homeeditorsreviewsessaysmhbooks issues

Volume 36.2
Summer 2005




Favorite haiku of the Winter/Spring issue:

pumpkins ripen
    the scarecrow’s smile
        grows more cunning
Ross Figgins

A-bomb day—
I fill my mesh bag
with onions

D. Claire Gallagher


Favorite senryu of the Winter/Spring issue:

nude beach
I’m the only one here
Michael Ketchek

Favorite haibun of the Winter/Spring issue:

Netted Fish

Wah, wah, wah, the screams happen. Again. Noise and agony. White-ness. Sucking it all in. So awful again. Now golden light, bless, bless. Now gray. Now blackness. Nothing. But golden light again, yes, yes, yes.


Wanting that red thing. Wanting it. It’s so good, red. But very, very bad there in the dark corner. Dusty corner. Dirty corner. All is that in night black-ness. Dark and dirt, and nothingness. Awful, awful and stinky. Me, when my teeth bite, I take it in, and then it’s dirty down there. It’s dirty then. Me.

You. Bless, bless.

Only you, and you too beside her. You’re so good. Your hair beautiful, and I am grabbing it. Your hair is … you are beautiful. And you standing there beside her. Yes, yes. Green bird has green hair. Hair feathers. A song happens when green bird sings. Sometimes too the square light in the box sings. It talks a lot. I walk to the other room. She is there. I walk to her. She is soft. Soft voice. Leg and hand. Only you. And you standing there near her with deep voice.

They are strangers. Go away.

They are outside our room, out there. The bell is ringing. They come into our room. I watch them, and I watch you, mama, and you too, papa. Their hair and clothes, their voices and walking. They eat and laugh. I can laugh. But I do not laugh in blackness. Screams happen then. It is dirt, then, and awful, and there is nothing then. Nothing.
Miss Needham is nice. Mr. Arnold is nice. Jill is a girl, she plays with dolls. They do not eat but they stinky. I want them.

I love Nancy Gold. She has reddish brown hair, brown eyes, and the freckles make her smile very nice. I think I want to marry her, if she loves, if she loves me. She loves me, loves me not. Her soft voice. Her legs and hands. When will I ask, and how? I love Nancy Gold.

netted fish
quivering on a wet dock —
a rainbow flash

On the dock’s edge, we raised the long pole and sunfish slithered in the net-ting. Flopping, fins snagging in cording, choking, Jews coughing in the cham-bers, naked guests of kind Herr Hitler. Maybe I was one of them. Scales plating my back, sides, legs, arms, stomach, eyes. Convulsions like orgasms, killing desire. We fried the dressed, whole fish in a skillet and their eyes popped into nothing. Nothingness. Like my love of her, and I left then only with desire.

by William Ramsey

and another favorite from Winter-Spring:


Remember Mother, quiet after the mental hospital? Dressed in purple, her favorite. On her it gives a dark cast. She looks pale, smells of soap. I am sitting on her lap. I want her to know that sister used my paint box while she was gone.

Remember Daddy, sick with a heart attack? He doesn’t shave. Nine years old is too young for hospital visiting. But I’m so curious. When I do see Daddy, someone has shaved his face. Daddy is wearing a pretend beard. He doesn’t want to disappoint me.

Remember cousin Lonnie, sleeping on our sofa bed? He’s in his army uniform. We are roughhousing around the living room and on to the bed. Now I hide under the sheet. Lonnie holds it down and I can’t get out. I think … I can’t breathe.

family album —
we say “cheese”
for the camera

by Laurie Stoelting



© 2006 Modern Haiku • PO Box 930 • Portsmouth, RI 02871-0930