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Ray Rasmussen

Ray Rasmussen

Born: November 18 1939 in Bremerton Washington, USA
Resides: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
E-mail: ray (at) raysweb (dot) net

My journey into haiku genre poetry began about 10 years ago with a photography trip to the Kurimoto Japanese Garden near Edmonton. I built a website featuring the garden (http://raysweb.net/japanesegardens/) and wanted some Asian genre poetry to go with it.  An Internet search led to the Japanese haiku Masters and to a number of contemporary English-language practitioners.  Next, with an interest more in website design and image making, I began building photo-haiku websites by inviting haiku poets to allow me to add an image to their haiku.  I came in contact the World Haiku Club chaired by Susumu Takiguchi and whose technical editor was Debi Bender.  I noticed that the WHC needed a well-designed website and offered to help create one for the club.  Susumu and Debi then launched the World Haiku Review and I helped Debi at times with special features.  I joined the WHC multimedia and haiku groups and began attempting to compose haiku, but my main focus remained on photo and digital art haiga.  A year after Rob Maestre and Robert Wilson launched Simply Haiku, Rob stepped out for health and personal reasons and I wanted to see the journal continue.  I redesigned the website and served as webmaster and haiga editor for several years and was pleased to see it grow steadily into strong journal under the hands of Editor-in-Chief Robert Wilson, Managing Editors Johnye Strickland and Carol Raisfeld, and Keith Heiberg, the webmaster who took over after I left.  At that point, my main focus shifted to haibun.  I noticed that there were not many venues for haibun.  Jim Kacian and I co-founded Contemporary Haibun Online for which I designed the website.  More recently, Jeffrey Woodward decided to move Haibun Today from a Blog format to a regular website and I designed the site and serve as webmaster.  Presently I am working on websites that feature both haibun and haiga with themes like “fall romance” ― romantic experiences from mid-life on.  At present I am technical editor of both Contemporary Haibun Online and Haibun Today and Haibun Editor of Notes from the Gean.  Over 100 of my haibun and a good number of my haiga have been published in the online and print haiku-genre journals.  I was awarded “Best of Issue” for a haibun in Modern Haiku and five of my haibun were selected for the British Haiku Society Haibun Annuals.

Note: Because most of my haiku accompany my published haibun, I seldom submit them independently and they infrequently appear solo in journals.  So, I’d prefer to have one short published haibun selected, rather than individual haiku:


Warmth

I miss them, my daughters when they were young.  Reading The Hobbit in wintertime, snuggled in close, bodies and fire keeping us warm, rewarded with their please . . . just one more page.  I've nearly forgotten my reluctance to pick up the book in the first place.  I don't remember being read to, but when I was sick, my mother sang lullabies while tucking me deep under the covers, only my nose and ears sticking out.  I remember the melodies, but not the words.

old friends—
I place more wood
on the campfire


Credits: Modern Haiku 38:2 (2007).

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