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HAIKU DIALOGUE – Childhood Memories – Exploring Emotions

So sorry for the delayed posting – the team is looking into what might have happened… thanks for your patience, kj

Thank you, poets, from all around the world, for continuing to support Haiku Dialogue! Because of your enthusiasm & record submissions, we will be changing how the column runs in the New Year… stay tuned for details… kj

Childhood Memories with Guest Editors Sherry & Zoe Grant

Childhood. We’ve all been there. No matter your age, your childhood memories are probably like mine, made of happy and sad moments. Along the way, we’ve all had to make choices. Did you turn out to be the person you’ve dreamt to be? My youngest daughter Zoe and I grew up in different countries and therefore faced different expectations and challenges. We enjoy creating arts, music and poetry together, and I often find her ideas fresh and inspiring. Our goals for the next five years will be to inspire one billion people with our music and poetry, and for families around the world to have fun creating collaboratively like we do! What was your own childhood like? What was the most memorable moment? This month, Zoe and I would like to invite you to share your treasured childhood memories.

next week’s theme: A Special Item from Childhood (“What” did you treasure?) by Zoe Grant

I love toys, especially soft toys and dolls. My most treasured toy is a cuddly zebra I got from my mum because that’s my favourite animal (starting with a Z, like my name). I call it “Koffee” because it has brown stripes. Do you have a special item that was treasured most in your childhood? I am eight years old, the youngest of four kids and we had far too many toys in our house, so my mum wrote this haiku:

black hole
another toy tossed
into the bin

— Sherry Grant (NZ), Failed Haiku Issue 68, Aug 2021

A haiga my mum made during Covid lockdown last year (in 2021) was also about toys. In New Zealand we were encouraged to put teddy bears in our windows looking out — we saw some really cool displays when we went out for walks in the neighbourhood:

posing teddy
at every window
lockdown fun

— Sherry Grant (NZ), The Mamba Sept 2021

Another thing I love doing at home, especially when my friends come around to visit me on play dates, is to jump on the trampoline, so my mum wrote this monoku:

trampoline moss last summer’s laughter

— Sherry Grant (NZ), Frogpond Volume 44:3 Autumn 2021

I also wrote a haiku about trampoline:

high in the branches
an old crow feeds her babies —
broken trampoline

— Zoe Grant (NZ), Starling Mag, Feb 2022

This was in 5-7-5 which I don’t normally do but I was so surprised when I got paid when some of my haiku got published!

Tell us about your lost toys, a coin you found or a favourite present you were given. It could be a pet or a plant, anything you loved when you were little. Or something your child or grandchild would not part with.

The deadline is midnight Eastern Standard Time, Saturday December 17, 2022.

Please use the Haiku Dialogue submission form below to enter one or two original unpublished haiku inspired by the week’s theme, and then press Submit to send your entry. (The Submit button will not be available until the Name, Email, and Place of Residence fields are filled in.) With your poem, please include any special formatting requirements & your name & residence as you would like it to appear in the column. A few haiku will be selected for commentary each week. Please note that by submitting, you agree that your work may appear in the column – neither acknowledgment nor acceptance emails will be sent. All communication about the poems that are posted in the column will be added as blog comments.

below is the commentary for how did you feel?:

Zoe and I would like to thank those who submitted to our first prompt (Childhood Memories: Exploring Emotions) for offering a glimpse into their childhood. Since little Zoe was tasked with the poetry selection, we ended up with a bumper crop of poems. We would also like to acknowledge poets who sent us translations and heart-warming personal messages, and the considerate ones who submitted with their names attached to each poem, making our editing so much easier. As haiku poets, we write to capture and preserve special moments in life. Each poem serves as a reminder of our experience and associated emotions, like a mini ‘time capsule’. I think as a form, haiku is so pure and unpretentious, it gets to the centre of emotions in just a few words. In this week’s selection, we encounter emotions such as anxiety, loss, bitterness right through to the happier end of the spectrum. Even though life itself is not perfect or “all rainbows and songs”, there is always something to be grateful for. Zoe and I hope that you enjoy our selections.

Zoe’s comments:

I enjoyed reading all the poems, especially the funny ones that made me laugh. This happened to one of my siblings recently!

jumpy night
my sister falls through
the bunkbed

Eavonka Ettinger
Long Beach, CA

Little children dream of becoming superheroes, but often reality doesn’t allow that. How disappointing.

on the way
to save the world
the school bell rang

Sébastien Revon
Ireland

Pink noses everywhere, I can imagine that. This haiku is super cute, and it is so nice to see the translation too. “Pink noses, Pigs’ noses”, that really sounds like Dr. Seuss!

a pink world …
behind the fence
pigs’ noses

un mondo rosa …
dietro lo steccato
nasi dei maiali

Daniela Misso
Italy

I love adventures, although in New Zealand we don’t have cowboys or Indians. I have only read about them in books or seen them on TV. This is a very exciting poem, full of action.

pop up book
cowboys and Indians
behind every rock

ron scully
Burien WA

Another cute haiku. I once made a paper boat which only floated for a couple of minutes. In this poem I can see big puddles after a lot of rain. The sun is finally shining, so the kids can go out and play again.

sunshine!
our paper boats set sail
through the school yard

Lynette Arden
Adelaide South Australia

Getting bullied at school is terrible, yet it can happen to anyone. Or maybe the lock at the toilet was broken and never got fixed. I remember getting stuck in a toilet stall at an aquarium because the door wouldn’t open. Fortunately, I was rescued by a security guard in the end.

three years at this school
and I’m still trapped
in a toilet stall

Julie Bloss Kelsey
Germantown, Maryland, USA

Sherry’s comments:

Although adulthood seems hard with all the worldly responsibilities, and childhood is meant to be happy and full of innocence, we often find it not the case. I feel for suffering children and hope that we can help light up the world with poetry and offer some consolation.

scattered posters
fluttering in the wind
missing children

Jeff Leong
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Another poignant poem. Just as one becomes close and attached (to a pet in this instance), misfortune strikes and takes that special bond away.

winter solstice dinner—
center of the table
the chicken I just named

Wai Mei Wong
Canada

This is such a delightful poem, and the excitement of the little girl or boy is so infectious. I think every daddy’s little princess (or prince) will relish memories like this one. I do feel that in modern societies we face the challenge of having both parents working more with less family time spent together. This closeness is quickly becoming a luxury of the past…

on daddy’s vespa…
eyes wide open
full of wind

sulla vespa di papà…
gli occhi spalancati
pieni di vento

Giuliana Ravaglia
Bologna (Italy)

There are so many more good poems I wish I could have commented on, but I decided to choose those that I relate to the most, or events that also happened to me in childhood.

Probably very few people could imagine how shy I once was, especially in primary school. It was studying the English language since high school in Taiwan, when I immersed myself in it, and getting called “Human Dictionary” by my classmates, that gave me confidence and helped me come out of my shell. These days I also enjoy performing music in online and in-person concerts, although I was not very good at playing the piano when I was younger, and was often scolded by my teachers. This proves that switching to a positive mindset by believing in oneself, and then adding determination, can change just about anything! I now wonder if I will ever get better at sports…Where there is a will, there is a way?

the emptiness
of a shy child
her silent longing

Linda Ludwig
Inverness, Florida

 

childhood soccer
always last
to be picked

Robert Kingston
Chelmsford, United Kingdom

I love animals. One of my favourite books from childhood was the Chinese translation of Gerald Durrell’s book The Corfu Trilogy, which made me want to grow up to be a vet. Then I discovered that I am allergic to cats and dogs. How ironic, but I eventually adopted a cat called “Cookie” for whom I wrote several poems, including one in the Bat Girl book.

mum says
we can keep the stray
purring

Louise Hopewell
Australia

 

squirming puppies
picking the one
who picks me

Tracy Davidson
Warwickshire, UK

Friendship proves to be so important to young people and at any stage of our lives. I fear that Covid has put unnecessary strain on the physical and mental development of our younger generation. And sometimes people one considers to be true friends might have their own agendas. It is unfair to dump all negative emotions on someone who probably doesn’t fully understand, yet it is good growing up to have someone to talk to and share secrets with. Zoe and I promote rengay because we both enjoy making friends with haiku poets around the world. What better way to learn about and from one another than to write together? We wish to bring about a rengay revolution to connect the world where more people appreciate their own and other cultures.

that one friend
i told everything to…
free therapy

Baisali Chatterjee Dutt
Kolkata, India

and here are the rest of the selections:

sliding on
a slab of ice
I see stars

Barbara Gaiardoni
Verona (Italy)

 

summer rain shower
these days
seemed endless

Eleanor Dean
Massachusetts, United States

 

scrapbook with secret
stories and peacock plumes…
childhood memories

Nitu Yumnam
India

 

grandma’s death
feeling sorrow
for mum’s sorrow

Ann Rawson
U.K.

 

autumn cradle . . .
black puppy cuddles where
once her mother milkfed

Lakshmi Iyer
India

 

christmas in childhood …
remembering the
scent of snow

Deborah Karl-Brandt
Bonn, Germany

 

shooting star
my child asks me
about my childhood

Stephen A. Peters
Bellingham, WA

 

shaking a snow globe
earthquake damage on the news
whole world in my hands?

Beni Kurage
Joplin, MO

 

school uniform
matching haircuts
diy

marilyn ashbaugh
edwardsburg, michigan usa

 

working parents
my white Christmas
inside a snow globe

Jackie Chou
USA

 

skating on ice
our car slides into the ditch
unharmed — or was I?

Bonnie J Scherer
Alaska, USA

 

only child
my imaginary playmate
shares the mud pie

Pris Campbell
U.S.

 

sick day
mom and me
and sugary tea

Barrie Levine
Massachusetts, USA

 

lights out …
the satin hem
of a school blanket

Firdaus Parvez
India

 

pink unicorn
puppy paws
his first kill

Maurice Nevile
Canberra, Australia

 

first snow
sparrow looking
for shelter

Vibeke Laier
Denmark

 

story hour . . .
which mythical creature
this week

Kathleen Trocmet
Texas, USA

 

moving house again the dog left behind

Corine Timmer
Faro, Portugal

 

another house
another city
missing my cat

Vicki Vogt
Watertown, Massachusetts United States

 

sixth grade locker room a single drop of sweat

John Pappas
United States

 

man on the moon
gran on the sofa
holding my hand

Alan Peat
Biddulph, United Kingdom

 

silent tears …
the rodeo clown’s
painted face

an’ya
Florence, Oregon USA

 

the early years
playing with a strand
of hair

Dejan Ivanovic
Lazarevac, Serbia

 

trapped
sleeping kitten
in my lap

Kim Sosin
Omaha, NE, United States

 

my childhood –
bubbles from a plastic wand
floating toward the sun

Deborah A. Bennett
Illinois USA

 

sheen of sweat
sticking to chair —
summer’s flagpoles

Jerome Berglund
Minneapolis, Minnesota

 

the peekaboo game—
jumping between branches
a playful Carolina wren

Deborah Burke Henderson
Ashland, Massachusetts, USA

 

tying her shoes
my baby love birds
learn to fly

Joevit Prado
Malay, Aklan, Philippines

 

skipping from one beach day to the next

Roberta Beach Jacobson
Indianola, Iowa

 

My mom read books to
The entire neighborhood
She was my rock star

Jennifer Gurney
USA

 

childhood’s end—
she thanks every bubble
before popping it

Pippa Phillips
Kansas City, MO

 

first “special”
then catholic school—
outsider

Stephen J. DeGuire
Los Angeles, CA

 

childhood
the cigarette
I chew

Daipayan Nair
Silchar, India

 

sunburned
music wafts from the camp
across the water

Colette Kern
Southold, NY, United States

 

beach treat
dusted with salt and sun
mango slices

Suraja Roychowdhury
Lexington, MA, USA

 

summer
magic mountain
of shaved ice

Charles Harper
Yokohama

 

that steel monkey
in the black & white film
explains so much

Curt Linderman
Seattle

 

butterflies
among the dandelions
i do my happy dance

wanda amos
Old Bar, Australia

 

afternoon siesta
grandma’s smile blends with
my after-school meal

Subir Ningthouja
Imphal, India

 

path to the backhouse
every snapping twig
a Sasquatch

Allison Douglas-Tourner
Victoria, Canada

 

Guardian of the Street
our Great Dane doggie Rex
saves us kids again

Ron C. Moss
Leslie Vale, Tasmania, Australia

 

older now . . .
yet that bogeyman’s
still in my closet

Carole MacRury
United States

 

under the blanket
torchlit myths
aroma of roasted peanuts

Kavita Ratna
Karnataka, India

 

teaching
my legs to be wheels
the toy train

Alice Wanderer
Frankston, Victoria, Australia

 

home coming…
old trees welcome
with new shadows

Chittaluri Satyanarayana
Hyderabad, India

 

Ground-floor bathroom
the terror of the window
at night-time

Jenny Shepherd
London, UK

 

father cycling hard
with school friends
shouts of Hatari!

(Hatari! is a 1962 American film starring John Wayne. Hatari means ‘danger’ in Swahili. It was filmed on location in northern Tanganyika in what is now known as Tanzania.)

Krishna Palle
Chennai

 

shout …
on daddy’s shoulders
kite festival

Nani Mariani
Australia

 

seesaw
missing a friend
at the other end

Keith Evetts
Thames Ditton UK

 

six years old
my friends leave me for baseball
forever

Lev Hart
Canada

 

fresh puddle
the child in me jumps in
rain again

Ravi Kiran
India

 

few crumbs-
the sparrow returns
in my hands

Vincenzo Adamo
Italy

 

Mum’s airing cupboard,
a warm pillowcase on
a cold Christmas Eve

Caroline Ridley-Duff
UK

 

with Teddy
I hide deep in the closet . . .
voices thunder

Alfred Booth
Lyon, France

 

nine months pregnant —
a child comes confronting
his hidden football

Muskaan Ahuja
Chandigarh, India

 

tears at bedtime
thinking one day
I’ll give HIM the belt

Bryan Rickert
Belleville, Illinois USA

 

the hole
in my calf 傷 blood runs from
mum’s face

(the kanji is a graphical interlude in lieu of punctuation)

simonj
UK

 

cricket box
all the songs
imagined

Sarah E. Metzler
USA

 

her first lesson
in fragility
damselfly

Jenn Ryan-Jauregui
Tucson, Arizona USA

 

hamster …
those big wheels
of his childhood

Samo Kreutz
Ljubljana, Slovenia

 

pink kite
over pink cosmos field
again at home

Tsanka Shishkova
Bulgaria

 

brother takes my truck
dirt smudges covers the tears
mom locks the back door

chuck mains
United States

 

words float
in my head —
learning English

Mariangela Canzi
Italy

 

sirens sear my soul
war childhood
weariness

Christa Pandey
Austin, TX, USA

 

here is your seeds,
spare the worms
little sparrow!

Ram Chandran
India

 

childhood ritual –
sitting on the front porch
answering the hoot owl

Dan Campbell
Virginia

 

pony’s flank twitching as she mounts
the chaos of the chickens

Ann Sullivan
Massachusetts, USA

 

flying downhill
on my first two-wheeler–
red Roadmaster

Ruth Holzer
Herndon, Virginia

 

cabbage patch Christmas
the surprise of 2 dolls
in 1 box

Susan Burch
Hagerstown, MD

 

a nightcrawler
wriggles on the fish hook
end of summer

Michael Lester
United States

 

Snails enjoying
organic feed
Mum’s vege patch!

Subhashini Jayatilake
Sydney, Australia

 

waiting for Santa …
ma’s brocade frock shimmering
in Christmas tree lights

Natalia Kuznetsova
Russia

 

chasing thistledown
hoarfrost
at the window

Allison Douglas-Tourner
Victoria BC

 

baby ducks
little parade
no crowd

Yasashī Tora
Joplin, MO

 

difficult conversations
in a fluorescent lit kitchen
childhood trauma

Rehn Kovacic
Mesa, AZ

 

cold morning
warm kitchen
grandma’s pancakes

Eugene Mariani
Pittsburgh, PA USA

 

childhood dream
making a working
steam engine model

Govind Joshi
India

 

my father’s chair
the smell of the tobacco
when he rolled his cigarettes

Joseph P. Wechselberger
Browns Mills, NJ USA

 

gathering around
majestic memories
aromas and sweets

Maritza M Mejia
Florida, USA

 

paper airplanes
relapsing to childhood
at the cosmic speed

Bakhtiyar Amini
Germany

 

in the flood
child turtle
on the mother turtle

Teiichi Suzuki
Japan

 

a row
of mulberry trees
of secrets

Tiffany Shaw-Diaz
United States

 

wearing seashells
near my heart the breeze
of a childhood vacation

Arvinder Kaur
Chandigarh, India

 

the distant bird
becomes a bomber ~
where’s mommy?

David Josephsohn
Greensboro NC

 

mittens on a string
she grabs the snowman’s nose
pulls his head off

Jan Stretch
Victoria BC Canada

 

egg patter not all dreams sunny side up

Teji Sethi
India

 

a cluster of spider
eggs in my tummy
butterflies

Hla Yin Mon
Yangon, Myanmar

 

first day of school
holding my sister’s hand

Margaret Mahony
Australia

 

memories
hiding in the attic
a broken doll

Neena Singh
Chandigarh, India

 

ma
keeping quiet in
paper snowflakes

Mariel Herbert
California, USA

 

chemistry exam —
i fill the blank pages
with poems

Wendy Gent
Bristol, UK

 

my own world flying
over fields of yellow wheat
riding my green bike

Bittor Duce Zubillaga
Basque Country

 

emptiness
in newly dug grave
sibling’s casket

Tuyet Van Do
Australia

 

older than
the oldest paper
baby doll

Richa Sharma
India

 

Disneyland
I ride a unicorn
on the carousel

Mona Bedi
Delhi, India

 

awakened
by seabirds and salt air . . .
no school for two months!

Marion Clarke
Warrenpoint, Northern Ireland

 

an old photo
of my childhood friend…
calico cat

Ana Drobot
Romania

 

the first snowflakes
breadcrumbs on the window
for birds

Slobodan Pupovac
Zagreb, Croatia

 

mom’s night shift
I read the story
to my doll

Vandana Parashar
India

 

crowded stoup
even the sternest aunt helps
mending the new kite

Sheila Barksdale
Gotherington, England

 

chopped branches
my childhood fortress
before mother calls

Alan Summers
England

 

little blackbird
asleep aside the footpath home
gone before school

Herb Tate
UK

 

cut cantaloupe
ice cream on top eaten
under summer stars

Joan Leotta
North Carolina, USA

 

starlit sky
my mother possibly
the brightest

Pravat Kumar Padhy
India

 

night storm
me and my rag doll
deep under blanket

Meera Rehm
UK

 

dandelion clock –
with one puff she takes us back
to happier times

Jonathan Aylett
Liverpool, UK

 

home-made Raggedy Ann…
the unspoken words
threaded through her heart

Laurie Greer
Washington DC

 

childhood home
I find the scent
of old dolls

Nazarena Rampini
Italy

 

belly dance hands
mom’s flowing motions
before my eyes

Kath Abela Wilson
Pasadena, California

 

tear stained face
boy’s die cast Mustang
washed down the storm drain

Michelle V. Alkerton
Ontario, Canada

 

alone with fear
in the middle of night
coat tree silhouette

Mike Stinson
Nebraska USA

 

childhood street a jump rope song hops on

John Zheng
United States

 

piano lesson
the teacher´s thin hands
smell like gingerbread

Mircea Moldovan
România

 

frogs of the ditch
my daily solace
misfit childhood

Luciana Moretto
Treviso Italy

 

third grade
crayoning I love you
on airplane wings

Richard L. Matta
San Diego, California, USA

 

the sun’s warmth
Dad’s chrome bumper
reflects a smile

Richard Straw
Cary, North Carolina

 

leaf pile
raking it higher
after each jump

Cynthia Anderson
Yucca Valley, California

 

auntie’s invites
never understanding why
tomato aspic

Claire Vogel Camargo
United States

 

nightfall
the dollhouse
creeping with stories

Maxianne Berger
Outremont, Quebec

 

greying dawn
even now
dreams of math exams

Padmini Krishnan
United Arab Emirates

 

I close my eyes
and flies across the field again
a million dandelions

Ljiljana Dobra
Croatia

 

prairie hill
my sister pokes a hole
in the clouds

Debbie Strange
Canada

 

edge of the pond
two boys squat
eyeing two frogs

Michelle V. Alkerton
Ontario, Canada

 

blooming althaea
kid buries under it
a dead bird

Stoianka Boianova
Bulgaria

 

loud rails
Dad’s train leaves
for boot camp

Caroline Giles Banks
Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

 

visiting a village
cat hen goatling
in harmony with us

Minko Tanev
Bulgaria

 

alone
in the library
so many friends

Ann K Schwader
Westminster, CO United States

 

clear summer day –
sending to grandpa in heaven
a kite

Dan Iulian
România

 

one friend
throwing stones
– no ball

Katherine E Winnick
UK

 

tiny feather
I always wanted to sow
my own bird

Marianne Sahlin
Sweden

 

flying kites
made from newspaper
summer contest

Bona M. Santos
Los Angeles, CA

 

lounging on warm sand
the constant tickle
of her whiskers

Mark Gilbert
UK

 

on greatgram’s lap —
she intrigues me
with a nesting toy

(Antique ten piece stackable wooden toy from her homeland, never to return. It too must hold many memories for her.)

Christina Chin
Malaysia

 

puddle jumping
I make a bet
with a frog

Lorraine A Padden
San Diego, CA USA

 

gently laid
on the kitchen table
the puppy’s limp neck

Bruce H Feingold
Berkeley, CA, USA

 

summer vacation—
a wasp hive shows me
how to scream

Nicholas Klacsanzky
Burien, WA, USA

 

lifting off
to space
childhood swing

meluncur
ke angkasa
ayunan masa kecil

Christopher Calvin
Kota Mojokerto, Indonesia

 

never the prettiest
never the sweetest
middle child

Peggy Hale Bilbro
Alabama

 

first bike
the whole suburb
mine too

Maurice Nevile
Canberra, Australia

 

dark night
why didn’t you come back
from the vet ?

Minal Sarosh
Ahmedabad, India

 

summer noon. . .
grandpa and I hide
the ice pops

Surashree Joshi
Pune, India

 

mothers chatter
on a picnic blanket
the child eyes an ant

John S Green
Bellingham, Washington

 

birth
a fetus with
no option

Vijay Prasad
Patna, India

 

only child
my bestest friend
Ted Bear

Ingrid Baluchi
North Macedonia

 

growing dusk
childhood memories
filling the hopscotch court

Padma Rajeswari
Mumbai, India

 

the pony-house
smells less and less
of my companion

Chen Xiaoou
Kunming, China

 

heated pool
the dressing room
rolls up my knickers

Jenny Macaulay
Australia

 

tending my chores—
the newborn’s
first bleat

AJ. Anwar
Jakarta, Indonesia

 

Christmas gift I still believe in Santa

Mirela Brailean
Romania

 

picture books—
reassurance
of a happy ending

Sam Morris
United Kingdom

 

my doll and I
dressed for a funeral
dead dragonfly

Christine Villa
USA

 

old house
shivering with cold
grandmother and kitten

Refika Dedić
Bosnia and Herzegovina

 

pine needle nests
neatly arranged
chirping children learn to fly

Holly Brennan
Massachusetts, USA

 

childhood photo album
still knowing the names
of all grandma’s cows

Tomislav Sjekloća
Cetinje, Montenegro

 

a new set
of colored pencils …
early spring

Agus Maulana Sunjaya
Tangerang, Banten, Indonesia

 

wedding day
the child bride feeds her doves
for the last time

Milan Rajkumar
Imphal, India

 

kid flies
poor dragonfly
tail tied to a string

Sreenath
India

 

group dance . . .
waving at my parent
I miss a step

Kavitha Sreeraj
India

 

pretend play
the appetite for mud cakes
still kick in

Nisha Raviprasad
Kerala

 

chilli seeds…
my sister feeds our parakeet
with a red spoon

Amoolya Kamalnath
India

 

putting
all my happiness
in a red wheelbarrow

Adele Evershed
Wilton, Connecticut

 

monopoly —
another day spent
with measles

Don Baird
USA

 

fever
my fingers turn
into hot dogs

Tim Cremin
Massachusetts

 

music lesson —
young sparrows chirping
at the school window

Lori Kiefer
London UK

 

Laughter
Under the berry tree
A stillness

Rashmi Buragohain
India

 

fights over pickle
school memories are
well preserved

Priti Khullar
Noida, India

 

strong storm
baby robin
in the fallen nest

Susan Farner
USA

 

sent to my room
the stuffed bear and i
plan our escape

Terri French
Huntsville, AL

 

ice twirling
on a frozen puddle
rink-size dreams

Theresa Coty O’Neil
Kalamazoo, MI, USA

 

midwinter evening
the lights twinkle all around
childhood secrets

C.X.Turner
United Kingdom

 

childhood photo
the Snowman
made of sand

Angiola Inglese
Rapallo-Italia

 

moving day
Barbie also packs
a suitcase

Kerry J Heckman
Seattle, WA

 

the girl
in the volcano frock
pinned photo

Daya Bhat
India

 

siblings
sharing a blanket
winter boxing

Bidyut Prabha Gantayat
Bhubaneswar, India

 

Canis minor –
on my nose birthday cake’s
blue frosting

Nairithi Konduru
India

 

no fairy
in grandmother’s stories
only saints

nessuna fata
nei racconti di nonna
soltanto santi

Maria Teresa Piras
Sardinia – Italy

 

rainy day puddles
dividing earthworms
with my chubby hands

Seretta Martin
San Diego, California, USA

 

the baby mouse
making itself at home…
a drawer in my chest

Ella Aboutboul
West Sussex, UK

 

big steel sink –
no dish-washing on my
thirteenth birthday!

Lynne Jambor
Vancouver BC Canada

 

in front of the fire
4 pairs of tiny mittens
thawing themselves out

Marcia Burton
Salt Spring Island, Canada

 

fledgling sparrow
burrows further in the nest
boom of thunder

petro c. k.
Seattle, Washington

 

under the steinway
soaring
on mom’s crescendos

Jonathan Epstein
USA

 

the inner child
is firmly behind the wheel
when I hear mom’s music

het innerlijke kind
zit fors achter het stuur
als ik ma’s muziek hoor

Guido De Pelsmaeker
België

 

grammar lesson
my wandering daydream
rides dragonfly wings

Paul Cordeiro
Dartmouth, Massachusetts, USA

 

lost duckling
light as a sigh
in my hands

Annie Wilson
Shropshire, UK

 

disappearing
within a crocodile

Helene Guojah
UK

 

sandbox in the yard
is our boat now –
waves around us

Tomislav Maretić
Zagreb, Hrvatska

 

Christmas Eve –
my silver bangles
the only jingles

Lorraine Carey
Ireland

 

first lick —
the ice cream
tumbles off the cone

Sheila Sondik
Bellingham, WA (USA)

 

heated debate
sparrows fighting
in a birdbath

Florin C. Ciobica
Romania

 

the wind for the buds
my name
pronounced by grandparents

il vento per i germogli
il mio nome
pronunciato dai nonni

Maria Cezza
Italy

 

school carnival
riding a hand-led pony
she is a cowgirl

Valentina Ranaldi-Adams
Fairlawn, Ohio USA

 

sweet, red, fresh, juicy
garden strawberries turn to vomit!
still leave a sour taste

Maxwell Krem
Kansas City, MO

 

tearful goodbyes
to best friends
after “The End”

Elizabeth Shack
Illinois, USA

 

animals crackers
bottom of the box
only legs

Valorie Broadhurst Woerdehoff
Dubuque, IA USA

 

watery eyes
my dying cat’s
last lick of milk

Adrian Bouter
The Netherlands

 

a young girl
daffodils in her arms
& roses in her cheeks

Alan Harvey
Tacoma, WA

 

garden nook
snuggling up with
a book and the cat

Mona Iordan
Romania

 

holiday dinner
with favorite foods
empty chair

Kathleen Mazurowski
Chicago, IL

 

my small proud feet
sinking in grandad’s
snowy footprints

Cristina Povero
Italy

 

teacher’s cane marks
a touch-me-not
folds in on itself

Sangita Kalarickal
United States

 

’90s road trip
I leave my Dr. Suess books
in the safe

M. R. Defibaugh
USA

 

awake all night
my homework
forgotten

Sari Grandstaff
Saugerties, NY, USA

 

Young grasshopper tilts
their head with mine
as our seesaw rises

Herb Goldsmith
Bastrop Texas

 

summer afternoon
we bottle-feed
a rescued bunny

Nancy Brady
Huron, Ohio

 

tree top
seeing far beyond
my six years

Sharon Martina
United States

 

darkening path home—
hand in hand we walk
singing an anime song

Keiko Izawa
Japan

 

robins’ nest—
plaintive fledgling friend
yesterday flown

Jonathan English
Washington, DC

 

new school
not fitting in terror
wallflower

Sigrid Saradunn
Bar Harbor, Maine

 

sparrow in a box all the things i cannot change

Anette Chaney
Harrison, Arkansas

 

left behind
at the county fair
a friendly policeman

Susan Beth Furst
USA

 

Guest Editor Sherry Grant is a Taiwanese-born New Zealand classical concert pianist, cellist, poet, author, translator and festival organiser. Since 2021 she and her youngest daughter Zoe have been promoting short form poetry by co-editing several journals, presenting at haiku conferences and organising poetry workshops. As a musician, Sherry plays online concerts regularly and in her recent North American concert tour she also shared her poems during recitals. Sherry is a well published haiku/cherita/rengay poet. Her rengay written with Alan Peat (UK) won the first prize at the 2021 Otoroshi Rengay Contest. Sherry also enjoys writing longer rhymed poems and plans to publish several poetry books and chapbooks in the near future, including 300 love poems written for her favourite composer Alexander Scriabin, in 3 volumes.
Visit www.linktr.ee/sherrygrant for updates.

Guest Editor Zoe Grant, a well-published 8-year-old haiku poet from New Zealand, is the co-author and illustrator of Bat Girl, written in 2020 when she was 6 years old. Her haiku won the first prize at the 2021 NZPS International Haiku Competition (School/Junior) and she is the co-editor of Chalk on the Walk Haiku, Chalk on the Walk Monoku, Haiku Zoo Journal and Raining Rengay. Zoe enjoys drawing, singing, ballet and writing poetry. She co-hosts the International Rengay Gatherings with her mother Sherry Grant twice a year. This daughter-mother duo plans to go on concert tours to share their poetry and music with the world. Zoe shared 250 short form poems by 250 poets at the 3-day online International Scriabin 150 Festival in November 2022. She plans to do poetry podcasts in the near future. Follow Zoe’s projects at www.linktr.ee/zoe.grant.

Lori Zajkowski is the Post Manager for Haiku Dialogue. A novice haiku poet, she lives in New York City.

Managing Editor Katherine Munro lives in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, and publishes under the name kjmunro. She is Membership Secretary for Haiku Canada, and her debut poetry collection is contractions (Red Moon Press, 2019). Find her at: kjmunro1560.wordpress.com.

The Haiku Foundation reminds you that participation in our offerings assumes respectful and appropriate behavior from all parties. Please see our Code of Conduct policy.

Please note that all poems & images appearing in Haiku Dialogue may not be used elsewhere without express permission – copyright is retained by the creators. Please see our Copyright Policies.

This Post Has 41 Comments

  1. Thank you Zoe and Sherry for including my haiku, I really enjoyed reading your words and all the selected poems – lots of inspiration, thank you!

  2. Honoured to be part of this amazing selection of childhood memories. Exploring emotions is what draws me most to write any form of poetry and particularly haiku. It was a joy to be able to re-live those moments thanks to this prompt and what a selection. It shows the talent of so many writers here! Thanks Zoe and thank you Sherry.

  3. Thanks to the two, mother and daughter – Sherry&Zoe for choosing my poem for publication. It’s something to be among so many known poets.

  4. Thanks much, Zoe and Sherry for including my haiku in this flashback to childhood selection. I thoroughly enjoyed this reading.

  5. Thank you Sherry and Zoe for a wonderful gift on Childhood memories! It will be a memorable treatise in haiku literature.
    Congratulations to all poets for sharing their memorable events.
    Pravat

  6. Thank you, Zoe and Sherry, for picking my poem, and I just want to say– wow! I am so impressed and inspired by you, Zoe. Your writing and taste is just incredible, and I love that this column is such a family affair. I look forward to the coming weeks and more, I look forward to seeing you grow into your voice. I’m sure you have great things in store for us!

  7. Thank you Sherry and Zoe for including my haiku! I really enjoyed reading all your comments too. Childhood experiences affect us in ways that remain with us always.

  8. Love the delightfully fresh set of selections (well done, Zoe), and another enjoyable week at the Dialogue.

    Aside from the selections, I particularly liked:

    grandma’s death
    feeling sorrow
    for mum’s sorrow
    — Ann Rawson

    Bittersweet subtleties in this verse that extends to both past and future.

    pink unicorn
    puppy paws
    his first kill
    — Maurice Nevile

    Through the innocence, a note of nature’s realities and our unrealities.

    sent to my room
    the stuffed bear and i
    plan our escape
    — Terri French

    This rang a bell. How I longed to get away…

    Canis minor –
    on my nose birthday cake’s
    blue frosting
    — Nairithi Konduru

    Young Nairithi’s first published haiku and a very sophisticated one, at that.

  9. Peggy Hillbro I can relate. I, too, am a middle child as was my Dad. For me, I either too young or too old with my younger sister getting the same privilege at the same time except for being allowed to drive. There, the state mandated the age limit. Such is life.

    1. Sorry Peggy for the misspelling on your name.

      never the prettiest
      never the sweetest
      middle child

      Peggy Hale Bilbro
      Please accept my apologies. Your haiku really resonates with me.

  10. Thank you, Zoe, so very much for choosing my poem to be commented upon first! It was a great honor. My sister and I laughed and laughed once the shock wore off. I hope your sibling did too.

    Thank you, Sherry, for your kindness and generosity putting this all together. It truly was wonderful reliving childhood through these poems. I am excited to see where we go next.

    I so appreciated kj, Lori, and the Haiku Foundation for providing us with Haiku Dialogue. It has established such a great community for learning and growth.

  11. Thanks Zoe and Sherry for choosing one of mine, and congratulations to all the poets for such memorable haiku. You have helped me relive all the best, all the worst, and all the in between moments of my childhood. And created a few I may never have experienced. Maybe it’s because of the fact that no matter where in the world we grew up, there are commonalities between us. Probably there’s a line in each haiku that, if strung together, would describe a childhood..The good and the bad.

  12. left behind
    at the county fair
    a friendly policeman
    /
    Susan Beth Furst
    USA
    /
    This haiku instantly brought back a memory of when I got separated from my mother in a department store when I was a small child. Thank-you for the flashback Susan.

  13. Thanks, Sherry and Zoe, for including my ku this week – it is always such a thrill to have my haiku in this great company! So many varied haiku here. It’s certainly appreciated. All your choices are great this week. So many excellent poems noticed in a quick read. Wednesday is a really exciting day, we can enjoy challenging prompts and masterly commentaries. Congratulations to all.

  14. Thank you Sherry and Zoe for this delightful selection of childhood memories. Many made me smile in my own memory and some made me feel the pain of childhood. It is all part of growing up! Thanks also to Lori and KJ for you consistent work.

  15. Thanks both for choosing one of mine – I particularly loved Ann K Schwader’s

    alone
    in the library
    so many friends

  16. Thanks a ton for including a haiku of mine. You guys did a great job! Very interesting reading this morning — as I drink my latte.

  17. Thanks to Sherry and Zoe for including my haiku in the selection among many beautiful compositions: I really appreciated your enthusiasm, which you manage to convey to all of us

  18. Dear Zoe and Sherry, delighted to find my ku included here with so many wonderful gems – will save the entire set to re-visit and cherish. Thank you very much!

  19. Thank you Zoe and Sherry for commenting on my haiku! Congratulations to all the poets here. I have enjoyed reading these poems that have made me look back to my childhood.
    Thanks also to Kathy, Lori, and the Haiku Foundation. I am looking forward to reading each weekly session!

  20. Dear Zoe and Sherry, you gave us such an inspirational prompt – so thrilled to see my own attempt among the many brilliant offerings. Many thanks.

  21. Among the many memories, this is the one that jumped out at me:

    animals crackers
    bottom of the box
    only legs

    Valorie Broadhurst Woerdehoff

    What a phenomenally detailed memory you have, Valorie! So familiar, so true—you gifted me an epiphany!

    1. That was one of Zoe’s favourites too! She almost commented on it but fell asleep and I had to send the comments in to kjmunro before she woke up again… I’ll get Zoe to post her comment here tomorrow. She’s gone to bed now.

  22. Wow! What a bumper selection.
    Thank you Zoe and Sherry for including mine. so many fine poems this week.
    Thanks to KJ and the team for keeping this amazing feature alive.

    A small selection from me that I found particularly touching.

    disappearing
    within a crocodile

    Helene Guojah
    UK

    my doll and I
    dressed for a funeral
    dead dragonfly

    Christine Villa
    USA

    working parents
    my white Christmas
    inside a snow globe

    Jackie Chou
    USA

    her first lesson
    in fragility
    damselfly

    Jenn Ryan-Jauregui
    Tucson, Arizona USA

    1. Thanks for your kind mention Robert, I immediately empathized with yours although in my case it was netball. I don’t think they put children through that experience these days.

      1. You’re welcome Helene! And thank you. With yours, I hope you don’t mind but I found moving “within” to L1 made for more effect.

    1. Thanks for sharing this one with us. Life is full of ups and downs, excitements and disappointments and really, as a child, all these emotions are amplified. I guess as adults we learn to become more detached from our true emotions… but the child in us comes through at times!

  23. Thank-you Zoe and Sherry for choosing my haiku for publication. Thank-you to all the others at the Haiku Foundation
    who make this column possible. Congrats poets.

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