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Tanka: Six Slices of Summer

By Andrew Lazo Here, friends, you’ll find six sketches of my summer so far. I’ve scratched out some small slices of long days, even as I try to re-create myself from a long, good, giving school year. I have a wonderful summer planned, with plenty of ease. And these days afford me the rare chance…

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A Few Shiny Spare Buttons

Since it’s tanka month here at All Nine, I thought I would share a few five-line pieces from my new poetry chapbook, Spare Buttons. As I was perusing the manuscript for just the right pieces to share, I caught a thread I had not seen when I first put the collection together. Or rather, perhaps…

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Cracks and Comforts

By Bethany Rohde This was my first Father’s Day that included time at the cemetery. Do you ever see a greeting card section that pains you — even from a distance? Something that feels like a collage of endearing memories overlapped with closed doors? Please know at least, you’re not alone. Over these four months,…

Image by Crystal Hurd

Gardening: A Tanka for June

By Crystal Hurd I have been writing lately about hope. In honor of our exploration of the tanka this month, I play on Emily Dickenson’s famous poem and change the metaphor to what it often feels like for me – an expectant seed awaiting the moment of great awakening. It is so small, so fragile,…

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Tanka Very Much

All that I can say about love I can say about your eyes From Three Ways of Searching   This month on All Nine we celebrate the tanka form, along with its cousins kyoka, waka, and other non-Western five-line poems. But before we get the party started, let’s define our terms. For the following definition…

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Ten Reasons to Get Moody

I might blog a lot about writing and dabble at some versifying, but I’m actually not the “writer” in our home. My husband, Kevin Belmonte, has a pile of published books to his credit (over a dozen at last count) along with countless articles in various journals and periodicals. His most recent contribution to bookshelves…

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Smoke gets in my eyes: Haiku as distracted observation

I write haiku the way some people smoke – dragging at the burnt ends of the day, filling up the cracks of in-between time, flicking ashes of observation off with no small bit of distraction. As a result, I have quite a collection of ashes/words at the end of every week. I offer you here nine such cast…

Image by Rebekah Choat

How I Haiku

I’m an amateur photographer as well as a poet. I’m mindful to carry my camera/phone when I go for a walk – not necessarily because I’m expecting anyone to call, but because I almost always happen into little moments of beauty that I want to remember. I might take a dozen photos on my way…

Image by Doug Jackson

Zero to the Bone: of Haiku and Haikats

By Doug Jackson “I’m sorry this letter is so long, but I did not have time to write a shorter one.” I’ve seen that quotation attributed to, among others, Mark Twain, George Bernard Shaw, Voltaire, Blaise Pascal, Goethe, Winston Churchill, Pliny the Younger, Cato, Cicero, Bill Clinton, and Benjamin Franklin. The point, however, is not…