Friday, October 27, 2017

I Wish I'd Written This

Pleasures of the Inbox 
1: tinywords


-Sally Biggar

Muscle Beach
the effortless lift
of terns

-Bill Gottlieb

a call to prayer
by the sea
the scent of wild roses

-Dan Curtis

the real world
within the real world
tide pools

-Joy Reed MacVane

free Wi-Fi . . .
each to their
own device

-Sam Bateman

Hiroshima Day
bent low

-Bryan Rickert

a breeze beyond rhetoric rippling meadowgrass

-Matthew Moffett

Like everyone, I'm drowning in emails, but some are welcome. Luckily my Gmail sorts the incomings into categories. Having subscribed to receive tinywords by email, I can see them all together in my 'Forums' box – a small pleasure with which to start my day, or I can save them up and read several at once at my leisure. I usually delete them after that, but I sometimes choose to archive the ones I love the best. The standard is high, and the styles and topics varied. The above are just some I picked at random from the most recent. I'd be very happy to have written any of them.

'tinywords is an international, daily magazine of haiku and micropoetry' says the 'About' section, and adds, 'Our goal is to publish excellent poetry whose ambitions and effects far outstrip its small size.'

It began as a magazine of haiku, but has since broadened its scope. The founder, d. f. (Dylan) tweney is interviewed here about its origin and history. It began as a nice way to use phone texts! (When they were restricted to 160 characters.) This preceded haiku on twitter – it preceded twitter itself – but now the tinywords appear on twitter and there are also some printed editions drawn from the magazine.

Starting in 2001 as a small email list of a few friends, it grew so rapidly that by 2008 it was described by the Haiku Society of America as 'the largest-circulation journal of haiku in English'. This became so overwhelming that it stopped for a while, but then resumed with two co-editors and submissions restricted to the months of February and August.

Contributors range from the inexperienced and unknown to leading lights among contemporary haiku poets. (Mr tweney mentions his gratitude for help from the late Bill Higginson in the magazine's early stages.)

I am delighted to see that there is what I consider a very sensible policy on submissions: while they prefer work not previously published, 'Appearance on Twitter, personal blogs or online poetry discussion forums is no impediment to acceptance'. 

(I keep thinking I must give it a try and submit something some day; but I seldom submit anywhere any more, and so far haven't done so here. I must, I really must. So might you, dear readers, if you're into micropoetry.)

The editors are more interested in good poetry than what does or doesn't constitute haiku, hence the 'broader focus on micropoetry and miniature poetry of all kinds, including but not limited to haiku'. As a reader, I appreciate this! I happen to love both traditional haiku and modern, evolving variations – but above all, I want to read good poetry.

I hope you enjoy these few I've shared with you and are interested enough to read more, and to look at the interview linked above. There's also an interesting podcast interview (by Dave Bonta, of The Morning Porch, who has himself been featured here in the past).

Material shared in 'I Wish I'd Written This' is presented for study and review. Poems, photos and other writings remain the property of the copyright owners, usually their authors.


  1. Oh, this is a very cool feature, Rosemary. I admire those who can convey such depth with so few words and lines. I love best the call to prayer by the sea (of course.) I should give micropoetry more of a go.........Thank you for this.

    1. Would love to see what you come up with in short forms! You are such a story-teller, and painter of pictures, it might be a challenge – but both can be done briefly.

  2. I tried but couldn't pick a favorite. They're all delightful. Thanks Rosemary. I've been curious about micropoetry and this motivates me to learn more. I'll definitely read more.

    1. Well, shortness is the only absolute criterion. But there are also many short forms which can be classed as micropoetry, e.g. haiku, tanka, shadorma, cinquain, gogyoshi. ... as well as very short free verse. Twitter poems (with the hashtag #poetweet) are supposedly 140 characters, including spaces, but I like to make them even shorter and leave room for the hashtag too.

  3. I Love this apparently formless form. Very interesting. Thanks for the share Rosemary.

  4. As you know, i am a huge fan of 'micropoetry', and i have another blog just for these kind of works. Thank you, Rosemary, for sharing with us these gems. i think i will subscribe to tinywords. :)

    1. Oh yes, so you do (have that other blog) and with your wonderful sketches too. Thanks for reminding me of it. I so wish you will contribute to tinywords as well.

  5. I really enjoyed this, Rosemary. Makes me feel like writing some micro-poetry as well. I like those that you shared.

  6. A very cool post. I found the Dan Curtis haiku, particularly appealing.

    I try to persevere with submissions - but the odds of acceptance are pretty dismal and all those rejections do tend to take the wind out of one's poetic sails. Smiles.

    Thanks for this, Rosemary.

    1. Sometimes it's a matter of finding the right fit for your style and preferred topics. Don't give up! In the days when I did a lot of submitting to paper journals, I sent things out only twice a year; that way I reduced some of the agony.


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