Kokako #32: Night Sky

The widely-read New Zealand journal, Kokako, publishes haiku, tanka, haibun and related forms. As usual, the most recent issue (#32) includes writing from New Zealand and around the world.


This issue of Kokako includes a poem of mine titled, Night Sky, which is written in the form of a haiku shuffle. In an earlier post, I explained that a haiku shuffle seeks to use the strong imagery of haiku to create a poem with a contemporary feel. This is achieved largely by deconstructing the haiku around the phrase and fragment, and by shuffling and repeating lines. Links to my other posts on the haiku shuffle are shown below.

As a first step in writing a shuffle, it is important to write a set of strong haiku. You can write any number of haiku you wish, but for the shuffle to work well you need to begin with good haiku. Once you are satisfied with the haiku you can proceed to shuffle lines and fragments, repeat lines, repeat fragments and build up the poem.

This is my poem from Kokako #32:

Night Sky

the colours
of sunset
rising together

pale pink and apricot
a kink in my neck

rising together
your star and mine

drifting in space

the milky way
so many things
need doing

I decide to straighten
the southern cross

night sky
the moon
looks so earthly

drifting in space

is your star
still there

If you would like to read more from Kokako, information on subscriptions and submissions can be obtained from the Editors, Patricia Prime and Margaret Beverland, by emailing kokakonz(at)gmail(dot)com.

How To Haiku Shuffle

There’s been some interest in the poems I’ve published using the haiku shuffle format, so I thought I’d take the opportunity to explain my thinking about this format a little more clearly.I’ve written on this topic in two previous posts (see links below). The first of these explained how the idea grew out of discussions…

The Haiku Shuffle

In late 2017, the Canberra-based Haiku @ The Oaks writing group was discussing various ways to present haiku in a live situation. Inspired by the ideas from this meeting, I applied a variation of these thoughts to writing a haiku style poem – a form I now like to call the haiku shuffle. Back in 2017,…

Harbour Beacon

Dick Pettit, from Denmark, contacted me last year asking whether I would like to collaborate with him in writing a haiku shuffle. We subsequently wrote a poem titled Harbour Beacon which was published earlier this year in the New Zealand journal, Kokako, #34. As you can see in my previous posts about the haiku shuffle…