this side of winter
tuning the mandolin
to mountain cherry
-Leah Ann Sullivan
Winner, Best International Poem
Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival Haiku Invitational 2013
“This haiku was written at the St Patrick’s Day in Nagoya’s Coat of Arms Pub and Restaurant opening party, to Irish music by Brian Cullen, Sarah Mulvey, with Aya Kawakami and others onstage. The windows were open and it was quite the night. The fiddler played mandolin that night.
The new restaurant’s fans weren’t working yet, so the broiler smoke came right up to the second floor. They opened the window. It was quite chilly, but without the open windows, this haiku wouldn’t have come to mind. There were mountain cherry trees right outside Nagoya that night.
The mountain cherry comes out earlier than the other trees. We usually have the full sakura blossoms at the end of March and beginning of April, depending on the weather. The mountain cherries are my favorites, with long branches like a weeping willow.
I wrote the haiku on a Guinness coaster and modified it a few times. I got up the next morning and sent it into the contest.”
— Leah Ann Sullivan, Nagoya, Japan
Submit a poem to the VCBF Haiku Invitational.