Archives for posts with tag: haiku

The Good Karen — a haiku sequence
by Roberta Beary

down the road —
hands stitch hours into masks
laced with ribbon

morning stillness
gowned arms carry masks
asleep in boxes

whoops of laughter
stampedes of smiley dragons
mask little faces

across continents —
hands stitch hours into masks
laced with ribbon


NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: This haiku sequence reflects unsung heroes, such as my friend Karen who eschews the spotlight, and spends myriad hours crafting textiles to create and donate masks to those in need, including children.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Roberta Beary’s second collection of short poems, Carousel, is co-winner of the Snapshot Press 2019 book award contest. Her first short-form collection, The Unworn Necklace, received a finalist book award from the Poetry Society of America. Her collection of prose poetry, Deflection, was named a National Poetry Month Best Pick by Washington Independent Review of Books. A long-term editor at Modern Haiku, she lives in the west of Ireland with her husband, Frank Stella, and tweets her photoku and micro-poetry on Twitter @shortpoemz. Read more at her website or on Facebook.

Author portrait by Henry Denander

hyacinths by Kawarazaki Shodo (1889-1973)
by Patricia Carragon

stealing a moment
to smell the hyacinths
I lower my mask

PAINTING: “Hyacinths” by Kawarazaki Shodo (1889-1973).

Carragon 3 copy


NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: This haiku was written after one of my neighborhood walks. I was admiring the gardens and had to do the wrong thing by lowering my mask to get a better whiff of the hyacinths.

Carragon 1jpg copy

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Patricia Carragon is the author of several books of poetry and fiction. Her most recent poetry collections are Meowku (Poets Wear Prada) and Innocence (Finishing Line Press). Her debut novel, Angel Fire, is forthcoming from Alien Buddha Press. Patricia hosts the Brownstone Poets reading in Brooklyn and publishes an associated anthology annually. She is also an executive editor for Home Planet News Online.

Bryan-Zwick 1
Beauty Mask
by Kelsey Bryan-Zwick

     Year by year/the monkey mask reveals/the monkey.

Lay cucumber slices
over the eyes
and use rose petals
spritzed with rose water
to layer face.

Lie back and breathe in
fine lavender scented
candles, undertones
of sage smudge.

Scrub with sugar
oats, coffee grounds
and coconut oils
caress with shea

Make and unmake
this mask, your skin
every inch
a garden.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: This poem is a response to a favorite haiku of mine by Bashō.  I have for a long time wanted to write a response to this poem and in this moment felt the real need to connect this idea to beauty as a part of health.  How our feelings and confidence can really determine who we get to be in the world.  The poem is short, sweet and I hope it helps bring joy.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Kelsey Bryan-Zwick is a Spanish/English-speaking poet from Long Beach, California.  Disabled with scoliosis from a young age, her poems often focus on trauma, shedding light on what has been an isolating experience.  She is the author of Watermarked (Sadie Girl Press) and founder of the micro-press BindYourOwnBooks.  Kelsey is a Pushcart Prize and The Best of the Net nominee, and has had poems accepted by Spillway, Writing in a Woman’s Voice, Trailer Park Quarterly, Redshift, Rise Up Review, Right Hand Pointing, and Silver Birch Press.  She was Moon Tide Press’ Poet of the Month for May 2020, and is writing towards her new title, Here Go the Knives, Find her on her blog and on Instagram.

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by Alexis Rotella

I see it in a dream
a mask woven
from starlight

Photo by KAL VISUALS on Unsplash


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Alexis Rotella is 2019 honorary curator Haiku Archives (California). Her latest book Scratches on the Moon won a Touchstone Distinguished Book Award (2019). In 2018 she curated/edited #MeToo Stories written in Japanese poetry forms), which also won the Touchstone award.

by Veronica Hosking

Introvert stays home
Daily routine goes unchanged
Front door remains closed

Photo: The author (left) and her daughter Gretchen taking their first photo of 2020 in front of the family’s front door.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Not only am I an introvert, I do not have a driver’s license because of Cerebral Palsy. My whole life I have enjoyed being a homebody; this new social distancing is the same old routine in my world.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Veronica Hosking is a wife, mother, and poet. Her family and day job, cleaning the house, serve as inspiration for most of her poetry. She was the poetry editor for MaMaZina magazine from 2006-2011. Her poems have been featured online and in print anthologies, including Stone Crowns Magazine, Poetry Nook, Silver Birch Press, Poetry Pea, Arizona Matsuri, and Blue Guitar Magazine. Veronica keeps a poetry blog at

rotella door
by Alexis Rotella

In his little red wagon
the neighbor boy
brings us toilet tissue

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Alexis Rotella enjoys telling stories through Japanese poetry forms in English and mobile art. Two years in a row she was a Touchstone Distinguished Book Awards recipient for Unsealing Our Secrets (MeToo Stories anthology, 2018) and Scratches on the Moon (Haibun, 2019). Her digital art has been exhibited in Porto, Portugal, and Milan, Italy, and is featured often on social media sites. A licensed acupuncturist, she misses treating patients while she stays at home hoping to help keep Marylanders safe.

Self-portrait by the author.

by P M F Johnson

a small white dog
watches out the front door:
rain cools into snow

Originally published in Frogpond, Issue XXV:3.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Our dog Bogart used to wait for me to return from work every evening. I would see his face in the lower corner of the front door window, his ears perked up, until he spotted me. At which point he would vanish. To run tell my wife, I suppose. We still miss him. He was a very polite dog. Always waited his turn at the ice cream cone.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: P M F Johnson has placed poems with Threepenny Review, Measure, Nimrod, Evansville Review, North American Review, Atlanta Review, and many others. He has won The Gerald Brady Senryu Award from Haiku Society of America, as well as a Plainsongs Award. He and his wife, the writer Sandra Rector, live in Minnesota. Learn more at Find him on Twitter @PMFJohnson1.

Russell - front door
Front Door Denizens
by Sarah Russell

The door itself is nondescript, a faded forest green, like others in the complex. Yesterday I hung our cherry blossom wreath on its hook, dancing pink blossoms against the dark panel. The remnants of our finches’ old nest⸺intricate grass lace and a bit of mud for glue⸺hide in the silk flowers. The finches come back every spring, and this morning, there they were, flitting from porch to maple tree, warbling a love song, as if they’d been waiting for their wreath, our door. While they’re in residence, we’ll put a note on the post asking folks to come round to the back.

old nest with new life
open mouths searching, peeping
daffodils in bloom

Russell, finch nest

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: The Haibun form seemed perfect for telling about the finch family who leases our front door and wreath every year. The above photo is of their eggs last spring.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Sarah Russell’s poetry and fiction have been published in Kentucky Review, Red River Review, Misfit Magazine, Silver Birch Press, Rusty Truck, Third Wednesday, and other journals and anthologies. She is a Pushcart Prize nominee. Her first poetry collection, I lost summer somewhere, was published in 2019 by Kelsay Books. A second collection, Today and Other Seasons, will be published by Kelsay this summer. She blogs at

by Patricia McGoldrick

seventeenth year
marks a pivotal moment
teen springs to summer

 2017 Patricia McGoldrick

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: My yearbook photo, Grade 12.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: My Seventeeth Summer! When I turned 17, all was well with the world — for half of the year, that is! I was in Grade 11, with school going well, lots of fun with friends and, overall, a good time, until a fateful day in June. Just after classes ended, summer vacation was starting, an unfamiliar car drove into the laneway on my parents’ farm. Two “suits” got out and proceeded to turn my world upside down. Apparently, according to this principal and vice principal duo from a local school, boundaries had changed, My younger sister and I would be required to switch to a different high school in the new school year, starting Grades 10 and 12, respectively. This momentous change was mandated in the 70s, prior to the Internet, cell phones, texting, Facebook, Twitter, etc. For us, in rural Ontario, Canada, even landline phones were regulated to a short calling distance. All of our friends would be considered in the long-distance range! My seventeenth summer dragged on until the day after Labour Day when my sister and I entered the enormous new school. With fear and trepidation, somehow we found our homeroom lists in the gym, and turned to walk in different directions towards the future. By the end of the first week, I am happy to share that my sister and I had learned the lay of the land in the gigantic new school setting and made a lot of new friends. Not sure, but this life event might have been the reason for my adopting”The Road Not Taken” as my favourite poem. Ironically, long after my seventeenth summer, I met a man from Montreal (future husband) whose yearbook bio listed a life-inspiring quote from a certain American poet’s Road poem. Guess who!

© 2017 Patricia McGoldrick

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Patricia McGoldrick is a Kitchener, Ontario, Canada poet/writer who is inspired by the everyday. She is a member of The Ontario Poetry Society and the League of Canadian Poets. Recent publications include poems at this link, the Silver Birch Press “My Prized Possession” Series, an essay titled “Secrets and Clues and Mysteries, Oh My!” in The Nancy Drew Anthology (Silver Birch Press, 2016), and a poem entitled “Simple Is Best” at Red Wolf Journal.

by Patricia McGoldrick

green jardinière
molded with plant motifs
Victorian gem

© 2016 by Patricia McGoldrick

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: This plant holder, jardinière, has passed though several generations. It is a precious link to my mother’s ancestors who came from Ireland over a century ago. It has survived through travels, moving, and many children’s growing years! I treasure this piece from the past, truly a prized possession!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Patricia McGoldrick is a Kitchener, Ontario, Canada, poet and writer, inspired by the everyday. She is a member of The Ontario Poetry Society and the League of Canadian Poets. Recent publications include the poems “Limerick on Laundry” and “haiku on home” in Verse Afire print issues; online titles are posted at and in Red Wolf Journal you’ll find her poem “Urban Upcycling.” Visit her website or find her Twitter @pmgoldrick27.