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HAIKU DIALOGUE – Connection with Others

Welcome to Connection, with Guest Editors Tanya McDonald & Kelly Sauvage Angel

The challenges of 2020 have taught us many things, perhaps most significantly the importance of connection—connection with others, connection with one’s self, connection with the natural world. For those who lack a strong support network, the isolation of the past several months (amid job loss, political unrest, violent crime, etc.) has proven traumatic. For others, re-crafting relationships as virtual has been to a lesser or greater degree fulfilling. Only time will reveal how successful we’ve been in nurturing our most treasured connections. We invite you to contemplate what connection means to you, how you’ve come to navigate feelings of isolation, and ways in which you might more fully tend to your relationships (including the one with yourself!) going forward.

next week’s theme: Connection with Self

In a time when many of us have been isolated from others, some have felt their creativity stifled by everything that is (and isn’t) happening in the world, while others have responded with a surge of artistry. For some, isolation has provided an opportunity to slow down, to focus on oneself. Others, namely essential workers, may be giving of themselves to the point of depletion. This week, please send us your haiku/senryu that explore how you’ve been connecting with (or neglecting) yourself and your own needs lately.

The deadline is midnight Pacific Standard Time, Saturday November 28, 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Please submit one or two original unpublished haiku inspired by the week’s theme by clicking here: Contact Form.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.

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 Tanya’s commentary:

online Diwali meet—
the spark in eyes
brighter than lamps

Teji Sethi
India

This year, many events have shifted from in-person to online, and holidays are no exception. We may not be able to gather in person, but we can still celebrate our holidays online with friends and loved ones, bringing joy and brightness to each other. This haiku highlights the importance of that connection, of finding light in the midst of these dark times.

Leonid shower
we scan the sky together
from separate rooftops

Susan Rogers
Los Angeles, California

In a time when isolation and social distancing may cause us to keep our eyes down, focused on ourselves or the pandemic, this haiku draws our gaze up to the stars. The Leonid meteor shower occurs every November, no matter what’s happening on this planet. Weather permitting, if we take time to look up, we may be fortunate enough to witness streaks of light in the night sky. This haiku celebrates the act of sharing this once-a-year event, albeit from separate rooftops, demonstrating that we do not have to be physically close to share the connection that mutual wonder can bring.

below is Kelly’s commentary:

breaking the ice
she places a warm hand
on my heart

john hawkhead

When one thinks of “breaking the ice,” it is typically within the context of an initial interaction that brings people closer, whether upon meeting or after experiencing a sense of disconnection. What Hawkhead, here, so masterfully communicates is a bit of two-fold wisdom pertaining to navigating relationships in the midst of a pandemic. He shows that a common response to isolation, emotional or otherwise, is to cool one’s heart for protection; yet, the second line reveals a sure antidote to that iciness—human touch. The mere imagining of the moment presented within this ku allows for a softening even within the heart of the reader.

sandy road
overlapping footprints
of strangers

Jackie Chou
Pico Rivera, California

Given the lack of access many of us have had to our loved ones over the past several months, our interactions with strangers have perhaps come to touch us more deeply than we’ve allowed in the past. Certainly, these interactions are momentary, fleeting even, as are those “overlapping footprints” in the sand to which Chou directs our attention; yet, they reveal to us that we are not truly alone. A mere glimpse of our shared humanity can provide a far more meaningful sense of connection than all those virtual hugs and care emojis could dream of offering.

below are the rest of the selections:

hubby homeworking
. . . i find myself
talking to spiders

Ingrid Baluchi
North Macedonia

 

first date
social distance
between them

Tsanka Shishkova

 

crowded bus—
a lone teen with her cellphone
in gales of laughter

Manoj Sharma
Kathmandu

 

solidarity—
in the commuter train
masked passengers

Teiichi Suzuki
Japan

 

Zoom call—
mom’s culinary wisdom
sweetens my Mysorepak

Padma Srinivasan
Dundee, Scotland

 

moon twilight
my absence
in your arms

Isabella Kramer

 

all my friends
now locked
in my laptop

nancy liddle
Australia

 

between skype calls a blue jay

martin gottlieb cohen
Egg Harbor, New Jersey

 

queueing up
the distance
between our shadows

Olivier Schopfer
Switzerland

 

housebound
a winter fly and I
become companions

Nika

 

frozen zoom call
I take in
their expressions

Kelli Lage

 

solitude
I fling the window
and bring in the sun

Mariangela Canzi
Mariano Comense (Como) – Italy

 

yellow gingko leaves
shedding our inhibitions
on the Zoom meeting

Sari Grandstaff
Saugerties, New York

 

distanced from the world
I connect more to my dreams
and touch your loneliness

Lorraine Schein
Queens, New York

 

viewing the moon
alone as a monk
at my window

Dana Rapisardi

 

family politics
the masks
come off

Bryan Rickert

 

music box—
I’m connected to my mother
with each note

Aljoša Vuković
Šibenik, Croatia

 

autumn crocus
I take
my husband’s hand

Helga Stania

 

the flash
of a silver lining
closer by zoom

Kath Abela Wilson
Pasadena, California

 

online meeting
a cousin
once removed

Margaret Walker

 

cold call
the indian accent
of an old friend

simonj
UK

 

a knock
on my door … I say
let’s talk
…….on the phone

Sushama Kapur

 

virtual visit
pouring my own
cup of coffee

Helen Ogden

 

butter cookies
to cover the bitterness
of the distance

Elisa Allo

 

a private joke between us ten thousand miles

Marisa Fazio

 

a zoom call
with my daughter on the 2nd floor
winter rain

Agus Maulana Sunjaya
Tangerang, Indonesia

 

quarantine
she knits her words
into a muffler

Minal Sarosh
Ahmedabad, India

 

gone world
what we remember
of faces

Ann Schwader
Westminster, Colorado

 

birthday card from my friend
her message extended
an extra page

Keiko Izawa
Yokohama

 

home hospice bed
that space not big enough
for me

Pat Davis
New Hampshire

 

movie night
everyone brings
wine to zoom

Kathleen Mazurowski

 

a call from our friend
just down the street
ten light years away

Mark Meyer

 

two metres apart
no one walks between our words
on the pavement

Xenia Tran
Scotland

 

fireflies . . .
for a while
I cup one

Milan Rajkumar
Imphal, India

 

office Zoom party
much preferring my colleagues
at a distance

Tracy Davidson
Warwickshire, UK

 

fingerprint braille
on her window
mom’s last birthday card

Lorraine A. Padden
San Diego, California

 

grocery line
her smiley face mask
starts a conversation

Christine L. Villa

 

distancing measures
between us the stars
and an old story

Cristina Apetrei

 

pandemic
first time separated
toothbrushes

David Oates

 

lockdown Easter
receiving the spiritual communion
through an i-pad

Maya Daneva
The Netherlands

Guest Editor Tanya McDonald (she/her) is known for her bright plumage and her love of birds. An active member of Haiku Northwest since 2008, her haiku, rengay, and haibun have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies. She has judged various contests, taught haiku workshops, and served as Regional Coordinator for the Washington State region of the HSA. In June 2020, she launched her new, biannual, print haiku journal, Kingfisher. A Touchstone Award winner and a New Resonance poet, she lives near Seattle.

When not penning ku, Guest Editor Kelly Sauvage Angel (she/her) can be found logging miles on the Ice Age Trail. She is the author of Scarlet Apples and Cream, a long out-of-print poetry collection, as well as the novella Om Namah, recognized as a finalist in the 2016 IPPY Awards. Prolific in nature, Kelly’s work has appeared most notably in the white spaces of discarded receipts and utility bills.

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.

This Post Has 15 Comments

  1. Thankyou, Tanya and Kelly for the marvellous selection of verses.
    So difficult to to prefer any particular entry.
    Congratulations to all.

  2. Congratulations to all the poets featured here! Another great read and commentary from ‘Haiku Dialogue’. There are many poems to admire here. As the same thing almost happened to me, I particularly enjoyed
    *
    online meeting
    a cousin
    once removed
    *
    Margaret Walker
    *
    I look forward to reading Tanya’s and Kelly’s selection next week!

    1. Dorothy,

      Thank you for commenting on my haiku. Part of the joy of Haiku Dialogue for me is finding how a few simple words can connect us.

      Margaret

  3. So many wonderful poems of connection! This one particularly spoke to me. My mother-in-law collected music boxes which I have now inherited. One of the wonderful memories for my kids was going to their grandmother’s apartment and winding up all the music boxes at once! What fun.
    .
    music box—
    I’m connected to my mother
    with each note
    .
    Aljoša Vuković
    Šibenik, Croatia
    .
    Also this one struck a familiar chord. How many times have I been ‘zooming’ when everyone froze giving me time to contemplate what should have been a fleeting expression on each face.
    .
    frozen zoom call
    I take in
    their expressions
    .
    Kelli Lage
    .
    Well done haiku poets! I look forward to reading the haiku dialogue each week, whether I have managed to send in anything or even if I did, but it wasn’t selected.

  4. Still resonating with me on this Thanksgiving Day in 2020. Thank you, Lorraine, for this reminder as the pandemic spreads and spikes.

    fingerprint braille
    on her window
    mom’s last birthday card

    Lorraine A. Padden
    San Diego, California

  5. Thank you so much Tanya and Kelly for including my haiku in connecting with others. I am grateful for all the editors and guest editors who put the weekly Haiku Dialogue feature together each week and all the poets who contribute and comment. Happy Thanksgiving to those of us in the U.S.A.

  6. Thanks Tanya and Kelly for your selections this week and your insightful commentary Kelly!
    .
    This week I have picked out a wry senryu as something very apt, although I actually do very much miss the face to face interactions with my friends from work:
    .
    office Zoom party
    much preferring my colleagues
    at a distance
    .
    Tracy Davidson
    Warwickshire, UK

  7. Thank you Tanya, Kelly, Lori and all the haiku poets whose work appears this week for this wonderful opportunity for haiku dialogue. A special bow igratitude to Tanya for selecting and commenting on my haiku! An exciting first for me here.

    I am still scanning the skies hoping to see one of the Leonid shooting stars but even if I miss them I am so grateful to be part of this encouraging community of haiku stars.

    I enjoyed all the haiku but here are some that especially called to me:
    Martin Gottlieb Cohen’s one liner:
    between Skype calls a blue jay
    There is something wonderful about a blue jay who appears in the middle of skype calls. I can just imagine this. whether the bird calls out or just appears at a window..either way I love the idea

    I also liked David Oates
    pandemic
    first time seoarated
    toothbrushes

    Those toothbrushes tell the whole story of safe distancing in one clear picture. The normal acts of everyday connection have been reset by pandemic protocols.

    I also love Milan Rajkumar’s

    fireflies..
    for a while
    I cup one

    This is pure magic. I can just see the flickering fireflies in that cup
    a connection with something wondrous. How beautiful to be reminded of moments of magic and connevtion in our world right now when there are so many challenges we all face

    Hapoy Thanksgiving Everyone!!

  8. What a comment on this most weird of years:
    .
    all my friends
    now locked
    in my laptop
    .
    nancy liddle
    Australia
    .
    …suggesting, I guess, that you’re not going to let go of these relationships…they’re just part of a ‘blip’ we’ve all experienced throughout 2020.
    .
    Disconnect makes ‘connections’ even more important once one experiences the loss, so thank you, Tanya and Kelly, for this new slant to the dialogue series, and thank you for including one of mine.

    1. I’m glad you’re enjoying the series, Ingrid. You’re right, connection is so very important! We need one another more than ever. Be safe and well!

  9. Thank you so much, Tania, Kelly and Lori,
    for putting together this list of beautiful haiku! I feel privileged to see my haiku selected among so many sharp texts.
    I wish you stay safe and healthy!

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