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Kevin McLaughlin

with Kevin McLaughlin

Hollow Stems

A bamboo grove conveys a sense of dignity and spirituality. Bamboo, a member of the grass family, is characterized by its hollow stems. In a metaphorical sense, these hollow stems represent the non-dual nature of all phenomena. The empty stems are an insight into the primordial ground that is the inter-being that motivates those who write haiku and senryū. That emptiness traces back to the instant before the Big Bang, when all matter, energy, gravity, and time were one entity confined in an infinitely small singularity. No difference between subject and object existed.

The sound of the wind,

Hollow stems clack together —

The black bamboo grove.

Kevin McLaughlin



Purbasha Roy is a writer from Jharkand, India. Purbasha evokes a mood that stirs the imagination of a subtle reader.

Cows graze

Greeness of fields

Crows cackle near

(Ah, the greenness of the fields!)

Heron’s nest

Cradles silence

Winter tapestry

(A profound silence, complete stillness,)

Red daisies

Bloom in the garden

Red dawn of sun

Purbasha Roy

David Kehe is a former Peace Corp volunteer. He draws inspiration from living on the Pacific Northwest and from 40 years of teaching ESL. He is keenly aware of nature’s natural processes of growth and decay.

wind-scattered seeds


grown apart

forest floor


of fallen logs

David Kehe



A recent University of Texas graduate, S Denny resides in San Angelo, Texas. His most recent poem appeared in Voices de la Luna.

glass-green bottle flies

buzzing ’round the scavenge mark

a silken sunshine

thunder-thumped cloud

bleeds a life-blood transparent

b‘low a daisy grows

(Superior juxtaposition of the thunder-thumped cloud and . . . a daisy.)

S Denny



Robert Beveridge makes noise and writes poetry in Akron, Ohio.


the stone wall stares out

at the storm

Robert Beveridge


DJ Tyrer produces Atlantean Publishing and edits View From Atlantis and the 5-7-5 Haiku Journal.

A fleshy cocoon

Caterpillar held within

No butterfly flight

First published in Poetry Cornwall.

Bees twitch, pollen seek

Treasure in dewy flower

Summer sun’s caress

First published in Migrating Minds.

Dark clouds blur the sun

Crack of thunder shatters still

Startled birds take flight

First published on Duane’s PoeTree.

DJ Tyrer

Leland Woodson, originally from Michigan, moved to Canada, became a Registered Psychologist, and joined the department of psychology at a regional college.

Coastal raindrops fall

Plip, plop What’s that I see,

Ah, my Winter Jasmine

(A wonderful combination of sound and color.)

Moon, old companion

Slightly growing larger now

Night and love are done

Mountain wind whistling,

New white snow on drooping trees

Button this old coat

Leland Woodson

Ram Chandran of India is a corporate lawyer and a poet. Every haikuist will feel a bit of joy at his conch shell.

songs of the sea


the conch shell

train whistle —

a cuckoo

flies from the bough

Ram Chandran



Harris Coverley of the United Kingdom illustrates the difference between Western poetry and the pure, objective nature of Haiku.

the road stays silent

the trees wait against the wind

the owl calls for sleep

unknown birds clucking

the moon a handleless spoon

the zenith of spring

Harris Coverley



Kelly Sargent is a widely published modern haiku and senryū poet, often inspired by the four distinct seasons in picturesque Vermont.

a mourning dove’s coo


to remember

(Her dove’s cooing will long reverberate.)

morning dewdrops


the moon

Kelly Sargent

George Held from New York is an 11-time Pushcart nominee and has published many haiku. He catches “life as it flows.”

In the yard

a rabbit nibbles the grass —

a deer sports antlers

Downy woodpecker

pecks holes in the pergola —

tongue laps up larvae

Lammergeier soars

scoping hillside marmots

a mountain goat climbs

Kashmir sheepdogs,

giant and fierce, guard the flock —

repel wolves, bear

Snow leopard stays

undercover by day,

hunts by night

(A sacred animal with all its auspiciousness.)

George Held



Emily Jo Scalzo holds an MFA in fiction and is currently an assistant teaching professor at Ball State University in Indiana.


centipede on my ceiling

its ghost haunting me

forty-foot crater

a scar on the landscape

from the falling sky

Emily Jo Scalzo

Padmini Krishnan exhibits intense perception. In these haiku she has pure awareness.

under the roots

of ancient oak

buried childhood dreams

First published in Mad Swirl.

brief stopover

the wind spreads its body

on the neem branches

baby turtle

on the sunny sand

dreams of the dark coral

Padmini Krishnan


Richard Rose’s haiku were inspired by a trip to the Holy Island of Lindisfarne, where he visited the monastery founded by Saint Aidan.

The cold sea surrounds

Bitter winds cut from the north

Seagulls dance in clouds.

Above the shingled strand

Castle walls ascend from rocks

Hear the jackdaw’s caw.


(Fortunate are those who have heard the birds that nest in stone walls.)

Paths where pilgrims trod

A thousand years of footprints

Cross the grassy ridges.

Listen to the voices

Carried on the North Sea wind

Echoes across centuries.

Tides come in and steal

The only way to mainland

Silence must return.

Richard Rose



Anthony Watkins is a well-known poet. It has been said, “Wherever Anthony goes, there is poetry.”

Brown needles gather

On forest floor before baling

Under green cathedral

(A true reverence for that interconnectedness of nature.)

Anthony Watkins

Germina L. Melius is a genealogical assistant from the Caribbean Island of St. Lucia. Her haiku have a distinct metaphysical elegance.

solvent heart like wax

where in nature’s home it hides

a candle fainting

flowers their beauty

hypnotising bees’ dull eyes,

mellowness is good

watching a rooster

grey finch in a tall mango tree

neither will be caught

oceans arm dreadful one

hearts in the soul of water

death is counting bones

(The third line would be superior in any poetry format and is perfect for haiku.)


All four haiku first published in Ginyu Magazine.

Germina L. Melius



Andre P. Audette is a political scientist at Monmouth College.

lilacs in bloom

bee flies off with spray of pollen

stings with fascination

(Complete insight into bee nature.)

moon-shines on the porch

there I am

drinking it in

Andre P. Audette



Rhonda Brown’s educational degrees include an MA in School Counseling and a BS in Family Life/Social Work from LSU. Note Rhonda adheres to the classic 5-7-5 form.

Winter folds a tree —

into a counterfeit death

— gray, bony, lifeless.


(Stark, powerful, and tied to the four seasons.)

Rhonda Brown



Steve Harvester of Westfield, Massachusetts, is a retired United Methodist pastor.

stone saint francis

sits by the garden fountain

pardon for birds

mom’s flight home

rock salt urn in my lap

Iowa soil

Steve Harvester



TM has written haiku that all relate indirectly to time . . . and maybe to the pandemic.


Floors won’t stop tilting.

Every step on my tightrope

spotlights easy prey.


Sitting is best now,

or sleep — like a dead pharaoh’s,

hands crossing my heart.



Laurie Kuntz has published two poetry collections and two chapbooks.

Whisper of a dead mother's voice:

the stillness of trees

before a burst of fruit

Caught between the angry

conversation of sea and shore

shells remain silent

The wind talks

a solitary leaf falls

from the red maple

Laurie Kuntz

Diane Webster of Delta, Colorado, presents a dazzling tour of the Seasons.

Behind beaver dam

skim of ice glimmers

April sunshine


Sizzling summer

dove strolls along the sidewalk

under lawn sprinklers

Morning encounter

ghost jaywalks across the street

priest in white robes

(Read this one twice to appreciate the spirituality.)

Golden aspen leaves

fall in place on forest paths

cobblestone streets

Among desert stones

stump reaches skyward

cactus imitates sun

(Stumps and cactus; their true nature captured.)

Sunflower brightens stump . . .

stump curves over flowers

togetherness in the forest

Diane Webster




We sense the true nature of entities through our five senses. Many haikuists can also use their minds to capture the true essence of reality.


Kevin McLaughlin


Yet once more I encourage all haiku writers to share their work, their insights into the nature of all things, with fellow poets and BTS readers.  

For those interested in haiku, I recommend you cast back into the BTS archives and reference the September 2016 column.

It provides a pretty thorough explanation of the basic format.

Kevin Mclaughlin

Haiku | Better Than Starabucks

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