Monday, March 3, 2014


I am currently in the process of moving this blog over to WordPress. I do most of my editing on my iPad and that is, unfortunately, proving cumbersome in Blogger. Please come visit me at my new home: Thanks!

Saturday, March 1, 2014


What inspires you to write?

As a haiku poet, I tend to find myself inspired by nature. And as a mom of two school-aged kids and one preschooler, I spend a lot of time driving. So most of my haiku inspiration lies in things I see through the windshield of my car: trees, clouds, farm fields, a nearby pond.

My process for writing scifaiku is different. I go to a dreamy place in my mind when I write science fiction. Often, I am inspired by new scientific discoveries. Some days, I browse Wikipedia for inspiration. I always follow up with more technical references when I find something that appeals to me. I try to do my homework to make sure that my poems are scientifically literate!

But sometimes, inspiration finds me unexpectedly. One day, I was shopping at the craft store and found this on the wall of a toilet stall. 

Where do you find your writing inspiration?

Tuesday, February 25, 2014


My main poetry goal for the year is to put together a manuscript of scifaiku. In looking over my poems, it has been interesting to see a theme of extra-terrestrial romance flowing through the images. So, I am trying to line up my poems so that they tell a sort of love story while writing new ones to fill in the gaps. It is a challenging process because it is so new for me. I feel like I have a handle on submitting individual poems to contests or magazines, but a collection is a different animal - it has a different feel and it requires a different skill set.

When I was a little girl, my mom and I used to garden. One of our favorite things to plant was carrots. I think they intrigued me because they looked so different below the surface. A big leafy top didn't necessarily equate to a big root. And every year, when it was time to thin the carrots so that the remaining ones could grow larger, we had a hard time doing it. My mom used to say that the carrots worked so hard to be born, she didn't want to stop them now. Often, we just left all of the carrots in the garden to fend for themselves. So none of them ever grew very large.

Preparing a poetry manuscript is a lot like weeding carrots. If you want individual poems to flourish and be successful, you need to retain the best and remove the rest. But culling is hard. These poems are all my poetic children, so to speak, and I worked hard for them to be born. How can I choose?

Friday, February 21, 2014

Our new dog

adopted dog --
learning to read her mood
by the curl of her tail

Sunday, January 27, 2013


Lance Armstrong Bike Route
Photo credit: Mike Licht,

Lance Armstrong:
the lies
we tell ourselves

Thursday, December 27, 2012

And the winners are ...

First of all, let me just say that running this scifaiku poetry contest was a lot of fun.  I enjoyed reading all of your entries.  In fact, I liked them so much that I picked out a winning entry ... and then second place ... third place ... and an honorable mention.  I felt bad that I only had one prize to offer.  I discussed the situation with my son tonight - the 11-year-old instigator of the contest - and he said he wanted to donate the $5 Target gift card that he got during a holiday gift exchange at school for use as a prize.  Inspired by his generosity, I'm adding another prize of a $15 iTunes gift card.

So, without further ado, here are the winners:

(winner of a one-year subscription to Poets & Writers magazine)

the aliens' grasp
of haiku's basic concept:
seventeen small farts

 -- F.J. Bergmann

 My thoughts:  What can I say?  Every time I read this poem out loud, I laugh.  I love the contrast of the perfectly staid 5-7-5 syllable count against the bizarre imagery of the poem.     

(winner of a $15 iTunes gift card)

my little shoppers

-- N.E. Taylor

My thoughts:  I read this poem after a long day of Christmas shopping, a day when I longed for some elfbots of my own.  Brief, concise, and compelling, this poem is classic scifaiku - the type of poem that stays with you long after you read it.

(winner of a $5 Target gift card)

in soldered skulls
preprogrammed memories
echoing unheard

-- N Sloboda

My thoughts:  This poem has a deeply haunting quality, a sort of scifaiku - horrorku hybrid.  Try as I might, the imagery of this poem would not leave my mind.

Hollowed asteroid
--zygote born of desire--
finding a new home


My thoughts:  This was my son's favorite poem.  "I thought it was an interesting idea," he said.  My husband also liked this poem the best, enjoying the juxtaposition of a human zygote and a new colony on an asteroid.

If you have a winning poem, please contact me at jublke (at) gmail (dot) com and send me your snail mail address so that I can send your prize to you.

Thanks again for sharing your poetry!


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Scifaiku Contest - Win a Year's Subscription to Poets & Writers magazine!

Christmas Gift by Petr Kratochvil

The good folks at Poets & Writers are running a two-for-one holiday offer for current magazine subscribers, so I thought I'd pass along the extra subscription to one lucky winner by way of a poetry contest.  I'm partial to scifaiku (science fiction haiku, read a good definition here and see some examples at Scifaikuest), so here's your challenge:

Leave me one original scifaiku in the comments section of this post before midnight EST December 24, 2012.  I will choose my favorite and announce a winner on or before December 28, 2012.  Please leave me enough contact information so that I can track you down.  If you are chosen as the winner, I'll need a street address so I can tell Poets & Writers where to send your subscription.  I reserve the right to choose a different winner if I can't locate you.

Rules & fine print: One entry per person.  Odds of winning depend on the number of entries.  The decision of the judge (me) is final.  Scifaiku do not have to adhere to a 5-7-5 syllable scheme, but should be roughly around that number of syllables.  The winning prize - a one-year subscription to Poets & Writers magazine - can not be converted into a cash prize.  This contest is not sponsored by Poets & Writers, Scifaikuest, or anyone else (except maybe my 11-year-old son, who suggested the contest).  Void where prohibited by law.

Please note: All rights to any poems remain with their authors.  However, numerous journals consider ANY appearance online to be publication and, if you place your poem here, these venues may not consider your poem as an unpublished submission.  When in doubt, save your best work for your favorite journal.

Good luck!

Thursday, August 23, 2012


Van Gogh - Starry Night - Google Art Project
Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh (via Wikimedia Commons)
"I exaggerate, I sometimes make changes to the subject, but still I don't invent the whole of the painting; on the contrary, I find it readymade—but to be untangled—in the real world." - Vincent van Gogh 
I read this quote recently in an article in Smithsonian Magazine and it struck me that I feel the same way about poetry. Often I feel as though the poem lies, ready-made, just beyond my perception. When I place words to paper I am - by necessity - limiting the ineffable and forcing it into the three-dimensional constraints of human experience.