Morning Haiku and Waka – August 14, 2015


Alaska Quake-Fourth Ave. – Good Friday 1964 – Photo Credits: Wikipedia *

sudden grumble
in the silence of dawn
a summer earthquake

twitter little birds
reassure my shaken heart
the earth – is still

hear the church bells –
it’s seven of the clock
a punctual quake
did it look at the clock
before deciding to shake?


We just had an earth tremor … to call it an earthquake is probably a bit much … but as this is the second this month (the first being the 7th of August or there and about) and that one was quite a shake (we were 6 kilometres from the epicentre) I feel a little nervous.

In 2012 we had a long series of quakes, mostly in the Padana Valley … but we used to get their tail ends here in Trentino.  My sister had come to visit that year, we went to visit the sights, including Verona and Padua. Of course, Italian earthquakes shake rather than actually open up the land or create a significant sudden drop in the earth like in California or Alaska … but to me, an earthquake is an earthquake …

running to the yard
as the earthquake shakes us
laughing with my sis
remembering Alaska
makes us a little nervous

© G.s.k ‘15

(*) Now in Anchorage the city streets start with Third Avenue … the First and Second don’t exist … there’s now a very steep street that goes from the port area to the main part of town and a park … called Earthquake Park. The land just dropped away that day.

Many Kinds of Deserts- Haiku and Tanka – June 18, 2015

wind off the tundra
swirling dervishes in white
under the midnight sun

lost in desert thoughts
arid wastelands in the world
and empty people
no map can find the desert
hidden in a person’s soul

© G.s.k. ‘15

Reading the haiku written today on Carpe Diem Haiku Kai, I came across Haiku Plate Special‘s offering, which inspired the above haiku … of course she’s absolutely right – there are many kinds of deserts … and the Alaskan Tundra is one of them and so’s an arid human soul:

town with no bookstores
she wanders the downtown

— There are many kinds of deserts.

Carpe Diem #757 desert

Ice Fog – Haibun – Friday Fictioneers – December 6, 2014

flowers with Ice-Janet Webb (2)

PHOTO PROMPT – Copyright Janet Webb

Ice fog frosted the trees and bushes white and now with the first pale light of morning the world was a winter wonderland.  Looking like a Norman Rockwell painting but as cold as a miser’s heart.

Students stood waiting for the school bus to come, hoping it wouldn’t be late.  It’s so easy to be frost-bitten on a deceptively beautiful postcard morning in Anchorage. Not an inch of skin was visible, even ski masks covered everybody’s faces.

A couple stood apart holding hands and rubbing noses.

 Alaskan white morn –
ice dripping from old flowers
like a Christmas card

G.s.k. ’14


Some Background:

In my youth I lived in Alaska, Anchorage  to be precise.  It was one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever lived.

However, when the winter rolled in, it did so with a vengeance.  After three months of near total day light,  autumn came and gradually brought on first normality then it ushered in winter with its three months of near total night.

Temperatures were more moderate in Anchorage than let’s say Nome. But they could still get down to minus 20 and lower without much of a problem.

Ice fog was one of the most insidious winter problems to face in Alaska. You’d be driving down a road at night and all of a sudden your wind screen was nothing but a sheet of ice crystals.  It’s ice fog that so beautifully outlines everything in white, at least in Alaska.  Ice fog can hit between late autumn and early spring.


Linked to – Friday Fictioneers

Chinook – Tanka – August 30, 2014

land of northern lights
in the dead of winter’s freeze
from the pacific
blows the warming chinook
bringing comfort for a few days

warming sunless days
Anchorage greets the chinook
taking off parkas
glorying in the brief noon light
a reminder of summer

Written for Oliana

If I can get my connection back I will publish this and then try to link Oliana’s post.

The Arsenal – Ligo Haibun

Ligo Haibun

Ligo Haibun

“..and we’ll make a mountain of ’em!” said James as he rolled his perfect snowballs.

“Yeah, and won’t they be surprised!  We won’t have to wait to throw…they’ll see! This time we’ll wipe ’em out!” confirmed Stephen.

The boys rolled their snowballs stock-piling then up along the protective fence of their “fortress”.  They worked far into the evening in preparation for the next day’s battle, due to begin at 9:00, when their cousins would come home from their weekend stay at  Eagle River.

When it got too dark to work they went inside the house…and continued planing for the great battle.  Eventually they calmed down and passed the rest of the late afternoon and evening playing “Okami” on their Wii.

During the night, the weather changed…and up from Japan came the chinook and by morning most of the snow was gone.

where is the future
where is the planned tomorrow
chinook melted snow

Written for Ligo Haibun Challenge Picture Prompt

Ligo Haibun Challenge: Word Prompt

Līgo Haibun Challenge – Word Prompt the prompt words for this week:

Treasure           OR           Despair.

Journey into Despair

Julius drove up the Al-Can highway not far from Anchorage.  He’d passed Eagle river more or less an hour before and was driving towards the Canadian border to the north.  He’d enjoyed his, and now wanted to culminate his adventure walking through some of the endless virgin forests he’d flown over during a plane tour of southern Alaska.

He’d been warned that one could easily become disorientated, there are no specific landmarks once inside the forest and compasses are useless. However, he felt quite confident that if he had any problems all he’d have to do was make a phone call for help.

He parked his car and walked confidently into the forest, with his backpack full of provisions and his mobile phone holstered onto his belt.

The State Troopers found his abandoned auto that evening.  A search party was formed and a police helicopter started to fly over the area to look for the car owner at dawn.

Julius was never found.  There are no repeaters in that area, his phone was useless.

 travelling strange paths
among faceless trees
desperately lost in illusion

n.b. This is a bit of fiction but when I was growing up in Alaska, every so often someone would decide to go hunting or walking in the forests and never be found again.  However, I’ve not been back to Alaska in over 40 years; this story is a metaphor.