E-zine Haiku Competition

Following a link today, I discovered a new online magazine, Vita Brevis . For those of you who are interested in Haiku, the editor is hosting a four-day haiku competition, ending Monday night, Aug 13th.

Anyone can leave one haiku verse in the comments. Read the complete details here: Comment-a-Haiku Poetry Competition

Nature is the theme so I dug into my archives and pulled up a few that could work. I considered this one, but it’s not very aesthetic so I won’t offer it for the contest. You can read it and give a Thumbs-up or Thumbs-down.

beside the highway
three ravens process
yesterday’s mad rush

Or how about:

the zoo animals
watch the humans play

amusing monkeys

It’s probably been done before.

17 thoughts on “E-zine Haiku Competition

      1. The discipline of trying to say all that needs saying within a constraint is what appeals to me. I don’t like writing rules, too much.

        The crows cleaning up after the rush is very droll to my mind.

        Good stuff.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. If you’d like to hear something else that’s droll, I read your posts about the lizard and then wrote a short verse myself about you and your resident skink. I’d like to post it one of these days —once I sort out all the scribbles collecting on my desk. Hope you don’t mind.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I did enter ‘for fun’ although the editor hasn’t approved two posts by me explaining more about the 575 approach, although he mentioned he was surprised that haiku came about in the 1890s.

    The comment about 575 haiku:

    I’ve entered the competition! Although Japanese haiku aren’t actually 5-7-5 in syllables, as their punctuation is in words (not symbols like dashes, commas, ellipses etc…) that are counted as sound units, so they are really 15 or 16 ‘sounds’, I do like doing them,

    575haiku – Traditional Haiku as three lines and in a 5-7-5 English language syllables pattern:

    Good luck to those who have a go at the challenge here! 🙂
    warmest regards,

    In response to a post, I couldn’t catch their name, where they said:

    Alright, alright–just have some fun, Alan!
    Nice haiku, traditional or not!

    I responded, although the editor didn’t make the comment ‘live’:

    Yep, just entered a haiku in a fun effort of mirroring 5-7-5 sound counts in Japanese haiku. The idea of ‘traditional’ is intriguing. 😉

    And the editor of the blog (Brian Eiger/Vita Brevis) responded:

    “Very interesting–I wouldn’t have guessed that haiku came about during the industrial revolutions! The more you know–thanks for contributing, Alan! I enjoyed your poem!”

    If anyone is interested in posting, great!

    Can I direct people to a fine online haiku magazine, which has many editors, and managed by John Stevenson, whom I’ve met in person very recently, which was great! 🙂

    The Heron’s Nest online haiku magazine:

    warm regards,


    Alan Summers
    co-founder, Call of the Page
    President, United Haiku and Tanka Society
    Haibun Editor, Blithe Spirit, British Haiku Society

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Haiku, as opposed to hokku (which Basho and others wrote) as it came about in the dawning industrial revolution of the late 19th Century in Japan, covers a multiple of hard-hitting topics. Even Matsuo Basho, in his hokku verses, occasionally touched on hard topics including the wide-spread practice of child abandonment (mostly girls, very sadly).


    beside the highway
    three ravens process
    yesterday’s mad rush

    As this is an accurate depiction as the crow family are carrion birds, so I call them caretakers of the world, this is loaded with comment, but avoids over-telling.

    Or you could be specific and have:

    Saskatoon highway
    three ravens process
    yesterday’s mad rush

    It would not be ‘popular’ in the ezine competition as it doesn’t idealise nature, but it’s a great verse, because that’s what humans do, make a mad dash up and down the highways, and often kill other animals with the speed of their cars, leaving the ravens and others to mop up our mess.

    Great use of a verb ‘process’!

    warm regards,

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you. Yes, we poets generally like to deal with sweet stuff about nature, but there’s also the sad side. Rushing is what people do and it grieves me very much to see beautiful birds dead beside the road. Sad to say, the wind turbines producing “environmentally friendly” energy also take thousands of birds’ lives — but I digress.
    Thanks for your comment on my verse. I left the location open, but “Saskatoon highway” would work. I fear most people in other countries don’t have a clue where Saskatoon is.

    I’ll be interested to see how this e-zine competition turns out. Here’s another haiku (or senryu) of mine on the sorrowful side that readers liked when I posted it on Tree Top haiku. I think it’s one of my personal favourites:
    bone-weary bag lady
    extracts from junkyard flower
    courage to survive.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I do like occasional specificity otherwise we’d have tens of thousands of haiku just saying trees, clouds, plants, flowers, bees, butterflies. I think once I reached 20-30 haiku that just said that, I knew I shouldn’t be lazy, and get to know them better. 🙂

    We had Buff-tailed bumblebees take over the blue tit birdhouse this year, and they are wonderful neighbours! And Karen pointed out a Tree bumblebee in the Heuchera so I have to work on that. I certainly wouldn’t want to say bee or bumblebee and a plant, that wouldn’t be doing either of them any justice.

    And I wouldn’t have into this anthology if I’d just said:

    tree the end of a bird’s song

    Instead of:

    juniper the tether end of larksong

    Alan Summers
    Poetry & Place anthology issue 1
    ed. Ashley Capes and Brooke (Close-Up Books, April 2016)

    Note: Lake District, Cumbria, England, U.K. September 2015
    Land of the Romantic Poets and much more! 🙂

    Also nature is tough! I’ve lived in Queensland farmland, and travelled through the Outback, and everything can bite! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve also written on vagrants:

      down the sidewalk
      an old vagrant
      daisies in his mouth

      Alan Summers
      Publication credits: Hobo (Tasmania, 1999); Issa’s Untidy Hut (2011)

      sunlit sweat
      the young vagrant
      sucks a thumb

      Alan Summers
      Anthology: Haiku Harvest: 2000 – 2006 (Modern English Tanka Press 2007)

      the vagrant
      a radio presses
      to his head

      Alan Summers
      Publication credits: Blithe Spirit vol.9 no.3 (1999)

      This isn’t about a homeless person, but the number of homeless people dying in shop doorways is rising, from natural causes, addictions, or manslaughter to murder. We can be a heartless race sometimes.

      sultry evening
      liquid from the take out bag
      runs near the victim

      Alan Summers
      Publication credits: World Haiku Review vol 2: Issue 3 (2002)
      Collection: Does Fish-God Know (Yet To Be Named Free Press 2012)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The vagrant is probably better off listening to his radio than nasty voices in his head. 😉

        Oh, that last one is a tragic scene! And yet when we lived in Montreal we found out several things:

        In Canada a lot of homeless people prefer to be homeless because they are suffering severe paranoia and are afraid to be closed in with other people. We know a couple of people with this kind of paranoia; they live in nightmares where everyone is an enemy sent to spy on them, doctors have orders to a) not treat them, just fudge it or b) secretly drug them into submission or c) quietly kill them.

        In the 1960s it was deemed “inhumane” and a violation of their rights to lock up mental patients —unless they were a threat to themselves or others. Consequently they were dismissed form institutions where they were confined, granted, but cared for. This “rights + sympathy” approach has put so many sufferers out on the streets, at the mercy of thieves, thugs, pushers, and severe malnutrition.

        In the US, where they lack the social support network and health care we have, it’s a whole different story.

        None of which has to do with haiku. 🙂 Thanks again for all your help and comments.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I do like “junkyard flower” although I’d be intrigued which one it was. Isn’t it wonderful that derelict land can be beautiful via teasels and these flowers:

    convolvulus –
    a bumblebee dithers
    over blackberry bramble

    Alan Summers
    Publication credit: Hermitage (2005)

    It’s before I started looking up which ones as there are over 250 species of bumblebee!

    Liked by 1 person

I'd like to hear your thoughts on this. Please leave a comment.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.