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A Sense of Place: MOUNTAIN – taste

 

 

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 Submit an original unpublished poem (or poems) via our Contact Form by Sunday midnight on the theme of the week, including your name as you would like it to appear, and place of residence.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 – touch

Our final exploration of the mountains – if possible, the same actual mountains as in previous weeks – but now we explore the sense of touch… what does it feel like?

I look forward to reading your submissions.

 

A Sense of Place:  MOUNTAIN – taste

A buttery banquet of flavours – including anticipation, fear and the taste of freedom…

one last taste
of summer sun
mountain honey

Ardelle Hollis Ray
Las Vegas, NV

Can’t you just taste it? Did I mention we had snow on the hills around Whitehorse the other day? Perhaps here in the Yukon we have already had our last taste of the actual summer sun, but it has been captured both in the fireweed honey and in this poem…

 

campfire coffee
the taste of what can’t be scraped
from the kettle

Chad Lee Robinson
Pierre, SD, USA

Readers might appreciate their next cup of coffee a little more after considering this poem… and some may unfortunately recall that distinct flavor…

 

Zabriskie Point
a sidewinder continually
tasting the wind

Michael Henry Lee

Here the poet includes both the theme of taste and the mountain location in a surprising way…

 

outdoor cafe
a mountain of whipped cream
on my tongue

Tia Haynes
Lakewood, Ohio, USA

The subject of this poem is also an unexpected (and delicious!) take on the theme…

 

Here are the rest of my selections for this week:

alpine pasture –
sucking the sweet
from nettle flowers

Adrian Bouter

 

flickering campfire…
smoked trout lingering
on my tongue

Al Gallia
Lafayette, Louisiana USA

 

qidra style saman
the mountains rising
out of the grey

Alan Summers
Wiltshire, England

 

walk in the mountains –
picking blackberries from the brambles

Alessandra Delle Fratte

 

the taste
of cool mountain air
Kendal mint cake

Andy McLellan

 

snow on the mountains –
the sour sweet syrup
of the black currant

Angela Giordano
Italy

 

mint flavor
in the hot herbal tea
the first snow

Angiola Inglese

 

wild mint
on my tongue
morning peaks

Ann K. Schwader
Westminster, CO

 

snow on the mountain –
the savor of warm wine
in his kisses

Anna Maria Domburg-Sancristoforo

 

pitcher plant
the aftertaste of
last night’s drizzle

Anthony Rabang

 

hill temple –
a taste of mist
in the prasad *

(* a devotional food offering to God, later distributed in the devotees)

arvinder kaur
Chandigarh, India

 

mountain retreat
hungry for a drink
of silence

Barbara Kaufmann
NY

 

campfire
the bitter taste of
morning coffee

Barbara Tate
Winchester, TN

 

mountain to pebble
the river tongues
everyman

Betty Shropshire
Big Bend National Park, TX

 

memories
the bitter – sweet taste
of a mountain hike

Blessed Ayeyame
Ughelli, Nigeria

 

still spring evening
deep in the Blue Ridge
taste of moonshine

Bob Whitmire
Round Pond, Maine

 

high altitude
i carbo load
without guilt

Bona M. Santos
Los Angeles, CA

 

mountain spring
enjoying the taste
of sky

cezar ciobika

 

even freeze-dried food
tastes gourmet
hiking mountain passes

Charles Harmon
Los Angeles, California, USA

 

vineyard vista
the taste of Alpen
air

Christina Chin
Kuching, Sarawak

 

morning walk
up Mt. Krizevac
the taste of fresh air

Christina Sng

 

on the summit
we sip wine
heady with mountain air

Christine Eales

 

the scent of pine
so pungent
I almost taste it

Claire Vogel Camargo

 

grazed deer trail
up the mountain side
tart thimbleberries

Clysta Seney
California, USA

 

Alpine hay soup
with dried meat
– the urge to yodel

(From its earliest entry into European music of whatever type, the yodel tended to be associated with nature, instinct, wilderness, pre-industrial and pastoral civilization, or similar ideas.)

Corine Timmer

 

autumn sunlight
in her cut glass dish
the bite of pickled ramps

Craig Kittner
Wilmington, NC

 

a cottage in the snow –
taste mountain tea
for my soul

Danijela Grbelja
Croatia, Sibenik

 

whipped cream mocha
the closest I’ve come
to Mount Fuji

David Jacobs
London, UK

 

spring morning
the redbud blossoms
taste like raw peas

David Oates

 

trailing behind
the other hikers
taste of dust

Debbi Antebi
London, UK

 

10,000 feet
unsatisfied by the taste
of granola

(Inspired by a recent trip to Great Basin National Park, Nevada)

Deborah P Kolodji

 

mountain walk…
sweeter than berries
the taste of water

Dejan Pavlinovic
Pula, Croatia

 

at the trail edge
watching murres fly off sea cliffs
chamomile tea

Devin Harrison

 

riding the chair-lift
chocolate almond trail mix
melting on my tongue

dianne moritz

 

icicle melts in my mouth
seven days of being grounded

Dubravka Šcukanec
Zagreb, Croatia

 

mountain dawn
the sweet taste
of his lips

Eufemia Griffo

 

on the summit
the taste of wine
in paper cups

Garry Eaton

 

mountain roads
not taken –
bitter taste of regret

Giedra Kregzdys
Woodhaven, NY

 

Monte delle Felci –
the sea taste
of the capers

(Monte Fossa delle Felci is the mountain of Salina, in the Eolian Islands)

Giovanna Restuccia
Italy

 

mashed potato mountain
melted butter
avalanche

Greer Woodward
Waimea, HI

 

statues at nimrod
throughout
the taste of time

(Mount Nimrod, Turkey)

Guliz Mutlu

 

steep slopes –
we lick salt
from our lips

Helga Stania

 

mountain top
the taste of snow
with each breath

Hifsa Ashraf
Pakistan

 

mountain walk
purity of snowflakes
on the tongue

Ingrid Baluchi
Ohrid, Macedonia

 

space between
mountain and sky
a taste of home

Jacqueline Price
Fair Oaks, CA

 

yak
butter
tea

Joanne van Helvoort

 

skiing holiday
I attempt the slippery slopes
of her lip balm

John Hawkhead

 

preparing
roadkill moose Stroganoff
at the senior center

(The gamewarden brought it in.)

Judith Hishikawa
West Burke, Vermont

 

to taste or not
on mountain slopes
mountain shaped mushrooms

Kath Abela Wilson
Pasadena, California

 

wild blueberries
the mountain gives
up its secrets

Kimberly Esser
Los Angeles, CA

 

summit close enough
to taste –
the heart leaps

Laurie Greer
Washington, D.C.

 

steep mountainside
black raspberries ripen
just out of reach

Linda L Ludwig
Florida, USA

 

windswept mountain path
from eyes to lips a trail
of salty tears

Lisa Cherrett
Wiltshire, UK

 

mountain spring
I take a sip
of nirvana

Lori A Minor

 

swallowing my fear
at each rustle
I continue my walk

Lori Zajkowski
New York, NY

 

tasting the mountain’s journey snowmelt stream

Lucy Whitehead
Essex, UK

 

careless tumble
iron in the rocks
blood in my mouth

m. shane pruett

 

stone step
by stone step
a taste of village life

Madhuri Pillai

 

mountain blossoms
my flask tea
never this tasty

Malintha Perera
Sri Lanka

 

cast iron skillet
seasoned to perfection
fresh mountain trout

Margaret Walker
Lincoln, NE, USA

 

a glimpse
of the summit
I taste courage

Margo Williams
Stayton, Oregon USA

 

more selvatiche –
il sapore, un po’ aspro,
del primo amore

wild blackberries –
the taste, a bit sour,
of the first love

Maria Teresa Piras

 

billy tea
mountain gumleaves
in each sip

Marietta McGregor

 

muddy boots –
a pint of Guinness
at the local pub

Marina Bellini

 

above the snow line
a mountain spring
melts my thirst

Mark Gilbert
UK

 

uphill…
the salty drops on my lips
is it sweat or tears?

Marta Chocilowska

 

mountain camp
the taste of woodsmoke
in the soup

Martha Magenta
England, UK

 

high trail
a taste of fear…
rock slide!

Mel Gambutti
Sarasota, FL

 

a taste of fear –
lost in the dense forest
of Selkirk Mountain

Michael H. Lester
Los Angeles CA USA

 

the taste of mist
on  the tip of my tongue
Gaoshan Tea*

(*AKA: Oolong Mountain Tea)

Michele L. Harvey

 

stiff climb
rasping intakes of air
sharpen the taste buds

Mike Gallagher
Ireland

 

this mountain stream flows
along a steep hiking trail
thirst quenching snowmelt

Mike Stinson

 

long hike
the taste of
wild berries

Mohammad Azim Khan

 

Lava stones –
the taste of fresh water
the deepest wish

Monica Federico

 

off the trail
raspberry picking
stains our mouths

Nancy Brady
Huron, Ohio

 

Georgia mountain diner
oniony hushpuppies
deep-fried

Nancy Shires
Greenville, NC

 

Pikes Peak tram ride…
still remember the taste
of his kiss

Natalia Kuznetsova
Russia

 

among Carpathian shrubs…
the taste of a gnat

Nicholas Klacsanzky

 

après-ski
from pot to mouth
creamy cheese

Olivier Schopfer
Geneva, Switzerland

 

downhill hike
I open my mouth
to falling snow

Pat Davis
Pembroke NH  USA

 

powdered potatoes
powering me
to the peak

Paul Heinowski

 

stony ground
after your funeral we clink glasses
of boxed wine

Philip Whitley
South Carolina USA

 

mountain spring
how delicious
water can be

Polona Oblak
Ljubljana, Slovenia

 

trip to the mountains
the city kids’
first taste of freedom

Rachel Sutcliffe

 

mountain mango
pulp – her early stage
of   pregnancy

Radhamani sarma
Chennai

 

spring mountain water
the taste
of her I do

Radostina Dragostinova
Bulgaria

 

anniversary
toast
mountaintop

Rehn Kovacic

 

sleeping woman –
the taste of snow-capped peaks
in her smile

Réka Nyitrai

 

swiss rail journey –
a comely stranger shares
lush brie at dusk

robyn brooks
usa

 

high on a peak
the snowflake that tastes
of silence

Ron C. Moss
Tasmania, Australia

 

early hours coffee
no cream, no sugar
Black Hills

Ronald K. Craig
Batavia, OH  USA

 

a short stop –
the sour taste
of blackberries

Rosa Maria Di Salvatore

 

clear spring water
by a glacial moraine
after the climb

Ruth Powell

 

more fog
with every sip –
butter tea

Sanjuktaa Asopa

 

buttery morning taste
of high mountain tea
lifts my spirits

Sari Grandstaff
Saugerties, NY, USA

 

mountain hut
the old man chews
the stalks of ginseng

Serhiy Shpychenko
Kyiv, Ukraine

 

I taste
freezing winds
on magnificent mountain

Sharon Lynne Yee
Torrance, CA

 

summitting
the first thing
licking a finger

simonj
UK

 

skiing…
fall down the slope
mouthful of snow

Slobodan Pupovac
Zagreb, Croatia

 

mountain spring
water tastes like
its color

Srinivasa Rao Sambangi
Hyderabad, India

 

summit day
anticipation
lingers in my mouth

Stephen A. Peters

 

uphill
in the night tent
taste of jakhiya

Sudebi Singha
India

 

cresting the mountain
I open wide
to taste the sky

Susan Rogers
Los Angeles, CA, USA

 

red velvet
a little mountain mist
on my tongue

Tiffany Shaw-Diaz
OH, USA

 

pause of climbing –
mountain has the taste
of wild strawberries

Tomislav Maretic

 

high in the valley
gallivanting goats savor
wild clover zest

Trilla Pando
Houston, Texas

 

mountain of Orpheus…
long climbing to a tearoom
for a cup of Mursal tea

Tsanka Shishkova

 

Rocky Mountain Oysters
a seafood-lover
tries a bite

Valentina Ranaldi-Adams
Fairlawn, Ohio USA

 

snowy mountain
I take a bite
of crisp air

Vandana Parashar

 

hiking
the foothills of Vitosha*
full of blackberries

(*a mountain massif, on the outskirts of Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria)

Vessislava Savova

 

mountain trail
with cupped hands tasting
coolness of brook

Vishnu Kapoor

 

 

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 43 Comments

  1. There have been a great selection of haiku that involve or focus on taste, and this web page will be appreciated for a long time to come.
    .
    .
    So many to choose, but I could only choose a few this time:
    .
    .
    mountain mango
    pulp – her early stage
    of pregnancy
    .
    Radhamani sarma
    Chennai
    .
    An extraordinary haiku using juxtaposition where the two images appear to be more distant than usual. Also, whether intentional or not, there are two extra spaces between ‘of’ and ‘pregnancy’.
    Powerful.
    .
    .
    stony ground
    after your funeral we clink glasses
    of boxed wine
    .
    Philip Whitley
    South Carolina USA
    .
    .
    I love the mix of texture, from stony ground, to glass, and the fact it’s boxed wine, showing pathos with the boxed affair of the funeral service too.
    .
    .
    muddy boots –
    a pint of Guinness
    at the local pub
    .
    Marina Bellini
    .
    Love the negative space, just saying ‘muddy boots’ and no more, and a pint of the black stuff at a local. Someone must live by a mountain, and enjoy the daily pilgrimage perhaps.
    .
    .
    preparing
    roadkill moose Stroganoff
    at the senior center

    (The gamewarden brought it in.)
    .
    Judith Hishikawa
    West Burke, Vermont
    .
    Waste not want not is/was a famous saying, and in a way if an animal is tragically killed, and we do tend to eat fellow animals a lot, then Stroganoff is a stylish way to honour a co-species. Wonderful!
    .
    .
    mountain top
    the taste of snow
    with each breath
    .
    Hifsa Ashraf
    Pakistan
    .
    I remember when the air was so cold, though no snow, that I tasted ‘snow’ even with my mouth closed, but I had to breathe through my nose at least. ‘Each breath’ is wonderful and lifts this haiku even further.
    .
    .
    on the summit
    the taste of wine
    in paper cups
    .
    Garry Eaton
    .
    Ah, some times wine can taste wonderful in paper cups, rather than revolting, and perhaps ‘extreme wine’ will always be ‘on trend’ while reaching for a mountain summit.
    .
    .
    mountain to pebble
    the river tongues
    everyman
    .
    Betty Shropshire
    Big Bend National Park, TX
    .
    Love the opening line! And tongues as both a verb, and that the river has many tongues, as does the human race, but with one thought, to live. This is perhaps my top favourite haiku of the whole page, amongst many favorites, too many to mention.

    1. Dear esteemed poet,
      Warm greetings!

      “There have been a great selection of haiku that involve or focus on taste, and this web page will be appreciated for a long time to come.”
      What more do we require than these words from a great poet, a fine personality in these,
      conflicting times,to assess, passing on a statement ,nothing short of prediction.
      Next, very much delighted that my haiku has been chosen in the comments ‘ section, and going
      through the other chosen haiku and explanation given therein, give us a furthering chance to
      know your view point ; Really an impetus.

  2. Thank you for including my haiku among these mountain tastings, Kathy. Lots of tea haiku besides mine which I was thinking might be the case.

  3. campfire coffee
    the taste of what can’t be scraped
    from the kettle
    .
    Chad Lee Robinson
    Pierre, SD, USA
    .
    .
    Chad Lee Robinson is very much a poet who embraces, actually breathes, ‘sense of place’ which I discuss here: http://area17.blogspot.com/2018/01/haiku-collections-and-themes-themocracy.html
    .

    I’m sure many of us have brewed coffee or tea in a metal container, be it a combined kettle/teapot on an open fire African style or otherwise (as I’ve experienced in Tunisian farmlands) or even a tannin blacked china teapot. 🙂
    .
    And of course real Indian Chai, made in tea urns etc… with the milk and spices brewing alongside the tea itself, Whether liquid or food preparation, these metal receptacles are embedded and imbued with past flavors and adventures.
    .
    Or a civilian (camping) or military billycan or billy can aka ‘billy’ or billy tin or billy pot in Canada for either tea or coffee.
    .
    When I went military hiking as a schoolboy it was with American WWII rations (tins with labels long gone) and billies. The taste of tin and food or hot drink, with a huge amount of history (please see TV Drama Band of Brothers, all about Easy Company in WWII) conjures up both what and who came before, and either local or regional, or family history, and even military war campaigns.
    .
    Mr Robinson conjures all of the above in his haiku.
    .
    Regarding the craft of the haiku outside of what it brings to me as a story, we have the neat simple context setting opening line of:
    .
    .
    campfire coffee
    .
    .
    Although rather a long line, I feel the haiku would not quite be as strong if we bring too much logic into condensing it into:
    .
    .
    what can’t be scraped
    .
    .
    e.g.
    .
    .

    campfire coffee
    what can’t be scraped
    from the kettle
    .
    .
    I would actually champion using the direct word (and prompt) of ‘taste’ here.
    .
    Why? Because the use of ‘taste’ is more than showing/telling it’s about the taste (on our tongue and in our mouth).
    .
    .
    the taste of what can’t be scraped

    .
    .

    The middle line can be part read as:
    .
    .
    the taste of what
    .
    And followed by
    .
    ’what can’t be scraped’
    .
    .

    But it does need to stay on that one long line rather than be line broken (so we’d have a four-line haiku).
    .
    Also it’s visual as a long pouring of coffee which makes the two short lines give an extra visual to us.
    .

    But using the actual word prompt directly goes beyond those ‘receptacles’ of tongue, and its tastebuds, and ‘mouth’ as a whole, and captures everything about camping from prehistory, when it wasn’t recreational, to other non-creational pursuits from early hunting onwards, and of course ranching and farming, to military encampments from the 1400s (possible dates of first coffee) to both US interior military engagements onwards.
    .
    And it also conjures up, and I repeat ‘conjures’ deliberately, the ranch life that Mr Robinson is so famililar with, and all our camping holidays from childhood onwards.
    .
    It may or may not be an old blackened and battered kettle but it’s deservedly as respected as any family heirloom or museum exhibit, but one still in use, as it should be.
    .
    .
    This is a story, and a haiku, straight from the kettle!
    .

    1. Dear esteemed poet,
      Warm greetings! I enjoyed your story .. straight from the kettle. I too
      recall my grandmother days when she used coffee kettle, all the soot around it,with the passage
      of time,still, it was a necessary item for her in the morn by the charcoal and log of wood,even ere
      the days of kerosene. My thanks to Chad Dee Robinson for this lovely haiku.
      with regards
      S.Radhamani

      1. Thank you S.Radhamani,
        You bring in another vital aspect, and that is the charcoal and soot, that all adds to the excitement of making that first hot drink in the morning, sometimes before daybreak.

  4. Congratulations to all for these mountain-wandering poems. It’s a real honor and pleasure to be a part of this family, and thank you Kathy again for all the work you do to make the journey into our senses such a success.

  5. Dear Kathy,
    Greetings! Going through this blog a delectable pleasure. Glad and honored
    to be one among the privileged . Every Wednesday, a curiosity awaiting me.
    with regards
    S.Radhamani

  6. I was pleasantly surprised to find that a haiku of mine was chosen for comment this week. Thank you so much!

  7. Thank you KJ Munro for including me in this great selection of ku. I’m pleased so many names I’ve become familiar with are included as well.

  8. Thanks Kathy. This has been such fun. Now I’m going to have a cup of coffee and enjoy these wonderful poems. Congratulations everyone.

  9. Honored to be among these poets. I’ve met a few online and have learned a lot from their work and advice. Thanks Kathy for the time you devote to these challenges. Looking forward to the next place.

  10. Thank you for choosing one of my poems, Kathy. Congratulations to all. Though I enjoyed reading each one, the following grabbed my attention ( I must confess that I had to google billy tea):

    outdoor cafe
    a mountain of whipped cream
    on my tongue

    Tia Haynes
    Lakewood, Ohio, USA

    on the summit
    we sip wine
    heady with mountain air

    Christine Eales

    Monte delle Felci –
    the sea taste
    of the capers

    (Monte Fossa delle Felci is the mountain of Salina, in the Eolian Islands)
    Giovanna Restuccia

    skiing holiday
    I attempt the slippery slopes
    of her lip balm

    John Hawkhead

    billy tea
    mountain gumleaves
    in each sip

    Marietta McGregor

    mountain spring
    water tastes like
    its color

    Srinivasa Rao Sambangi
    Hyderabad, India

    1. Thanks, Corine! On wilderness hikes in Tasmania, we always used to throw a handful of eucalyptus leaves into the boiling water in the metal billy, then make the tea. An interesting flavour!

    2. Thanks Corine and Kathy for appreciating my haiku.
      Monte fossa delle Felci, in the Eolian Islands (in the north of Sicily, Italy) is an old volcano. In the particular weather and soil conditions the plants are so different and furthermore the near sea gives its taste. Capers plants grow spontaneously everywhere.
      Dear Corine, I love your poem too, it is so near to my imagination about mountain tastes.

  11. First of all, congratulations to all authors of these fascinating poems.
    My haiku is dedicated to the spirit of Orpheus.
    In Rhodope mountain in the place where the tears of Orpheus has fallen is growing mursala tea. Its aroma is the aroma of love. Its taste is the taste of legends.
    Thank you, KJ, for having the opportunity to share this incredible feeling.

  12. It is always a pleasure being published in this column. Thank-you Kathy. Congrats to all my fellow poets from Ohio and to all the poets.

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