All Haiku & Senryu
is written & copyright
by Shirl A. Steward**
except where noted


**Background/haiku lettering images on THIS page also by me.  The beautiful photos of Japan were taken by my son Shane while he lived in Japan.  Other images are designs from old fabric panels.  Authors are unknown. 


FYI:  Senryu is Haiku written about subjects other than nature.  Both are  in traditional 5-7-5 format.  Others, which include Tanka (5-7-5-7-7) and short form (3-5-3), are Americanized formats but I may consider adding some of these at a later date.

  Dedications:    Although for much different reasons,  you are all very dearly missed

To best friend (& talented illustrator),
Toni Donelow Stewart,   1961-2004

To best friend (& amazing psychic),
Starr Schwartz

To best friend (hypnotist/motivational speaker)
Calvin White     193?-1998

To my 'soul' twin/brother (poet/writer/mystic)
John in Southampton, U.K..    1953-

Haiku by others

Thanks for being there
I feel the healing waters,
splashing drops my way.
       ~ by  Kathy Robertson

Thoughts on
Life . . .

Forever struggling,
for goals illusive . . . blindness,
humanity's curse.

Freedom's only way ...
find the truth within, live it,
breathe it, become it.

Untamed, passion kills
chose transcendence . . . cease to be
passion's faithful slave.

true love is, accept its gifts,
free hearts hold no bounty.

Dire fate's release,
karmic maze transcended
 . . . ah . . .
freedom born of now.

Far  . . . beyond the mist,
I am drawn like butterfly
to flame . . . home again.

Holly, jolly days
Christmas just hours away
Take time, be happy.

Frosty came and went
though not warm, awe invoking
is winter's blanket.

Days idled away,
moments now gone, a thousand
things I could have done.

Yesterday's moments
Today's memories, lost but
never forgotten.

Garbage for dinner,
living in a cardboard box,
 hopes, dreams, life . . shattered.

Inaction versus
action defined . . . staying put
or moving forward.

Tears that fall like rain
so evident of pain cast
from years in restrain.

Free to be just me
Liberated by my own
Courage to move on.

Amazing this thing
called letting go . . .free to be,
accept, embrace love.

When to speak or keep
silent, an art in itself
listen for the clues. 7/31/2006

Working together
with sense of community,
rewards beyond words. 7/31/2006

Reality of 
"maybe-land" . . .tomorrow or
always yet-to-be.

Walks on deserted
beach as light of sunset fades
inspirations' dawn.

If it rhymes, it's time
to find meaning lost in this
shameless crime's conform..

Images flash as
inspirational words sing
songs of poetry.

Failing to follow
through on pursuit of a dream
only self to blame.

Time is not complex,
control it's flow. . . dare to live
each of it's moments.

Slowly fading is
the color of youth . . . age does
curse as it blesses.

Words flow from my soul,
speaking unpredictably,
. . . my curse, gift to share.

Ego . . . creator
of deceptive thoughts and needs,
let not it take lead.

Dreams . . . the building blocks
of new realities . . . make
the dream canvas art.

Once thoughts now random
memories . . . soul photographs
born of moments past.

Want is to need as
plenty is to scarcity . . .
thus, need what you want.

Rent, utilities,
taxes take it away . . . greed
indulgence to blame.

Great achievers are
those aware and play roles well . . .
for life's but a stage.

Rough are life's waters,
deep and dark, it's stay afloat,
swim or die trying.


like snow, flitter by,
coincidence rules.

Peaceful calm lures me
to rest amid the nightmares
of an earned living.

Lost, confused amid
mind's dark tunnels ... so many
pathways to explore.

Dreams are like snowflakes,
pretty when first formed . . . yet melt
away with the days.

"No greatest than the
least of these" . . . master, student
equally all learn.

Branches frosted in
glistening white snow dance in
the moonlight's shadows.

Pawn in a chess game?
stooge in cosmic joke? . . who's
really in control?

Reality is
the essence of truth
your sacred beliefs.

To create . . . see it,
experience it, know it
as part of your now.

Reality's dream
coming here to set me free
ready to receive.

Cosmic seeds we are
spreading higher thought and wish
upon the earth breeze.

Wandering the skies,
are you riding on a star?
pondering all the whys?

Imaginary . . .
just beyond human senses
seemingly so real.

Flying high, never
asking where or why, awake
to dream, Sparkling Eyes.

Spied through the broken
looking glass, distortions of
a time long gone by.

Life's complexities
bind in imaginary
bounds . . . nonexistence.
02/26/2006 --- version 1

Nonexistence . . . . bound
by life's complexities, help
near but never found.
02/26/2006 --- Version 2

Caught and ever held
in an earthen prison cell
called . . . expectations.

Beauty born of a
moment too soon gone into
oblivion's kiss.

Live your dreams and be.
Reconnect with spirit's one
true reality.

Fly upon the wall
sees it all . . . good, bad and

Life's perplexities,
the more I view of it all
the stranger it gets

That which puzzles tends
to get more puzzling as
one delves too deeply.

This human state to
which we can't relate, truly
fate or consequence?

Masters of deceit
pay dear in karmic fate, home
be at devil's gate.

Humanity's core
devoid of love, needed is
compassion's grace.

Endless dwelling solves
not life's mystery . . . truth just is
relax and receive.

Billions compare not
to the wealth bestowed in the
giving of one's self.

Be it for power,
wealth, excess, sex or fame . . . lust
corrupts, infects all.

Potshots from bird's eye
view make enemies of friends
strangers of lovers.

Spider's web so long
abandoned, none to feast or
let the captive go.

There's no fire found
that is not hot nor those who
are what they are not.

This bonding between
mother and child is natural
forever lasting.

Better to be stuck
atop a mountain than neck
high in swamp quick sands.

The wanderer runs,
no place as home, he yearns for
love which can not root.
Written for "Bobby" 01/12/2006

Off to parts unknown
rejecting love at every
turn . . . again, fool's gold.
01/12/2006 (Yes, Mr. B again)

Wandering shadows
of the night, lost and lonely
fighting through life's maze.

The fool says he has
no purpose, still he seeks what
he claims can't be found.

Soul light, so bright it
soars me into flight on wings
 of mystic magic.

Insightful visions . . 
glimpse into realities
and new realms beyond.

Disharmony impedes
creative flow much like
ice clogs a river.

Survival, life's test
soul conflicted, asks why live,
die or even try.

Peak's vista is broad
only one's flawed perceptions
limit what is seen.

Maybe Land, a place
between somewhere and nowhere
where hope lives and dies.

Spiritual warrior
lone hawk but driven, haunted by
purpose and belief. 12/24/2005

Purpose of being
so often explored, pondered
never quite defined. 12/24/2005

Famed obscurity,
responsible but unseen
hiding behind clouds.
Season's Joy? . . . not when
faces tell lone-nights tales where
home is just a box. 12/25/2005

In the heart, then, . . . now
sisters, best friends forever
. . . remembering you.
---11/9/2005 - To Toni on the one year anniversary of her death. ---

 So many paths to take
choices critical . . . do beasts
or treasures await? 12/18/2005

Like the game, if you
change just one belief . . . the rest
domino as well. 12/18/2005

on the horizon waiting
like carousel rings. 12/12/2005

Mystical wonders,
events unexplainable,
gifts from great beyond. 12/08/2005

Dual identities?
fluctuate with all the world
be thyself with me.  12/14/2005

Adventures afoot
discoveries to be made
just below surface. 12/13/2005

The fog is so thick
stumbling, falling, yet dawn
beyond fog still guides. 12/10/2005

Beware the icy
wintered heart . . . dead and beyond
thawing back to life.  12/03/2005

Happiness, his goal
wander-lust, his passion . . . though
yet to meet, these two. 11/11/05
(the "poor Bobby" lament in haiku. . .)

Just above water
tossed by the torrents of life
struggling to survive.  11/25/05

Soar with me, let loose
all things that bind, to be free
fly the highest heights.  11/14/2005

Lonely soul seeking
through clouds dark with confusion
a distance light shines.  11/10/05

Thinking, wants, ideas,
only true desire turns
thoughts into beliefs. 2004

Dreams can build castles,
reality tears them down,
dream to build what's real.

Accepting one's fate
means opportunities lost
life passing one by.

Looking back no more,
onward to each new challenge
forgive all that's been.

I would if I could
be free as world allows
I will if I can.

Agreeing, living,
talking,. . . doing differ like
flip sides of a coin. 2004

Alligators up
to neck, the jaws grip tightly
adrift in life's swamp. 11/7/05

Perched, ready to fly
watchful eye means little sleep
enemies lurching. 11/8/05

Green and lush surround
new life takes reign, blooms, then fades
old . . . decayed, forgot.  11/7/05

Perceptions deceive . . .
wisdoms of distinguished sage
or ramblings of  fool?  11/6/05

Anger weaves its web,
tangles, clouds, blocks logical
thought from surfacing.   11/4/05

Useless emotions . . .
fear, anger, greed, hate deprive
soul its life, breath, song. 11/4/05

Truths unknown, untold
Reflections, introspections
reveals not the soul. 10/23/05

Butterfly emerged
flying free, alone no more
new worlds to explore.    10/18/05

Pleasing to the eye,
escaping time, trapped
forever in the lens. 2004

Jumping here and there,
to edge of the universe,
flying free . . . I am.  10/30/05

Beyond vengeful night
feather light, now taking flight,
never to return.

Clouds overshadow
melancholy afternoons
wait for hope to shine.

Snapshot of the soul
caught within a moment's glimpse
in your sparkling eyes.

Human existence
always pain for gain
youth to old too soon.

Peace, a goal to strive,
freedom, a wish for the sky,
love, a perfect try. 2003

Puffy clouds of pink
from God a blanket of love
caresses the world.

Love in perfection
is touching with heart and soul
in all done and said.

Ugly or divine
creation, beauty alone
beholders' eyes view.

In every flower,
every stone, a friendly face
awaits to greet all.

Take hind feet on high
survey all treasures wondrous,
God's grand creation. 2005

Beauty abounds and
surrounds as earth displays her
most limitless bounds.

Crimson wings outspread,
warm heights call, ready to fly,
blazing colored sky.

Calm and peace surround
meditate, be still to hear
beyond, silence . . . OM.

Island in the sea
my life, what it seems to be
somewhere in nowhere.

The sea so serene
beyond our own mindscape schemes
fabric of our dreams.

Branches on a tree
jointed forever connect
all to grounded roots.
Above clouds of mist
are wings of those that fly free
all without a care.
Sunrise to sunset
forever turns life's page
true dawn does await.
Spring, summer and fall,
seasons come lovingly
saying life does end.

Bridge of life ahead
waits for us to take a chance
beyond our limits.
Work hard then take rest?
Rewards come to those who choose
to always be best.
Loneliness a state
you can escape just open
heart to God's embrace.
Soaring on white wings
Like a bird we can fly free
On God's gentle breeze.
A smile of a child,
sunshine, daisies everywhere
simply stated love.

Grumpy sort he is
judging, degrading all seen
can beauty survive? 2004

Spring, summer and fall,
constantly all is transformed,
life begins and ends. 2004

Complain not your fate
it's never too late to hear
the call meant for all.
Join in life's great dance.
Laugh and sing in harmony.
Take a chance to be.

Winter now gone by
spring brings new life into bloom
a lone lily smiles.

Below are photos of Japan taken by my son, images from tapestries and a mixture of both Chinese and Japanese Kanji characters.


Love 'ai'






Long Life






































Book - Writings



Be alive - born








To study - learn

Thoughts on      
 Romantic Love . . .

Creative partners
essential is sensual
living, being love.
(To J----- 11/9/09)

Curious, this need
to hold another's heart bound
without flight, I die.

My heart now captive
Rising, falling to your call
I plead cut the strings.

Everything seen . . . felt
reminds me of our days there
across mighty pond.

Blind by stubborn will,
you're never wrong, you swear.
Lost . . . a chance to love.

 Beauty beyond words,
Feelings of the heart bestowed,
Love's timeless language.


Magnificent dream,
in waiting ethers, "us" still
yet to be conceived. 7/1/2006.

Trick of fate or be
it destiny? To me . . . it's
just mystic wonder.

Your voice from afar,
I hear that which is not there . . .
sweet haunting music.

As covenant to
love, marriage is devoid . . . love's
free, not contracted.

Matchless horizons,
your essence inches away . . .
yes, dreams can come true.

You and I, distinct,
different, sharing life . . . aha!
A carnival ride!

Aimless wandering,
souls better together as one . . .
destined but unlinked.

Falling, seemingly
forever . . . to joy or void?
paradox of love.

What is . . . sacrifice
given, advantage taken . . . ?
. . . a relationship?

You disappeared the
night before forever . . . still
I feel your soul's light.

Spirits converging,
beings of like mind, purpose,
the star ones' lights shine.

A mighty sad song
cries out from my soul . . . sweetly,
now for you and me.

Great love IS real ... a
rare and wondrous gift given
to a blessed few . . .

Alone, I struggle.
Together, could we rise . . . soar?
for that day, I pray.

Your fear stole away
our life as t'was meant to be . . .
my greatest loss ever.

So long gone . . . yet still

is felt the beat of your heart
forever calling

Beyond romance is
a love greater . . . friendship, if
true, lasts forever.

Walking side-by-side,
anything is possible
if we BE the we.

You are of me, I
am of you, mere dust on the
wind of cosmic bliss.

Sweet familiar scent
touch, vibrance . . . memories surge
like rushing waters.

Soft whispers of you,
mountain peaks' solitudes speak
(volumes) to my lonely heart.

Across the street or
oceans apart . . . matters not
hearts see no distance.

Men and emotions
never get along . . .  don't push
they might self-destruct.

Twin flames unite for
a reason . . . each part of what
is one and the same.  

Twin flames, one soul split
two parts but forever joined
through one common heart.

Sunsets be your smile
when last we said goodbye . . . now
always bring a sigh.

Under cool, wet falls
children, then adults at play,
you and I lost in time.


The beast in me cries
for you to be at my side
BEFORE we both die.

Aimless, scattered, lost . . .
all states of being for this
soul without her twin.  12/31/2005

Glastonbury prize . . .
our eyes locked in awed wonder,
sweet sadness lingers. 12/30/2005

Far away but not
forgotten, love still waits its
turn to be expressed. 12/27/2005

Beautiful moments
from long ago forever
alive in my dreams.
12/16/2005 (MY BIRTHDAY!!!)

The bridge in the woods
dreamland place we'd meet to play
so alive with love.12/8/2005

Pondering now all
the could-have-beens . . . alive still
in dream wonderlands.  12/1/05

Let the past be passed,
live, love in togetherness
reborn in the now. 11/25/2005

My melancholy
heart beats not, with this distance
so much between us. 11/24/05

Mystical magic,
a thousand stars colliding,
eternal soul love.    11/11/05

No love gained or lost
if one fears the ride upon
carousel of fate.11/11/05

Thoughts gently echo
your smiling eyes forever
present in my dreams. 11/09/05

The twin . . . soulmate plus
unbreakable everlasting
mirror of one's self. 11/8/05

Thoughts . . .  images sent
span thousands of ocean miles
so clear I hear . . . see.  11/6/05

Beautiful florals
and lace, hides not the scars of
disenchanted hearts. 12/19/2005

Lonely is the night,
your eyes not lighting the sky,
sadly I reflect.

I came and we were
time passes by but still
we are and shall be.

Sitting by the falls,
cleansing waters now renew,
old, new dreams to view.

No two moments like
another . . . nor any
two loves conceived the same.

Yes, there is anger
towards the deafening silence
keeping us apart.   11/2/05

Something very missing . . .

phantom shadowed dreamscapes haunt
dark of lonely night.   11/3/05

wars of will and won't . . . drown love
in sea of babble. 11/4/05

On the mind, always
I ponder the wheres, whats, whys
hoping you do too.
To love, to have lost
regrets that remember pain
always short of gain.  2004

Pleased to meet you but
no thanks, I belong to one
dancing in my dreams. 2004

It's said that tears
set you free, yet alas, pain
must first come to knock. 2004

Heart's sweet door opened,
no guardian to protect
stolen keys allow.  2004
Trespassers to come,
bruising all heart's gentle flesh
Tears, now all that's left. 2004

Pray for her who now
sees an idol in her eyes
her pain yet to come. 2004

Floating clouds of pink
surround my heart with love's kiss
with him, perfect bliss.

If no us to be,
Valentine's be empty rhymes
songless bird, no flight.

No pity for me
I have what I want, I need
no man hindering. 2004

See blue skies, tender
soft loving eyes embracing
grace and romance dance. 2004

So bared, so adrift
no purpose to call its own
a heart without love.    6/29/02

Broken heart, sadness
healing sweet songs of hope now
whisper in the breeze. 6/19/02

 So lost in lonely . . .
 alas, haunting thoughts of you.
 My heart knows no peace.   6/19/02

 Loneliness, alas
 for sweet caress beyond pain
 no world except you.   6/19/02
 Such sad consequence,
 this being so far away
 tears til you return.   6/18/02.
 Eyes of sad repose
 Alas, Longing only knows
 the truth born of heart.    6/18/02
 Beautiful canvas
 soft shades reflecting moments
 of youth's tender love.

Love is a risk and,
 so often I reel in pain,
 though so worth the gain. 10/05
 Just an ocean's leap,
 energies intensely felt,
 love ... so far, so near.
 Sky of pink pastels
 brings dejavu and recall
 of love in our youth. 10/05
 Soft whispers of love
 your sweet enchantment surrounds
 eternal bliss.
 A thousand gruesome
 tortures I'd endure before
 life without your smile.
By the lake, serene
 moonlight, your smile, loving touch,
 paradise, my dream.
 Lone star shines above
 glazing skyward pondering
 "you-I" could have beens
 I can only dream
 of what-ifs, had fate said yes
 to us being we.
 In the spider web
 as abandoned long ago
 none to let me go.
 Me, wishing and dreaming
 you in just a Santa's hat
 joyous Christmas morn.

Poetry-in-Motion Entries
 & other shorts


Duty to blinding lusts
 never end but draw
 dagger bared blood.
 Belief in love
 the perfect out.
 Tired brain,
 growing pain,
 understood not,
 nobody sane.
 My desire?
 Forgive pain,
 everything to gain,
 found truth,
 new love.
 Slowly step,
 you said,
 while your
 greeting eyes stare.
 The look tells all,
 with desire,
 love without
 Still the hopes
 of true love
 ever awake
 patiently wait
 beyond time of touch, desire
 tonight . . . fire
 heaven, moon, stars.
 A scar faded,
 memories without dragons,
 the almost laugh,
 bodies hot with desire,
 companions completely,
 closer still,
 love comes to heal.

 His voice,
 his laugh,
 his eyes,
 bring desire.
 My bruised battered
 heart again alive
 in arms of
 truest love.
 Would you desire
 to know the shape
 of trials to come? . . .
 to know a lover heart
 be true,
 alive in love?
 Robed in blue-ribbon
 privilege, power,
 greedy, hardened,
 delicious flesh's desired,
 turning words,
 giving little.
 Souls echo
 how and why.
 Voices laugh
 hollow lyrics
 on the jukebox,
 record cracked,
 all worn.
 The world
 is bleeding
 no true play
 of love.

 I laugh.
 It's over.
 Man's claws
 ugly ache,
 victim's lost desire,
 The vulture entrails,
 delicious justice,
 found wings
 of love.

 The watcher
 patiently will wait
 for us to awake
 to true heaven
 beyond stars,
 moon, sun . . .
 the longest calm
is love.

Beautiful sanctuary,
 glorious virginals
 of wilderness,
 wolves guard and
 rule the roost,
 stained glass veils
 doves who laugh like
 wizards of the winds.

The sculptor found you
 in your silent slumber.
 Gone, disappointment
 of shattered desire,
 now, crowned rich with love's
 eternal luxury.

 Slicing through fear,
 hazy moon above,
 dreams bridge
 over suicide's
 unearthly solace,
 back in love
 with life.


Haiku words in honor of
(OR female) stupidity . . . duh!
seems like anything with a hint of the emotional short-circuits male brains --

Integrity she'd
trade for a bed and man's loins
sad, all gain is pain.
6/25/2006 (sad commentary on a friend)

"Your sweet innocence
now breathes life into these loins
but, please stay detached."
-arrogant pleasure-seeking male/haiku-style -

"I do feel your pain
but, no, I am not to blame
write your own reframe." 2004
--from lips of a blameful "blameless" HE
BUT "intelligently" reworded (by me), of course..--

"Help you? I will but
wait til tomorrow's new day
too troublesome now." 2004
--man's typical inhumanity to man--

What method of love
is this which harms another?
Play no scripts with me.  2004

Can you defend this
game, leaving behind one's love
for lust's lonely bliss? 2004

I do love him for
who he is, not for what he does.
Why does he not know?

Sex for sex? Not me.
Find another who will play.
I still believe in love.

It is just a thought
for today, a today that
never seems to pass.

Moments having fun
time steals it slowly away
lust to dust and gone. 2004

Reflections in time
opportunities vary
like flowing waters.

Viewed through a keyhole
outside from inside is seen
whole new world, unique.

No milk or honey
on the writer's empty page
Barren wilderness.   6/27/02

Snow, ice, . . . cold winds blow
no safe harbor to be found
dawns spring . . . frees, melts all.

Take time to be free
like a bird flying on air.
Just let it all be.
Fly free without care
like butterfly fluttering.
Know life at its best.

Flitter, make a wish.
Fly up to the stars and be
a wisp on the wind.

Upstream together
we swim against all current.
We are family. 6/22/02

And to climb so high
one needs the surest foot, a
call to reach the sky (or top).


A lone light shimmers.
Path to brighter tomorrows,
there but rarely seen.  11/03/05

The path to the top
sometimes narrow, long, steep, and
cold  . . . but worth the climb.

Sunrise to sunset
echoes of eternity
the cycle of life.

Narrow is the path
to enlightenment, so be
alert, clear, sincere.      6/20/02

Sweet peaceful moments
beautiful rushing waters
perfect love for all.     6/19/02

Serenity mine
at peace with all now alive
wondrous sunrise.
Wondrous life abound
as maturing leaves fall down
all is born anew.

Stay focused, sincere
for narrow and steep the path
for seeking enlightenment.   6/20/02


Misty Mountain Waterfall by Artist: Han Shen Shiao  ( for purchase)