Author Archives: mikerehling

About mikerehling

A quiet vegan haiku poet living in the north woods of Michigan.

A Gift of Haibun from Mike

Below you can download a PDF copy of a collection of my haibun. Almost all have been previously published over the last 25 years, in Haibun Today, Prune Juice Journal, Failed Haiku, A Hundred Gourds, and many other journals that no longer exist on the web. My thanks to all the editors who were kind enough to highlight my work.

My friend and frequent writing partner Kelly Moyer selected the work in this collection from a much larger swath of my work and her keen eye picked all my favorites. I hope you enjoy it.

On a personal note, several of you have reached out about my health and my wife’s recovery from her stroke. I am doing OK, but from here on out I sadly will not be attending any haiku meetings or workshops in the future. My last attempt resulted in a ‘crash and burn’ with two of my health issues flaring up which resulted in a rough ride home and a long recuperation. Time to rest these 77-year-old bones closer to home. If any of you find your way passing Presque Isle, Michigan you are more than welcome to stop by. We love visitors.

My wife, Abbey-jo suffered a massive stroke after eye surgery in October of last year. She is in month 8 of what is estimated to be an 18 to 24-month recovery. She is home with me, as you would expect, and I am her full-time caregiver. A job I applied for when we were married over 50 years ago. Living on several acres of old oak forest with our cat Dae-Min provides a great environment to heal. Thank you all for your concern, thoughts, and prayers. They mean a lot to both of us.

Here is your PDF copy of ‘running from yesterday’, a collection of haibun:

Murtha Contest Submissions are open!

Please READ the contest rules thoroughly!!! CONTEST RULES HERE

Gene was a friend and one hell of a poet. I don’t want him to be forgotten by the haiku community. Steve Hodge, the editor at the time of Prune Juice Journal wanted to come up with a way to remember him, and we created this contest as a joint effort by PJ and FH.

Gene was a curmudgeon, and his faults were often a part of his poetry. But, he was a lover of nature, a friend to animals, and a person who loved, albeit sometimes imperfectly, many in the haiku community. Please take a moment to read the PDF below that he put together as he was dying and asked me to make sure it got widely distributed. He passed soon after and I make sure it is available to anyone who wants it annually and on the site.

Gene loved Ferris Gilli and The Heron’s Nest, and much of his work was published there over the years. Gene also was addicted to Rengay, and was a huge fan of Garry Gay and Michael Dylan Welsh. If you search the web you will find more of his work.

Although it is NOT a requirement of this contest, work that riffs or uses some of Gene’s techniques is certainly welcome. Below is a copy of BIDING TIME the collection he put together:

Please send me your best work, and feel free to experiment. All avenues of Senryu are open in this contest. ONE NOTE: All the winners AND all of the Honorable Mentions will be read and placed in a video on our YouTube site. The quality of work submitted in the past tells me that we will have at least two dozen or more HMs to recognize.

Mike Rehling – The Old Failed Editor of Failed Haiku!

H. Gene Murtha Memorial Senryu Contest Rules

Please read the guidelines carefully, and ONLY submit during the period indicated, and check out examples of past winners so you have a good grounding of the genre and what we might be looking for.

Mike Rehling, Judge for the 2023 Contest

Issue 80 arrives with NEWS!

Issue 80 is UP and Kelly Moyer has filled it with some of the best of ‘senryuish’ poems!!!


We have news, folks! It is with my blessing and encouragement that we are bidding Kelly a hearty “happy trails,” as she sets out to complete North Carolina’s 1,175-mile Mountains-to-Sea Trail. But, fear not! Adept at editing on the move, she will be helping me select the best of over twenty years of haibun for my upcoming e-book entitled, “running from yesterday”. In addition, she will be preparing for the launch of Bacon Grease on the Trapdoor, a journal of experimental and intuitive short-form poetry, co-edited by the always witty Robert P. Moyer, and in her own words, her “breathtakingly handsome” husband.

Never fear though, Bryan will have me as his majordomo, and I will be adding to the Failed Haiku stable where we will be hosting short (15-20 minute) talks, from some of the best folks in haiku on any subject they choose related to haikai. Think of it as the TED Talks for Haiku and Senryu!

More news in the email blast next week!




New Poet Interview with Terri L. French!!!

It was my pleasure the other day to interview my good friend Terri L. French. We discussed a number of things, and I hope you have as much fun listening as we did in talking together. Be sure to check out the links to her work and books below the video. Thanks, Terri for giving others the chance to get to know you better.

Issue 79 rocks Linked Verse!!!

In the entire life of Failed Haiku, we have not had an issue such as this one. Thanks to everyone who submitted and to those who are not yet confident in Renku, Rengay, Tan Renga, and all the associated forms this issue will be a wonderful introduction to the corner of haiku and senryu. Please click below and enjoy! Bryan Rickert

In addition, the results of the H. Gene Murtha Senryu Contest are now out, and congratulations to all those who submitted as well as those whose work is selected. You will find the link in the new issue! In addition the contest results will also be in the new issue of Prune Juice Journal! Thanks to our two judges for this year Susan Burch and Vandana Parashar!


And, please don’t miss the engaging interview by Mike Rehling with Agnes Savich!

Enjoy and have peace in your heart that we have poetry in the times we live in. Poems have the power to uplift and heal!

Kelly Savage, Bryan Rickert, and that old guy who lives in the woods!

The Seventh Annual H. Gene Murtha Senryu Contest!

It is time again to remember H. Gene Murtha. He was a free spritied friend to many, and a wonderfully creative poet. His senryu were evocative, memorable, and original. CLICK HERE to download a copy of “Biding Time”, a collection of his poems.

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE read ALL the rules for this contest before you submit.

CLICK HERE for the rules of contest and good luck to you all!

Tia HaynesEditor of Prune Juice Journal and Kelly Moyer and Bryan Rickert Co-Editors of Failed Haiku.