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HAIKU DIALOGUE – door to door – doormat

door to door

With a nod to ‘Haiku Windows’, a past feature from when I first began this column, & also an idea suggested a long time ago by poet Laurie Greer, for the next several weeks we will explore some concepts relating to doors. Be inspired by these prompts – I can’t wait to read where they take you – & please note that there is no requirement to include the words of the prompt in the poems… enjoy! kj

next week’s theme: door prize

At many events, in an attempt to encourage people to attend, there will be a raffle of some sort where names are drawn & prizes given…

I look forward to reading your submissions.

The deadline is midnight Pacific Daylight Time, Saturday May 22, 2021.

Please use the Haiku Dialogue submission form below to enter one or two original unpublished haiku inspired by the week’s theme, and then press Submit to send your entry. (The Submit button will not be available until the Name, Email, and Place of Residence fields are filled in.) With your poem, please include any special formatting requirements & your name as you would like it to appear in the column. 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 the commentary for doormat:

always beneath you doormat

Deborah P Kolodji
Temple City, California

Four simple words that say so much – here, whether referring to an actual doormat that we walk on or an unfortunate person, the message is the same, loud & clear…

wiping his shoes
on the doormat
purple bruises

Lynne Jambor
Vancouver, Canada

The strength of this poem, also, is the way that the doormat refers to both the mat we walk on as well as a person. The addition of the words ‘purple bruises’ takes the poem to a whole other horrifying level of violence, pain & suffering…

at the doormat
a snail’s trail
reaches an end

Mark Gilbert
UK

The doormat can indicate arrivals & departures, the beginning of a journey, or the end of one. Somehow it may also be that the snail reaches its end…

break-up
the key under the doormat
missing

Vandana Parashar
India

Many poems this week refer to a key under the doormat – in this poem, the added detail about a break-up increases the tension, & creates new possibilities…

lockdown
all year without a key
under the doormat

Wiesław Karliński
Namysłów, Poland

This poem sums up what many readers may be feeling. This past year has been one of unforeseen challenges & compromises – not least of which has been the isolation & lack of contact that we may have previously enjoyed…

& here are the rest of my selections:

doormat –
the fine dust of my guests
I kept in an urn

Adjei Agyei-Baah
Ghana/New Zealand

 

late May afternoon
ten thousand shades of green
moss on the threshold

Albert Schepers
Windsor, Ontario, Canada

 

welcome mat:
I step over the june bugs
wiping their feet

Alex Fyffe
United States

 

family house –
cat on a doormat
waits and waits

Aljoša Vuković
Šibenik, Croatia

 

dirty shoes
neatly arranged next to
temple doormat

Amrutha Prabhu
Bengaluru, India

 

doormat…
my only
“welcome”

Ana Drobot
Romania

 

muddy shoes –
a printed violet
on the doormat

Angiola Inglese
Italia

 

feral cat
leaving a warm spot
on the doormat

Anna Cates
USA

 

the second key
still under the doormat –
divorce decree

Arvinder kaur
Chandigarh, India

 

relaxed rules –
my new doormat
reads WELCOME

Barrie Levine
Wenham MA USA

 

mama’s doormat –
after the memorial
the latch key remains

Bill Fay
Fox Island, WA, USA

 

she wipes
her grudges away –
holiday doormat

Bona M. Santos
Los Angeles, CA

 

new door mat
auld lang syne and a wee dram
waiting for the first foot

Brian Oharegreen
Devon England

 

no soliciting
my unwelcome
mat

Bryan Rickert
Belleville, Illinois

 

flickering
sunshine on the doormat
grandma’s welcome

Carole Harrison
Australia

 

my new
doormat –
unwelcome

Dan Campbell
Virginia

 

sleepless –
the scratching of cat’s claws
on the doormat

Daniela Misso
Italy

 

dog whisperer
the keys are
under the doormat

Danijela Grbelja
Croatia, Sibenik

 

Everything is fine –
– employees nod
When asked

Dejan Ivanovic
Lazarevac, Serbia

 

contents’ sale –
one welcome mat
as new

Dorothy Burrows
United Kingdom

 

doormat
increasingly fading
Welcome

Dubravka Šćukanec
Hrvatska

 

“home sweet home”…
the doormat reminds me every day

Elisa Allo
Switzerland

 

for sale
my key still
under the doormat

Eva Limbach
Deutschland

 

temporale…
un capriolo rannicchiato sullo zerbino

thunderstorm…
a roe deer curled up on the doormat

Giuliana Ravaglia
Bologna (Italia)

 

flamingo doormat
my no-snow retirement
in less than six months

Greer Woodward
Waimea, HI

 

friend’s house –
a look at the doormat design
before entering

Hassane Zemmouri
Algiers, Algeria

 

reversing the doormat
I welcome myself
to the world

Helen Ogden
Pacific Grove, CA

 

neighbor’s cat
her gift
on my doormat

Helga Stania
Switzerland

 

chickadees
threadbare in corners
my coir doormat

Ingrid Baluchi
North Macedonia

 

recluse
her welcome mat
upside down

Jackie Chou
Pico Rivera, CA USA

 

doormat the way we treat them

John S Green
Bellingham, WA

 

crematorium –
on the pyre by the Ganges
a doormat

Jorge Alberto Giallorenzi
Chivilcoy, Buenos Aires, Argentina

 

“Welcome” –
an autumn moonlight
crossing the doormat

“Bienvenido”
Un rayo de luna
cruza el felpudo de entrada

Julia Guzmán
Córdoba Argentina

 

still welcoming
old and new friends
doormat

Kanjini Devi
The Far North, Aotearoa NZ

 

invisible pawprints…
a hundred stuffed animals
at our door

Kath Abela Wilson
United States

 

west wind…
covered with yellow sand
the welcome mat

Keiko Izawa
Japan

 

with each step
creeping along the carpet
doormat

Keith Evetts
UK

 

a runaway cat –
a night on the doormat
with dignity

Krzysztof Kokot
Poland

 

welcome design
on the doormat
a cat sleeps well

Lakshmi Iyer
India

 

warm welcome
what we go
to the mat for

Laurie Greer
Washington DC

 

a key
under the doormat –
family secret

Lisbeth Ho
Indonesia

 

high school reunion
the doormats and wallflowers
huddling

Lorraine Carey
Ireland

 

derelict hut
a welcome mat
of daisies

Louise Hopewell
Australia

 

wings’ fluttering –
a visitor announced
by his soles’ scraping

Luisa Santoro
Rome, Italy

 

wearing thin rainy season doormat

M. R. Defibaugh
Virginia

 

only wind blown leaves
on the threshold –
old home

Madhuri Pillai
Australia

 

looking
out the window
an abandoned doormat

Manoj Sharma
Kathmandu

 

homemade soup
on my doormat…
self isolation

Margaret Mahony
Australia

 

knees knocking
the next step
a dare

Margaret Walker
Lincoln, NE, USA

 

windy evening –
first plum blossoms
on the doormat

Maria Teresa Sisti
Massa Carrara, Italy

 

tireless migrants
a swallow’s feather
on the doormat

Mariangela Canzi
Italia

 

condemned home
on the stoop
a welcome mat

Marilyn Ashbaugh
usa

 

harbor sunlight
on the doormat
guano

martin gottlieb cohen
Egg Harbor, NJ

 

my DREAM doormat
the guest leaves
a cherry petal

Meera Rehm
UK

 

red poppies grace
grandma’s doormat
Memorial Day

Melanie Vance
USA

 

first date…
written on the doormat
welcome

Milan Rajkumar
Imphal, India

 

first rain
the cat’s muddy paws
on the doormat

Minal Sarosh
Ahmedabad, India

 

homecoming…
a pause
on the doormat

Mohammad Azim Khan
Peshawar, Pakistan

 

covid times.
welcome written on the doormat
…means nothing

Mona Bedi
Delhi, India

 

moving house
left for the next owners
the welcome mat

Mona Iordan
Bucharest, Romania

 

sunset
on the doormat
my cat’s gift

Nazarena Rampini
Italy

 

lightning…
on the doormat
a collared kitten

Neena Singh
Chandigarh, India

 

maternal home
the spelling of WELCOME
fading

Neha R. Krishna
Mumbai, India

 

a doormat
the smell of bad plastic

Nena Gvozdenović
Beograd, Srbija

 

her doormat’s length –
the safe distance
between us

Nick T
Somerset, UK

 

entry or exit –
the doormat still
at the same place

Nicole Pottier
France

 

rainy day
on my welcome doormat
an unwelcome salesman

Olivier Schopfer
Geneva, Switzerland

 

quarantine –
the welcome mat
flipped over

P. H. Fischer
Vancouver, Canada

 

safe house
the welcome mat
worn down

Pat Davis
Pembroke, NH USA

 

blizzard conditions
I sweep snow off the
WELCOME

Paul Geiger
Sebastopol CA

 

checking out
the new welcome mat
an ant trail

Peggy Hale Bilbro
Huntsville, Alabama

 

wild wind
under the doormat
libretto

Pere Risteski
North Macedonia

 

wedding day
my cat leaves a redbird
on the doormat

(True)

Pris Campbell
USA

 

threadbare doormat…
this absence
of family members

Priti Aisola
Hyderabad, India

 

stepping one last time
on the doormat
refusing to be one

Rehn Kovacic
Mesa, AZ

 

hello first sunray
barefoot i collect
the milk bottles

Richa Sharma
India

 

summer sun
welcome
sans w

Roberta Beach Jacobson
Indianola, IA, USA

 

well-worn doormat
by the church’s side entrance
12 step meeting

Sari Grandstaff
Saugerties, NY

 

May gray
on the doormat
a silent song bird

Seretta Martin
United States

 

under the coconut coir the keypad code keiu

simonj
UK

 

garden work
a green trace
on the doormat

Slobodan Pupovac
Zagreb, Croatia

 

new bride
the stainless welcome
on doormat

Srinivasa Rao Sambangi
Hyderabad, India

 

my doormat –
hidden dust from roads
stars and kisses

Stoianka Boianova
Bulgaria

 

assisted living
her old doormat
says home

Susan Farner
United States

 

nibbling walnuts
on the doormat
prodigal squirrel

Susan Rogers
United States

 

lockdown days –
our welcome doormat
on a sabbatical

Sushama Kapur
Pune, India

 

walks
all over me
doormat

Tanvi Nishchal
India

 

the whiff of stew
through the neighbours door
an invisible hi

Taruni Aditya Patala
Singapore

 

doormat to carpet
dusty shoes become
dustless

Teiichi Suzuki
Japan

 

doormat
my descent
into nothingness

Tiffany Shaw-Diaz
United States

 

anniversary
sweeping the doormat
for the in-laws’ visit

Tim Cremin
Massachusetts

 

winter sun –
our cat enjoys the doormat
in front of the house

Tomislav Maretić
Zagreb, Croatia

 

prodigal son
the welcome mat
misnamed

Tracy Davidson
Warwickshire, UK

 

rainy season
new ceramic umbrella stand
near to welcome mat

Tsanka Shishkova
Bulgaria

 

under the mat
an intruder finds the key –
coronavirus

Valentina Ranaldi-Adams
Fairlawn, Ohio USA

 

doormat the key no longer there

Victor Ortiz
Bellingham, WA

 

old doormat…
memories
of all our dogs

Vladislav Hristov
Bulgaria

 

still on the doormat last year’s maple leaf

Wendy C. Bialek
az, usa

 

a doormat
grandmother’s hand weaving

Zdenka Mlinar
Hrvatska

 

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.

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 18 Comments

  1. A lovely selection and much food for thought. Thanks everyone.
    I was drawn to the following for different reasons…

    reversing the doormat
    I welcome myself
    to the world
    … Helen Ogden

    Maybe the end of lockdown and isolation… lots of dreaming space.

    derelict hut
    a welcome mat
    of daisies
    …. Louise Hopewell

    I can picture this scene, maybe on a long hike. Such a bright and somehow cosy picture. If only the doormat could talk.

  2. Another great selection of thought-provoking poems. Congratulations to all the poets! Many thanks to Kj for including mine and to Lori for the administration of the column. There are so many wonderful interpretations of the theme. One that will stick in my mind because of its gloriously cinematic image is…

    temporale…
    un capriolo rannicchiato sullo zerbino

    thunderstorm…
    a roe deer curled up on the doormat

    Giuliana Ravaglia
    Bologna (Italia)

    Fabulous! I look forward to reading next week’s selection.

  3. Thanks so much for featuring my haiku among so many brilliant, diverse observations on the theme.

  4. Thank you kj for including my haiku. I love this exercise each week, congratulations to all poets.

  5. with each step
    creeping along the carpet
    doormat

    Keith Evetts
    UK

    An unexpected reveal, the motion of the inanimate, but a familiar phenomenon that delights in the senryu and mildly frustrates in reality.

  6. Thank you for including my poem in this week’s Dialogue. Some of my favorite selections:
    .
    still on the doormat last year’s maple leaf

    Wendy C. Bialek
    az, usa
    .
    In the context of the last year we have all had, this poem gets at the feeling of long isolation that many of the other poems express without directly stating anything about the virus or isolation. This subtlety also gives it the flexibility to be enjoyed out of context, as well, as a poem more generally about the way time can slip away without much change.
    .
    doormat
    my descent
    into nothingness

    Tiffany Shaw-Diaz
    United States
    .
    Shaw-Diaz’s haiku stands out from the pack for its sudden interiority. There is something mysterious and tense about the poem’s abrupt “descent / into nothingness.” Does the speaker feel like a doormat, stepped on by everyone until she is ground down into oblivion? Or is she standing at a doorway, about to cross over the threshold into her own personal hell? Sometimes home is a place where we are made to feel like nothing.
    .
    condemned home
    on the stoop
    a welcome mat

    Marilyn Ashbaugh
    usa
    .
    Ashbaugh says so much with the contrast here between the “condemned home” and the welcome mat, which symbolizes a safe place for a family that embraces others openly. But here, the mat is the remainder of a time when the building had life and love and hope, everything that has been lost to time and unfortunate circumstances. With these simple contrasting images, Ashbaugh has written a poem full of sorrow at the impermanence of the things we hold dear.

  7. I am so pleased and grateful to have my haiku published here once again.
    I did enjoy reading all the lovely haiku selected this week. Congratulations to to everyone!

  8. Another fine collection of verses, congratulations to all.

    This one. for me, sums up the loneliness many have talked about and felt during lockdown

    doormat…
    my only
    ‘welcome’
    – Ana Drobot

  9. How lovely to enjoy reading and writing on simple things highlighted in series of “door to door” and many other themes written in so many beautiful interpretations and images here.

    Some out there maybe couldn’t believe that this short kind of writing style but holds meaningful things brings a certain happiness and good mental exercise too….Off course it includes the comments, discussions, appraisals and friendship developed around the world in it too…

    Congratulations to all friends selected 🥂💐.

    1. How lovely to enjoy reading and writing on simple things highlighted in series of “door to door” and many other themes written in so many beautiful interpretations and images here.

      Some out there maybe couldn’t believe that this short kind of writing style but holds meaningful things brings a certain happiness and good mental exercise too….Off course it includes the comments, discussions, appraisals and friendship developed around the world in it too…

      Congratulations to all friends selected 🥂💐.

  10. Dear kj—Thanks for giving a place to my collared kitten on the doormat.
    Love to read the haiku featured every week—they give a whole new perspective about the theme.

    Your commentary on the top featured ones is interesting and all the haiku selected are powerful, especially this one:

    always beneath you doormat

    Deborah P Kolodji
    Temple City, California

  11. assisted living
    her old doormat
    says home
    /
    Susan Farner
    United States
    /
    This haiku is written about a very timely topic. There are many older people who reside in assisted-living facilities. Some of these facilities provide good care and some do not. However, regardless of the quality of care, for some the facility is and never will be a substitute for home.

  12. I am so grateful to have my haiku included here this week, Kathy, thank you. Congratulations to everyone on these wonderful haiku. Still reading through them. This Haiku Dialogue continues to be a highlight of my week.

  13. prodigal son
    the welcome mat
    misnamed
    /
    Tracy Davidson
    Warwickshire, UK
    /
    Just because the mat at the door has “welcome” written on it doesn’t mean everyone who comes to the door is welcomed. One can only wonder what was the rift between the son and the parent.

  14. Thanks to the editor for sharing my contribution. Beautiful verses by all the published authors.

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