Like kids of all ages, I’ve always been attracted to the downy white globe of seeds that forms at the top of a dandelion. We called them dandelion puffs in my Upstate New York hometown, but they’re also known as “dandelion clocks” to people around the world. They’re used for making wishes, and telling time. They bring a smile to the lips of young lovers, and a curse to the tongue of many an elderly homeowner, for whom they symbolize a neglected lawn and an enemy guerrilla army fighting an endless war over precious turf.
It was a treat, therefore, to hear that a poem I wrote featuring dandelion clocks was selected by editors Ellen Compton and Roberta Beary for inclusion in this year’s Haiku Society of America Members’ Anthology. It was also a surprising honor to recently learn that the title of this years Anthology would be dandelion clocks.
As we’ve written in prior years, the HSA Members’ Anthology includes one haiku or senryu from every member who submits poems for selection by the volume’s editors (see the guidelines). This year, 177 members participated in the call for entries in the 2008 Anthology; they come from the USA and ten other countries. The result is an impressive collection, chosen with care by Beary and Compton, who came to the task as last-minute pinch-hitters, but brought with them the experience gained editing fish in love, the HSA 2006 Members’ Anthology, which won a special 2007 HSA Merit Book Honorable Mention for Anthology.
The Introduction to dandelion clocks is written by HSA President Lenard D. Moore, who says:
. “This collection of haiku indicates the diversity that is prevalent in the twenty-first century. During the fortieth year of the Haiku Society of America, editors Roberta Beary and Ellen Compton perhaps had gender and culture in mind while selecting the best available haiku from members of the Haiku Society of America. What about identity and its meaning in this rich anthology? How do the poets engage political, social, and cultural dimensions in a technological world? What subjects are important to the poets in this book in the first decade of the century? How do these poets transform haiku? The answers are in the poems, though with stylistic differences. . . “
Association President Moore tells us, “This book illustrates that haiku is still evolving. Beary and Compton have assembled a haiku anthology that is at once symbolic and promising.” But, English Lit. Prof. Moore also reminds us that “haiku is more about reality than imagined events” and:
“Traditionally, haiku poets have depicted the sounds, sights, and sense of the natural world. Yes, the natural world and its spiritual presence are at the center of haiku.”
As Lenard foretells, “dandelion clocks is about memory and remembrance.” It represents well the art, craft and mood of the membership of the Haiku Society of America in 2008.
.. Seventeen members of the f/k/a haiku family participated in the HSA 2008 Anthology. Here, in alphabetical order by author, are the poems from each of our Honored Guest Poets that were selected by the editors of dandelion clocks. Six of the poems have not been previously published elsewhere (and we hope that HSA poets and editors will continue to submit unpublished gems, which help make the annual Anthology even more valuable).
hair of the dog–
in the mirror a trace
…. by Roberta Beary – Simply Haiku 5:4 (2007)
soldiers in the alley
… by Randy M. Brooks
… by Yu Chang
letter from home
the snow muddy
wherever I step
… by Alice Frampton – The Heron’s Nest 9:2 (2007)
… by David Giacalone
… by Carolyn Hall - Acorn #18 (2007)
late night news–
a narrow road
in the headlights
…. by Gary Hotham – NOON #5 (2007)
… by Jim Kacian – Taboo Haiku (2006)
two tugboats chugging
… by David G. Lanoue
… by Peggy Willis Lyles – Modern Haiku 39:2 (2008)
sequoia that fell
long before my birth
the path around it
… by Paul M. – Modern Haiku 39:2 (2008)
the binding peels
in my palm
… by Pamela Miller Ness – Frogpond 31:1 (2008)
… by Tom Painting – Modern Haiku 39:2 (2008)
Ed. Note: In his Introduction to dandelion clocks, HSA President Lenard Moore says this about Tom’s haiku: “The poem unravels memory and remembrance strikingly, representing humanity, no matter how ironic the meditation.”
push it aside
… by John Stevenson – Upstate Dim Sum (Spring 2008)
this blue crocus
…. by George Swede
lazy day . . .
I give her wind chime
… by Michael Dylan Welch
… by Billie Wilson – The Haiku Calendar 2008 (Snapshot Press, 2007; 1st place, May)
. . All of the above poems can be found, along with 160 others, in dandelion clocks – Haiku Society of America Members’ Anthology 2008 (Roberta Beary and Ellen Compton, Editors, 2008). Only 250 copies were printed for the first edition. Here is the information to purchase a copy:
Price per Copy: $20.00 in the United States, Canada or Mexico. $23.00 for all other overseas locations. Postage is included. Send to HSA Secretary, Paul Miller:
31 Seal Island Road
Bristol, RI 02809
Payment: Please make checks or money orders in U.S. currency only payable to “Haiku Society of America”.