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Haiku Windows: office 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 Submit an original unpublished poem (or poems) via our Contact Form by Sunday midnight on the theme of the week, including your name as you would like it to appear, and place of residence.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:  tree fort window

Do kids even climb trees anymore? Once upon a time, kids climbed trees for fun – sometimes a structure was constructed up there among the branches and leaves, and sometimes not everyone was allowed in… perhaps now it is all about the virtual tree fort…

I look forward to reading your submissions.


Haiku Windows:  office window

This week many poems are longer than usual for some reason… many describe the view, or lament a lack or loss of office window, and there are many cats and birds – here are two poems that struck me:

no windows
in the librarian’s office
paper butterflies

Randy Brooks


office cubicle –
I hang one poster
of a window

Valentina Ranaldi-Adams
Fairlawn, Ohio USA

These poems provide all the information a reader requires, and still leave so much room for interpretation. Both utilize a simple concrete image – butterflies, poster – and that image creates a whole world in the imagination… and the poets trust that the reader will complete the poem. The idea of paper butterflies in a library is particularly strong, as is the choice of the word ‘cubicle’ to describe this office scene…

Here are the rest of my selections for this week:

out my office window –
the reflections
of office windows

Amy Losak


office block
just one window
decked with tinsel

Andrew Shimield


office window –
the metro rumbles through
the airpod

Angelee Deodhar


office window
a voice beckons
to free myself

Angelo Ancheta


first snowflakes –
all the attention of the students
towards the window

Angiola Inglese


office view –
in the pouring rain
a stray cat

Anna Maria Domburg-Sancristoforo


mango pollen…
a whiff of summer
from my office window

arvinder kaur
Chandigarh, India


office window
my fingerprints on
the day moon

cezar ciobika


searching high and low
for the office cat
billowing curtains

Christina Sng


outside the office window
three pigeons waiting
to be fed

christine eales


my office window
a cougar

Claire Vogel Camargo


back from leave
I’ve lost
my window desk

David Jacobs
London, UK


office window
comings and goings
of butterflies

Debbi Antebi


the clouds outside

Deborah P Kolodji
Temple City, California


working at home…
mountains upside down
into the lake

Elisa Allo


office window
the endless journey
of snowflakes

Eufemia Griffo


stacks of papers –
for a moment
the snow falls slower

Giovanna Restuccia
Modena, Italy


crisis meeting
– robin
flies in

Helen Buckingham


extra work
through the office window
the harvest moon

Hifsa Ashraf


basement view…
her office window is a
big-screen aquarium

Jackie Maugh Robinson
Las Vegas, Nevada


a Cooper’s hawk
studies my bird feeder
office window

Joan Prefontaine


boardroom meeting –
the shining face
of the window cleaner

Joanne van Helvoort


office window
my reflection
on an outdoor life

John Hawkhead


through the office window –
busy squirrels going
about their business

Judt Shrode
Tacoma USA


grey suits strut
outside my office window
… pigeon promenade

Kimberly Esser
Los Angeles, CA


of the new secretary…
my window blocked by suits

Lee Nash


double rainbow –
no more ink
in the printer

Leonardo Lazzari


office window…
among magnolia branches
the new nests

Lucia Cardillo


office window –
a pink cyclamen
on the narrow window sill

Maria Teresa Sisti


high rise office
a pail and two legs dangle
at my window

Marilyn Appl Walker


through my office window…
watching others
leave on time

Mark Gilbert


just retired
looking at the windows
of the office

Marta Chocilowska


frosty meeting –
ice flowers
on the window

Martha Magenta
England, UK


office window
the red sky in puddles

martin gottlieb cohen


night rain…
in the motel office window
the Laughing Buddha

Matthew Markworth
Mason, OH, USA


office window
across the courtyard our boss
with binoculars

Michael Henry Lee


office window –
wondering which side
the fly is on

Michael H. Lester
Los Angeles CA USA


vista from office window

nancy brady
huron, ohio, usa


end of a hard day’s work
I meet myself
in the windowpane

Olivier Schopfer
Geneva, Switzerland


the blues
melancholic cumulus
through office windows

pamela a. babusci
rochester, ny  usa


by the office window
my coffee break
with sunset

pat davis
pembroke, nh


office window –
Sydney Harbour sparkles
through the dirt

Pauline O’Carolan
Sydney, Australia


outside the box
office window

Peggy Hale Bilbro
Alabama, USA


office windows
all the lives
we could have led

Peter Jastermsky


airing the office
a draught rearranges
my desk

Polona Oblak
Ljubljana, Slovenia


boss in a bad mood
outside the window
gathering clouds

Rachel Sutcliffe


office window
my rainbow flag waves
at my son

Roberta Beary
County Mayo, Ireland


sunset rainbows
computers screens glow
in office windows

Ron C. Moss
Tasmania, Australia


office window
above the tree line
sparrowhawk’s shadow falls

Ron Scully


my reflection
stuck here
office window

Ronald K. Craig
Batavia, OH  USA


divorce lawyer’s office window –
weeping willows
in the courtyard

Sari Grandstaff
Saugerties, NY, USA


sunny day
officer’s tie is hanging
on the handle of the window

Serhiy Shpychenko
Kyiv, Ukraine


running backwards
the office clock
in the window

Simon Hanson


from my drawing-board the evening rush of crows



office window
open just enough
the birdsong comes and goes

Stephen A. Peters


plans for the future
looking out the office window…
autumn leaves

Tomislav Maretic


the carnival –
her office window
wide open

Tsanka Shishkova


office window
a graffiti outside says
chase your dreams

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 36 Comments

  1. For me, Christina Sng’s ‘searching high and low’ had that rare aha moment, that delicious pause between the end of the poem and a deeper understanding – it is like a short story condensed into three lines. Thanks Kathy for including mine also.

  2. Fabulous diverse views, such a great read from you all.
    That certainly is a chilling verse involving the cat image, Alan.

    office window
    across the courtyard our boss
    with binoculars
    Michael Henry Lee
    this conjures up some interesting images :)

  3. Really liked this from Tsanka Shishkova:

    the carnival –
    her office window
    wide open

    Skilfully juxtaposed, the most straightforward of language and the mini ‘shock’ of the last line – much said by being unsaid

  4. Thanks for including one of my Office Window haiku, Kathy. I love reading and re-reading these haiku and congratulations to all. I particularly like Matthew Markworth’s, Amy Losak’s and Leonardo Lazzari’s.

  5. Another terrific set!
    I can’t help but see Michael McClintock’s famous cat in the pouring rain, whenever anyone pens a verse about a cat in the pouring rain.
    An office can definitely be a window to scenes we would rather not see, from a dead animal, a mugging victim, drugs being swapped, and worse, an office affair gone really bad, but if you are in an office block that isn’t nowhere a troubled zone, it might just be a soggy cat, fingers crossed.

    office view –
    in the pouring rain
    a stray cat
    Anna Maria Domburg-Sancristoforo
    Sometimes, if it’s not a tragedy we witness, it must seem a blessing to be in a warm dry office. I’ve inhabited a few offices in my lifetime, only one of them to dealing in death everyday (long story, don’t ask). :-)
    From Dr Randy Brooks, who touched on the iconic cat haiku, that may be a metaphor even…
    “…I appreciated this haiku by McClintock, which I read in the context of the Vietnam war…”

    dead cat . . .
    to the pouring rain
    Michael McClintock
    Collection: Light Run (Shiloh, 1971)
    Anthology: The Haiku Anthology ed. Cor Van den Heuvel (1st Edition, 1974)

    “…this haiku put me on the battle field, with the “pouring rain” being both rain and bullets. The dead “cat” was an American GI lying in the rain, with his mouth open, just as it was when he died crying out in agony. The battle is too hot for the body to be retrieved. Of course this haiku can also be read as being about a literal dead cat in someone’s yard, with its fur matted down in the rain, having died while crying out.”
    “With either reading, it presents a cold, dark, haunting image of death that chills the reader to the bone.”
    Dr Randy Brooks, USA

    Frogpond 34.1 (2011)

      1. Thank you!
        just retired
        looking at the windows
        of the office
        Marta Chocilowska
        That must have felt like an awesome feeling. A bit like finally leaving school behind, or leaving the first grotty rented apartment. :-) We have not long moved into a little house, so a long goodbye to tight apartments, plenty of windows to look out from, and all our’s. :-)

    1. Thank you Alan for letting me know this haiku (and book). However my haiku has not such a depth as the one you mention. I looked from my office window on a street with along side a canal. There were fishermen and stray cats waiting for a fish. This particular one waited in vain.

      1. Dear Anna,
        How fortunate to have a window on a street that is alongside a canal too! :-)
        Loved your explanation, and liked this as well, straight from your own words:
        office window
        fishermen and stray cats
        waiting for fish

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