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A Sense of Place: MOUNTAIN – hearing



A Sense of Place

In his essay ‘So:ba’, given at the International Haiku Conference (SUNY Plattsburgh, NY, 2008) and published serially in Frogpond, Jim Kacian discusses the concept of ba:

“If you look up ba in any Japanese-English Dictionary you’ll find it means “place” or “site” or “occasion”. And these are all true in the most general sense—ba is a pointer to a kind of awareness that something of importance is happening in time and space.”

So here we are…

In the following weeks we will get back to haiku basics and explore specific locations with an emphasis on the senses, and with the intention of improving our own haiku practice. Ideally, participants will select an actual location that they can visit, or a location from memory that they have visited in the past. Failing that, we always have our imaginations – and you’re invited to join in the fun! Submit an original unpublished poem (or poems) via our Contact Form by Sunday midnight on the theme of the week, including your name as you would like it to appear, and place of residence. I will select from these for the column, and add commentary.


next week’s theme:  MOUNTAIN – smell

We remain in the mountains – if possible, the same actual mountains as in previous weeks – but now we explore the sense of smell…

I look forward to reading your submissions.


A Sense of Place:  MOUNTAIN – hearing

There are many historical and geographical references this week – thank you poets – I am learning new things! A reminder to please use the Contact Form to submit, and thank you for including your place of residence (every time!) and your name as you would like it to appear…


at the summit
the song
of a skylark

Mark Gilbert

Of all birds, how appropriate that we find, at the top of the mountain, a bird that is described as one that sings as it flies high in the air…

Zabriskie Point
the hills return the

Michael Henry Lee

In this poem, the reader can complete the poem by filling in the missing information – that someone has complimented the hills, perhaps with a yodel…

high in the mountains
my footsteps
and I

Rachel Sutcliffe

Here readers may find themselves alone on a trail, with only the sound of their own feet – and do note that the actual sound that the feet are making is not mentioned in this poem…

its silence

Stephen A. Peters

Sound and the lack of sound can be equally successful in haiku… in this poem, the reader might experience the overwhelming awe that can be inspired by the natural world…


Here are the rest of my selections for this week:


first, lava eruption
the second loudest

AJ Anwar
Jakarta, Indonesia


running through my spine –
the cry of an eagle

Adjei Agyei-Baah
Kumasi, Ghana


mountain camp
the crackling fire
between us

Adrian Bouter


red cliffs descend
into the rocky abyss…
an eagle’s screech

Al Gallia
Lafayette, Louisiana USA


Atlas foothills…
bees jostle pickers
for saffron

Alan Summers


brecon beacons
a hundred rivulets
trickling to a stream

andrew shimield


Mount Snowdon
through damp mist
the squeak of boots

Andy McLellan


long climb
the noisy beat
of my heart

lunga salita
il battito rumoroso
del mio cuore

Angiola Inglese


cabin night
with windows open
creek song

Ann Schwader


mountains of sorrow –
the Alpini choir sings
of  a lost love *

*The Alpini are a mountain infantry corps of the Italian Army, that distinguished itself in combat during World War I. They are also famous in Italy for their songs and choirs.

Anna Maria Domburg-Sancristoforo


breathing deeply the sound of nearby waterfall

Anthony Rabang


on the mountain
one crow calls
two crows answer

Ardelle Hollis Ray
Las Vegas, NV


the twinkle of silence
in the valley

arvinder kaur


mountain silence
covering a dead monarch
with a leaf

Barbara Kaufmann


primal urge
a coyote’s cry
to the hunter’s moon

Barbara Tate
Winchester, TN


mountain view
a raven’s cry replays
in my mind

Blessed Ayeyame
Ughelli, Nigeria


soaking overheated
feet   the low murmur
of a mountain stream

Bob Whitmire
Round Pond, Maine


day trek
a babbling mountain brook
leads us back to the trail

Bona M. Santos
Los Angeles, CA


this squall calling out
to the sound

C.R. Harper


a distant col
echoing the sound of

Carol Dilworth


heading for home
across a night black mountain…
a sheep coughs

carol jones


mountain peak
a hawk call
fills the gaps

cezar ciobika


logging trucks…
another mountain
loses its voice

Chad Lee Robinson
Pierre, SD, USA


Scottish Highlands
is that keening a banshee
or just bagpipes?

Charles Harmon
Los Angeles, California, USA


Zermatt night
the boom of footsteps
on wooden floor

Christina Chin


my warning away
mountain wind

Christina Sng


on the mountain
singing Wagner

Christine Eales


skiers whoosh
down snowy slopes
around me

Claire Vogel Camargo


last ski run –
the glacier
cracks and growls

Corine Timmer


old cabin window
slowly waking to the sound
of the mountain spring

Craig Kittner
Wilmington, NC


mountain power –
my scream and echo

Danijela Grbelja
Sibenik, Croatia


climbing the mountain pass
a dog barking
an echo barking

David Gale
Gloucester, UK


carrying my voice
to the other side
mountain wind

Debbi Antebi
London, UK


our decision
at the tree-line
distant thunder

Deborah P Kolodji
Temple City, California
(inspired by Great Basin National Park, Nevada)


thunder clouds
mountain in half-light
fills up with wind

Devin Harrison


Maroon Bells
mirrored in Maroon Lake
cool waters ripple

dianne moritz


mountaintop –
of a new dawn

Engin Gülez
Ankara, Turkey


summer solstice
the call of a buzzard
on Amiata mount

Mount Amiata is located about 20 km northwest of Lake Bolsena in the southern Tuscany region of Italy.

Eufemia Griffo


heavy breathing
before the summit
rustled leaves

Frank J. Tassone


mountain marmots
talking about me

Garry Eaton


the twang of
lovesick heart strings –
mountaintop bar

Giedra Kregzdys
Woodhaven, NY


the waterfall
beyond  the curve
he whispers

Giovanna Restuccia


the conversation
of a double-tiered

Greer Woodward
Waimea, Hawaii


eagle’s cry
trembling shadows
of the mount

Guliz Mutlu
Mount Nimrod, Turkey


alpine pasture
nothing but the sound
of a scythe

Helga Stania


wind chimes the cascading waterfall

Hifsa Ashraf


mountain dawn
practicing his doodle-doo
novice village rooster

Ingrid Baluchi


mountain peaks
a tourist shouts
into the silence

(Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia)

Isabel Caves
Auckland, New Zealand


mountain road
the artist who works
with dynamite

Jean LeBlanc
Newton, New Jersey, USA


mountain stream
the eternal squeaks
of a prayer wheel

Joanne van Helvoort


we stand silent
on the mountainside –
the raven’s mating call

John S Green
Bellingham, WA


mountain pass
the echoes
of nobody

John Hawkhead


clear bright air
the mountain
says everything twice

Kath Abela Wilson
Pasadena, California


mountain bluebird
chirrup chirrup
greets sunrise

Kathleen Mazurowski
Chicago, IL


a hoot owl joins
our a capella group
campfire songs

Kimberly Esser
Los Angeles, CA


Blue Ridge
hearing an owl
call its name

Laurie Greer
Washington, D.C.


alpine meadow
the wind’s song measured
by my heartbeat

Liz Ann Winkler


hearing myself
in the silence
of the mountains

Lori Zajkowski


endless space…
the mountain answers
to our voices

spazio infinito … la montagna risponde /alle nostre voci

Lucia Cardillo


mountain monastery
mantras meet me
on the wind

Lucy Whitehead
Essex, UK


babbling voices
laughter in the valley
a distant waterfall

m. shane pruett


mountain temple
pine trees bend
to the sound of OM

Madhuri Pillai


the soughing of wind
in the pines reminds me
of Mount Fuji

Marcyn Clements


“S” curve
a car horn
in the fog

Margaret Walker
Lincoln, NE, USA


rock church
the refreshing ticking
of a small source

Margherita Petriccione


surrounded by
the roar of wildfire
the trees at full attention

Margo Williams
Stayton, Oregon


mountaintop storm
crackles of static
in our hair

Marietta McGregor


afternoon mist
the bleating of the herd
as we climb down

Marina Bellini


sunlit stream tumbling into foothill laughter

Marion Clarke
Warrenpoint (Mourne Mountains, Northern Ireland)


the silent cries
of children

Note: In memory of Aberfan – the site of a disaster in S. Wales where colliery slag tipped on a mountain collapsed killing 116 children and 28 adults.

Martha Magenta
England, UK


snowy peaks
ringing silence
we scatter ashes

Meg Arnot
London, UK


whispers of romance –
pop of a champagne bottle
on the mountaintop

Michael H. Lester
Los Angeles CA USA


distant thunder
the mountain stream
takes a fall

Michael Smeer
Haarlemmermeer, The Netherlands


by the roar of the wind
mountain cascade

Michele L. Harvey


into silence
a dislodged rock

Mike Gallagher


mountain breeze
the sound of
swaying pines

Mohammad Azim Khan


mountain mist
the plop of drops
through the canopy

Nancy Brady
Huron, Ohio, USA


alpine pastures
cowbells’ distant toll…
nothing else

Natalia Kuznetsova


a marmot’s
piercing whistle

Olivier Schopfer
Geneva, Switzerland


I catch myself talking
to creation

Pat Davis
Pembroke, NH USA


high mountains
the clamour of bells
on the Nakasendo Way

Pauline O’Carolan


late August storm
hung up on the mountain top
rumbles of complaint

Peggy Bilbro


mountain burial
an echo of vultures
snapping the bones

Peter Jastermsky


across the valley –
a whippoorwill calls
to its own echo

Philip Whitley


marmot whistle
a ripple runs
through alpine grass

Polona Oblak
Ljubljana, Slovenia


last climb silence seeps through rustling pines

Pris Campbell


mountain top
oaken flutes
all  melody

Radhamani sarma


mountain echo
the dungeon
of my ego

Radostina Dragostinova


a temple bell
sounds through the pines
dark-eyed junco

Randall Herman
Victoria, TX


mountain top view
the only sound
my heart

Randy Brooks


her words lost
in the breeze
mountain hike

Rehn Kovacic


mountain pond –
in her cupped hands
yesterday’s raindrops burbling

Réka Nyitrai


sacred mountain
drivers argue over
the last spot

Roberta Beary
County Mayo Ireland


a steam trumpet’s wail
ahead of the train –
swiss alps at dusk

robyn brooks


sky cabin
the creak of snow
about to move

Ron C. Moss
Tasmania, Australia


Black Hills climb
far ahead
a mountain goat bleats

Ronald K. Craig
Batavia, OH  USA


like music –
the rustling of the wind
in the leaves

Rosa Maria Di Salvatore


to the rumble
of an avalanche

Ruth Powell


thunderstorms echo
across the Catskill Mountains
Rip Van Winkle wakes

Sari Grandstaff
Saugerties, NY, USA


coastal cliff
twilight absorbs
the noise of waves

Serhiy Shpychenko
Kyiv, Ukraine


via ferrata
the sound of the empire
striking back



morning walk
across a mountain pasture

Slobodan Pupovac
Zagreb, Croatia


eastern ghat
a long train splits
the silence

Srinivasa Rao Sambangi
Hyderabad, India


temple bell
ears tensely upright
valley gazing cow

Sudebi Singha


twilight hush
from somewhere on the mountain
the sound of a flute

Susan Rogers
Los Angeles, CA, USA


mountainside picnic
I struggle to understand
her accent

Tia Haynes
Lakewood, Ohio, USA


all I hear
is your breath

Tiffany Shaw-Diaz


holly mountain –
my voice comes back
after a pause

Tomislav Maretic


Click clack clack click
cog railroad ascends at last
Pikes Peak

Trilla Pando


alpine hut…
after urban noise
starry silence

Tsanka Shishkova


mountain hike –
tales of Sasquatch
growing taller

Valentina Ranaldi-Adams
Fairlawn, Ohio USA


my heart beat louder
than the howling winds

Vandana Parashar


the pop, pop, pause
rhythm of a Harley
mountain pass

Victor Ortiz
Bellingham, WA


serene summits
wanton wind stirs
the silence

Vishnu Kapoor


mountain trail
the soothing waterfall
streams nearby

Wilfredo Bongcaron



Katherine Munro lives in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, and publishes under the name kjmunro. She is Membership Secretary for Haiku Canada and an Associate Member of the League of Canadian Poets. She recently co-edited an anthology of crime-themed haiku called Body of Evidence: a collection of killer ’ku.


This Post Has 49 Comments

  1. These poems take me to another place each week. Thank you for the opportunity to travel to the mountains these last few weeks.

  2. A wonderful set of poems and I’m honoured to be included amongst them. Thank you all poets and thank you kj for all your work on the blog and for publishing the first ever haiku I submitted! I have learned a lot from reading the selections and will be back for more.

    1. thanks so much for sharing this, Meg – it means a lot to me that people are enjoying & learning from this feature!

  3. What is it about the sound of water high in the mountains that is so appealing? That wild music always moves me deeply. Glad to be sharing with all of you. Thanks, kj.

  4. Thanks, KJ!
    A great collection as always….
    and it is such a pleasant way to honor, remember, and write about the priceless, precious moments in my life, as well as others.

  5. Lovely sounds! My favourites this week:
    on the mountain
    singing Wagner

    Christine Eales
    clear bright air
    the mountain
    says everything twice

    Kath Abela Wilson
    Pasadena, California

  6. Dear Kathy,
    Warm greetings, Sat down to go through all wonderful gems of creativity. I feel humbled and thanking you for selecting mine . Looking forward every Wednesday -new set of topics

    with regards

  7. Another marvellous selection of poems, a delight to read one and all, but there is one, a special one –
    the silent cries
    of children
    Martha Magenta
    Many thanks for including my verse, Kathy, much appreciated.

  8. Reading through I felt like I was travelling across a majestic and varied mountain landscape. I really heard it speak. Thank you all.

  9. Remarkable poems from remarkable poets. Thank you each and every one. kj–you’re a gem!!!!

  10. Thank you for including mine. It is close to our daily activities as we live near mountains that often have forest fires. Even now as the smoke haze covers our area daily it is a reminder of the fires that are local and far away that are ravaging our forests. My salute to the trees!

    What a wonderful set of haiku to be published with! Thank you KJ

  11. Congratulation to all, and thank you for including mine in this beautiful selection, KJ. [Now I know which. 🙂 ]

  12. Echoes, beating hearts and wind-blown words – so much to enjoy up in these mountains. Some sad ones too, to bring us up short: Martha’s ‘silent cries’, and Margot Williams’ ‘trees at full attention’.
    We humans need to be inspired and awed by nature in the way Pat Davis finds herself ‘talking to creation’, and experience John Hawkhead’s ‘echoes of nobody’, to remind us of our place.
    kj, thank you again for including one of mine from the Balkan region.

  13. Thanks Kate for inserting my haiku in the selection, I read some very beautiful verses, congratulations to all 🙂

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