When guests visited Nancy Wiley's bed and breakfast home accommodations, they inevitably got introduced to haiku! She had our collaborative photo/haiku greeting notecards on display for all to see. Not only did folks buy them, they often asked questions about haiku, which Nancy enthusiastically answered. As a result, many people went home eager to try writing their own haiku. Not only that, they could send her samples of their attempts; she loved to critique and make editing suggestions. One of them recently had her poem published in a haiku journal!
From Nancy's back deck, you could observe deer and wild turkey in the large meadow. Every year more than thirty hummingbirds dined at the three--and sometimes four--feeders. She timed her return from wintering in Naples, Florida, to coincide with the hummingbirds return! White pine needles carpeted Nancy's front lawn. A phoebe family nested annually under her porch deck--within view from her computer desk.
Nancy's first haiku was published in BONSAI in January, 1977. Others appeared in DRAGONFLY, FROGPOND, SOUTH BY SOUTHEAST, and bottle rockets. In 1999 she was first place winner in the CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR "Haiku Bumper Sticker Contest."
on the gun rack
of his shiny pickup
a black umbrella
(Christian Science Monitor)
Nancy's bubbly, gentle nature may have made the less-discerning believe that she wasn't a strong woman. Those close to her knew differently. We were the blessed recipients of her steadfast love, encouragement, and ready assistance.
Nancy passed away on December 3, 2010. She is deeply missed by friends and family--and in April will most certainly be missed by a gathering of hummingbirds.
A walk to the lake
between her sun-browned toes
road powder puffs up
(HSA Members Anthology, 2005)
• • •
Memorial by Gretchen Graft Batz, a friend and neighbor since 1974…. years.