goldfish bowl
my daughter asks
if I’m going to die

21 Responses

  1. Mike Schoenburg Says:

    Most morbid haiku I ever read!


    bali beach

    full moon

    on full moon


  2. Lynne Says:

    I love this haiku – the symbolism of the goldfish bowl works so effectively. And kids have that way of speaking so directly and taking us by surprise. A 'jolt' of a haiku that makes me smile and think.

  3. Helen Buckingham Says:

    Excellent ku, John – a poignant parental moment conveyed with gentle humour – simply and perfectly executed.

  4. Jeffrey Winke Says:

    Great one!

  5. Magyar Says:

    __The -goldfish bowl, in my inept view, refers to the limits of life; perhaps that is the key to the daughter's caring question. A deep, humanistic senryu. _m

  6. chief276 Says:

    An absolute winner.
    Bill K

  7. Susan Constable Says:

    A terrific juxtaposition, John, and it feels authentic, even if it's not. Perfection!


  8. Alan Summers Says:


    Whenever I see a goldfish haiku, I always remember this fun one from David Cobb,co-founder of the British Haiku Society, and I enjoy the comparison of:

    goldfish bowl
    my daughter asks
    if I’m going to die



    it's no use mouthing
    O after O at me —
    I don't speak Goldfish!

    David Cobb
    Mounting Shadows (142 haiku and senryu), Equinox Press, 1992
    Despite a life of goldfish when a youngster, I've only ever written one goldfish haiku, from a British Haiku Society residential event:

    scattered leaves on a pond
    goldfish surfacing

    [two line haiku]

    Alan Summers
    Publications credits: Albatross, The Constanza Haiku Society, Romania
    Vol. III No.1 Spring-Summer/No.2 Autumn-Winter 1994

  9. seaviewwarrenpoint Says:

    Ah, we are only here for a short time, aren't we? I particularly love your children haiku, John.


  10. Lorin Says:

    The question comes as a surprise in the midst of the daily or mundane (as children's questions so often do). A goldfish bowl is an excellent 'objective correlative' for the idea of the (invisible) limits to our lives.

    There's a lot more to this one than the usual run of 'cute kiddie ku', as you show in your selection of 'goldfish bowl' to juxtapose with the question.

    Very well done, John!

    – Lorin

  11. Julie Bloss Kelsey Says:

    Having lost a number of goldfish in my time, this haiku feel so authentic.

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  16. Susie Says:

    A terrible juxtaposition, John, and it feels authentic, even if it's not.

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