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Palo Alto Online

Publication Date: Friday, September 19, 2003

Haiku profiles Haiku profiles (September 19, 2003)

One small, bright blossom In the midst of winter snows Individual
Shaina Davis, Palo Alto

Shaina Davis is one of two winners from Jean Center's English class at Terman Middle School. She shares the honor with classmate Beth Holtzman.

Though it was the first time Davis had entered a poetry contest, she's no stranger to poetry.

"Sometimes I write poetry for fun, and I'll probably have to write some more in the future for school," she said.

Davis intends to become a teacher or an author when she becomes an adult. Meanwhile, she occupies her spare time reading, singing and playing the piano.

Inspiration for her poem came while she was looking at a flower bed at school.

"There were a lot of beautiful flowers there," she said. "But one bright California poppy really caught my attention."

Pita laughed at me, Raced me -- me a turtle friend. She's a hare. I won.
Heidi Tornieri, East Palo Alto

Schooled at home, Heidi Tornieri has an avid interest in reading and writing poetry.

"Heidi sat down and wrote that poem in one fell swoop," said guardian Rosemary Lombard, who brought home the ad that announced the haiku poetry competition.

Tornieri, 11, has written poetry before, but never with the kind of restraints inherent in the haiku form.

Inspiration came from the popular fairy tale about the race between the tortoise and the hare.

"It just surprised me how she could encompass the whole fairy tale in just 17 syllables," Lombard said.

Pita is totally imaginary, she added. But Tornieri likes turtles. Her other favorite subjects include language, biology and computers.

Peace is a flower Drifting down a lost river On its journey home
Beth Holtzman, Palo Alto

Beth Holtzman wrote her poem as part of an assignment given to her in Jean Center's English class at Terman Middle School. A classmate, Shaina Davis, is also among the winners.

Written in February, Holtzman said her poem was inspired by world events.

"Peace was lost for a while, but now it's coming back," she said.

In her spare time, Holtzman, 11, likes to read. One of the books she's enjoyed in recent times is "Shadow Spinner," Susan Fletcher's multicultural novel by about a storyteller employed by a sultan.

Holtzman is also a member of the University Club's swim team, where she competes in all strokes.

Playing staccato On the bars, the treble clef Is my parakeet.
Matthew Tan, Menlo Park

Matthew Tan is a fifth-grade student at Phillips Brooks School, a private institution in Menlo Park. Like many boys his age, the 11-year-old Tan has varied interests, including sailing, playing the piano and writing.

Fluent in Japanese, Tan won an award last November from The Yomiuri, a Japanese paper, for writing a poem about his pet frog.

He found inspiration for his award-winning haiku in his music and pet parakeet.

Tan's favorite subject in school is science.

"He wanted to be part of the space program," his mother said. "But his goals change as he grows."


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