Finding My Tribe


Happy Thanksgiving! Among my many blessings, I am so grateful to be able to walk this creative path as a writer and artist. Last month I attended my first haiku conference, the three-day  Seabeck Haiku Gathering on beautiful Kitsap Peninsula in Washington State. Besides presentations and poetry readings, the retreat agenda included haiku Mad Libs, a haiku scavenger hunt, sumi ink painting and a very entertaining talent show that thoroughly dispelled any notion that all haiku poets are introverts.

It was deeply satisfying to find a place where others were grappling with the same obscure questions as I am: Does a haiku have to be literally true to be authentic? What is the role of the “leap” between the two fragmentary parts of a haiku? To punctuate or not to punctuate?

While I appreciate being part of a lively online community of haiku poets, there is no substitute for spending time in person with “the similarly afflicted,” as retreat organizer Michael Dylan Welch put it. In short, at Seabeck, I met the other members of my tribe.

loop trail
I follow in my own

In confirmation that I’m on the right track, I recently got my first poems accepted by Frogpond and Modern Haiku, the two flagship journals of haiku in English.


I reached a less traditional artistic milestone recently. I learned that a woman who was given one of my prints is planning to have my playful dog painting tattooed on her hip. This unknown woman’s hip may not be the Sistine Chapel, but she is clearly making a commitment to my art!

So this Thanksgiving, I offer special thanks to the community of poets, artists, and others who have supported my work. Even if you have stopped short of tattooing my art on your body, your steady affirmation encourages and inspires me to carry on. Here’s wishing you a warm and wonderful holiday.

Free Shipping

I am offering free shipping through November on all domestic online orders from the Makino Studios Etsy shop. I’ve recently listed several new cards, prints, and handmade books of my haiku art. Just use shipping code THANKS2012 at checkout.

Makino Studios News

Holiday Cards- The singing robin above is one of three new holiday card designs available starting next week.

Home for the Holidays- MikkiMoves Living Room Gallery. I will have several affordable pieces in this group show at 7th and I Streets in Eureka, California. Opening during Arts Alive, 6-9 p.m. Saturday, December 1. Runs through December.

Connecting: I regularly post fresh haiku and/or art on Facebook and Twitter. "Like" the Makino Studios Facebook page and/or follow @Ant99 on Twitter for the newest material.

Makino Studios at Humboldt Holiday Fairs

Humboldt Artisans Crafts and Music FestivalFriday, Nov. 30, 12 - 9 p.m.; Saturday, December 1, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.; and Sunday, December 2, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Redwood Acres Fairgrounds, Eureka.

Arcata Holiday Crafts MarketSaturday and Sunday, Dec. 8-9, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Arcata Community Center, Arcata.

Holiday Handmade/Makers FairSunday, December 16, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Bayside Grange, 2297 Jacoby Creek Road, Bayside.

Pierson Christmas FairTuesday, November 13-Tuesday, Dec. 25. Ongoing fair of arts and crafts handmade in Humboldt County. Pierson Garden Shop, 4100 Broadway Street, Eureka.