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Cleveland Haikus

04 April, 2017: Cleveland Haikus


by Michael Ceraolo
A tale of two buses:    
the burbs:  air-cooled, empty          
the city:  crowded, hot

Debate rages    
over the best way to give   
a new toy to the rich

At the Coast Guard station          
they wait and wait         
for Canada to invade

Power failure--           
people trapped in elevators         
while the stairs still work
“Cleveland Haikus” by Michael Ceraolo, from Cleveland Haiku. Green Panda Press, 2004. Used by permission of the author.
Michael Ceraolo is a retired firefighter/paramedic, active poet and almost-lifelong resident of the Euclid Creek watershed, with the books Euclid Creek and Cleveland Haiku to his credit. Another book, Euclid Creek Book Two, is forthcoming from Unbound Content.


Write five haikus on any city but Cleveland, or write one haiku on five cities other than Cleveland.

Lady Liberty
Arches Windy and Neon
Before the Angels
4/19/2017 5:40:50 PM

Kim Toreky
Lakeside, Ohio

By the lake she sits
Waiting for us to come play
Lapping at our feet

Let the sun shine down
While displaying her beauty
For us to soak in

Encourages peace
Renews our hope, faith and soul
Strengthens our beliefs

Our place to unwind
Reflect, grow and reconnect
For me and each other

Making time for us
At our home away from home
Happy family
4/10/2017 12:03:34 AM

Chantelle Brady

4 giant A's there
on every corner of town,
how ugly they are.


Less than one square mile
is the size of my college,
which defines the town.


Dirty, ugly streets
that my friend does not want to
be out in at night.


Farmed British houses;
A castle, college campus,
like it was from France.


Neighborhood suburbs
with trails and neighborhood watch
and cousins and aunt.
4/8/2017 10:34:14 PM

Joshua, with all due respect: 1) Several English dictionaries (among them, the third and fifth edition of the American Heritage, which I love for being rather descriptive rather than prescriptive) give both "haiku" and "haikus" as acceptable plurals for the word. You see, when a foreign word comes into the English language, the word often gets changed by the English speakers. So, I weary of people telling me we have to pronounce "Nicaragua" as "Nee-kar-ag-wah" rather than "Nick-a-ra-gwa." When I am speaking Spanish, I use the former; when English, the latter, just as I say "Nueva York" when speaking Spanish and "New York" when speaking English.
2) & 3) Thanks so much for these resources. I am sure the poets who are writing a poem a day will all stop and take hours to read all of this before even attempting such a very complicated and difficult form.
4/7/2017 5:24:59 PM

Joshua Gage
A few thoughts on this assignment:

1) "Haiku," being a Japanese term, is both singular and plural. The idea of "haikus" doesn't make sense, linguistically.

2) If one is going to write haiku, one should probably understand what is being done with the genre currently. I'd suggest the following links for study:

3) I think it's important to look at the resources available to study haiku and what is being done with haiku as a form in the United States. I'd strongly recommend the following books available through the Cuyahoga library system:

Haiku in English : the first hundred years / Jim Kacian, editor-in-chief ; Philip Rowland and Allan Burns, editors ; with an introduction by Billy Collins and a historical overview by Jim Kacian.

The haiku handbook : how to write, teach, and appreciate haiku / William J. Higginson and Penny Harter ; foreword by Jane Reichhold.

Haiku mind : 108 poems to cultivate awareness and open your heart / [edited by] Patricia Donegan.

The haiku anthology : haiku and senryu in English / edited by Cor van den Heuvel.
4/7/2017 3:12:52 PM

A few haikus of my memories from Pittsburgh...

Morning traffic snarls
Metal fangs jut from the jaws
Of Veterans Bridge.

The old steel city
Souls of former factories
Gray upon the sky.

Here we go, Steelers!
Future bright for black and gold
Glad we’re not the Browns.

Students walk to class
Commuters search for parking
Nomads in the town.

Machines in a garage
Created, not put away
Forged at Hack Pittsburgh.
4/4/2017 11:41:52 PM

Cascadian heights
Pioneers end of the line
Calls from your summit

Brother to the north
Puget sounds under my feet
Where the salmon fly

Sonoran sunset
Unconditional true love
Wind carries kisses

Immortals play ball
Grass is greener inside of
Pastime's cathedral

Gold sun, splash of rum
Blue jewel of sea and sky
Nature's color wheel

(Portland, Seattle, Scottsdale, Cooperstown, San Juan)
4/4/2017 10:28:29 PM


City by the lake,
Terminal Tower beaming
Proud past, bright future.

Generations blend
Cultural diversity
Vibrant neighborhoods
4/4/2017 10:11:19 PM

Rain falls gently down
Leaves unfold into bright green
Push out pale pink buds
4/4/2017 7:31:05 PM

Samantha Lumpkin
S.F. Haikus

Bridging Golden Gate
Forty-nine square miles of fine
Eclectic Mixture

They ring gallantly
Up Market, Powell, Hyde streets
Grab a trolley ride!

Winding around it
We see more and more as we
ascend Coit Tower

Foggy hilly place
Rolling by Painted Ladies
Breathtaking city

Neighborhoods galore
Haight, Presidio, Sunset
Just to name a few
4/4/2017 3:54:20 PM

Arch in the Sky

Bright red bird flies high
Towering metal half moon
Shimmers in the sun.

Falling Waters

Cascading waters
Creating a wall of mist
With a roaring sound.

Blue Collar

The Motor City
Once bustling with working men
Now stands empty, alone.

Sound of Country

Pass by the Opry
Hearing the twang of guitar
And honky-tonk bands.

City of Squares

Cobblestone streets, parks
Tourists gather ‘round the squares
Making memories.
4/4/2017 3:15:57 PM

Saugatuck Haikus
Feet touch sand and calm
settles over weary bodies, minds
breeze whisks away cares

Symphony of sound
wind, water, children, laughter
first movement of Beach

Sand shifts, drifts, moves where
dunes rise skyward then drift once
more back to the lake

Evening's pink light gives
way to orange flames that touch the horizon. Dark.

Hands touch, eyes meet a
spark reborn in paradise
carry it home, love
4/4/2017 2:26:17 PM

LaRain C Hudson
Boston history,
Freedom Trail exploration,
Ancestors are here.

Seattle beacons,
Bumbershoots necessary,
One day goes too fast.

Chicao Pier
One whole day to spend my time
for disccovery.

San Francisco trip
Japanese Gardens quiet
For a peaceful calm.

St. Louis Arch looms,
Photographic centerpiece,
Skyline dominance.
4/4/2017 12:57:00 PM

LaRain C Hudson
Ok. Now or never
4/4/2017 12:38:01 PM

The Turtle Mountain Haikus
Dunseith, ND 1999

Across the prairie;
burning suns fuse horizons;
earth befriends heaven.

Sunset tucks her tongue
simmering, stoic. Green mounds
escape spring-time frosts.

Silence celebrates
old women returning north;
light settles softly.

Guardian of peace;
garden of shared boundary—
touch air; paint it blue.


Old women singing,
little steps toward heaven—
like turtles hiding.

(c) 1999 Tovli Simiryan
from North of the Soul
4/4/2017 11:20:28 AM

N. K. Hasen
Boston Haikus

We walk the red line
Past historic sites of old--
One mile more to go

Historic sites stand
The testament of time from
Early beginnings

Landfills destoryed where
Once tea was thrown overboard
Many years in past

Historic ghosts creep
Upon Boston Commons for
Midnight talk and stroll

Traffic bloated as
Cars drive to work even through
They now have Big Dig
4/4/2017 10:57:17 AM

READ + WRITE: 30 Days of Poetry is a collaboration between Cuyahoga County Public Library and poet Diane Kendig. Our thanks go to Diane and the poets of Northeast Ohio who allowed us to share their poetry.