Yanty’s Butterfly: Reflections by Jacob Salzer
This piece is for everyone who participated in Yanty’s Butterfly, which was the most memorable and enjoyable creative project I’ve ever been a part of. This piece is also for anyone who enjoys haiku & related forms.
I enjoy ALL of the work in Yanty’s Butterfly. I want to take this opportunity to further recognize each and every person who participated by sharing some haiku in Yanty’s Butterfly from every poet (one poem per poet from the 3-line ku, 2-line ku, one-line ku, 5-7-5, and tanka sections via the section you contributed to) and briefly comment on each poem.
All haiku shared in this piece are copyrighted by their respected authors. Comments are 2016 copyright by Jacob Salzer. Please see the end of this review for Publication Credits as some of our work appear in various haiku journals, books, and magazines.
Everyone did a great job, and everyone deserves thorough recognition.
Willie Bongcaron – Philippines
Lovette Carter – USA
James Ciriaco – USA
Francis Franklin – UK
Momolu Freeman – USA
Dana Grover – USA
Michelle Hyatt – Canada
Brendon Kent – UK
Nicholas Klacsanzky – Ukraine
George Klacsanzky – USA
Eva Limbach – Germany
Yuting Lin – Taiwan
Edwin Lomere – USA
Malintha Perera – Sri Lanka
Dave Read – Canada
Gabri Rigotti – South Africa
Nakta Roodgari – Persia
Alan Summers – UK
Yanty Tjiam – Indonesia
Steve Woodall – USA
Fei Zhan – Indonesia
For those who don't know about Yanty's Butterfly, it is our first Haiku Nook International Anthology dedicated to Yanty Tjiam (1981-2015), a beloved haiku poet and friend on Haiku Nook who passed away. In her honor 20 poets from Haiku Nook came together to create this Haiku Anthology, and all proceeds of the book are donated to Yanty's Family and to 2 charity organizations: ActionAid, and the Hunger Project.
Yanty's Butterfly kindle is available on amazon for: $3.82 US dollars.
Right from the beginning, I love the title of our anthology. It is a perfect symbol of the dynamic human spirit that lives within Yanty and within all of us.
I also love the front cover art by Momolu. I think it helps draw the reader in because the butterfly is not outlined for us, but rather seems to be hidden within it.
Also, I see the gold sphere as a symbol of oneness.
The Preface by Willie accurately captures the Haiku Nook, and the spirit of our group. I think it couldn’t be any better.
The Foreword by Alan also accurately captures the actual process of creating the anthology, the spirit of Haiku Nook, and provides more details. I also don’t think it could be any better.
I thoroughly enjoy Alan’s article on one-line haiku, and how it includes everyone who contributed to Yanty’s Butterfly. I also think Ed and I did a good job providing edits and considerations.
I appreciate the fact that we included a variety of forms in Yanty’s Butterfly, including 3-line, 2-line, 1-line, 5-7-5, concrete haiku, tanka, and haibun.
I had the opportunity to “select” haiku by Yanty Tjiam for Yanty’s Butterfly, but the truth is, I included almost ALL of her haiku that I discovered on G+. I aimed to capture her whole Spirit, her sense of humor, and her serious moods by publishing a wide variety of her haiku.
Here are selections of our work in Yanty’s Butterfly from every poet with my comments:Yanty Tjiam
place of worship
the sky and earth
lend their space
For me, this haiku reminds us of our brief visit on Earth. It brings me a clear feeling of reverence and a “big picture” perspective. It seems we (as humans) believe the Earth exclusively belongs to us, but it seems Mother Nature and The Great Mystery are part of a vast network of life that remains beyond human comprehension.
rows of teatrees
in morning mist
I appreciate the mood and imagery of this haiku—it provides a meditative atmosphere, and an easy-going pace as exemplified by “a stroll”. I think it reminds us to s l o w down sometimes and notice things that often go un-noticed.
degrade the well-being of
The connection between human life and creatures of the sea is well documented; this is an environmental haiku that reminds us of the waste of human products, and (for me) it provides subtle inspiration to recycle and make a difference.
hears distant conversations
through his dislodged ear
Here, we get a glimpse of Yanty’s sense of humor. I enjoy the light-heartedness of this haiku.
hand in hand
with grandma, a girl
keeps looking back
I love the mystery of this haiku. We don’t know why the girl keeps looking back, and the connection between her and grandma is masterfully captured with very few words. Yanty has balanced concrete imagery with mystery. An exceptional and inspiring haiku.Fei Zhan
the have and the have not
share their stories
I love the implications of this haiku. Fei has “crossed boundaries” in this haiku, showing us that even though we have divisions and borders, they are sometimes not as concrete as they appear to be, and, sometimes, genuine human conversation can pierce through those transient walls.
There is a lot of depth to this haiku. It’s implications of seeing life through a different lens reminds us to embrace a different perspective sometimes rather than resort to familiar ways of seeing things. It also reminds us that there are, indeed, worlds within worlds, and we each have something unique to benefit life and humanity.
Fei’s haibun “Shoes in the Dark” is a very courageous piece that exposes the horrible reality of bullying, and how he survived it.
Fei’s art at the end of the anthology is absolutely remarkable. He is a truly gifted artist, and I hope he will continue to create and share his work.Willie Bongcaron
at the end of the line
the guru’s wisdom
I absolutely love this haiku. The second line masterfully connects the first and third lines to provide a double-meaning. The implication that the guru’s wisdom is beyond words or thoughts is brilliantly implied through “the end of the line”. This is an outstanding haiku.
the rippling moon
I enjoy the atmosphere and imagery.
tucked under the blanket a dream
I love this monoku for its childlike innocence. There is a simplicity to this one-line haiku, combined with the vast possibilities left for the reader in “a dream”.
takes flight deep into the night…
I enjoy the certainty of an uncertain feeling in this 5-7-5 haiku. : ) The mood and atmosphere is well-captured, and to finish with the sound of rain works great with the first 2 lines.
for the two
I enjoy the perspective of this 4-line haiku. For me, it reminds us that some things remain beyond us. I also get an intimate, romantic feeling reading this haiku with “the two of us.”
once the full moon brightens
the naked sky
your joys and heartaches
buried in musty letters
I appreciate a new perspective on the word “loneliness” as it relates to the fullness of the moon across the naked sky. I also appreciate the transparency and depth of this piece, especially in the last line “buried in musty letters.”Lovette Carter
the sway of grassy waters
I absolutely love this haiku. There is double-interpretation: is the art a fresh painting of grassy waters drying inside an art gallery? Or is the art actual grassy waters swaying outside in nature herself?
leaves of leaves inside birds the bare limbs
I love the depth of this piece. I feel like I’m spiraling inside a bird’s nest reading this monoku, and “the bare limbs” reveals the support and structure of their creation.James Ciriaco
the bare limbs
that grew together for years
are curling away
This is a lovely haiku. The imagery leaves the interpretation and meaning up to the reader, and (for me) implies that sometimes people grow apart, and for the better.
subway crowded the boy and girl stand facing
In this monoku, James captures the intimacy and tension of a moment we can’t run away from.
across our path
leaves race in a tangle
of red and gold
having fallen, they go
where the wind takes them
Beautiful. I have no further comments.Francis Franklin
one of six
I love this haiku for the atmosphere it captures. As a pure observation, the mood is entirely left to the reader. An excellent haiku.
the world… falls away
Francis reminds us that the world is not “all there is”, and distills the beauty of sleep and dreams. The mood is well captured too. When I read this, I hear Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” and the beauty of his music as I fall asleep.
train full the morning’s news discarded
Full of implication and meaning for the reader, Francis has captured the mystery of an ordinary moment, and leaves room for us to reach our own conclusions.
cracked barnacle shells
railing at the sea we build
pedestals of sand
I simply love “pedestals of sand” and its implications. Great imagery in all 3 lines. An excellent 5-7-5.Momolu Freeman
the caste system
laid to rest
I simply love this haiku. It breaks through our differences and brings a clear, down-to-earth feeling of unity and of all people being treated as equal. No-one is more important than anyone else and our superficial labels have simply dissolved.
starless liberian night…
the fireflies were bullets
Momolu has accurately captured the mood and atmosphere of war with only 7 words. It’s startling how effective this 2-line haiku is: I actually feel like I’m there when I read this.
sunrise. ..i’m speechless
Momolu reminds us of the simple beauty of a sunrise. Welcome to a moment where no words are required.
between the caterpillar
I appreciate this 4-line haiku because it captures all the stages of metamorphosis: the caterpillar, the cocoon, and the butterfly. It seems we are all at different “stages” in our lives, and this haiku captures the beauty of those stages.
field of dreams
This is an excellent tanka. I love “field of dreams” for the sheer possibilities it leaves for the reader, and the imagery of the last 4 lines are visually and emotionally effective.Dana Grover
in the store
This haiku gives us a glimpse of Dana’s sense of humor. There is double-interpretation in this haiku, and it also has something to say about the ego, and technology at grocery stores where human conversation is not always required.
beneath the cold moon
the clear cut forest pines
Excellent mood and imagery in this 2-line haiku.
humpback whales breach puget sound of water
Excellent visual one-line haiku.
patrolling the evening
This is an excellent 5-7-5 haiku. The silent silhouettes could be the pelican squadron, humans, or something else altogether. An excellent visual haiku, and “patrolling the evening” supports the mystery of the 3rd line, while establishing a distinct mood at the same time.
the five lines he uses
over and over
in the bar
There is both a humorous and sad interpretation to this creative tanka. Is the man enjoying the act of repeating the same words in the bar? Or does he feel disconnected inside himself and therefore from others? There is room for interpretation for the reader.Michelle Hyatt
poplar leaves shiver
on a summer’s night
the waxing moon
Michelle has captured a striking moment in the first line, followed by the chill of a summer evening, and the 3rd line contrasts and compliments the haiku by providing a sense of ease and mystery. There is an effective balance here that makes this a very strong haiku.
unspoken dreams in my hand
I love this 2-line haiku. For me, it reminds us that prayer is not only found in words, but in silence itself. “unspoken dreams” also invites us to use our imagination.
from a kitchen island stories travel…
I thoroughly enjoy this monoku. I love how it can be read in 2 different ways simultaneously.
the baseline changes…
a forest silence broken
in red maple trees
Excellent 5-7-5. I enjoy the imagery and sound and mystery. How is the forest silence broken in red maple trees? The conclusion is left to the reader. Here we have an effective balance of concrete imagery and mystery.
a sensuous prayer
on my skin
Excellent mood, sound, and imagery.
last quarter moon
a final page
completing her message
in the acceptance
This tanka expresses an effective juxtaposition between the divine feminine and the cycles of the moon.Brendon Kent
our eggshell minds…
moon on water
Brendon has provided a very effective juxtaposition. He expresses how sensitive the human mind is, and seems to subtly place great importance on the use of caution. For me, this haiku reminds us that in order to grow to our fullest potential, we (as humans) require a supportive atmosphere based on simple respect, gentleness, and compassion.
haikuless moon or not
the clarity of stars
I appreciate this 2-line haiku for its implications: it reminds me that some things will remain beyond us.
the wind where the empty swing swung
This monoku is loaded with interpretations. Brendon captures a scene straight out of a scary movie. At the same time, he provides implications of what remains after we live our human lives. The empty swing is now full of the wind, as we merge into the invisible.
the unknown destinations
of leaves and sparrows
This is a remarkable 5-7-5. I thoroughly enjoy the mystery found in line 2 and line 3. We don’t really know where some leaves or sparrows go; we see them for brief moments, and then they vanish from our sight, and (sometimes) from our memory.Nicholas Klacsanzky
I push the beetle
back on its feet
I love this haiku. It reminds us that all of life is connected, and that every small act of kindness makes a difference.
I thoroughly enjoy the atmosphere of this 2-line haiku consisting of only 3 words. It gives me the feeling and relief of solitude after a long days’ work. It also gives me the feeling of processing experiences, as implied through “chewing.” Perhaps this could be likened to chewing, and digesting information or life events that we reflect on and/or try to comprehend.
drifting snow my past as a Google search
I enjoy how Nicholas combines a natural phenomenon “drifting snow” with new-age technology “my past as a Google search.” When I read this monoku, I get reminded that the name some of us identify with as “our self” is not as concrete as it may seem, but rather seems to be just as transient as drifting snow. Suddenly, there is a shift in identity. Nicholas also provides implications regarding the incompleteness of memories and past experiences that seem to weave in and out of our day-to-day consciousness.
I left your home
when the summer heat calmed
the nightingale’s call–
you have also soothed my voice
to compassionate whispers
A beautiful, gentle tanka. I love the atmosphere and juxtaposition.George Klacsanzky
my glasses missing
I see impressionistic
paintings all day
I appreciate George’s insight into sight itself. How many of us take vision for granted? The saying: “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” comes to mind when reading this haiku.Eva Limbach
I enjoy Eva’s juxtaposition. She stimulates our imagination in this 3-line haiku. How would you like to organize your dreams?
dream after dream after dream
This is another excellent juxtaposition. Are the migrating birds dreaming? Or is Eva dreaming of migrating birds again, and again, and again? Eva leaves plenty of room for interpretation.
summer grasses no need to talk about
Eva provides room for different meanings. No need to talk about the summer grasses or something else? There is some mystery here.
then I knew
it was a dream
but even here
leaves are falling
one by one
Eva has clearly expressed the distinct feeling of a lucid dream. Is our day-to-day life a dream? Eva urges us to find out.Yuting Lin
echoes of silence
you left behind
There is a strong and distinct mood in this haiku. Yuting has done a great job capturing a strong emotion, juxtaposed with the natural phenomena of rain. We don’t know who “you” is in the haiku, and this leaves some mystery for the reader.
all the words left unsaid
I appreciate the different meanings implied in this 2-line haiku. Are the words left unsaid beneficial or not beneficial? Is it wise to sometimes remain quiet? The half moon suggests this is the case, but the reader is left to decipher their own meaning.
the night speaks to me misty moon
This is a remarkable one-line haiku. How does the night speak to the poet? Nonverbal communication has its place, and here we have a mysterious connection between the poet, the night, and the moon.Edwin Lomere
across the stars
there is no me
Edwin has created a masterpiece. The “me” that some of us identify with as “our self” is—in the end—a mental construct. And it turns out the sense of “me” is not as concrete as it may seem. Edwin brings us a big picture perspective in this haiku and reminds us that life itself is far too vast and mysterious to be defined by transient mental concepts.
the new landfill opens
This 2-line haiku says a lot about the waste we generate as humans, and the impact it has on the Earth. Without telling us directly, Edwin urges us think about the Earth and how we treat the environment we depend on.
green old pond the moon jumps in and stays
This is an exceptional monoku inspired by Basho’s famous and well-known frog pond haiku. It is visually stark, and also provides a sense of calm. This is a lovely one-line haiku.
licking off the butter salt
Edwin captures a modern-day convenience, and urges us to think about what microwave popcorn actually does to us biologically. “artificial tongue” speaks directly to the food industry, the physiology of taste, and the chemicals that are added to processed foods. This haiku indirectly may inspire the reader to consider what they’re eating and what’s inside the food they eat.
I appreciate the contrast in this 4-line haiku. We have the cactus stationed in a desert, and if we could imagine surviving in that environment, we also begin to experience “the thirst for thunder.” The last 2 lines work great, as “thirst” relates to the rain that accompanies a thunder storm.Malintha Perera
In this haiku, Malintha urges us to consider how words affect how we see things: “seeing through words.” At the same time, the reflected light of the moon shines through our words and beyond them. Malintha reminds us of the beauty and mystery that lives in the spaces between our words, and uses only 5 words to create this exceptional 3-line haiku.
from known to unknown…
I appreciate the unity between worlds in this 2-line haiku. Our limited knowledge can only go so far amidst the great unknown. “yellow blossoms” seems to be a symbol of this unity, as flowers are rooted in the Earth and open into the sun that remains beyond them.
weeds I pull a young plant
This monoku reminds us that appearances can be deceiving. The young plant might look like a weed, but it is not. The young plant could be equated to a young person who is subjected to the minds of adults who might not be setting a good example. I think Malintha is reminding us to be careful and to see the potential in young people vs. harming or discouraging them.
missing my chance
with the stars
Malintha reminds us to not exclusively identify with limited thoughts that we call “the mind,” but rather be still and become one with the beauty around us.
form is form
and form is emptiness
to pick up
This tanka speaks to Zen and the beauty of “form is emptiness.” It seems this emptiness is paradoxically what makes it so full. This tanka by Malintha is dedicated to Master Eunsahn Citta Gartland.Dave Read
we drive further
I enjoy the atmosphere of this haiku. How many of us take the back roads or take the time to drive further into ourselves? This haiku urges us to take some time for introspection and talk openly with a close friend or family member. Dave also reminds us of the sheer depth within us.
stepping back into my personal space suit
I thoroughly enjoy this monoku. It reminds us that sometimes solitude is not only a good idea, but necessary. “personal space suit” has at least 2 different interpretations. Dave’s witty sense of humor shines through this monoku as well.
a stray dog
bolts down the alley –
that old desire
my ties and run
This tanka captures a mutual feeling of freedom. How many of us feel exclusively tied down to responsibilities and obligations? Are we only designed to “fit” the mental conditioning of society? Dave reminds us that sometimes, we can take a chance, leave the familiar, and explore something unknown.Gabri Rigotti
an empty pair of shoes
fills with moonlight
A startling haiku that might bring chills up your spine. How did the shoes become empty? “Fills with moonlight” provides a simultaneous sense of calm and mystery.
rain and hail
strangers share a tree
I appreciate the atmosphere and circumstances of this 2-line haiku. It goes to show that sometimes, a single event can bring strangers together, out of necessity. It breaks down superficial constructs and reveals the common ground within all of us.
sea swells a curvature of birds
I love the sound of this monoku, and how the swells of the sea curves with the birds.
the evening drifts
a scent of sea
I appreciate the subtly of this 4-line haiku. “windless” by itself creates an interesting, startling, and unexpected atmosphere. The night is windless, and yet somehow, the scent of the sea is drifting through us.
at Goree gates
she holds his hand
once new world slaves
king and queen
I enjoy the story this tanka tells from slavery to royalty. This tanka has something to say about the gap between rich and poor and how those who are dealt with a tough hand can sometimes climb out of it. Speaking of being dealt a tough hand, I suppose these 2 people had a King and Queen of diamonds in their back pocket without even knowing it!Nakta Roodgari
the scent of jasmine
touches my nose
I appreciate how Nakta gives the reader room to fill in their own memories associated with the scent of jasmine. This haiku reminds us of the intimate link between scent and memory.
moon and stars
… quiet love making
I love this 2-line haiku and have no further comments.
a white rose kissed by thorns in winter
I appreciate the atmosphere of this one-line haiku. There is an effective contrast between a delicate white rose and the sharp thorns, and how the color white (and those thorns) relate to the stark images and coldness of winter.
our rendez – vous
rest in peace
I enjoy the atmosphere and mood of this 4-line haiku.Jacob Salzer
under one blanket
forest after rain...
the sound of foosteps
her hands unfolding a butterfly
a night with no moon
spectators remain silent
only their eyes move
through the blinds
my neighbor's dog
howls at the pitch
of distant sirensAlan Summers
the narrow roads
in parallel universes
a butterfly sneezes
I love everything about this haiku: “the narrows roads” is both concrete and yet leaves room for the readers imagination; “parallel universes” provides room for imagination as well, and “a butterfly sneezes” is a fresh, unique line. How many of us even consider a butterfly sneezing? A brilliant 3-line haiku.
everyone went to the moon
a softness of morning stars
I love this 2-line haiku for its mood and implications: man-made cities create light pollution, and some children grow up in the city without ever fully seeing the stars. This 2-line brings an interesting scenario where humans lived on the moon, and how clear the stars appear early in the morning.
snow on the sun navigating childhoods
An excellent monoku: “snow on the sun” is unique as I don’t think people would normally think of it that way, and “navigating childhoods” leaves plenty of room for the reader to participate. There is a balance of concrete and abstract in this one-line haiku.
the sound dome of bees
how many shades of color
can a human see
I appreciate the imagery and sound of this 5-7-5, and how it leaves us with an intriguing question. As humans, it seems most of us don’t realize that some colors are beyond our perception. An intriguing 5-7-5 haiku.
a waiting room
I run to the sky
every bell has rung
with your musk
This is a very interesting and creative tanka. I enjoy how Alan incorporates imagery, sound, and smell.Steve Woodall
of her breathing
Steve has created a calm haiku that also allows the reader to experience and create their own lullaby.
infinity creeps up on me mowing the lawn
I love this monoku: It seems to remind us to maintain a “big picture” perspective.
the fawn’s eyes
among all those leaves
where there is much
not to be done
I love the imagery in the first 2 lines. And the last 2 lines bring a certain feeling that many readers might not expect. A unique and very-well written 4-line haiku.
waking me with visions
the times we slept
in other rooms holding
This is a brilliant tanka. I have no further comments.Publication Credits
Some haiku in Yanty's Butterfly also appear in the following books, journals, and magazines:
Under the Basho
A Hundred Gourds
The Heron's Nest
Tageshaiku Silvia Kempen
Tanka Poets on Site/Tanka and Such - FB Groupwww.emanilapoetry.com
NHK World (Japan)
The Bamboo Hut
THF Per Diem collection “Light and Dark” 2014
Haiku 2015 (Modern Haiku Press, 2015)
Haiku Reality Vol.12 No.20 (Best of Issue)
The Sound of Rain: Haiku Poetry book - lulu
Birds With No Names: Haiku Poetry book - lulu
tinywords, haiku & other small poems ( July 2011)
Under the Basho - Autumn 2013 [Kindle Edition]
Aesthetics, (Bath Spa University 2007); Haiku Friends 2 ed. Masaharu Hirata (Osaka, Japan 2007); see haiku here, Haiga artwork by Kuniharu Shimizu (Tokyo, Japan 2010)Conclusion
Yanty’s Butterfly is a unique, one-of-a-kind international haiku anthology, dedicated to Yanty’ Tjiam (1981-2015), a beloved haiku poet and friend from Indonesia who suddenly passed away. Featuring 20 poets from around the world, Yanty’s Butterfly includes a wide variety of haiku forms including: 3-line haiku, 2-line haiku, 1-line haiku, 5-7-5 haiku, concrete haiku, tanka, and haibun. It also includes an article on one-line haiku written by Alan Summers, and original artwork by Momolu Freeman, Jacob Salzer, and Fei Zhan. As all proceeds from Yanty’s Butterfly are donated to 2 charity organizations and to Yanty’s Family, this haiku anthology has a transformative power all its own.
Jacob Salzer, Managing Editor
September 24, 2016
+Eva Limbach +Eva Limbach