Rewind: Haiku Highlights from 2020

2020. A year so many people are happy to leave behind. Pandemic. Politics. Thank heavens that’s all I’m going to say about that stuff. But as far as my haiku writing goes, 2020 was one heck of a year.

I published 34 poems in 2020 (33 haiku and senryu, and 1 tanka) in the following places: Acorn (1); Akitsu Quarterly (4); bottle rockets (1); Bundled Wildflowers: Haiku Society of America Members’ Anthology (1); The Bamboo Hut (5); Failed Haiku (7); Frogpond (1); Haiku in Action (1); The Heron’s Nest (5); Horror Senryu Journal (1); Haikuniverse (1); Kingfisher (3); and Wales Haiku Journal (3).

One of my goals every year is to publish in a journal or other venue that I’ve never published in before, and in 2020 I published in four such places: The Bamboo Hut, Haiku in Action, Horror Senryu Journal, and Kingfisher.  I hear about new publications regularly, and I wish I was more prolific so I can submit to them all in addition to all the other publications I like to submit to. Some other new journals I’ve yet to send work to include: Bloo outlier journal, Cold Moon Journal, First Frost, The Haiku Broadsheet, Heliosparrow, and Otoroshi Journal. I can’t keep up!

I published work in five anthologies in 2020, mostly republications, including (no particular order): South Dakota in Poems (South Dakota State Poetry Society), wind flowers: The Red Moon Anthology of English-Language Haiku 2019 (Red Moon Press), The Helping Hand Haiku Anthology (Middle Island Press), Haiku 2020 (Modern Haiku Press), and Bundled Wildflowers: Haiku Society of America Members’ Anthology. I also republished a couple haiku on Charlotte Digregorio’s Writer’s Blog.

2020 Awards include a haiku shortlisted for a Touchstone Award for Individual Poems, The Heron’s Nest Award (September and December issues), and one Editors’ Choice award from The Heron’s Nest (December issue).

I filled 18 notebooks in 2020.








Here are a handful of haiku from 2020:

the pumpkin’s light blows out . . .
I leave the owl
to its asking

stillborn lamb
the storm reduces itself
to quiet rain

the way she tilts her head
to put on an earring
evening star

horse pasture
the prairie wind moves
with muscle

pandemic Halloween
a shortage of toilet paper


Looking ahead to 2021, I have already published three poems in a new journal called tsuri-doro: a small journal of haiku and senryu, and one senryu in Horror Senryu Journal. I also have new and previously published work forthcoming in Last Train Home, an anthology of haiku and related poetry about trains, and I will have a haiku republished in the next Red Moon Anthology.

Thank you for stopping by The Deep End of the Sky and keeping up with my writing. I know 2020 was a difficult year for many, many people all over the world. Wherever you are I hope you are doing all you can to stay safe and healthy. You’ll hear from me next in February. In the meantime, please take care.

Many thanks to the editors and publishers of the publications listed above.

Poems copyright Chad Lee Robinson.

Final 2020 Haiku News

Before I write my 2020 haiku year in review, I need to acknowledge a few more publications from 2020.

The winter edition of Akitsu Quarterly features four new haiku and senryu, including these two:

the scarred side
of the stallion’s face

store cat–
filling my arms
with scratches

The store cat poem is based on stories I’ve heard about the original owners of Korner Grocery (my dad is the current owner). I’ve heard they allowed their cat to hang out at the store and even have babies there! Of course, this was decades ago, and such a thing wouldn’t be allowed today because of laws and codes directing health and sanitation.

Three new senryu appeared in the December issue of Failed Haiku (this issue edited by Bryan Rickert). This issue’s theme was holidays, and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to send, you guessed it, some Halloween poems. Here is one of them:

Day of the Dead
the smell of fresh dirt
in the candlelight

The December issue of The Heron’s Nest features two new haiku of mine, one of which was an editors’ choice, and the other received The Heron’s Nest Award, in that order below:

no one
to inherit the work–
rattle of corn leaves

horse pasture
the prairie wind moves
with muscle

In November, one of my horse poems appeared as part of the Per Diem feature at The Haiku Foundation. November’s theme was horses, edited by Jennifer Sutherland:

ponies a pasture beyond
the last known color
in the twilight sky

I recently learned about a new publication, this one found on twitter, called Horror Senryu Journal, and I had a senryu published there in December:

only stares
village diner

Many thanks to the editors and publishers of the above publications for featuring my haiku and senryu.

You’ll hear from me next when I write up my haiku highlights from 2020. Thanks for reading. Stay safe.

Poems copyright Chad Lee Robinson.

South Dakota in Poems

The South Dakota State Poetry Society released a new anthology this fall titled South Dakota in Poems. South Dakota’s current poet laureate, Christine Stewart-Nunez, edited the anthology. I am happy to have a “suite” of eight haiku included, all previously published pieces. It’s a well-rounded collection of poetry about South Dakota by South Dakotans. I am thrilled to have work included. Here are a couple haiku from my selection:

restringing fence wire–
the meadowlark’s song one post
ahead of the wind

tractor parade–
from a truck window the boots
of a napping cowboy

Many thanks to Christine for selecting some haiku for this anthology.

Poems copyright Chad Lee Robinson

Recent Publications

I have had a number of new haiku and senryu published this Fall in a variety of publications.

The Fall 2020 issue of Acorn (no. 45) landed in my mailbox in October, and it includes this one:

the way she tilts her head
to put on an earring
evening star

I published for the first time in The Bamboo Hut (Number 4, 2020), and my selection includes one tanka and four haiku. A couple of the haiku:

fish story
the bottles of beer it takes
to believe it

small town store
a cat napping
next to the tuna

The Nick Virgilio Haiku Association and Writers House runs a weekly feature on Facebook called Haiku in Action. The poems published in the column are all “anchored in the now”. As you would expect, current events dominate many of the haiku and senryu as well as how people have been affected by them. The column from 10/8/2020 included a senryu of mine that is a bit unusual for me. Here is a screenshot of my contribution.







An older haiku of mine, one from bottle rockets (issue 13, 2005), was selected for republication on Charlotte Digregorio’s Writer’s Blog in October:

the cold of your room
on the door handle–
autumn loneliness

Of course, I couldn’t let Halloween go by without publishing a Halloween poem. This one appeared in the wee hours of Halloween morning on Haikuniverse.







Many thanks to the editors of all the publications mentioned above.

Poems copyright Chad Lee Robinson.

Helping Hand Haiku

Two haiku of mine that I originally published in 2017 have been republished in a new anthology titled The Helping Hand Haiku Anthology (Middle Island Press, 2020), edited by Robert Epstein. The poems in this anthology are excatly what the title says: poems about helping each other. When you consider the pandemic and the tense political climate, this is a timely anthology. We could all do with a reminder to be kinder, more understanding, and more helpful to each other. Here are my two contributions:

rustle of corn leaves–
fitting my son
for a new ball glove

whirling snowflakes–
a Lakota elder
passes the pipe

Many thanks to Robert for publishing these poems.

Poems copyright Chad Lee Robinson

New Haiku Published Online

In September The Heron’s Nest published its third issue of 2020. I am pleased to have two new haiku appear in that issue. The journal’s editors honored one of my contributions with The Heron’s Nest Award. Here are both poems, the first one being the award winner:

stillborn lamb
the storm reduces itself
to quiet rain

rambling roses
an old wagon wheel
with a broken spoke

The Heron’s Nest Volume XXII, Number 3: September 2020

Follow the link above to read the commentary for “stillborn lamb”. Many thanks to the editorial team of The Heron’s Nest.

Poems copyright Chad Lee Robinson

Haiku on the Horizon

Last Train Home is an anthology of haiku and related poetry about trains. Edited by Jacquie Pearce, it has been in the works for a while now. I should have three new poems and five previously published poems appear in this anthology. Last I heard it was scheduled to appear this spring, but I suspect Covid-19 has caused delays.

Robert Epstein is editing an anthology about “helping”, and he has accepted two of my previously published poems for this project.

A haiku I published last year is set to appear in Haiku 2020, edited by Lee Gurga and Scott Metz, an anthology to be published by Modern Haiku Press.

Very recently I received news that I will have eight previously published haiku appear in an anthology titled South Dakota in Poems edited by South Dakota Poet Laureate Christine Stewart-Nunez. The eight haiku will appear under the title “Haiku Suite”. The title is not meant to turn these haiku into a sequence, but rather to save space in the anthology.

Tanya McDonald has accepted three new haiku and senryu of mine for the new haiku journal she’s editing, Kingfisher Haiku Journal. Not sure when the first issue will appear, but I’m looking forward to it.

Until next time, stay healthy, stay safe.