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Haiku Windows: porthole


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 Submit an original unpublished poem (or poems) via our Contact Form by Sunday midnight on the theme of the week, including your name as you would like it to appear, and place of residence.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

Spring must be just around the corner… there will be snow here in the Yukon for some time yet, but to help me get through these last few weeks of it, I look forward to the sweet sights and sounds of a window box, and whatever else this idea conjures…

I look forward to reading your submissions.


Haiku Windows:  porthole

A brief overview – please include your name as you would like it to appear, as well as your place of residence, with your submission. Any submissions or revisions received after the Sunday midnight deadline will be disregarded. Also, your submission is to be previously unpublished – this includes anything public – online or in print – books, anthologies, journals, magazines, blogs, Facebook, and anything else that could be considered published and viewed by the public…

the sea and my face
both pale green

Ardelle Hollis Ray
Las Vegas, NV

What a picture! Here we have the use of colour to depict very different connotations, and perhaps the face is reflected in the window… a spare use of words to deliver much information…

my days tinged
with blue

Debbi Antebi

The idea that we are influenced by place, or where we find ourselves, even temporarily, is striking here… blue also denoting mood – so we feel the effects of a long sea voyage…

a killer shark
through a paper plate porthole

Marilyn Appl Walker
georgia, usa

The phrase ‘paper plate porthole’ is pleasing, as is this original take on the theme… becoming more familiar with the history of residential school and its impact on First Nations families in Canada, I can’t help but also read a certain ominous tone here…

Here are the rest of my selections for this week:

the diver’s grin
against a shark’s

Adjei Agyei-Baah
Kumasi, Ghana


rusting portholes
a crab swims through
the cabin door

Al Gallia
Lafayette, Louisiana USA


through the porthole
a dark vision

Angelo B. Ancheta


wave on wave –
splashes of salt
until the porthole

Angiola Inglese


a quiet sea –
the full moon
in the porthole

Anna Maria Domburg-Sancristoforo


submarine porthole
the turtle’s nose and mine
tip to tip

Anthony Rabang


grandpa’s faraway gaze –
how my sun sets
in a porthole window

arvinder kaur
chandigarh, India


ferry horn
the island deflates
in the porthole

Carmen Sterba
pacific northwest, usa


porthole surveillance
from the mermaid purses
sharks emerge

Carol Jones


porthole photo –
a path on the sea
to the moon

Carol Raisfeld


a pearl seeker
among stars

cezar florescu


my view
a porthole

Claire Vogel Camargo


pregnancy test…
through the porthole window
a shooting star

Corine Timmer


pirate galleon
son at the porthole
making waves

David Jacobs
London, UK


veil the coast –
ferry porthole

Giovanna Restuccia
Modena (Italy)


no demarcation
between sky and sea
through the porthole window

Hifsa Ashraf


seaside antiques
an old sailor runs fond hands
over a brass porthole

Ingrid Baluch


through our stateroom porthole
the stars

Kath Abela Wilson


porthole view
the moon and I
two ships in the night

Kimberly Esser
Los Angeles, CA


from one to the other
the dolphins stunts

(oblò in fila … i giochi dei delfini / da uno all’altro)

Lucia Cardillo


the infinity of ocean’s blue
through the porthole

Madhuri Pillai


at the marina
new neighbors – the baby waves
through the porthole

Marita Gargiulo
Hamden, CT


the porthole rolling
from side to side
dreaming of land

Mark Gilbert


storm force ten
in each porthole of a cruise ship
the captain’s hat

Marta Chocilowska


rest stop
for a painted lady
ferry porthole

Martha Magenta
England, UK


against orders
we open the porthole
second honeymoon

Matthew Markworth
Mason, OH, USA


Lady Liberty
through both portholes
on mother’s side

Michael Henry Lee


through the big ship’s porthole –
seasick sailor

Michael H. Lester
Los Angeles CA USA


ever looking aft
the emigrant

Mike Gallagher


a day of sail
the cat jumps
through the porthole

Nancy Brady
Huron, Ohio, USA


Washing machine porthole
the colors are mixed
of our clothes

Nazarena Rampini


flat calm
on the porthole cabin’s walls
dancing halos of light

Olivier Schopfer
Geneva, Switzerland


by the porthole
the many angles
of our conversation

Pat Davis
Pembroke NH


eyeing me
through the porthole
a porpoise

Paul Geiger
Sebastopol CA


the ocean
beyond this porthole
one wave at a time

Peggy Hale Bilbro
Alabama, USA


cabin fever
the expanse of ocean
through the porthole

Rachel Sutcliffe


sea mist
from the porthole
the world disappears

Rehn Kovacic


rainy porthole –
my search for
unread books

Roberta Beary
County Mayo, Ireland


porthole window
the houseboat cat
peeks out

Robin Smith
Wilmington, DE


deep dive…
the Titanic’s portholes
lit by search lights

Ron C. Moss
Tasmania, Australia


tulip petals
drifting along

Rosemarie Schuldes


playground wooden ship
through the porthole we spy
our parents’ waves

Sari Grandstaff
Saugerties, NY, USA


the long way home
I look out for my native shore
through the porthole

Serhiy Shpychenko
Kyiv, Ukraine


porthole view
now the sea
now the sky

Simon Hanson
Queensland, Australia


a face to face
with a shark

Slobodan Pupovac
Zagreb, Croatia


starlight through the porthole
my child makes
more than one wish

Stephen A. Peters


circling my thoughts
along edge

Sudebi Singha
Kolkata, India


porthole star map
my fingerprint…
where Orion was

Susan Rogers
Los Angeles


a lover’s quarrel
interrupts the Seine
porthole voyeur

Tia Haynes
Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, USA


big waves…
the skyline dances
in the porthole

Tomislav Maretic


a parade
of stars

Tsanka Shishkova


an adventure
on the sea…
portholes in a book

Valentina Ranaldi-Adams
Fairlawn, Ohio USA


the expanse of blue
above and below

Vandana Parashar


home coming
the sea never looked so serene
from the porthole

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 33 Comments

  1. Inspired themes…I would never have thought to write a poem about portholes…and yet so many ways we all look at them. Good for the old grey matter.
    Thank you for including mine in your selection.

  2. Thanks Kathy for including my haiku and to all poets for the wonderful verses.

  3. abandoned house
    the moonlight fills
    window box

    Name – Sudebi Singha
    City – Kolkata
    Country – India

  4. abandoned house
    the moonlight fills
    window box

    Name – Sudebi Singha
    City – Kolkata
    Country – India

  5. Thanks Kathy. I especially liked those which made me feel a little queasy (not really). Did you notice only one managed not to use the word ‘porthole’?

    1. Good spot, Mark – and the poem in question I thought was one of the best:

      a face to face
      with a shark

      Slobodan Pupovac

      Perhaps Kathy could tease us one week and make it a rule that we cannot use the theme word.

      1. Yes, a wonderful one by Slobodan Pupovac. Croatia is or used to be the second most visited country by NHK TV of Japan because of its haiku.
        An interesting idea. I’ve often avoided adding the prompt word itself in the past.

        it almost fills
        my round window
        red carnation
        Alan Summers

        Round windows

        I will be vibrating, by a window, hopefully, and by a lunch table near you tomorrow. 😉

      2. this is a huge topic – I will reply to all three comments quickly here – I don’t think I will be adding any more ‘rules’ (people often don’t follow them anyway!)… usually I think any poem written from a prompt is ok – even if the poem doesn’t have anything to do with the prompt, it was still inspired by it…
        for my purposes here, however, the prompt is also the theme – so it is important to me that at least one meaning of the poem, & preferably the first, or most common reading of it, will directly indicate the prompt…
        it is not necessary to use the prompt in the poem – there are other examples of this from previous weeks – I’m not sure if I have been clear – but I have developed a selection process of sorts… feel free to use the prompt in the poem, or not, as long as I recognize it in the poem!
        & thanks so much for your comments – I would love to sit at a lunch table with all of you to discuss further!

        1. Hi Kathy,
          Oh, I wasn’t advocating any rules. The verse was really to remind David Jacobs that’d I’d be wearing a carnation tomorrow, although a 6′ 3″ Dutch looking geezer like me isn’t that hard to spot. 🙂
          If you are on FaceTime, perhaps you could share a virtual Chardonnay. 😉

        2. Hi Kathy

          My comment was more mischievous than anything else – certainly wasn’t suggesting a rule change for something that works so well as it is.

        3. I agree a huge topic – in my head anyway – and perhaps for some of us part of the intellectual challenge – although for me mostly the challenge is just to manage to hit the theme.

          1. thanks Mark – I would also like to emphasize that I think it’s truly wonderful that new work is being created because of this column, whether it meets my criteria to be included in the column or not…

  6. What a great group of haiku. I feel as if I have been whisked from wave to the next! Perhaps still a little dizzy. Love them all! And thank you Kathy, for your comments on mine.

  7. Thank-you for including mine. This one portrayed a vivid image with
    a minimum of words.

    a parade
    of stars

    Tsanka Shishkova

  8. Another fabulous collection, Kathy. Thank you for including one of mine.
    porthole view
    now the sea
    now the sky
    Simon Hanson

    the sea and my face
    both pale green
    Ardelle Hollis Ray
    Like these two together 🙂
    deep dive…
    the titanic portholes
    lit up by search lights
    Ron C Moss
    such an eerie silence to this verse. Very nice.

  9. Wow! I feel like this was another particularly magical week in Haiku Windows. I really love all of the imagery presented. Thank you for including mine, Kathy. I was inspired by all of the cats last week.

  10. Thank you Kathy for including one of my haiku among this wonderful selection. I feel like I am on a voyage reading these porthole haiku. I especially liked Nazarena Rampini’s and Tsanka Shishkova’s haiku.

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