Arts & Crafts Haiku Photos

White Blossoms, Pink Blossoms (by Julie Emerson)

Julie Emerson tells us how she got inspired to write her haiku “a crow’s nest” which won Best B.C. poem at the 2013 Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival Haiku Invitational:


“When you walk around Kits Beach Park, you can see the Oshima cherry trees with the lovely white blossoms. There are also various types of gulls, ducks, grebes, and occasionally an eagle from the huge nest nearby or a Great Blue heron from the Stanley Park Heronry. But it is the crow who will accompany you on your beachwalk, who will examine and finish your sandwich. The crow is the noisiest and nosiest bird around. The contrast between the sturdy black crow and the silky white blossoms of a cherry tree is striking.

In March, the trees have not leafed out, and you can see the birds and their nests clearly. Trees offer some building materials for the birds’ nests and the sites, and the cherry trees in particular also produce blossoms. March is a windy month, and you often see a crow perched in a tree, swaying in the wind. (Did you know that the full moon in March is traditionally called the Crow Moon?)

When I wrote my haiku in 2013, I was appreciating these natural phenomena of early spring, and I was enchanted by the white cherry blossoms and the birds.

* * *

An original oil pastel copyright Julie Emerson -
An original oil pastel copyright Julie Emerson –


When, another year, I decided to create an oil pastel image of cherry blossoms every day of the season, I was inspired by only pink blossoms. I saw them as Sakura in the City. I liked the contrast of the pink blossoms in the urban landscape. Blossoms fall not only on grass but also on cement and stones and gratings, on bricks and bicycle racks, on windshields and newspaper boxes.

* * *

It’s a pleasure to experience cherry blossom season in a creative way. When I write a haiku, I am drawn to the ephemeral pure white blossoms; when I paint, I want to capture the tender pastel pink blossoms.”


a crow’s nest –

the wind drops

white blossoms

Julie Emerson

(2013 Winning Haiku, Best of B.C.)





finally Spring (haiku by Kristjaan Panneman)


Akebono cherry petals on Georgia street in Burnaby

“I have a very old Sakura in my backyard and that Sakura inspires me every day again.”


finally Spring

the old Sakura in the backyard

in full bloom

– Kristjaan Panneman

Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival Haiku Invitational 2013 honorable mention


earth day (haiku by Donna Fleischer)



“This poem came alive where it began in March of 2012 at the desk where I sometimes write. It was an accretion of sounds, feeling, imagination, random waves, memory, and thoughts from extensive readings in poetry, ecology, permaculture, and ecopoetics, that would, en masse, take almost a full year to resolve.

Those sounds are chiefly two: that distinct sound of warmer air newly mixing with the deaf, cold winter air arriving through bird calls which grow increasingly clearer, nearer as Spring [sic] is icumen in; and the sounds of bells — of the smallish, more intimate- sounding porcelain bells clustered like grapes in a tower; of metal bells, like brass, ringing ever outward — Spring’s own periodic table.

There was also a very fine color photograph that has stayed with me of a cherry tree overcrowded with flowers and young green pinnate leaves, and taken near the top of the tree and from beneath it as if the camera stood up in a treehouse among the boughs.”

earth day

the knell

of cherry blossoms

– Donna Fleischer

Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival Haiku Invitational 2013


cherry blossom (haiku by Andre Surridge)

Autumn Cherry Tree by Tremblay


“The inspiration for this haiku came from the cherry tree that blossoms right outside our lounge window here in Hamilton, New Zealand. All the blossoms have gone now and the leaves are starting to change colour as the mist begins to lift this autumn morning.”

cherry blossom

the shape

of their kiss

– Andre Surridge

Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival Haiku Invitational 2013


morning jog (haiku by Tom Painting)


Kanzan cherry blossoms fallen petals


“It was one of those wonderful spring mornings with sunshine and a warming breeze. A puff of wind swirled the cherry blossoms on the path and caused many of them still on the tree to break free in a serpentine cascade of color. At that moment I realized that I was having one of those special runs where each step was effortless. I felt light on my feet and immensely happy breathing.”

morning jog

cherry blossoms

shape the wind

— Tom Painting

 Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival Haiku Invitational 2013 honorable mention


alzheimer (haiku by Minh-Triết Phạm)




“Ever since my childhood, I have always been fascinated by the cherry blossoms, whether in Vietnam, my native land, or in France, where I live and work, or elsewhere. On a beautiful early spring day, in a park in the center of Paris, among the crowds, noise and cherry trees, I paused to contemplate that hanami spectacle at the indifference of passersby.

An old femal beggar came close to me and started a conversation. And I realized that in her very incoherent speech on all matters of the world, she explained to me in great detail every variety of cherry trees that she knew…

All at once I composed this modest haiku in tribute to that special moment of our exchange:

alzheimer —

she hasn’t forgotten

the cherry blossoms “

Minh-Triết Phạm

Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival Haiku Invitational 2013


just for today (haiku by Hansha Teki)

Akebono Burrard skytrain station in bloom March 31 2013
“Aotearoa/New Zealand was the last significant land mass on earth to be inhabited by the human species having, until a mere 800 years ago, been home only to vast rain forests of evergreen trees and unique native bird and insect life.  The seasonal markers of cherry blossoms and falling leaves were introduced gradually by the generations of settlers pining for the old familiar markers of what they had left to become strangers in a strange land.
In meditating upon the theme of cherry blossoms blossoming in a distant city in a season far away from my autumn, I felt the isolation that my forebears must have felt yet also the ephemerality of all the illusions of comfort, ownership and permanence that we surround ourselves with.
In the act of writing the poem, I find my at-one-ness with cherry blossoms in a spirit of estrangement and non-attachment.”
just for today
the blossom that was
never mine
 — Hansha Teki
Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival Haiku Invitational 2013
Haiku Photos

family picnic (haiku by Nan Dozier)


“At the time of entering the contest, I had just completed a renga with some friends, and we had tried very hard to maintain a connection with Japanese culture as we wrote. My head was full of lovely images of Japanese life and manners, and yet with a sense of how difficult it is to preserve beautiful impressions. So, my poem celebrates the traditions of family, while understanding that even the things that are the same from year to year are not the same.”

family picnic

under the cherry tree

one more than last year

Nan Dozier

Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival Haiku Invitational 2013

Haiku Photos

pink blossom (haiku by Roberta Beary)



“My haiku inspiration is the sturdy beauty of the cherry blossoms here in Washington, DC. and the way the pink blossoms remind me of my own bionic breasts. I have various Titanium markers embedded in me, placed during breast cancer biopsies. Because Titanium is a biocompatible metal I think of my breasts as having bionic parts. Even with my family’s breast cancer history, I am not afraid to be tested again. I think it is because the bionic parts of my breasts make me feel a bit like Wonder Woman. I can feel my bionic powers. They are as strong as the sturdy pink blossom which blooms here every April. “


pink blossom

the bionic parts

of my breast

Roberta Beary

Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival Haiku Invitational 2013

Sakura Award

Haiku Photos

Forgetting (haiku by Sasa Vazic)



“My daughter who left for Milan last year to live there with her husband and whom I refer to in many of my poems as a bluebird, visited me. I love her dearly and don’t find it easy to live without her near me. So, I felt she had never gone and that there was no reason for my pain and sorrow. But, very soon, she “flew away” like cherry blossoms that leave their trees that gave them life and nourished them.”
we’ll soon have to part –
cherry blossoms
— Sasa Vazic (Serbia)
Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival Haiku Invitational 2013 Sakura award
Submit your poem to the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival Haiku Invitational 2014 before June 2 2014.