A Bouquet of Haikus in New Jersey

Bob Varettoni
2 min readMay 15, 2024

This post is all about poets, organizations, and events in New Jersey… all who inspired me to write a poem a day during Poetry Month 2024.

I even read one poem — a mashup of a dozen haikus — at two open mics. One reading was virtual, thanks to Project Write Now’s Friday Zoom, and the other was in real life at the mic pictured above, thanks to poet Toney Jackson.

Toney hosts warm, welcoming poetry readings monthly at the Puffin Cultural Forum in Teaneck. I recommend attending the next one: Friday, May 31, at 7 p.m. (details at the link).

I also enjoyed some pro-level poets reading from their work at the Poetry Month event hosted by Talena Lachelle Queen in late April at The Paterson Museum. Talena is Paterson’s poet laureate, and pictured below is Teaneck’s poet laureate, Scott Pleasants, performing one of his works, with Jersey City’s former poet laureate, Rashad Wright, interpreting his words in the wings.

All the poets were wonderful, including Felicia Sherelle, who often helps Talena in running programs and events for the great Paterson-based Word Seed Inc. organization.

Thanks to their efforts… and many more throughout the state… poetry is alive and well in New Jersey, every month of the year.

A Dozen Haikus for Poetry Month in April 2024

  1. Dedication

Hi, Toney Jackson.
Thank you, I feel welcome here.
I feel inspired.

2. NYC Subway Haiku

My hands slip inside
Her orange bomber jacket.
Ghosts on the A Train.

3. Attending a Poetry Festival

Lost in Dobbs Ferry,
where Westchester poets hide.
I seek to destroy.

4. Eclipse Haiku

Please remember us
in 2079.
We were once like you.

5. I’d Trip at the End of the Universe

Fall into the void,
Bounce from the edge of a star,
Break eternal love.

6. Haiku to My Wife

I drink beer alone.
I only drink wine with you.
I like wine better.

7. Along the New Jersey Turnpike

Wood trellis crosses
Fill barren raspberry fields.
Golgotha in Spring.

8. Haiku Written at Citi Field

The Mets in April,
warming my heart in the cold.
Unlike October.

9–11. Love Is, A Haiku Trilogy

Love is a zombie.
A zombie with a warm heart.
Pulsing. Cheating death.

Love is regretful.
Sorrow that ages like wine.
Full of scorpions.

Love is not jealous.
Love is patient. Love is kind.
Claims Corinthians.

12. Goodbye

Writer’s block is real.
My ordinariness, revealed.
This is not a poem.

Originally published at https://varettoni.blogspot.com.

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Bob Varettoni

Posting here about writing, books, tech, family, baseball. More about me at bvarcommunications.com