Editor's Choice of "water" Haiku Thread




the world   surrounded by water    full moon

John Daleiden


H2O.  Water!  On earth water is a common chemical substanceit is essential for the survival of all known forms of life. Water covers 71% of the Earth's surface; the oceans contain 97.2%ofthe Earth's water. 90% of all fresh water on Earth is contained in the Antarctic ice sheet, visible at the bottom of the image below.

The earth seen from Apollo 17

NASA Photo in the public domain

The human body is anywhere from 55% to 78% water depending on body size.

Water is ever present in human lives and this is clearly celebrated in the 151 water haiku written by 24 poets from 9 countries.

The haiku submitted reflected two large subject matter divisions: 1, water as it appears in the natural environment interacting with life forms, and 2, water as it impacts with human lives.

I have selected one group of haiku because they are well written verses that demonstrate water interacting with life forms we commonly see in the natural environment:

sea wind
a gull picks a spot
for take-off

# 77. Ella Wagemakers, NL

her brood scatters
an unexpected gust
troubles the water

# 65. Gerry Bravi, CA

abandoned at the pond—
dawn mews

# 148. Maria Tirenescu, RO
in the depth
of the lily pond
the moon halo

# 36. Vasile Moldovan, RO

A brook to cross—
the ants build a live bridge
out of themselves.

# 117. Zhanna P. Rader, US
shorter days
a floating oak leaf
in the rock pool

# 16. Barbara A. Taylor, AU
local swimming hole
riding the current
river trout run

# 17. Kristin Reynolds, US

the waterfall
a frozen cascade
ragged sky

# 128. Catherine J. S. Lee, US

Polar ice cap
melts into the ocean—
August heat wave

# 100. Daniela Bullas, UK

driving rain—
the cries of a heron from
the wind-torn pine

# 92. Jon Davey, UK

rippling wind
a seagull
skims the lake

# 68. Bill Kenney, US

storm's end—
gorse buds drenched
in moonlight

# 81. Jon Davey, UK

the morning star
reflects on the pond

a lotus blooms

# 82. Jacek Margolak, PL

Each of the haiku in the three sets I have selected (above and below), expresses a unique relationship between water and the environment. The poems portray common experiences, observable time capsules captured as a haiku moment. The poets have used the fragment and phrase technique with skill; sometimes the water image is in the fragment; other times the water image is in the phrase. The second image is a well chosen juxtaposition of a living aspect of the environmenttogether, the fragment and phrase combine artistically to form a well expressed haiku moment for readers.

I have selected a second group of haiku because they too are well written verses; in this group the haiku portray the impact of water and human life:

The destructive force of water and other natural forces is formidable—tsunamis, tornadoes, cyclones, typhoons and hurricanes have the power to kill—the power to destroy both human and natural habitats on an immense scale:

massive waves
crashing against the rocks:
a hurricane

# 99. Keith A. Simmonds, TT

In absolute contrast, water can provide a placid and relaxed atmosphere:

summer’s end
tossing pebbles in the pond
to hear the sound

# 74. Bill Kenney, US

Humans and water have co-existed side by side since the dawn of time; man has used water as a means of transportationfor practicality, pleasure, profit, and long distance traveling:

criss-crossing the Nile
white sails of a felucca
the wind on her tail

# 02. Barbara A. Taylor, AU

moonlight on water
the wake of a distant boat
slips into the reeds

# 03. Gerry Bravi, CA

sultry night
the rhythm of oars
stroking the lake

# 64. Bill Kenney, US

tears in her eyes:
the ship setting out
for a distant land

# 59. Keith A. Simmonds, TT

For many humans their contact with water is that of a land lubber standing near the vast reaches of the five oceansPacific, Atlantic, Indian, Arctic, and Southern; these oceans occupy 71% of the world's surface:

cries of the seagulls
the taste of the ocean
in my mouth

# 80. Jacek Margolak, PL
musty smells
of winter coats
we walk the beach

# 89. Trish Shields, CA

However, inland dwellers also experience water in its many roles bringing both pleasure and distress:

fraying rope swing
at the river
out of towner’s

# 04. Kristin Reynolds, US

a pond skater zigzags
between my fingers

# 90. Jacek Margolak, PL

a rickety bridge
over a raging river:
two friends reminisce

# 08. Keith A. Simmonds, TT

a rain storm
blows around the chalet...
strains of Wagner

# 20. Keith A. Simmonds, TT
torrential rain falls
on a steamy tin roof
under attack

# 09. Kristin Reynolds, US

The absence or shortage of waterdraught, brings its own unique conditions:

Water shortage—
she dotes on her roses: each drop
used to quench their thirst.

# 102. Zhanna P. Rader, US
A rare rain—
the children run outside,
faces upwards.

# 115. Zhanna P. Rader, US

Because three is a magic number, I have selected a final group of water haiku that have on additional and unique characteristiclaughter!

One of the great joys in life is laughter!  The world does not need to be a somber or sober place with relentlessness. There is joy and humor in life. Senyru is the haiku equivalent of writing about this segment of life experience. Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900) said, "Laughter means: taking a mischievous delight in someone else’s uneasiness, but with a good conscience". These senyru are a reflection of this sentiment:


shoveling snow
so I can leave
—my neighbor

# 45. Ed Baker, US

flooded river
a house-for-sale sign
gets washed away

# 75. Ella Wagemakers, NL

a quiet cove
just beyond my reach
a beer can bobs

# 63. Gerry Bravi, CA
Now that grandma's old,
she has a bidet installed:
"My fountain of youth!"

# 93. Zhanna P. Rader, US
"Man is the only animal that laughs or weeps; for he is the only animal that is struck with the difference between what things are, and what they ought to be. We weep at what thwarts or exceeds our desires in serious matters; we laugh at what only disappoints our expectations in trifles"William Hazlitt (1778–1830). The boarder between laughter and weeping, between self-criticism and self-praise is a narrow path; balance with care, otherwise you will fall to certain destruction.
full moon
behind her Azalea Bush

# 43. Ed Baker, US







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