A list of kigo for Southern California in October might include:
Using these kigo, I might come up with:
my bank balance
after the tuition check
on the 101
After brainstorming the kigo during the meeting, my draft haiku are often later reworked into more polished poems, and sometimes these sessions even produce haiku that are good enough in their initial draft state to keep as-is.
By its nature, kigo tends to be region specific. This works well when haiku is being written and read in the same geographical area, say Japan. Japanese poets use a saijiki, a reference book of kigo/season words, references, and inspirations for haiku poets.
When considering haiku as an international form, kigo can become problematic when a season word that suggests “September” to someone in Portland, Oregon, may suggest “March” to someone in Santiago, Chile.
When Dr. Gabi Greve of the Daruma Museum in Japan told me that “ghosts” indicate “summer” in Japan, I was surprised. Here in the US, we tend to associate “ghosts” with Halloween, and therefore “fall”.
She is developing a world kigo database and has added my “blue blob” haiku to the Halloween page:
There is also a World Haiku Club yahoogroups set up for World Kigo discussions and development: