Mercy Center



FEBRUARY 10, 2018



Jane Benson, Nancy Brill, Danielle Draper, Mary Fuchs, David Keim, Elaine Mannon, Sarah Paris, Karen Schlumpp, Janet Schroder, and Mark Werlin. New attendee Malaena Nahmias.



Our invited guest, David Grayson, is the author of Discovering Fire: Haiku & Essays (Red Moon Press 2016) and the editor of several haiku anthologies. He has served as President and Vice President of the Haiku Poets of Northern California, and moderates Religio, a forum on The Haiku Foundation website.

After we shared a round of haiku-in-progress, David presented a talk about parallels between haiku and the work of visual artists Robert Rauschenberg, Andy Warhol and Alexander Calder: the use of familiar, everyday materials; calling the viewer or reader to engage with and 'complete' the work; representing the evanescence of life in a minimum of brushstrokes or words. Further discussion included the challenges of writing two-line haiku, whether a poem is a haiku or a senryu, and the way haibun, a prose and haiku form, is useful in conveying subjective or spiritual experiences.

David proposed five characteristics that haiku strives to achieve:

1. Reader participation

2. Formal simplicity

3. Representation of the environment

4. Use of everyday materials

5. Focus on the 'haiku moment' (aware, non-judging)

Following the meeting, we gathered for a Chinese meal in Millbrae to thank David for his presence at our meeting. Over the years, haiku poets Michael Dylan Welch, Paul O. Williams, Garry Gay and David Grayson have visited the Four Seasons Haiku Kai to share their poetry and experiences.


Upcoming Meetings


May 12, 2018 Work
Sep 8, 2018 TBD


Winter Haiku

Some haiku shared at the February 11 meeting:


at morning light
pomegranate juice
and tart kisses
Jane Benson
watching shadows
the sun rises
mother sleeps
Nancy Brill
breaking bread
holding hands at sunset—
Danielle Draper
sun streaming overhead
the toddler walking
each hand outreach
Mary Susan Fuchs
memorial campfire
I whittle a stick
down to nothing
David Grayson
Christmas recycling
crashing bottles in the bin—
David Keim

running to their parents' bed
thunder and lightning
Elaine Mannon
playing bingo
hoping to win—
another day
Malaena Nahmias

the long shadows —
November at the graveyard
Sarah Paris
afternoon walk
roaming toddler
blade of grass
Karen Schlumpp
early darkness
birds chirping their goodnights—
Janet Schroder
on the floorboards—
morning ghosts
Mark Werlin