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HAIKU DIALOGUE – Turn of the Decade – Holiday Memory

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 New Year’s Resolution.

We’ve all set them and we’ve all broken them; the infamous New Year’s Resolution. It’s time to write about that ten pounds you’ve been meaning to lose or that journal you’ve been meaning to submit to. What’s your goal for the new year? Let’s start 2020 on a positive and hopeful note! After all, there’s no day like today!

The deadline is midnight EST, Saturday December 28, 2019.

Turn of the Decade – Holiday Memory

My sincerest thanks to everyone who took the time to submit this week. The holiday season is magical, festive, and jolly, but each of us have different experiences that sculpt how we celebrate. Thank you for sharing these moments with me. Being an editor, especially when providing themes that can be close to our hearts, is not an easy job, but the haiku I have selected for this week are what I feel best encompass my theme. I wish each one of you a very merry Christmas and the happiest of holidays!

long after they’d dried
Santa’s calligraphy markers
among my treasures

Autumn Noelle Hall

When children outgrow Santa, the joy and love is still very much a part of Christmas, but the magic just isn’t there. I don’t have children myself, but with a twelve and fourteen year age gap between my siblings and I, there were many years through high school and college that I was able to help keep the Santa magic alive. There was something exhilarating about staying up long after my siblings were nestled in bed to help mom stuff and set out stockings and I was usually up before the kids, waiting for them to come bustling through the house, waking everyone up to see what Santa had brought. These are the moments in life that we live for and when children grow up, sometimes it just becomes a little harder to get into the Christmas spirit.

blended family
we create
new traditions

Nancy Brady,
Huron, Ohio

When I was a kid, it was me, my mom, my grandma, and my aunt. There were traditions that we stuck to every single year, so when I was ten and my mom remarried, we integrated a few of our traditions into the Christmas season, but also created some of our own. Not only does this piece hit a sweet spot in my heart, but it’s also extremely relevant to anyone who’s ever had parents remarry, children who have gotten married to start their own family’s holiday traditions, or even people who are in new relationships and are figuring out how and where to spend their holiday season. Another thing that I love about this piece is that it’s even open to the possibility of integrating different religious holidays such as Christmas and Hanukkah, which I have previously experienced myself. This is another beautiful haiku that hits home for me and I’m sure will make other people stop and think about the various traditions they’ve integrated into their holiday season.

Here are the rest of my selections:

Yule log doused*
by wine after prayer –
fragrance in the gloom

**On Christmas, it was custom in Dalmatia (the south part of Croatia) to let the Yule log burn and smolder all day until bedtime. After prayer, the fire was extinguished with wine.

Tomislav Maretić

 

a christmas carol
the miser’s pockets
bust open

nancy liddle

 

beach holiday
curled up with a book
recharging

Christina Sng
Singapore

 

midnight mass
coughing from the incense
did Santa come yet?

joel

 

your last haiku of candle light
frozen smile in the casket

Nuky Kristijono
Indonesia

 

I hold in my hands
my new book –
Christmas wish

Zdenka Mlinar
CROATIA

 

dough kneading
the giggles over winter
solstice dumplings

Christina Chin

 

missing on Christmas
dad’s favourite muffler wrapped
around the snowman

Vandana Parashar

 

physicality…
down from the mounds
with the sled

fisicità …
giù dalle montagnette
con lo slittino

Daniela Misso

 

the way home
from a funeral of my friend–
Christmas Eve

Teiichi Suzuki

 

oxygen hiss
my father talks to ghosts
on Christmas day

Pris Campbell

 

Christmas wedding
my mom’s dress made of curtains
her picture’s framed

Saša Slavković
Slovenia

 

forgotten friend
from fifty years ago
suddenly a Christmas card

Judith Hishikawa

 

holiday memory-
my bone that never
healed

Aljoša Vuković
Šibenik, Croatia

 

winter dusk
memory of our last holiday
still has warmth

Vishnu Kapoor

 

no one
in place of daddy
Christmas letter

Angiola Inglese

 

holiday adventure
a new experience
forbidden at home

john hawkhead

 

Christmas together
between memories and nostalgia-
your free place

Natale insieme
tra ricordi e nostalgia-
il tuo posto libero*

* dedicated to my mother who died in the last decade

Angela Giordano
Italy

 

the Golden Years . . .
her Christmas card list
dwindles

Valentina Ranaldi-Adams

 

Christms carrols-
the sweet memory
of my dead sister’s voice…

Julia Guzmán

 

winter wonderland
the raucous aroma
of reindeer sausage

Mark Gilbert
UK

 

lots of gifts for uncle…
that year he could
not give

Pat Davis

 

white Christmas
all the muddy boot prints
in the snow

Louise Hopewell

 

fake mouse
cat adds another visitor
to the nativity crèche

Rehn Kovacic

 

a serpentine road
takes me back home…
landslide warning

Hifsa Ashraf

 

runway fog. . .
the holiday lights
bustle by

C.R. Harper

 

retail
wrapping up the holidays
in exhaustion

Laurie Greer

 

Hanukkah latkes
my mother’s eyes tearing up
chopping the onions

Sari Grandstaff
Saugerties, NY

 

winter sun
the year we forgot
to light your candle

Dee Wallace

 

delicate bell
jingle after jingle
mother’s kiss

Steve Tabb

 

that Christmas
there were stars
the year we were poor

Peggy Hale Bilbro

 

christmas baubles –
our laughter tinkling
in the firelight

Isabel Caves
(Auckland, New Zealand)

 

no surprises
uncle joe’s luxury outfits
for all my siblings

Kathleen Mazurowski

 

no disappointments but
………….once no BB gun
Boy Scout telegraph set

Paul geiger
Sebastopol CA

 

solstice life celebration
mom has outlived
all her friends

Kath Abela Wilson
Santa Barbara, California

 

christmas lights we untangle our differences

Rich Schilling
Webster Groves, MO

 

new year’s eve
Hyakunin Isshu Karuta
with my family

Tomoko Nakata

 

New Year’s night –
alone with flu waiting
for Father Frost*

*Father Frost is Santa’s Slavic peer

Natalia Kuznetsova

 

sardines —
last minute holiday deal
our idea of hell

Ingrid Baluchi
(Macedonia)

 

holyday blues
three weeks on psychiatry
after the New Year’s Eve

Dubravka Šćukanec
Zagreb, Croatia

 

one more holiday…
one less card
to send or receive

Mark Meyer

 

every day
a different international doll
is picked on

*when I was little, my mom used to give me a new international doll each holiday

wendy c. bialek

 

surprise Santa
the same aftershave
as my father

Michele L. Harvey

 

family Christmas spirit
missing
Daddy

Margaret Walker

 

holiday season…
the missing cards
of friends long gone

Madhuri Pillai

 

Christmas at home
George traditionally
lassos the moon

Tomislav Sjekloća,
Cetinje, Montenergro

 

family scattered
singing holiday wishes
over the phone

Ronald K. Craig
Batavia, OH USA

 

christmas morning
still unwrapping
your absence

m. shane pruett
Oregon, USA

 

Christmas Eve
my older brothers
dressed as Magi

cezar ciobîcă

 

carolling
snowflakes haloing
our heads

cristina apetrei

 

Christmas party –
around the dining table
I chase myself

Benedetta Cardone

 

Global warming
White Christmas is an exception
not a rule

Globalno zatopljenje
Bijeli Božić je iznimka
a ne pravilo

Zrinko Šimunić

 

Christmas dinner for two
candles filling
the empty places

Greer Woodward

 

downtown tree lighting
singing carols
in the pouring rain

Debbie Scheving

 

playing Magi
a box of walnuts
for the baby king

Alegria Imperial

 

mom’s Hanukkah gift—
piping hot with sour cream
potato latkes

Susan Rogers

 

the Christmas card chain
Mom hung over curtains
e-cards in my inbox

Deborah P Kolodji

 

just before Christmas
with her last breath
Mom said, “I love you”

Charles Harmon
Los Angeles, California, USA

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 33 Comments

  1. Hi ….Good Morning in 2020! – already….wed. Morning in Sunny So.

    🌸👍😎👌🙏😉 Ca

    I heard our Great Horned Owls in a brief duet…

    I appreciate kjmunro, Kabela plus Charles’ tips that I need to submit through the contact form my submission which probably was late several times…
    In Ca we r 3 hrs behind so before 9 more like 7 ish …to my bed time
    since I get called for work at 5:30am…

    More new comer
    detailed step by step explanation as to how to navigate this haiku dialogue site.

    One tip fr moi- to turn my cell horizontal so I can easier understand the 3 line format vs horizontal.
    Then back to navigate my comment to

    Leave a Reply. Comment. 1-1-2020 7:00 am Ca time Wed.

    Via Janis🌸

    It would also help to have more reference pts or buoy markers for the haiku and comments by only? Published recently ? Here poets…

    I see K’s

    solstice life celebration
    mom has outlived
    all her friends

    Kath Abela Wilson
    Santa Barbara, California

    And I identify w that

    Years young
    since about 4 of my friends passed this year at 97 and I am floating at 70+..|
    No more counting -esp since I stayed at 65 for several years…

    I love 💕 k’s

    First line “Solstice life celebration ”

    Hmmm for my life I’d like a musical, laughter flow yoga

    Esp
    for God’s protection in early Dec 2019 with my tire blowout that seemed to cause a total car loss again .

    Yeah I survived 👍.

    solstice life celebration

    “mom has outlived
    all her friends”

    is a fortunate fact of K’s mom is thanks to the wise and loving support of her family”

    Each family hopefully has a story like Charles Harmon too w his mother’s last breath

    “I love you.”

    I was grateful to have been w my mom when she passed in our home about 17 years ago.

    Kath Abela Wilson
    Santa Barbara, California

  2. Many thanks, Lori, for including my senryu amongst so many beautiful offerings. I deeply appreciate your thoughtful comments connecting my magic markers to magic moments. Thank you for intuiting the feelings under the words. . .

    Because of my own losses (particularly those of my parents 10 and 19 years ago now) the following poignant senryu lodged like lumps in my throat. Together, they take us through the grieving journey from the presence of literal loss through the annual remembrances and finally to the forgetting of acceptance.

    I admire where Charles chose to place “I love you,” as he leaves us with the greatest gift a mother can give. This loss feels ragged and raw, and I suspect, recent. Because I was holding her hand when my own mother took her last breath, I know the depth and power of this moment personally. If it is as I suspect, Charles, and you’ve just lost your mom, I hope you realize the gift you gave her in your presence at the crossroads.

    I love Angela’s use of the word “free,” which lends so much power and meaning to her poem. It suggests not only the empty chair, but also the possibility of an afterlife free of life’s burdens and grief. It also conveys the respect of a family who leaves space open at the table (and in their hearts) as a way of continuing the relationship with their loved one.

    Dee’s forgetfulness made me gasp, even as the familiarity of its sentiment resonated with me. It is with a simultaneous sadness and relief that we move through the throes of loss to the place where we cease marking every occasion as a stopping point to reflect on the death. The realization that once we’ve passed this threshold, our loved ones return to us anew is one of grief’s greatest gifts.


    just before Christmas
    with her last breath
    Mom said, “I love you”

    Charles Harmon
    Los Angeles, California, USA

    Christmas together
    between memories and nostalgia-
    your free place

    Natale insieme
    tra ricordi e nostalgia-
    il tuo posto libero*

    dedicated to my mother who died in the last decade

    Angela Giordano
    Italy

    winter sun
    the year we forgot
    to light your candle

    Dee Wallace


    I also wanted to acknowledge the welcome inclusion of some humor in this holiday set. Rehn’s placement of a fake mouse was delightfully surprising. Even in its humor, it serves to remind us that all gifts and visitors are welcome in that metaphorical stable.

    Laurie is spot in in her assessment of the pre-holiday frenzy: exhausting. It is an astute observation of yet another of the negative consequences of commercial capitalism. It brings to mind the fact that our modern day notion of Santa was an invention of Macy’s Department Store—what better way to encourage people to spend more money on materialism than a jolly old elf packing a sleigh full of loot accompanied by the Rockets in matching elf costumes.

    Rich Shilling’s tangled Christmas lights remind us of all the ways we can become knotted up. It’s always amazing how this seems to happen despite all our best efforts to wrap the cords carefully. This is a gentle reminder of the constant maintenance relationships require and the way we must proceed strand by strand, bulb by bulb, to sort out our disagreements. What a redeeming idea in these polarized times of ours.

    fake mouse
    cat adds another visitor
    to the nativity crèche

    Rehn Kovacik

    retail
    wrapping up the holidays
    in exhaustion

    Laurie Greer

    christmas lights we untangle our differences

    Rich Schilling
    Webster Groves, MO

    Finally, I enjoyed discovering the alternative cultural traditions wrapped up in these offerings:

    dousing the Yule log with wine (Tomislav Maretić)

    the Slavic Father Frost (Natalia Kuznetsova)

    solstice dumplings (Christina Chin)

    potato latkes (Sari Granstaff, Susan Rogers)

    reindeer sausage (Mark Gilbert)

    A wonderful and timely collection, Lori—thank you for your conscientious curation!

    ~Autumn

  3. Thanks for including my poem in the mix. I enjoyed every one, and especially these four:

    the Golden Years… / her Christmas card list / dwindles Valentina Ranaldi-Adams

    winter sun / the year we forgot / to light your candle Dee Wallace

    that Christmas / there were stars / the year we were poor Peggy Hale-Bilbro

    Christmas dinner for two / candles filling / the empty places Greer Underwood

  4. Thank you Lori and Lori Z. for taking the time to put this together Christmas week. A lovely read.
    .
    christmas lights we untangle our differences
    .
    Rich Schilling
    .
    Loved the monoku.
    *
    that Christmas
    there were stars
    the year we were poor
    .
    Peggy Hale Bilbro
    .
    Different format, each line starting with a th word, and using were twice, but it grew on me. Powerful contrast in stars and poor.
    *
    a serpentine road
    takes me back home…
    landslide warning
    .
    Hifsa Ashraf
    .
    The twists and turns of returning home, with a bit of mystery.
    *
    winter wonderland
    the raucous aroma
    of reindeer sausage
    .
    Mark Gilbert
    .
    The surprise ending made me laugh after a couple of busy days.
    *

  5. Thanks to Lori and Lori and all who submitted this week.
    Another heartfelt and beautiful selection; I’m proud to be a part of this.
    A few that especially struck me–all involving loss, for some reason. In this season of abundance, we feel most keenly what’s gone.
    My best to everyone–
    *

    oxygen hiss
    my father talks to ghosts
    on Christmas day

    Pris Campbell

    *
    this reminds me of my grandfather–on his last night he told the nurse he had to go because his wife was waiting–she’d died years before and, surely, she’d been patient long enough.
    *
    winter sun
    the year we forgot
    to light your candle

    Dee Wallace

    *
    a beautiful visual image and so full of emotion
    *
    christmas morning
    still unwrapping
    your absence

    m. shane pruett
    Oregon, USA

    *
    it takes a long long time to get used to the loss…really, they always remain new and fresh
    *
    Christmas dinner for two
    candles filling
    the empty places

    Greer Woodward

    *
    I love the unexpected turn. What starts as a romantic scene turns into one of memorial–yet still, somehow, retains the romance, magnified by poignancy.
    *

    1. Hi Laurie,

      Thanks, Laurie, for commenting on my haiku. I find it very helpful to know what others see in my work.

      I read this suite of haiku early Christmas morning and it put me in a good mood for the festivities that followed.

      Aloha,
      Greer

  6. Thanks Valentina, and to you and Ron, most excellent haiku. With one of my son’s living so far away for far too long, yours particularly resonated, Ron.

  7. I loved this week’s selection, so many memories and emotions. Here are a few beautiful verses which caught my eye:-
    .
    oxygen hiss
    my father talks to ghosts
    on Christmas day
    Chilling from Pris Campbell.
    .
    your last haiku of candle light
    frozen smile in the casket
    Nuky Kristijono – lovely and I particularly love the first line
    .
    dough kneading
    the giggles over winter
    solstice dumplings
    Christina Chin. Light and simple, dense and complex
    .
    missing on Christmas
    dad’s favourite muffler wrapped
    around the snowman
    Vandana Parashar. Still poignant, even though I don’t use ‘muffler’ that way.
    .
    Hanukkah latkes
    my mother’s eyes tearing up
    chopping the onions
    Sari Grandstaff. Beautifully done. Now why all that fuss about 5-7-5???
    .
    christmas baubles –
    our laughter tinkling
    in the firelight
    Isabel Caves. A gorgeous memory, and a delight to speak.
    .
    Thank you Loris.

    1. Thank you Mark for your appreciative comments on my haiku! Thank you Lori for putting together this holiday haiku treat. My birthday is Christmas Day so very special time for me.

  8. Thank you for this wonderful Christmas gift of beautiful haiku . The list you published was such a pleasure to read. Happy holidays.

  9. Thanks Lori for publishing one of my haiku. Your comment was apropos as that first Christmas as a blended family was difficult enough for everyone, but we created a new tradition that continues to this day, and as the family has grown, so does the tradition.

    All the traditions of the various faiths are seen here, and the emotional aspects as well. A rich assortment of haiku, gifts of words that transcend. Thanks to everyone for your gift of haiku to cherish throughout the season. The joyful, the poignant, the humorous, the solemn and sad.

    Happy holiday to all however you celebrate (or Don’t).

  10. A great selection, Lori, and thanks to the poets who made this a revealing read, some very personal and brave considering the time of year. Thank you for including my effort.
    .
    We try hard to make Christmas and other such occasions one of joy, becoming less easy as children leave the nest and families move away.

    Ronald K. Craig expressed this — something we may have all experienced:

    family scattered
    singing holiday wishes
    over the phone

    I remember the emptiness of that echo, too.

    .
    Michele L. Harvey’s poem made me smile:

    surprise Santa
    the same aftershave
    as my father

    Oh, the innocence of childhood!

    .
    A different message from Deborah P. Kolodji:

    the Christmas card chain
    Mom hung over curtains
    e-cards in my inbox
    .
    In a way it’s good we’re beginning to cut down on paper/card products at this time, but somehow, like round robins one receives – although fewer as time goes by – the personal touch begins to evaporate.

    I knew some who, in a bid to outnumber others, used to hang all their cards up on show from many years gone by.
    “It’s the thought that counts…”
    .
    The poem which intrigued me the most was Hifsa Ashraf’s:
    .
    a serpentine road
    takes me back home . . .
    landslide warning
    .
    Could this be mountainous north Pakistan, a spectacularly beautiful region of that nation, but where landslides and rockfall are common, especially after heavy rain? If so, my heartbeats race with yours. Scary stuff.

  11. An absolute wealth of nostalgia and wonderful memories. Well done to all poets.
    .
    lots of gifts for uncle…
    that year he could
    not give
    .
    Pat Davis
    I’m feeling ‘the milk of human kindness’ overflowing with this verse. Lovely work.
    .
    Christmas baubles—
    our laughter tinkling
    in the fire light
    .
    Isabel Caves
    A beautiful sensory verse, gorgeous Isabel.
    .
    surprise santa
    the same aftershave
    as my father
    .
    Michele L. Harvey
    A wonderful childhood memory, made me smile, Michele.
    .
    holiday season…
    the missing cards
    of friends long gone
    .
    Madhuri Pillai
    I’m sure many of us can relate to this touching verse, Madhuri.
    ,
    Thank you, Lori and everyone who has taken time-out at this busy time to bring us this delightful session of haiku.
    Merry Christmas to all 🙂

  12. Thank-you Lori for publishing my haiku. Congratulations to my fellow Ohioans for having theirs published. Congratulations to all the other poets. May you all experience many haiku moments during the holidays.

    1. Thanks Valentina, and to you and Ron, most excellent haiku. With one of my son’s living so far away for far too long, yours particularly resonated, Ron.

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