Haiku etc


A book in the hand

On December 13, 2014 I published my first collection of haiku, ADVENT CALENDAR HAIKU. They are twenty-four poems inspired by the images behind the flaps of an advent calendar, signs of hope in a season of darkness. The book is for sale at the Grolier Poetry Bookshop in Harvard Square. Here it is in their window display last December.


To purchase ADVENT CALENDAR HAIKU click below


I tweet #haiku on Twitter as @qerese.

Click here to see my tweets.


Poetry and Writing

What are you doing
Staying in your house all day?
Waiting for the tide.

I am imprisoned
By seventeen syllables
And two continents.

Her best poems sprang
Like the winged, immortal horse
Out of blood and loss.

Young woman longing
To write. Wild as a wood nymph
Words in her womb.

Advice to a Poet
Don’t Knock on the Door
Of Poetry. Use your gift
Pass through the keyhole.

The Fragility of Inspiration
Mysterious source
Of my poems. How I fear
Your mortality.

She wept with longing
For the arms of her lover:
Words and solitude.

Come to the fountain,
Bring your thirsty poet’s soul
To the horse’s spring.

My Plan
Leave the library
Board a decrepit sailboat
Become a writer.

Sacred library
Beneath your vaulted ceiling
I can truly work.

Writing Advice
Stay inside the house.
This is your strength and safety,
You are a turtle.

Before Writing a Letter
Blank stationery
Awaits with an envelope
For ink infusion.

The Twitter Poet
Silent for decades
She found her voice on Twitter
And the dam burst.

She will find the hearth,
The place of truth and focus
In her lined notebook.

Weary Author
Dreams: to ride a horse
To go on vacation
To see this book done.

Young Mother
Worry ’til it hurts
Never flinch from your purpose
I will support you.

The careless haiku poet
Burst out of her form one day.
The perfect teardrop ran,
Fused with the whole ocean.

Science Experiment
Stop, poet, stay still
Crystals will begin to form
As on careful string
Suspended in the solution
Of your dissolved memories.


First Mate
My bed is a bunk
In the back of a building
With a city view.

I time my rising
To the muffled rainfall of
His morning shower.

Home Office
Evil keyboard sounds
Eat the edges of my day
Poems fall like snow.

No morning bike ride.
See, my bed is so soft,
The pavement so hard.

Student Sorrows
Hard kitchen table,
Homework. But we like to dream
Of a living room.

Uncleaned-up Breakfast
Cereal bowl still
Sits on the table, patient.
Awaits her caress.

Like Adam and Eve
Under an apple tree
We decide our future.

Kitchen Meditation
Fill the pepper mill
Put the lid in place, tighten
The silver screw.

In the study
Winthrop letter desk
Envelopes and secret drawers
Waiting for her touch.

Linen Meditation
Worn pillow cases
Folded and smoothed with care
Placed in a dresser drawer.

Neglectful Mother
When Daddy’s away
Things fall apart. Mommy tweets,
Forgets to feed us.

Winter Chore
Spilling birdseed
I trudged to the feeder
Fed feathery flight.


Ancient cypress trees
We search for the largest rose
At the Alhambra.

Atocha station
There were palm trees and turtles
While bombs blew up trains.

Museum Visit
Prado. Velazquez
Felipe and his family
Spend whole days there.

Our Neighborhood
Cordoba. We live
Outside the Mezquita walls
Lacy, leaking gold.

Greek Gods

She disrobes for Mars
While under the volcano
Vulcan works the forge.

Demeter’s child knew
The language of flowers, not
The deceit of death.

After she left I knew
My mysterious guest
Was a goddess.

Shy dawn rises
Propelled by the earth’s turning
Her light fills the sky.

I saw Iris land
There among the orange trees.
What was her message?

How, why did I turn?
Eurydice still with me
Her eyes full of tears.


Something of her own
In the stone farmhouse
She hid her careful savings
In a ball of yarn.

Pennsylvania stream
Soft brown water, bridges
Made of mica shist.

Where no one could hear,
In a stripped corn field
We shouted out thanks.

Days of the Week

Monday’s like bread dough
Unrisen, unbaked heavy
Cold mass in the pan.

Monday 2
Monday just sat there
Bland and uncompromising
Like a glass of milk.

Empty highway, sky
Midweek, alone and free I
Drive to the country.

Saturn, enchant me
With your spinning rings of gold
Your pagan blessings.

Lord’s Day
Sunday I’m pious
I observe Twitter silence
You tweet hymns of praise.

Missing Church
Sunday city sounds
Same liturgy of sirens
Starving for psalms.


Through the murky night
A shooting star’s chalky path
Told me I was home.

Yacht Club
Beyond the blue pool
And the blonde ladies in diamonds
A scaly tail thrashed.

In Gloucester Harbor
Holding the tiller
She makes her boat dance and schoon
Proud captain’s daughter.

Last Day of Summer
Rose hips have ripened
Time is short, close your schoolbooks
Bike to the lighthouse.


The September sea
Returns to me your sapphire
Lost from an old ring.

Outside my Window
Crickets fill the night
With their ancient choruses
Heard for the first time.

Town green, autumn day
I wanted to give thanks
But did not know how.

Symphony of Autumn
Even weeds and vines
Turn marvelous colors here
In fall’s crescendo.

Wooden Boat
Strong, gray winds but we
Lifted anchor, hoisted sails
To bring our boat home.

“That time of life in me do you behold”
Ferocious winds tear
At the leaves, but how they cling
Triumphant, alive.

In the early dark
An orange moon sliver spoke
Of new beginnings.


First Day of Advent
Sidewalk Magnolia,
Your buds are like candle flames
Without light or warmth.

Until Death Do Us Part
Frigid cold outside
Lovers by the fireplace
Hair white like winter


city, I love you
as Odysseus once loved
his porcupine island

Like an ancient text
I read the city closely
In my native tongue.

An Education
On the orange line
She learned heartbreak, poetry,
And the meaning of home.

Where the two streets meet
Copley Square is Syntagma
That’s the Grand Bretagne.

Sunrise in the City
Hail, morning commute
Buildings hide the sun, and Dawn
Rides the orange line.

Back Bay
Cold seeps through clothing
From the station’s stone benches
I await your train.

South End
Both pushing strollers
Two women discuss how long
They want to breastfeed.


Transposition 2
Harvard Square subway
Blurs to Saint Michel. Poets
Don’t know where they are.

She found the full moon
On a cafe balcony,
Brought me to Persia.

Fall in Cambridge
Brattle Street bricks
The air is brittle, the leaves
Break under our shoes.

Harvard Yard 2
Under sycamores
New chairs, old college, same girl
Who once broke his heart.

Little Red Riding Hood
She rides the red line
Carries a red bag, writes haiku
For her grandmother.

Crossing the river
I saw golden Athena
On a brick building.

Harvard Square
Looking for parking
I looped past Eliot house
Sudden sick feeling
Thirty years ago a boy
Plucked the sun from my sky.


With tentative steps
A foreign girl walks alone
In the Moorish city.

Necklace and earrings,
Fake diamond engagement gift
To my younger self.

Panic Attack
Bus to Portugal
Fear gripped her and dizziness.
The horror of youth.


Waking Early
Rowboat, set out now
Move across the morning lake
Part the still water.

Parents and Children

In charge of children
When the towers fell. Parents
With strange expressions
Arrived early to pick up
Their only reality.

Cancer waiting room.
A poem my mother wrote
About a turtle.

From the Train Window
Five egrets knee-deep
In the tidal stream, timeless
Their snowy whiteness.


Sacred Oath
My first child. I made
More than a promise to love
I swore it by Styx.

Once in November
Her most secret love story
Was born into words.

Taxi from JFK
New York. I expand
Into the great avenues
That still sing of him.

I was of his life
The sunshine, he said, and left
Through an airport gate.

It was not he who
Made me promise not to tell.
I placed that burden on myself
As though by keeping his secret
I kept one part of him.

I lied, said I had work to do
(My only truth was loving you.)
You loved me, but you left again.
The Muses owned you even then.

Whispers in autumn
Become shouts in the winter
You must leave this place.

Keeping promises
She used up her youth. To death
True to her word.

Echo’s Lament
We need to talk. No
He said, I’m fine. Narcissus,
Do you not see me?

Poet Sings the Blues

I understand blue
The ever-renewed blizzard
In a sad snow globe.

Christmas Haiku

A tiny reindeer
Stood on the gingerbread house
Hoofs in the frosting.

New York
Frozen avenues
Christmas lights, wool overcoat
With velvet pockets.

At the Christmas Party
Two silver pheasants
On the dining room table
Ancient household gods.

Shepherds Keeping Watch
They went to adore.
I searched the mountain alone
For an angel’s feather.


In sleep I saw them
The geraniums outside
Saint Varvara church.

More than a white house
With yellow roof tiles…

Panayiota, I
Feel the pain in your knees, I
Never forget you.


God’s glacial coastline,
Legs that still will take me there,
Shout of the ocean.
Beyond the seaside tombstones,
I worship sun and granite.

Greek American

Plastic cup and spoon
Linger in my coat packet
From church last Sunday.
Forty day memorial
For a man I did not know.

Distant Blossoms
Almonds in the sink
As they shed their skins they tell
The story of their birth.



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