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Haiku Sunday: FIRST Katha Book of Haiku, Senryu, Tanka & Haibun

This month, The Alipore Post collaborates with Katha, one of the oldest and thoughtful publishing houses from India that focus on literature for children and young adults. To start off the collaboration, we're featuring FIRST Katha Book of Haiku, Senryu, Tanka & Haibun, a stunning collection that brings to you a running stream of a 400-year-old art form from Japan, with an Indian flavour.

35 poets come together to celebrate Haiku, Senryu, Tanka & Haibun in this wonderful collection, which has been edited by Kala Ramesh, Vidur Jyoti and the late Johannes Manjrekar, with illustrations by Surabhi Singh. The book also contains an excellent afterword by Tracy Koretsky, which takes the reader on a tour of the book and makes you appreciate these wonderful forms of poetry even more.

Here are my favorites from the book, divided section-wise, for you to enjoy over a cup of tea:


almost evening

the paper vendor sleeps

on old news

-A Thiagarajan

a light breeze

the moon in the birdbath


-Angelee Deodhar

sidewalk cafe

I smell the city

in my coffee

-Bhavani Ramesh

autumn deepens ...

the tree releases a leaf

into ballet

-GSP Rao

church graveyard —

from somewhere close

the fragrance of lilies

-Gautam Nadkarni

night walk

I slow down

near the jasmine bush

-Johannes Manjrekar

kite contest

the rise and fall

of oohs and aahs

-Kala Ramesh

summer evening

a crab races

with the beach waves

-SB Vadivelrajan

summer camp ...

my child paints

a winter landscape

-Kumarendra Mallick

evening sun

my shadow enters

through the door

-Puja Malushte

spring rain ...

the tree and I

in conversation

-Purushothama Rao

bored in heaven

a shooting star

jumps to death

-Raju Samal


by a spider's thread —

the wanton leaf

-RK Singh

(Read his haiku on The Alipore Post here)

power cut ...

today I hear

the birds chirp

-Usha Kiran



twelfth birthday —

the butcher's daughter

turns vegan

-Devika Menon

smiling back I find

that the girl is smiling

at someone else

-Gautam Nadkarni

orthopaedic clinic

a three-legged chair

outside the entrance

-Johannes Manjrekar

morning peace

vanishes with the arrival

of my newspaper

-Vishnu P Kapoor



I gather

one moon after


into my hands ...

the river keeps giving

-Kala Ramesh

I roam these hills

in wonder ...

each step

each breath

becomes a prayer

-Shernaz Wadia



Change by Johannes Manjrekar

Saturday evening. Tired and hungry. I'm eating a puff at the roadside tea stall. A young boy comes up to beg, his younger sister in tow. One or two rupees, he says. His sister says nothing, merely staring at me wide-eyed.

I have no loose change. Before I can tell the boy so, he pats the pocket of his ragged shorts. I have change, he says half proudly, half smiling. I can change you a tenner. Even fifteen rupees.

evening moon

I wipe my glasses

all over again


Get your copy of FIRST Katha Book of Haiku, Senryu, Tanka & Haibun here.


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