Saturday, February 14, 2015

Carpe Diem Sparkling Stars #18, John Stevenson's "the train"

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

What a joy to create another episode of our special feature Sparkling Stars in which I introduce haiku written/composed by classical and non-classical haiku poets. Haiku which are in my opinion little stars, little sparkling stars.
For this episode I have sought for a non-classical haiku poet who's born in 1948 and lives in New York. After a brief biography I will share three haiku composed by him. I love to introduce to you John Stevenson.

John Stevenson (born 1948) is from Ithaca, New York. He lived in Buffalo for eight years, New York City for four years and has been living in the Albany area since 1980, where he has raised his son and worked as an administrator for the New York State Division of Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse (1980 - 1987) and Office of Mental Health (1987 to present).
From 1966 to 1972 John studied visual arts and theatre and from 1969 to 1975 he worked as an actor, with day jobs ranging from library aide to supervisor of a security patrol at Rich Stadium. Now he alternately bores and exasperates his son by commenting, while they are watching movies or television, “I worked with her. I worked with him.”
Since his first encounter with Playback Theatre in 1990, a form of theatre in which members of the audience tell stories from their own lives which are then enacted on stage, John has been completely absorbed with it, helping to start Pentimento Playback Theatre Company in 1992 and performing with them since then. A similar thing happened in relation to his poetry. His first publication was in 1956 and he has written poetry regularly since then. He encountered his first haiku (at a Playback Theatre conference) in 1992. Since then he has written almost nothing but haiku, senryu, haibun, rengay and renku.
John is a member of the Haiku Society of America, Haiku Poets of Northern California, the Yukei Teikei Haiku Society, and the Route 9 Haiku Group. (Source: Haijinx)
John Stevenson
Here are three haiku composed by Stevenson all three are about trains and I have tried to organize them to a little story:

the train picks up speed,
in a paper coffee cup
concentric waves

the river always
out there in the dark
late train home

coming home
on the train
... the backyards

(c) John Stevenson

An awesome trio I think ... it brought a haiku by Shiki in mind which we have used for prompt in our big five month July 2014.

smoke whirls
after the passage of a train -
young foliage

© Masaoka Shiki

All wonderful haiku with train as the theme in common, so I love to share one of my haiku with this same theme hidden in it with you all, maybe you can remember this haiku, because I wrote it earlier in July 2014 in response on the above haiku by Shiki.

under the full moon
the screech of a steam engine -
cherry blossoms shiver
© Chèvrefeuille

First Steam Engine Train
The goaL Sparkling Stars feature is to write a classical or non-classical haiku inspired on the haiku given, it's similar with our CD-Specials, but I love to challenge you all to use the classical (5-7-5) rule for the haiku. I didn't succeed in that, but maybe you can do it ... better. !! I have started a new weblog Carpe Diem's Tanka Shrine ... !!

This episode of our Sparkling Stars feature is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until next Saturday February 21st at noon (CET).


  1. hi, i have tried one.

  2. Wow! You're busy! Congrats on Tanka Shrine! :)
    Trains - yay! Great post.

  3. Very nice post Chevrefeuille, and a mysterious participant.

    1. I enjoyed your haibun very much. ..the pig fat and stale cream tarts was a wonderful soviet image. I cannot use twitter or face book to sign in to your blog.

  4. I love those John Stevenson haiku...inspirational ...Thanks !