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HAIKU DIALOGUE – Opposites Attract – open/shut

Opposites Attract

Hello – kj here – I will be taking the reins again for the next few weeks, with the theme ‘opposites attract’. The prompt each week will be a pair of opposites – feel free to be inspired by one or the other, or both! I hope this draws you towards excellent haiku – the way the compass, even in these uncertain times, will always settle on ‘North’…

                  compass needle


next week’s theme:  OPPOSITES ATTRACT – hot/cold

The deadline is midnight Pacific Daylight Savings Time, Saturday August 15, 2020.

Please submit one or two original unpublished haiku inspired by the week’s theme by clicking here: Contact Form. Please put Haiku Dialogue in the Subject box, & include your name as you would like it to appear, & your place of residence, with your poem. I look forward to reading your submissions.

A few haiku will be selected for commentary each week.

Please note that by submitting, you agree that your work may appear in the column – neither acknowledgment nor acceptance emails will be sent. All communication about the poems that are posted in the column will be added as blog comments.

Below is the commentary for open/shut:

Thanks to you all for the warm welcome back! It is wonderful to be here, & I do hope you will all stay safe & well during this difficult time, wherever you are – & I hope you all keep writing! Not surprisingly, a number of poems this week can be read through the lens of the pandemic – here is my commentary on a few of these:

in the walled garden
roses bloom

Juliet Wilson


every crocus in the municipal garden

Marion Clarke

Both of these poems contain a striking contrast between our lockdown situation & the sheer beauty of a common flower – the power of the natural world to influence the speaker’s, & the reader’s, mood…

delivery van
driving by
shuttered businesses

Sari Grandstaff
Saugerties, NY

Here, an added dimension – the economic impact… in a clear, simple observation, the poet describes the present reality, leaving the reader to contemplate what this may mean for the future…

myself after the shut down

Vandana Parashar

In this poem, a more personal view – on reading the first two lines, the reader may be thinking about the impacts of physical distancing or working from home, but the twist in the third line brings in the fresh idea of a completely different system shutting down…

& here are the rest of my selections:

talkative hours the husband’s *is that right…*

Adrian Bouter


morning yoga
a lotus bud opens
to catch the light

Agus Maulana Sunjaya
Tangerang, Indonesia


prairie wind…
old barn door’s ceaseless
to and fro banging

Al W Gallia
Lafayette, Louisiana


care home
the window and a fly
both see dunes

Alan Summers


a touch and
gentle caress
her last breath

Albert Schepers
Windsor, Ontario


her muffled cries
from behind the slammed door –
my father’s blood

Alex Fyffe


closed shutters –
first flowering iris
in the tall grass

Angiola Inglese


sand stretches –
how blue the oasis
of her large eyes

arvinder kaur
Chandigarh, India


worn covers open
columns of words battle
the shut mind

B.A. France


blue sky
I close my eyes
to still my mind

Bona M. Santos
Los Angeles, CA


no matter
of color skin
the same shadow

Brăilean Mirela


closing time
the barmaid thumbs through
a stack of ones

Bryan Rickert


leaving Michigan
for Japan
in my junior year

Carmen Sterba


shut lips
across the open field
a skylark’s song

cezar-florin ciobica


busy doing
absolutely nothing

Charles Harmon
Los Angeles, California


eyes shut
her heart opens
first kiss

Charlotte Hrenchuk


traffic jam
we lose the thread
of our conversation

Christine L. Villa


a new home
no one can visit
funeral sprays

Claire Vogel Camargo


foreclosure –
the bedroom door
nailed shut

Dan Campbell


open and shut…
even sunflowers
do that

aperto e chiuso…
persino i girasoli
fanno così

Daniela Misso


grandma unfolds
her arms

Deborah Karl-Brandt


the open door policy

Deborah P Kolodji
Temple City, California


yin and yang
that thin border line
between us

Dennys Cambarau


dandelion clock –
her old ballerina spins
as the lid rises

Dorothy Burrows


hair trigger
the mouse trap
waits for the nibble

Edward Dallas


Père Lachaise
“Toi et Moi”

Greer Woodward
Waimea, HI


winter wind –
the mother sings
for the baby

Hassane Zemmouri


mask on
my mouth
wide shut

Helen Buckingham


gathering twigs –
the evening draws
to a close

Hemapriya Chellappan


welcoming arms on the door
of a bolted church

Ingrid Baluchi


defying odds
a dandelion sprouting
from a sidewalk crack

Jackie Chou
Pico Rivera, CA USA


unmown lawn
dandelions and violets

Janice Doppler


sinking in
my own thought
elevator opens

Jibril Dauda Muhammad
Bwari Abuja, Nigeria


the pause
between each pulse
her long yawn

John S Green
Bellingham, WA


open heart –
my daughter’s innocence
in her diary

Julia Guzmán


drowsy gloam
she opens a window
to cicadas

Kat Lehmann


Venus flytrap
at the orchid show
her blush

Kath Abela Wilson
Pasadena, California


open diner
he shuts off
the motorcycle engine

Kelli Lage


the teeter-tottering between
          opening/not opening

Laurie Greer


open house
the furniture he’d always
kept covered

Lorraine A. Padden
San Diego, CA


her smile…
in the pomegranate rind
the first crack

il suo sorriso … nella scorza di melagrana / la prima crepa

Lucia Cardillo


linear mind
twisting and turning
spring storm

Luisa Santoro


the tire swing
between each push
an open road

M. R. Defibaugh


open window –
the cadence of a cricket
from my youth

m shane pruett
Salem, OR, USA


the same old moon
settles on my window

Madhuri Pillai


sideways rain umbrellas inside-out

Margaret Walker


COVID checkpoints
the social distance
from common sense

Marilyn Ashbaugh


the morning after
one of the lilies
has opened

Mark Gilbert


grand opening –
a boutique mask shop
where our old pub was

Mark Meyer


monsoon river…
the silent words
in the flow

Milan Rajkumar
Imphal, India


sun from dark clouds
a windy road

Nadejda Kostadinova


reopening restaurants
only to close them down

Nancy Brady
Huron, Ohio


your face
swings open today
I tiptoe

nancy liddle


silent retreat –
behind closed doors
he opens his mind

Nick T


cold night
the thunderclap
of a car door slamming shut

Olivier Schopfer


Cancer and Capricorn
always so crabby

paul geiger


in the closing and opening
of an eye
a life

Peggy Hale Bilbro
Huntsville, Alabama


shielding –
my door
slams shut

Peter Adair
Northern Ireland


a single touch…
the mimosa closes
into itself

Pris Campbell


the shuttered factory’s gate
winter wind

Rashmi VeSa


cat sits
facing the door

Rehn Kovacic


climbing Monadnock
my scout compass flatlines
summit points above

Ron Scully


summer breeze…
from the open window
the scent of the sea

Rosa Maria Di Salvatore


neddy’s nose above
the stable door



locked door
a full moon enters through
an open window

Slobodan Pupovac
Zagreb, Croatia


mountain stream caressed by stones caressing

Steve Tabb


abandoned home
the wind opens the doors
and closes them

Stoianka Boianova


shelter in place
I change my zoom background
to outer space

susan rogers


half moon
1/2 for yin
1/2 for yang

Teiichi Suzuki


new boss
his door is always open
except when it’s shut

Tim Cremin


the yellow blooms
of the cucumber vine

Valentina Ranaldi-Adams
Fairlawn, Ohio USA


touches the day…
i repeat myself

Vijay Prasad



Vishnu Kapoor


Lori Zajkowski is the Post Manager for Haiku Dialogue. A novice haiku poet, she lives in New York City.

Managing Editor Katherine Munro lives in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, and publishes under the name kjmunro. She is Membership Secretary for Haiku Canada, and her debut poetry collection is contractions (Red Moon Press, 2019). Find her at:

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