Issue #0 – “First Blossoms” is now published!

Top Haiku Features with Commentary


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  • Last Week’s #HaikuSeed Blossoms – Feature / Week #41

    The #HaikuSeed prompt last week was fog with an additional photo prompt

    This week there will be no commentary, sorry! Too busy with work and all. I loved how the haiku captured beautiful moments in nature and brought focus to certain aspects of how fog exists, moves and interacts. Some wonderful senryu again. Perhaps I will add short commentary to a few featured haiku on Twitter over the week as I find time. Hope you enjoy last week’s blossoms.

    the fog coalesces
    into a purple heron

    Alaka Y

    in the fog
    but for my footsteps

    C. X. Turner

    rolling fog . . .
    shadows deepen
    in slow motion

    Don Baird

    driving slowly
    with windows down
    pea-soup fog

    Joseph P. Wechselberger

    foggy morning
    the shuffling gait
    of grandpa

    Lorelyn Arevalo

    fog map–
    the shifting path
    of a story

    Pippa Phillips

    Diwali week—
    mother’s old silks
    drape the dining table

    Rupa Anand

    winter’s sun
    reluctantly rising
    with a sigh

    薫音 (Kaon)

    opaque fog –
    near becomes

    Valentina Ranaldi-Adams

    creeping fog
    across the battlefield
    buried memory

    BA France

    morning fog
    the eerie stillness
    of dew point

    Eavonka Ettinger

    harsh winters
    now and then
    a road loses its way


    autumn dawn
    a heron fishes
    the fog

    Kerry J Heckman

    harbor fog
    i stumble
    through goodbye


    midnight fog…
    the shadows
    of skeletal trees

    Nancy Brady

    shrieking chimps
    echo across the jungle
    fog of war

    morning dew . . .
    fog of starlings
    rolling in and out

    petro c. k.

    I see my breath
    morning’s also
    floating over the pond




    I’ve started this journal with an idea to see amateur haiku poets like me write more nature-themed haiku, having seen all sorts of topics being written in haiku form by aspiring writers on Twitter and other places on the internet. I’ve been there, I’ve done that. But I’ve grown into a classicist when it comes to haiku as I really looked at what most of the haiku written by masters like Basho, Issa, Buson do. So I’m not too quick to warm up to contemporary haiku. It is an undeniable fact that the haiku form in English has been evolving for decades now and it will continue to. So while I keep this journal to inspire and feature nature-themed haiku, I will occasionally break from it because I see some expertly written haiku that I cannot help but appreciate what the writer has achieved and it makes me rethink the kind of haiku I want to feature here.

    HSJ readers and contributors, if you like these feature posts with commentary, we would consider it a great encouragement and would love it if you shared it with others on the social profiles. On Twitter you can tag us at @HaikuSeed_, we are looking to gain audience of both writers and readers as we aim to grow.

    Thank you for writing haiku for our prompts and reading the journal. We hope our journal inspires you. Keep writing!

    — Sankara Jayanth Sudanagunta
    Founding Editor

    🍂 🌿 🍀 🍁 🍃

    Copyrights Disclaimer:
    • All featured works are copyrighted to the respective writers. We would love it if you cite being our journal if your work is going to be published elsewhere, no obligations though.
    • Photos used in our journal are taken by and copyrighted to Sankara Jayanth Sudanagunta unless stated otherwise.

  • Last Week’s #HaikuSeed Blossoms – Feature With Commentary / Week #40

    The #HaikuSeed prompt last week was candle with an additional photo prompt

    A lot of senryu or senryu-like submissions for this prompt. Usually, if the verse centers around concrete elements of nature while having a light human presence in some form, the line between haiku and senryu becomes blurred. And if the verse includes no nature and on top of that includes deep thoughts or expressions that are abstract and are hard to perceive as concrete images, I see them being strongly senryu than haiku even if there are elements of nature in it. Not surprising given the prompt. Few of the common scenes, words & aspects in the haiku submitted this week include flickering candle, wind-flame & love-candle juxtapositions. I would have liked to see more nature-themed haiku for this prompt (and for all #HaikuSeed prompts, after all, this is intended to be a nature-themed journal). But the senryu that were written contain some exquisite craft and depth, so I’m not one to squander the chance to showcase how haikai poets’ minds and spirits work wonders with just a few words irrespective of what label of Japanese poetry it falls under.


  • Last Week’s #HaikuSeed Blossoms – Feature With Commentary / Week #39

    The #HaikuSeed prompt last week was ivy with an additional photo prompt

    There are a lot of great haiku and senryu submitted this week and it was difficult choosing which to comment on. I’m also preoccupied with other stuff related to designing the website and magazine, so this week’s commentary might not go too deep. But I hope you enjoy these brilliant haiku that beg your mind to imagine and think.


    lake wind–
    a wall ripples
    in Chicago

    Pippa Phillips

    The idea of a wall rippling is too interesting to not stop and picture it. If the fragment in L1 (line 1) is not about wind in one form or another, do you see how the brilliantly written L2 might not work the same way. The idea of a wall covered in ivy or creepers rippling would be a stretch but Pippa quite cleverly and tenderly directs the reader

    towards the desired interpretation of a wall rippling. From there on, it is up to the reader to interpret the phrase a wall ripples anyway they could.

    Great haiku make you want to read them over and over again. Why? There is no single reason. Sometimes you do not understand what you read completely but the verse has your attention anyway. Sometimes you love the imagery and your mind can’t help but go back to the first line to relive it. And so on. But the result is that with every re-read the scene and moment the haiku captures becomes increasingly vivid and sensory. This haiku is doing that to me.


  • Last Week’s #HaikuSeed Blossoms – Feature With Commentary / Week #37

    The #HaikuSeed prompt last week was sunny with an additional photo prompt

    sunny day–
    the heron takes a bit
    of river with him


    You could see water dripping down the heron as it lifts off from the water. And if you are mindful and there isn’t much noise at this moment, you might even hear the sound of water falling back into the river between the wing flaps.

    Picture this with the sun behind the heron, likely at sunrise or sunset, the glare of the golden sun in the river, and then in the drops falling into it, a glint on the heron’s wet wings and legs – what an image!

    Even after a bit of the river falls back, the heron’s legs and feathers would still be wet – the heron taking the river to the tree it nests in far inland. Wonderful imagery.


  • War Is a Kigo – Featured Haiku With Commentary / Patterns

    A note from our founding editor Sankara Jayanth: We do not mean to be insensitive and we have no intention to disrespect personnel who serve their country or died serving their country in war. But war is war. Murder is murder and that is what happens in war, no matter how proudly and how righteously someone does it. Patriotism is a very tilted scale to gauge someone’s humanity. So you will not find here haiku or commentary that praise laurels to soldiers and armies who defended this country or that. This column will be about everything that war affects, poisons and kills, so please understand this motivation and intention of ours before determining something we talk about here being insensitive. But we will listen to reason and if we are insensitive, we will learn from it and be better. This column comes purely from a rage and angst about the violence we bring upon every living thing on earth while also being believers of religions and gods and heaven and what not.

    We have Arvinder Kaur‘s haunting haiku written for the #HaikuSeed pattern to thank for seeding the idea for this new column on our journal where we will dive into the featured haiku, starting with the image of war painted by it and then following the trail to darker places that exist right behind the verse.

    pattern bombing
    fireflies flicker in and out
    of the empty trenches

    – Arvinder Kaur, @arvinder8

    Pattern bombing is a tactical strategy where aircrafts drop bombs in a predetermined pattern and timing to produce the desired effect. And the desired effect they are going for is usually murder of humans and any living thing that happens to be in their canvas for murder.

    Is the writer being allegorical when she says fireflies flicker in and out of empty trenches? Are the flashes of lights rising from the trenches souls of dead soldiers?


  • Last Week’s #HaikuSeed Blossoms – Feature With Commentary / 21 – 27 March, 2022

    Featuring haiku brought to blossom by terrific writers from #HaikuSeed prompts:
    bird, porch, high tide, enter, butterfly, summer moon

    the sunbird prefers my window
    to the frangipani

    – Alaka Y.

    A wonderful haiku. After I finished reading, it felt like I’m experiencing sweltering heat myself, but without company of the sunbird that was here on my windowsill just a moment ago.

    When haiku become specific about species of flora and fauna, it can be a hit or miss from the reader’s perspective.

    Photo by Erik Karits from Pexels

    I assume one of the reasons for a miss is not being familiar with the type of birds/flowers and their relationship to various seasons. I’m guilty of having only little knowledge about these things. Having said that, it more often than not does not matter.

    As a reader, I guess our mind usually substitutes a vague alternative for that flower, this bird when we don’t know specifics about them. And it is wonderful that the haiku’s sensory effect is still experienced by the readers even after we blatantly replace the writer’s well thought-out subjects with hazy forms.

    So when using such specific identification in the haiku does work, it transports the reader to a different place and they are almost convinced it is a moment they have experienced themselves. This haiku does that.

    🍂 🌿 🍀 🍁 🍃


  • Announcing “War Is a Kigo” column

    In War is a Kigo column, we shall feature haiku that paint a picture of war – be it the scorched earth patch in a garden, the bloodied swing in the park, the wails of children, the agony of the parents, the untended houseplants, the dog searching for its human, and what not. The horrors of war are many. Our intention behind running this column is to remind ourselves of the horrors that are happening elsewhere that we are often unaware of or ignore because we will surely become sad thinking about all the suffering, to provide an outlet to our angst and helplessness sitting a world away from the conflict being able to do nothing, to record the bravery and tragedy on behalf of the victims in the only way we could. Through art. Through haiku.

    I say, War is a Kigo. I wrote the following haiku with a little illustration a couple of years ago, I don’t know during which conflict. But the history of human race makes it quite evident that in terms of our experience of time, war is indeed a season. A season that spans year-long over some regions on Earth where all other seasons are pushed aside to accommodate this one.

    At the time of this writing in March 2022, everyone is talking about the Russia-Ukraine war. But wars, war-like conflicts that kill thousands of people, are happening in places like Yemen, Afghanistan. Indeed they have been happening in many places around the world all round the year, every year but they don’t get much attention. Why, is a whole another can of worms.

    There is also this ironic relationship between war and haiku. At least in my mind that is and I won’t mince words when I touch that relationship because it is the truth every which way you look at it. Japan’s poetry form haiku has become so popular all over the world, written in many countries in their native language even. I’m will not go and find out if haiku made in-roads into English literature before World War II, I think it did, but the fact is:

    atomic bombs
    for them, for us
    their poetic forms

    The bombing by Japan on Pearl Harbor in USA killed 2,390 people, most of them US service members.

    The nuclear bombing by USA (and UK, apparently they had to approve the attack) on Nagasaki and Hiroshima in Japan killed between 129,000 and 226,000 people, mostly civilians.

    … and we write haiku.

    — Sankara Jayanth Sudanagunta
    Founding Editor


    Submitting Haiku For War Is a Kigo Column

    It is true that you might not be able to work-in all the traditional haiku writing conventions into your haiku about war and there will be exceptions in our selections for this reason. But nevertheless we are still looking for haiku that have a natural element in them, haiku that describe a brief moment in time or thought, a juxtaposition of two images that evoke a response in the reader.

    We will announce calls for submission on our Twitter account @HaikuSeed_, there is no fixed schedule as of now for this column. You are requested to submit your haiku through the Google Form we will make available during the submission period.

    Copyrights Disclaimer:
    • All featured works are copyrighted to the respective writers. We would love it if you cite being our journal if your work is going to be published elsewhere, no obligations though.
    • Photos used in our journal are taken by and copyrighted to Sankara Jayanth Sudanagunta unless stated otherwise.

  • Haiku Horticulture – Animated Illustration of the Idea

    This short animated illustration video shows the idea of our upcoming column Haiku Horticulture – what it is about, how to write and submit the haiku you’ve written for this column.

    Read all the details about this column in here: Haiku Horticulture. We hope this little video gets haiku writers excited. What do you think about it? Please share your thoughts and feedback in the comments section below or on Twitter at @HaikuSeed_.

  • Last Week’s #HaikuSeed Blossoms – Feature With Commentary / 14 – 20 March, 2022

    Featuring haiku brought to blossom by terrific writers from #HaikuSeed prompts:
    door frame, mango, wintry, evening walk, bloom, pattern, tranquil

    I seldom dive into language-specific commentary or poetry form-specific commentary. Basically my commentary is not technical. I’m also not good at writing appreciation. I hope the amazing writers being featured do not take offense if my commentary lacks literal words of praise. When a haiku sets off a chain of imagination inside me, there is an ecstasy I experience that I’ve often been aware of when I read haiku by Basho, Issa and the like. So my commentary is usually about all these images in my head spawned by the featured haiku and this is how I show my appreciation for the writers and their amazing haiku.

    in the door frame a March moon
    cut in half

    – Hege A. J. Lepri

    Apart from the beautiful image, I feel this haiku lends to several interpretations of human scenes. A lover halfway through the door, leaving angry. Or a lover halfway through the door, taunting and playful. Of course, the cut in half is too sharp of an expression for both these interpretations, unless you subscribe to the absurd.

    Why does the writer say the half moon is hiding in the door frame? Did she first search for the moon through a couple of windows in her room, couldn’t find it and she comes out of her room and there! the half moon is hiding in the front door frame.