Anti-War Haiku Wall



These days I wear a pin on my shirt, white dove on a blue background.
Over the dove, the name of an Iraqi child, Qasim, age 12. I have
never met Qasim, but I can see him through his father's eyes when I
look at my own 12 year old son and at the eager faces of my students.
I pray for Qasim daily, and, in return, he gives me the courage to
persist in this mad dream of a world at peace, a world where children
are respected, valued, and protected from the predatory greed of
rulers driven insane by power.

1991 march
baby karl on my back --
qasim, oh, qasim!

j r snyder (USA)


In the wire service photograph, two Iraqi boys play soccer, using as
a goal a barricade of sandbags erected for shelter during the carpet
bombing. Children, if we let them, bring us to our senses; bring us
into the moment, the here and now, with all its glorious

boys in Baghdad
play soccer behind bunkers --
lives in the balance

j r snyder


In front of my desktop, on the wall, there is the photo of a soldier dead during the war between Iran and Iraq.

That body of an unknown boy laying on the sand, is like Christ’s body on the cross.

For me it represents all the cruelty and insanity of the war.

When I am looking at him, I think of his mother. I do not know if she ever had back the body of her son, in any case I try to be mother for him in that extreme condition.


Laid on desert sand
soldier’s body sinking
for wind mercy


Moussia Fantoli (Italy)




atomic bomb site--
in the shimmering heat
a child disappears

Yatsuka Ishihara (1919-1998)
(Carmen Sterba, trans.)

This is the bilingual haiku I carried while at a sit-in in front of the US Embassy, January 29. Ishihara was a very well-known haijin. This haiku appears in a slightly different translation in Japanese Haiku 2001, edited by the Modern Haiku Association (Gendai Haiku Kyokai).


Tokyo sit-in--
reading an A-bomb haiku
a policeman softens

Carmen Sterba (Japan)



Copyright authors, 2003