September 2016
Youth Corner


UHTS collected works

Welcome to the September, 2016 edition
of cattails Youth Corner

Adding to the news shared in the last edition of cattails, about the "I Love Reading CBSE-KATHA Initiative", I want to add that Katha’s Writers' Workshop 2016 for schools is happening in three zones, namely the Northern zone in Delhi, the Eastern zone in Jorhat, and the Southern zone in Hyderabad… and haiku will be included big time in all these regional workshops.

Search for Excellence in Creative Writing is spreading like wildfire and the result is that we are going to have a new crop of young minds to challenge the world word for word! But these workshops with haiku included are scheduled only for the months of October and November.

More good news for the “Youth Corner” is the increase in submissions from the USA. We had quite a few for this edition and offer a special ‘thank you’ to Tom Painting for sending his students’ work.

Enjoy this collection of haiku specially brought to you in this cattails…quite a few from our regular contributors, who have become masters now. Special mention to Iqra Raza, Aashna Goyal and Emma Jones!

UHTS cattails Youth Corner Editor Kala Ramesh, India

The Tejas Award (Tejas in Sanskrit means “fire” and/or “brilliance”) goes to Aashna Goyal, for this beautiful haiku. Linking to cultural memory is very important when writing haiku and we as adults try our best to do this… see how effortlessly [or so it seems]; Aashna has done just that! A bindi is that red dot seen on the foreheads of Indian women. It brightens up a woman’s face and it’s lovely that Aashna is able to bring this subtle nuance into her haiku by adding ‘morning sun’ on L 3. I really like it.

a bindi
on my mom's forehead...
morning sun

Aashna Goyal
(age 16) India

        Editor’s FIRST Choice includes TWO haiku, by Iqra Rasa & Maia Savich.

After a few years of reading haiku, one comes to the conclusion that there can no longer be a fresh take on the Buddha or cherry blossoms... for these themes have been done to death. But here is Iqra’s haiku on not just one Buddha but many Buddhas! This piece reminded me of Sri Lanka’s Dambulla Cave Temple where (they say) there is a line of Buddhas walking to meet the Buddha.

first light…
the tall shadows of
little Buddhas

Iqra Raza
(age 18) India

Maia’s haiku perfectly captures the meals, laughter and all that it means when we meet our cousins during those family-get-togethers.

meaty fists
to my stomach
Ah, cousins

Maia Savich
(age 11) USA

        Editor’s SECOND Choice:

dad's kurta
on the backyard clothesline...
a flying superhero

Parinidhi Sharma
(age 18)India

Parinidhi’s haiku is so typical of what children think of their dad’s capabilities and how that hero-worship begins at such an early stage. As adults, we are shaken up to think we are put on a pedestal and need to live up to our children’s assessment of us–and mind you, they are constantly doing that; scary!

        Editor’s THIRD Choice

family reunion
we watch grandma

Sadie Holcomb
(age 14) USA

family reunion...
an aroma of granny’s cake
in my mother’s tale

Iqra Raza
(age 18) India

heavy rains—
the broken seal
of the last food can

Iqra Raza
(age 18) India

I’ve chosen these 3 haiku as my Editor’s THIRD Choices, for these kids talk so warmly about their mothers and grandmothers and I feel really good about that. All over the globe, things aren’t that different and family ties are precious.

Look at this beautiful image from Iqra: an aroma of granny’s cake/in my mother’s tale. I’m clean bowled over by such clear understanding of what makes haiku work, when so many of us still struggle with the rules and conventions when writing our haiku.

        Honourable Mentions (in no particular order)

a butterfly
unfolds its wings…
school assembly

Lakshay Gandotra
(age 13) India

first time
the melody of notes
from my cello

Nyjah Lee
(age 14) USA

metro crowd—
the policeman's Labrador
enjoys a nap

Iqra Raza
(age 18) India

sunlight hangs
in the rain droplets...
dusty window

Emma Jones
(age 16) USA

black clouds—
a monkey dances
to drum beats

Aashna Goyal
(age 16) India

light filters
through the moss...

Maia Savich
(age 11) USA:

power outage
the house lit with
cell phones

Sadie Holcomb
(age 14) USA

the koi finds
a place in the sky

Lila Chiles
(age 14) USA

first light
my sister still humming
that same song

Emma Jones
(age 16) USA

gran's death—
i still struggle
with upturned umbrellas

Iqra Raza
(age 18) India

UHTS cattails Youth Corner Editor Kala Ramesh, India