Penny Harter


Driving Home, New Year’s Eve

a tanka sequence


colored lights
glitter on the houses
flicker like stars—
my tires hiss on wet pavement
as I drive quickly by


twilight mist rises
from roadside snow-melt
eddies in my wake—
over dark trees, two hawks
spiral into night


home now, I lock the door
against persistent rain,
turn on the teakettle—
as a child I often fell asleep
to distant night sounds


under two quilts
I snuggle deeper into warmth
and pull a pillow close—
in the British film yesterday,
a boy walked far out on thin ice



Penny Harter’s many books of poems include five of haiku. Her haiku and haibun have appeared in many journals, and anthologies, including The Haiku Anthology, Global Haiku, The Unswept Path, and Modern Haibun and Tanka Prose. With William J. Higginson, she co-authored The Haiku Handbook. A chapbook of her poems grieving Bill’s death, Recycling Starlight, is forthcoming. She has received three fellowships from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and the Mary Carolyn Davies Award from the Poetry Society of America.