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Kevin McLaughlin

with Kevin McLaughlin

Become A Light in the World

Alan Watts wrote “Haiku frequently concerns itself with simple, seemingly trivial material of everyday life with things, however significant on the surface, which are precious treasures and inexhaustible riches to those who learn not only to look, but also to see.” This is accomplished by awakening to the inner nature of mind. The haiku poet develops, perhaps gradually, a higher state of consciousness. The intent of many philosophies and religions is transcendence, rising above the simple drudgery that concerns the non-spiritual individual. Transcendence is the craft of the haiku poet.


The mind sees the world as sacred. But adventitious occurrences mask the sacred nature of our world, they dull the mind. Writing haiku is similar to meditating. Both can lead to a degree of perfect awakening. Become a Light in the world. See the essence of the ordinary, the thing-in-itself — and reveal it.


White caterpillar,

Undulates down trash bin:

Cawing of a crow.


Kevin McLaughlin




Corine Timmer is an artist, publisher, and award-winning poet living in the south of Portugal, between the sea and the Algarvean hills.


ebb and flow . . .

the ever-changing shape

of the sandbarrier

First published in Gratitude in the Time of COVID-19: The Haiku Hecameron.


leaf-strewn street —

my reflection

in a passing hearse

First published in Iris International Haiku Magazine, No. 5, 2019 

feuillemorte —

the color

of his voice

First published in Frogpond.


Corine Timmer




Mona Bedi catches the flow of life in a poem that would speak to an archeologist.


spring thaw

inside the icicle

a frozen bee

(Despite the extreme brevity, this haiku conveys the essence of nature beyond any Wordsworth poem.)


Mona Bedi




Paweł Markiewicz is never totally separated from the haiku mind. He is a frequent BTS contributer.


under an old oak

at dawn the chalice was dug

by ancient druids


Paweł Markiewicz




Nicholas Gentile is retired and lives in York, South Carolina.


joining the goldfish

a croaking frog

dawn’s silence broken

(The sheer beauty of a frog barking.)


Nicholas Gentile




Minal Sarosh of India brings the mundane to a higher dimension.


midday sun

the herder snoring

the neem tree awake


long walk

a frog hopping in

the rain puddle


hospice window

twirling with the kite’s tail

mother’s breath

(Haiku can be very powerful. This is one such verse.)


Minal Sarosh




Francesca Leader won the first prize in the Society of Classical Poets’ 2021 translation competition with her translation of “Iroha,” an iconic Japanese poem.


Clouds billow and spread,

Soaking up the emptiness,

Mopping up the sky.

First published in Issue 67 of The Haiku Journal.

The shudder of life;

Wet anxiety to be;

Sharp shoots pierce the earth.


Grass vibrates with sound.

Wind or crickets — who can say?

They share the field’s harp.


Today a kestrel

Paused in your garden to drink

And you never knew


Francesca Leader




Noel King hails from Tralee, Ireland. His poetry collections have been published by Salmon Poetry. A short story collection, The Key Signature & Other Stories, was published by Liberties Press.


the skin of the sun


my pet rat


trains brushing edges

of trees reaching to embrace

across the tracks

(Inspired integration of man’s machines with nature.)


Noel King




Ram Krishna Singh, raised and educated in Varanasi, India, is a widely published poet whose work has been translated into many languages.


awake, cross legged

till witching hour —

no means no


lonely hours

restlessness of night

breathe satyr


dark fears —

loping in the street

mantra on lips


miles away

stars cease to twinkle:

no new moon


Ram Krishna Singh


Padmini Krishnan is an Indian national. She currently resides in the United Arab Emirates.


another winter morning

the monotonous song

of a robin

(Monotonous, but beautiful in this verse.)


Padmini Krishnan




Debbie Strange is an internationally published poet and haiga artist whose creative passions connect her more closely to the world and to herself. She lives in Manitoba, Canada.


transience . . .

petal by petal

we let go

Winning Haiku, 2017 Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival Haiku Invitational.


fog deepens

the sound of rabbits

nibbling night

Grand Prize, 2016 World Haiku Competition.


stone cairns

a faded cap drifts


First Place, 2015 Haiku Society of America Harold G. Henderson Awards.


Debbie Strange


Steve Brisendine lives and works in Mission, Kansas.


sway of yellow —

two goldfinches perch

on dead sunflowers

(Are dead sunflowers as beautiful as live flowers? Mr. Brisendine sees them, perhaps, as equals.)


Steve Brisendine




Joshua St. Claire is an accountant who works as a financial controller in Pennsylvania. He is a two-time Pushcart nominee.



the darkness we can’t see

even when we look

(John Keats would have loved this seeming contradiction.)



spruce candles

never reach the Earth


winter morning

on the window

cherry blossoms



setting down his quiver


(A juxtaposition of mythology with nature.)


Joshua St. Claire


James Presley of Sedan, Kansas, is currently a wrestling coach (well done, Sir!) and a writer of haiku that seamlessly blend disparate elements.


voice once an echo: now

a distant dirge drowned out by

the crickets chirping


headlights stab the night

and the darkness once wounded

bleeds a deeper black


chickens scratch for corn

they strut and cluck — heretics

speaking in tongues


James Presley




Simon Kaeppeli is a scientist who retained interest in writing poetry from his teen years.


Red bleeds into black

As night finally recedes

The stars laid to rest


Echoes in the trees

Sunlight filters through the leaves

We remain hidden

(This evokes the mood of a pagan ritual for this Irishman.)


Simon Kaeppeli



Diane Webster of Delta, Colorado, enjoys the challenge of transforming images into words to fit her poems.


She continues

to drag her reflection

through rain puddles


Sunshine warms . . .

peeking through the privacy fence

forget-me-not blooms


Diane Webster




B. Michael Hughes approaches haiku as a forum to perfectly encapsulate any moment . . . haiku mind.


Bluebird glides

in pursuit of breakfast . . .

A perfect descent

(Easy to envision this graceful act.)


Sound over Pennsylvania prairie

An owl hoots

above grizzly slumber


In magnolia brush

Butterfly en route

Riverwater blues


B. Michael Hughes




Laurie Kuntz has attained that state wherein she has become integrated into the natural world. She’d make a fine companion for a walk in the forest.


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




S Denny resides in San Angelo, Texas, and is a graduate of the University of Texas. Mr. Denny is very much a master of the classical style.


winter’s final frost

from ice to water to air;

white crocus breaks ground


silhouettes in blue

calmly wade through lakeshore reeds;

herons forage food


eves dripping water

summer monsoon’s wet deluge

pathway pebbles shine


S Denny




Angelo B. Ancheta is a freelance writer who writes haiku and other short poems. His works have appeared in various journals.



under a blue moon . . .

how minor keys sound


no sunrise

the rooster's crow

I miss again


Angelo B. Ancheta




C.P. Kennedy lives in the New York City area.


Fallen leaves fly

a fractured wind, sun —

distant mountains form.

(Ah, a description of a fractured wind juxtaposed with distant mountains.)


Morning, a spring frost

the dog’s brown eyes are suns of

a new universe.


C.P. Kennedy




“The mind can make a heaven of hell, or a hell of heaven.”

  — John Milton


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


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