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Haiku Windows: broken window


Haiku Windows

In the book Haiku: The Art of the Short Poem, editors Yamaguchi and Brooks quote David Lanoue:  “A haiku is a window”…

In the following weeks we will look at (or through?) the many possibilities raised by this thought – and you’re invited to join in the fun! Submit an original unpublished poem (or poems) via our Contact Form by Sunday midnight on the theme of the week, including your name as you would like it to appear, and place of residence. I will select from these for the column, and add commentary.


next week’s theme:  sunroof window

sunroof (noun) a sliding part of the roof of a car that can be opened to let in air and sunlight… or moon and starlight… or freezing cold and snowflakes…

I look forward to reading your submissions.


Haiku Windows:  broken window

This week some poets link the window with Valentine’s Day, but many more broken windows involve a sport of some kind, or vegetation…
Sometimes I have a hard time picking one poem from a submission, because the poet has sent several that are very good. Sometimes I don’t select a poem because it doesn’t fit the weekly theme. Please consider re-submitting it if/when it fits with a future theme…

broken window
one of the pieces
heart shaped

Kath Abela Wilson
Pasadena, Ca, USA

Here the poet has combined 2 themes for this week – a broken window and Valentine’s Day – in a way that illustrates the extraordinary in the ordinary – this is what we are all striving for in the haiku world…

broken window
the seller’s son tells me
it’s a bullet hole

Michael H. Lester
Los Angeles CA USA

It might be an interesting story – that the seller didn’t want you to hear… this poem reminds me of the time I had the pleasure of driving the poet CD Wright around Whitehorse (she was here for a poetry festival), and before she had even sat back in the front passenger seat of my car, she was asking if the chip in my windshield was from a bullet… her friend in the back seat couldn’t stop laughing – asking her why she would think that – and CD replied that she thought it might be an interesting story… instead they got an informative lecture about the use of gravel on winter roads in cold temperatures, when salt is ineffective… and the resulting windshield damage…

the hospice window
replaced by another

Stephen A. Peters

My response to this poem has to do with my mother, who lived in an assisted-living care home, not a hospice… my sister visited her several times a week, and I remember her commenting that several residents passed away every month, and were quickly replaced from the long waiting list…

Here are the rest of my selections for this week:

breaking windows
the childhood gang
of mostly one

Alan Summers
Marrakech, Morocco


abandoned house –
instead of the window
a blooming plum

Ana Olimpia
Lucca, Italy


first fight
today at San Valentino
a broken window

Angela Giordano


deserted house –
only the moon at
the broken window

Anna Maria Domburg-Sancristoforo


divorce papers
through the broken window
a double rainbow

cezar ciobika


through the broken window
the valentine teeters
on the ledge

Charlotte Hrenchuk


broken window
the stranger I become
in my own home

Debbi Antebi
London, UK


covers the broken window
new graffiti

Deborah P Kolodji


broken window
the last breath
of a candle

Eufemia Griffo


broken window
an arm handcuffed
to a door knob

Garry Eaton


abandoned house –
from a broken window

Giovanna Restuccia
Modena, Italy


derelict factory –
how back street boys
love to break each pane

Ingrid Baluch
Kampala, Uganda


since we bought this house the same cracked pane

Jean LeBlanc
Newton, New Jersey


shadows are drawing
cracks in the window pane,
bedtime stories

Joanne van Helvoort


the shock of waking
from a pleasant dream
broken window

Joan Prefontaine
Cottonwood, AZ


cracked window
a shadow of scars
across her face

John Hawkhead


broken window
a sonic boom
of stars

Kimberly Esser
Los Angeles, CA


derelict home
the sun boards up
a window

Lee Nash


broken window –
the winter sky fills my
late grandmother’s house

Leonardo Lazzari


ghost house windows missing teeth

Marion Clarke


the jay’s call
broken pane

Marita Gargiulo


broken pane
in the cathedral
Christ’s stained glass smile

Mark Gilbert


a crash of glass –
someone leaves the pub
through the window

Marta Chocilowska


broken window –
an orb spider
repairs its web

Martha Magenta
England, UK


one-room schoolhouse
sunlight stops at the broken window

martin gottlieb cohen


broken glass
the sound of sirens
coming and going

Michael Henry Lee


broken window…
a perfect view
for the sniper

Mohammad Azim Khan


a child’s face
behind a broken window…
end of truce

Natalia Kuznetsova


the edge of the glass
shimmers with sunrise…
broken window

Nicholas Klacsanzky
Kyiv, Ukraine


broken window
the garden
enters the house

Olivier Schopfer
Geneva, Switzerland


broken blue window…
the homeless woman
counts her bottles

pamela a. babusci
rochester, ny  usa


window needs fixin’
one more verse in the old
farmhand’s song

Pat Davis
Pembroke, NH


broken window
blood on the wall
to wall carpet



broken window
the wide arc
of our anger

Peter Jastermsky


abandoned storehouse
weeds push through
what’s left of the windows

Polona Oblak
Ljubljana, Slovenia


backyard football
a broken window
stops play

Rachel Sutcliffe


broken window
the boy calling her name
falling down drunk

Randy Brooks


valentine’s day –
the broken window
of my heart

Roberta Beary


it’s not me he punches the window in anger

Robin Smith
Wilmington, DE


broken window…
a fireman says a prayer
to the dashboard jesus

Ron C. Moss


broken window
winter moonlight
fills the cracks

Sandi Pray


broken bathroom window
held up with a can
of hairspray

Sari Grandstaff
Saugerties, New York, USA



Simon Hanson


broken window…
surprised to be punished
for telling the truth

Susan Constable


catching the sun
a spider-web crack
in the car windshield

Terri French


broken window
another week
without a paycheck

Tia Haynes
Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, USA


the ball is
going… going…
shattered window

Valentina Ranaldi-Adams
Fairlawn, Ohio   USA


broken window
covering the cracks
with my lies

Vandana Parashar


Katherine Munro lives in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, and publishes under the name kjmunro. She is Membership Secretary for Haiku Canada and an Associate Member of the League of Canadian Poets. She recently co-edited an anthology of crime-themed haiku called Body of Evidence: a collection of killer ’ku.

This Post Has 52 Comments

  1. thx you so much Sari for your kind comment about my haiku
    i really like yours too pamela a. babusci

  2. Thank you, Marita!

    And thank you, Kathy, for your stimulating prompts, as well as your time!

  3. Superb haiku. I am impressed by the wide variety of “moments”.
    I especially liked Susan Constable’s.
    Thanks for including mine,

  4. Kath Abela Wilson’s haiku reminds me that even at a time of a breakage, deliberate or otherwise, we often look or sense symbology, and a heart is often the strongest image.

    Michael H. Lester’s verse has great humour, and interestingly enough if we look to the 6th line, where location of the author occurs, we see it’s Los Angeles. Doubtless in some upmarket areas a bullet hole might increase the price. here’s a Las Vegas property complete with bullet hole, and bullet proof glass:

    Ana Olimpia’s haiku shows how nature (flowers, bushes, or trees etc…) can accentuate and embellish an abandoned building and its BB gun damaged windows (or stone throwing).

    Debbi Antebi’s verse feels horribly poignant and highly topical as police officers are being removed from most British streets, leaving us to fend for ourselves. Ah, budgets, don’t you love the casualties of maintaining an ‘economy’?

    Deborah P Kolodji reminds us that plywood is an excellent and superior surface for window graffiti.

    Eufemia Griffo’s verse makes me hark back to the old B&W movies, both romantic and crime noir.

    Which segues neatly into Garry Eaton’s dramatic handcuffs and door knobs, and that reminds me that a dangerous individual had to be handcuffed once, and oddly more dangerous than a thug, he was a senior bank official, who got ‘retired’ from his bank.

    Ingrid Baluch tells us of back street boys, and alas, for a Summer, my gang of three, and mostly one (myself, at 7 years) did similar things.

    ‘the same cracked pane’ how we carry imperfection into sentimentality or simply lack of extra finance. At our new home we have a couple of panes like that, and seen it elsewhere. Jean LeBlanc touches on another universal aspect.

    Joanne van Helvoort’s bedtime stories, wow! The enjambment is a gamble over the first two lines but works brilliantly.

    Joan Prefontaine’s cold water in the face effect is awful. A door bell or a knock at the door would be bad enough, to lose a wonderful dream, but an act of criminal damage is horrible. Fine verse, nasty experience.

    Ah, yes, interplay of glass (or foliage) in shadow play across a wall or a person’s face. Very visual, and a little noir too.

    “the sun boards up a window” is a breathtaking image over two lines, fantastic!

    Marion Clarke brings us a monoku full of missing teeth in a ghost house, making me think either of nights of the dead cross culturally or those hokum horror movies about kids daring themselves to enter haunted houses.

    Does the jay cut its teeth, sharpen its song, on broken glass? What a great suggestion by Marita Gargiulo.

    Mark Gilbert’s “Christ’s stained glass smile” is a terrific line, where I am almost made to see the double image of the artwork, and the “strained” look of the man sentenced to the crucifix method of punishment in the days of the early Roman Empire. A very strong use of the device to see different images with a specific type of spelling.

    Marta’s pub window reminds me of the time of a racist attack in a Chinese fast food joint. A very big man was so disgusted he hurled one thug through the big plate glass window. The thug was unharmed but the big man suffered cuts. Quick backstory I made the big man disappear, and the thug was later arrested for various offences including criminal damage, and peacefully made to see the error of his ways against hard-working honest folks.

    Martha Magenta reminds us of the great repairers, that of the spider community. Karen names all her spiders and makes sure their webs are safe from us humans.

    martin gottlieb cohen is renowned for his two line haiku, and amply and aptly shows why. This is full of poignancy, of real life, the fight for education in all countries by its people. It is haunting.

    One powerful haiku after another follow, and then Robin Smith stops me dead with her monoku. We enter the big anniversary of the struggle for women in the UK, and how domestic violence, even murder, is still not fully taken seriously, and the struggle cannot relax for a second, ever, it seems.

    Vandana Parashar concludes an astonishing array of fine haiku/senryu with an amazing last verse on this page. It also shows that alliteration need not be a distraction or affectation, but a useful device to heighten the atmosphere that rings across a verse.

    Bravo everyone, bravo, honoured to have my humble verse. What a magnificent treat it is to have these themed verses.


        1. Thanks Carol, I sometimes get hit by childhood memories. For decades I’ve rarely considered my own past, but distance has enabled me to visit now and then. :-)

      1. Hi Mark,

        I probably did have short trousers, although I hated them. It was the only reason to join the Boy Scouts, that I could have a pair of long trousers. Oddly, despite a lot of people telling me I had fine legs, I hardly ever wore shorts to the seaside either. :-)

      1. Thanks Marta!
        I enjoyed commenting on a few. I did this once or twice for the haiku in the workplace feature too. It’s just that everyone’s poems have been so powerful in this feature, in general, that I’m drawn to say so. :-)

    1. I appreciate your comment, Alan. As someone who has lived this, I am pleased to be able to turn my past negative experiences into something that might prompt others to contemplate this difficult issue.


      1. Hi Robin! :-)
        Robin said:
        “I appreciate your comment, Alan. As someone who has lived this, I am pleased to be able to turn my past negative experiences into something that might prompt others to contemplate this difficult issue.”

        I worked with a woman who was in the very early days of the Victim Support unit in the U.K. She was a victim herself, but courageous, as we worked in a dangerous job as well. I’ve since met many women who thankfully have removed themselves from violent relationships.
        I was also pleased that the BAFTA film awards in the U.K. properly supported Time’s Up and #MeToo. I am supporting my wife (also a haiku poet – Karen Hoy) on a sensitive subject for television, and it’s so important to have mature dialog about when male-female dynamics are vilely and lethally off-kilter.
        Kathy’s Haiku Windows project is such a vital one, as we see so much from or through a window, be it an apartment building, office block, vehicle, train, shop window etc… The theme of broken window was always going to be a doubly fascinating theme.
        I wonder if the subconscious desire to create broken windows is that they too act as a mirror, both reflecting, and showing through, and allowing a stranger to see from the other side just a little too much of the monsters that can reside in us?

      1. Dear Martin,
        Marrakesh was wonderful, and it was amazing to visit the Souk(s) as well as Yves Saint Laurent museum, and gardens.
        Casablanca the movie was revisited on BBC radio just a couple of days ago. All the extras in the cafe scenes are not just playing being refugees, they actually escaped Hitler and his Nazis by days if not hours in reality, in their respective countries or places of abode. Everyone in the film not American by birth narrowly escaped the Nazis, including the director Michael Curzon.
        The play that kicked off the movie was inspired by a hotel that Murray Burnett stayed at that was the only safe place in a particular country. He jointly created a play, and Warner Bros. bought it for a large sum, and altered it to become perhaps the greatest wartime romance film in history.
        Alas we are still in the thrall of personality politics around the globe instead of working together to ensure safety and security for our citizens, and creating a moral compass. #MeToo and Times Up has revealed the sores in our world, the latest being the once respected Oxfam charity.

    2. thanks for this, Alan – for your thoughtful comments & kind words, & also for beginning the thread for all these further comments… I repeat – all of these poems deserve discussion, & I am including more poems every week, it seems…

      1. Thanks Kathy!
        Your Haiku Windows project is wonderful, and I was blown away by the contributions, and it just moved me to leave just a few comments.
        It’s certainly impossible to comment in depth for every haiku, so I hope others have fun adding some thoughts now and then. :-)

        1. Alan,
          To say that my expectations for this project have been exceeded would be an understatement!
          thanks for everything, Kathy

  5. Thank you Kathy!
    Enjoying the challenge of coming up with something different, and then seeing all the ones I could have thought of, but didn’t. Fun!
    Kind regards.

  6. Thank you Kathy for including one of my haiku among this wonderful, eclectic selection. So interesting reading all the interpretations of the theme. Congratulations to all the contributing haiku poets here. I am particularly struck by the ones by Pamela Babusci, Roberta Beary and Tia Haynes.

    1. thx you so much Sari for your kind comment about my haiku
      i really like yours too pamela a. babusci

  7. Another wonderful and divers collection, Kathrine.
    It’s difficult to choose a favourite from so many :)

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