Under the Basho is an excellent and unusual haiku publication. It is unusual in that submissions and acceptances continue on a rolling basis through the year while other journals have very strict reading periods. It is also unusual in that the journal is divided into various haiku subcategories such as “Traditional haiku,” “Hokku,” “Modern Haiku,” “One-Line Haiku,” “Concrete Haiku,” and “Poet’s Personal Best Haiku.”
This is the second time I’ve had the good fortune of having haiku in Under the Basho in three categories: Modern Haiku, One-Line Haiku and Poet’s Personal Best Haiku.
Here are my three in the Modern Haiku group:
I have two in the One-Line Haiku group:
And I have one selected in the Poet’s Personal Best Haiku category. Poems in this group are haiku or senryu that have already been published:
It is a wonderful way to end the year by having six haiku chosen to appear in this journal. My thanks to the editors for selecting these haiku.
faded numbers tattooed on your arm I slip back in silence
Published in Presence 58 July 2017
Back story on this tanka. In 1972 I visited friends in Israel. As a tourist, I was eager to see the historical sites, one of which was Masada, site of a group suicide where a Jewish community was surrounded by Roman soldiers. The Jews chose suicide rather than be taken as captives. As I stood high up on the hilly site with other visitors, it was very, very quiet. It was after all a sacred place. An older man stood next to me, and I happened to glance at him also looking out at where the soldiers would have been waiting, hoping to starve out the isolated Jewish community. I noticed on his arm, faded numbers–numbers, of course, indicating he’d been captive in a Concentration Camp. The poignancy of him being there has stayed with me for over forty years. Never again, please Lord, shall we do such things to our fellow men.
Both pictures are from travel sites to and in Israel. Masada is located in the Judean desert, very close to the Dead Sea. Visiting these sites is like stepping back two thousand years. I am so grateful for having had this opportunity to visit.