Friday, September 30, 2016

A Room of My Own: Small Cage Tanka

alone again
with my drunken shadow ...
singing like a skylark
in the small cage
of this promised land

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Butterfly Dream: Falling Snow Haiku by Meik Blöttenberger

English Original

just where it should be
snow falling
between      us

ITO EN Semifinalist, January 2015

Meik Blöttenberger

Chinese Translation (Traditional)

在我們    之間

Chinese Translation (Simplified)

在我们    之间 

Bio Sketch

Meik Blöttenberger has been writing haiku for over twelve years and his haiku have appeared in Frogpond, Modern Haiku, and The Heron's Nest. His other passions are photography and growing bonsai.

One Man's Maple Moon: River of Longing Tanka by Sylvia Forges-Ryan

English Original

long ago
I believed
time would wear it away
this ever-flowing river
of my longing

Fire Pearls, 2, 2013

Sylvia Forges-Ryan

Chinese Translation (Traditional)


Chinese Translation (Simplified)


Bio Sketch

Internationally known poet Sylvia Forges-Ryan is a former Editor of Frogpond, the journal of the Haiku Society of America, and author of Take a Deep Breath: The Haiku Way to Inner Peace.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Butterfly Dream: Autumn Wind Haiku by Rita Odeh

English Original

autumn wind --
a leaf curls around
its shadow

Frogpond, 37:3, Autumn 2014

Rita Odeh

Chinese Translation (Traditional)

秋風 --

Chinese Translation (Simplified)

秋风 --

Bio Sketch

Rita Odeh is from Nazareth, Israel. She comes from a christian Palestinian  family. She has B.A. in English and Comparative Literature from Haifa University. She has published 6 books of poetry,one book of short stories, three electronic novels, one e-book of haiku. Her poetry has been published in several international publications. Rita is Co-Editor of International Haiku. Her haiku and haiga artwork are featured in her "Catching The Moment" blog.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Cool Announcement: Spring's First Caress: Tanka by Brian Zimmer

The leaf does not grasp or grieve its last day.

-- Brian Zimmer

My Dear Readers:

I'm happy to share with you this good news:  Brian Zimmer's first book of largely-unpublished tanka had been edited by Jill Rauh and Kay L Tracy and published by Kay L. Tracy, following his death in 2014. Spring's First Caress is the first in a series of poetry books and contains the tanka he wrote between 2008 and 2010. "These mostly unseen poems allow us to meet the poet in the intimacy of his private world; a world few of us were privileged to know while he was alive" (M. Kei, editor of Atlas Poetica: A Journal of World Tanka).

About the Author:

Brian Zimmer wrote from the banks of the Mississippi River in St. Louis, Missouri. His work had appeared in various international print and online journals. He took inspiration from a variety of sources, including the ancient Japanese poetic-diary (utanikki) and free-form, poetic "essay" (zuihitsu).

Brian was one of early supporters of NeverEnding Story and contributed the following tanka as a gift for its readers. It was published on  January first, 2013, on which NeverEnding Story was founded.

no abacus
for the task
where the mists part
I begin counting stars

Excellent Tanka, 7th International Tanka Festival Competition, 2012

Selected Tanka:

not for whom
but with whom I write
these lines:
the skipping stone
the creaking tree house

infants' cemetery
the soft white of
fallen snow
blankets the grave
of her cradled loss

this grief not
the grief expected
no tears
just miles of sand
and endless desert

the white rose
at my touch
even death's perfection

casting on the river
for an image
to rest me --
minnows sleeping
on the moon

Monday, September 26, 2016

Butterfly Dream: Evening Mist Haiku by Steve Addiss

English Original

evening mist
church bells
faintly out of tune

Steve Addiss

Chinese Translation (Traditional)


Chinese Translation (Simplified)


Bio Sketch

The haiku and haiga of Stephen Addiss have appeared widely.  His books include Cloud Calligraphy, A Haiku Menagerie, The Art of Zen, Haiga: Haiku-Painting, The Art of Chinese Calligraphy, Haiku People, A Haiku Garden, Haiku Humor, Tao Te Ching, Japanese Calligraphy, Haiku: An Anthology, and The Art of Haiku.

Butterfly Dream: Ladder Haiku by Alan Summers

English Original

northern lights
a boy makes a ladder
out of his telescope

Blithe Spirit, 24:3, August 2014

Alan Summers

Chinese Translation (Traditional)


Chinese Translation (Simplified)


Bio Sketch

Alan Summers, Bradford on Avon, England, is a Japan Times award-winning writer with a Masters Degree in Creative Writing from Bath Spa University. He is a Pushcart Prize nominated poet working on The Kigo Lab project to use the potential of Western seasons for eco-critical writing within haiku. More at: and

Sunday, September 25, 2016

One Man's Maple Moon: Mind-Demons Tanka by Marilyn Humbert

English Original

an orchid
beneath the vines
fails to flower --
my child snared
by mind-demons

Moonbathing, 12, Spring/Summer 2015

Marilyn Humbert

Chinese Translation (Traditional)

沒有開花 --

Chinese Translation (Simplified)

没有开花 --

Bio Sketch

Marilyn Humbert lives in the Northern Suburbs of Sydney NSW surrounded by bush. Her pastimes include writing free verse poetry, tanka, tanka prose and related genre. She is the leader of Bottlebrush Tanka Group and member of the Huddle and Bowerbird Tanka Groups. Her tanka appears in Australian and international journals.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

A Room of My Own: Yet Again

black neighborhood
patrol cars rattling
clouds of dust

noonday silence ...
rows and rows of policemen,
hooded youth

Note: The haiku set, Yet Again,  is a sequel poem to the following tanka set, Bitter Place and Broken Dream, which was first published in Atlas Poetica, 21, 2015:

our skin
is the scarlet letter
on this chilly night
a man with his hands up

columns of smoke
from a commercial strip
the banner
Black Lives Matter
stained with mud and blood

Friday, September 23, 2016

Butterfly Dream: Willow Haiku by Julie Warther

English Original

new moon --
a willow lashes out
at the storm

Editor’s Choice, Cattails, September 2015

Julie Warther

Chinese Translation (Traditional)

新月 --
Chinese Translation (Simplified)

新月 --

Bio Sketch

Julie Warther is the author of What Was Here (Folded Word Press 2015) and serves as the Midwest Regional Coordinator for the Haiku Society of America.

NeverEnding Story: Call for Tanka Submissions

A haiku or a tanka without "rhetoric" was likely to be no more  than a brief observation without poetic tension or illumination.
-- Donald Keene, The Winter Sun Shines in: A Life of Masaoka Shiki, p 57.

My Dear Friends:

Send your best published tanka (please provide publication credits) or new work and a bio sketch (50 words max.). No more than twenty tanka per submission and no simultaneous submissions. Please note that only those whose tanka are accepted will be notified within three weeks, and that no other notification will be sent out. For more information about submissions, see 2016 anthology submission guidelines for tanka .

Look forward to reading your work

Happy Writing!


Note:  For information about the effective use of rhetorical devices, see my "To the Lighthouse" posts on Utamakura (Poetic Place Names), Parallelism, Oxymoron, Hyperbole, Wordplay, Defamiliarization, Synaesthesia, Repetition, and Inversion  or  my "Poet and Tanka" essay, which was first published in Ribbons, 12:2, Spring/Summer 2016.  And for information about the effective use of punctuation, see my "To the Lighthouse" post, titled Strategic Placement of Punctuation Marks.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Butterfly Dream: Lights and Snowflakes Haiku by Agnes Eva Savich

English Original

lights out
one by one
snowflakes fall

Acorn, 12, Spring 2004

Agnes Eva Savich

Chinese Translation (Traditional)


Chinese Translation (Simplified)


Bio Sketch

Agnes Eva Savich has been writing haiku since 2003. She was a featured Southwestern haijin in Roadrunner in 2006. She has published a collection of early poetry, titled The Watcher: Poems (Cedar Leaf Press, 2009) and hopes to work on her first haiku book soon. She now lives in Austin, TX.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

One Man's Maple Moon: Mirror Tanka by Shloka Shankar

English Original

these eyes
staring back from the mirror
no longer mine...
when did I start living
in denial?

Chrysanthemum, October 2014

Shloka Shankar

Chinese Translation (Traditional)

不再是我的 ...

Chinese Translation (Simplified)

不再是我的 ...

Bio Sketch

Shloka Shankar is a freelance writer residing in India. Her work appears in over two dozen international anthologies. Her poems, erasures, haiku, haiga and tanka have appeared in numerous print and online journals. She is also the editor of the literary and arts journal, Sonic Boom

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Butterfly Dream: Harvest Moon Haiku by Debbie Strange

English Original

in cupped hands
the harvest moon rests
for a moment

First Place, Autumn Moon Haiku Contest, 2015

Debbie Strange 

Chinese Translation (Traditional)


Chinese Translation (Simplified)


Bio Sketch

Debbie Strange is a Canadian short form poet and haiga artist. You are invited to view her published work at and Keibooks recently released her first collection, Warp and Weft, Tanka Threads, available through and at among others.

One Man's Maple Moon: War Tanka by Keitha Keyes

English Original

this war ...
what colour
are the shadows
of guns
or the tears of a widow?
Moonbathing, 11, Fall/Winter 2014

Keitha Keyes


Chinese Translation (Traditional)

此場戰爭 ...

Chinese Translation (Simplified)

此场战争 ...

Bio Sketch

Keitha Keyes lives in Sydney but her heart is still in the Australian bush where she grew up. She mostly writes tanka and related genres, revelling in the inspiration, friendship and generosity of these writing communities. Her work appears in many print and online journals and anthologies.