I love the centuries-old tradition of Japanese haiku. Its economical style and breadth of material — observations on the natural, philosophical, and social world are astonishingly profound, and often, wry. It’s refreshing to see the power of seventeen syllables in an age of verbosity with so little to say. While my introduction to haiku has always been in translation, Matsuo Basho and Kobayashi Issa are two of those haiku masters whose poems evoke so much with so little.

The following haiku are by me!


All the words we say
sting like angry
bees. Nectar of rage.


Treacherous syrup
We dove into without war-
ning. Endless bottom.


Encircled liquid
Protected without mercy
with indifference.


Fear into dream world
faces everywhere with the same
bones gaping. Help!

Way to Winter

Witches’ Sabbath moon
black cat in my warming lap
outside October

Witches’ Moon, Kaushalya Bannerji, 2019

Public Night

Man following with smile
But these days could just as
Well be loaded gun


Who among us has
not cast the first resentful
stone flying dead true


flounders at the crossroads
Ethic of hope still

Worksong II

Hear the voices friends,
never turn down the proffered hand
sleek switchblade disguised.

Flame, Kaushalya Bannerji, 2019

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