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Haiku Classic: Dec. 5, 2021

fog ...

    just the tree and I

    at the bus stop


    Jerry Kilbride (1930-2005). First prize winner in the 1987 East-West Haiku conference haiku contest, San Francisco, California, USA.

    This haiku, perhaps the author's signature poem, won first place in a contest held at the East-West Haiku conference in San Francisco, California in 1987, sponsored by Japan Air Lines. It speaks of the poet's home in that city, which is notable for its fog. In San Francisco, the term serves as a summer kigo (season word), even if fog is an autumn season word in Japan. The poem suggests how fog sharpens one's focus, even turning it inward to introspection. All that seems to exist is that tree and the bus stop, and the poet who is present in the scene. In 1996 Jerry Kilbride co-founded the American Haiku Archives at the California State Library in Sacramento, the world's largest public collection of haiku books and papers outside Japan. At age 70 Jerry was the oldest member of the "Climb Against the Odds" team of cancer survivors who summitted Mount Fuji in 2000, during which he was known as "Mr. Haiku."

    Selected and commented on by Michael Dylan Welch

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