7 Breaths

  1. O Muse! 02: Summer Solstice 2021
  2. Her
  3. Through the Lens of a Naturalist
  4. Fortune
  5. Fiber Roots
  6. Leporidae Picnic
  7. Analog Selfie
  8. Chicago Summer
  9. 7 Breaths

Photo by Johnette Downing


cut cane
the sweetness
of her insult

pine needles
daddy does
her hair

aqua marine

and high water
all that is left

through the wall
their argument –
I take sides

an anti-theft
chicken foot

used bookstore
the cat
a rescue

Haiku are one-breath poems of Japanese origin juxtaposing nature with human nature through two concrete images separated by a pause. Haiku consist of seventeen syllables or fewer and are written in three lines or fewer. Often mistaken for haiku, senryu are about human nature and foibles, and are often cynical or darkly humorous. “Through the wall” and “aqua marine” are senryu. The rest are haiku.


Recipient of the 2017 Louisiana Writer Award, Johnette Downing is a musician and children’s book author dedicated to sharing her Louisiana roots music, books and programs with children globally. Called the “Musical Ambassador to Children” and the “Pied Piper of Louisiana Music Traditions,” Johnette has performed on five continents and has received dozens of awards for her twenty-five picture and board books, and eleven recordings. In addition to her work for children, Johnette is a haiku and senryu poet, and co-founder of the New Orleans Haiku Society.

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