Need a little inspiration?  Here are some haiku poems, old and new, from near and far away.  Also, please browse through the page here which publishes all of the haiku poems sent in for Bikeway Haiku so far.


Haiku originated in Japan.  Here are four poems by two Japanese master poets Matsuo Bashu (1644-1694) and Kobayashi Issa (1763-1828) widely recognized for their haiku poetry.

Having tumbled off
His grass blade...the firefly
buzzes up again
    – Basho

Moonlight nightingale
Casts a whistling line of sound
Over the mill pond
    – Basho

An old silent pond...
A frog jumps into the pond,
splash! Silence again.   
    – Basho

Stubborn woodpecker
still hammering at twilight
at that single spot
    – Issa


A wonderful collection of diverse contemporary haiku sent to us by Arlington poet Jessie Brown.

missing you is like
spring standing still on a hill
amid winter snow.
    – Sonia Sanchez

O this day like an
orange peeled against the sky
murmurs me and you
    – Sonia Sanchez

With a twitching nose
A dog reads a telegram
On a wet tree trunk.
    – Richard Wright

Why did this spring wood
Grow so silent when I came?
What was happening?
    – Richard Wright

in the gutter
a crumpled scratch card –
ragweed in bloom
    – Raffael de Gruttola

1, 2, 3, 4, 5...
all the sparrows fly away
and I lose my count.
    – Anon (Malaysia)

I have my own dream
Wind will blow in my brown hair
I will be singing
    – Gabrielle Dudoit, age 11

Young minds
Leaving "poor" behind
Walk towards a richer future
    – Ryan, age 14


A few poems hot-off-the-presses by folks who are helping to organize BIKEWAY HAIKU. Arlington's poet laureate, Cathie Desjardins, wrote "Friends" for Bikeway Haiku, inspired by people out and about on the section of the Bikeway near Spy Pond.  Anne and Christopher Ellinger, leaders of True Story Theater, wrote a number of haiku from the perch of their porch near Spy Pond Park.  Jack Johnson, a member of the Arlington Bicycle Advisory Committee contributed one on his hopes for bicyling.  The last five haiku were collected by Anne and Christopher at our poetry booth at Feast of the East.

Sit on a curved bench
Watch small traffic: kids, bikes, pets
Share large and small talk
    – Cathie Desjardins, Arlington

A city mirage?
Vast sparkling oasis awaits
No Swimming Allowed!
    – Christopher Ellinger, Arlington

Silver leaf, fallen
trash, the roar of far traffic.
Green tunnel beckons.
    – Anne Ellinger, Arlington

Ancient woman sits
watching bikers zip by – this
her daily delight.
    – Anne Ellinger, Arlington

Hope for bicycling:
Humbly gets us around town
while saving our world
    – Jack Johnson, Arlington

I walk through the path
See the four legged creature
Its tail is wagging
    – Mia, age 10, Peirce Elementary School

Peaceful and active
Secluded but connecting
Our long treasured path
    – Yi

My bike has a light
Now I can fly through the night
Not a care in sight
    – Suzanne

Bikepath in summer
Birds chirp and mullberries bloom
Flowers grow brightly
    – Aadya, 12 years old, Hogwarts

The dogs are cheerful
They bark and they lick my face
Then I wash my face
    – Zach, age 7, Peirce elementary