Daily Haiku Special: Dec. 2, 2017

Lately, I’ve received some just-released poetry books for the holidays that authors have asked me review for my blog. There is one that I purchased for myself that the editor didn’t contact me to announce on my blog, but I’d like to do so. It is the haiku anthology, They Gave Us Life: Celebrating Mothers, Fathers & Others in Haiku.

This book is terrific, just like the previous ones that longtime haikuist Robert Epstein has published. Epstein’s contributions to the haiku genre over the past several years will have a lasting impact for future generations, too.

They Gave Us Life is a timely book to recommend during the holiday season when we become particularly nostalgic. It will make a wonderful haiku gift book, either for yourself or for someone else.

Epstein is well-known for the books he has authored and edited. I will list them at the end of this post. His books are known for their healing nature, as Epstein is a psychotherapist, practicing in California.

Epstein says in They Gave Us Life that he was motivated to choose this theme for an anthology due to the anguish he suffered over the loss of his parents. He also acknowledges that there are other important people in our lives such as extended family and mentors, and so this anthology includes poems about them, too.

As the editor aptly acknowledges: “Even if things between you and your parents have been difficult at times, the poems in these pages might prompt you to open your heart, paving the way for forgiveness or reconciliation. It’s never too late to take a breath, contemplate your love and appreciate, or realize– despite their human frailties– the true blessing your mother and father have been in your life.”

In the book’s Introduction, Epstein speaks to how those close to us instilled values in us, and how we give back to them later in life and embrace their legacy. We learn in this thoughtfully-produced book that we are not alone in our pain when we lose loved ones, and that we have gained wisdom during our loss and grief.

This book is sure to touch you and bring back memories of either your parents or other elders that have made a difference in your lives. In reading the generous selections, all the poems evoke a range of emotions in us each time we re-read them.

This book is a treasure. I have selected 11 poems from its 218 pages to give you a taste of the beautiful sentiments expressed by dozens of poets, many of whom you’ll recognize as having appeared on The Daily Haiku.

(Please note that Epstein has included information in his book on where poems that were previously-published first appeared or from where they received awards. I am not including this information here.)


spring cleaning–

mother removes cobwebs

with her 3-prong cane


by an’ya


Mother’s Day

wearing her locket

for the first time


by Jo Balistreri


father’s day

the pine board ramp

I wheel him down


by Meik Blöttenberger


mother’ eightieth

she toasts herself

with a bit of plum wine


by Wanda Cook


packed in the Ford

with no radio

Dad whistles


by Johnnie Johnson Hafernik


cloud watching


for my father’s face


by Phyllis Lee


winding to where

the river used to be

grandpa’s story


by Ben Moeller-Gaa


riding high

on dad’s shoulders

I touched the moon


by Ron C. Moss


Grandma’s promise

a bowl of cherries

when tomorrow comes


by Guliz Mutlu



father’s veined hand

raising a glass

at the birthday meal


by Colin Oliver


Christmas spirit

wishing my parents

still lied to me


by Nicholas Sanders



This book, published by Middle Island Press, and the other ones edited or authored by Epstein that are listed below, can mostly be found online. If you are having trouble ordering them, you may contact Epstein directly by email at: taylorepstein@earthlink.net.


Other Books by Robert Epstein:


A Walk around Spring Lake:  Haiku

…..out of print



Beyond the Grave:  Contemporary Afterlife Haiku

……out of print



The Breath of Surrender:  A Collection of Recovery-Oriented Haiku

….. out of print


Checkout Time is Noon:  Death Awareness Haiku

…… out of print



Devastating Wisdom:  The Radical Teachings of U. G. Krishnamurti



Dreams Wander On:  Contemporary Poems of Death Awareness

…… out of print


(Co-Editor with Miriam Wald)

Every Chicken, Cow, Fish and Frog:  Animal Rights Haiku

 ….. Amazon.com;

Middle Island Press.com


Free to Dance Forever:  Mourning Haiku for My Mother


Haiku Edge:  New and Selected Poems


Haiku Forest Afterlife


(Second author with Stacy Taylor)

Living Well with a Hidden Disability



Now This:  Contemporary Poems of Beginnings, Renewals, and Firsts

…… out of print


(With Stacy Taylor)

Suffering Buddha:  The Zen Way Beyond Health and Illness


(Compiler with Sherry Phillips)

The Natural Man:  Selected Quotations of Henry D. Thoreau



The Quotable Krishnamurti



The Sacred in Contemporary Haiku

 …… Amazon.com



The Temple Bell Stops:  Contemporary Poems of Grief, Loss and Change

….out of print


Turkey Heaven:  Animal Rights Haiku


What My Niece Said in My Head:  Haiku & Senryu


Copyright 2017 by Charlotte Digregorio.



About Charlotte Digregorio

I publish books. I have marketed and/or published 55 titles. These books are sold in 46 countries to bookstores, libraries, universities, professional organizations, government agencies, and book clubs. In 2018, I was honored by the Governor of Illinois for my thirty-eight years of accomplishments in the literary arts, and my work to promote and advance the field by educating adults and students alike. I am the author of seven books including: Haiku and Senryu: A Simple Guide for All; Everything You Need to Know About Nursing Homes; You Can Be A Columnist; Beginners' Guide to Writing & Selling Quality Features; Your Original Personal Ad; and my latest, Ripples of Air: Poems of Healing. The first four books have been adopted as supplemental texts at universities throughout the U.S., Canada, India, Pakistan, and Catalonia. They are sold in 43 countries, and are displayed in major metropolitan cultural centers. These books have been reviewed, recommended, and praised by hundreds of critics, librarians, and professors worldwide. I am also the author of a poetry collection: "Shadows of Seasons: Selected Haiku and Senryu by Charlotte Digregorio." Two of my books have been Featured Selections of Writer's Digest Book Club. I am regularly interviewed by major print, radio, and television organizations throughout the U.S. I regularly sign books at libraries, chain bookstores, and university bookstores, and do poetry readings at art centers, cafes, tea houses, and galleries. I was recently nominated for two Pushcart Prizes in poetry. I have won fifty-nine poetry awards, writing fourteen poetic forms. My poetry has been translated into eight languages. I do illustrated solo poetry exhibits 365 days a year in libraries, galleries, corporate buildings, hospitals, convention centers, and other venues. My individual poems have been displayed at supermarkets, apparel and wine shops, banks, botanic gardens, restaurants, and on public transit. I have been nominated and listed in "The International Authors and Writers Who's Who" in Cambridge, England and in the "Who's Who In Writers, Editors & Poets U.S./Canada." I hosted my own radio program, "Poetry Beat," on public broadcasting. My poetry has been featured on several library web sites including those of Shreve Memorial Library in Louisiana and Cornell University's Mann Library. My background includes positions as a feature editor and columnist at daily newspapers and as a magazine editor. I have been a public relations director for a non-profit organization. I am self-employed as a public relations/marketing consultant, having served a total of 118 clients in 23 states for the past several decades . In other professional areas, I have been on university faculties, teaching French, Italian, and Writing. I regularly give lectures and workshops on publishing, journalism, publicity, poetry, and creativity to business and professional groups, and at writer's conferences, universities, literary festivals, non-profit organizations, and libraries. I have been a writer-in-residence at universities. There have been about 400 articles written about me in the media. I have served on the Boards of writers and publishers organizations. My positions have included Board Secretary of the Northwest Association of Book Publishers. I served for five years as Midwest Regional Coordinator of The Haiku Society of America, and for two years as its Second Vice President.
This entry was posted in anthology, Beginning Writers, book, creative writing, Daily Haiku, death, Elders, Grief, Haiku, Healing, literacy, Loss, Parents, Robert Epstein, Short Poems, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Daily Haiku Special: Dec. 2, 2017

  1. MaryJo says:

    Thank you so much for including my haiku in Robert Epstein’s wonderful anthology, They Gave Us Life. A double happiness today.

  2. Reblogged this on Frank J. Tassone and commented:
    #Haiku Happenings #6: Charlotte DiGregorio’s Daily Haiku features the haiku anthology, They Gave Us Life: Celebrating Mothers, Fathers & Others in Haiku, by Robert Epstein!

  3. Wonderful review, Charlotte. I keep finding gems among the poems, too. ~nan

  4. Pingback: we hold the door – Poems From Oostburg, Wisconsin

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