Sunday, August 1, 2021

family & friends

Welcome to the August 2021 issue of brass bell: a haiku journal.

The theme of this month’s collection is family & friends.

Contributing poets sent work from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Denmark, Ecuador, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Poland, Romania, Singapore, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States

father/son talk
daddy tells me
how he met mum
    Adjei Agyei-Baah

grandpa’s will
all his clothes go
to the scarecrow
    Adjei Agyei-Baah

mother posing
by her prize orchids
the photograph remains
    ai li

giving blood
to save a life
we’re sisters now
    ai li

under a stunted fir
same rock pile
sister and I once climbed
    Alan Bern

every stranger
I’ve seen today
looks like a dead friend
    Alan Bern

my brother and I
fight over
the gizzard
    Alexis Rotella

lunch with an old friend
her facelift
between us
    Alexis Rotella

red rose
in full bloom —
an old friend calls
    Ana Drobot

video call
my son’s
first white hair
    Angela Giordano

a spritz of Chanel
my mother enters
the room
    Barbara Sabol

night light
my granddaughter discovers
her shadow
    Barbara Sabol

run for the roses
my husband forgets
our anniversary
    Barbara Tate

grandma’s thimbles
the know-how
in her clicking fingers
    Barrie Levine

scooping snow
I throw the morning moon
to my grandson    
    Barrie Levine

clutching the letter —
her dad lifts her up
to the mail slot
    Bill Waters

eight aunts, three uncles
mom’s family arrives . . .
I head to my tree house
    Blue Waters

death anniversary
still dusting
father’s things
    Bryan Rickert

summer rain
my children debate the rules
of a made up game
    Bryan Rickert

grandma and child
putting on spectacles
summer solstice
    C.R. Harper

dad’s papers . . .
reading what I can bear
sealing the rest
    C. Robin Janning

moon lost to me . . .
camera feels heavy
aiming toward friends
    C. Robin Janning

bedtime poems
older sister made me
who I am
    Carole Johnston

mother-in-law’s wedding ring
on a gold chain arrives
in the mail
    Carole Johnston

family Bible
my funny uncle’s birth day
a little blotted
    Charles Trumbull

dry bonsai —
reminding Mother again
what a haiku is
    Charles Trumbull

smoky twilight
grandpa slips in and out
of memory
    Chen-ou Liu

fog over the cliff
what did my friend see
at his last moment
    Chen-ou Liu

friends exchange
sticky rice dumplings
solar maximum festival
    Christina Chin

a chat with cake
the perfect afternoon
with a friend
    Christina Sng

hand in hand
our little girls walk
instant best friends
    Christina Sng

each of us guesses
who visited my mother
lilies on her grave
    Christine L. Villa

we each have
our own version of the story
family reunion
    Christine L. Villa

family hike
my best burger eaten cold
on a cold mountain
    Claire Vogel Camargo

three herons fly
into my mother’s canvas . . .
my brothers and I
    Daniela Misso

distant parents —
so many mountains
from the window
    Daniela Misso

tire swing
my sisters push me
into my comfort zone
    Debbie Strange

colored balloons
releasing my sister’s spirit
    Deborah Burke Henderson

fishing with dad
he puts the worm
on my hook
    Deborah P Kolodji

one I love
thinks it’s her new blush . . .
her beauty
    Donna Fleischer

Delta surges —
friends at a summer picnic
    Donna Fleischer

rose tea
sipping from
my old aunt’s cup
    Eufemia Griffo

pirate movie
sharing with my dad
a bottle of rum
    Florin C. Ciobica

meteor shower
my dad’s last wish
    Florin C. Ciobica

the old harmonium
a discordant note
from grandma
    Geethanjali Rajan

friends meet
the same old jokes
somehow funnier
    Geethanjali Rajan

half-open window
the family photo gathers
more dust
    Hifsa Ashraf

rare family dinner
all of us
in a new relationship
    Hifsa Ashraf

four leaf clover
the word “money”
on mother’s tongue
    Jackie Chou

lonely dorm
my sister’s visit
highlight of the day
    Jackie Chou

frozen clothesline
my daughter’s jeans
stand up for themselves
    Jay Friedenberg

waiting for an old friend
a lighthouse beacon
pierces the fog
    Jay Friedenberg

chicken pox fever dream
scent of my father’s t-shirt
sweat and old spice
    Jim Mazza

a fallen oak
obscures my father’s gravestone —
finally, the shade he craved
    Jim Mazza

dad’s old pipes on my desk
I remember chasing
smoke rings    
    Joan Leotta

my cousin’s ice blue eyes
are even more startling
than this sunset
    Joan McNerney

my nana
swirls the tea
reading my leaves
    Joanna Ashwell

sharing a teapot
a friendship circle
the tinkle of china
    Joanna Ashwell

twin sisters
a single Barbie
sharing their secrets
    Joe Sebastian

friend in Covid ward
my fear
in his eyes
    Joe Sebastian

sixth birthday
dad gives me
a sip of his beer
    John J. Dunphy

my first game of pinball
dad babysits me at
his favorite bar
    John J. Dunphy

meeting with friends . . .
no scent of tea
via zoom
    Jorge Alberto Giallorenzi

old village —
the solitary grave
of an unknown aunt
    Julia Guzman

lessons from mom
how to dance
with my eyes
    Kath Abela Wilson

nana’s toes
it was my job
to rub them
    Kath Abela Wilson

grandmother’s portrait
we have the same pointed chin
and lots of chutzpah
    Katya Sabaroff Taylor

she sets the table
plans the menu, plays waitress
daughter’s 8th birthday
    Katya Sabaroff Taylor

the crimson
my daughter paints her lips
the same as my mom once did
    kris moon

late autumn . . .
friends gather
just because
    kris moon

art show
my sister in a red dress
among the hollyhocks
    Kristen Lindquist

a friend’s birthday
the glamor of blue jays
in fresh snow
    Kristen Lindquist

children’s corner
grandparents enact
freedom struggle
    Lakshmi Iyer

family album
except for grandparents
all in colours
    Lakshmi Iyer

gloves my father stole
at the post office
turned out to be his
    Laurinda Lind

my cousin and I
born the same year
don’t leave without me
    Laurinda Lind

pansies in pudding the taste of my aunt’s love
    Lisbeth Ho

sibling’s call
my advice again
on deaf ears
    Madhuri Pillai

online meeting
first cousins
once removed
    Margaret Walker

she bit me
I pulled her hair . . .
seventy years of stories
    Margaret Walker

old obituary
finding out my aunt
wrote poetry too
    Marianne Paul

spy novels —
inheriting mom’s closetful
of trench coats
    Marianne Paul

police raid —
gramps running numbers
from the kitchen
    Marianne Paul

family reunion
four generations
of farmer tans
    Marilyn Ashbaugh

sister tents
rubbing mosquito bites
with beach sand
    Marilyn Ashbaugh

sunday mass
mother tames our hair
with spit
    Marilyn Fleming

herding cattle
in search of pasture
my drover family
    Marilyn Humbert

my maternal line
captured behind glass
parasols and lace
    Marilyn Humbert

following tracks
in the shade of a high mountain
my friend’s resting place
    Marta Chocilowska

seedy watermelon
grandma wants to know
my boyfriend
    Maya Daneva

six months old
my husband carrying our world
on his shoulders
    Maya Daneva

in the root cellar
beside Aunt Mame’s peaches
pressed flowers in a bible
    Mike Flanagan

my distant sister
whom I would love to embrace
won’t answer her phone
    Mimi Foyle

the sound of her voice
from another continent
rekindles friendship
    Mimi Foyle

dad’s birthday —
at the head of the table
the empty chair
    Mirela Brailean

to my daughter’s — left at
immense sky
    Miriam Sagan

a friend I never see yet think of — empty mailbox
    Miriam Sagan

the way grandma
thinned dough until it
covered the tabletop
    Nancy Shires

a friend leaves books
I leave books
together we read apart
    Nancy Shires

hide and seek —
grandpa’s eyes search
his younger self
    Neena Singh

class reunion
where has she gone
the fastest runner
    Neena Singh

open windows
nana whispers
to her plants
    Pat Davis

a letter from nana
the challenge
of her cursive
    Pat Davis

new baby
my four-year-old reminds me
he’s an uncle now
    Paul Beech

my funny friend . . .
our main course sizzling
she sends me smoke signals
    Paul Beech

heat wave
my father churns ice cream
in the shade
    Pris Campbell

red rover
we lock arms with friends
for the capture
    Pris Campbell

ankle-deep in sand
my son rotates the sunrise
in his kaleidoscope
    Roman Lyakhovetsky

distant thunder
my buddy’s wife creates drama
from a misplaced sock
    Roman Lyakhovetsky

seniors’ party
my father introduces
his inner child
    Rosa Clement

another beer
my friend now speaks
    Rosa Clement

granddaddy napping
my foxtail grass turns his snore
to a snort
    Ruth Yarrow

board game nights
all the survival skills
dad teaches
    Sherry Grant

summer chirping —
still no word
from my sister
    Susan Burch

prom pictures —
the smiles
between parents
    Susan Burch

a big
bundle of boys
family camping
    Ted Sherman

chittering sparrows . . .
comparing toe rings with cousins
by the pool
    Theresa A. Cancro

sticky fingers . . .
an aunt’s cherished recipe
for Turkish delight
    Theresa A. Cancro

after covid
two beers in a garden with friends
feels like mardi gras
    Tina Wright

we take turns
blowing out the candles
Grandpa’s birthday
    Tom Bierovic

my daughter growing
closer and closer
to the mirror
    Tom Clausen

relatives set to visit
so many cobwebs
to remove
    Tom Clausen

my sister picking
a tiny midsummer rose
fairy lanterns
    Vibeke Laier

in the street
a long lost friend
summer rain
    Vibeke Laier

square enso
my son’s first
calligraphy lesson
    Vladislav Hristov

family album
I compare father’s wrinkles
with mine
    Wieslaw Karlinski

scent of hay
granddaughter’s first meeting
with a grasshopper
    Wieslaw Karlinski

the stranger
who said he was my father
    Wilda Morris

looking for ancestors
my sister finds her name
old gravestone
    Wilda Morris

grandma’s false teeth
on her bedside table . . .
I pretend not to notice
    Zee Zahava