Published: Failed Haiku, a Journal of English Senryu, Volume 3, Issue 31, July 2018
Guest editors: Lori A. Minor and Chase Gagnon
Primary editor: Michael Rehling
Note: I’d like to thank my dear friend, Christine M. Kalke for her permission to use her beautiful photograph that was taken in Scandinavia during one of her visits. The digital art work was done by me.
Also appearing in Skylark, a Tanka Journal, Volume 5, Issue 2, Winter 2017 is this piece of Tanka Art. The photograph was taken by me in the cemetery of Holy Trinity Church (where William Shakespeare is buried) in Stratford-Upon-Avon, UK in 2015.
Last year I posted a request in a Face Book haiku/tanka writing group asking if anyone had a photo of Lily of the Valley that they were willing to share and allow me to use for a piece of tankart I was working on. A very quick response from the poet/photographer Maya Lyubenova gave me the perfect picture. I never really knew Maya. We’d never met, and we chatted only a few times on FaceBook in poetry groups and on Face Book Messenger. I was certainly a real fan of hers. Bulgarian by birth, Maya could compose gorgeous haiku in English. She could also pair her poems with her equally exquisite photographs to create haiga — visual poetry of the highest quality. I was touched by her generosity in allowing me to use the photo she had sent.
Only recently did I learn that Maya Lyubenova had passed away on December 30, 2016. Like so many, I mourn her loss as a person and as a poet and artist. I wish I had known her better, but I cannot change that. Her work still remains for us to look at, to study, to learn from and to be dazzled by … that will not end.
I’d like to dedicate my piece of tankart to Maya Lyubenova — our single connected piece of art. Thank you, Maya, for bringing so much beauty into this world. May you rest in peace.
This piece of tankart appeared in Frameless Sky 6 as part of an ongoing competitive challenge. In the last issue, a photograph I submitted was selected by a poet to go with her poem. Since my photo was selected, I was then asked, in turn, to contribute a tanka or haiku for the next issue. I wrote this tanka as a prompt. There were some wonderful pictures submitted, and it was very hard to select just one. In the end, I kept returning to this lovely ink drawing of a willow.. Terri Hale French, a distinguished and accomplished haiku poet was the artist. Our combined effort appeared in the latest issue of Frameless Sky. It’s a real honor to have this collaborative piece of tanka art published. Many thanks to Christine L. Villa, poet and editor of Frameless Sky.