29 December 2009

27 December 2009

24 December 2009

au revoir Simply Haiku

I'll miss you!

No news as of yet on the Simply Haiku website but the archives and search facility are to stay live apparently.

Always sad to see the passing of a quality journal.

22 December 2009

14 December 2009

autumn's end -
from somewhere on the allotments

8 December 2009

this year
the Christmas lights blue
on the council's tree

29 November 2009

Tinywords is back

Tinywords is back after a lengthy break (hooray!) starting on December 1st. A haiga of mine will appear somewhere in Issue 1.

See http://www.tinywords.com/ for details.
the drunk
so forceful
yet so light
when she barges into me
voices her opinions

26 November 2009

out of nowhere
a whirlwind of leaves
travels down the road

24 November 2009

23 November 2009

after all these years
still dancing it's routine
the beggar's cup

[Blithe Spirit 19:2]

19 November 2009

18 November 2009

silver on velvet -
the busker works his thank yous
into the song

13 November 2009

rush hour…
two women embrace
then sign their goodbyes

[Published: Presence #39]

6 November 2009

caught in the full-beam
the hare's tail
this way and that

3 November 2009

these short evenings
in last year’s leaves
a blackbird skull

[Chrysanthemum #2]

28 October 2009

low sun
beneath the web
the blue of a bluebottle

[First published: Blithe Spirit 18:4]

23 October 2009

22 October 2009

quality time...
Dad's funeral stories
still making me laugh

20 October 2009

19 October 2009

14 October 2009

Chrysanthemum 6

Three pieces of mine have been included in the latest issue of Chrysanthemum.

If you can't read PDF files you may need to download free software to view it.

9 October 2009

5 October 2009

indian summer
an off-key greensleeves
stops mid-tune

I guess this one will only work in the UK

29 September 2009

Three Questions - Tobacco Road

Just to let you know I have answered Curtis Dunlap's three questions and I am featured on the Tobacco Road blog this week.

If you haven't answered the questions yet yourself, why not give it a go?

28 September 2009

25 September 2009

the late film
I wake
for each subtitle

published Blithe Spirit 18:1

24 September 2009

down country lanes -
at every bend

first appeared in slightly different form in Shamrock #5

17 September 2009

Limboland in Lynx

Hey, remember my MS sequence "Limboland?"

It has just been published in the latest edition of Lynx

by way of a prologue:

football match
we speculate the nature
of the symptoms

15 September 2009

small children crowding round
suddenly I become
the moth expert
indian summer -
across my desk
a butterfly shadow

published Blithe Spirit 17:4

11 September 2009

look away now if you're squeamish

the sound of my blood
squirting into the tube -
the phlebotomist and I
share a silent smile

9 September 2009

8 September 2009

7 September 2009

Shamrock 11 online

The latest issue of Shamrock is now online. Shamrock is the online journal of the Irish Haiku Society. It has a couple of pieces by myself that have previously featured on this blog.

A feature of Shamrock that I particularly like is it's haiku tour of Europe, featuring work by prominent poets and potted histories of featured regions. This issue focusses on the Benelux countries.

Work by Adri van den Berg, Marc Hendrickx, Werner Lambersy, Bart Mesotten and Ida Gorter caught my eye in particular and a fascinating history of Dutch haiku has been provided by Max Verhart.

It's also pleasing, given that the Irish Haiku Society is still relatively young, that Irish writers are starting to dominate the content.

Shamrock 11 is available at http://shamrockhaiku.webs.com/currentissue.htm
first day of term -
an earthworm inches
across the playground
September dawn -
resting in the dead rose
a dead bee

4 September 2009

Prune Juice resurrected

Good news for Senryu lovers, after being ditched by Modern English Tanka Press, the journal Prune Juice is now under the editorship of Liam Wilkinson (also "curator" of Three Lights Gallery).

Prune Juice will be a web-only publication from now on and it's online home is at http://prunejuice.wordpress.com

Submissions are currently being accepted for Issue 3 which will be published in 2010.

2 September 2009

Notes from the Gean - Issue 2 now online

Just a note to let you know I have five pieces in Issue 2 of Notes from the Gean - just published and available at: http://www.geantree.com/indexcover.html

14 August 2009

That's it - I'm off to Croatia for a week and a bit. I hope my web of nerves will stand the temperature. My favourite seasons are autumn and spring which is probably why I write more summer haiku than for any of the other seasons. It's a reactionary thing, I guess.

Currently planning a chap-book, which may come to something, or it may not.

Here's a few of my summer haiku that have been published in the past:

oppressive heat
from the block of flats
a tuneless song

scent of car wax
resting on the bonnet
a ladybird

heat haze...
slumped with their ice creams
the firemen

fading tattoos
he hauls her wheelchair
from the beach

(oppressive heat, scent of car wax and heat haze were first published in Blithe Spirit, fading tattoos was first published in Presence)
(the first three inspired by London: Hackney, Stoke Newington and Hornsey respectively. The last one was written in Swanage, Dorset)

Before I go, excuse me while I plug my other blogs:

Dave's Magical Brain is my Multiple Sclerosis blog
phase - one is my general diary-style blog that I have only just started - it's early days, so be nice to it.
I also have a twitter presence, so I can be checked out there too - no haiku but general observations, remarks etc.

If I get web access while on holiday, no doubt I'll post something. In the meantime I am packing a notebook and pen.

10 August 2009

August 2006

taking Mum the long route
back to the hospice -
the heather in bloom

6 August 2009

carku (?!?)

in the old car
an old man and
an old dog

The beauty of an in-car notebook is that you can jot down ideas, random observations and proto-haiku while at traffic lights, in lay-bys etc and then forget them. Until one day (today in my case) you decide to take it out and trawl through for anything worth working on.

here's a few more...

long day -
my car's central locking
clunks it's welcome

on the same road
the dead crow
still points the way

dotted across the moor
the backs of sheep

hospital car park
a woman with a neck brace

[...or should it be gnisrever? - as awkward to read as it is to manouver]

driving the line
between green and blue
spring hilltops

By way of explanation - I drive a hundred miles a week between work and home through the hills and back lanes of Derbyshire. It is one of those rare occasions that I find myself alone, so driving familiar routes away from the rat runs gives me space to think. I also think I need a camera living permanently in the car.

3 August 2009

suddenly noticing it
the sideways    _dart
of a hoverfly

2 August 2009

Important word plinth spot online

Alan Summers' plinth spot is now viewable online. I know one follower of this blog (Herr Broeker) had his word read out.

Check it out at http://www.oneandother.co.uk/participants/Alan_S

Well done Alan!

Oh, yeah, ermmm...... "SERENDIPITY!!!"

27 July 2009

a spider's dash for cover
on it's wing-mirror web

23 July 2009

Alan Summers' plinth-spot

What's important to you that can be summed up in just one single word?

Alan Summers would like as many people as possible to send him "important words" and he will read out as many as he can during his hour on Trafalgar Square's fourth plinth on Monday.

I think this is an interesting project and an imaginative use of his hour in the spotlight.

For further details on the thinking behind it and how you can despatch your word visit http://www.oneandother.co.uk/participants/Alan_S

Alan's website: http://www.withwords.org.uk/

21 July 2009

scree -

20 July 2009

break in the clouds
leaving my gardening shoes
a black beetle

first published: Blithe Spirit 17:1

currently awaiting latest BS (19:2) - now more than a month late.

17 July 2009

the leash
a man barks orders to his dog

15 July 2009

growing unrest...
on the baby monitor
lightning static

first published: "Storm" - BHS Members' anthology 2007
thanks to "E" for the inspiration

14 July 2009

St Swithin's Day

My late Mum's diary from 1943 (aged 10) has the following entry for July 15th. It is so perfect, it is almost a senryu.

"Rained all day. Grandma came for tea"

13 July 2009

remission ...
in the rear-view
the crow settles back
on the roadkill

7 July 2009

my colleague
flirting with the workman
endless summer rain

Published: Riverbed - Autumn 2008

3 July 2009

Three Lights Gallery - Summer of Love

I have one poem at the three lights summer of love show.
The show commemorates the 40th anniversary of Woodstock, and the theme is peace and love.
Worth checking out as always.

1 July 2009

26 June 2009

summer night
the old stone wall
still warm

published Presence #35

25 June 2009

23 June 2009

dead bumblebee
the ground around it
darkens with raindrops

18 June 2009

17 June 2009

flip of a switch
a crane fly's shadow
capers across the ceiling

14 June 2009

12 June 2009

back seat of the bus
two girls share an ipod
- their blank gaze

11 June 2009

straight down the valley
air force jets -
the screaming of swifts

7 June 2009

dance class melée
my weekly nod
to the other dad

published Presence #35

28 May 2009

23 May 2009

22 May 2009

20 May 2009

his dates end
where my daughter's begin.
for a split second
she rests
on the bench

16 May 2009

the lanes
heavy with chervil -
spring thunder

If you don't already - I recommend signing up to Twitter and following Matt Morden. He is about to start a John O'Groats to Lands End cycle trip and will no doubt be haikuing his way down the country.

If you want to follow me, I am at http://twitter.com/daveserjeant though I rarely post haiku - just general life observations, with hopefully a little wabi sabi thrown in.

14 May 2009

winter gloom -
outside the stadium
a lone drunk salutes

...............[Bramhall Lane, Sheffield - Dec 2006]

Previously published at: 3Lights Gallery and Football Poets

Congratulations to Sheffield United who have made it to the Division One play-off finals.

12 May 2009

break in the clouds
leaving my gardening shoes
a black beetle

published Blithe Spirit 17:1

Note: starting to get the garden sorted now the weather has turned and the builders have left.

8 May 2009

no rain ...
no storm ...
the cloud's silence
as it passes over

Note: I have just joined the Cloud Appreciation Society

5 May 2009

writing up field notes -
in my pocket still
the perfect skimmer

Published Blithe Spirit 18:4

explainatory note: This originates from way back when I was a geology student.

1 May 2009

laundry pile
in the pockets of her school dress

MS Awareness week draws to a close today.

I would like to thank people who have left such kind comments about Limboland. I had a few doubts about whether I should make something so personal public, but poetry is about sharing, and haiku, by it's very nature, is poetry of personal observation and experience. I am currently humming and hah-ing over whether I should bat it round a few journal editors, but I don't know...

Believe it or not, there is a lighter side to having MS as my recent attendance at my local MS Society branch meeting demonstrated. So while Limboland can be quite sombre - reflecting my diagnosis year - I may put together a sequence of MS senryu at some point.

Anyway, thanks again for the comments - they were very much appeciated. I was quite taken aback!


27 April 2009

MS Awareness week

It is Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Awareness Week across the globe. To mark this, I have written the following haiku sequence.

I was diagnosed with Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis in 2008 after a particularly bad attack and Limboland was inspired by the journey from attack to diagnosis. For a more thorough account of my experience with MS please visit my 'Dave's Magical Brain' blog at http://davesmagicalbrain.blogspot.com


no hint of a smile -
for once my doctor says
"take it easy"

on the scan room ceiling
cherry blossom -
the staff retreat behind glass

not crying yet ...
your chin dimples
as you talk

I salute the magpie

on the news a terror attack ...
my leg
numb again

from a packed lift
a man on crutches
follows me to clinic

new year's eve
the bowl slips from my fingers...

Just a note on the cherry blossom haiku. Diagnosis of MS requires an MRI scan, but to eliminate other possible ailments including brain tumours an initial CT Scan is performed. This was described to me as being like sticking your head in a giant washing machine and I reckon that's a pretty good description. I don't know if it is the same in other hospitals but at the Royal Hallamshire in Sheffield they have a light box on the ceiling of the scan room with an image of cherry blossom on it. I presume this is to calm the nerves while your head is x-rayed. I thought the experience lent itself very well to haiku, partly because cherry blossom is a well used seasonal reference. I guess this is my take on the traditional cherry blossom haiku.

Limboland is also appearing on the MS Society website: www.mssociety.org.uk

What is MS? (requires pdf reader): http://tinyurl.com/c26vgq

24 April 2009

22 April 2009

20 April 2009

perfect sky
the right-angle bend
in a contrail

published Blithe Spirit Vol 18 No 4

15 April 2009

10 April 2009

in every painting
a horsey
the toddler first to notice

(for E)

[Ben Nicholson exhibition - Tate St Ives, Easter 2009]
rush hour
two women embrace
then sign their goodbyes

3 April 2009

31 March 2009

Three Lights

I have two senryu in this season's show on Three Lights Gallery. Plenty of good stuff as always. Check it out at www.threelightsgallery.com/lightenup

30 March 2009

24 March 2009

home from the dentist
my face
gurning from every mirror

Simply Haiku retrospective

I am honoured to have been included in the six year retrospective of the Simply Haiku website: http://www.simplyhaiku.com/SHv7n1/haiku/retrospective.html

My piece is on the "Place" page

21 March 2009

sea mist ...
watching the seal
watching me

Raasay - Easter 1992

Published Presence #36

19 March 2009

MS poem

..........a lift
........to something
......unseen -
....a hill
..i used to find

17 March 2009

For R (Happy Birthday! - can't believe you're 5!)

art gallery -
a toddler stoops
to watch a spider

(originally published Blithe Spirit 16:3 Autumn 2006)

MS Poems

I am currently putting together a sequence of haiku/senryu inspired by having multiple sclerosis. I have probably written 20-odd poems so far of which about four, maybe five I'm happy with, plus a couple of slightly longer tanka-like poems, which by their morphology won't make it into the sequence.

I was hoping to publish them somewhere in time for MS Awareness Week which is late April in the UK, but time is too tight. They probably won't see the light (together) until 2010. I would imagine I should have maybe another four poems that are any good by then.

It's difficult, because you can't really write about MS without wanting to write about individual symptoms, but when you do, it is invariably awkward and clunky. The best pieces so far tend to be about the wider implications of the illness. I have a couple of MS Society events coming up, so I will see if anything suggests itself while I attend these.

on the news
a terror attack...
my leg numb again

12 March 2009

10 March 2009

just missing my train -
the platform staff
slagging their workmate

I just had two senryu accepted for a forthcoming "show" at Three Lights Gallery. The one above wasn't one of them.

I thoroughly recommend the site for quality haiku and individual shows by some pretty big names in the world of haiku.

5 March 2009

Offline / online


I've been busily being lazy over the last couple of months. I had a hectic year haiku-wise in 2008 starting with setting up the British Haiku Society online discussion group and culminating in getting published in Simply Haiku on my first attempt.

2008 was also quite a busy year on a personal / health level (see my other blog), so I needed to kick back and forget submission deadlines for a while.

Whilst worrying about updating my website, I thought it might be time to start making my life easier and to set up this blog instead.

So here we are...
all works are copyright, © David Serjeant. If you plan to use any of the work here, I will probably have no problem with that if you credit me as the author, link to this blog and let me know first. Thank you!

background image: beeley moor spin photo © David Serjeant