Pooh sticks . . .



In the November, 2017 issue of Blithe Spirit, the Journal of the British Haiku Society, these tanka and haiku were published. All poems are (c) 2017 Mary Kendall.


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Queen’s dollhouse—
we examine the tiny rooms
in barely a whisper



the full moon pushes
through fog




his fingerprint
left under a cup
he made
her only way
to hold on




the slow uncurling
of the fiddleheads
one by one
learning to let go
is never easy




Six in One

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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:

UtB 2017 MK modern 2

I have two in the One-Line Haiku group:

UtB 2017 MK one liner 2

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:

UtB 2017 PPB MK 2

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.


Cerulean sky and other Senryu…


Published in Prune Juice, A Journal of Senryu, Kyoka, 
Haibun and Haiga, Issue 23, November 2017

 In addition to three haiga published in Prune Juice, there were also these senryu:


walking meditation
       worries follow
             in shadow   


cerulean sky –
the wild sea air
tousles my thoughts


barren –
even the word
is devoid of hope


promises not kept—
that umbrella you gave me 
blows inside out



This stormy, but fun, vintage illustration is from a 1911 book illustrated by Oliver Herford (1863-1935)

Soaring alone (a haiga)


This Haiga was published in Failed Haiku: A Journal of English Senryu, October 2017.

Painted in Waterlogue

The artwork was done using Waterlogue.

Looking inward (a haiga)


This Haiga was published in Failed Haiku: A Journal of English Senryu, October 2017.


looking inward




Zydeco dancing (a haiga)

This Haiga was published in Failed Haiku: A Journal of English Senryu, October 2017.


zydeco haiga


A little word play is good for the soul.



Faded numbers… (haiku)


faded numbers
tattooed on your arm
I slip back in silence

~Mary Kendall~

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.