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HAIKU DIALOGUE – All the World’s a Stage – intermission – long list

All the World’s a Stage with Guest Editor Alex Fyffe

Welcome to this month’s performance of Haiku Dialogue! Tonight’s program will begin shortly. There will be a brief intermission between acts, and we ask that you stick around until the final curtain call to support the performers. We hope you enjoy the show!

That’s right: The inspiration for the next few weeks is going to come from theatrical terms. Although one might not associate haiku with theatricality, I think that terms like “intermission,” for example, can inspire a whole folio of ideas for haiku poets to explore.

Below is Alex’s selection of poems on the topic of intermission:

café con leche
practicing Spanish
between classes

Bonnie J Scherer
Alaska, USA

 

time out —
an intermission
from trouble

Linda Ludwig
Inverness, Florida

 

intermission
the prisoners of war
let free for a day

Lakshmi Iyer
India

 

winter solstice
waiting for the amaryllis
to bloom again

Deborah Karl-Brandt
Bonn, Germany

 

old woman
looking for a girlfriend
in the mirror

Refika Dedić
Bosnia and Herzegovina

 

I was Tina Turner
until the lights came on

Vicki Vogt
USA

 

stalled rowboat
watching at floodwaters’ edge
a bristle-colloped hog

Sheila Barksdale
Gotherington, England

 

family drama–
locking the bedroom
door

Lafcadio
USA

 

fingers stop scrolling…
a boy strums guitar
in the metro

Muskaan Ahuja
Chandigarh, India

 

short break …
a pair of herons take turns
of brooding the eggs

Milan Rajkumar
Manipur, India

 

intermission
… the panto villain
gets a laugh

Clive Bennett
UK (Wales)

 

first fall freeze
my screen
keeps pausing

Olivier Schopfer
Geneva, Switzerland

 

twilight dawn
fading stars rest
in the ocean’s lap

marilyn ashbaugh
Gulf Stream, Florida

 

muslin moon
on the brown yonder
house lights flashing

Jerome Berglund
Minneapolis, Minnesota

 

paper jam
the time it takes
to calm down

Eva Limbach
Deutschland

 

intermission–
a brownie helps
my heart unclench

Jennifer Gurney
Broomfield, Colorado

 

grateful
for the intermission
Lawrence of Arabia

Eavonka Ettinger
Long Beach, California

 

theater of war
no break
blood-red curtain

Luciana Moretto
Treviso, Italy

 

a pause
to regain myself
recovery

Jenn Ryan-Jauregui
Tucson, Arizona

 

St. Andrew’s Eve –
waiting for you at the dreams gate
under the fate moon

Steliana Cristina Voicu
Romania

 

let freedom run dog park

Roberta Beach Jacobson
Indianola, Iowa

 

wedding night…
room service
interruptus

Stephen J. DeGuire
Los Angeles, California

 

jazz night
the interlude
of rain

Ravi Kiran
India

 

Chinook—
I brave a walk
in January

Biswajit Mishra
Calgary, Canada

 

the fire curtain’s
rehearsal for disaster
intermission

Jenny Shepherd
London, UK

 

the edgebaston teabreak beersnake

simonj
UK

 

between the turkey
and the Christmas pudding
Grandpa’s gentle snoring

Ingrid Baluchi
North Macedonia

 

intermission
she invites me
to counselling

John Hawkhead
UK

 

from leaf fall
to new bud
just intermission

Cindy Putnam Guentherman
Illinois, USA

 

waiting
beneath frozen ground
daffodil bulbs

Evan Spivack
Teaneck, New Jersey

 

for the holiday too
– hopeless gray
instead of snow

Dejan Ivanovic
Lazarevac, Serbia

 

it’s raining
the koel raises its pitch
after a lull

Ram Chandran
India

 

male striptease
during intermission
he waxes his legs

Sharon Ferrante
Florida, USA

 

nostalgia . . .
hush among
the stars

Ivan Gaćina
Zadar, Croatia

 

grandchild
at the door
a break in the argument

Lynne Jambor
Vancouver, BC, Canada

 

down Assi ghat
the river, gulls & i
four winter days

Rupa Anand
New Delhi, India

 

seventh-inning stretch of his ability to stay awake

Christopher Peys
Los Angeles, California

 

ballet interlude –
she helps the children change
their costumes

Colette Kern
Southold, New York

 

intermission
… he tells me it’s over

Margaret Mahony
Australia

 

thrush song
a tulip trembles
in the pause

Neena Singh
India

 

power outage –
listening to her
heartbeat

Dan Campbell
Virginia, USA

 

Othello drama …
meeting the ex with my friend
at intermission

Natalia Kuznetsova
Russia

 

a long pause
drip to drip
summer tap

Satyanarayana Chittaluri
Hyderabad, India

 

first date
our audition resumes
at the interval

Laurie Greer
Washington, DC

 

break in the woods
the leaves settle
on each other

Daniela Misso
Umbria, Italy

 

between one chapter
and the next
afternoon nap

Cynthia Anderson
Yucca Valley, California

 

they ran out
in the intermission
of conversation

Pamela Garry
Connecticut, USA

 

his response
to my writing table
tea break

Richa Sharma
India

 

buttery biscuit
crumbles in masālā chāi—
Indian summer

Monica Kakkar
India

 

the examiner pauses
the student’s heart
thuds in his iPhone

Padmini Krishnan
United Arab Emirates

 

its testosterone dips
and hot flushes –
dad’s penopause

Guido De Pelsmaeker
Belgium (Holsbeek)

 

end of act one
the foyer comes alive
with ringtones

Paul Callus
Malta

 

Romeo and Juliet…
in the lounge bar I collect
my emotions

Marianne Sahlin
Sweden

 

in my teacup
the faces of those
who brought it to me

Kendall Lott
Bloomington, Indiana

 

we pause the action
for an in-law fight

M. R. Defibaugh
USA

 

the scream of cicadas
pauses—a dark cloud
covers the sun

wanda amos
Australia

 

in between acts
the narcissist grants
her audience leave

Curt Linderman
Seattle, USA

 

taking a break
from this world of things–
heart surgery

Ruth Holzer
Herndon, Virginia

 

Super Bowl –
watching only
the halftime show

Valentina Ranaldi-Adams
Fairlawn, Ohio

 

hibernation
nature’s
intermission

Susan Farner
USA

 

deep dive…
at each ascent stop
a new haiku

Richard L. Matta
San Diego, California

 

freeing of myself
from roles in my life…
writing poems

Shizuku Tsukino
Japan

 

not on talking terms
for quite some time
rain that became drizzle

Vandana Parashar
India

 

school bell
the gush of fledgling tweets
through the corridor

Nitu Yumnam
India

 

intermission
dawn blackbirds dip
into the bird bath

Lori Kiefer
UK

 

thrush song
a gentle punctuation
to my stillness

Nalini Shetty
Mumbai, India

 

smoke break —
the secrets we share
with strangers

Mona Bedi
Delhi, India

 

before
it rains again
quick hopscotch

Zahra Mughis
Lahore, Pakistan

 

private moment…
a blackbird and I
share a shower

Tony Williams
Scotland, UK

 

the clock ticks
a long moment
her last sigh

Deborah Beachboard
Adna, Washington

 

pausing awhile
in a terracotta bowl
the last sun ray

Arvinder Kaur
Chandigarh, India

 

moratorium
across the border
intense silence

Mark Meyer
Mercer Island, Washington

 

limo ride
chasing off butterflies
before the eulogy

Maxianne Berger
Outremont, Quebec

 

Nativity play –
time to adjust her halo
in the mirror

Annie Wilson
Shropshire, UK

 

intermission –
the orchestra pit blossoms
with thermoses

Allison Douglas-Tourner
Victoria, BC, Canada

 

between acts
a toddler’s drama
in the front row

Bryan Rickert
Belleville, Illinois

 

a fresh tissue…
they take a break
from the argument

Marilyn Ward
UK

 

ultima udienza di divorzio –
una cioccolata calda
prima della sentenza

last divorce hearing –
a hot chocolate
before the sentence

Giuliana Ravaglia
Bologna, Italy

 

lights up
our son parries
his shadow’s lunge

Ben Oliver
UK

 

nightly news…
the glass of wine
purely medicinal

Nancy Brady
Huron, Ohio

 

break in the rain
a spotted bullfrog
waits it out

Margaret Tau
New Bern, NC

 

between classes –
silent mode
sipping my tea

Cristina Povero
Italy

 

shifting scenery
the lengthening notes
of a busker

C.X. Turner
UK

 

between snows breath of blue

Ann K. Schwader
Westminster, Colorado

 

canceled date
acquainting myself
with the clouds

Kerry J Heckman
Seattle, Washington

 

winter resumes—
our budding azalea
glazed in ice

Julie Bloss Kelsey
Germantown, Maryland

 

echoes of you…
the delay
before each return

Rita Melissano
USA

 

the person behind me
in between flights
we make our connection

Sari Grandstaff
Saugerties, New York

 

aged bladder screams
“to pee or not to pee”
before intermission

Herb Goldsmith
Bastrop, TX

 

furrowing his brow
the doctor asks me
who did this

Susan Burch
Hagerstown, Maryland

 

alone on the swing
never more than a day
my yes has no no

Kathabela Wilson
USA

 

first date
her close whisper
as the curtain rises

Debbie Scheving
Bremerton, Washington

 

cloud break
the heron stares
into my eyes

John S Green
Amman, Jordan

 

juke playlist
is half empty, half full
quarter moon

C.R. Harper
USA

 

diapause–
spiderwebs frost to tinsel
under fireless stars

Elizabeth Shack
Illinois

 

looking forward
to nothing at all
Zen retreat

Stephen A Peters
Bellingham, Washington

 

resting beetle…
the dung ball bakes
in the noon sun

Al Gallia
Lafayette, Louisiana

 

one excruciating string
the length of pause
improvised

Mark Gilbert
UK

 

waiting
for the meds to kick in
winter’s night

an mayou
Colorado, USA

 

interval; even the flies are coughing

Ella Aboutboul
West Sussex, UK

 

interlude
the actors puff
on a single cigarette

R. Suresh Babu
India

 

between bills
my grandson’s face
on a video call

Neni Rusliana
Bandung, Indonesia

 

frosty night
making tea
between the chapters

Keiko Izawa
Japan

 

Join us next week for Alex’s commentary on additional poems…

 

Guest Editor Alex Fyffe teaches high school English in the Houston area. His haiku and senryu have been published in various journals, including Frogpond, Modern Haiku, Failed Haiku, Akitsu Quarterly, and the Asahi Haikuist Network. Some of his favorite short form poets include Issa, whose work he discovered in the intermediate Japanese textbook he used while studying in Hikone, Japan, and Santoka, whose writing introduced him to the liberating concept of “freeform haiku.” Currently, Alex uses haiku in the classroom to ease students into poetry and build their confidence as readers and writers. Alex also posts haiku, including translations of contemporary Japanese haiku, on Twitter @AsurasHaiku.

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: kjmunro1560.wordpress.com.

The Haiku Foundation reminds you that participation in our offerings assumes respectful and appropriate behavior from all parties. Please see our Code of Conduct policy.

Haiku Dialogue offers a triweekly prompt for practicing your haiku. Posts appear each Wednesday with a prompt or a selection of poems from a previous week.

Please note that all poems & images appearing in Haiku Dialogue may not be used elsewhere without express permission – copyright is retained by the creators. Please see our Copyright Policies.

 

This Post Has 43 Comments

  1. A wonderful selection spanning the different ways we can see “intermission”. Thank you for an enjoyable experience, and for including my haiku!

  2. It’s good to have you back, Alex. Thankful for your selection of my ku.

    Here are my twelve favorites among a stealth bunch;
    .
    café con leche
    practicing Spanish
    between classes

    Bonnie J Scherer
    Alaska, USA
    .
    jazz night
    the interlude
    of rain

    Ravi Kiran
    India
    .
    between the turkey
    and the Christmas pudding
    Grandpa’s gentle snoring

    Ingrid Baluchi
    North Macedonia
    .
    grandchild
    at the door
    a break in the argument

    Lynne Jambor
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    .
    power outage –
    listening to her
    heartbeat

    Dan Campbell
    Virginia, USA
    .
    between one chapter
    and the next
    afternoon nap

    Cynthia Anderson
    Yucca Valley, California
    .
    smoke break —
    the secrets we share
    with strangers

    Mona Bedi
    Delhi, India
    .
    Nativity play –
    time to adjust her halo
    in the mirror

    Annie Wilson
    Shropshire, UK
    .
    canceled date
    acquainting myself
    with the clouds

    Kerry J Heckman
    Seattle, Washington
    .
    first date
    her close whisper
    as the curtain rises

    Debbie Scheving
    Bremerton, Washington
    .
    looking forward
    to nothing at all
    Zen retreat

    Stephen A Peters
    Bellingham, Washington
    .
    waiting
    for the meds to kick in
    winter’s night

    an mayou
    Colorado, USA
    .

    1. Good to be back, John. Thank you for highlighting some of your favorites. Kiran’s “jazz night” is such a great mood piece.

  3. Although I loved all the great haiku, this one caught my senses:
    cloud break
    the heron stares
    into my eyes

    John S Green
    Amman, Jordan

    Thank you for the remarks on my haiku and for accepting my haiku to this wonderful Dialogue!!
    I was Tina Turner
    until the lights came on
    — Vicki Vogt

    1. Thanks, Vicki.

      Your insightful two-line ku was simple and effective. We all enter an “intermission” when we fantasize our reality.

      Happy, healthy, ans poetic 2024!

    2. As a massive movie fan, I have vicariously lived so many lives. The power of great films (and books) is their ability to put us in other people’s shoes for a while, to experience so many things our limited lives would never have otherwise placed before us. As Roger Ebert said, they are “empathy machines,” almost like sci-fi devices that let us virtually take on new bodies. Or perhaps portals like the one in the film Being John Malkovich. Your wonderful poem concisely captures that idea. Thank you for sharing.

      I also enjoyed John’s poem. Again, as a movie fan, I was reminded of my recent viewing of The Boy and the Heron — his poem captures a certain mystical feeling that I think is present in Miyazaki’s latest work, too.

  4. Absence of ‘long list’ in the recent past is what I had pointed out in my earlier comments. Any art form is subjective.

  5. Thank you very much Alex Fyffe, for selecting my testosterone haiku! Already looking forward to the next theme!

    1. I’m always intrigued when a haiku uses a word I’ve never heard before. Your word was exactly what I imagined it would be — a very intuitive word. To be honest, I had never thought about “male menopause” before this poem. Thank you for sharing!

  6. Thank you Alex for putting my ku here amongst the best…I’m elated!….

    I was Tina Turner
    until the lights came on

    Vicki Vogt

    a fresh tissue…..
    they take a break
    from the argument
    Marilyn Ward
    UK
    stark opposite emotions….one doesn’t allow me to stop smiling…other….. from reflecting on my relationships…. loved them
    Congratulations to all those have been featured here.

  7. before
    it rains again
    quick hopscotch
    .
    Zahra Mughis
    Lahore, Pakistan
    .
    This one brought back childhood memories of playing hopscotch on the sidewalk, in front of my house.

  8. So many wonderful ones! These just happen to be the ones that first grabbed my eye. I could added many more! Kudos to all the poets!

    power outage –
    listening to her
    heartbeat

    Dan Campbell
    Virginia, USA
    …..
    we pause the action
    for an in-law fight

    M. R. Defibaugh
    USA
    …….
    end of act one
    the foyer comes alive
    with ringtones

    Paul Callus
    Malta
    …..
    nightly news…
    the glass of wine
    purely medicinal

    Nancy Brady
    Huron, Ohio
    …..

    1. Thanks, Peggy, for enjoying my haiku. You chose so many wonderful, distinctive haiku, too. This week had such great haiku. I can only imagine what Alex has in store for us next Wednesday.

  9. Thanks again, Alex!

    Thanks, too, to KJ and Lori. They do so much to keep this column going.

  10. Appealing range. The following caught my eye:

    between acts
    a toddler’s drama
    in the front row
    — Bryan Rickert
    …from the great to the small…any parent who takes their toddler to a long performance can expect this embarrassing situation…

    Nativity play –
    time to adjust her halo
    in the mirror
    —Annie Wilson
    …the halo (and its need for adjustment) makes it….

    intermission –
    the orchestra pit blossoms
    with thermoses
    —Allison Douglas-Tourner
    …while the audience spends the intermission in the bar…

    looking forward
    to nothing at all
    Zen retreat
    — Stephen A Peters
    …marvellous!…

    break in the rain
    a spotted bullfrog
    waits it out
    — Margaret Tau
    … a nice inversion of the human waiting for rain to stop…

    I was Tina Turner
    until the lights came on
    — Vicki Vogt
    … simple, fun, and instantly relatable: who needs more?

  11. Oh my goodness, Alex, this was a fantastic read. It really felt like the gang’s all here with so many of my favorites. I truly appreciated there being so many humorous poems, and I’m happy mine was among them.

    I was especially pleased to read:

    nightly news…
    the glass of wine
    purely medicinal

    Nancy Brady
    Huron, Ohio

    Nan’s wry humor echos a pathos I definitely feel.

    1. Thanks, Eavonka. Appreciate it.
      It is difficult to watch the news every night. Depressing, too, but it’s nice to know I’m not alone in my feelings.

  12. Welcome, Alex, and thank you. I’m looking forward to the theater themed prompts in coming weeks.

    fingers stop scrolling…
    a boy strums guitar
    in the metro
    Muskaan Ahuja

    I loved the image here, and the two uses of fingers.

    a pause
    to regain myself
    recovery
    Jenn Ryan-Jauregui

    The brevity of this with pause was affective. Also, appreciate that it could apply to a moment in time. or a longer life changing recovery.

    from leaf fall
    to new bud
    just intermission

    Cindy Putnam Guentherman

    Beautiful and serene.

    1. Thank you Debbie for your kind comments and insights about my poem. This is such a phenomenal collection of work. Congratulations to all poets

    1. Thank you for your submission, Monica. I found it to be one of the better “traditional” (5-7-5) haiku submitted for the prompt — effective imagery in just eight words, great play on words in the fragment — beautifully done!

  13. Thank you Alex for including mine in this imaginative selection. I appreciated the humour in Stephen J. DeGuire’s clever take.

    1. Thanks so much for the comment Mark! Thank you Alex for my inclusion. A huge thanks to everyone at The Haiku Foundation and Haiku Dialogue!

    2. Yes — I always appreciate the humorous submissions I receive each time I have the chance to edit, and Stephen’s is an excellent example. Happy to hear that others find enjoyment in them, too.

  14. Thank you Alex for including my haiku on the topic of intermission. A great theme and congratulations to all the haiku poets here! I really appreciate this take on the theme and the humor:

    looking forward
    to nothing at all
    Zen retreat

    Stephen A Peters
    Bellingham, Washington

    I too appreciate Herb Goldsmith’s haiku as Nancy Brady pointed out and Valentina’s Super Bowl haiku – perfect!

    1. Your submission’s clever use of language made it an instant selection for me. Thanks for submitting and for commenting on Peters’s excellent poem, too.

    2. Thanks, Sari, for the kind comment.

      Your haiku is appropriate. A short connection with a stranger that lingers long past the flight.

    1. Thank you for the submission! I was not previously aware of St. Andrew’s Eve, so I found it an interesting choice for the haiku fragment, and after looking into it, I liked how the poem has a dream-like quality that is reminiscent of tarot imagery.

  15. Thanks Alex for choosing my haiku. Thanks also to the Haiku Foundation, Kathy and Lori for all their efforts. Congrats to all the poets.

  16. I’m so impressed with the variety and range of these haiku. I am sure I could comment on many, if not all, but I will point out two. First, Valentina ‘s Super Bowl haiku, which has her watching only the halftime show. I know many who feel like that or even watch just the commercials, caring little about the game. Congrats, Valentina.

    Second is Herb Goldsmith’s haiku about an aged bladder, a playful take on the famous soliloquy by Hamlet. Well done, Herb. It reminded me of a Sandburg poetry play I was in, and the line by one of the actors, “They all want to play Hamlet.”

    Thanks, Alex, for choosing one of my haiku because I found this such a difficult prompt. Seeing the variety of intermission haiku, congratulations to you all because you all came through with stellar performances.

    1. It’s always good to hear that people are enjoying the selections. Valentina’s certainly reflects my reality, too — I’ve never watched a Super Bowl, but I catch some of the much-talked-about commercials and half-time shows, too. I leave the game itself for others’ amusement.

      Herb’s also made me laugh, and I’m a sucker for a good Hamlet allusion, but I did find myself wishing that the last line had been the first line instead — I think it would have better set up the situation and paid off on the Hamlet punchline:

      before intermission
      my aged bladder screams
      “to pee or not to pee”

      Your haiku was an easy selection, Nancy. I think many of us can relate to a little self-medication in the face of a horrific news cycle…

    2. Nancy, I am glad you liked my haiku. I liked yours.
      .
      nightly news…
      the glass of wine
      purely medicinal
      .
      Nancy Brady
      Huron, Ohio

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