Skip to content

HAIKU DIALOGUE – door to door – doorman

door to door

With a nod to ‘Haiku Windows’, a past feature from when I first began this column, & also an idea suggested a long time ago by poet Laurie Greer, for the next several weeks we will explore some concepts relating to doors. Be inspired by these prompts – I can’t wait to read where they take you – & please note that there is no requirement to include the words of the prompt in the poems… enjoy! kj

next week’s theme: doorknob

The handle of a door is often round & turns to open or close the door – it can be used to hang things from (like a ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign) – &, when used to refer to a person, this word is not a compliment…

I look forward to reading your submissions.

The deadline is midnight Pacific Daylight Time, Saturday May 08, 2021.

Please use the Haiku Dialogue submission form below to enter one or two original unpublished haiku inspired by the week’s theme, and then press Submit to send your entry.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 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 doorman:

unemployment line
the furloughed doorman
holds open space

Lamart Cooper

So many of the poems this week reference the pandemic in varied ways – here a doorman may have been affected, temporarily we hope – in any case, line 3 can be read in different ways with ‘holds open’ & ‘open space’…

high rise doorman knowing all the stories

Laurie Greer
Washington DC

In this poem, a key detail is provided by the inclusion of the words ‘high rise’. The play is with ‘stories’ or ‘storeys’ – of course, the doorman knows the layout of the building, but the doorman may also know more about the inhabitants than they realize…

memorial fund –
i learn my doorman’s
last name

Roberta Beary
County Mayo, Ireland

One of the most important aspects of a haiku is the gap that a poet leaves for the reader to figure out. With a few well-chosen words, this poet sets up the gap with line 1, so that by the end of the poem the reader can feel its full impact…

windy day the ghost doorman arrives

Seretta Martin
United States

Again, the gap is evident in the poem, so the reader can picture the movement of the door in the wind without any of that scene actually stated in words…

opening and closing
opening and closing
the doorman’s smile

Tom Bierovic
DeLand, FL, USA

A large number of poems this week combined the doorman with a smile. The repetition of ‘opening and closing’ is effective because of the nature of the work, & can refer to both the door & the smile…

& here are the rest of my selections:

muttering thunder
a doorman’s smile
behind the mask

Agus Maulana Sunjaya
Tangerang, Banten, Indonesia


Hecate’s yew
beside the garden gate
allows the moon to enter

Alan Harvey
Tacoma, WA


anniversary night
the doorman’s
automatic hands

Alex Fyffe
United States


entrance 19 –
COVID 19 passes
by the doorman

Aljoša Vuković
Šibenik, Croatia


i meditate to check … my thoughts

Amrutha Prabhu
Bengaluru, India


in my native language
first hello

Ana Drobot


day hospital…
returning to the hotel
I feel at home

Angiola Inglese


graveyard gargoyle –
the doorman waiting
to receive you

Anna Cates
Wilmington, Ohio


after you…
the old tenant escalates
to unknown new doorman

Anna Yin
Ontario, Canada


snowflakes falling
from his walrus moustache…
the doorman’s bow

Arvinder Kaur
Chandigarh, India


welcome mat
gathers dust
… the doorman snoozes

Baisali Chatterjee Dutt
Kolkata, India


old doorman
secrets coming and going
in his sleep

Barrie Levine
Wenham MA United States


sudden flurry –
the doorman appears,

Beki Reese
United States


winter rain
at the theatre door the homeless man
adjusts his cap

Ben Oliver
Stroud, England


in the twilight
will I ever be ready
when the Gatekeeper calls

Bona M. Santos
Los Angeles, CA


his Sunday best
the Deacon holds the door
for every widow

Bryan Rickert
Belleville, Illinois USA


missing doorman
just scan and sanitise
to enter

Carol Reynolds


get it yourself
I’m not the doorman
teenaged kids

Charles Harmon
Los Angeles, California USA


doorman –
groping for welcome words
in a strange language

Cristina Povero


letting the cat in
then out

Cynthia Anderson
Yucca Valley, California


while standing –

Dan Campbell


masked doorman
relieved of his duty
to smile

Dana Rapisardi
United States


rainy day –
just the smile
of the doorman

Daniela Lacramioara Capota


late night –
the familiar face
of the doorman

Daniela Misso
Umbria Italy


doorman’s respite

Didimay D. Dimacali
Norwalk, California USA


night shift
the old doorman
reads the stars

florin c. ciobica


a doorman
the cat becomes
with every knock

Germina Melius
Saint Lucia


sulla soglia del condominio
pettegolezzi e fiori

on the threshold of the condominium
gossip and flowers

Giuliana Ravaglia
Bologna, Italia


with disinfectant –
smell of apples

Gordana Vlašić


the uniformed arm
from lobby to cab
the city opens

Greer Woodward
Waimea, HI


second job
waking the dozing

Helen Ogden
Pacific Grove, CA USA


flute sound…
a doorman unlocks
spring morning

Ivan Gaćina
Zadar, Croatia


closed bank –
a circus poster
on its glass door

Jianqing Zheng
Itta Bena, Mississippi


graveyard gate
a crow waits for me to croak
the password

John Hawkhead


doorman absent –
scratches on the door…

Jorge Alberto Giallorenzi
Chivilcoy. Bs.As. Argentina


my 6 year old
proud class doorman tour guide
hides the snacks

Kath Abela Wilson
United States


smiling eyes
greet me
opening doors

Kathleen Mazurowski
Chicago, IL


family dinner…
she turns into a doorman
waiting for her son

Kavitha Sreeraj
Hyderabad, India


afternoon gust
the doorman lets in a guest
& a sycamore leaf

Keiko Izawa


spring thunder
opening the door
to hear the rain

Keith Evetts
Thames Ditton, UK


opens for me
empty eyes

Kiti Saarinen


nodding at
the doorman
a door opens



the doorman
in King Akbar’s attire
a day in museum

Lakshmi Iyer


small town…
the hotel doormen
aka bouncers

Liz Ann Winkler
White Rock, BC, Canada


pale moon –
I echo the sly look
of the doorman

Luisa Santoro
Rome, Italy


the cheap motel
with a doorperson

M. R. Defibaugh


Templo Fushimi Inari Taisha –
the fixed eyes of the kitsune

(kitsune: Japanese foxes, also shapeshifters in folklore)

M. Julia Guzmán
Córdoba, Argentina


new variants…
a familiar gatekeeper’s
strange questioning

Manoj Sharma


collecting material
for the book…

Margaret Mahony


only a pigeon
at the hotel door

Marilyn Ashbaugh
United States


sand in the luggage
I wave the last farewell
to the hotel doorman

Marina Bellini


the doorman’s discretion kissing the threshold

Mark Gilbert


delivery again…
the condo doorman knows
all my food choices

Maya Daneva
The Netherlands


covid masking
the doorman’s eyes
smile with mine

Meera Rehm


waiting for his wife
to open the front door –

Milan Rajkumar
Imphal, India


museum doorman
the boy halts to admire
his moustache

Minal Sarosh
Ahmedabad, India


hotel in space
distant galaxies
open doors

Minko Tanev


the admiring gaze
of a homeless man –
the doorman’s suit

Mirela Brăilean


our doorman –
the only one
who knows my name

Mona Iordan
Bucharest, Romania


late meeting
passing unnoticed
by the doorman

Nadejda Kostadinova


doorman job…
will they address me Ms Door
if hired

Natalia Kuznetsova


night porter
everytime who opens the door
look at the stars

Nazarena Rampini


new doorman
he practices a bow
to himself

Neena Singh
Chandigarh, India


and common people
broad-shouldered bouncer

Olivier Schopfer
Geneva, Switzerland


the doorman
tips his top hat
plum petal

P. H. Fischer
Vancouver, Canada


escorting each guest
with an umbrella
the drenched doorman

Padma Rajeswari
Mumbai, India


the doorman
he comes alive
with every arrival and departure

Padmini Krishnan


a doorman’s fur hat –
carrying in thoughts
of palm trees

Paul Cordeiro
Dartmouth, Massachusetts


in full uniform
the commander
at the high-rise door

Paul Geiger
Sebastopol CA


stopped by the doorman rain waiting to fall

Pippa Phillips
United States 


Upper East Side
the doorman prays
for a safe day

Pris Campbell


the doorman
hides a smirk…
the hole in my shawl

Priti Aisola
Hyderabad, India


leaving office…
i take the doorman’s smile
to home

R. Suresh Babu


distant memories
doorman reveals she
no longer lives here

Rehn Kovacic
Mesa, AZ


caught between
catching the glass door
or chase the doorman’s cap

Ron Scully
Manchester NH


passing the doorman
her spine stretches
an extra inch

Sandra St-Laurent
Yukon, Canada


warming up
to frozen smiles

Sherry Grant
New Zealand


open mouthed
a shishi dog holds the door
for lightning



door security
somebody forgot to tell
the virus passing by

Stephen A. Peters
Bellingham, Wa. USA


detectives seek
the doorman

Susan Farner
United States


welcoming spring
the doorman opens the door
for the butterfly

Susan Rogers
Los Angeles, CA


abandoned hotel
doorman’s greeting
from afar

Teiichi Suzuki


hotel entrance
the doorman’s smile
escapes his mask

Teji Sethi


the doorman
faking sincerity

Tim Cremin


all employees know
the April Fool’s joke –
from the doorman

Tomislav Maretić
Zagreb, Hrvatska


doorman lets
a stray in

Tomislav Sjekloća
Cetinje, Montenegro


winter welcome
not rich enough
for the doorman’s smile

Tracy Davidson
Warwickshire, UK


haiku quest
Basho gives directions
to the pond

Valentina Ranaldi-Adams
Fairlawn, Ohio USA


night shift
I get an extra coffee
for the doorman

Vandana Parashar


at our door man of war

Victor Ortiz
Bellingham, WA


hotel by the hour
the porter hangs up a plaque:
I will be right back

Vincenzo Adamo
Sicily Italy


hesitant entry
doorman’s uniform
my plain clothes

Vishnu Kapoor
Chennai, India


first time in a hotel
my two-year-old son
salutes the doorman

Wiesław Karliński
Namysłów, Poland


the many secrets
I keep

Willie Bongcaron


a doorman
first showing of my covid passport

Zdenka Mlinar


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:

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 30 Comments

  1. Thank you kj for including my haiku this week. I very much enjoyed all of the haiku you chose.

  2. Thank you for including my poem in the selection ! Feeling so honoured!

    Congratulations to all poets and poetesses, so many wonderful images raising from the guardian-of-the-door.

    One that I particularly liked for its simplicity was Susan Roger’s haiku as it reminded me of all the time a doorman must be on a watch for something to happen, to anticipate everybody’s needs and movements and there, in such a vigilant state, he/she might feel the urge to open the door even for a wandering butterfly to come in, as it is almost a reflex to be responsible for a smooth sailing through the doors of life. I also imagined it as a kind gesture, welcoming the poetry in ;) As poets, aren’t we all doormen welcoming our own butterflies during ginko walks?

    welcoming spring
    the doorman opens the door
    for the butterfly

    Susan Rogers
    Los Angeles, CA

    1. Thank you so very much Sandra for your encouraging words. I like your idea that we are all doormen on our respective gingko walks welcoming the fluttering wings of spring.
      I also enjoyed the stretch in your haiku!
      Blessings to you!!

  3. Such lovely collection, ones I strongly connected are:

    high rise doorman knowing all the stories

    Laurie Greer
    Washington DC

    night shift
    I get an extra coffee
    for the doorman

    Vandana Parashar

    passing the doorman
    her spine stretches
    an extra inch

    Sandra St-Laurent
    Yukon, Canada

    Thanks for including mine, honoured.

  4. Khaterine Munro y Loris Zajkowski impeccable selection of haiku! Thank you

  5. Congratulations to all the poets in the column! I enjoyed reading the entire selection. I particularly liked these two verses because of their strong cinematic images…

    snowflakes falling
    from his walrus moustache…
    the doorman’s bow

    Arvinder Kaur
    Chandigarh, India

    afternoon gust
    the doorman lets in a guest
    & a sycamore leaf

    Keiko Izawa

    I look forward to reading next week’s selection!

  6. An excellent selection of haiku and senryu! Thank you for your continued work, KJ and to you Lori for your selections. I missed this week, but have already sent in my poems for next week.!

  7. Thank you, kjmunro, for choosing my haiku for this week’s selection. Among the many fine poems, the following one stands out for me:

    afternoon gust
    the doorman lets in a guest
    & a sycamore leaf
    Keiko Izawa
    Thank you, Lori, too, and congratulations to all the poets.

    1. Well said!
      I love this image too! Lovely and surprising uninvited guest ;)
      Delicate yet powerful image. I agree with your comment!

  8. Thank you, kjmunro, for including my poem with so many other wonderful entries. I would like to briefly comment on two.
    collecting material
    for the book…

    Margaret Mahony
    I love the ambiguity of this poem, how it can be read in several ways. In the most straightforward reading, the speaker is getting ideas for a book from a doorman while staying at a hotel. But reading the doorman as an aspiring writer working the job to pay bills while he gathers experiences and stories for his calling changes it completely, commenting on how artistic types often spend long years doing jobs just so they can survive and gain experiences until their ship comes in. But in my favorite reading of the poem, the author is commenting on how everyone seems to joke “I could write a book!” An experienced doorman seems like the type to make that offhanded remark, the “Oh the stories I could tell” kind of guy. Walking by, you ask what he’s been up to, and he responds with a wry grin, “Oh, just collecting material for the book!” And he probably could write a book, too, but, like most people, he probably won’t.
    doorman lets
    a stray in

    Tomislav Sjekloća
    Cetinje, Montenegro
    This poem also plays with ambiguity to an extent–does the doorman accidentally let in a stray hailstone, or does he intentionally let in a stray animal? But I think this poem has one correct answer, that the doorman’s sympathy for a stray cat or dog has led him to bring the poor animal in out of the bad weather. It shows the doorman as a kindly figure who wants to aid the downtrodden when he can, perhaps feeling more of an affinity with the directness of animals than with some of the people trying to come in through his door.

  9. What a delightful collection this week. Thoughtful, playful, and a few even sad. Congratulations to the poets. Maybe next week my Internet won’t conk out so that I can submit. Oh well, nice to enjoy these. Thanks KJ for reading and selecting haiku for this column each week. What an amazing job you do.

  10. Thank you for including my verse and for the additional comments. As always, I enjoy reading the interesting and varied response from poets from all parts of the globe. Great job!

  11. Thanks Kathy for such a varied and interesting selection. I’m amazed at so many different takes on ‘doorman’! ‘Doorknob’ will be another challenge…

    In case of cultural differences, ‘to croak’ used in my haiku can mean ‘to die’ in the UK as well as making a rasping sound – I’m not sure if that translates around the world?

    1. John – I also wanted to comment that your poem reminded me of the featured image for this column – it doesn’t show on this page, but elsewhere on The Haiku Foundation website where Haiku Dialogue is mentioned – it is a photo I took in northern Canada (Fort McPherson, NWT), of 2 ravens having a conversation in a graveyard… kj

  12. Thank you, Kathy. And a special appreciation to all the cat related haiku. Such a creative response. I look forward to what all these creative minds can do with the next prompt.

  13. doorman job…
    will they address me Ms Door
    if hired
    Natalia Kuznetsova
    This haiku poses a thought-provoking question. What do you call a female

    1. It’s almost a perfect Pacman reference, isn’t it? I think the allusion “Ms. Doorman” would strengthen the theme of how society has traditionally labeled women only in connection to male counterparts (the way Pacman became Ms. Pacman, instead of Pacwoman).

  14. Thank you kj for including my haiku. So many creative approaches again this week. I also loved Tom Bierovic’s expertly done

    opening and closing
    opening and closing
    the doorman’s smile

    and Angiola Inglese’s haiku below, in which the doorman is one of the many things in the gap between lines 1 and 2:

    day hospital…
    returning to the hotel
    I feel at home

  15. Thank you Lori and Kathy for accepting my haiku. Such a pleasure to enjoy all poets.

  16. Thanks, Lori Zajkowski, and Katherine Munro for including me in this week’s selection!

  17. Another fantastic haiku collection for me to relax … thank you so much, Ms. Munro, for choosing also mine and congratulations to such a nice and smart family of poets… Ciao a tutti!

  18. Kathy, thank-you for selecting my haiku this week. Thank-you also to Lori and all the others at the Haiku Foundation for their efforts to promote haiku. Congrats to all the poets.

  19. Equally happy each time when I’m selected with a haiku here! A lot of great haiku, again. It’s a pleasure to read them all. Congratulations to all dear poets.
    Many thanks, Lori Zajkowski, and Katherine Munro!

Comments are closed.

Back To Top