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HAIKU DIALOGUE – Turn of the Decade – The Past Ten Years

Turn of the Decade

Our lives are constantly changing. We change careers, relationships, and even hobbies. We can gain the entire world and lose everything we have, sometimes all within one year… so what about ten? Over the next four weeks we will delve into the past, present, and future to evaluate our individuality in life’s journey. Although I will provide prompting questions with each week’s theme, I encourage you to dig deep and allow your moments to be authentic. We all have different experiences and that’s what makes life beautiful.

For the month of December, each poet may send one or two haiku/senryu on the week’s theme via our Contact Form.

There will be a selection process in which I will briefly comment on a few of the selected pieces.

The haiku appear in the order in which we receive them.

My next theme is The Next Ten Years.

Where do you want to be in ten years from now? Are you ready to settle down and start a family? Is retirement almost within reach? Perhaps you want to do something you’ve always wanted to and never had the opportunity. Let’s all encourage each other to get where we want in life through the gift of poetry.

The deadline is midnight EST, Saturday December 14, 2019.

Turn of the Decade – The Past Ten Years

My sincerest thanks to everyone who submitted this week. This is a great opening to the Turn of the Decade series and is such a unique and fun way to end this year start the next. There are many different events mentioned in this week’s set and I think it’s great that various walks of life are represented. The haiku and senryu I have selected are what I feel best fit the theme.

not content
with my lack of content
Bataclan

Mark Gilbert
UK

When I initially wrote this week’s prompt, what came to mind was births, weddings, divorces, loss of loved ones, graduations, and literally anything other than terrorist attacks, so this poem hit harder than I ever expected it to, especially with “Bataclan” being placed on the third line. This piece took my breath away and I had to stop and step away for a bit. Over the past decade, social media has become more and more popular. It is our go-to form of communication, where we seek validation, and for most of us (especially millennials), it’s our most prominent news source. Social media is the biggest blessing and curse, so when a major event, such as a terrorist attack, is trending, it takes the focus away from everything and everyone else, but for how long? Although sometimes a major event occurs and we are outraged and disappointed by the lack of coverage. This is exactly why this piece is as brilliant as it is. It’s the double meaning of the poem that really gets me. Not only is there the implication of lack of content about a major event, but also the possibility that the poet’s posts aren’t trending as much as he’d like because posts regarding the Paris attack are surpassing his. Then this piece goes on to show the impact that major events, whether negative or positive, have on us. We never forget where we were and what we were doing when we first hear news of trauma like this. It’s something so life changing that not even the passing of decades can erase it from our memories.

Here are the rest of my selections:

empty nest
we gather kindling
for the fire

Terri French

 

promoted!
from dad
to granddaddy

joel

 

space age cars
in front of old time bars
the same problems

Stephen Peters

 

E car can’t afford (not to)

Marilyn Ashbaugh

 

The last ten years
A blank page of a book
still to be filled

Dennys Cambarau
Italy

 

moving-out day . . .
my daughter talks
of tattoos

Andrew Riutta

 

solitary pilgrim
a thousand ks
to St James’ embrace

nancy liddle

 

jarred by loss
steadied by the gentle
reliability of friends

Debbie Scheving

 

chemotherapy:
our bond of love grows stronger

chemioterapia:
si fa più forte il nostro legame d’amore

Angela Giordano
Italy

 

retirement party not dead yet

Roberta Beach Jacobson

 

grown-up gran
jumps ship
citizenship

*last week my grandson is officially citizen of a neighbouring country 190 nautical miles from us. They went over about ten years ago.

Christina Chin

 

decade
two more hearts
to feed

C.R. Harper

 

an english teacher…
teaching tense
the past, the present, the future

*My life changed after I became an English teacher.

R.Suresh Babu
India

 

the past ten years-
open tap

Aljoša Vuković

 

meeting myself again
through an unknown sister
Gormley’s Fourth Plinth

Alan Summers

 

morning frost…
still that stranger
in my mirror

Michele L. Harvey

 

ten years after –
fresh flowers at his headstone…
no longer jealous

Natalia Kuznetsova

 

moved from right to left
he fingers the tassel threads
an extra moment

Sari Grandstaff, Saugerties, NY

 

dawn to dust haiku

Pravat Kumar Padhy

 

midlife approaching
my heart, long encased in ice
saved by newfound love

Jackie Chou
Pico Rivera, CA USA

 

another ten years
I’m not sure I can survive
more acceleration

John Hawkhead

 

a fledgling
more mature than expected
our daughter

Ronald K. Craig
Batavia, OH USA

 

car-less
for the first time
my new f(r)iend a Fitbit®

Ingrid Baluchi
Macedonia

 

highlights
of her decade’s story…
the silver strands

Hifsa Ashraf
Pakistan

 

hysterectomy
the hot flush comes sooner

Nuky Kristijono
Indonesia

 

more ways
than balled-up weeds
small deaths

Alegria Imperial

 

the winemaker
now works in marketing –
hollow vines.

Mark Morris

 

silence…
calming my
inner self

Lakshmi Iyer

 

smoke rising
from the city sidewalk
ten years since I quitted

Olivier Schopfer
Switzerland

 

coldness
a layer removed
for to dig her grave

simonj UK

 

reality
of unrealistic walls–
south of the border

Teiichi Suzuki

 

doomsday
I’m not counting them
for the last ten years

Dubravka Šćukanec
Zagreb, Croatia

 

first storm alone
without thinking
I call out his name

Pat Davis

 

an uphill struggle
I meet myself
halfway

Karen Harvey
Wales

 

crossing
the clinic’s threshold
pledging my heart to her anew

note: upon leaving the Cleveland Clinic with a new heart valve ~5 years ago

Don Miller
Las Cruces, New Mexico

 

the past ten years
around the house –
the same dog barking

Slobodan Pupovac
Zagreb, Croatia

 

the past ten years…
looking at the mountains
I’ve climbed

ultimi dieci anni …
guardando le montagne
che ho scalato

Daniela Misso

 

silver filling
the permanent damage
of truth decay

Laurie Greer
Washington DC

 

absence of one
wedding anniversaries
no more

Vishnu Kapoor

 

adoption at birth
how her heart leaps
into motherhood

Kath Abela Wilson
Pasadena, California

 

spring blooms –
your heartbeat a step
behind mine

Isabel Caves
Auckland, New Zealand

 

beloved rescue…
the trust in his eyes
as we farewell him

Madhuri Pillai

 

not on my calendar
the morning
I lost me

Margaret Walker

 

after homelessness
how heavy this full
bar of soap

wendy c. bialek
usa

 

the blind puppy
making a seeing-eye human
of me

Autumn Noelle Hall

 

changing winds
I wonder if I still
have a voice

Vandana Parashar

 

years of rust –
grandpa’s volkswagen
sunken in the backyard

arvinder kaur
Chandigarh, India

 

watching you
watching me
smart TV

Yanwei Cai
Los Angeles, California, USA

 

plastic people
plastic truth
plastic forever

Charles Harmon
Los Angeles, California, USA

 

krypton decay
I become
half of my father

Agus Maulana Sunjaya

 

meditation
the dim echoes
of past judgements

Richa Sharma

 

separation –
now you just smile at me
from a photo

separazione –
ora mi sorridi solo
da una foto

Maria Teresa Piras

 

pink slip . . .
I know I’m not
a cherry blossom

Srinivasa Rao Sambangi

 

missing my garden
I return
to the piano

Helga Stania
Switzerland

 

computer:
the world in my room

computer:
il mondo nella mia stanza

Giuliana Ravaglia

 

finally
after four boys
It’s a girl!

Franjo Ordanic

 

ten years
since our wedding –
finally free

Zdenka Mlinar

 

relativistic space-time am I younger than who I was?

Mark Meyer

 

realizing over time
why I could no longer fly
butterfly with torn wings

Christina Sng
Singapore

 

a visit to Mom
was I a good son —- bad son
dementia

Dean Okamura

 

my handbag
full of everything
raising a child

Nadejda Kostadinova

 

after years –
only ghostly shadows
in grandmа’s house

Tsanka Shishkova

 

spring cleaning
the spare room
now a nursery

Rich Schilling
Webster Groves, MO

 

being carded
a new experience
after retirement.

Rose Penhale

 

winter sun
children’s
receding steps

Charlotte Hrenchuk
Whitehorse, Yukon

 

Ten years tougher – still together

Guy Stephenson

 

into my teens
……….reliving…..pastten years

Radhamani sarma

 

retirement
the years busier with
volunteer jobs

Nancy Brady
Huron, Ohio

 

10 long winters
eating off paper plates
my homeless friend

Roberta Beary
County Mayo Ireland

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

Guest editor Lori A Minor is a feminist, mental health advocate, and body positive activist currently living in Norfolk, Virginia. She is the editor of #FemkuMag. Most recently, Lori gave a presentation on social awareness in haiku at Haiku North America 2019.

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).

This Post Has 59 Comments

  1. Thank you Alan sir, Private Kumar sir and Margaret madam and all poets. I am learning a lot from your comments and experiences. Thanks everyone

    1. Thank you Alan sir, Pravat Kumar sir, and Margaret ma’am and all poets. I am learning a lot from your comments and experiences. Thanks a lot

      I sincerely apologize for the typo error in my last comment .

  2. So many moving experiences here, representing different lives. I enjoyed reading each one.
    *
    an uphill battle
    I meet myself
    halfway
    .
    Karen Harvey
    .
    I immediately related to this as I survived several losses this decade, learning along the way. The single word in the last line is effective.
    *
    pink slip…
    I know I’m not
    a cherry blossom
    .
    Srinivasa Rao Sambangi
    .
    A fresh take on the haiku cherry blossoms. Hauntingly sad as a pink slip often represents a job loss.
    *
    my handbag
    full of everything
    raising a child
    .
    Nadejda Kostadinova
    .
    Initially reminded me of those days where I wouldn’t go out without food etc for my sons. On second read an overlap in “full of everything” stood out to me.
    *
    another ten years
    I’m not sure I can survive
    more acceleration
    .
    John Hawkhead
    .
    I relate!

  3. Hi Lori.
    I just sent my haiku (Friday 13th 11:39) for “the next ten years”. Just wanted to know if you got them. Used Mozilla on my computer and didn’t get the usual message after I hit submit. Thanks!

  4. Thanks so much to Lori for highlighting the personal haiku of mine and for her perceptive comments. It’s rare to be nudged toward the autobiographical in the world of haiku. I especially appreciated the haiku which were like mini-stories, such as Alan Summers’, Natalia Kuznetsova’s, Pat Davis’ and Kath Abela Wilson’s.

  5. .
    .
    an uphill struggle
    I meet myself
    halfway
    .
    Karen Harvey
    Wales
    .
    .
    Another moving poem. This poem is open enough that the reader does not need to know about Karen’s personal health issues, and that she is also a Carer too.
    .
    Some of us are so tough on ourselves, that those of us who are, should meet ourselves
    halfway, and give ourselves some slack! 🙂
    .
    A very moving poem.

  6. .
    an english teacher…
    teaching tense
    the past, the present, the future
    .
    .
    *My life changed after I became an English teacher.
    .
    R.Suresh Babu
    India
    .
    .
    A wonderful poem! There are some teachers who teach by rote, and then there are others that change our life for better. I was put into a remedial class around the age of 8 or 9 and it was the Polish teacher who realised I had a gift for writing stories. It turned out, because of her, to be really an advanced class, and one I didn’t want to leave! 🙂
    .
    She certainly, as an english teacher… was teaching tense me the future!
    .
    A very moving poem for all those who might not fit in, or appear to fit, and could be deliberately left behind. Some teachers, like the Marines, never leave anyone behind. 🙂

    1. A beautiful ku by Suresh Babu. It is lively and vivid. It explores early experience while learning languages. I thank Alan for elaborating on the wonderful ku so nicely.

    2. A nice ku and a lovely comment Alan. I enjoyed English but I had a wonderful teacher when I was ten. She made the text come alive when she read aloud. Good teachers make a huge difference, not just in literacy but in confidence too.

  7. Thank you for including my haiku. A wonderful and varied compendium of the past decade. I particularly appreciated this one:

    empty nest
    we gather kindling
    for the fire

    Terri French

    1. I loved this one too. It is a great example of multi-layered haiku. There are many aspects of marriage can be re/kindled when the kids leave home!

  8. Thanks Lori(s) for another selection of thought-provoking work. I liked may but for some reason this one caught my eye:
    .
    dawn to dust haiku
    .
    Pravat Kumar Padhy
    .
    A ‘meta-haiku’ for the post-modernists amongst us with a dark aftertaste. Cheers, John

    1. Thank you, John, for your comment. Indeed I was writing the monoku as:

      *
      dawn to dusk haiku

      *
      To my surprise, I could discover the typo (‘dust’ in place of ‘dusk’) later! The present one, ‘dawn to dust haiku’ portrays a different meaning. I shall be grateful to you if you kindly make a brief comment on the published one from a reader’s and a critic’s point of view. If it makes any positive literary sense, I shall cherish the option open: typo sometimes as default creation!
      I thank Lori for selecting my monoku. My kudos to all poets for their wonderful haiku.

      John, I have the pleasure of reading your poignant haiku posted in ‘The Living Haiku Anthology’

      Warmly
      Pravat

        1. Thank you, Debbie. It is an interesting twist. I thank Lori and John for their great insight into Meta-haiku (monoku). I read in detail about the concept of ‘Meta-haiku’ and its importance. The following article (Use of Metaphor in Haiku) by Deborah would be very beneficial to all of us.

          https://googleweblight.com/i?u=https://medium.com/house-of-haiku/use-of-metaphor-in-haiku-45d69086fd9e&hl=en-IN

          I shall appreciate it if you kindly unfold the sublime thought of the monoku in brief from the critic’s point of view.

          Your haiku reflects the social synthesis in a creative way. I like it very much.

          jarred by loss
          steadied by the gentle
          reliability of friends

          Debbie Scheving

  9. A fascinating collection indeed ! End of a decade when the century is coming out of its teens,A good time for revisiting all that got left behind and a good time for introspection too ! Thanks Lori !

  10. hours of loneliness
    in the middle of the night
    I still hear her purr

    was in japan and not able to send this one in on time

  11. As always, Alan, your verses evoke deep thought, and this one is no exception.
    .
    meeting myself again
    through an unknown sister
    Gormley’s fourth column
    .
    So much to think about with this, could this be you as the artistic person finding yourself through the person you are closest to…?
    I don’t think this is about space or planets, but being the creative people you are.
    I maybe so wrong, but this is what I read.

    1. Thank you Carol!
      .
      .
      Two big things happened at once! I entered a raffle to be one of those chosen for Antony Gormley’s One and Other Fourth Plinth project. My bluff was called! For someone who is normally intensely private, and incredibly introverted, I would be in full public view in London, and thousands and thousands of people around the world would be watching me too! Gulp! 🙂
      .
      Antony Gormley’s Fourth Plinth One and Other Project:
      http://www.antonygormley.com/show/item-view/id/2277
      .
      .
      The second big thing was Karen helped me find my birth mother, who lived in Western Australia, a place I had never been to in my life, despite living in Australia for five years. So I couldn’t meet my mother, but I found I had another sister! My other sister is my adoptive sister, and lived in the same city as me (Bristol). This new sister just happened to be in London (England) and on contract to the NHS!
      .
      I met her the day before going onto the plinth in Trafalgar Square, and Sky Arts got so involved in filming an interview that they forgot I had to go out to start my hour.
      .
      Both big things pushed what I knew about myself and what I could do, and what I could be.
      .
      So yes, it’s partly, or strongly, about putting myself personally and artistically out there in a very public arena, and yes, I did get to meet my birth mother before she died.

      1. That is a moving read, Alan. When you think of the coming together of like minded people who stood on the plinth to portray something remarkable in their life, your presence, no doubt, gave a large and formidable display. Good you have Karen’s warm and gentle hand to help you through these massive life experiences.
        .
        Nice to know you met your birth mum, before she passed on.

  12. Lots of time reflected upon here, from youth to old age (older age, maybe?). Poignant and sad, uplifting and positive, well done to all. I imagine the next ten years will be equally fascinating.

  13. I enjoyed reading the set of haiku. The word “rust” evoked thoughts and feelings:

    years of rust –
    grandpa’s volkswagen
    sunken in the backyard

    arvinder kaur

    Chandigarh, India

    Rust shows the passage of time. It also hints at impermanence, regret, fading of dreams…

    (Mostly off topic: Too bad plastic does not rust. Besides a plastic object “sunken in the backyard” does nothing compared to “grandpa’s volkswagen.”)

  14. another ten years
    I’m not sure I can survive
    more acceleration

    John Hawkhead

    I can certainly understand this! So much truth under the bit of humor here.

    R.Suresh Babu’s – there are so many possible meanings in the word “tense”. The tension of teaching , the tension in our world (past, present and future), if it were in the US, the tension of being prepared for school shootings – and likely others I have not yet noticed. As a former teacher I this one really popped out at me.

    an english teacher…
    teaching tense
    the past, the present, the future

    And Alan Summers’ “meeting myself again” is a gem!

    meeting myself again
    through an unknown sister
    Gormley’s Fourth Plinth

    1. Thank you Margaret! 🙂
      .
      And Alan Summers’ “meeting myself again” is a gem!
      .
      .
      meeting myself again
      through an unknown sister
      Gormley’s Fourth Plinth
      .
      .
      Being on a world famous artist’s project, as well as filmed by Sky Arts, and also the BBC, was a turning point alongside meeting my half-sister for the first time ever.
      .
      .
      I later went to Australia to meet my sister in her home country, and meet my mother for the first time since having to be let go around the age of 11-12 months old. She shared some photos!
      .
      .
      baby photos
f
      rom my birth mother…

      how do I say hello to me

      .
      Alan Summers
      Publication credits: The Heron’s Nest (Vol XIV, No. 2, June, 2012)
      Feature: The Haiku Foundation’s Per Diem: Children ed. Sonam Chhoki (December 2012)
      .
      .
      Many thanks for the mention! 🙂

      1. Correction:
        .
        .
        baby photos
        from my birth mother…

        how do I say hello to me

        .
        Alan Summers
        Publication credits: The Heron’s Nest (Vol XIV, No. 2, June, 2012)
        Feature: The Haiku Foundation’s Per Diem: Children ed. Sonam Chhoki (December 2012)
        .

  15. I will comment later on some other excellent pieces but just realized mine has a typo ( my fault!). It should read

    nothing on my calendar
    that morning
    I lost me

    Margaret Walker

    (Not “the morning”)

    1. You know what I say about some typos, that they can be a blessing in disguise? 🙂
      .
      .
      INTENDED:
      .
      nothing on my calendar
      that morning
      I lost me
      .
      Margaret Walker

      .
      .
      TYPO VERSION:
      .
      .
      nothing on my calendar
      the morning
      I lost me
      .
      Margaret Walker
      .
      .
      I much prefer the phrase “the morning I lost me” which has a stronger resonance! 🙂

      1. Thanks for the feedback, Alan! Always much appreciated!

        I originally wrote it with “the morning”, changed it to “that morning” – then sent in the original by mistake.
        Now I can see that it changes and emphasizes not only the break but the sound (when I read it aloud).

        Your story of meeting your sister and birth mother is beautiful. I can only imagine what a momentous event that must have been.

  16. We’re all ages it would appear.
    Interesting to see the differing perspectives we each place on important events during the past ten years.
    .
    30 years ago, children were my focus, as was work and pets.
    .
    10 years later, more work, but also the health or otherwise of parents.
    .
    Another 10 years, reflecting on what had, or could have been, plus simplifying life and getting rid of clutter. Yay!!!!
    ..
    Retirement a time to relax? Absolutely not! With the onset of creaking limbs, there’s opportunity to do something about one’s own health, time to rethink one’s priorities, time (and reason) to shout at politicians on the box, time to do all the other things there had been no time to do, and time to read and write haiku.
    .
    Dad used to tell me, “Enjoy life while you’re young”. But while you are reasonably fit, you can’t beat the third age.
    Mulled wine, anybody?
    .
    Welcome back, Alan!
    .
    And thank you Lori for posting mine in this fascinating selection. Every one of them needs careful reflection.

  17. meeting myself again
    through an unknown sister
    Gormley’s Fourth Plinth

    ~Alan Summers

    Thank you, Alan! I had never heard of Mr. Gormley or the Fourth Plinth, but thanks to your haiku and the magic of Mr. Google I am instantly transported back to Trafalgar Square. Charming idea that everyone can be an artist for an hour. I think of “Lions” by Dire Straits and how we treat our heroes whose lives are often thrown away for politicians’ and plutocrats’ purposes. Or “Single Handed Sailor” about the Gypsy Moth and the Cutty Sark just down the river, a reminder of why we are still based on Greenwich Meridian Time.

    a stand in
    for your self
    on Gormley’s Plinth

    1. Thanks Charles! 🙂
      .
      A North of England artist but who has caused a stir outside the UK as well, including New York with his statues on roofs! 🙂
      .
      Karen and myself decided on ‘Important Words’ and received them from around the world, staff at One and Other, Sky Arts, and the crane operator who wanted to propose to his fiancé! 🙂
      .
      A young man and his mom stayed on, even though they had planned something else for her birthday, and loved every minute. I didn’t use a PA, so I projected my voice across Trafalgar Square, and I had Karen’s brother in law, his wife, and son there, and her late dad, plus a few haiku poets, and a special treat at an apartment opposite some very famous historic spies! 🙂
      .
      The British Museum archived aspects of the project:
      https://www.webarchive.org.uk/wayback/archive/20100223124345/http://www.oneandother.co.uk/participants/Alan_S
      .
      I was actually born in London (Chelsea) but adopted and taken to Bristol. Oddly both cities were places where I helped check out suspect explosive devices.

    1. There is a powerful double meaning in these lines for me that is at once visceral and haunting. I can see someone taking off their extra layer of coat or jacket to roll up their sleeves. and remove the top, extra layer of dirt over a grave
      Perhaps there is already someone who has been buried in the grave and a new body will join the old. Although it might be cold. There is both a physical as well as emotional coldness conveyed here.
      I think this haiku works so well because it brings me in close. I feel like I too am taking off an outer layer in the cold.
      well done!

      1. Thanks. I am pleased you experienced the first person. I was that gravedigger (January 2016).
        .
        The “for (so and so) to” ellipisis represents that bit of me missing as well.
        (Any chance of a correction dear editor?)

        1. I might have waited until Friday the 13th to comment on all the typos this week… & I have now corrected this one… cheers, kj

  18. beloved rescue…
    the trust in his eyes
    as we farewell him

    Madhuri Pillai

    **
    just have to say–this one hit hard; that look is perfectly, wrenchingly captured.

    1. Thank you Laurie for your comment, I am touched you could relate to this. Years have fled, but the look still haunts me and I still tear up.

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