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A Sense of Place: MEADOW/FIELD – touch



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 Submit an original unpublished poem (or poems) via our Contact Form by Sunday midnight on the theme of the week, including your name as you would like it to appear, and place of residence.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:  HIKING TRAIL – sight

We move from the meadows to a hiking trail of any kind – if possible, I hope you can go hiking somewhere, and can actually look around, but failing that, we have our memories and our imaginations… what do you see?

I look forward to reading your submissions.


A Sense of Place:  MEADOW/FIELD – touch

As may have become apparent – this project is not sustainable in its current form… and it is my hope that it does continue in 2019, with a greater emphasis on commentary and sharing, and less work for the editor… the comments on the blog post each week are informative and inspiring – thanks to all those who are adding their comments, and if you are not yet participating there – please take a look!

petal soft
certain pages
of her field guide

Laurie Greer
Washington, DC

Of course this is a field guide of wildflowers – or is it? So much can be contained in eight words, yet there is still so much that the reader can bring to the poem…


with a gentle
stroke of the brush
flowering meadows

Margo Williams
Stayton, Oregon

Those who have the talent to draw and paint can make this look so easy – the sense of touch and the meadow location are beautifully illustrated in this poem…


a field of flowers
and no need
to pick one

Pat Davis
Pembroke, NH  USA

Here the poet, like several others this week, chooses to write about the larger picture – a big field, and bigger feelings…


field stones
behind the old milk barn
warmed by the sun

Randy Brooks

After re-reading my comments last week, it is important to add that there are also successful haiku that do not have a natural break at all – sometimes the three lines can run straight through without a break, as in this example, where the image becomes richer and clearer with each successive line…


Here are the rest of my selections for this week:

the wildflowers
lean into one another
with the breeze

Aalix Roake


touching bark –
the dog and me
in a walnut grove

Adrian Bouter


a dragonfly…
does the sunflower
feel its touch?

Al Gallia
Lafayette, Louisiana USA


the sharp tang
of thorn

Alan Summers
Wiltshire, England


municipal green
the graze of a leaf
on my unturned page

Amy Losak


the frail touch
of my grandmother’s hand
poppy flowers

Andy McLellan


wildflowers –
the soft caress
of a butterfly

Angela Giordano


autumn fields
the wind through the grass
through me

Ann K. Schwader
Westminster, CO


tickling grass
on bare legs –
for ever child

Anna Maria Domburg-Sancristoforo


In the middle
Of the meadow, a light touch
Of my previous life

Anna Goluba


a deep scratch
on the screen

Anthony Rabang


first date –
the imprint of grass
fresh on her cheek

arvinder kaur
Chandigarh, India


a touch of blue
flits across the meadow
squawking jay

Barbara Kaufmann


the transfer of gold dust
to my fingertips

Barbara Tate


field walk
now and again the touch
of wind powered grass

Blessed Ayeyame
Ughelli, Nigeria


hide and seek
the tickle grass
gives me away

Bona M. Santos
Los Angeles, CA


summer beard
growing against
the grain

C.R. Harper


neglected yard
brought under control
the push mower jolts in my hands

Carol Dilworth
Guelph, Canada


after the row touch-me-not

(The Himalayan Balsam —also known as, touch-me-not— seeds explode all over the place at the merest touch)

carol jones


where the horizons
kiss the meadow
I say yes

Celestine Nudanu


swaying grass
your gentle touch

cezar ciobika


when the time comes
bury me on the prairie
touching earth and sky

Charles Harmon
Los Angeles, California, USA


a touch of dew
on the strawberries
picking season

Christina Sng


sunlit meadow
the tickle on my cheek
a ladybug

Claire Vogel Camargo


flowering fields
expanding the boundary
of my heart

Corine Timmer


the scrape of stubble
underfoot, my shadow stretches
over mown hay

Craig Kittner
Wilmington, NC


on the grass
how refreshing

Danijela Grbelja
Sibenik, Croatia


summer grass soothes my feet

David Gale
Gloucester, UK


field of daisies
the soft wings
of a cabbage white

Debbi Antebi
London, UK


cowslip meadow
I stumble over
a mole hill

Deborah P Kolodji
Temple City, California


touching down
in a field of clover
wild turkeys

Devin Harrison


dandelion puffs
dotting the green meadow
pick one, make a wish

dianne moritz


autumn field
the touch of pale sun
on  golden leaves

Eufemia Griffo


windfall –
a sunray touches
my pencil point

Eva Limbach


harvested field…
the rough and cold ridges
of the last pumpkin

Frank J. Tassone
Montebello, New York


wildflower meadow
honey bees caress
each blossom

Gary Evans
Stanwood, Washington


monarch shakes
a rudbeckia’s petals
dotted with morning dew

Giedra Kregzdys
Woodhaven, NY


October chore
picking grass burrs
from my camping blanket

Greer Woodward
Waimea, Hawaii


a bee clings
precariously to my arm
broad meadow

Gregory Longenecker


a sea breeze
wrapping around
the war field

Guliz Mutlu
Gallipoli, Turkey


the injured player’s up in a flash
as his mum crosses the touchline

Helen Buckingham


the goddess touch blooming the iris field

Hifsa Ashraf


pain before pleasure
blackberry buckets
line the hedgerow

Ingrid Baluchi


alone in the fields
what’s left of us – the sting
of ants and wet grass

Jackie Chou


old man
swings his sharp scythe –
endless meadow

Janis Albright Lukstein
Palos Verdes Peninsula, Ca


caught in the meadow
different season
same thorns

Jean LeBlanc


daffodils bend
in the midday breeze
her hand on my shoulder

John S Green
Bellingham, Washington


long hot summer
I trickle a grass blade
along her thigh

John Hawkhead


two horses noses to tails
swatting flies
in the meadow

Judith Hishikawa


the open field
opens wider

Kath Abela Wilson
Huntington Gardens
Pasadena, California


breezy touch
golden poppies

Kathleen Mazurowski


knucklehead pumpkins
fear at my fingertips
warts and all

Kimberly Esser
Los Angeles, CA


Picking wildflowers
Grandma touches
A buttercup to my nose

Kimberly Spring
Lakewood, Ohio


halfway over
the rusty gate
gorse prickles

Lucy Whitehead
Essex, UK


rising from the ground
an angry yellow bloom
yellow jackets

m. shane pruett


evening field
a touch of gold
on gum tree tops

Madhuri Pillai


she did not notice
the stinging nettles
until too late

Marcyn Del Clements
Claremont, California


deep in wildflowers
my feet find
his stone marker

Margaret Walker
Lincoln, NE, USA


of wild grass
summer day

Margherita Petriccione


day’s end
gun shearers’

Marietta McGregor


meadow ginko fronds brushing my sketchbook

Mark Gilbert


blackbird’s song
the shiver
up my spine

Martha Magenta
England, UK


escape artist
brushing burdock
from his fur

Mary Hanrahan
East Lansing, Michigan


Front-yard football field –
exposed tree root
abrades my leg

michael ceraolo
South Euclid, Ohio


sadness replacing the meadowlark

Michael Henry Lee


baseball field –
the thrill of touching
home plate

Michael H. Lester
Los Angeles CA USA


in tall warm grass
watching the geese ascend…
an itch of a bug

Michael Smeer
Haarlemmermeer, The Netherlands


as if a lover
caressed it too
wind rippled wheat

Michele L. Harvey


the changing texture
of grass

Mike Gallagher
Achill, Ireland


Evening tisane –
in the palm of my hands
fresh mint leaves

Monica Federico


butterflies in the meadow
the cottony milkweed seeds
in my hand

Nancy Brady
Huron, Ohio, USA


harvested fields…
wind gusts ruffle my hair
and thoughts

Natalia Kuznetsova


a blade grass
caresses my hand
it’s an ant!

Nazarena Rampini


picnic spot
the itch
after the mosquito bite

Olivier Schopfer
Geneva, Switzerland


walk lightly
in the paddock
new shoots underfoot

Pauline O’Carolan
Cobargo, NSW, Australia


paperwhites in snow
the scratch of a quill
from her pillow

Philip Whitley


unseen until stinging nettles

Polona Oblak
Ljubljana, Slovenia


fields of childhood
a buttercup tickles
my chin

Rachel Sutcliffe


each flower
borrowing its strength
stem of the plant

Radhamani sarma


endless corn fields
the pain
you left

Radostina Dragostinova


high desert grasses
tickle my legs
morning hike

Rehn Kovacic


buried in the earth
I will be reborn
as a wild tulip

Réka Nyitrai


stony field
Jack’s beanstalk
the sky

Roberta Beary
County Mayo, Ireland


plantation trail –
the heaviness
of unmarked fieldstones

robyn brooks


cumulus rising…
the lambkins nuzzle
fresh clover

Ron C. Moss
Tasmania, Australia


milkweed floss
floats into my opened hand
asterisk for touchless

ron scully


as if this field were speaking
soft breeze
at the nature center

(The Cincinnati Nature Center is in Milford, Ohio)

Ronald K. Craig
Batavia, OH  USA


blades of grass –
fresh dewdrops
in my hands

Rosa Maria Di Salvatore


Pesche mature
La pelle vellutata
di un bambino

Ripe peaches
Velvety skin
of a child

Rosaria Lo Bono
Sicily Italy


bed of hay
the lightness
of your touch

Sanjuktaa Asopa


Fresh Air Fund child
the wet grass on his bare feet
makes him cry

Sari Grandstaff
Saugerties, NY, USA


parental home
I wander the lawn

Serhiy Shpychenko
Kyiv, UA


she walks in the field
in sandals

shandon land


arms raised
in short sleeve fatigues
I surrender to nettles



swarm of flies –
the cow’s tail
on my face

Slobodan Pupovac
Zagreb, Croatia


green meadow the mother chases bare feet baby

Srinivasa Rao Sambangi
Hyderabad, India


the feel
of something more again

Stephen A. Peters


twilight homecoming
I tap my shoulder
and the hawk lands

Susan Rogers
Los Angeles, CA, USA


meadow jaunt
cockleburs plucked
from the dog’s coat

Terri French


engagement photos
lacing our fingers
around the sunflowers

Tia Haynes
Lakewood, Ohio, USA


breakfast in the grass –
our glances in the crowd
are touching

Tomislav Maretic


flower moon’s day…
among peony meadow
wedding ceremony

Tsanka Shishkova


an itchy souvenir
from the meadow…
poison ivy

Valentina Ranaldi-Adams
Fairlawn, Ohio   USA


meditating after
returning from fields –
snails tickle my feet

Vani Sathyanarayan


beneath the dew
meadow in shadow

Victor Ortiz
Bellingham, WA


meadow green darkens
intruding touch
of cloud shadow

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 61 Comments

  1. Thank you so much for including one of my haiku this week! I will have to read over these haiku while on my way to the Dodge Poetry Festival today. Thank for all you do to keep this weekly haiku treat so vibrant.

  2. Many thanks Katherine for including me this week! As a busy mom I don’t always take the time to scroll down through the comments but I’m glad that I have today. So many insightful and talented people are drawn here. I love the opportunity to grow and reflect on my own work. Thank you everyone!

  3. Thank you KJ for this wonderful selection of poems. I believe this has been my favorite group so far. Your selection to comment on was wonderful! I would like to add that these following poems spoke to me in a very special way:

    autumn fields
    the wind through the grass
    through me

    Ann K. Schwader
    Westminster, CO

    Having spent my early life on the plains I was drawn to to this one by Charles Harmon:

    when the time comes
    bury me on the prairie
    touching earth and sky

    Charles Harmon
    Los Angeles, California, USA

    And this one was particularly poignant:

    a sea breeze
    wrapping around
    the war field

    Guliz Mutlu
    Gallipoli, Turkey

    I could name so many more, but will stop here. I am sure each of us is touched in a special way by different poems.
    Peggy Bilbro.

    1. I see that I must separate my comments with something to keep them from running together. Lesson learned!

      1. I learned from Alan Summers to use a period (.) It works perfectly.
        And this one was particularly poignant:

        a sea breeze
        wrapping around
        the war field

        Guliz Mutlu
        Gallipoli, Turkey

        1. thanks Peggy & John – it is so gratifying to me (& I’m sure to the authors of the poems) to read these comments – not only that a poem is enjoyed, but why…

  4. Thank you, Kathy, for including my haiku here! Focusing on ‘place with emphasis on the senses’ has helped me expand my awareness when I write. Your selection and commentary each week gives me insight into my own work and I truly appreciate this. Thank you for giving us a space to grow as writers.

    Also, thank you to Alan, and to others for the weekly commentary. It’s pure gold to have those ‘aha’ moments after reading through the comments. I learn something new each time!

  5. Congratulations to all the poets.
    Thank you, Kathy, for including my haiku into this wonderful, kaleidoscope (my favourite toy when I was a child) – like collection 🙂

  6. Congratulations to all, a truly touchy-feely group of haiku. Thanks, Kathy, for including one of mine in this week’s collection. Always impressed by them. You do a fantastic job each week, which I so appreciate. Again thanks.

  7. KJ, I do not usually match your choice of highlighted poems but this week I think you are spot on. For me, all of these are loaded with implications and intrigue. I think ‘we’ have done particularly well with the haiku this week.

    I appreciate the attention to detail you put in every week (this week’s 110 is not the highest) and I note that I do not recall seeing a single error or typo in the formatting to date. Thank you.

  8. Thank you KJ for giving me the opportunity to include a reference to Masaoka Shiki in the haiku of mine that you included this week, a first for me, and interesting as I do not normally identify with him out of the Japanese haiku ‘masters’.

  9. Dear Kathy,
    Thank you for commenting on my little poem this week – I’m floating!
    When I wrote that I was thinking of how blissful it is to just let the flowers BE.
    I find myself reading this column many times through the week – not only to enjoy everyone’s work, but also to read the comments. There’s so much to appreciate and learn from each other.
    Thanks for all the effort you put into this column.

    1. Thanks for this, Pat – it is my hope that the discussions within these comments will only get better moving forward…

  10. Thank you, Kathy for the project!

    This time I “experimented”.
    For five weeks I stayed in my imagination in the same place in the harvested fields and tried to sort out what I saw, heard, scented, tasted and felt
    Splendid experience…
    But as well I had my sixth sense “touched” –

    harvested fields …
    overpowering feeling
    of being watched
    Indeed, we were all watched, listened to and heard these weeks.
    THANK YOU!!!

  11. Thank you so much for the comments on my haiku a joy to be here this week. I find that I am continuing to learn from commentary, others who have been chosen to be among the many poets and my own experiences. Thank you again Katherine!! I

  12. deep in wildflowers
    my feet find
    his stone marker
    Margaret Walker
    Lincoln, NE, USA

    Karen has been researching my ancestry, a novel in itself, but what Margaret’s haiku does, is take me back to finding a long ago relative. He was buried in a ‘Non-Conformist’ cemetery now made into a small park, and each gravestone is one of those flat slabs, and almost lost to time and grass.
    Margaret’s haiku is full of touch, literally brimming, starting with the wonderful opening line, and feet finding a stone marker. Excellent haiku, full of haikuness, and touch, not just visual.

    1. Alan,
      Thank you for the wonderful comments! Your feedback – and that you take the time to do this – is so very much appreciated. Not only did this make my day – or week – but I learn so much from all of your comments.
      Many thanks,

  13. Surprised and delighted to see my poem up top! I’ve only been at this since stained glass windows, and I’ve learned an enormous amount from everyone on this blog.
    Kathy, you do a tremendous job–always sensitive and acute. Editing is a lot of work.

    Many wonderful haiku here. I’m especially struck by:
    the open field
    opens wider

    Kath Abela Wilson
    Huntington Gardens
    Pasadena, California

    such a short form–yet a repeated word carries such nuance and power.
    Grateful to be a part of all this

  14. Another marvellous read, congratulations everyone.
    Thank you for including me in this awesome collection, Kathy.

  15. I don’t know where Réka comes from, but this brought me straight back to mountains in Iran, where each spring, the hard stony earth yields a riot of wild red tulips. One of many ku to enjoy this week:
    buried in the earth
    I will be reborn
    as a wild tulip

    Réka Nyitrai

    Honored to have had a poem included, thank you Kathy, and to have a comment as well, thank you Alan! (I popped in a late reply/request/comment, Alan, at the end of last week’s collection, regarding your thoughts on humor in haiku, probably too late for you to catch. Only if you have time, I would be grateful if you would read it.) 🙂

      1. re:
        buried in the earth
        I will be reborn
        as a wild tulip
        Réka Nyitrai
        I’m delightfully reminded of Machi Tawara’s famous tanka:

        bright as a tulip in bloom––
        take me
        in February
        Machi Tawara
        A Long Rainy Season: Haiku and Tanka (Contemporary Japanese Women’s Poetry) July 1998
        ed. Leza Lowitz, Miyuki Aoyama & Akemi Tomioka

        1. Thanks John! And thanks again to Ingrid. I miss the journal I helped create with Mark Brooks; Carmen Sterba, Serge Tome, and Kuniharu Shimizu, that published haiku with humour. It was groundbreaking then, and continues to be so. I’d love the archives to be reactivated, but with some sad virus attack it’ll possibly be on hold for good.
          Humour can arrive to the reader in many hues, and not just custard yellow. 🙂

      2. Thank you Alan for your response to the question of humour in haiku. I will endeavour to study more on the subject and see how others tackle it and how they keep their poems within the limits of ‘haikuness’. Your journal, sadly no longer available, would have been a great help, I’m sure.
        Thank you again Kathy for making all this so fascinating and useful.

  16. Two very different approaches in the world of touch! 🙂

    green meadow the mother chases bare feet baby
    Srinivasa Rao Sambangi
    Hyderabad, India
    pain before pleasure
    blackberry buckets
    line the hedgerow
    Ingrid Baluchi
    If I start with the monoku (one line haiku) by Srinivasa Rao Sambangi it has a delightful movement throughout, and in its many parts. It’s stunningly brilliant, and it shouldn’t work, as you could say ‘why not’: a bare foot baby or bare feet babies, but snuck into and between the words and understand why it gloriously works.
    Why does Ingrid’s haiku work so well too? Well the power of alliteration makes us feel cosy, comfortable, safe, and joyful: “pain”/”pleasure” and “blackberry”/”buckets” just for starters.
    But there’s more than just poetics. We have great visuals, with a common sight in some parts of the world, both in the past, and still ongoing. These may be hired fruit pickers, or it may be the general public. I remember as a child it was important to pick fruit as we didn’t have lots of money, and every prudent saving was vital to keep a good diet at home. This is a very seasonal haiku, with a great visual, and the opening line informs us that there is a lot of touch and sensation involved in obtaining something that is vital and pleasurable.
    Both contain subtle humour, and both contain wonderful movement.

    1. Thank you so much, Alan for such a delightful commentary on my monoku. I do appreciate your time and patience as well as kj’s to go through such a huge number of haiku and comment. In fact I learn so much reading your comments week on week

  17. Thanks again for including my little ku in this week’s feature, Katherine. The series seems to inspire me more and more by the week and I like how it keeps my creative juices flowing during my overly busy days. 🙂
    Also, congralations to all poets in this weeks feature of MEADOW – touch. There are som amazing poems here again.
    Hope to see you around ‘My Haiku Pond’ soon.

  18. Just printed it out and look forward to an afternoon of happy reading. Thank you for including me and a big congratulations to everyone.

  19. Dear Kathy,
    Greetings! so many gentle ‘touches’ touches of variety and fragrance sweeping this blog. Reading all one by one, thanks a lot for this gift.
    with regards

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