Simply Haiku: A Quarterly Journal of Japanese Short Form Poetry
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Spring 2007, vol 5 no 1


Out of the Mouths . . .
Diana Webb


I'm sitting by a London Thameside pub, sipping a small white wine and reading an article about the way poetry can enhance health and well-being. Suddenly from nowhere a scrawny sandy-haired boy, no more than nine or ten, accosts me waving a crumpled sponsorship form and mumbling something about collecting money for cancer. Why isn't he at school, I wonder. I think of Dickens' Artful Dodger. But somehow I can't refuse. Looking at the form I see that amounts offered range from 5 to 1.50. 'I'm a bit poor,' I say (being on benefits), plumping for the latter. 'You ain't poor. You ain't on the streets. You look quite nice,' he admonishes me. Suitably chastised I still offer him what I think is one pound fifty. 'This ain't a pound!' he says, rightfully indignant that I seem to have diddled him. He indicates the stray ten cent euro piece from my purse which I've mistaken for a pound coin. Feeling even meaner, I rummage for two more fifty pence coins. Reasonably satisfied he takes them and hurries off towards the next table. I have no idea what activity I have sponsored him to complete.

huddled in blankets...
rain falls
through plane trees

Diana Webb Diana Webb has published children's stories in the distant past and believes strongly in the link between recapturing a sense of childlike wonder and writing haiku. She has a special interest in haiku and well-being. Her work has appeared widely in British Haiku magazines.