Back-to-School Haiku

summer sun
creeps across the floor
five days more

in the trees
cicadas whisper–
the grind of the bus

back to school:
familiar hallways

assigned seats–
pointy crayons
in neat rows

someone else’s name
in my book

stepping out
on the ice

(c) 2012 Elizabeth Ehrenfest Steinglass, all rights reserved

For more Poetry Friday go to Sylvia Vardell’s Poetry for Children.

August Haiku

tug the vine

a summer sunshower
harvesting rainbow chard

scrubbed beets
a sink full
of pink hands

a dog
     a splash
          swaying cattails

one more carrot
yanked from the garden
a car starting

August leaves
sag in the afternoon
I count days

(c) 2012 Elizabeth Ehrenfest Steinglass, all rights reserved

We were lucky enough to spend a few days in Vermont with dear friends. The highlight of our trip was harvesting vegetables from the garden–tomatoes, carrots, beets, broccoli, and rainbow chard. The kids especially loved pulling the carrots and beets from the dirt and scrubbing them in the sink. I wrote these haiku when we got home, savoring my memories of those days far from the city. They make quite a contrast to the haiku from June. The end of the summer is in the air. For more Poetry Friday go to Violet Nesdoly/poems.

Summer Haiku

photo by kapustin at
daisies drop their heads
I hop across the concrete
spraying cool rainbows

bee buzzes home
I sway in the hammock
going nowhere

between the rows of lettuces
plastic corn snakes wait

cracked earth at my feet
rushing streams of sweet pink juice
drip from my elbows

© 2012 Elizabeth Ehrenfest Steinglass, all rights reserved

My younger kids have been home this week, so I thought I’d return to haiku, imagining, foolishly, that they would take less time. Instead I’ve spent stolen hours on poems of just three (or two) lines, thinking about syllables, resonating images, verb tenses, personal pronouns, punctuation, nature, human nature, summer, and childhood. The more I read haiku and read about haiku the more I am awed by all they can do in just seventeen (or fewer) syllables. 

Rainy Day Dream

Image from

I watch raindrops run
down the window glass passing
all the defenders.

© 2012 Elizabeth Ehrenfest Steinglass, all rights reserved

I love watching raindrops run down window glass. Sometimes it reminds me of soccer players running down the field. Other days it makes me think of other things. What does it make you think of?