    The ‘my’ apparently, turns around a line and gives it more depth or a kind of universality that reflects the human condition. But you’re right in that it’s tricky and could end as a ‘huh’or ‘duh’!

    The problem is when one’s writing a haiku or any composition for that matter, the mind takes over. Alan Summers once commented of a haiku I wrote on the haiku facebbok site and rewrote on the same space to follow “your instincts”. Perhaps therein lies the secret. But again, like you said, “I really don’t know”!

    Thanks again for your kind words about my images. They amaze me most of the time; honestly, I don’t know where they come from. And I’m always so honored with your visits and your comments. Yes, I’ll keep it up, and please do come by again.

    Comment by alee9 | March 27, 2011 | Reply

  3. Okay, I like #4 a lot and I really love #2…really really. Very focused, nice images, resonant juxtaposition. Maybe whoever (Peggy?) just wasn’t in a magnolia mood that day. That’s the thing with haiku or any kind of literature, it’s so subjective, so you don’t really know when you get rejected whether it’s because what you wrote wasn’t any good or just because the editor doesn’t have the same taste as you, or just wasn’t in the mood for what you wrote that day.

    I will say that I think in general you work better in longer forms, tanka or sequences or longer poems, just because your mind is so full of such wonderful images and goes skipping around delightedly to all of them and I think usually haiku need to be a little more focused than yours tend to be. I am frequently stunned and amazed by your longer poetry. And you have written wonderful haiku too, but I think basically your mind might be too big and full for haiku most of the time. 🙂 That’s what I see in most of these — it’s just hard in each haiku for the mind to figure out what to focus on in each one. I keep wanting either more detail or less.

    And that is my highly subjective, take-it-with-several-grains-of-salt evaluation. 🙂 Thanks for sharing all your wonderful poetry with us, wild woman…keep it up.

    Comment by Melissa Allen | March 30, 2011 | Reply

    • Melissa, dear friend…I love how you call me, “wild woman”!!! That’s how my imagination works and where all those images come from–yet believe it or not, from a silent almost sedate life, sedate me!!!

      Everything you said is true. No grains of salt to take. I know, I’m really really more at ease with longer forms. Yet while haiku has helped me with its discipline and compact-ness, it has also ignited my imagery! Now I can catch one image at a time where I used to gorge on landscapes, not just a hint but whole novellas that write themselves out in my mind. Now I can compress though with some effort one image at a time.

      Yes, I’m also aware how subjective editors can be. It’s the first thing I learned in literary criticism classes–from biographies of poets, and later in the humanities course–from the lives of the now icons of generations. And we could die a thousand times from rejection but we DON’T!!! I wish I could and stop myself from ‘birthing’ all these swirling images in my mind. But no, I WON’T because I don’t think I can.

      And so, I keep up because I just can’t but…Thanks again so much for loving some of my haiku! In this suite, yours, Sully and mine no. 4, and yes, no. 2 that I think opens to a lot of imagery and thought. The magnolias I have in mind here are not the delicate perfumed white ones but the pink lilac huge blossoms, that widely open like women in love, hence, so easily shattered by the wind as when their petals get carried off like bits of their silk selves tearing apart…there I go again, as wildly as the image can get!!!

      Thanks again and again. And I say it again I wear a badge that says, “She, Red Dragonfly, Melissa Allen, is my true friend” WW

      Comment by alee9 | March 30, 2011 | Reply

  4. […] jornales: magnolia petals in the wind— the rush at my […]

    Pingback by Across the Haikuverse, No. 16: National Library Week Edition « Red Dragonfly | April 10, 2011 | Reply

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