Mercy Center



MAY 8, 2016



Jane Benson, Barbara Campitelli, Danielle Draper, Mary Fuchs, Mary Joyce, Elaine Mannon, Sarah Paris, Joan, Janet Schroder, and Mark Werlin. Visiting were Rosemary and Sue.



The practice for this meeting was the sharing of "imperfect" haiku. All of us have written haiku poems that seem (as Hando would say) to "miss the mark". There may be a single word missing, or one or two words in excess. A verb may need to be changed from the present participle to the simple present tense. A synonym may be sought for a word that fails to convey the immediacy of the haiku experience.

Sarah created an exercise in which each of the participants wrote one imperfect haiku on a 3x5 card. The cards were randomized and distributed around the table. Each of us read the submitted poem and referred to a chapter from Lee Gurga's excellent book "Haiku: A Poet's Guide" (pp 112-115) on revising haiku. Did the imperfect haiku: choose a single moment, provide only the essential, engage the senses, challenge adjectives and adverbs, and so on, through the list of suggested criteria for revision. We then revised the haiku and identified the points in Gurga's book to explain our choices. Everyone found the process helpful in clarifying what may be done to bring a haiku more closely into correspondence with its moment of inspiration. We agreed to continue the practice at the Summer meeting.


Lee Gurga Book

Reviews of Lee Gurga's book "Haiku: A Poet's Guide" on the Modern Haiku website:


Upcoming Meetings

Aug 20, 2016  Theme: Imperfection

Nov 19, 2016  Theme: Flying Things


Spring Haiku

Some haiku shared at the May 8 meeting:


miles of strip malls
old motel sign—
"Whispering Pines"
Jane Benson
at the ballpark
the taste of
cotton candy
Barbara Campitelli
sound of the bell
traces in the air
Mary Fuchs
Twigs cracking in the wind
an old man bends
to pick weeds
Mary Joyce
Traces of dreams
on my pillow—
only whispers
Danielle Draper
Petals fall
edges in
Elaine Mannon
sitting in the oak
a solitary bird
and its song
Sarah Paris
holding to branches
wait to fall
Janet Schroder
dry soil—
concealing  roots
and lillies
Mark Werlin