Poetry Niche – October 2022

This poetry page is devoted to haiku and senryu. A haiku is a short poem that uses imagistic language to convey the essence of an experience of nature intuitively linked to the human condition. In Japanese a typical haiku has seventeen on (sounds) arranged in lines of five, seven, and five sounds. On has often been translated in English as syllablest. Most haiku in English consist of three unrhymed lines of seventeen or fewer syllables. Haiku have no titles, although this is optional.

A senryu is a poem, structurally similar to haiku, that highlights the foibles of human nature, usually in a humorous or satiric way. The originator of senryu was Karai Haciemon (1718-90), born in Edo (Tokyo) who took the pen-name of Karai Senryu (river willow). Early anthologies of senryu did not record the poets’ names. The anonymity allowed ordinary people to write satiric poems aimed at important people.

The distinction between haiku and senryu has been blurred and many haiku in English are really senryu.

Reading the paper 

he doesn’t look up anymore

still lonely inside

Remembering when

impregnated overnight

she glowed at breakfast

She sets the table

eggs for him, toast for her

he just wants coffee

Cold eggs congealing

she sits sipping English tea

remembering sex

Bill Freyer


Insular Being

Solitude offers
The poet inner rest—a
Welcomed loneliness.


Watching Mama cat
Curled asleep round her babies
The garden at dusk.

Writing Haiku

It’s not like finding
Bright diamonds in the sand,
It’s “seeing” the sand.

The Apple

Red skin streaked by sun
Clean crispness like celery
Orchard-scented globe.


Like being alone?
Support group available
Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Covid Etiquette

Now the “new normal”
Requires the “old virtues”
Patience and Courage.

Fleeting Presence

The haiku poem
Passes in a flash—quick stay
Like the humming bird.

Heavenly Mansion

Choose one room in your
House of eternity, then
Dwell there from within.

Someone Once said…

I’ve lived with many
Zen masters over the years—
All of them cats.

Garden Wall

The lavender wall
Is the color of my soul
I greet it at dusk.

Haiku Now

What is haiku but
The sting of just one moment
And gone before thought.


Rather than die of
A broken heart—I soar
Remembering him.

Soundless Winter

Beauty of quiet
Pure naked absence of noise
Hush of falling snow.

Mexican Countryside

The dove’s fluted coo
Echoes, haunts this rural place—
Opens the bound heart.

Ironing Shirts

First, press the collar
Carefully iron the sleeves
Aah, the hell with it!

Chris Small


blue-crested hummingbird

kisses jacaranda blossoms

azure apparition

dining with our dead

by flowery ofrendas

Día de Muertos

invisible in the fog

Berkshire memories

night air tastes like home

Ken Salzmann


summer’s blossom

gone with the rainy season

her scent in the sheets 

raining blossoms

in the season of no rain—

golden shower tree

shrill cicadas—

at hibiscus’ sanguine center

pollen-laden spear

red umbrellas

open against noonday sun

tulipan raining

his old refrain

autumn heart seeking solace

insinuates itself


leaves of music blown away

ear game

shorter days

desiring night to hurry

wanting you to stay

how could I not say

I forgive

when he asks on his death bed

so wise in poems

now says he’s learned nothing

this earthly stint


Death in a miniskirt

his last tango

he traveled far

to explore

his inner geography

limo driver

asks me urgent questions

in his own language

the urgent clop

of horse hooves on cobblestones

this autumn morning

my friend rejoices

her journey almost over

suitcase empty

no cure

the bee man

must have his honey

Margaret Van Every


no moon

the unspoken beauty

of parting

moonless evening

under the star filled sky

fireflies guide me

summer sandcastles

even the smallest of waves

erases a dream

pushcart vendor

scent of oranges

in his call

migrant children

in cages

not terrorists – yet

crossing the tree stump

the ant stops

at the Civil War

the funeral home

she bends to straighten his tie

for the final time

the kite

of my departed friend

no string


covered by the dust

my childhood

silver track

life line

of a snail


welcome morning

erasing yesterday

the river changes

yet remains the same


Anasazi mud wall

a hand print

my size

opening a kilo

of Peruvian coffee

mountain memory


purple majesty

sweeps the sky

Mel Goldberg


For more information about Lake Chapala visit: chapala.com

Mel Goldberg
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