f/k/a archives . . . real opinions & real haiku

March 8, 2007

cherry blossom festivals and haiku

Filed under: Haiku or Senryu — David Giacalone @ 2:32 pm

blossomBranchF You may recall that the first week of 2007 brought the premature blossoming of cherry blossoms in parts of the Washington, D.C. area. (see USAToday article, Jan. 4, 2007)  It may have been extra-warm in many parts of the USA in December, but lots of places are now having the coldest nights of this winter as we approach the ides of March.   This chill makes it especially important to remind ourselves how soon we’ll be enjoying those cheery harbingers of Spring — cherry blossoms and cherry blossom festivals.  Two major North American festivals will soon take place:

  1. The 2007 Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival [VCBF], in British Columbia, Canada, which “is scheduled to kick off the season on March 22,” and will last a week.  Linda Poole is its Creative Director.
  2. The National Cherry Blossom Festival® in Washington, D.C., which will be held March 31 – April 15, and “is an annual two-week, citywide event featuring daily cultural performances, sporting events, arts & crafts demonstrations and other special events.”  This morning (March 8), festival organizers held a press conference to announce the calendar of events and the projected peak blossoming period.

so far away –
cherry blossoms and the smile
that humbles them

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . by dagosan

VancouverTreePoole The blooming period of cherry blossoms can last as long as 14 days.   As we said last year, in a post about the DC festival, the contrast of the beauty and the impermanence of the blossoms have long made them the perfect subject for haiku (and for zen philosophers).  Due to this traditional link between haiku and cherry blossoms, the two-year-old Vancouver festival has held a cherry blossom Haiku Invitational Contest each of the past two years.

Last year, seven of f/k/a’s Honored Guest Poets had haiku that were selected by the VCBF judges for special recognition.  You can find their 2006 poems reprinted below the fold of this posting.

. . . . . . . . . See our 2008 cherry blossom update.

This year, VCBF’s contest attracted 1,130 haiku entries from 32 countries.  Five members of the f/k/a Honorable Guest family had winning haiku for 2007, as did our adopted family member, Aurora Antonovic (of Toronto).   Here are their poems:

2007 VCBF Sakura Award Haiku blossomBranch

the wiggle
of a bee’s behind—
cherry blossom

. . . . . . by Laryalee Fraser

the beaver’s tail
strikes bright water—
cherry blossoms

. . . . . . . by Peggy LylesDontPickBLossomsN
Tucker, Georgia

The National Park Service says Don’t Pick the Blossoms DontPickBlossoms

cherry blossoms—
with my daughter in my arms
I am weightless

………………… by Andrew Riutta
Traverse City, Michigan

Honorable Mention selections: VCBFLogo

as though it were
the first time—
cherry blossoms!

. . . . . . . by Aurora Antonovic
Toronto, Ontario

blossom viewing—
mother shrinks deeper
into her shawl

. . . . . . . . by Roberta Beary
Washington, D.C.

blossom rain—  BlossomsDC
she sweeps the front steps
in her Sunday best

. . . . . . by Carolyn Hall
San Francisco, California

canjapSBC Two of my all-time favorite cherry blossom poems are from Japan’s 19th Century Haiku Master, Kobayashi Issa:

the great lord
forced off his horse…
cherry blossoms

growing old–
even the cherry blossoms
a bit annoying

….. by Kobayashi Issa, translated by David G. Lanoue (60 more)

DontPickBLossomsNdagosan didn’t win, but makes this humble offering anyway:

the streetsweeper
looks up, looks down —
cherry blossom week ends

For more vernal inspiration, the 2006 Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival haiku winners (and Highly Commendables, too) from our Honorable Guest Poets can be found below the fold.

distant thunder
a few cherry blossoms
float to earth

just blossoming
we meet under
the cherry tree

. . . . by w.f. owen

cherry blossoms   blossomBranch
the tug tug tug
of baby’s hand

morning mist
a bent back sweeps
yesterday’s blossoms

. . . . . by roberta beary

a shortcut  DontPickBLossomsN
to the sanitarium —
cherry blossoms

. . . . . . by andrew riutta

cherry blossoms free fall
into the pond . . .
baby’s first steps

blossoms . . .
I dust off the last
jar of cherries

. . . . . . . . . . . . . by alice frampton

grizzled poet—
a sprig of cherry blossoms
in his knapsack

. . . . . . by Laryalee Fraser

cherry blossoms
a street vendor hums
the Ode to Joy

blossomBranchF. . . . . . . . . . by peggy willis lyles

cherry blossoms
the one that falls
on mother’s headstone

. . . . . . . . by ed markowski

No Comments

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Powered by WordPress