Margaret Dornaus has put together another wonderfully moving tribute to those loved ones we have lost, on her Haiku-doodle blog, to commemorate Day of the Dead. Click on the link above to read her full post, including a haiku and tanka of mine, and three collaborative haiga I did with Kirsten Cliff (our very first!)




her altar set
for family and friends . . .
each calavera
flickering light that sparks
all of our memories

               –Margaret Dornaus

Once again, I’m privileged to share several images and small poems or calaveras (“skulls”) contributed by my friends and fellow poets for my annual Día de los Muertos posting.  Thank you all for the generosity of your contributions.  I hope you enjoy these offerings as much as I do.


cemetery pines
whispering among the needles
the gentlest of songs

this way and that
the oil lamp flickers–
unmarked grave

the last cigarette
before the aneurysm bursts–
pale moon

–Stella Pierides

this is no
ordinary prayer
that moves me to tears
of my mother’s death

     Pamela A. Babusci, The Temple Bell Stops , 2012

haiga by Cara Holman & Kirsten Cliff


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Poet Showcase: Margaret Dornaus

Name: Margaret Dornaus
Location: Arkansas

Blog: Haiku-doodle

How do you know Cara? Cara and I met through the online haiku community.  I think I discovered her writing through her blog after I started mine a year-and-a-half ago, and began looking around for kindred spirits.

How long have you been writing poetry?  I’ve been writing poetry in the closet for most of my life, and I have a M.F.A. in poetry translation from the University of Arkansas.  But I only began writing Japanese short form poetry seriously a year-and-a-half ago when, on a whim, I started my blog, Haiku-doodle.

What kind of poetry do you write? I write haiku, tanka, and haibun.  I also dabble a bit with haiga.

Please share a poem:

the winter garden
where false hellebore appears
without fair warning
my sister’s mind a landscape
scored with fault lines . . . and furrows

from “my sister’s world”, a tanka series, Atlas Poetica 8, March 2011

mother tells me how
she’d like to die

The Heron’s Nest, vol XIII, no. 4, December 2011
carving darkness: The Red Moon Anthology of English Language Haiku 2011

one to grow on
in the center of the cake . . .
an extra candle
to light my path forward
to lead me home again

red lights, vol. 8, no. 1, January 2012