the old man
woken from sleep remembers
he has 10 great-grand kids

—Patricia Prime

About the author: Patricia has recently retired from teaching after 30 years, and now devotes some time to the reading recovery programme at her local school. She is the co-editor of the New Zealand haiku magazine Kokako and reviews editor of the online magazine Stylus. She writes short stories, poetry, reviews and articles, and likes to write collaborative poems with other poets.

Contact Patricia: pprime at

Responses to the haiku for 12 December 2002 by Patricia Prime

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2003-03-29 19:56:17

    perhaps, clearing my throat, at this point in time, might soften my words, even enough for me, while enduring what i am about to say.
    first, i reread the artist's piece, and again...

    "the old man
    woken from sleep remembers
    he has 10 great-grand kids"

    what can i really say, for this says it all. even to the point of saying too much.

    there isn't that "hint" of mystery one normally connects to a haiku.

    well, let's see what we have here, line by line.

    "the" in the first line is even too much.

    second line, had potential, but simply said it all for us, rather than test our imagination.

    third line, oops, what's going on here, great-grand kids, you don't say.

    now what???

    remake in order.

    old man reposed
    dreaming, for real, or ideal...
    great-grand kids squeals

    but, hey, what do i know...

    Patricia Prime
    2003-03-30 20:04:22

    In reply to Bob's rewriting my poem:"old man reposed" - real people don't talk like that! "dreaming, for real, or ideal" - too intellectual, you're giving us ideas, ""great-grand kids squeals" - they were not there with him. The old man(93)woke up to reality from a deep sleep, but is still able to remember that he has 10 great-grand children.

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2003-03-31 07:13:46

    in response to patricia's response, it may have seemed i was rewriting your piece, but that's not true. what i was attempting to do was build upon your idea as i interpreted it, which resulted in your enlightening me, well worth the effort i think.
    secondly, i do believe i am real, as are you. to say "real people" do not talk in this manner, this i ponder. perhaps you meant something with a different meaning; akin to a certain amount of individual wouldn't conceivably understand the words i used, but real never the less. some real people would, some real people wouldn't understand.

    thirdly, a haiku is designed to give one "ideas", there-in is it's appeal.

    to be cont.

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2003-03-31 07:16:59

    before continuing, an apology to dft and the readers of this site, for my being "wordy"...

    in continuing:

    patricia, fourthly, in reading any haiku, how many "real people" are there to experience the event...

    fifthly, "i think real people are more intellectual than you give us credit for.

    sixthly, any real person upon awakening from a repose or "deep sleep" (for the real people), takes a moment to gather one's senses, then "remembers" who they are, where they are, and what is the situation surrounding their hours of being awake, while still wondering if the situation before them is for real.

    seventhly, in rereading my words, i wondered what you may have missed in them.

    to be continued...

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2003-03-31 07:19:20

    in continuing, for i almost there...

    eighthly, i gave you applauds for producing a stirring piece, but in it's finished form, i felt it was a story being told, rather than being in pure or even hybrid haiku form.

    i appreciate your response, and i sincerely desire it doesn't end here, for it is worthy of further discussion.

    though as i said previously, "what do i know", other than i am real, and even that is questioned by some.

    Patricia Prime
    2003-04-02 00:11:09

    Bob, thanks for the lengths you've gone to in discussing my poem. I still think it's a very deep poem and has lots of emotional overtones and deeper layers of meaning than one can read into it at first - the sign of a "good" poem?? I think the old man saga is finished now. Look for some new stuff coming up from New Zealand!!

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2003-04-02 05:02:58

    hello, again, patricia,
    it has been my pleasure.
    my thoughts are, any piece worth writing is worthy of lengthy discussion. alas, the word individualism comes to mind. who among us think precisely the same, or can agree on most things.

    i am not debating your writings being deep, nor carrying deep overtones, nor possessing deep meanings, however, within the frame works of the haiku, there is required from the artist's work a hinting of the inroads which are intended to nudge one in that/those directions. as in any haiku, those paths are many, depending upon one's perception and another's precept.

    i look forward to the "new stuff coming out and up from new zealand", may they be just as challenging.
    i was elated by your response to my initial comments. who can accurately point out the little intricacies of one's creation better than the "Creator"...

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2003-04-02 06:06:17

    funny thought, "i wonder if patricia is going to allow me to have the last word..."

    Narayanan Raghunathan (mahashishta at hotmail dot com)
    2004-08-04 11:15:17

    Thanks Patricia for this unusual Haiku.

    two old men
    greet each other again
    with their canes~

    "see you tomorrow"
    John eighty-eight to
    Ram well past ninety~

    the dead don't die~
    they go elsewhere make
    their new cosmic-cages~

    Patricia Prime
    2004-08-06 16:23:22

    Hi, haiku lovers. My response to Bob and Narayanan:

    seventy years
    he held her . . . still holds her
    and the wreath she carries

    Love, Patricia

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2004-08-06 19:33:40

    i think patricia loves to hold me suspended


    empty arms ...
    present needs
    albeit, memories fail to fill the void



    just me


    Patricia Prime
    2004-08-07 14:52:42

    Bob, liked the idea. Thought it could be honed a little. Suggest:

    empty arms . . .
    present needs
    as memory fails

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2004-08-08 05:54:23

    kind lady,
    inspirational behind my smile; i was not referring to a failure of memory, but the inability of memories to take the place of the "real thing"


    grey spanish moss
    between the green oak leaves -
    lucent sunday morning

    Patricia Prime
    2004-08-08 21:50:34

    translucent rain
    not a soul to be seen
    city loneliness

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2004-08-08 22:44:29

    translucent --
    tears and the rain
    falling on a lonely night

    Patricia Prime
    2004-08-09 21:36:33

    neighbour's garden
    passionfruit tendrils
    wind around the porch

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2004-08-09 22:17:30

    fertile garden
    empty on a winter night --

    my neighbor's porch

    Patricia Prime
    2004-08-10 21:44:42

    early morning
    above the roar of traffic
    a sliver of moon

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2004-08-11 15:10:30

    a covey of doves
    flushed --
    the rising sun

    Patricia Prime
    2004-08-12 21:03:27

    I go outside
    to watch the sunrise . . .
    te atatu - "the dawn"

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2004-08-13 04:10:05

    breathing interrupted
    her beauty --
    te atatu peninsular

    Patricia Prime
    2004-08-13 15:20:07

    dawn chorus
    magpies roost in the
    eucalypt trees

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2004-08-13 17:36:32

    brisk winds ~
    where do the birds go, bad weather comes


    trees sway
    raptures circling ...
    faster and faster

    Patricia Prime
    2004-08-13 19:31:20

    leaves rustle
    from the back porch
    sun nearly full

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2004-08-14 03:01:15

    so red ...
    the setting sun
    leaves settling, after the day is done

    Patricia Prime
    2004-08-14 15:31:35

    night settles
    out in the street
    a car alarm

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2004-08-14 20:38:36

    night's embrace
    alarmed fledgling's flight
    from my hand --
    stars flung cross the sky


    Patricia Prime
    2004-08-15 21:22:34

    cold winter morning
    the bright yellow slickers
    of council workmen

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2004-08-16 02:36:47

    chimney cross the city
    steam wavering from --
    my cup of green tea


    Patricia Prime
    2004-08-16 21:43:35

    half in, half out
    of sunshine
    the harbour bridge

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2004-08-18 05:10:42

    sudden downpour --
    cross the highway
    blue skies, sunshine

    Patricia Prime
    2004-08-18 21:37:39

    after the storm
    the farmer dries his lambs
    with wife's hair dryer

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2004-08-19 01:17:16

    half a rainbow
    through the window
    the sky, a patch of blue

    Patricia Prime
    2004-08-19 20:34:51

    wintry sunlight
    comes through the windows -
    it's time to clean them

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2004-08-20 06:06:04

    times long past -
    tear-stained window
    unable to see through clearly

    Patricia Prime
    2004-08-20 14:35:54

    window shopping . . .
    reflections of the sky
    a single blue

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2004-08-21 18:38:43

    lost in thought

    lightning flashes through the blue-grey clouds
    sky's reflection ?


    Patricia Prime
    2004-08-22 21:53:42

    choosing a gift
    she settles on a pair
    of cats in love

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2004-08-23 18:29:43

    lovers walking
    hand-in-hand --
    grey clouds wash over quarter moon

    Patricia Prime
    2004-08-23 21:41:27

    vintage car rally
    lovers in period costumes

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2004-08-24 05:50:55

    cool summer night -
    vintage red wine
    beneath the young elm tree

    Patricia Prime
    2004-08-24 21:48:16

    early morning
    a chimney pot glows red
    in the sunrise

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2004-08-25 21:08:07

    new day beginning
    as the world turns ...
    another day ending

    Patricia Prime
    2004-08-25 21:56:11

    half moon in the sky
    I nibble a cookie
    into the same shape

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2004-08-29 18:58:16

    never alone --
    midnight journey till sunrise
    full moon port-side


    Patricia Prime
    2004-08-29 21:39:20

    from the mountain road
    the twists and turns

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2004-08-31 16:32:38

    twisting and turning
    my shoulders --
    night's silence

    Patricia Prime
    2004-08-31 21:29:50

    blue moon -
    I awake to the call
    of a morepork

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2004-09-01 18:58:46

    large yellow eyes, high piercing call --
    out of the darkness


    bad news
    come twilight --

    good news

    Patricia Prime
    2004-09-02 21:41:46

    the mailman delivers
    a surprise parcel from India . . .
    a book to review

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2004-09-03 08:14:14

    closer review
    imperfect birthmark, naevus @
    adds beauty

    Patricia Prime
    2004-09-03 15:43:57

    baby's birthmark -
    five fingerprints
    on his side

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2004-09-03 22:30:53

    yellow pollen thighs
    four low flying bumblebees --
    on my neighbors side

    Patricia Prime
    2004-09-04 15:52:04

    neighbour's retriever -
    he opens one eye
    at the cat

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2004-09-04 16:21:05

    house boarded --
    cat on the prowl
    surveying the darkness

    Patricia Prime
    2004-09-05 21:46:36

    love lorn
    the tom cat's lament doused
    with water

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2004-09-06 13:16:24

    swell after swell
    driven by the wind -
    sea of green grass

    Patricia Prime
    2004-09-06 16:02:23

    spring arrival -
    the godwits return
    from Alaska

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2004-09-06 17:21:13

    three godwits -
    i pause
    reminiscent of summer sand-castles

    Patricia Prime
    2004-09-06 17:43:27

    castles in the air -
    writing to overseas friends
    about the old days

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2004-09-06 20:27:06

    the good old days --

    all the welkin rings"


    Patricia Prime
    2004-09-06 21:14:33

    the old man
    hearing aid forgotten
    cups hand to ear

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2004-09-07 05:02:19

    the old man -
    finally walking
    in my father's footsteps

    Patricia Prime
    2004-09-07 21:17:44

    footsteps in the fog . . .
    almost home
    my pace quickens

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2004-09-08 01:51:05

    not nearly enough --
    then, we're gone


    each day quickens -
    the seedling
    now, the mighty oak

    Patricia Prime
    2004-09-08 21:40:34

    pushing the swing
    I notice the first leaves
    on the maple

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2004-09-09 05:01:05

    black coffee in hand -
    pushing the swing
    autumn evening breeze

    Patricia Prime
    2004-09-09 20:56:57

    coffee beans -
    sampling different varieties
    in the shopping mall

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2004-09-10 05:25:04

    here, once
    a vast forest did stand
    shopping malls

    Patricia Prime
    2004-09-10 16:14:05

    in a friend's home
    the swamp kauri crafted into
    a dining table

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2004-09-10 16:27:58

    lord of the forest -
    a gentle breeze
    bent his knees

    Patricia Prime
    2004-09-11 15:37:01

    crescendo -
    Ravel's bolero
    on a CD

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2004-09-11 16:44:06

    pathological -
    nobody, nobody, nobody



    patricia, such a haunting piece, resembling one's midnight walks.

    often rumored, poets die young.
    strange, though fascinating, where one's inspirations come from


    Patricia Prime
    2004-09-11 21:27:15

    phone call -
    no-one at the other end
    am I paranoid?

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2004-09-12 04:41:15

    my question, too ...
    in the mirror
    my answer

    Patricia Prime
    2004-09-12 21:30:32

    reflection -
    older than both parents
    when they died

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2004-09-13 09:02:44

    aged -
    the solitary pine
    dwarfs all, in the forest

    Patricia Prime
    2004-09-13 21:47:55

    bush walk -
    the fantail accompanies us
    all the way

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2004-09-14 04:39:56

    white fantail
    beneath the underbrush
    bed of green moss

    Patricia Prime
    2004-09-14 21:35:46

    old peach tree -
    the lichen grows thicker
    with each passing year

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2004-09-15 03:13:29

    life's sweeter
    with each passing year --
    memory grows shorter

    Patricia Prime
    2004-09-15 21:31:40

    short term memory
    fades more rapidly with age -
    long term remains clear

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2004-09-16 14:01:01

    short days, long nights --
    faded red roses, in full bloom

    Patricia Prime
    2004-09-16 20:50:09

    bloom on her cheeks
    the ageing woman
    resorts to rouge

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2004-09-17 10:34:34

    sensing her beauty, i wink
    blowing a kiss ...
    the spinster winks back

    Patricia Prime
    2004-09-17 15:29:51

    from hibernation
    the zoo's tortoise

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2004-09-17 21:38:31

    emerging, on my patio
    restless night
    each leaf, holding it's breath

    Patricia Prime
    2004-09-18 15:23:38

    aged gentleman
    talks and talks about
    the 'good old days'

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2004-09-18 16:07:23

    reflecting in the mirror --
    the 'good old nights'
    when my whispers were heard

    Patricia Prime
    2004-09-18 16:20:28

    city library -
    whispers between the stacks
    only the breeze

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2004-09-18 17:20:24

    shooting the breeze -
    evening stroll
    amidst the pines

    Patricia Prime
    2004-09-18 18:43:07

    gardening forgotten -
    wind tosses branches
    of the old pines

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2004-09-18 19:43:46

    fragrance of her hair
    on a bed of pine needles

    Patricia Prime
    2004-09-18 20:40:51

    the evening shadows
    the old pine

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2004-09-20 15:45:28

    the days
    grow shorter --
    my shadow grows longer

    Patricia Prime
    2004-09-20 19:35:01

    shadow of the spoon
    seafood chowder in the pot
    I stir and think

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2004-09-20 21:30:57

    flowering gardenia's bouquet
    predawn bedroom --
    i think, then stir

    Patricia Prime
    2004-09-21 13:39:36

    the bouquet
    my grandson hands me -

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2004-09-22 19:21:37

    multi-colored wildflowers
    cross the valley --
    in his dream, spring

    Patricia Prime
    2004-09-22 21:19:07

    spring holidays
    in the empty classroom
    desktops closed

    2004-12-02 20:06:12

    the old man and toddler sway between steps

    Patricia Prime
    2004-12-03 13:16:03

    sheeting rain
    a blue heron walks on stilts
    among the mangroves

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2004-12-19 21:53:35

    flaming poinsettia
    cool showering rain --
    day's troubles, wash away

    Patricia Prime
    2004-12-20 13:35:04

    shopping mall
    tears from the three-year-old
    on Santa's knee

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2005-02-21 06:44:08

    corner of quiet room
    tears from a year ago --
    on his knees

    Patricia Prime
    2005-02-21 19:50:52

    arthritic knees
    the old lady gardens
    on her cushion

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2005-02-23 19:50:53

    rust-crusted rake
    side the row --
    pale-green seedling unfurls

    Patricia Prime
    2005-02-24 18:39:23

    end of the week
    a splash of paint
    in the teacher's hair

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2005-02-24 21:58:54

    moon over miami
    barely above the waves --
    today's troubles end

    Patricia Prime
    2005-02-25 13:31:30

    chinese new year
    illuminated by lanterns
    the park

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2005-02-26 18:55:30

    year of yiyou -
    rooster's crow
    rings in the dawn

    Patricia Prime
    2005-02-27 19:39:03

    first sign of autumn
    going to work
    in the dark

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2005-03-05 18:35:37

    last sign of winter
    coming home
    in the daylight

    Patricia Prime
    2005-03-07 17:14:09

    northerly wind
    sea spray washes over
    the writer's trail

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2005-03-14 18:53:46

    pink hybiscus blossoms ...
    wash the writer's day
    beginning to pale

    Patricia Prime
    2005-03-15 19:34:30

    a butterfly disguised
    among its flowers

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2005-03-27 18:18:46

    sparrow's nest
    under construction --
    how long this twig

    Patricia Prime
    2005-03-27 19:42:27

    in a window
    the sun setting

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2005-04-16 18:34:13

    facing dawn
    easterly to westward ...
    the sunflower

    Patricia Prime
    2005-04-17 19:22:56

    start of autumn
    I walk to the seminar
    kicking leaves

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2005-04-18 19:47:25

    good evening patricia(or perchance morning)
    your thoughts of autumn jarred me into rememberance; albeit spring here, autumn finds you there.

    again, gold in arrowtown
    this third season --
    of my loneliness


    just me