the last stars
fight to shine
fade with first light

pansy petals hold
on for three days
on the fourth – fold

falls leaves once
so bright touch
winter’s ground


perched on the edge
the stone lets go
and rolls

– – –

Words: haiku, c.b.w. 2015

Part of the 2015 November Poem A Day Chapbook Challenge (Poetic Asides via Writer’s Digest) for the November 2 Prompt: surrender.

So It Begins …


It’s November and that means it’s time for the 2015 November Poem A Day Chapbook Challenge (Poetic Asides via Writer’s Digest). Once again, I’ve decided to jump in and take on the challenge. I love this challenge not only because of the wonderful community on Writer’s Digest, but also because the competition is a wonderful opportunity. At the end of the challenge, participants put together a chapbook of their best entries and the winning chapbook is published!

Last year I challenged myself to 30 haiku in 30 days. I accomplished this goal by writing well over 30 traditional haiku. As my practice in the haiku form has evolved, this year I’ll be writing contemporary haiku for each prompt in the challenge.

As I work my way through the challenge, I’ll be posting my daily entries here as I write them (instead of in “clumps” like I have in the past). Hopefully, a month of daily poetry will be a welcome change of pace!

So it begins …

November 1, 2015
Prompt: the day after

an empty chair
at the dinner table
leafless trees

cold autumn rain
overnight freeze
snow covered field

tired of crying
the morning sun
dries my tears

trembling hands
hold a coffee cup
the day after

– – –

Are you participating in the PAD Challenge? Share your links or your poems in the comments. 🙂

– – –

c.b.w. 2015

Another Top 10!


The results for the 2015 April Poem A Day Challenge (via Poetic Asides on Writer’s Digest) continue to roll in little by little. Last week, I came home from a long day at work and decided to check out the results page to see if any new finalist lists had been posted. I didn’t think I’d find my name anywhere – I’d already made the Top 10 for Day 6 and I’m still quite ecstatic about that!

To my great surprise, I found my name in the Top 10 for another day in the challenge!!! There it was under Day 11, third from the bottom!


Screen Shot 2015-08-13 at 8.55.06 PM


When I saw what prompt and judge was associated with Day 11, I got even more excited. This is the one I wanted the most! The judge, Michael Dylan Welch, is a poet I greatly admire. His haikus are beautiful and so is his philosophy regarding the practice. In addition, he runs National Haiku Writing Month, of which I participate in every month.

When I saw he was judging Day 11, I worked incredibly hard on my entries. I think I wrote twenty haikus, before settling on just three to enter. To see one of them selected by a poet who has inspired me so much is nothing short of amazing.

I feel incredibly honored to be included among some insanely talented poets – Walt Wojtanik, De Jackson, and Daniel Ari are prolific contributors on Poetic Asides and I love their work. They also happen to be some of the most encouraging and kind people I’ve ever encountered. Congrats to all!

Last but not least, here’s the haiku that made the cut:

monsoon wind
answers the 
cicada’s call

– – –

c.b.w. 2015

Poem A Day Challenge: April 4-6


My haiku experiments continue for the 2015 April Poem A Day Challenge (on Poetic Asides via Writer’s Digest). Through my daily practice I’m finding that for every ten haikus I write, I end up with one worth posting. I’ve learned my process is about finding the rhythm that fits my mood and the images swirling in my mind. My days are always so busy and filled with movement, so I love how haiku gives me a chance to slow down and just be.

– – –

April 4, 2015
Prompt: departure

gust of wind
sends wishes flying
dandelion seeds

fall’s last leaf
finally departs
winter’s barren tree

– – –

April 5, 2015
Prompt: vegetable

radishes grow
when nothing
else will

sweet pea curls
grab onto
the stake

red tomatoes
full of holes
the birds win

– – –

April 6, 2015
Prompt: things-not-as-they-appear

a stone on the shore
until it hops
lakeside toad

red maple leaf
caught in the green
of mid-June

– – –

c.b.w. 2015

A Haiku Victory!


Since embarking on the challenge of writing 30 Haikus in 30 Days back in November, my obsession with the haiku form has not diminished. So, when I heard about a local haiku competition I jumped at the chance to participate.

The prompt was simple: write an Arizona inspired haiku. I must have cranked out twenty, before I settled on three to submit.

pale light follows dawn
mountains ripple in the sky
coyote’s last howl

– – –

Summer’s end is near
clouds of dust and monsoon rain
hover in the sky

– – –

yellow cactus bloom
withers in the summer sun
alone in the sand

Weeks went by and then I discovered an email in my inbox announcing the results of the competition. It turns out two of my haiku earned Outstanding honors and would therefore be on display at the festival at a special Haiku Expo. In addition, they would also be published in an ebook, (the first two haikus were chosen). The ebook is gorgeous and well worth downloading!


The ebook is free! Click on the image for more information.

To say I was excited is an understatement. After failing in so many competitions, it’s nice to find myself in the winner’s circle for once! It may be a small, local competition, but it feels pretty big to me. There were over 600 entries and only 45 haikus received Outstanding status.

The competition was launched in conjunction with the Arizona Matsuri Festival – a Japanese cultural festival that has been a local mainstay for more than 30 years. I’ve gone before and have always enjoyed the bright colors, food, and cultural beauty on display.


Arizona Matsuri Festival – Cultural Exhibits

This is the first year for Haiku Expo and they did a nice job displaying the Outstanding and Honorable Mention haikus. Each haiku is handwritten on a piece of wood, giving the nature-inspired haiku a very organic feel.


Haikus On Display!

While at the display, I had the pleasure of speaking with one of the judges. After learning my name, he instantly knew my work – right down to how many haikus I entered. He then told me my work embodied everything haiku is supposed to be. After spending so much time immersing myself in the practice, this compliment means the world to me.

I read through some of the other poems on display and I must say I am so proud to be included among so many talented poets. Every haiku was so beautiful!

Given the success of the competition, I’m hoping the Haiku Expo will be even larger next year!


The first Haiku Expo at the Arizona Matsuri Festival. May there be many more!

– – –

c.b.w. 2015