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A Sense of Place: MEADOW/FIELD – sight

 

 

A Sense of Place

In his essay ‘So:ba’, given at the International Haiku Conference (SUNY Plattsburgh, NY, 2008) and published serially in Frogpond, Jim Kacian discusses the concept of ba:

“If you look up ba in any Japanese-English Dictionary you’ll find it means “place” or “site” or “occasion”. And these are all true in the most general sense—ba is a pointer to a kind of awareness that something of importance is happening in time and space.”

So here we are…

In the following weeks we will get back to haiku basics and explore specific locations with an emphasis on the senses, and with the intention of improving our own haiku practice. Ideally, participants will select an actual location that they can visit, or a location from memory that they have visited in the past. Failing that, we always have our imaginations – and you’re invited to join in the fun! Submit an original unpublished poem (or poems) via our Contact Form by Sunday midnight on the theme of the week, including your name as you would like it to appear, and place of residence. I will select from these for the column, and add commentary.

 

next week’s theme:  MEADOW/FIELD – hearing

Listen to the sounds of this meadow or field – preferably the same one you have already had a look at – but, failing that, hear a memory or imagine the music or the noise…

I look forward to reading your submissions.

 

A Sense of Place:  MEADOW/FIELD – sight

Shadows and wildflowers are the sub-themes this week…

open grassland
clouds intersperse
grazing sheep

Adjei Agyei-Baah
Kumasi, Ghana

How often do we see animal shapes in the clouds – in this poem the clouds and the sheep and the shadows weave together across a vast vista…

wildflower meadow
the mix of colors
on my palette

Debbi Antebi

Ideally, in one form of haiku at least, a juxtaposition of two separate images is required, and what a wonderful picture this poem paints – again, by giving the reader only the barest of details…

scorched field not a blade in sight

Helen Buckingham

Here, once again, the poem with the fewest words somehow contains a number of interpretations – scorched by drought? by fire? a blade of grass or the blade of a combine?

flunking
the field sobriety test –
poppy seed bagel

Michael H. Lester
Los Angeles CA USA

A timely piece, as the process of legalizing marijuana continues in Canada, not to mention an unexpected take on the theme…

Here are the rest of my selections for this week:

meadow breeze…
a dandelion flirts
with a daisy

Adrian Bouter

 

mountain meadow…
with the evening breeze,
purple lupine wave

Al Gallia
Lafayette, Louisiana USA

 

haymaking
the meadow packed
with blue sky

Alan Summers
Wiltshire, England

 

fireworks –
rainbow splashes
in the meadow

Alessandra Delle Fratte

 

dusk
the stillness of horses
in the field

andrew shimield

 

hay meadow
children return home
flower by flower

Andy McLellan

 

picnic on the grass –
in childhood memories
my somersaults

Angela Giordano

 

early morning –
slowly in the grass
the first shadows

Angiola Inglese

 

following
the wind’s footsteps
autumn meadow

Ann K. Schwader
Westminster, CO

 

waving grass –
the lonesomeness
of the autumn wind

Anna Maria Domburg-Sancristoforo

 

rice field
one shade darker
after today’s toil

Anthony Rabang

 

paddy sowing –
a farmer’s first step
into sunrise

arvinder kaur
Chandigarh, India

 

sun slant
across the meadow –
goldenrod

Barbara Kaufmann
NY

 

nightwatch
blooming for the joy of it
moonflowers

Barbara Tate
Winchester, TN

 

match day
a group of grazing birds
fly from the ball

Blessed Ayeyame
Ughelli, Nigeria

 

across the meadow
in synchronized flight –
two goldfinches

Bob Whitmire
Round Pond, Maine

 

land of Oz
miles and miles
of golden cornfields

Bona M. Santos
Los Angeles, CA

 

cows in sight
field
of brown

C. A. Harper (age 6)

 

(snowy field)
broad side of a barn
(snowy field)

C.R. Harper

 

Mt. Rainier
carefully gathering a crown
of wildflowers

Carmen Sterba

 

the meadow
taken by sunflowers
and daffodils

Carol Raisfeld

 

fields of Normandy
uncle left a leg
over there

Charles Harmon
Los Angeles, California, USA

 

autumn fields
crystal blue lake reflects
blazing maple trees

Christina Chin

 

tall grasses
two fawns play
hide and seek

Christina Sng

 

my mother stitches
a meadow full of flowers
memories

Christine Eales
UK

 

mired in mud
I eye the distance
to the farmhouse

Claire Vogel Camargo

 

dissolving
in a sea of golden rod
the ancient barn

Craig Kittner
Wilmington, NC

 

the field of gold
a girl and her kite
are shadows

Danijela Grbelja
Croatia, Sibenik

 

summer holiday
lazing in fields
stacks of straw bales

David Gale
Gloucester, UK

 

high winds
geese side-slip toward
the stubble field

Debbie Strange

 

non-native grasses
the savannah sparrow
claims a fence post

Deborah P Kolodji
Temple City, California

 

marine layers
fields of snake grass whipping
in the wind

Devin Harrison

 

moonlit meadow
a group of white-tailed deer
graze quietly

dianne moritz

 

sunflowers field
the  sunlight
in my eyes

Eufemia Griffo

 

harvested fields
I follow
the white butterfly

Eva Limbach

 

across the meadow
quaking aspen flutter –
autumn moonrise

Gary Evans

 

barn swallows
flit above
the rye fields

Giedra Kregzdys
Woodhaven, NY

 

Po valley –
above the tall corn
a gloomy sky

Giovanna Restuccia
Italy

 

first to cross
the fields of night
steady red beacon of Mars

Greer Woodward
Waimea, HI

 

muddy field
the itinerary
of the cows

Guliz Mutlu

 

autumn meadow
all the colors
of my loneliness

Hifsa Ashraf
Pakistan

 

a fallow field –
wild flowers free
to bloom

Ingrid Baluchi
Macedonia

 

dusky meadow
above the silence
stars bloom

Isabel Caves
Auckland, New Zealand

 

spring snow
on stone walled fields
one corner turns green

Joanne van Helvoort

 

thunderstorm –
the lady bug back flips
off a blade of grass

John S Green

 

littering
the entire meadow
daisies

John Hawkhead

 

unmowed meadow
wild flowers
at last

Judith Hishikawa

 

Morning dew –
the wild flowers trail
red and violet

Julia Guzmán

 

favorite flower
her field self-seeded
with forget-me-nots

Kath Abela Wilson
Pasadena, California

 

golden poppies
carpet California’s
meadows

Kathleen Mazurowski

 

last year’s wildfires
the field now overgrown
with flame flowers

(California’s state flower, the golden poppy, is also known as a flame flower)

Kimberly Esser
Los Angeles, CA

 

reaching their prime –
sunflowers
over my head

Laurie Greer
Washington, DC

 

a crowd gathering
to view the eclipse
Sheep Meadow

Lori Zajkowski
New York City

 

hill field…
the combed land
for new sowing

campo in collina … la terra pettinata / per nuova semina

Lucia Cardillo

 

midsummer meadow
I look up from my picnic
to cows

Lucy Whitehead
Essex, UK

 

prairie sunrise
fog drifts on grey wings
a hunting harrier

m. shane pruett
oregon, usa

 

train commute –
heads crane
to view the meadow

Madhuri Pillai

 

wildflower meadow
rainbow
underfoot

Margaret Walker
Lincoln, NE, USA

 

mown field –
looking for fireflies
at first evening

Margherita Petriccione

 

wildflowers steaming
in the morning mist
a subtle hint of Autumn

Margo Williams
Stayton, Oregon

 

Tuolumne Meadows
a mule doe’s ears point
in all directions

Marietta McGregor
Canberra, Australia

 

equinox
fields of gold
steal the sun

Marilyn Ashbaugh
Edwardsburg, MI

 

the sun rises
the sun sets
chasing the tumbleweed

Mark Gilbert
UK

 

Wisconsin prairie –
waist-high waves
of wildflowers

Mary Ellen Gambutti
Sarasota, FL USA

 

Queen of the Prairie
I straighten her crown
of wildflowers

Mary Hanrahan

 

Open field –
only a few years ago
a sports arena

michael ceraolo
South Euclid, Ohio

 

yellow fields…
only the shadow of
a scarecrow’s hat

Michael Smeer
Haarlemmermeer, The Netherlands

 

as if dawn
opens a thousand eyes…
wildflower field

Michele L. Harvey

 

a red tractor
ever decreasing
the standing crop

Mike Gallagher
Kerry, Ireland

 

Fall River meadow
surrounded by snow-capped peaks
alpine flowers sing

Mike Stinson

 

cool afternoon
a picnic mat
on the meadow

Mohammad Azim Khan
Pakistan

 

Late September –
clouds shadows running fast
on the plowed fields

Monica Federico

 

tall grasses wave
in the meadow
blue bird boxes

Nancy Brady
Huron, Ohio

 

harvested fields…
the shabby scarecrows
redundant

Natalia Kuznetsova
Russia

 

sun on meadow –
glitter the dew
evaporating

Nazarena Rampini
Italy

 

driving home…
every field
like our field

Nicholas Klacsanzky

 

wildflower meadow
the invisible life
of soil organisms

Olivier Schopfer
Geneva, Switzerland

 

hay fields
a silent nod
to the sun

Pat Davis
Pembroke, NH  USA

 

winter drought –
trees’ tinfoil leaves glitter
in the paddocks

Pauline O’Carolan

 

bone sky
above harvested corn
long vees of geese

Philip Whitley

 

your death anniversary
deer in the corn stubble

Polona Oblak
Ljubljana, Slovenia

 

yellow wildflowers how he describes his youth

Pris Campbell

 

open fields
so much
we don’t see

Rachel Sutcliffe

 

field
her  draft of poems
cow’s gaze

Radhamani sarma

 

dandelions meadow
is she  still looking
for a donor

Radostina Dragostinova
Bulgaria

 

barbwire pasture
the gate left open
for a guest

Randy Brooks

 

desert meadow
cactus and
creosote

Rehn Kovacic

 

village green –
summer thistles
in hot wind

Réka Nyitrai

 

cornfield dare
the confusing maze
of childhood

Roberta Beary
County Mayo, Ireland

 

old plantation –
fistfuls of wild violets
on fieldstones

robyn brooks
usa

 

sunlit grasses
running through what’s left
of summer

Ron C. Moss

 

nature center
walking among native plants
a transplant

(this poem was inspired by my stewardship as an Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist at the Cincinnati Nature Center, Milford, Ohio, USA)

Ronald K. Craig
Batavia, OH  USA

 

on the green grass
the different colours
of the wild flowers

Rosa Maria Di Salvatore

 

abandoned field
more wildflowers
than i can name

Ruth Powell

 

harvested field
the hay bales
of wishes

Sanjuktaa Asopa

 

in the hay meadow
my dad’s straw hat
moves straight across the horizon

Sari Grandstaff
Saugerties, NY, USA

 

clamped between field and clouds
dense fog

Serhiy Shpychenko
Kyiv, UA

 

sunrise
inside the crop circle
brock probes the earth

simonj
UK

 

sowing –
the birds on the arms
of the scarecrow

Slobodan Pupovac
Zagreb, Croatia

 

green meadow
pruned grass behind
the cattle herd

Srinivasa Rao Sambangi
Hyderabad, India

 

poppy field
tracing my way
back to childhood

Stephen A. Peters

 

almost unseen
her hat
in the heather

Susan Rogers
Los Angeles, CA, USA

 

June meadow –
the caress of the wind
among the poppies

Teresa Piras

 

posing for facebook
stilted kisses
among the sunflowers

Tia Haynes
Lakewood, Ohio, USA

 

sunflower bed
dreaming
about stardust

Tiffany Shaw-Diaz
Centerville, Ohio

 

cool shadows beckon
where the field meets the tree line
noon day sun

Tim Heaney
Atlanta, Ga.

 

morning moon…
sinking slowly into
the high grass

Tomislav Maretic

 

pink kite…
cosmos fields
in bloom

Tsanka Shishkova

 

snow-covered field…
horses with bent necks
grazing

Valentina Ranaldi-Adams
Fairlawn, Ohio USA

 

countryside…
blue meets green
at the horizon

Vandana Parashar

 

in the meadow
swallows swoop up insects
behind a running dog

Victor Ortiz
Bellingham, WA

 

on meadow grass
spills pearls –
the morning dew

Vishnu Kapoor

 

Katherine Munro lives in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, and publishes under the name kjmunro. She is Membership Secretary for Haiku Canada and an Associate Member of the League of Canadian Poets. She recently co-edited an anthology of crime-themed haiku called Body of Evidence: a collection of killer ’ku.

 

This Post Has 79 Comments

  1. Thanks a lot, Katherine, for selecting my haiku.
    I really enjoyed the entire selection.
    Particularly these ones:

    Last year’s wildfires
    the field now overgrown
    with flame flowers
    Kimberly Esser
    Los Angeles, CA

    In the hay meadow
    my dad’s straw hat
    moves straight across the horizon
    Sari Grandstaff
    Saugerties, NY, USA

    1. Wonderful news! It is so rewarding to hear about new work being written as a result of this feature… and even more so as it makes its way out into the world!
      Congratulations, Alan!

      1. Thanks to your nudging us not only to write haiku about sense of place, but to bring in various of the senses. I’ll definitely be including one or more in a special book I’m doing. 🙂

  2. Particularly glad to have this weekly comfort right now. Hurricane Florence put a hurting on us here in North Carolina. My eyes are heavy with sights of storm damage. Having ridden out this storm, I have renewed love for small, everyday joys.

    Thank you kj for including me.

    A few favorites for this week:

    the sun rises
    the sun sets
    chasing the tumbleweed

    Mark Gilbert
    UK

    cornfield dare
    the confusing maze
    of childhood

    Roberta Beary
    County Mayo, Ireland

    barbwire pasture
    the gate left open
    for a guest

    Randy Brooks

    poppy field
    tracing my way
    back to childhood

    Stephen A. Peters

    Simplicity and acute awareness of time’s passage.

    Peace.

    1. particularly good to hear from you Craig – thanks so much for sharing this, & know that many are thinking of you & your neighbours at this difficult time… stay safe

  3. Thank you much for including my meadow haiku among these, Kathy! And I love all the comments as well from everyone. They really encourage me to read deeper.

  4. Another good collection, thank you for selecting mine.
    I really liked the haiku of the field in Normandy,
    It made me think of the grass of Basho warriors

  5. Every week the commentary is so educational and motivational. Thanks to every poet and to Kathy and Alan for this opportunity to share. I am so honored to be included.

  6. Thanks for publishing mine Kathy! Really enjoyed the selection this week. Just wanted to add a reference for my haiku…it was written after William J Higginson’s well-known haiku ‘I look up/from writing/to daylight’ in Haiku in English: The First Hundred Years, Eds J Kacian et al. 2013, p43).

  7. Thank-you Kathy for publishing one of mine. I enjoyed this nice haiku from a six-year old child.

    cows in sight
    field
    of brown

    C. A. Harper (age 6)

    1. Thanks Margaret!
      .
      I guess both knowing Helen’s work in general really well, and the violent history of Britain I could see it might mean both weapons as well as farming implements. After all, some farming equipment was used in warfare where people didn’t have the money to purchase swords I guess.
      .
      Helen’s wonderful collection Water on the Moon, for anyone who hasn’t got a copy, is available in print, or as a PDF: http://area17.blogspot.com/2010/06/water-on-moon-haiku-collection-by-helen.html

  8. @Alan Summers

    your haiku speaks to me; thank you! it stands out among the many quality haiku / selected submissions.

    best akways, Roberta

    1. Thanks Roberta, that is very kind! 🙂
      .
      I had a number of versions as I travelled with Karen, and she was very tough, and said only that version spoke to her. She can be really scary but is always right, when I dare show her any of my haiku drafts. 🙂

  9. Dear Kathy,
    Greetings! Going through again a wonderful blog – all by gifted writers and your
    careful choice- a pleasure. Gifted to be one among them selected here. Humbled.Many thanks
    for this. Again going through all – wondering, how best I can improve.
    with regards
    S.Radhamani

  10. .
    in the meadow
    swallows swoop up insects
    behind a running dog
    .
    Victor Ortiz
    Bellingham, WA
    .
    Great to see more of the Bellingham poets here Victor!
    .
    I’m reminded of Australian ‘Welcome Swallows’ dipping/scooping into road puddles and swimming pools too! 🙂
    .
    I love this phrase!!!
    .
    swallows swoop up insects
    behind a running dog
    .
    .
    Full of action, and a great visual too! I’m also reminded of a River Kingfisher leaving the River Avon to fly literally under the nose of a dog (on a leash) in a park/field and by a small tree. I don’t think dog or humans saw this but me. 🙂
    .
    .
    Love your haiku!!!!

      1. What is an insult in one language is the reverse in another language and culture.
        .
        e.g.
        Native American Indians GUIDES & BRAVES lists ‘Running Dog’. And I published a haibun called Running Dog which was a part ekphrastic response to the famous Apple Chase artwork.

    1. Yes, Victor is a wonderful addition to our Bellingham Haiku Group. We have initiated a monthly ginko to our meeting with Victor’s encouragement.
      .
      I also loved Victor’s haiku—it is so visual—and I’ve been walking many dogs lately in ‘off leash’ parks where they can run creating mischief and opportunity.
      .
      in the meadow
      swallows swoop up insects
      behind a running dog
      .
      Victor Ortiz
      Bellingham, WA

      1. It does sound like a great haiku group! We don’t have as many haiku groups in the U.K. but I am getting mine and Karen’s house up enough for visitors who might write haiku as well. 🙂

    2. Thank you Alan! I think the one I saw was a Barn Swallow out at Discovery Park in Seattle, WA. Always happy to learn the names of new birds like the Welcome Swallow in areas of the world that are new to me! And since I am new to Bellingham, I’m learning about so many birds in the PNW that are unfamiliar to me. Love that image of the River Kingfisher!

      1. HI Victor!
        .
        Cool, Barn Swallows!
        .
        Ah, yes, the River Kingfisher, no one would believe me, but I have witnessed birds do things that aren’t even caught on TV documentary filming. The same with Karen, a TV documentary film maker, she’s seen things in our new special back garden, that’s I’ve missed. 🙂
        .
        In Sri Lanka, along the mangroves by the eco-lodge hotel complex, I saw almost every single kind of kingfisher, in a special tour for just myself and Karen. It was awesome to see a proliferation of kingfishers, both river and mountain ones.

    1. I particularly liked the bold double meaning in line 3 of Charles Harmon’s poignant ‘fields of Normandy’, as well as Giovanna Restuccia’s possibly profound ‘Po Valley’, and Radostina Dragostinova’s moving ‘dandelions meadow’. And these weren’t even the elegant ones ….

      1. I think elegant is over-rated. 🙂
        .
        On the other hand, these are elegantly executed haiku in their own way.
        .
        Always amazes me that there are at least 400 different types of dandelion.

  11. Thanks for another great set, Katherine, and for picking mine out again to comment upon.

    Alan – your final interpretation is right on the money.

    1. Yes, I felt you may have been saying that unfortunately we can achieve much more havoc nowadays without the use of shiny blades … but it also applies to modern agricultural practices ….

  12. .
    .
    scorched field not a blade in sight
    .

    Helen Buckingham
    .
    .
    Having lived in Australia, in the Queensland state, the verse could be about backburning by agriculatural practice; or carelessness or arson.
    .
    But with “not a blade in sight”, and the author living in Britain, I thought of the Medieval Ages where off and on for decades there was constant warfare, with each other and with others, with sword, spear, arrow, and scorched earth policy, a trick learnt from the Romans and those before them too:
    .
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scorched_earth
    .
    I don’t know of the author’s intent, only that for me, there is a chilling pun that there are no blades of grass and also no blade type weapons, as the destruction to land and people has been fully accomplished.

    1. Love your take (explanation) on this, Alan. The scorched earth policy is still used today…past and present colliding in an excellent ‘ku.

      Thanks, Kathy, for another thought-provoking collection. I appreciate being a part of this column.
      Nancy Brady

    2. Dear esteemed poet,
      Warm greetings!

      “scorched field not a blade in sight” reading over and again and again and your subsequent
      comments:

      “don’t know of the author’s intent, only that for me, there is a chilling pun that there are no blades of grass and also no blade type weapons, as the destruction to land and people has been fully accomplished”.

      here is my opinion, almost similar.

      Long ago, while travelling by train within India, a similar scene of all burnt out crops,nothing but black embers,in unfenced land ,cattle and sheep wandering nearby. Upon curiosity, my
      co passenger from a typical hamlet ,clarified,that due to aridity,when rains fail, people run amuck and burn all the dried ones- another way of giving vent to their anger- a form of sabotage. Literal scorched field , both– propitiation to gods praying for rains and destroying
      all extreme steps- what to do.

      1. Dear Radhamani sarma,
        .
        That is shocking!
        .
        If the majority of people on this planet simply worked together, there would be plenty of water and food, and shelter, and safety, from the corporations and politicians who manipulate us mercilessly.
        .
        Thank you for your comment, we are such a contradictory human race alas.

        1. Such a wonderful array of poems, congratulations to you all. A marvellous selection, Kathy.
          *
          What a brilliant comments about the scorched earth, Alan.
          I certainly agree with your above comment.

        2. I agree, Alan – what an amazing thread of comments here – I am impressed with all the places that just one little gem of a poem can take us… & every week there are so many gems!
          thanks, kj

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