howling wind
the red kite
sprawled on the sandy shore

—shirley cahayom

About the author: shirley cahayom
brooklyn, new york
shaman99 at

i was born in the philippines, educated in the oldest existing catholic university in the country even older than harvard, had been a college instructor, worked as children governess in the middle east, currently working in an alternative cancer clinic in new york city trying in my own little way to ease the pain and suffering of the terminally ill. i had been writing traditional haiku on and off since my college days but got seriously involved with it again since march of 2002. since then, i never stop writing and trying to get them published. publications include still, asahi haikuist network, the illinois times etc.


Responses to the haiku for 29 July 2003 by shirley cahayom

    H. Gene Murtha (Genemurt at cs dot com)
    2003-07-29 21:43:35

    these are all good publishing credits, and now,
    you have another one. Keep up the good work!

    howling wind
    a red kit sprawls
    on the sandy shore

    There is just something that bugs me about
    "howling," I'm getting an autumn or winter
    kigo? You may want to explore some of your
    experiences, from work too.

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2003-07-30 08:55:18

    shirley, there is a bit of mystery to your credentials. one being, what school are you referring to, and is it in the united states or where.
    your writing has potential, shirley, however this piece left me with the thought of "cause and effect".

    in reading h. gene's comment, the thought came to mind, what kind of "bug" was it, conceivably the cicada.

    todd claus
    2003-07-30 09:13:30

    A few years ago, I spent an evening with a bunch of buddies trying to fly a kite in a relatively high wind (30-35 mph) and all I succeeded in doing was wrecking my kite.

    I don't know if 30 mph winds rate as howling, but I do know that the only place my kite sprawled that night was in the trunk of my car.

    Ellen G. Olinger (ElinGrace at wi dot rr dot com)
    2003-07-31 07:29:55

    Thank you. When I was recovering from severe endometriosis and major surgery, images like this really spoke to me and comforted me. Haiku was a form I could read. I went from earning tenure at Northeastern in Chicago in 1993, to having it be a major goal to go to the grocery store by myself in 1994. Then many deaths in my family. Poetry helps with healing. When I resigned, I thought I was going to have some time to find out what I can do as a writer. I thought I would walk on the beach; instead my hardest years, apart from losing my dad, were ahead. I learned from May Sarton that we have to keep working to reach the universals in these experiences. Now I feel like I was given a strange and wonderful gift. So, 10 years later, I begin my new dream once again...May the wind calm down, and the kites fly!

    Blessings to all, Ellen

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2003-07-31 15:38:27

    ellen, relating to your words, from my earliest recollections to my preteens, i was "the watcher", while not realizing that's what i was. things happened around me, rather than to me; always happening just out of reach; strangely, i was never disturbed by this, it's kept me out of harms way

    ellen, we are who we are, including the good and the bad, regardless of our thinking, "was it meant to be that way".

    i am sure there is someone reading this with a scientific explanation

    i feel that is one of life's shortcomings

    ellen, may sarton, is a wonderful author, even in death

    life precludes death, there is not an ending. someone told me, "it's as though whatever we have lost has been taken to another room"

    i love may's twin, "isis"

    ellen, remember the kite can't fly without the wind, though at times it leads to the kites destruction



    as "the silence now" approaches...

    shirley cahayom (shaman99 at msn dot com)
    2003-08-01 23:08:40

    i am referring to the oldest existing university in the Philippines and in Asia. It is called the royal, pontifical catholic University of Sto.Tomas founded on April 28,1611 by Msgr.Miguel de Benavides,O.P. It is almost 400 years old and was named in memory of St. Thomas Aquinas-the Dominican theologian. Keep on posting your comments. I always learn something from you.
    God Bless"
    shirley cahayom

    Ellen G. Olinger (ElinGrace at wi dot rr dot com)
    2003-08-02 08:48:13

    Thanks, Bob, for your encouragement. I printed out a copy of this page for my files. I had just been reading The Silence Now. There is a progression in May Sarton's work. For those who are not familiar with her, the previous two poetry books are Halfway to Silence and Letters from Maine. Her last book of poems, Coming Into Eighty, is especially meaningful because she kept growing, and everything came together in the end. She did not have much support from "critics." It is different apart from those supports. But her work found its way into the world. I think she speaks to me because she is equally emotional and intellectual.

    Thanks, shirley, for your poem and additional background details. Very rich.

    Blessings, Ellen

    shirley cahayom
    2003-08-03 15:37:16

    as Bob says,"the kite won't fly without the wind although at times, it leads to kite's destruction." which reminds me of life without any challenges.being terminally ill is one of life's major challenges.there are times when one has to nurture the inner chi to hurdle this major obstacle.on times like this, one has to unleash the tiger within in order to survive. i've seen a lot of cancer patients who went into remission. they are the ones who develop a very positive attitude... the ones who believe in the power of prayers and the beauty of love.
    i am very happy for you ellen.may your dreams turn into realities. magic happens to those who believe in achieving the impossible.

    shirley cahayom

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2003-08-04 08:51:39

    i thank you for your explanation.

    today, i have learned from you.

    in my words, i am simply passing on that which i have learned from others; be it incorrectly at times.

    all the commentaries, here at tinywords, have shown me things in a clearer light, while reinforcing that which i have rubbed elbows with, and having formed an opinion of.

    the thought comes to mind about the rest of the world not knowing what they are missing on this site, the compliments, the heated debates, the inquiries, the ridicules; all these things, and more, give me joy in being alive and aware.

    the commenters and tinywords makes my day, thanks d.f., and all the others.

    take care, shirley

    at this time, i must exhibit terseness.


    just me

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2003-08-04 10:40:54

    those, who confront the challenge, and who overcome that which threatens them are the ones being smiled upon.

    we, who are afforded the additional issues in life, are those who have been found qualified to deal with any and all adversities; almost an honor.

    ellen, inspiring words about may, "she kept growing...", regardless of life seemingly being unfair.

    yes, things do come together in the end; our then hearing, "well done".

    in your words about may sarton, "she did not have much support from 'critics'... but her work found its way into the world."; words of wisdom. those who think i am overly critical fail to realize the challenge being cast their way, of which they should be ready to answer; other than with feelings of being patronized, insulted, offended, humiliated, dishonored, or even abused.

    ellen and shirley, both, truly sensitive and intellectual; a rarity in today's times.


    just me

    Ellen G. Olinger (ElinGrace at wi dot rr dot com)
    2003-08-06 07:48:53

    Thanks, bob and shirley, for your support.

    I too thank our generous editor for our ongoing conversations. I just finished rereading Proverbs. Lines like "faithful are the wounds of a friend," and "deceitful are the kisses of an enemy," come to mind. And a verse from the New Testament: "Speak the truth in love." Usually we don't know how many others respond to our work, or why an editor rejected it, or what we need to do to improve it. Here we get feedback worldwide.

    If I learned one thing as a teacher, it's that everyone has a story. Yes, love and prayer and a positive attitude make all the difference. Thank you so very much. Ellen

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2004-06-30 19:43:09

    strange how one sees things, later. i was pondering one flying a kite in howling winds ...

    warm, breezy, dark --
    she lies sobbing
    on the beach