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Written by Mary Anne Donovan   

Haiku Poem, Up High in Banana Tree

You read all about haiku in Grace Tierney's article " Haiku – Contests for the Time Pressured Poet. " With all those haiku contests Grace has listed, you need to brush up your haiku-writing skills.

And in our editor's column, we said you'd go bananas, so….

You got it! Write us a haiku that uses the word banana anywhere in it.

Remember the song, "Yellow Bird?" Well, here are the lyrics to give you some inspiration in your haiku-writing:

Yellow Bird,
Up high in banana tree
Yellow Bird,
You sit all alone like me
Has your lady friend
Left the nest again.
That is very sad,
Makes me feel so bad
You can fly away
To the sky away
You more lucky that me.
Wish that I were a yellow bird
I fly away with you
But I am, not a yellow bird
I sit and sigh,
What else can I do.
I also had a lady friend
She's not with me today
They all the same,
The Lady friends
Make them the nest,
Then they fly away.

-- Writer and copyright unknown

First Place wins:

•  $25 gift certificate to Barns & Noble

•  Publication in Writer Online


Deadline April 14th, 2005 12pm EST, USA

No submissions accepted after deadline.

NOTE: We'll send a single confirmation of receipt of your payment.
WOL can't be responsible for communication problems or missing emails. Entrants should use the "confirm receipt" option in their email program. WOL cannot refund entry fees for entries that are not accompanied by a submission.

Pay the contest fee, then email your submission to:

After paying your entry fee, please make sure you send in your submission. Write the title at the top. Please put your full name, postal address and email address at the bottom. This provides WOL with identifying information.

NOTE: If you do not receive notification that your submission was received, please send it in to the email address listed below again. (We often receive entry fees without entries.)

Click here:

to make a credit card payment

Contest fee
: $5.00 if paying by credit card; $7.00 if paying by U.S. check; $12.00 if paying by non-U.S. check.

If paying by check, please make out in the correct amount (!) and send to:

Mary Anne Donovan
468 Hinchey Rd.
Rochester, NY 14624

  Contest Rules

Submit entries by email to ( No attached documents, please ). Winners will be announced in our next issue.

Please include your name and mailing address in your email. Prizes and publication offered only to entrants who have are Writer Online subscribers and who have paid their entry fee.

1) Subscribe to Writer Online by entering your email address here:

Subscriber page

By submitting, the entrant certifies that the work is original. Please do not write follow-up memos regarding the status of your submission.

Writer Online reserves the right to publish and archive any winning contest entry without further notice to the writer. Cash awards will be made by check and mailed within 30 days of the publication of the winning entry.

Winner of Our "Finish the Story" Contest

Joan Falcon from Houston, TX

Congratulations Joan!!

The instructions were to finish this start:

At midnight Mr. Reynolds was awakened by the doorbell. Upon opening the door, he saw a pale, little girl in a white dress, twirling her hair. “Have you seen my mommy?” the little girl asked.

And Joan's entry:


 At midnight Mr. Reynolds was awakened by the doorbell. Upon opening the door, he saw a pale, little girl in a white dress, twirling her hair. “Have you seen my mommy?” the little girl asked.


“Sweetheart, I have told you every night for the past six nights that I don't know who your mommy is.   What's her name?   Where do you live?”   Instead of answering, and as she had done for the past six nights in a row, the little girl simply turned and walked back down the hall and around the corner, out of John Reynold's sight.


“Was it that little girl again?” asked Elizabeth Reynolds.


“Of course.   I wish I could figure out who she is or where she lives.   This is getting ridiculous.”


The first time this happened, Elizabeth hadn't paid much attention to it.   The next time, something made her ask John what the little girl had looked like.   John described her as being approximately 5 years old with pale skin, long wavy dark brown hair, a petite build and haunting green eyes.   He could have been describing a 5 year old Elizabeth.


Five years ago Elizabeth found herself pregnant.   Having a child would have been perfectly okay with John but Elizabeth had always known that she didn't want children.   When she and John married, it was understood that theirs would be a childless marriage.


Without a word to John, Elizabeth had an abortion.   Although she was absolutely positive that she had made the right decision, the guilt over not having told John was overwhelming.   She sank into a deep depression and eventually her relationship with John began to feel the strain.


The mysterious appearance of this lost little girl had reopened an old wound.


“I don't know how to make you happy anymore,” whispered John as he was holding Elizabeth in his arms after yet another particularly nasty downward mood swing.


“It's not your job to make me happy.”

“I know but I can't stand to live like this anymore.   I can't stand to see you in this pain.”


When they went to bed that night, neither of them could sleep.   They laid there next to each other in silence.   At midnight when the doorbell rang, John started to get up.


“No, I'll get it,” said Elizabeth.


Elizabeth slowly walked to the door with an unexplainable feeling that nothing would ever be the same. She opened the door and looked into the face of the child she had aborted five years ago.


“Hello, mommy.   I've been looking for you.”

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