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HAIKU DIALOGUE – Finding peace and contemplation… in hidden corners – Photo Four

Finding Peace and Contemplation… in hidden corners with Guest Editor Marietta McGregor

At times in our lives, fast-moving events of our day-to-day existence may become overwhelming. Between work and family responsibilities, daily needs and doomscrolling, days rush by in a breakneck blur and we sometimes end the week with a sense of ‘where did that go?’ We’re surrounded by the wonders of our shared universe. Maybe it’s time to become immersed in the enjoyment of one aspect of this spectacular world which amazes, delights and refreshes us. We can marvel at the night sky or clouds by day, cheer a ladybug as it climbs a twig and opens its wings, dangle our feet in a cool river, rest in a tree’s benevolent shade, stroke velvety green moss, smell ozone freshness at the coast, crunch through frosty grass, listen to morning birdsong, taste a last autumn apple. Small pauses in quotidian life may be devoted to living slower, using every sense, and sharing our pleasure through poetry. Simple gifts.

Each week for the next few weeks there will be a photographic prompt on the theme of ‘Finding peace and contemplation. . .’ with images capturing moments when we might seek inspiration if the going gets tough. I look forward to reading your personal response to the moments you’ve discovered.

next week’s theme: in hidden corners Photo Five – leafy trellis

Villa San Michele on the island of Capri near Naples was the home of Swedish physician, writer and bird-lover Axel Munthe (1857-1949). On the mountainside behind the villa he established a sanctuary for migratory birds, which until then had been heavily trapped and netted. This green arbour with its winding path leads into his sheltered garden perched high above the sea, a haven for songbirds. We can’t see where the path will take us. Our life takes unexpected turns too. You are invited to share your haiku inspired by the prompt, or by your own hideaway havens.

The deadline is midnight Eastern Daylight Time, Saturday April 03, 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Please use the Haiku Dialogue submission form below to enter one or two original unpublished haiku inspired by the week’s theme, and then press Submit to send your entry.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 Marietta’s commentary for Photo Four – window garden

Poets inside looking out, poets outside looking in. Either way, I enjoyed your enthusiastic responses to the hidden corners of this window and beyond. As well as the plants, cobwebs, tools and plant pots all provided visual stimuli for your thoughts. There were literary and artistic allusions, and some poets were obviously thinking along very similar lines in their responses to the prompt. The disarray in the picture also prompted some haiku about loss and regret. Your room with a view provided many wonderful and intriguing poems, so again, thank you all very much, and thanks to Kathy, Lori and THF for the opportunity to be part of Haiku Dialogue.

spiderwebs—
a window full
of untold journeys

Peter Jastermsky
Morongo Valley, California, USA

Lacy, elastic, dense, sticky, strong as steel. These are just a few words that can be used to describe the incredible architectural marvels of spiderwebs. Spiders can be a symbol of fear for some people. Others, while not arachnophobes, prefer not to be the first morning walker along a garden or forest path. Running into the glistening web of a golden orb spider strung from branch to branch can be a shock! But love them or loathe them, spiders stand in our minds for daily industriousness. The images of this evocative haiku make me think of the myriad threads of journeys undertaken everywhere, not only by diligently weaving spiders but also by every other creature, including us. We may never know what the journeys are or where they go. The poet sees the window and its webs as a microcosm of these wider roamings. Think of all the travel every day on what used to be called the World Wide Web, the vast and complex internet where we also open windows. ‛Untold journeys’, that’s for certain. A haiku with many dimensions of mystery and allure.

window garden—
my first attempt
at reading SF

Ana Drobot
Romania

We get a good idea of how the poet views this tangled window from the juxtaposition used in Lines 2 and 3. How many lovers of science fiction remember their first foray into the field? For me, it was American writer Ray Bradbury who captivated me with his dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451, written in 1953. Good science fiction can transport the reader into other dimensions, igniting a lifelong passion. Conversely, the twists and turns into fantastic, futuristic and unknown territory far removed from reality can leave a reader cold and uninvolved. The overgrown vegetation and odd, not quite recognisable, shapes looming in the window have acted on the poet’s consciousness to evoke a memory of a first reading of an imaginative book. From the tone of the haiku, we don’t know if the reading was enjoyable or a turnoff, but as the reading was a ‛first attempt’ we can hope for the poet’s sake it was the start of an enjoyable continuing encounter with the SF genre.

summer house . . .
the closet cricket sings
to those outside

Tomislav Maretić
Zagreb, Croatia

This poignant haiku can be read in different ways. Crickets are an autumn kigo. Perhaps the summer season has ended and the summer house has been closed and locked up until the next time its family comes to stay. One occupant remains inside the house, shut in a closet. The cricket responds to the evening chirps of its fellows in the garden. The poignancy here is that we will never know if the insect will escape from its prison, or perish before next summer’s return when cupboards will be flung open and aired for the holidays. The haiku speaks to any situation where separation or entrapment has occurred for whatever reason, whether human conflict or natural disaster. Of course, a more optimistic reading is possible. Like many summer places, the house may be rustic, old and creaking, built of clapboard, weatherboard or logs with many hidden places and gaps between the boards. So the cricket is not trapped, but can escape to sing in the garden any time it wishes.

below are the rest of the selections:

open window looking past
things that hold me back
spring breeze

Stephen A. Peters
Bellingham, Wa. USA

 

view through the window—
my sadness
between the flowers

Aljoša Vuković
Hrvatska

 

weaver bird—
picking up the strands
of unwritten stories

Teji Sethi
India

 

window garden—
doorway
to my world

Amrutha Prabhu
India

 

An open window
a hand moves
delicate silk lightly

Dejan Ivanovic
Lazarevac, Serbia

 

daydreaming
a titmouse scolds
and scolds

Deborah Karl-Brandt
Bonn, Germany

 

hoya’s first blooms . . .
from an old friend
buried today

Marilyn Ashbaugh
United States

 

a rain shower
hides the far hill—
the tea steeps

Kathleen Vasek Trocmet
Texas, USA

 

flowers—
in the gray cement
is spring

Maria Luisa Bartolotta
Melilli (Syracuse) Italy

 

art nouveau window
bindweed lifts
the setting sun

Orense Nicod
Paris, France

 

cuttings
of my favorite roses—
chipped vases

Angiola Inglese
Italia

 

reading glasses
on the windowsill—
lingering snow

Lafcadio Orlovsky
USA

 

through the paper screen
night scent
of red plum blossoms

Teiichi Suzuki
Japan

 

suddenly Madame Butterfly in the cannabis garden

Pere Risteski
North Macedonia

 

empty pots
filling the room
with conversation

Vandana Parsahar
India

 

tempering sambar
my Indian neighbour’s rush
for curry leaves

(sambar – Indian spicy lentil)

Arvinder Kaur
Chandigarh, India

 

rain on the window
a droplet tracks a path
through my daydream

John Hawkhead
United Kingdom

 

At sunset
an old spider weaves
its canvas

Vincenzo Adamo
Sicily (Italy)

 

clubhouse
eavesdropping
each corner with spiderwebs

Anna Yin
Ontario, Canada

 

lost in the jungle
of an untended garden . . .
my reflection

Tracy Davidson
Warwickshire, UK

 

late afternoon
the hill in the window’s
edges harden

Alan Peat
Biddulph, United Kingdom

 

cuttings wait inside
shadowed by
the silver maple

Debbie Feller
IL, USA

 

drowsy daydreams
spotting a big pumpkin
I hear Cinder’s coach

Sushama Kapur
India

 

jungle window—
like Henri Rousseau
I see tigers

Dorothy Burrows
United Kingdom

 

childhood garden
a daisy seed packet
still closed

Daniela Misso
Umbria Italy

 

photophobia
the crack in the drapes
birch wide

Ben Oliver
Stroud, England

 

twitter
at the birdhouse window
room violets

Zdenka Mlinar
Hrvatska

 

in the corner
a cutting of lavender
just enough light

Rehn Kovacic
Mesa, AZ

 

grandma
sewing mama’s wedding dress
and come down to me

Nani Mariani
Australia

 

window garden—
I daydream of travelling
to unknown countries

Diana Teneva
Bulgaria

 

first day of autumn
sun shadows
through the spider’s web

Margaret Mahony
Australia

 

lockdown
the curtain from the attic
full of stars

Mirela Brăilean
Romania

 

viewing distant mountains
from the kitchen window
mayfly and I

Ingrid Baluchi
Ohrid, North Macedonia

 

plant lover
even her tools
in a clay pot

Pat Davis
Pembroke, NH USA

 

day moon
a secret i keep
to myself

Meera Rehm
UK

 

closed window . . .
still a whiff of champak
in my braided hair

Kavitha Sreeraj
Hyderabad, India

 

third floor
my window is
my garden

Minal Sarosh
Ahmedabad, India

 

looking through
this shattered window
lilac blossoms

Mark Meyer
United States

 

cuttings stuck in jam jars
what will grow
from a year inside

Laurie Greer
Washington, DC

 

quarantine
the shadow of spring
in the window

Mariangela Canzi
Italy

 

garden path
behind the B&B
a gurgling brook

Kanjini Devi
The Far North, Aotearoa NZ

 

glimpse of yellow
water lilies in a ditch
my train roars past

Dana Rapisardi
United States

 

morning prayer
the koel’s song
in every room

Neena Singh
Chandigarh, India

 

late autumn . . .
the nudging of house plants
on rusted panes

Milan Rajkumar
Imphal, India

 

World Women’s Day—
in covid time pc screens
full of flowers

Luisa Santoro
Rome, Italy

 

window garden—
the spring we lost
last year

Ana Drobot
Romania

 

bay window
a caged bird’s song
lights up the sweet peas

Keiko Izawa
Japan

 

snowmelt
greenhouse seedlings
learn sunlight

Ann K. Schwader
Westminster, CO

 

through
each window pane
a world

Carole Harrison
Jamberoo, Australia

 

in hidden corner
listening to my dreams
philodendrons

Lisbeth Ho
Indonesia

 

purple sunrise
all is well
in the garden

Robert Kingston
Essex UK

 

falling petals . . .
a secret meaning
in each of them

Rosa Maria Di Salvatore
Italy

 

through the porthole
a pod of dolphins
chasing sunset

Greer Woodward
Kamuela, HI

 

watering my plants
through the open window
the sound of rustling leaves

Olivier Schopfer
Switzerland

 

old shed
under the window
failed raku bowls

Helga Stania
Switzerland

 

indoor plants . . .
more and more oxygen
to my thoughts

Elisa Allo
Switzerland

 

after the gallery
all the blue of the sea
in one breath

Maria Teresa Piras
Serrenti – Italia

 

old school—
triffids lash out
through the gloom

Helen Buckingham
United Kingdom

 

surprise . . .
beneath the pot plant leaves
a yellow toadstool

Carol Reynolds
Australia

 

downsizing . . .
her window garden
expands

Michele L. Harvey
Hamilton, NY USA

 

once again
she asks about grandpa . . .
potted memories

Marion Clarke
Warrenpoint, Northern Ireland

 

rusted tool box—
all those things
I could never set right

Akila Gopalakrishnan
Hyderabad, India

 

a child’s spade faded voices fill the air

Margaret Walker
Lincoln, NE, USA

 

drawing back the curtains—
the morning bath of birds
in the river

Julia Guzmán
Córdoba. Argentina

 

a curtain of vines and herbs
only clear glass
holds us in

Peggy Hale Bilbro
Huntsville, Alabama

 

cottage garden—
so many
shades of green

Nick T
UK

 

kitchen window
a hummingbird and I
study each other

Edna Beers
USA

 

gallery window
plum blossoms just past
the Monet

Bryan Rickert
Belleville, Illinois USA

 

sunlit potting trowel—
the dark places
we go

P. H. Fischer
Vancouver, Canada

 

silence—
tiptoeing
in gran’s secret room

Cristina Povero
Italy

 

a child’s tale
with snails and butterflies
shadows dance too

Alfred Booth
Colombes, France

 

life’s stages
in my Ikebana—
a bud, flower, fading leaves

Melanie Vance
USA

 

down time
staring out the window
at nothing

Tim Cremin
Massachusetts

 

signs of spring—
yet the old gardener’s tools
left to rust

Carole MacRury
Point Roberts, WA USA

 

thick vines climb high
around the windowseat
my private jungle

Pris Campbell
USA

 

spring garden
on the sleeping dog’s ear
a mason bee

John Green
Bellingham, WA USA

 

our first kiss
in the indoor garden
cat’s eyes

Maya Daneva
The Netherlands

 

the scented shadows
of a jasmine bush
room with a view

Mona Iordan 
Bucharest, Romania

 

multi-paned window
a hummingbird
changes the channels

Lorraine A. Padden
San Diego, CA

 

old gardener
fluent
in the language of seasons

Barrie Levine
United States

 

window garden . . .
a part of me flies away
with every rose petal

Ivan Gaćina
Zadar, Croatia

 

garden angels
I ask the houseplants
what to do next

Susan Rogers
Los Angeles, CA

 

a stained-glass window
bejewels bygone days . . .
antique shop

Valentina Ranaldi-Adams
Fairlawn, Ohio USA

 

library nook—
just Pablo Neruda
and me

Carol Judkins
Carlsbad, California

 

a glimmer . . .
inside
the isolation room

Didimay D. Dimacali
USA

 

from one
comes many
basil scented hands

Wendy C. Bialek
AZ, USA

Guest editor Marietta McGregor is a fourth-generation Tasmanian who has made her home between Australia’s national capital Canberra and the scenic south coast of New South Wales for over four decades. A lover of the natural world since childhood, she went on to study botany and zoology, and has worked as palynologist, garden designer, science journalist, editor, university tutor, education manager, and grants developer for the national wildlife collection. A photography and travel enthusiast since retiring, she enjoys capturing fine detail of fleeting moments. She came late to haiku, which appealed for its close observation and poetic expression of ephemeral experience. Her haiku, haibun and haiga have been widely published, have won awards and appear in anthologies.

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 19 Comments

  1. Thank you Marietta for including my haiku. Honoured to be a part of “Haiku Dialogue”.
    Congratulations to all haiku friends selected this week.

    Anna Yin

  2. Thank you once again to Marietta for an inspiring image and prompt and a really useful commentary. Thanks also to Kj and Lori for all your administration of this wonderful column. Congratulations to all the poets featured. As usual, it has been a delight to read everyone’s work. Of the very many that will linger in my mind, here are two that I particularly enjoyed….

    weaver bird—
    picking up the strands
    of unwritten stories

    Teji Sethi
    India

    A great image. For me, writing is all about finding strands of untold stories so this is a poem I will definitely remember!

    gallery window
    plum blossoms just past
    the Monet

    Bryan Rickert
    Belleville, Illinois USA

    I have really missed visiting art galleries and museums recently so Bryan’s poem was a glorious reminder of something to look forward to. Many thanks!

  3. Thank you, Marietta, for including my haiku in this beautiful weekly collection.
    Congratulations to all the authors!

  4. Thought provoking haiku from stimulating prompts. Lovely work Marietta. A few that caught my attention for their sweet layers of meaning and dreaming space . . .

    Falling petals . . .
    a secret meaning
    in each of them
    …. Rosa Maria Di Salvatore

    rusted tool box —
    all those things
    I could never set right
    …. Akila Gopalakrishnan

    window garden . . .
    a part of me flies away
    with every rose petal
    … Ivan Gacinas

    library nook —
    just Pablo Neruda
    and me
    …. Carol Judkins

  5. downsizing . . .
    her window garden
    expanding
    Michele L Harvey

    One of the many gems of this collection – so inspiring are your photos and comments around them. They will stay with me for a long time. Thank you for including my poem in the column too. Many thanks to the THF team.
    Congratulations to the selected poets and to all participants!

  6. I wish to thank you Marietta for including my haiku. Delighted and honoured to be a little part of “Haiku Dialogue” again.
    Congratulations to all haiku friends selected this week.

  7. Thank you, Marietta, for your lovely photos that again inspired memorable images like these:

    snowmelt
    greenhouse seedlings
    learn sunlight
    Ann K Schwader

    childhood garden
    a daisy seed packet
    still closed
    Danielle Miso

    downsizing . . .
    her window garden
    expanding
    Michele L Harvey

  8. I thank Marietta Mc Gregor for having
    inserted my haiku in the selection. A very pleasant and intense reading, I heard these verses of Akila Gopalakrishnan very close
    rusted tool box—
    all those things
    I could never set right
    very very real.
    Congratulations to all the authors

  9. The prompt for the final week of March will be my last as Guest Editor for the time being. I’d like to thank everyone for participating so wholeheartedly in our weekly dialogue. I’ve greatly enjoyed your varied and delightful responses to the photographs, and am looking forward to reading your haiku prompted by this week’s garden trellis image.

    Happy writing, all!

    Marietta

    1. Thank you for the great journey Marietta.

      doffing his cap
      the chimney sweeps lad
      points skyward

  10. Another great selection Marietta. Thank you for including mine.
    Thanks also to KJ and Lori for their ongoing dedication.

  11. Thanks as always, KJ and Marietta, and congratulations to all selected. Many good ku, but l did especially enjoy Margaret Walker’s one-liner, for its poignancy and lightness of touch, and Lorraine A. Padden’s ‘multi-paned window’, such a sweet image. And I couldn’t help wondering if Ana Drobot’s ‘window garden’ wasn’t referencing ‘The Day of the Triffids’ (see my ku)!

  12. Apologies – we are having technical difficulties with the submission form for Haiku Dialogue – the team is working on it – thanks for your patience! kj

  13. “Haiku Foundation” has been my window to the world of haiku. Thank you to Teji Sethi for introducing me to this world.

    Congratulations to all participants and kudos to the selected ones.
    Humbled by have mine listed here. Gratitude!

    Great job by the team THF. Looking forward for my learning journey.

  14. Congrats to all the poets who were selected this week. Thank-you to Marietta for including mine. Thank-you to all those at the Haiku Foundation who help make this column a reality.

  15. A wonderfully thought-provoking collection of poems this week, too, and a really helpful commentary from Carole. I enjoyed reading the selection and found many poems memorable. One I particularly admired because of its topical theme was:

    window garden—
    the spring we lost
    last year

    Ana Drobot
    Romania

    A lovely response to the image! Congratulations, Ana!

    Also, many thanks to Carole for including my poem in the column, and to Lori for all the administration you do. I look forward to reading next week’s selection!

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