Jo Balistreri

Born: 1941 in Duluth, Minnesota
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Mary Jo spent most of her life as a concert pianist and harpsichordist. With the death of a grandchild in 2005, she began writing poetry to deal with her grief, and to give witness to the child’s life. She began writing haiku in late January of 2013. It is changing the way she lives, keeps her aware and present, and with a sense of humor, puts things in perspective.
Jo has two books of poetry published by Bellowing Ark Press and a chapbook by Tiger's Eye Press. She joined the haiku community three years ago and found the form and the people she wants to be involved in for the rest of her life.

at his hospital window…
silent answers
among the stars

failed haiku, issue 12, December, 2016

toast crumbs
fall onto his paper
landslide in Peru

failed haiku, issue 12, December, 2016

golf-ball hail—
the kids
forget their coats

failed haiku, issue 12, December, 2016

wild gardenias
whiten the path—
first father-daughter dance

blithe spirit, BHS Anthology, 2016

delphinium shoots nudging the soil baby’s first kick

prune juice, issue 20, November, 2016

his home
of thirty years sold…
he plants marigolds

prune juice, issue 20, November 2016

pails tied at the waist
--our tongues
cherry red

prune juice, issue 20, November 2016

the fluid music
of her womb…
incoming tide

Hedgerow, Issue, 99, December, 2016


only one spoonful
to honor her ancestors—

failed haiku,  Volume, October, 2016


her sour tears—
he hacks down
the last lemon tree

Failed haiku,  Volume, October, 2016


an old sears catalog
she shows him
her red wagon
bottle rockets  press #35, August, 2016


constant slam
of the screen door
rhubarb pie

bottle rockets  press #35, August, 2016


a steep climb…
my shadow’s pilgrim hat

modern haiku,  volume 47.1 winter-spring, 2016


trickle of melt
down the canyon wall…
holding his ashes

modern haiku,  Volume 47.2, Summer, 2016


one child’s candle…
light moves
up the aisle

modern haiku,  Volume 47.3, Fall, 2016


in the rain…
their windbreakers brighten

failed haiku,  Volume 1, Issue Six, May, 2016


mason jars…
mom’s peaches this winter


Mother’s Day
wearing her locket
for the first time

prune juice,  No. 19, July, 2016


cattails tossing and tossing a night of insomnia

A Hundred Gourds, Issue 5.2, March, 2016


dog-eared by her side
the wonder of the world…

bearcreekhaiku,  Issue 133, 2016


fog hanging
from the elms…
mother’s cleaning rags

speed bump journal, 1.1. January, 2016


up late the moon in our merlot


father’s whistle in a blade of grass

volume XVII, number 4: December, 2015


the click of bamboo
in the wind…
grandma’s rosary


at her easel the sea’s changing face


blazing firewood…
we drink cider
with a bite

frogpond, 38.3, autumn, 2015


through the moon…
broken music

wild plum, 1.2/ fall and winter/ 2015
behind the tree line-haiku anthology, 2015


of a neighbor’s sax…
the dying wind

a hundred gourds, 4.4. march, 2015


snow’s lavender shadows
she feeds her mother
canned peaches

wild plum / 2.2, fall and winter/ 2016