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HAIKU DIALOGUE – Finding peace and contemplation… in leisure time… flying kites

Finding peace and contemplation… in leisure time 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… making art

Children are unforced artists and will happily spend hours building sand castles, gluing paper or painting. The process as much as the product, often the messier the better, gives them joy. For adults art can be an outlet for emotions, a soothing pursuit which enhances memory and reasoning, a boost to mental resilience and an aid for recovery. Whether sumi-e brush painting, etching, collage, life drawing, photography, sculpting clay or constructing video installations, different avenues of creativity offer many rewards. I look forward this week to reading your haiku about your artistic endeavors.

The deadline is midnight Eastern Daylight Time, Saturday April 30, 2022.

Please use the Haiku Dialogue submission form below to enter one or two original unpublished haiku inspired by the week’s theme, and then press Submit to send your entry.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 & residence 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 flying kites:

This week you flew me back to my own childhood with your poems of kites of all types, in all weathers, at different times of day and in many different places. Flying kites can be quite competitive, judging by memories of broken strings from epic tussles between siblings. I identified with the haiku about a kite found still wrapped in plastic in a father’s attic. I have one in a box, as yet unused by grandchildren, and will make sure I get it out now! I hope you enjoy the selection and choose your own favorites. Thank you to all poets, and thanks again to Kathy, Lori and The Haiku Foundation.

icarus winds—
from soaring high
to a nosedive

Sondra Byrnes
United States

This striking haiku is immediately relatable to a reader associating it with kite flying. Capricious kites are prone to do exactly that – reverse dive and plunge headlong into the ground – not because their paper wings are burnt by the sun, but because they suddenly lose what wind there is. Taking the poem less literally, the poet could have in mind the unexpected reversals of fortune which occur in many situations of work and life where all looks to be on course, until suddenly the metaphorical wind changes and we’re bound for a fall whether we like it or not.

at the line end first poppy bloom

Robert Kingston
Essex, UK

A simple seven-word monoku or monostich which intrigues for its unusual focus. When one expects the kite flier to be keenly looking up and following the play of the kite string high above, either their attention or that of a companion is diverted to a splash of red, a first spring bloom in the grass. Perhaps the kite is not airborne but has come down in a field, its string trailing towards this small botanical discovery, which for the observer is a bonus which makes up for a crashed kite.

freeing the kite
i stay awhile
in the oak branches

P. H. Fischer
Vancouver, Canada

This haiku appealed to me on first reading because of its reflective tone. Line 1 conveys the action of scrambling up into a big tree and unraveling a snarl of lines. That done, I imagine the poet’s attention turned more closely to their surroundings – the thick limbs of the oak, its lettuce-green leaves, dappled light, birdsong. Having attained this high and quiet place the poet is loath to climb down again, perhaps remembering childhood pleasures of tree houses and being up close with nature, safe and unseen. Different cultures consider encounters with trees – forest bathing or shinrin-yoku – to be beneficial for health and well-being.

kite flying
I follow the path
to anywhere

Lori Kiefer
London, UK

How well this haiku captures the exhilaration of flying a kite! The poet pays more attention to the sky than to their feet, and their kite steers them every which way, a zigzag traverse across pasture, beach, or playing field. The flier stumbles along behind the kite, not minding where they go or where they end up. It’s all part of the fun!

brisk wind
tethered
for the flight

Susan Bonk Plumridge
London, Canada

An economical six-word haiku which opens up several interpretations. It’s an interesting turnaround to imagine the wind, not the kite, as the agent being controlled by the flier. We can’t see the wind. To know it’s blowing we register how it moves trees, grass, clouds and our hats. Until the poet’s kite is fully airborne it’s at the wind’s mercy. When the string is fully played out and the kite hangs almost motionless we imagine the wind is stilled too. Another reading could be that the poet is belted into a plane seat, perhaps their first flight after a long period of being grounded, and glimpses a tarmac windsock streaming out in the wind.

taut string—
the lessons the wind
passes down

Laurie Greer
Washington, DC

Just like feeling the tugs on a fishing line and knowing what to do at a critical moment, the poet is acutely aware of changes in tension on the kite string. Their reaction translates into an instinctive grasp of what the kite, and the wind, will do next. Wind holds messages for us as it does for other land animals regarding scent, sound and weather changes. As the poet implies, the information is there. It’s up to us to learn how to interpret it.

my brother’s ashes
hitch a ride
on a kite tail

Mary Vlooswyk
Calgary, Canada

A one-sentence haiku which evokes a sense of sadness yet does so with a lightness of touch. The reader may imagine a solemn moment when a loved one’s ashes are dispersed, then sense a lifting of spirits as lighter remains are carried further by the wind, in an unexpected fashion.

& here are the rest of the selections:

kite running
the wind in my ears
sings in Pashto

John Hawkhead
UK

 

flying kites . . .
I set free
my inhibitions

Lakshmi Iyer
India

 

a red kite
touching the day moon
a father’s lullaby

marilyn ashbaugh
edwardsburg, michigan usa

 

same old story . . .
wind, kite
kite-eating tree

Deborah Karl-Brandt
Bonn, Germany

 

in my dream I am
a kite minus the string
spring breeze

Stephen A. Peters
Bellingham WA

 

kite festival
a professional’s drone
films the amateurs

Richard Straw
Cary, North Carolina

 

paper kite
plum blossoms flutter
with its tail

Marilyn Ward
UK

 

untethered
two red kites circle
a windless sky

Christopher Peys
Los Angeles, CA

 

daydreaming
a kite
cutting another

Aparna Pathak
Gurugram, India

 

swallowing
a piece of cloud
dragon kite

Teji Sethi
India

 

star filled night
nobody around except
the flying kites

Vibeke Laier
Randers, Denmark

 

kite in a tree
her brush set unused
after motherhood

Ravi Kiran
India

 

dusk sky . . .
memories of my child’s kite
fading slowly

Milan Rajkumar
Imphal, India

 

dancing wind
little fingers control moves
of a cobra head

Rajeshwari Srinivasan
India

 

migratory geese—
my kite at the head
of a V-shaped flight

Neera Kashyap
India

 

scarlet sky
a crow competes
with my kite

Nisha Raviprasad
India

 

flock of starlings—
in the pink clouds
a kite

stormo di storni—
tra le nuvole rosa
un aquilone

Dennys Cambarau
Sardinia, Italy

 

On the downs,
Dad’s hand over mine
tugging at heartstrings

Vivienne Tregenza
Penzance

 

an untethered kite
flies across the day moon
chaotic thoughts

Anitha Varma
Kerala, India

 

letting out the line
our laughter
takes flight

Tina Mowrey
United States

 

gathering tea flowers
along the mountain path—
the monk’s spring kite

Deborah Anne Bennett
Carbondale, Illinois USA

 

losing my kite
I try to let go of
what isn’t mine

Srinivas S
Rishi Valley, India

 

flying kites—
will I ever find out
where is my brother

Aljoša Vuković
Croatia, Šibenik

 

evening sky
i rhyme the tether
to a kite’s dance

Subir Ningthouja
Imphal, India

 

behind the front lines
swallowtail resting
on a blue and yellow kite

Elena Malec
Irvine, California

 

confused wind
flying kites
reading the world

Teiichi Suzuki
Japan

 

Kodak moment
running along the shore
with our box kite

Marion Clarke
Warrenpoint, Northern Ireland

 

heart-shaped kite
the pull of his love
still not visible

Hifsa Ashraf
Rawalpindi, Pakistan

 

kite wind
teasing at the stitching
of my coat

Herb Tate
UK

 

Giant dragon kite—
a caterpillar
once it soars

Jenny Shepherd
London

 

kite flying
the thread connecting
heaven and earth

Lorelyn De la Cruz Arevalo
Bombon, Philippines

 

origami kite
on my table
. . . no strings attached

Ram Chandran
India

 

kite lesson—
this old dream of
having wings

Nicole Pottier
France

 

kite moon
a string connecting
you and me

Surashree Joshi
Pune, India

 

after the rain
the kite tail
a rainbow

Dan Iulian
România

 

sight seeing
following kites and eagles . . .
Mary Poppins

Alfred Booth
Colombes, France

 

father daughter time
we repair more
than my kite

Tracy Davidson
Warwickshire, UK

 

crumpled kite
caught among branches
osprey nest

Sharon Sheppard
Magnolia, DE

 

spring sky
air heady with the chants
of “kai po che”

(Kai po che implies a cry of victory yelled out when you defeat your opponent in a kite flying challenge, and would translate as “Gotcha!” in American English.)

Vandana Parashar
India

 

school yard koinobori
boy’s samurai dreams flutter
in the wind

(Koinobori – ‘carp streamer’ in Japanese; carp-shaped windsocks traditionally flown in Japan to celebrate Children’s Day on May 5)

Joe Sebastian
Bangalore, India

 

butterfly kite
how she keeps me
on a string

Bryan Rickert
Belleville, Illinois USA

 

farfalle in volo
più su più su più su
sull’ aquilone

flying butterflies
higher higher higher
on the kite

Angiola Inglese
Italia

 

paper kite
his dream of traveling
to exotic places

Rehn Kovacic
Mesa, AZ

 

the red kite
high up in a pine tree
dreams I cannot escape

John S Green
Bellingham, WA

 

cloudless morning—
tethered dragons
guard the skies

Alan Peat
Biddulph, United Kingdom

 

Silver Strand State Beach
the kiteboarder looks into the eye
of the wind

Marcie Wessels
San Diego, CA, USA

 

once again
higher than a kite—
another relapse

Mark Meyer
Mercer Island WA USA

 

kite flying
still learning the skill
to let go

Arvinder Kaur
Chandigarh, India

 

kite in the wind
sudden urge
to sing a dylan’s song

Keiko Izawa
Japan

 

in the trunk
a home-made kite
that used to dance

Keith Evetts
Thames Ditton UK

 

garbage bag
to murmuration
homemade kite

Mariel Herbert
California, USA

 

two line delta kite
the way he likes
to take control

Ingrid Baluchi
North Macedonia

 

so high up away
nothing I can see but
the endless string

风筝高飞去
渐入云霄无踪影
唯有线漫漫

feng zheng gao fei qu
jian ru yun xiao wu zong ying
wei you xian man man

Xiaoou Chen
Kunming, China

 

changing wind—
a smile and a kite
for my son

vento che cambia—
un sorriso e un aquilone
per mio figlio

Daniela Misso
Italia

 

three friends
play with the wind
one kite between them

Pat Davis
NH USA

 

dropped string
the kite flies away
above the horizon

Stoianka Boianova
Bulgaria

 

summer evening
a neighbour’s kite
flying to the moon

Muskaan Ahuja
Chandigarh, India

 

spring colors
hang gliders shine
over the mountain

Minko Tanev
Bulgaria

 

a dime store kite
with a tail of rags
memories in the wind

Susan Farner
USA

 

my inner child . . .
a kite of moonbeams
dancing

Veronika Zora Novak
Canada

 

ill wind
the death spiral
of my kite

Cynthia Anderson
Yucca Valley, California

 

near gale
flying kites’ skeletons
return to sender

Padmasiri Jayathilaka
Sri Lanka

 

kite fight it takes two to tangle

Susan Burch
Hagerstown, MD, USA

 

sky wars
an angry bird flies
over the kitty kite

Bona M. Santos
Los Angeles, CA

 

my kites—
nesting in trees
next to robins

Dan Campbell
Virginia

 

bombing—
dreams and kites fall
in silence

bombardamento—
sogni e aquiloni cadono
in silenzio

Maria Teresa Piras
Sardinia, Italy

 

I tug on the kite strings
as the fog rolls in—
losing you again

Sari Grandstaff
Saugerties, NY, USA

 

flying away with my kite morning sky

Roberta Beach Jacobson
Indianola, Iowa, USA

 

ocean bluff
the undulating tentacles
of an octopus kite

Bruce Feingold
Berkeley, CA USA

 

kite fighting
my brother and I take turns
until he lets go . . .

Adele Evershed
Wilton, Connecticut

 

dragon chasing
gull
chasing fish

Peggy Bilbro
Alabama

 

two kids on the sand
holding on to the strings
of life long friendship

Ronald Degler
Harbor City, California

 

beach kites
the blue edge
of memory

Ann K. Schwader
Westminster, CO

 

milk thistle breeze
the skies filled
with monarch kites

Richard Matta
San Diego, California

 

no kites
a child living under
bombs

Chad Lee Robinson
United States

 

kite festival
a murmuration of kids
on the beach

Claire Vogel Camargo
USA

 

second childhood
lessons in kiting
from my son

Jonathan Roman
United States

 

dancing kite
the child in me
soon joins in

layangan menari
sisi anak kecil diriku
segera bergabung

Christopher Calvin
Kota Mojokerto, Indonesia

 

rooftop sky . . .
grandson’s laughter
sways the kite

Neena Singh
Chandigarh, India

 

paper kite
a bit of the sky
in the boy’s hand

Minal Sarosh
Ahmedabad, India

 

climbing up the tree . . .
my best friend’s
bat kite

Geoff Pope
Paducah, Kentucky

 

lonely sky
a white-tailed kite
wheels over a kite

John Zheng
Mississippi

 

giggles swoop
and soar
kite flying

Louise Hopewell
Australia

 

children’s day
the koinobori still
in plastic

James Gaskin
Fukushima, Japan

 

cherry blossoms dancing kite rotates its shining tail

Tsanka Shishkova
Bulgaria

 

Tango no sekku
the carp streamer made by dad
now in my son’s hand

(Tango no sekku – a traditional calendrical event which is now designated as Children’s Day 子供の日 Kodomo no hi, a national holiday in Japan)

Mirela Brăilean
Romania

 

yellow and red
pink and blue
fly me to the sky

Margaret Mahony
Australia

 

floating my kite
I learn to handle
the loops and the flops

Mona Iordan
Romania

 

spring kiting
yet anchored
by the past

C.X. Turner
United Kingdom

 

windy day—
kites chase each other
over the waves

Elisa Allo
Zug, Switzerland

 

flying dragons—
an old man
daydreams

Mark Scott
Hardwick, Vermont, USA

 

dog park
the rising kite
gets Fido’s send off

Madhuri Pillai
Australia

 

Independence Day
Orchard Beach fireworks
light my kite’s tail

rick lawson
United States

 

flying kites
in May on Gods’ day
the wind wins

chuck mains
Coatesville, PA

 

runaway
a flying kite in a game
with clouds

Slobodan Pupovac
Zagreb, Croatia

 

aquilone . . .
ancora ti rincorro
mia scapigliata primavera

kite . . .
I still run after you
my disheveled spring

Giuliana Ravaglia
Bologna, Italia

 

a brisk breezy day—
the dragon kite
takes me far away

Día de brisa enérgica
El barrilete dragón
me lleva lejos

Julia Guzmán
Córdoba, Argentina

 

dream of peace
flying high and following me
a kite

sogno di pace
vola in alto e mi segue
un aquilone

Luisa Santoro
Rome, Italy

 

autumn—
the remains of a kite
in the shade of a tree

Otoño
Los restos de un barrilete
en la sombra de un árbol

Jorge Giallorenzi
Chivilcoy Argentina

 

my kite’s string
cuts the day moon
ma’s pearl in two halves

Melanie Vance
USA

 

mountain breeze
she lets loose her kite
to somewhere blue

Barrie Levine
Massachusetts USA

 

spring moon—
a tattered kite breathes its last
on my trellis

Mona Bedi
Delhi, India

 

yellow kite, blue sky
all the people who want
to go home

Lafcadio Orlovsky
USA

 

summer beach
adults flying kites
children trying to fly them

Olivier Schopfer
Geneva, Switzerland

 

soaring high
with the colors of the wind
i hold on to my dreams

Didimay D. Dimacali
Norwalk, California, USA

 

entangled kites
the twiny tethers
of our romance

Jackie Chou
United States

 

truce . . .
a boy fixes
his kite

Florin C. Ciobica
Romania

 

a gull making
no headway against the wind
kite moon

Tim Cremin
Massachusetts

 

the last one
leaves home—
kites in the wind

Sharon Martina
Illinois, USA

 

kites in still in the plastic Dad’s attic

Lorraine Padden
San Diego, CA USA

 

kite meditation
releasing my worries
to the wind

Kath Abela Wilson
USA

 

flying kites—
we measure the height
of the sky

Ash Lippert
South Carolina, USA

 

light wind
my sons run fast enough
to get their kite up

Nancy Brady
Huron, Ohio, USA

 

I dance with kites
in spring wind we tango
until we’re tangled

Susan Rogers
Los Angeles

 

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 13 Comments

  1. Congratulations to all the poets! Thankful to be among them. Much thanks to Marietta, Kathy and Lori for keeping the faith here. 🪁

  2. Thanks for including my “no kites”, Marietta! Some really good selections again this week.

    1. It’s a poignant poem, Chad. A haunting reminder of the true costs of war:

      no kites
      a child living under
      bombs

      Chad Lee Robinson
      United States

      Thank-you Marietta for including my poem and for your insightful commentary. It’s always an honour to be present on this page. Thanks also to kj and Lori for all you do!

      Peace,
      Peter

  3. Haikitingreat to read all these!
    At the moment, I especially like:

    the red kite
    high up in a pine tree
    dreams I cannot escape

    John S Green
    Bellingham, WA

    Thank you, Marietta, for including my “…bat kite.”

  4. Thank you Marietta for another week of inspiration and for including mine in your commentary section.
    Congratulations to all poets.
    Thanks also to KJ and Lori.

  5. Once again so many wonderful haiku full of energy and movement! Thank you Marietta for the prompt and all the poets for sending your haiku kites into the clouds! I loved them all, but the following one one struck me as emotionally powerful.

    father daughter time
    we repair more
    than my kite

    Tracy Davidson
    Warwickshire, UK

  6. Thanks Marietta for another fine selection. This is sublime, including the ‘string’ coming out of “string”:

    taut string—
    the lessons the wind
    passes down

    Laurie Greer
    Washington, DC

  7. Flying high here with all the kites in the air. Impressive haiku here with a quick read of a first pass. Truly touched by Lafcadio’s haiku of yellow kite, blue sky as social commentary of world events (at least that’s my reading of it). Sharon Martina’s haiku certainly resonated with me as well. Just a couple from a quick reading; more gems later when I have the time to read…thanks Marietta for including one of mine in this high-flying column.
    .
    Congratulations to you all.

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