Monday, October 31, 2016

Thanks for Haiku - Deborah P Kolodji and Naia Feature on November 27, 2016

This has been a year to be thankful for, with so many amazing poets and musicians having graced the Bolton Hall Museum: Seven Dhar and Teresa Mei ChucEddy M. Gana Jr. and Stephanie Sajor Georgia Jones-DavisLois P. Jones and Alice Pero, Marsha de La O and Jerry GarciaJudy BarratBill Cushing with Chuck Corbisiero, plus Mariko Kitakubo, Elline Lipkin, Altadena Poet Laureate, and Songwriters Heather Donavon and Steve McCormickDouglas Kearney and Mandy Kahn, and in October, Shahe Mankerian with Songwriters-Musicians Shandy and Eva.

We will be able to add to our blessings  on Sunday, November 27, 2016 at 4:30 p.m. (after Thanksgiving), and enjoy the haiku and other Japanese-style poetry of Deborah P Kolodji and Naia.  As usual, the reading will take place at the Bolton Hall Museum in Tujunga (10110 Commerce Ave. Tujunga, CA 91042), with segments of open mike, refreshments, and $3 donations collected in George Harris's Hat (Harris was the builder of the Bolton Hall, now a Los Angeles Historic Monument No. 2, having celebrated its centennial in 2013). 


Photo by Naia

Deborah P Kolodji is the California Regional Coordinator for the Haiku Society of America, the moderator of the Southern California Haiku Study Group, which meets on the 3rd Saturday of every month at the Lamanda Park Library in Pasadena, and is on the board of directors for Haiku North America.  

Her first full-length book of haiku, highway of sleeping towns, was published recently by Shabda Press. (   With over 900 published poems to her name, and four chapbooks of poetry, Seaside Moon (2005), Red Planet Dust (2006), unfinished book (2006), and Symphony of the Universe (2006), Kolodji finds inspiration in beaches, mountains, deserts, and urban life of Los Angeles County.

"Deborah P Kolodji’s haiku collection is a gem. Born of an art that transcends science, her haiku transport the reader into the past and future, while being firmly rooted in the present. Highway of Sleeping Towns underlines the truth that the the best haiku are contemporary and ageless, personal and universal."      - Roberta Beary, author of the Unworn Necklace and editor at Modern Haiku

white marble
I am small at the feet
of Lincoln

floating purple--
my daydreams follow
the water hyacinth

of sleeping towns
the milky way

settling the estate
empty gum wrappers
in her purse

the scarf
she never finished
brown pine needles

morning tidepools
a hermit crab tries on
the bottle cap

winter sea
the rise and fall
and fall

a caterpillar's progress
across the fallen leaf
jet lag

moon flower
a love letter
to Captain Kirk

LA traffic
our lady of the perpetually

our history
written in rock
desert lavender


In 1998, Naia discovered haiku through the works of Kobayashi Issa. She joined a small study group in Long Beach and has been writing haiku and other forms ever since. Shortly after she began submitting for publication, Naia’s haiku were published in two prestigious anthologies in Japan: 1) Masaoka Shiki Festival Anthology, Ehime Prefecture Culture Foundation, Japan, 2001, and 2) 55thBasho Festival Haiku Anthology, Basho Memorial Museum, Japan, 2001 (one of only 17 poets accepted from the United States)

Naia’s haiku, haiga, haibun, tanka, and other poetic forms have been published in numerous books, anthologies, collections, e-journals, newsletters, and magazines in the U.S and internationally.Additional haiku-related activities include:

·         co-editor, bits of itself, 2002 Haiku Society of America members’ anthology
·         member, founding planning team for the first Haiku Pacific Rim Conference, 2002
·         editor, above the tree line, 2008 Southern California Haiku Study Group anthology
·         editor, shell gathering, 2009 Southern California Haiku Study Group anthology
·         judge, HPNC annual Haiku Contest, 2009
·         regional coordinator, Haiku Society of America 2009-2014
·         co-founder & moderator, Haiku San Diego, 2010 to present
·         reader, 23rdannual Two Autumns Reading, 2012
·         reader, Tea House Reading, Yuki Tekei Haiku Society Annual Reading, 2012
·         co-chair, Intervals, Haiku North America 2013 Conference
·         editor, what the wind can’t touch, 2016 Southern California Haiku Study Group anthology

A video of her work may be found on Vimeo:  ants on the sidewalk, a multimedia urban celebration by Naia, Deborah P Kolodji, and Gregory Longenecker:  Presented at Haiku Pacific Rim 2012, published in Haiku Chronicles in 2013.


even the crow in the next tree

new love . . .
still some green
in these autumn leaves

in those moments
when all is still and he’s sure
I’m asleep . . .
the way his lips linger
upon my bare shoulder

Ghosts Among the Cornflowers

From this place at the edge of a cornflower patch so wide that it seems as if a great wave poured from the afternoon sky and liquefied the land . . . from this place, I begin to wonder. Who planted them? Who knelt here, tended here, bent and yielded here, dreamed here? Who planted these cornflowers gone to seed, to weed, again and again, until this knee-deep sea of them?

windswept cloud . . .
    in blue ink the apology
        owed since childhood


Village Poets after the reading by Shake Manerian, with Shandy and Eva Duo, October 23, 2016.
Standing L to R: Maja Trochimczyk, Pauli Dutton, Richard Dutton, Pam Shea, Sharon Hawley, Judy Barrat,Joe DeCenzo, Marlene Hitt, Dorothy Skiles and Yatindra. Seating L to R: Mira Mataric, Elsa Frausto, Shahe Mankerian, Shandy and Eva. 

Eva, Shahe, and Shandy at Bolton Hall Museum.

The second event was the annual Lit Crawl LA 2016, held in North Hollywood on October 26, 2016, with four Village Poets reading their spiritually-inspired works in the "Into Light: Poetry of the Spirit" reading with Joe DeCenzo, Maja Trochimczyk, Marlene Hitt, and Elsa Frausto. Some of the poems came from the 2012 anthology, issued by Moonrise Press, Meditations on Divine Names. 

Some of these poems may be found on the Moonrise Press Blog, as well as on the Poetry Laurels blog by Maja Trochimczyk.

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