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HAIKU DIALOGUE – Haiku Prism – Blue

Haiku Prism – A World in Color

During this dark time we could all use something to brighten up our weeks. I believe that each one of us carries an inner light that can be a source of solace for others. So let’s take that light and channel it through the magic and wonder of haiku to express our world in all its glorious colors. Let’s let haiku be our prism.

Each week I will be providing a new color for you to meditate on and write about. You do not need to name it in your haiku, simply let it be an aspect. You can take this in any direction you like from various flora & fauna, fruits & vegetables, clothing items, celestial bodies, household objects, etc…to various associated moods. Even think in related colors such as pink for red or gold for yellow. I am also happy to accept sub-genres including scifaiku and mythku.

next week’s theme: Green

Please send up to two unpublished haiku by clicking here: Contact Form, and put Haiku Dialogue in the Subject box. The deadline is midnight Eastern Standard Time, Saturday, April 18, 2020.

Selected haiku will be listed in the order they are received with a few chosen 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 can be added as blog comments.

Below is my commentary for Blue:

Blue is a color rife with emotion. It is the color of sorrow and faith, of wisdom and truth. The haiku presented this week certainly reflect this range and depth. I think it highlights as well the exceptional talent of our diverse community. A great thank you to each and every one of you for your submissions. You make Haiku Dialogue the success that it is. I hope this week finds you safe and healthy and that you will enjoy this deep dive into the color blue.

stealing berries
on her hands the stain
of that one small sin

Michele L. Harvey

Sometimes as children we don’t even mean to break the rules. The berries just look so tasty! I can imagine the little girl’s panic after delving into those delicious treats. There’s just no way to hide what she’s done! The interweaving of religious terminology brings a new dimension to this common scene and allows for multiple interpretations. A well-crafted senryu.

taupe sky
as far as our scanners
can see

C.R. Harper

Our blue skies are a hallmark of our planet’s atmosphere. What better way to represent an alien environment than to remove what is comforting and familiar and replace it with something so opposite to our way of life. Not only is there a sense of disorientation but also a resignation in the outlook of these explorers. An enjoyable alternative haiku.

wild violets . . .
my desires
in quarantine

Manoj Sharma

I know that in isolation my need for others and for connection has grown and that that need is only growing stronger by the day. Not only do I crave connection, I hope for life to return to normal, to a time when I didn’t fear a trip to the grocery store, to a time when I wasn’t daily checking a death toll. Much like wild violets, these desires for normalcy are vast and strong. None of us could have emotionally or mentally prepared for this, but we can continue to reach out and join in online communities like this one to keep us going.

on a cresting wave
the complete OED

Laurie Greer

There are countless haiku about sunlight glinting off of water and the emotions it elicits inside of us, but I have yet to read one like this. We have the intensity of movement, the thrill of the blue wave as it peaks with the brilliance of light in that moment, combined with a dictionary. Yet, it works perfectly. If you have ever experienced this sight it can certainly feel like it encompasses all of language itself. How incredible then that all of this can be conveyed in eight words. Absolutely delightful.

The following are the rest of my selections. It is a joy every week to read your work, and if you have yet to submit your haiku or engage in the comments section below, I encourage you to take that plunge! Happy reading!

ocean ekphrasis
jotting down synonyms
for the color blue

Jackie Chou, Pico Rivera, CA, USA


bluewater sailing
a bell among the
outermost skerries

Randall Herman


big sky
all that blue
in my eyes

Stephen A. Peters


blue and white china
and no one to inherit
a service for twelve

Ben Teal


rain-washed sky
the blue lighter
in the child’s eyes

Mona Iordan


wheat fields…
the blue light
of cornflowers

Rosa Maria Di Salvatore


flowing river…
I dip my feet
in its rhythm

Muskaan Ahuja, Chandigarh, India


oh, his blues
van Gogh

Christopher Seep


coronavirus –
the blue of ambulance
beyond a curve

coronavirus –
il blu dell’ambulanza
dietro una curva

Dennys Cambarau, Italy


blue moon —
how often do i see you

Willie Bongcaron


on the windowsill
the scent of agapanthus
staying home

sul davanzale
il profumo di agapanto*
restando a casa

*agapanto: flower of love, intense blue color and very fragrant

Angela Giordano, Italy


on blue willow plates…

Pat Davis, NH


the perfume of
that lapsed friendship

Nancy Liddle


spring rain
the bluebird rejects
another nest box

Kristen Lindquist


her mood
shifts to indigo

Rehn Kovacic


Her left eye
different from the right
black and blue

Niki Curatti


zoo . . .
a small boy searches for
a Smurfette

Ivan Gaćina, Zadar, Croatia


we’ll meet again. . .
a forget-me-not placed
in a ‘get well’ card

carol jones


blue …
deep silence
in me

Daniela Misso


blue moon
never standing
more alone

Michael Henry Lee


quiet sea …
every thought becomes

il mare calmo … ogni nostro pensiero / rimpicciolisce

Lucia Cardillo


domestic abuse
I watch as the sky
turns black

Vandana Parashar


walking blue room
to another blue room

Pamela A Babusci


my eyes open
to the sky

Hassane Zemmouri


blown from its nest
the whole sky
in a robin’s egg

Bryan Rickert


running late
blue light
fills my car

Jason Freeman


second thoughts
as the sapphire ring
Itches her finger

Rajeshwari Srinivasan


uncertain when
we will ever meet again

Olivier Schopfer, Switzerland


I didn’t know…

Jessica Wheeler


buttercup . . .
when we once
were stars

Veronika Zora Novak


blue covers
of my new book –
mother’s eyes

Zdenka Mlinar


the crack of blue
in the thawing sky
my bones

Lisa Anne Johnson


long trail
…………to oasis
desert bluebells

Deborah P Kolodji, Temple City, CA


watching the clouds
from inside
blue skies

Christina Chin


crossing the range
those distant blue hills
really green

Carol Reynolds


the blues in the night…
I put mood indigo
on the turntable

Mark Meyer


ashes scattered
on the hillside

Leslie Robert


the dance
of periwinkle buds
it’s a boy

Isabel Caves


my baby’s eyes
match mine

Margaret Mahony


ripped jeans
her threadbare plea
to fit in

Rashmi VeSa


blue sky…
the cat fixing
it in its eyes

Lakshmi Iyer


I awake
in a gravelly haze…
Satchmo’s voice

Ann Rawson


the long wait
till our next
blue moon

Peggy Hale Bilbro, Alabama, USA


a ribbon
in my lunch box
morning glory

Agus Maulana Sunjaya, Tangerang, Indonesia


blue iris ……
I forgot
the color of the sky

Angiola Inglese


leap of faith –
baby bluebird’s
first flight

Edna Beers


breaking through
to blue

Ann K. Schwader, Westminster, CO


deep blue
the color of her eyes
and my rejection

paul geiger, California


sapphire brooch
pinning grandma’s love tale
to my lapel

Marisa Fazio


winter’s eve
purrs from under the blue

Roberta Beach Jacobson, USA


ink smear
botching yet another
letter of apology

clifford rames, Freehold, NJ


baby-blue yarn
a perfect sphere
if I blur my eyes

Althea Meer


bluebell path
we settle on
positive topics

cezar-florin ciobîcă


housebound thoughts
a swarm of morphos
on the tree trunk

Hifsa Ashraf, Pakistan


blue cross
my pets become
their pets

Radhamani sarma


neighbour’s new arrival
a gift for the baby
in traditional blue

Madhuri Pillai


the black feather’s
blue edge

Louise Hopewell


three-year-old grandson
requests a blue one
Covid-19 mask

Shirley Brooks


blue ribbon
tying my happy days

Eufemia Griffo


lavender lotion
the azure lace
of her thong

Joshua Gage


working from home
nothing but blue skies
on my screen saver

Kimberly Esser, Los Angeles, CA


Holy Saturday
another cloud drifts
across the blue

Frank Tassone


cloudless day
but nowhere
to go

Bona M. Santos, Los Angeles, CA


all the silence
in the blue hour
sheltering in place

Don Miller


grape hyacinth
the child I once was
in the garden

Xenia Tran


this ache
to be loved. . .
cerulean blue

Terri French


city streets…
the blues
on every block

Margaret Walker


on both sides
of the barbed wire
wild blueberries

Rich Schilling, Webster Groves, MO


hokusai’s great wave
in my small cup

Kath Abela Wilson, Pasadena, California

Guest Editor Tia Haynes resides in Lakewood, Ohio, near her beloved Lake Erie. She was featured in New Resonance 11: Emerging Voices in English-Language Haiku and has appeared in journals and anthologies worldwide. Much of her inspiration comes from the landscape and people of the American Midwest as well as life with her two small children. Her chapbook, leftover ribbon, (Velvet Dusk Publishing) is available on Amazon. Follow her on Twitter: @adalia_haiku

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).

This Post Has 23 Comments

  1. blue moon
    never standing
    more alone
    Michael Henry Lee
    This reminded me of the song “Blue Moon” and captures the mood beautifully.

    1. Thank you all of you for this beautiful work and Tia especially for speaking deeply and strongly in an intro that expresses what we are all going through and drawing us all together in her chosen haiku. I love them all.

      And Laurie Greer’spoem with the weight of the OED is stunning…how heavy how rich this world that rises before our eyes…too heavy to hold!

      Thank you Peggy Hale Bilbro for holding my tiny cup with me…tenderly.

      I want to read, to hold this all in my heart slowly and savor it.

  2. Thank you for including my “city streets” in this diverse collection of perspectives on “blue”.

    A few that stood out for me –

    ashes scattered
    on the hillside

    Leslie Robert

    The connection between the scattering of ashes and “forget-me-nots” is especially sad during this time os so many deaths. There is a simple beauty to this poem that paints a picture in my mind.

    ripped jeans
    her threadbare plea
    to fit in

    Rash VeSa

    A totally different perspective here – the “blue” of the jeans and the “blues” of a youth hoping to be accepted. Perhaps a universal experience.

    blue ribbon
    tying my happy days

    Eufemia Griffo

    Just love this haiku! “tying my happy days together”. While a first thought is of treasured letters, I also wonder if the poet is referring to past days or a new habit if treasuring happy days during current hard times.

    this ache
    to be loved. . .
    cerulean blue

    Terri French

    Assigning a specific shade of blue adds to the meaning of the haiku. “Cerulean” is a warm color – its origin from the Latin for “deep blue”.

    These are just a few that stood out for me in this wonderful collection.

  3. Thanks for including my poem Tia. This is another beautiful collection, with perhaps more poignant poems than we saw with the yellow prompt. There were many wonderful poems, but here are two that stood out for me. If I named more, I would end up going on and on!

    hokusai’s great wave
    in my small cup
    —Kath Abela Wilson, Pasadena, California
    I love the intimacy of the tea cup with the grand motion of Hokusai’s blue wave. Lovely juxtaposition.
    the black feather’s
    blue edge
    —Louise Hopewell
    This is one of those poems that makes me think, Wow! I never thought of that! Beautiful and unique image in six simple words.

  4. Thank you Tia for yet another array of lovely verses.

    One that particularly struck me this week was –

    her mood
    shifts to indigo
    Rehn Kovacic

    All over the world, evolving realtime, we are encountering different phases of social distancing -home isolation, quarantine, lockdown. The blues do get to most of us aided by extensions of lockdown and the social dynamics in a cooped up home. This verse indicates the mood shift through colour, gaining a deeper tone.

    Stay well and safe !

    1. Thank you, Rashmi, for commenting on my poem. I’m so glad that you saw something in it. You also stay well.

  5. Lovely collection. The lockdown and the stress seems to have taken a toll on me. Much love to all.

    1. My Dearest Arvinder
      That is so sad to read, my deepest positive thoughts I send to you.
      Just a suggestion, although you may be doing this already.
      Write your thoughts in a prose and pick out words to express your feelings in a verse, I’m sure you know about the structure of Haibun, a great way to relay your deeper thoughts, if possible add a few photos.
      Even if you don’t share them your words will be a social document of this time, and in
      years to come could be of interest not only to yourself but to future generations of
      your family and others.
      Above all, keep safe stay well.
      Carol x

      1. Dear Carol

        This is so kind,so generous. I am touched that you stopped by and commented. It has given me so much support. That’s what all of us are there for. And what a wonderful idea. Yes,I am trying and am sure keeping afloat. And you stay safe ,stay healthy too. Lots of love and best wishes to everyone.

        Hugs to you

    2. Arvinder, thank you for your honesty. It is a stressful time, and I remember you lost your mother last year as well. I always look forward to your poetry here, and miss them when not shared. Debbie

  6. Thank you for publishing my haiku among all these so full of meaning and emotions.

  7. I love all the different directions these haiku poets went with blue! From sadness and the blues to the joy of blue sky to the ocean and blue jeans… Among my many favorites:

    This one made me laugh out loud:

    running late
    blue light
    fills my car

    Jason Freeman

    So so true and well put:

    wild violets . . .
    my desires
    in quarantine

    Manoj Sharma

    Enjoy the structure of this one:

    breaking through
    to blue

    Thank you, Tia, for coordinating this extended ode to blue!

  8. Thank you for this beautiful edition Tia, so many wonderful haiku here. I was especially taken with
    big sky
    all that blue
    in my eyes
    Stephen A. Peters
    Thank you so much for featuring my entry too. It looks as if I made a typo during submission and it should read:
    grape hyacinth
    the child I once was
    in the garden
    Xenia Tran

  9. A delightful potrayal of emotion and humour.
    Thankyou Tia for adding mine to the list, well done to all poets.
    flowing river…
    I dip my feet
    in its rhythm
    — Muskaan Ahuja
    I like the soothing sound of the river and the sensation of the water’s coolness. A lovely refreshing effect to lift the spirit.
    stay at home
    hokusai’s great wave
    in my small tea cup
    — Kath Abela Wilson
    The juxtaposition of the wave and the small tea cup, made me smile. I feel the author has a positive outlook to the self isolation rules, and is just getting on with it. A great attitude portrayed here.

  10. So many amazing poems this week! Thanks so much, Tia, for picking out mine. About 30 years ago I saw the sun light up the complete OED in my fellow grad student’s scruffy apartment. It was a sight I never forgot. It resurfaced when you said “blue.”
    Stay well everyone and keep writing!

  11. Loneliness, isolation, and joy in Just being…blue eyes and ones that have been blackened by abuse…and Just the having the blues. What a collection of blue haiku. I will read them more thoroughly as the week goes on, but Jessica Wheeler’s post-partum blues, gut-wrenching. I think many new mothers go through a little of this, but for those who seriously suffer with those emotional roller coaster feelings, it can be devastating.
    Thanks for a wonderful column, Tia.

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