Poem in Your Pocket Day . . .

It probably wasn’t fair of me to ask contributors to pick a “favorite” haiku (even though  I did say they could pick as many as three) for this post.  Once I started trying to choose my own favorites, I realized how limiting that is . . . because I have enough favorites to fill a book or two or three.  Here’s how I’ve decided to handle this dilemma.  I’m going to cheat a little . . . and fill my pockets with at least a baker’s dozen–and even that makes me weep at having to forgo the breadcrumb trail of poems I’ve momentarily left behind.

So, after each guest’s favorite picks, I’m sneaking in a few italicized selections, all of which I’ve collected from Bruce Ross’ Haiku Moment: An Anthology of Contemporary North American Haiku.  Feel free to take one or two or three of any of the poems you find here to stuff in your own pocket and share with someone else today.  And thanks to my friends and fellow haiku poets for sharing some of their favorites here with me.


Chiyo-ni from Angie Werren (feathers):

From the mind
of a single, long vine
one hundred opening lives.

Again the women
come to the fields
with unkempt hair.

What the butterfly
wants to say–
only this movement of its wings.


remembering the lie
     i told her
crocus in midwinter

deep in the faded wood a scarlet maple

–Nick Avis

Roberta Beary from Aubrie Cox (Yay Words!):

the cool kids
walk arm-in-arm
. . . wild narcissus

-Roberta Beary, The Heron’s Nest, vol. 4, 2008

Tea fragrance
from an empty cup . . .
the thin winter moon

–Peggy Lyles

Basho, Buson, & Kusatao from Yousei Hime (Shiteki Na Usagi):

from every direction
cherry blossom petals blow
into Lake Biwa

–Matsuo Basho

this piercing cold I feel
my dead wife’s comb, in our bedroom
under my heel . . . .

–Yosa Buson

to hold my wife
treading spring noon’s
gravel going home

–Nakamura Kusatao

          piano practice
through an open window
          the lilac

 –Raymond Roseliep

the thousand colors
in her plain brown hair–
morning sunshine

–Bernard Lionel Einbond

Issa, Shiki, & Basho from Alegria Imperial (jornales):

Just by being,
I’m here—
In snow-fall.

–Kobayashi Issa

at the full moon’s
rising, the silver-plumed
reeds tremble

–Masaoki Shiki

a cuckoo cries
and through a thicket of bamboo
the late moon shines

–Matsuo Basho

for this one moment
curve of the horned owl’s flight
above the frozen meadow 

–Elizabeth Searle Lamb

Soin from Cara Holman (Prose Posies):

Life? butterfly
on a swaying grass that’s all . . .
but exquisite!

–Nishiyama Soin

cow pasture–

–Kenneth C. Leibman

 Kerouac from Kirsten Cliff (Swimming in Lines of Haiku):

The taste
of rain
–Why kneel?

–Jack Kerouac

The clock
     chimes chimes and stops,
          but the river . . .

–William J. Higginson

David Caruso from Jim Sullivan (Haiku & Commentary & Tales):

the clouds the day most of his son came home

–David Caruso

another autumn
  still silent in his closet:
     father’s violin

–Nick Virgilio

Issa from Christina Nguyen (A Wish for the Sky)

in this world
we walk on the roof of hell
gazing at flowers

–Kobayashi Issa

from Ellen Olinger (Poems from Ootsburg, Wisconsin):

Earth Day
my new-blue sweater
from the thrift store

–Ellen Olinger

on the lowest shelf
jars full of
autumn sunlight 

–Anita Virgil

from Johnny Baranski:

dusky twilight
a full moon begins to fill
the empty lantern

from a moonlit stump
the frog is outsprung
by its shadow

(from his Fish Pond Moon, sunburst matchbooks 1986)

–Johnny Baranski

everything’s strange
in this boarding house
only the moon is real

–Sister Mary Thomas Eulberg

from Pamela A. Babusci:

hard rain . . .
the weightlessness
of petals

Yellow Moon (Aust.) Haiku Contest 2004, Commended

stained with love
pure moonlight

Evergreen (Japan) 12:5, May 2002

morning winds
separating the chimes
separating the notes

Northwest Literary Forum 24 (1997)

–Pamela A. Babusci

 sleepless night–
in every room
the sound of the wind

–Adele Kenny

 a barking dog
                     little bits of night
                                        breaking off

–Jane Reichhold

each waiting
for the other’s silence–
April birdsong

–Lee Gurga

About Margaret Dornaus

I’m a writer and a teacher, as well as a haiku-doodler. I live in a beautiful woodland setting, surrounded by native oak forests, that inspires me to record haiku snapshots of luna moths and our resident roadrunner, and even an occasional black bear as it hightails it across the top of my road, my mongrel dog barking at its heels as I watch with wonder. My work as a travel writer has appeared in publications from The Dallas Morning News to the Robb Report. You can find examples of my travel writing–as well as excerpts from a travel memoir I’m working on–at my other WordPress site, Travelin’ On. What more than that do you need to know? Only that I started this blog with an eye toward collaboration. Got a haiku? Send it my way. . . . I’m all about new visions & voices. Best, Margaret
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11 Responses to Poem in Your Pocket Day . . .

  1. alee9 says:

    What a precious collection, mi hermana! My pocket would have to sag close to the ground because I’m not taking just one or three of everyone’s favorites but filling it up with ALL of these! Thank you and thanks to all!

  2. Every single selection is enchanting and once again I am reminded why I continue to fall in love with the poetry that is haiku. Thank you Maggie and all. Andrea

  3. Yousei Hime says:

    Really enjoyed this. Gave me some new writers to find and other favorites confirmed. Nothing like a haiku. 😀

  4. What a great collection, thanks, everyone! I’m a little late, but here’s the one I wanted to share:

    in this world
    we walk on the roof of hell
    gazing at flowers

    – Issa

  5. sanjuktaa says:

    I echo everybody. Great poems! But if i have to pick only one, it would probably be the one by William Higginson and the Jack Kerouac one. I hadn’t read that one before. Thanks Kirsten and thanks everybody for bringing us these poems! Once again a great idea, Margaret and thanks!!

  6. Pingback: Poem in Your Pocket Day Celebration « Prose Posies

  7. snowbirdpress says:

    I see Angie also loves Chiyo-ni (Chiyojo)…. The poem of hers I chose was “I forget my lips are roughed at the clear water.” That poem always makes me think how much she valued words used with respect and devotion.

    • Yes, Chiyo’s work is very beautiful . . . I like this translation by Patricia Donegan & Yoshie Ishibashi: rouged lips/forgotten–/clear spring water

      and another of Chiyo’s (same translators): green grass–/between, between the blades/the color of water

      Happy Poem in Your Pocket Day!

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