Sunday, March 25, 2012

two ku


Modern Haiku, 43:1, winter-spring, 2012

all that dark matter.....white peony

the time it takes to smoke
two cigarettes

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

ANNOUNCEMENT: free workshop

Exploring the One-Breath Poem:
Discovering Your Haiku-Mind
led by Billie Dee

Sunday, March 11, 1:00 – 2:30 p.m.

Open Door Books
4761 Cass Street, San Diego 92109
(corner of Cass & Missouri) ~ 858-270-8642

     This will be an overview for those new to or curious about the haiku genre, as well as more experienced writers who would like to expand their perspectives and workshop poems-in-progress. We will concentrate on the elements of contemporary English Language Haiku, a form poorly understood by most people who were introduced to haiku in school. The introduction will be followed by a 45-minute interactive comment and critique session of participant poems. Please bring recent work if you wish to participate in this part of the workshop. The overall goal of this session is to cultivate the haiku-mind, one that seeks and captures those epiphanic moments of awareness that arise from our everyday lives.

OPEN DOOR POETRY: San Diego's longest-running poetry reading takes place each 2nd Sunday of the month, 3:00 - 5:00 p.m., hosted by Jackleen Holton. Billie Dee will be a featured reader on 3/11, followed by an open mic.

Friday, September 16, 2011


I'm very pleased to announce the following recent honors:

2011 International Tokutomi Haiku Contest --judges: Toru Kiuchi, Japan; Kris Moon, Japan. This contest is for English language haiku written in three lines of 5, 7, and 5 syllables. Each poem is required to contain one season word/phrase from an assigned list. Sponsored by the Yuki Teikei Haiku Society [].
First Prize:

the familiar cough
of my neighbor's old Chevy
winter solitude

Third Prize:

finding her letter
in his old leather jacket
winter solitude

2nd Honorable Mention (2):

snuffing out candles
just for the joy of their scent
winter solitude

new year's confetti
.....the accordion player
..........leans back on his heels

2011 Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival Haiku Contest -- judge: an'ya, USA. []

Honorable Mention (USA):

first cherry buds
our newborn opens
her fists

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Upcoming Reading

Billie will be reading a collection of haiku and haibun for the Yuki Teikei Haiku Society on May 14, 2011 in San Jose, California.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

In Memorium

Jihmye Collins
Poet, Artist, Community Activist,
Philanthropist, Friend

a new dove
on my windowsill

A graveside service will be held
Friday, March 18, 2001 at 1:30 p.m.
El Camino Memorial Park
5600 Carroll Canyon Rd, San Diego, CA 92121
for further information, please call the San Diego Baha’i Center
(858) 268-3999

Saturday, March 12, 2011

HSA Meeting in San Diego

Friday March 25 - Sunday March 27th, 2011

Haiku San Diego is proud to host the 1st quarterly meeting for the Haiku Society of America here in San Diego. It's a three-day weekend packed with haiku readings, presentations, writing exercises, a ginko in Balboa Park, and (yes!) good food and socializing. Here's a link with full details:

Monday, February 07, 2011

San Diego Reading

Billie Dee will the feature reader for this month's Gelato Poets, with a line up of haiku, haibun, and longer poems, this Friday at 7:00 p.m. There is an open mic to follow,  so bring your own poems to share.

Gelato Poets -- m.c.'d by Jon Wesick
Friday, February 11, 2011, 7:00 p.m.
Korky's Ice Cream and Coffee
    2371 San Diego Ave., CA 92110 (old town)


Rengay wins HPNC Award

The following rengay was composed by Michael Dylan Welch, Tanya McDonald, and Billie Dee on 10/18/2009 in Seabeck, Washington after the annual Seabeck Haiku Getaway Weekend Retreat.  The three of us took an afternoon drive through the forest north of the conference grounds to Scenic Beach State Park, followed by supper at Barbie's Seabeck Bay Cafe. We edited the poem during our ferry ride back to Seattle. A wonderful day we are celebrating again with our Third-Place winning in the 2010 Haiku Poets of Northern California rengay contest. The poem will be published in HPNC's journal Mariposa, 2011. 

Swapping Shells
Michael Dylan Welch, Billie Dee, and Tanya McDonald
shell gathering—
our toes sinking
down to the wet                                                              Michael

        abandoned camper shell
        columbine in the shadows                                   Billie

sea glass—
she caresses
the shell of his ear                                                           Tanya

        the idle hooker
        reading Shelley                                                         Michael

by moonlight
a hermit crab
swapping shells                                                                Billie

        the band shell darkened
        he gives my hand a squeeze                               Tanya

What's a rengay? Read more here:  The Rengay Form

Friday, October 08, 2010

Haiku Anthology reading in San Diego

The Southern California Haiku Study Group presents a reading of their 2010 haiku anthology, An Island of Egrets, this Saturday, October 9th at 2 p.m. at The Ink Spot, 710 13th Street, Suite 210, San Diego, CA. A no-host dinner will follow (more details at the bottom of this announcement).

Edited by Billie Dee, the anthology is a 124-page perfect-bound volume of work by 65 haiku poets throughout Southern California, including a number of San Diego writers. Of particular note is a bilingual Spanish-English selection of haiku by well-known border-region authors.

This collection emphasizes our unique climate and geography, our rich cultural diversity, and embraces the broad range of experience of our contributing poets. Books will be available for sale at the reading.

NO-HOST DINNER AFTER READING for those who would like to join us. Reservation is currently for 25 people at Soleluna Care at 702 Ash Street, Ste E (ll-blocks west of the Ink Spot – we can carpool there). LINK:

LINK: The Ink Spot (directions):
LINK: about the reading:

Sunday, August 15, 2010

2010 SCHSG Anthology goes to press!

Dear Haiku Friends,

I am very pleased to announce that an island of egrets... the 2010 Southern California Haiku Study group Anthology is complete and ready to go to the printer. From our first beautiful hand-made 2001 edition with eight founding haijin, we have grown to a volume of 65 poets. Our new book will be perfect-bound with a full-color heavy-stock cover, featuring 267 poems, including a fine selection of regional Spanish Language haiku with English translations. This collection emphasizes our unique climate and geography, our rich cultural diversity, and embraces the broad range of experience of our contributing haijin. I think you will be very pleased with the superb quality of work in this, our 10th Anniversary Edition!

The Anthologies will be available at our annual reading and celebration at the Pacific Asia Museum, 46 North Los Robles, Pasadena, CA, on Sunday, Sept. 26th at 2 p.m. There will be another reading in San Diego at The Ink Spot, the downtown gallery loft of San Diego Writers, Ink, located at 710 13th Street, San Diego, CA, on Saturday, October 9th at 2 p.m. Please mark your calendars. For those of you who have paid for postage, the books will be mailed Monday, Sept 27th.

Here is our roster of poets:

Michael Angerman, Ashley Baldon, Jerry Ball, Marcia Behar, Tom Bilicke, Paty Blake, Darrell Byrd, Peggy Castro, Elizabeth Cazessus, Marcyn Del Clements, Phyllis Collins, Joan E. Day, Billie Dee, D'ellen, James Robert Dunn, Pauli Dutton, Kimberly Esser, Hadia Farfan, Linda Galloway, Olga Garcia, Claudia Barreda Gaxiola, Victor P. Gendrano, John Gentry, Risa R. Goldberg, Anita Guenin, William Hart, Margaret Hehman-Smith, Una Nichols Hynum, Gloria Jaguden, Oleg Kagan, Patricia Kelly, Karen Kenyon, Deborah P. Kolodji, Sean Kolodji, Daniel E. Lambert, Elva Lauter, Stephanie Leuer, Greg Longenecker, Eve Luckring, Ed Lukstein, Janis Lukstein, Frances Ruhlen McConnel, Seretta Martin, Juan Martínez, Carrie Moniz, Liz Myers-Chamberlin, Naia, Genie Nakano, Ruth Nolan, Victor Ortiz, Brosnan Rhodes, Susan Rogers, Thomas Spann, Melissa Spurr, Stevie Strang, Karen Stromberg, Judith Terzi, G. Murray Thomas, Maja Trochimczyk, Megan Webster, Elizabeth Yahn Williams, Kathabela Wilson, James Won, Wendy Wright, An Xiao

For those of you who have not yet ordered copies, please be aware that there will no second printing. This full-size poetry book would ordinarily retail for $15, but is available to contributors at the generously discounted pre-publication price of $8 for the first copy, $6 for each copy thereafter. They make wonderful holiday and thank-you gifts. To order your copies, or to add to your current order, please make your check out to SCHSG and mail before August 20th to:

Haiku Anthology
PO Box 620457
San Diego, CA 92162

Be sure to add postage of $2.75 for the first book, plus $0.85 for each additional copy if you will not be picking up your book(s) at one of our readings. If there are any questions, please contact me before August 20th at

Congratulations to all of us on our 10th Anniversary Edition!

Billie Dee, editor
2010 Southern California Haiku Study Group Anthology

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Rengay: Thump of a Rose

Thump of a Rose

a dead friend’s name
on the tip of my tongue       
..........Billie Dee, San Diego, CA

hissing, a lava finger
enters the sea    
..........Josh Wikoff, Petaluma, CA

rustling aspen
mouse bones
in the barn-owl pellet          
..........Michael Dylan Welch, Sammamish, WA

a locust storm
above the field corn              

spawned out
each stone in the river
lends its voice                       

the thump of a rose
on the child’s casket            

Winner of an honorable mention in the 2010 Haiku Poets of Northern California Rengay Contest

Saturday, May 01, 2010

May kigo list for Southern California

The Season

end of spring
spring morning
spring rain
spring storm
spring wind
crisp morning
gray May

Mountains, Fields and Ocean

fresh grass
spring fields
green hills
wildflower fields
trail work
thickened bermuda grass

Flowers and Plants

spent lilacs
first cherries
jacaranda blossoms
green fig leaves
onion lily spikes
star jasmine perfume
succulent blooms
budding gardenia
green hydrangea panicles
spiky shoots of ornamental ginger
late blooming wisteria
aloe vera spikes
cymbidium orchids finish blooming
new stems
buddingCanary Island date palms – fruiting stems
staking tomatoes
lettuce bolting (also cabbage, broccoli)
asparagus shoots

Sky and Heavens

flower moon
warm spring breeze
morning fog
spring sky
spring constellations
changing skies

Birds and Animals

palm rats (newborns squealing)
lady bugs
dogs have stopped shedding
baby ground squirrels
baby Island Foxes
chirping baby birds
crows eating baby birds
baby rabbits
baby opossums
turkey vulture nests
Nuthatch nests

Human Affairs

Mother’s Day
Renaissance Faire
Memorial Day
Cinco de Mayo
midseason baseball
French Open
spring dresses
wedding invitations
allergy season
wind chimes
baby strollers
IRS refunds

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

April kigo for Southern California

From the Southern California Haiku Study Group

The Season

spring rain
spring storm
spring wind
warmer days

Sky and Heavens

pink moon
spring sky
spring constellations: Virgo, Leo, Ursa Major

Mountains, Fields and Ocean

snow run-off
spring fields
green hills
wildflower fields
trail work

Flowers and Plants

Easter Lilies
young leaves
cherry blossoms
crab apple
Our Lord's Candle
sky lupine
red bud
trumpet tree
Birds and Animals

baby rabbits
deer fawn
harbor seal pups
nesting birds:
Western gulls
white-throated swift
wood ducks
Human Affairs
spring break
Festival of Books
National Poetry Month
season starts
vacation plans

Thank you Debbie!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Friday, February 12, 2010

Bill Higginson's Online Presence

This is a repost from

Blogging Along Tobacco Road

Posted: 11 Feb 2010 03:19 AM PST
Because I just learned that att.worldnet will no longer be hosting personal web sites after March 15th, I want everyone to know that the William J. (Bill) Higginson's "renku" and "haikai" sites that were still being hosted on have been moved; now all of Bill's sites are now available on our (my) domain, link takes you to the main gateway to both my and Bill's

Monday, January 25, 2010

New Blog: Selected Poems

Please visit my new site featuring some of my long-form lyric and narrative poetry.

Friday, January 22, 2010

through me the reedy night harmonica
DailyHaiga, July 09


It’s a still night, TV off, crickets, grandkids out of my hair, dog’s passed out. The third bourbon kicks in. I work the mood for memories… all the false starts… false mates… steamy years of cultivated urbanity… that small jazz club on 4th Street… packed with Saturday-nighters, where I’m grooving and flirting, until the jukebox dies and the musicians step up to the platform, lead off with Lazy Bird; as the audience goes silent, sweating and riveted to each note; as the gleam of the saxophone fills the air with a pulsing mystery, and my love of jazz and crowded rooms expands, holds me there for that one-hour set; as the night waits outside to fold me back into the dark wings of the city.

I sit a while. The ice melts in my glass. I study the flea-bitten arm of the recliner, rise and pick a paperback from the pile on the floor, coyotes howling in the canyon near the small desert town I have come to.
reading Issa
I mark my place
with a dollar bill

Monday, January 18, 2010

Sunday, January 17, 2010


The back trellis is covered with hot pink bloom and the neighbor’s tabby has nested in the garden shed. I’m listening to the hammer of water pipes, a hollow ring filling the galvanized tub, when my grandfather backs in through the screen door. His tall rubber boots leave tracks on the laundry linoleum. There’s the smell of a gunnysack, and another smell I can’t identify – something bitter, something wet.
cherry popsicle
the ice-cream man shorts
my change

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

first rose...
the neighbor's garden hat
ladybug red
.......................................................................Daily Haiga, Oct 2009

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Jane Reichhold : Haiku of Master Basho

Higginson on the one-line haiku

A seminal essay from the late William J. Higginson on the 1-liner was published in SimplyHaiku, Fall 2004. He defines four basic types, the latter being more a failure than a class of the genre:
  1. One-Stroke Haiku. Those that seem to drive the reader instantly from one end to the other, without a pause for reflection or even noticing the grammar involved.
  2. Classical-Style One-Line Haiku. Those that have a classic haiku rhythm, dividing easily into three phrases, often with the middle one longer, as do traditional Japanese and three-line haiku in other languages, but which may benefit from being read all at once—as the authors apparently intend. I consider these borderline cases between one-stroke haiku and the following group, but notice that the classical style allows for more play with the internal rhythms of a haiku than may usually be found in a three-line poem.
  3. Multiple-Meaning One-Line Haiku. Those that may have a classic haiku rhythm, but which also offer the reader a number of syntactic elements, allowing for different interpretations of the poem according to how the reader decides to follow the poem's movement.
  4. Multi-Line Haiku Written on One Line. Those that include a marked stop or pause, and which therefore are not true one-line haiku in my sense of the term. They usually include extra space between two or more sections, or punctuation marking a grammatical shift, or some other substitute for a line-break.

6 One-Line Haiku

through me the reedy night harmonica
.................................  Roadrunner, VIII:3, Aug 2008

within the stone the sandstorm
.................................  Roadrunner, VIII:3, Aug 2008

purple milking the space between sea urchin spines

Happy New Year to All My Poetry Friends!


May the new year bring you peace,
joy and compassion!

Saturday, January 09, 2010


Twilight shadows fill the room, but I stay seated at the writing desk, lights off. My fountain pen runs dry, and I merge with the sounds of early evening: the rasp of the green grocer's shutter chain, the dopplered crescendo-decrescendo of a minibus full of schoolgirls, an iPod leaking one ear-bud of Die Zauberflote. . . an hour slips by.
off-and-on drizzle
the doves on my windowsill
preen one another
I'm late. In the lift to the lobby, the ticket in my pocket feels brittle, remote. I follow my feet through the old center of the city. . . down the damp corridors of patience, along the boulevards of longing and abundance, through the night's high colonnaded arias. . . until, soundlessly, I enter that cathedral of solitary oneness, in love with the dreaming world that rolls toward me like a golden ball.
after Mozart
the rhythm of motorbikes
on wet cobblestones.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

New HaigaOnline is up!

This is one of the best issues HO has published IMO. The Contemporary Haiga collection on the theme of domestic animals goes far beyond cute puppies and kittens. Hats off to Linda Papanicalou for her skillful editing.

I am deeply honored to be a featured artist in the 2009 Winter Solitude issue. One of the pieces is a collaboration with Canadian poet Laryalee Fraser, an eminent writer/artist of international renown. Indulge yourself with a visit to her personal haiga page: 
a leaf rustles.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

rainy day jungle voice of the etch-a-sketch

Friday, October 30, 2009

2009 Seabeck Haiku Retreat

Just back from the Seabeck Haiku Retreat -- and what a retreat it was. See for yourself:

PHOTOS by Deborah P. Kolodji:

Sunday, August 16, 2009

moonflower kigo

a moonflower fell -
midnight sound
.............. ......Masaoka Shiki (1867-1902)

The moonflower, Ipomoea alba, is a kigo for late spring / early summer. Its large, fragrant, round blossoms are revealed after dusk in a dramatically rapid fashion, often seeming to almost spring open.

Related to the morning glory, it is native to tropical and sub-tropical regions of North and South America. The large 4-5 inch flowers range in color from white to pink, and are often cultivated as a garden ornamental. In regions like Florida, it can become an invasive twining pest, choking out other plants.

The pre-Colombian Mesoamericans civilizations used the high sulfur content of the moonflower plant to vulcanize latex from the Catilla elastica tree into rubber balls used in arena sports.

Here is a moon flower opening in real time, a mere 72 seconds:

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Higginson on kigo and tradition

The rationale behind season words is tradition, not personal or local experience. It makes sense to add certain items to a season word list according to local custom, such as holidays, unique cultural features, and particular weather phenomena or creature-behaviors unique to a specific region, provided they are included at times when poets have in fact noticed them and writen about them. But this is not always the case for phenomena of more or less universal experience. ...

...The overriding factor here is that, unless one is in a very distinctly different climatic zone than mid-temperate central Japan, on which the Japanese saijiki is nominally based, and the phenomenon in question is already recorded in a common Japanese saijiki, then *millions of poets* already relate to it that way.

--William Higginson

from the World Kigo Database:

Friday, June 05, 2009


I've just walked the dog in the rain. As I hang up the leash, they're running a clip on CNN of the Texas Pickaxe Murderer, her last ten minutes on Death Row. She is dressed entirely in white, face radiant as she grips her Bible, crosses herself, and steps from the cell.
desert moon
a stop sign laced
with bullet holes
contemporary haibun online, 5:1, March, 2009

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

new webportal

Visit my new Webportal: One Gold Earring
links to almost all my websites (yes, there are dozens of them)

garden haiga

fiddleheads unfurl in Paganini's garden silent rain
Billie Dee is a featured artist at HaigaOnline, Autumn/Winter 2008

kigo: Southern California summer wildflowers

Deborah Kolodji: Bush Monkey Flower, Fish Canyon, 5/31/09

From Debbie Kolodji, near Los Angeles, over Memorial Day weekend:

As a kigo update, here is a list of the wildflowers in bloom yesterday on the Fish Canyon hike:

  • California milkweed (just starting to bloom)
  • clarkia
  • wild mustard
  • prickley pear cactus
  • Our Lord's Candle (yucca)
  • blue dicks (at end of bloom period - I saw only one plant blooming - in March when I did the hike, they were blooming everywhere)
  • Indian pink
  • goldenstar
  • California buckwheat
  • cliff aster
  • golden yarrow
  • wild morning glory
  • sticky monkeyflower
  • bush monkey flower
  • elegant clarkia
  • caterpiller phaelia
  • Matilija poppy
  • common sunflower
  • western wallflower
  • white yarrow
  • California thistle
  • California blackberry
  • laurel sumac
  • dodder
  • Calfornia everlasting
  • leafy daisy

Thank you Debbie!

Visit Debbie Kolodji's Fickr site for more photos.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Earth Day haiga

I have a new haiga in the Spring Gallery at HaigaOnline: Earth Day 2009.