Gogyohka for goldfinches

A gogyohka for Frank Tassone’s weekly haikai challenge.

Photo ©MinoZig



sun shines pale gold

through silver rain

gold bird-wings flash

red cheeks

bitten by the east wind


Gogyohka for the winter solstice

A sequence of gogyohka for Frank Tassone’s solstice prompt.


longest night full of cloud

unlit by any moon

unlit by any sun

yet when the morning comes

the balance has tipped


at the end of the longest night

is always the morning

perched on the rim of the sky—

though clouds hang heavy

night’s grip loosens


in the dark

cloud-heavy rain-running

loud with night voices

of braided water

waiting for the promised morning

Moon light

For Frank Tassone’s weekly haikai challenge, three gogyohka on the theme of the cold moon. The painting is by Marianne von Werefkin. Her moon is a sun.


in this cold sky

of dark night stretching

from the receding shores

of dawn and dusk

the moon lights


how can we say the moon is cold

when stone cracks and dead things lie

when we know our own hearts?

In this wintry world of night

moonlight is the only warmth


cold the sky

cold the earth

cold the stones

where hearts should lie

not the moonlight’s silvery touch

Autumn foliage

A gogyohka for Frank Tassone’s weekly challenge. This week is red autumn foliage. The leaves don’t turn here with a spectacular display as they do in some parts of the world. It’s been a hard summer for the trees and many of them were showing signs of stress before the end of August. Lots of yellowing, and the grass is still dry and brown. The ash trees look miserable and the poplars are shedding big golden leaves like the wealthy tossing alms to beggars, but the rest are hanging on, still green.



summer dried and shrivelled

tree hearts ached

and autumn rains run dry from mean clouds

leaves cling fading green

dreaming of red gold fire

Haikai challenge: Easter lily

For Frank Tassone’s haikai prompt Easter lily which has a special symbolic significance if you’re Irish. Like all symbols, it has its detractors, but they grow in all the gardens in Bordeaux and I like them. We left ours behind when we moved because one of our cats is buried under them.



Lile na Cásca

beautiful symbol of death

for ideals

lost now perhaps in the

scrimmage but pure once