Bill Waters ~~ Haiku

Haiku + Tanka, Haibun, Rengay, Shahai, & More

Archive for the month “March, 2018”

Two on spring

young pear tree —

just old enough

to blossom


one after another

the water lilies


Published in Akitsu Quarterly: Spring 2018 (, 3/2018.

*    *    *    *



By Bill Waters (poem) and Robin White (photo)

Published in Vines (, 3/2/18.

About Robin White:

*    *    *    *

On Jeff Streeby’s haibun book Wile

Jeff Streeby, Wile: Sketches from Nature, Great Falls, MT: Buttonhole Press, 2017, 48pp. Suggested donation: $15 for limited print edition. Free e-book also available. Both can be obtained at Jeff Streeby’s Website.

Wile, a collection of haibun by poet Jeff Streeby, contains 27 short pieces that run a page or two each — concentrated, but not abbreviated. Each haibun tells a complete little story, a window into a man’s life that has been lived in close contact with nature (and human nature).

Trapping is the main thread that runs through this book, and the terrain spans the once-Wild West and reaches up into Alaska. By the end of Wile, readers will know a good deal about types of traps — blind set, flat set, walk-through, step-down, castor mound, and others — and how to lay them, as well as something of the animals who meet their ends there. Readers will gain insights into the ways of coyote, bobcat, fox, raccoon, mink, muskrat, and beaver.

The acts of trapping in the book, whether for wildlife management or pelts, exhibit no malice but do display plenty of cold cunning. Prey is viewed with detachment and a certain grim humor, and the scenes the author sketches, whether majestic or intimate, use a measure of grittiness both to dull the edge of beauty and to polish it. But the descriptions are neither grisly nor gratuitous; this is artful writing, not a horror show.

Trapping animals is only half the story, though. Trap-related haibun alternate with a variety of other experiences: visits to a 19th-century pioneer farm site in Iowa and an overgrown riverside holding in Michigan, driving a big rig through flash floods and blizzards, observing winter in Potawotamie country and spring in the land of the Ottawa, and acting as a bouncer at a cowboy bar, to name a few.

Wile, then, is partly a naturalist’s manual, a dispossessed cowboy’s memoir, and a love letter to nature — for example, this lyrical depiction of a sunrise in spring:

. . . these veils of cool fog wearing thin, tattering, the dew beading on the dogwood, the fox sedge, the winterberry. A profusion of fragrances drawing out the early bees who hum now among the alexanders and the meadow rue. A red squirrel chittering in the top of the one black walnut tree.

Or this passage, from a different daybreak:

My Banty rooster from his perch in the chicken coop is calling the sun up out of the dark again. In the next breath, he will praise himself according to his excellent greatness for the daily success of this most mighty act. With the same song, different verse, two strutting turkey toms chant his descant from the brush down by the river.

Like his prose, many of the author’s haiku also capture the wonder of the natural world. They range from the musical (using assonance, consonance, and internal rhyme) . . .

The willow killer . . .
bargello of yellow leaves
decks the Pere Marquette

. . . to the strongly sensory . . .

Sweetgrass, juniper,
sage and pine, black cottonwood—
spring’s fragrant resins.

. . . to the outright magical:

Whitetail season . . .
between one breath and the next
a buck in the clearing

Time spent with this intriguing collection of haibun is like a visit with a fascinating, somewhat world-weary uncle who has lived close to the land he loves and is as contemplative as he is knowledgeable.

Published in Haibun Today: A Haibun and Tanka-Prose Journal (, 3/1/18.

*    *    *    *

Post Navigation

Chris Lovie-Tyler

Learning a new language


Caring About Our World Reflecting About Life

tom clausen

poems and photos

unbolt me

the literary asylum

Bending moments

This site is the cat’s pajamas

Wolfsong Publications

by Gary C. Busha - Wolfsong Publications announces its little book series of pocket-size chapbooks. Designed small and compact (3-/12"x4-1/4"), these 24-pg. books by Gary C. Busha contain haiku/poems on a variety of subjects.

The Poetry Department . . . aka The Boynton Blog

community creativity from Whatcom County, Washington...and beyond

Vita Brevis

Poetry Magazine

The Cool Women Poets

Women Poets' Critique and Performance Group

after pink

Haiku + Tanka, Haibun, Rengay, Shahai, & More

Glover Gardens

A multifaceted blog for multifaceted people

Beyond Breakers

Poetry by Dean Schabner

Making stuff from scratch in the wild

Maternal Mitochondria

An artistic collaboration with Miriam Sagan & Isabel Winson-Sagan

Marilyn Fleming

Poetry, Haiku, Tanka, Haibun, Sequences, Art

dylan tweney

if you're bored, you're not paying attention

Adalia Haiku

expressions of modern english haikai - haiku, senryu, haibun, and cherita

the zen space

a space for zen words

The Dragonspire

Home of Author Louise Brady. Writer - INTP - Ravenclaw - Queen of Dragons - Fanfiction Enthusiast - TV lover - Shipper - Gamer - Historian

Silent Hour

Poetry and prose by Basilike Pappa

Makino Studios

Haiku + Tanka, Haibun, Rengay, Shahai, & More

Project words

my words and works

Frank J. Tassone

haikai poetry matters

wild ink

musings about nature, art, books and writing . . .

Michael Rehling

Home of "Haiku Mike"


Incomplete Thots...

failed haiku

A Journal of English Senryu

Miriam's Well: Poetry, Land Art, and Beyond

Santa Fe Literary Scene, Poetry, Land Art, New Mexico

Adjei Agyei-Baah

Brevity, moments and memories

Poetry Super Highway

Exposing as many people to as many other people's poetry as possible.

Nature Chronicles

of the Pacific Northwest: Interactions with the wild things--Live life outdoors!


“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.”


a haiku journal by margaret dornaus

objects for thinking

visuals by Johannes S. H. Bjerg

A Poet in Time

One Poet's Writing Practice


Just another site

dt.haase ⌖

Haiku + Tanka, Haibun, Rengay, Shahai, & More

Haiku Art Site

Ellen Grace Olinger

haiku andy

Home of the 1,001 Haiku Postcards + More

Haikutec's Weblog

Japan Times award-winning poet for haiku & renga

Crows & Daisies

Haiku + Tanka, Haibun, Rengay, Shahai, & More

%d bloggers like this: