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 Submit an original unpublished poem (or poems) via our Contact Form by Sunday midnight on the theme of the week, including your name as you would like it to appear, and place of residence.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

Now for the topic some of you may have been waiting for… the window that I stare at blankly every time I compose this little note… or perhaps it is staring blankly at me…

I look forward to reading your submissions.


Haiku Windows:  outhouse window

outhouse window
just enough light
to read by

Carole MacRury
Point Roberts, WA

Many of the submissions this week made me laugh out loud – this is an example of one of those… but this poem also leaves that gap I have mentioned before – the space that the reader fills in…

my dream house
from the outhouse window
out of reach

Hifsa Ashraf

This poem takes a more wistful turn, and although people love their wilderness cabins and summer cottages, most probably dream of houses that have indoor plumbing…

outhouse window
the spider itself
a carcass now

Mike Gallagher
Lyreacrompane, Ireland

In my experience, outhouses are associated mostly with seasonal properties – we can imagine arriving to open up the place in early summer to discover what remains in the cobwebs that have over-wintered… among other things, a concrete reminder of the passing of time for all of us…

outhouse window
the spider spins a web
across the moon

Ron Moss

Here the moon can refer to the actual moon in the sky, as well as the possibly crescent moon-shaped outhouse window – this adds layers to the poem – also, if these poems are any indication, there are a lot of spiders in outhouses…

Here are the rest of my selections for this week:

sunbeams streaming
through the outhouse window
a Sears catalog

Al Gallia
Lafayette, Louisiana USA


outhouse window –
looking in, two curious

Angelee Deodhar


stained glass window
in the outhouse door
a blue moon

Ardelle Hollis Ray
Las Vegas, NV


windowless –
the warmth of sunshine
in the outhouse

arvinder kaur
Chandigarh, India


a long line
before the outhouse
face in the window

Carmen Sterba


yelling “hurry up” –
my sister knocks on the
outhouse window

Carol Raisfeld


outhouse window
a dying pine

cezar florescu


March mud
the outhouse window
stuck shut

Chad Lee Robinson
Pierre, SD, USA


scenic view
of grandma’s cottage
outhouse window

Christina Sng


outhouse window
a spider spins down
to another cobweb

Christine Eales


upon a star
outhouse window

Claire Vogel Camargo


high in a digger pine
warm wasp nests hang –
outhouse window

clysta seney


outhouse window
catalogue page covers
the moon

Colleen Rousch


spring breeze
through the outhouse window
a whiff of wild strawberries

Corine Timmer


outhouse window
a grove of fruit trees
not yet in bloom

Debbi Antebi
London, UK


Hoping for solitude
I read by moonlight
Outhouse window

Elizabeth Lorayne
Newburyport, MA


outhouse window
cherry blossom rain
over the roof

Eufemia Griffo


first cigarettes
at the outhouse window
my father’s shadow

Giovanna Restuccia


playing hide and seek
at the outhouse window
grandma’s smile

Helga Stania


renovated outhouse –
a study now with chapbooks
by the window

Ingrid Baluch


a flying squirrel
joins me
outhouse window

Joan Prefontaine


outhouse window box
I reach out
for a primrose

Kath Abela Wilson
Pasadena, California


early morning
the shudder of a spider’s web
in the crescent window

Liz Ann Winkler


old outhouse…
from the dusty window
a gecko observes

vecchio capanno… dai vetri impolverati / un geco osserva

Lucia Cardillo


the dusty outhouse window
morning glories

Lucia Fontana
Milan, Italy


at the outhouse window
only the silvery traffic
of snails

Lucy Whitehead
Essex, UK


starry night
a glimpse of sky
through the outhouse window

Lynne Jambor


outhouse window…
the poem in his head
waits for the moon

Madhuri Pillai


the outhouse door
propped wide open…
boarded-up window

Marietta McGregor


outhouse window
a sit down view
of the lake

Marilyn Appl Walker


outhouse window –
the face of the next one
in the queue

Mark Gilbert


through the outhouse window
a paper plane

Marta Chocilowska


the moon
within the moon
of the outhouse window

Michael Henry Lee


watching the sunset
from an outhouse window
barn owl

Michael H. Lester
Los Angeles CA USA


spring peepers –
the moon within the moon
of the outhouse window

Michele L. Harvey


he sees Venus
through the crescent moon

Nancy Brady
Huron, Ohio


outside the outhouse window the garden tree’s outstretched shadows

Olivier Schopfer
Geneva, Switzerland


outhouse window
hoping they’ll think
it’s the other guy

Peter Jastermsky


outhouse window
a cricket
on the chalk painted peonies

Radostina Dragostinova


no outhouse window
a cobweb over the darkness
of the sitting hole

Randy Brooks


colored leaves fall
autumn seen through
outhouse window

Rehn Kovacic


privy window
my plumbing also

Roberta Beary
County Mayo, Ireland


a hovering
cloud of flies
outhouse window

Sari Grandstaff
Saugerties, NY, USA


I cut a window
into the sky

Serhiy Shpychenko
Kyiv, Ukraine


outhouse window
a squirrel searches
for nuts

Skaidrite Stelzer
Toledo, Ohio


outhouse window
between moon and me
the mansion

Srinivasa Rao Sambangi


outhouse window
wishing the crescent moon
was bigger

Stephen A. Peters


outhouse window
the robin sings

Sudebi Singha


outhouse window
spider crawling
out or in?

Susan Rogers
Los Angeles, CA, USA


outhouse window
the wind brushes
my cheeks

Tia Haynes
Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, USA


my friend moon
follows me even through
the outhouse window

Tomislav Maretic


up-cycled –
the crescent window
of the potting shed

Valentina Ranaldi-Adams
Fairlawn, Ohio USA


deserted outhouse
moonlight on dry leaves outside
the  window

Vishnu Kapoor



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 30 Comments

  1. I loved all the haikus on outhouse window but the one that really stood out for me and made me stop and think was:
    outhouse window…
    the poem in his head
    waits for the moon

    Madhuri Pillai

    1. outhouse window
      the poem in his head
      waits for the moon

      Reminds me of constipated Bloom on the toilet reading “Tidbits”.


  2. Another beautiful assemblage and congrats to all poets. Had difficulty in submitting in time and still believe readers can enjoy what i wrote in my closet here:

    secret love
    the long watch
    through an outhouse window

    ghost house
    a cold flicker
    from an outhouse window

    Adjei Agyei-Baah (Ghana)

  3. Delighted to see my haiku lead into such a lovely selection, Kathy. Thank you. Mike Gallagher’s haiku struck a chord with me. Spiders and flies such a presence in outhouses. Love the deeper resonance with ‘itself a carcass now’. Perfect wording.

    outhouse window
    the spider itself
    a carcass now

    Mike Gallagher
    Lyreacrompane, Ireland

    1. Thank you for your kind comments, Carole and thank you, Kathy for both the inclusion and the comments.

  4. Congratulations to all the brave outhouse window haiku poets! Thank you for including one of mine, Kathy. Another unique theme. Outhouses are still much more poetic than modern day porta-potties!

  5. .
    Wot, no dunnies! :-)
    Here’s one when I was an honorary Aussie poet and haiku writer:
    the old dunny’s roof
    no longer holding out the sky –
    moonlit cobwebs
    Alan Summers
    Award credit: 3rd Prize, Canadian Writer’s Journal poetry competition (1995)
    Canadian Writer’s Journal Vol 12 No.3 (1995)
    and also:
    haijinx vol. I issue 1 (spring 2001)
    Australian dunny outhouse:

  6. Well, this week was my most productive (sorry) so far, because I have personal experience of the theme – I can remember my grandmother’s outside loo, and its rickety green door which wouldn’t shut properly. Actually I was expecting more of a poo-fest this week, I think we have been quite well-behaved. Thanks KM.

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