meteor shower . . .
a gentle wave
wets our sandals

—Michael Dylan Welch

This poem was written at the beach by the Asilomar conference facility in Pacific Grove, California, near Monterey. From 1991 until 2002 (when I left California), I attended the annual Asilomar haiku retreat sponsored by the Yuki Teikei Haiku Society.

Previous publications:
First Place Winner, Haiku Society of America Henderson Haiku Contest, 2000.
HSA Newsletter XV:4, Autumn 2000, p. 13.
A Glimpse of Red: 2000 Red Moon Anthology. Jim Kacian, ed. Winchester, Virginia: Red Moon Press, 2001, p. 74.
Haiku Canada Newsletter XIV:2, Feb. 2001, p. 28.
Frogpond XXIV:1, Spring 2001, p. 81.
Evergreen Haiku Anthology. Ikuyo Yoshimura, ed. Gifu, Japan: Rainbow Press, 2003, p. 131.
Haiku Headlines 17:9, Dec. 2004, p. 8.

About the author: Michael Dylan Welch is editor/publisher of Tundra: The Journal of the Short Poem. A long-time vice president of the Haiku Society of America, he was also cofounder of the Haiku North America conference in 1991, cofounder of the American Haiku Archives in 1996, and founder of the Tanka Society of America in 2000. He has published his poetry in hundreds of journals and anthologies in more than a dozen languages, and has won first prize in each of the Henderson, Brady, Drevniok, and Tokutomi contests, among others. Though originally British, and having grown up in England, Ghana, Australia, and Canada, Michael now lives with his wife and two children near Seattle, Washington.

Responses to the haiku for 22 November 2007 by Michael Dylan Welch

    b. m. richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2007-11-22 15:17:09

    steamy shower,
    chilling thoughts
    wave through my mind

    Robbie Gamble
    2007-11-23 05:38:11

    I think I'd appreciate this haiku more simply on its own terms without having to wade through its extensive pedigree.

    2007-11-23 10:33:07


    Michael Dylan Welch (WelchM at aol dot com)
    2007-11-23 16:40:01

    You're probably right, Robbie, and the publication credits could possibly be omitted. But listing publication credits respects the blessings bestowed on the poem by previous publishers -- and it's legally required if a poem is republished from certain journals. I also like seeing publication credits, as it alerts me to possible new markets. Either way, I hope you can still enjoy the poem.

    Robbie Gamble (marrob2 at comcast dot net)
    2007-11-23 17:13:20

    You're right too, Michael. I fully understand the importance, both legal and moral, of acknowledging previous publication. I also appreciate being guided to new markets. I think I was frustrated in this instance by how my attention was first drawn to how well-travelled and respected your haiku has been, and I really had to work backward to clear my mind and experience the moment free of baggage.

    Michael Dylan Welch
    2007-11-23 17:18:49

    Yes, I see how the credits could compete with the poem. Perhaps it would help if any credits were in a smaller point size.

    Robbie Gamble
    2007-11-23 18:05:47

    That's a great idea. I hadn't noticed that the haiku are actually in a smaller type than the credits and author bios. (at least on my screen)

    toby evans
    2007-11-23 18:43:30

    as has been pointed out before, your bio is overdone too.

    Ed Schwellenbach
    2007-11-23 19:27:42

    I routinely don't read bios, but when I do, I want them to be meaty. The cricism of Michael Dylan Welch's bio seems like sour grapes. I think his detractors ought to get a ... bio.

    b. m. richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2007-11-23 23:24:42

    michael, a list of publication credits is admirable. i trust my words do not detract from, nor lessen the honor bestowed upon your ku.
    this rain-filled night, my mind wrings the silence surrounding basho's "old pond" and the millennium(not quite) of reprints, and it's omitted republication credits. for the author, copyright and copyleft(no pun intended) handle reprinting.
    ed, surely sweet grapes

    2007-11-24 05:53:30

    I like relationship here, the shower... the wet feet.
    _The Bio? Not an issue for this reader; humbly, my 'Bio' would leave little to explore.

    2007-11-24 06:00:29

    I skipped over the credits and enjoyed the haiku very much. It reminds me of a Bach fugue. I experienced the tranquility of a gentle wave wetting the sandals and the fireworks of a meteor shower and I was happy, points or no points only counterpoint.

    Alan Summers
    2007-11-24 08:50:50

    A classic haiku, great to see it here.

    Vasile Moldovan (vasilemoldovan at yahoo dot com)
    2007-11-25 08:07:13

    on the empty beach
    counting the meteors
    two lovers

    Bill Kenney
    2007-11-26 16:18:08

    What odd controversies we get up to.

    The poem remains a beauty.

    Lesley Dewar
    2007-11-27 19:19:54

    For a beginning writer, a bio like this makes you wonder "what's the chance" of ever being considered good enough..... you are less than a David in a field of Giants.

    The poem is exquisite..... the author's pedigree overwhelming and quite disempowering.

    Michael Dylan Welch (WelchM at aol dot com)
    2007-11-27 19:34:29

    Thanks for all the comments, everyone. I like to think that it's possible to get to know other poets through their bios. When I read the poem, I focus on that. When I read bios from other people, I'm able to learn more about that person. It helps make the person's name more meaningful, at least to me. I feel unfulfilled when bios say only where the poet lives and that he or she "writes poetry."

    b. m. richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2007-11-27 21:52:51

    lesley, david conquered that giant. using a term from manu, often giants thinking has (fossilized). "in changing, we find purpose".

    bill, the controversy lingers on. i ponder your finding controversy (odd). i'd say a different, yet synonymous word, (opinions). bordering less on a dogma, opinions are a necessary evil.

    michael, (i feel unfulfilled) from comments with minimal content

    2007-12-04 11:08:58

    Dear Lesley,

    Please don't feel disheartened by Michael's extensive credits list. We've all been there.

    Michael & other haiku writers have an obligation on ethical & legal grounds to list prior publications.

    It's also a nod, a deep bow, and a thanks to all those magazine editors who believed in us when we started.

    Check out:

    best regards, Alan

    Lesley Dewar
    2007-12-04 21:10:41

    Thank you for the link to haiku dreaming australia. I can see much opportunity there for me to learn my craft.
    As a newly published prose and poetry writer (but not of haiku) my toe is just in the water. I am trying to avoid a "tsunami" of comparision and still feel worthy of submission to tinywords. Thanks for your comments.

    Judith Gorgone
    2007-12-16 14:02:39

    I agree with martin and alan....
    and it's one I can never tire of.
    Thanks Michael for just being you.

    H. Gene Murtha
    2008-02-05 21:24:54

    ah yeah, and it's still working too...

    Timeless Michael!