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Current Issue of HZJ




Editor’s Notes

20 November 2022
By Sherry Grant
My youngest daughter Zoe and I have been on a poetry writing journey together since June 2020 (when she was 6 years old) and in our first book Bat Girl written that year, we explored many different poetry forms including Japanese short forms such as haiku and tanka – I even invented a new form called ‘nonaku’ only 3 months into poetry writing! In 2021 Zoe won the NZPS international haiku competition and she has been published at many journals such as Failed Haiku, Bamboo Hut, Stardust, Prune Juice, to name just a few. We love the international haiku community – haiku poets around the world have been like a big family and welcome newcomers with such warmth!
Having learned a lot over the last two years and in return given many poetry workshops at online haiku conferences and locally, Zoe and I decided to start a new short form poetry journal open to young poets aged 20 and under from around the world. We also want to encourage young poets to write and submit in their native languages, with English translation.    
It is our hope that Haiku Zoo Journal will take more young people “to infinity and beyond” through the power of poetry! We accept short form poems up to 16 lines and always love to see collaboration.

“Haiku is not a shriek, a howl, a sigh, or a yawn; rather, it is the deep breath of life.”

― Santoka Taneda, Mountain Tasting: Haiku and Journals of Santoka Taneda

the flowers you pick
are made of charming colours
twirl, see me flutter

– Izak Srubar-Vernon (NZ)

ice cream –
a generous sprinkle
of pickles


– Zoe Grant (NZ)

in one breath –
I eat the cherries faster
than I paint them

на един дъх –
ям черешите по-бързо 
отколкото ги рисувам 

– Yanis Yakimov (Bulgaira)

sun in the sky –
on a blue rose leaf, a bee
and a drop of honey

słońce na niebie
pszczoła na niebieskiej róży
i kropla miodu

– Nadia Lawrenc (Poland)

like her eyes
so green

sve je zeleno
i njene oči

– Rino Ivanić (Croatia)

thick frost on the car
grass all crunchy
like raw pasta

– Katie Crawford (Australia)

eight o’clock
camera ready for
hibiscus blooms

– Nairithi Konduru (India)

grandfather’s hands
forgotten summers
of the Panonian Sea

djedove ruke
nezaboravna ljeta
Panonskog mora

– Luka Proštenik (Croatia)

summer garden
my grandfather’s buckets
filled with water

djedov ljetni vrt
kantice s vodom
uvijek su pune

– Ivan Voćanec (Croatia)

spring walk
smiles of the land and sky
still last

proljetna šetnja
osmjesi  zemlje i neba
još traju

– Taša Zatezalo (Croatia)

sun salutation –
not leaving out
this morning

ni jutros
ne propustamo
pozdrav suncu

– Luka Čavara (Croatia)

cold white powder –
an ocean of snowballs
in silvery dust

zimny biały puch –
ocean śnieżnych kul
w srebrzystym pyle

– Szymon Demski (Poland)

childhood traces –
children’s laughter and
blooming flowers

следи от детството –
детски смях и
цъфнали цветя

– Lyutvie Taner (Bulgaria)

football with kittens
are they cousins
in my games

футбол с котенца
братовчеди ли са те
в моите игри

– Dmitar Ivanov (Bulgaria)

long winter
a frozen flower
awaiting the sun

дългата зима
цветето вледенява
чака слънцето

– Radostina Ivanova (Bulgaria)

after the rain…
the taste of blackberries
even sweeter

dopo la pioggia …
il sapore delle more
ancora più dolce

– Gabriele Flaminio Romani (Italy)

true love
the children’s movie
almost left me

истинска любов
детското филмче
почти ме изостави

– Dariya Georgieva (Bulgaria)

humid air
a fruit-fly lands
on my dog’s eye

– Zaidee Pisani-Lysenko (Australia)

cumulous clouds part
as golden nectar cascades
down the swelling curves

– Yash Batra (USA)

pretty hats
on their heads


– Yukino Kido (Japan)
* donguri: oriental acorn nuts

an ox in the field

un buey en la vega*
comiendo hierba

– Jiorkis Ramos Rodriguez (Cuba)
*vega: fertile ground

keeping faith
when things get hard
softening skies

rzeczy mogą być zbyt trudne
ale nie trać wiary w siebie
staraj się zmiękczyć nieba

– Zofia Grabowska (Poland)

childhood traces –
children’s laughter and
blooming flowers

следи от детството –
детски смях и
цъфнали цветя

– Lyutvie Taner (Bulgaria)

red forest…
a panda
stuck to lanterns

– Emmy Thomas Graham (UK), poem
– Zoe Grant (NZ), art

lowered train barrier –
I’m passing by
between two gusts

spuštena rampa-
između dva refula

– Jakov Rubinić (Croatia)

family walk
drawings in the sand
pebbles in my pocket

obiteljska šetnja
crteži na pijesku
kamenčići u džepu

– Srđan Vučinić (Croatia)

cruise –
my wish fulfilled
without a sky lantern

krstarenje –
ispunjena želja
i bez svjetiljke

– Josip Kraljić (Croatia)

marital quarrel
more interesting
than panorama

bračna svađa
nego panorama

– Ivan Jozić (Croatia)

dance competition
our steps following
the rhythm of the sea

plesno natjecanje
naši koraci prate
ritam mora

– Ena Delić  (Croatia)

Indian summer…
our bay
finally free

Miholjsko ljeto…
naša uvala
napokon slobodna

– Aron Margitić (Croatia)

yellow red and gold
leaves flutter in the wind
autumn joy

Żółć, czerwień, złoto
Wiatr zwiewa liście z drzew
kocham jesienną radość

– Agata Ramczyk (Croatia)

warm air
through the silver flute
cold winter


– Yuki Lin (NZ)

yellow red and gold
leaves flutter in the wind
autumn joy

Żółć, czerwień, złoto
Wiatr zwiewa liście z drzew
kocham jesienną radość

– Agata Ramczyk (Croatia)

Book Review

“Cool Melons – Turn to Frogs! The Life and Poems of Issa”
by Zoe Grant 
During the school holidays, my mum showed me this book. From the title, I could never have guessed it was a haiku book for kids! Cool Melons – Turn to Frogs is a book about Issa’s life with his poetry translated to English by American author Matthew Gollub, illustrated by artist Kazuko G. Stone. Issa (originally known as Kobayashi Yataro) was a Japanese haiku poet born in 1763. He died at the age of 64.
The illustration is very colourful and detailed. I really like the original poems written in the traditional cursive Japanese calligraphy! Issa’s mother died when he was very young, and his stepmother was so mean that Issa had to leave his house to go to the capital city on his own. You can feel the sadness in Issa’s poems, and I was amazed that he wrote 20,000 haiku in his lifetime. I would highly recommend this book, especially if you love little animals.
I was inspired to write the following two haiku after reading this book.
so he could buy
ink and brushes
                             — Zoe Grant (NZ)
why do you never
pick up the phone?
                             — Zoe Grant (NZ)


by Alan Summers (UK)
December 2022
Sherry Grant reminded me that I was “the very first person to hear about this journal/project” called Haiku Zoo. That I was so encouraging about the poetry journal, and its aim to support young writers, that Sherry with her youngest daughter Zoe went ahead and did it, and here we are!
It’s always been important for younger generations, from childhood all the way through into young adulthood, from all around the world, to begin to write for themselves, and to keep writing. Haiku is so short, it’s a great way to start. It doesn’t take a lot of time to write a haiku or to read one. Did you know it can take six seconds or less to read just one haiku!
Haiku isn’t just a type of poetry, it helps us to say something to, and for, the world, as well as to our friends and family. Whether it’s about something really ordinary, or something that we feel and know is important, we can share our voice with others. What might be ordinary to someone in one country may be extraordinary in another country.
This kind of poetry can just take up a minute of our time in a day, and yet it strengthens us when we say things to others, and share those stories. It’s not just “creative” writing, as it can help with our “other reading and writing skills” that we will always need, over the years, as we continue through life. 
Sherry Grant asked me What are your hopes for this journal to bring to the world?” By writing and sending your haiku out, you can also make this journal become the start for everyone to keep being better informed. To be even more aware about what is being said out there in the whole wide world is always incredibly important. Imagine, a huge global group of young people writing and using haiku to become poets and writers, and able to read and find out what others are saying. If we so wish, we can use our improved writing skills to think about other methods of sharing, perhaps by podcasting, or creating streaming video, and whatever new ways of communicating. Writing haiku is a skill you can use to expand and experiment with other ways of telling your stories.
Sherry and Zoe Grant welcome newcomers, and have created this new short form poetry journal for young poets, from a really young age all the way up to being 20 years old. The dream is that you represent the world, and one day every single country is involved! The Haiku Zoo Journal not only accepts haiku, they accept other short types of poem, all the way up to 16 lines. Don’t forget too, they love people working together! More than one person can write a poem, it can be really interesting to write as a team, as you learn new things about yourself as well as your writing partners. 
This journal is all about you writing from a very young age, supporting your writing skills, and that others will get to see what you say in your poems. The Japanese type of poetry called haiku is all about sharing your voice, and this is always a good start, all those shared voices working together so that other voices get to hear you.
Alan Summers
founder, Call of the Page
editor, The Haiku Reader anthologies
(Photo: Alan Summers snow gazing, 2022)
Alan Summers Biography
December 2022
Alan Summers, founder of Call of the Page supporting writers worldwide ( is a double Japan Times award-winning writer, Pushcart Prize nominated (haiku and haibun) poet, and Best Small Fictions nominated for haibun: 
He is the founding editor for The Haiku Reader anthology series, and a multiple genres editor of various journals past and present. Alan has been a previous President of the United Haiku and Tanka Society; General Secretary, British Haiku Society; and Editor Emeritus of Red Moon Press anthologies.
Alan enjoys Christmas tea, and mince pies, even in the Summer, with spicy marmalade!
If you have enjoyed reading the Haiku Zoo Journal please consider supporting us at Buy Me A Coffee
Subscribe at haikuzoojournal(at)gmail(dot)com to get newsletter and haiku/concert news. From June 2023 you can order Haiku Zoo Journal (current and back issues) from Amazon.

Haiku Zoo Journal


 Zoe Grant, a well-published 8-year-old haiku poet from New Zealand, is the co-author and illustrator of Bat Girl, written in 2020 when she was 6 years old. Her haiku won the first prize at the 2021 NZPS International Haiku Competition (School/Junior) and she is the co-editor of Chalk on the Walk HaikuChalk on the Walk MonokuHaiku Zoo Journal and Raining Rengay. Zoe enjoys drawing, singing, ballet and writing poetry. She co-hosts the International Rengay Gatherings with her mother Sherry Grant twice a year. This daughter-mother duo plans to go on concert tours to share their poetry and music with the world. Zoe shared 250 short form poems by 250 poets at the 3-day online International Scriabin 150 Festival in November 2022. She plans to do poetry podcasts in the near future. Follow Zoe’s projects at

Sherry Grant is a Taiwanese-born New Zealand classical concert pianist, cellist, poet, author, translator and festival organiser. Since 2021 she and her youngest daughter Zoe have been promoting short form poetry by co-editing several journals, presenting at haiku conferences and organising poetry workshops. As a musician, Sherry plays online concerts regularly and in her recent North American concert tour she also shared her poems during recitals. Sherry is a well published haiku/cherita/rengay poet. Her rengay written with Alan Peat (UK) won the first prize at the 2021 Otoroshi Rengay Contest. Sherry also enjoys writing longer rhymed poems and plans to publish several poetry books and chapbooks in the near future, including 300 love poems written for her favourite composer Alexander Scriabin, in 3 volumes.
Visit for updates.