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HAIKU DIALOGUE – Haiku Prism – White

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: Red

Please send up to two unpublished haiku by clicking here: Contact Form, and put Haiku Dialogue in the Subject box.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, May 23, 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 White:

Growing up, the color white felt like a contradiction. On one hand, I was taught that it signifies things such as purity, faith, and goodness. Yet, on the other hand, it elicited feelings of fear. I spent much of my youth in and out of doctor’s offices and hospitals, where the white of the doctor’s coat became a symbol of pain and loss. Reading through submissions this week, I felt that same dichotomy. For all the beauty and levity it can possess, the color white seems to also be rife with turmoil, not just for me, but for many of you as well. The haiku selected this week represent that spectrum.

Within this week’s haiku and senryu, there were a few that explored the varied facets of innocence, a commonly associated quality with white. I’d like to delve into those a bit deeper.

whispers
a child counting
the fawn’s white spots

Claire Vogel-Camargo

What a beautiful picture. In this captured moment, a child’s simple fascination becomes a delight for all to share in. I’ve watched my own children attempt to count the spots on a fawn, and it is a pure joy to watch. Simple and unpretentious, this haiku has managed to encapsulate the innocence of childhood in eight words.

the light
of his promise
white lily

Cristina Apetrei

I see the lily here as a sign of devotion, as well as a nod to the innocent belief in the goodness of others. It seems that she has been let down before, and this promise is a light in the darkness of disappointment. We are not told who this man is, it could be a father, a husband, or a friend. I appreciate that as a reader I am left to draw my own conclusions.

ivory satin
she felt she shouldn’t
wear white

Nancy Brady, Huron, Ohio

I get the sense that the woman here perceived herself as having “lost innocence,” or was too “impure” to wear the traditional white, I assume, for her wedding day. The word “shouldn’t” here makes me wonder if these beliefs are more from cultural influence than her own sense of self, as truly any color is beautiful on a wedding day.

Thank you all for your submissions, and I look forward to reading your “red” haiku. Here are the rest of this week’s selections. Happy reading!

quarantined
I watch the clouds
pass by

Stephen A. Peters

 

leaping
into my arms
my blind dog’s smile

Kanjini Devi

 

loneliness
white so distinct
in the empty space

Lakshmi Iyer

 

white screen
suddenly all words
escape me

Rehn Kovacic

 

predawn garden
a vague sign of
white peonies

Teiichi Suzuki, Japan

 

May bride…
a bunch of white roses
in her hands

Rosa Maria Di Salvatore

 

hospital room
a worried look
at the white ceiling

Slobodan Pupovac, Zagreb, Croatia

 

spring
my dreams still
black and white

Vandana Parashar

 

chastity-
a handful of rice
blesses the newlyweds

vincenzo adamo

 

crescent moon
her sparkling smile
to greet him

Rajeshwari Srinivasan

 

loneliness…
the face of the fog
on the quay

solitudine…
la faccia della nebbia
sulla banchina

Daniela Misso

 

first daub of paint
on Spring’s canvas
plum blossom

Christopher Seep

 

sea smoke
veiling the islands
my own fairy tale

Kristen Lindquist

 

still
the scent
of lilies

Carolyn Coit Dancy, Pittsford, New York

 

Sunday mass
the hole in her
white lace gloves

Jenn Ryan-Jauregui

 

stained gardenias
the muddy imprints
of your words

Jackie Chou, Pico Rivera, CA, USA

 

farewell letter
filling the white space
with butterflies

Eva Limbach

 

first snow
an urban grey
but still

Nancy Liddle

 

first snowfall…
the wonder
in his eyes

Margaret Mahony

 

dogwood blooms
the beautiful ways
you deceived me

mShane Pruett

 

last call…
in my travel bag
wedding dress

Tsanka Shishkova

 

north wind
lilies of the valley
shelter in place

Xenia Tran

 

Perseids shower
for just a moment my wish
flashes

Susan Rogers, Los Angeles, CA

 

snowflakes
seeking my
twins

Sudebi Singha, India

 

breastfeeding
under the tree
white magnolias

Güliz Mutlu

 

orange blossoms…
the contrariness
of snow

Michele L. Harvey

 

temple courtyard
a white dove
perched on my palm

TANPOPO Anis

 

whitewater
a hawk airing its wings
mid-river

Tim Cremin

 

triage —
the relentlessness
of white lilies

Eva Limbach

 

drifting among
my floaters
a white cloud

Alex Ben Ari

 

white cherry tea
little lies
starting so sweet

Laurie Greer

 

in an old suitcase
her ivory cameo
wrapped in satin

Mark Meyer

 

so late to bed
but oh those
moonflowers

Pat Davis, NH

 

yin and yang
the dark shadow of
a white dress

Bakhtiyar Amini

 

two springs
since she left…
white hydrangea

due primavere da quando se n’è andata … ortensia bianca

Lucia Cardillo

 

foraging
I pick the mushrooms
from her salad

M. R. Defibaugh

 

Ascension Day
a field of white
dandelions

Laurie D. Morrissey

 

the white lies
you could have told
drooping lilies

Isabel Caves, New Zealand

 

in her wine glass
chilled chenin blanc
and empty rooms

Jacqueline Watanabe

 

three winters
embroidering her own dress
spring bride

Marisa Fazio

 

old notebook—
in between caricatures
some adolescent wisdom

Madhuri Pillai

 

chardonnay –
how i got over
his white lies

arvinder kaur, Chandigarh, India

 

in the silence
wings of seagull
flicker in the sky

Elisa Allo

 

lake foam
bringing up debris
spring cleaning

Kathleen Mazurowski

 

white magnolia petals
crinkled with brown –
I add face cream to the list

Jessica Wheeler

 

white chrysanthemum
petals liter
an old grave

Judith Hishikawa, NY

 

morning news
heavy patches
of dense fog

Margaret Walker

 

white noise –
my radio hisses
Covid updates

Dorothy Burrows

 

all-white outfit
cobbled from her closet–
second wedding

Cynthia Anderson

 

beyond
my breaking point…
magnolia blossoms

Hifsa Ashraf, Pakistan

 

a cricket’s song…
switching off
the white noise machine

Cristina Angelescu

 

dirty snow
winter’s end
at my doorstep

Rich Schilling, Webster Groves, MO

 

moving day
the white lilac shrub
scatters its perfume

cezar-florin ciobîcă

 

still night
moon shadows slide
over snowdrifts

Edna Beers

 

snowdrops
a whisper of spring
in the melt

Devin Harrison, Canada

 

white birches
she starts reading
Anna Karenina

Mona Iordan

 

a white belly feather
near the burrow
the eyes of a raccoon

Astrid Egger

 

rolling with
the white tipped waves
wild swimming

Karen Harvey, North Wales

 

a new day…….a new sheet of paper

wendy c. bialek, az, usa

 

rafts of white foam
on the river
just as I dreamed

Jonathan Alderfer

 

the white flag
of surrender
her wedding veil

Charlotte Hrenchuk

 

evening walk
the crescent moon leaps
from puddle to puddle

Wendy Notarnicola

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. Tia, thanks for including my poem, and thanks to Dorothy and Margaret for mentioning my poem! I’m glad you both were able to appreciate the intended twist! The idea was to also bring to mind the danger in foraging for the wrong mushrooms, which could be another reason to pick them from a salad. Dorothy, you had one of the more unique and appropriate approaches to white this week. The radio hissing with pandemic updates has an eerily apocalyptic feel to it, as well.
    *
    white noise– / my radio hisses / Covid updates
    Dorothy Burrows
    ***
    Margaret, you did well with your take on the news. It is subtly white and reflects the lack of clarity regarding the future of this pandemic, especially. The fog is too heavy at times!
    *
    morning news / heavy patches / of dense fog
    Margaret Walker
    ***
    I also liked this one reflecting on some social isolation:
    *
    in her wine glass / chilled chenin blanc / and empty rooms
    Jacqueline Watanabe
    *
    White wine is a smart why of referencing the color without saying it, and then the empty rooms do it again.

  2. Thanks to Tia for this week’s incisive commentary and for including my poem in this lovely selection. Again, I find it difficult to select favourites as I have enjoyed reading them all. I was particularly drawn to M.R. Defibaugh’s

    foraging
    I pick the mushrooms
    from her salad

    I love the surprise of the last line. Until that point, I had a scene in a forest in my head. It also reminded me of the first time I put a salad with mushrooms on the table!

    I also very much liked Mona Iordan’s

    white birches
    she starts reading
    Anna Karenina

    This reminded me of the joy of reading a classic novel and the way it transports the reader to another place and time. I enjoyed the image of snow-covered birch trees and that the novel is Anna Karenina. Maybe the snow will have gone by the time the reader has completed it!

    I also loved Claire Vogel-Camargo’s

    whispers
    a child counting
    the fawn’s white spots

    Magical!

    1. Dear Dorothy Burrrows,
      .
      Thank you so much for your lovely comment on my haiku! Your word was magical for me.
      whispers
      a child counting
      the fawn’s white spots
      .
      And congratulations on your haiku included which was/is spot on in these times. The “hisses” has impressive connotations of the white noise of radio, static, and warning/danger of a snake strike! Well done!
      white noise –
      my radio hisses
      Covid updates
      .
      Thank you, Claire

      Dorothy Burrows

  3. Greetings to everyone–thanks, Tia, for another outstanding selection; I thought this group was especially strong and subtle.
    Impressed with everything, and notably:
    *
    loneliness
    white so distinct
    in the empty space

    Lakshmi Iyer
    *
    love how this captures the vulnerability of the moment–every detail seems sharp and searing
    *

    white screen
    suddenly all words
    escape me

    Rehn Kovacic

    *
    well, I guess we’ve all been there. An honest and accurate report–and also a successful turn-around of the difficult situation
    *
    loneliness…
    the face of the fog
    on the quay

    solitudine…
    la faccia della nebbia
    sulla banchina

    Daniela Misso

    *
    love that you give it a face–that both enhances and eases the loneliness somehow
    *
    sea smoke
    veiling the islands
    my own fairy tale

    Kristen Lindquist

    *
    a nice invitation to the reader to create his/her own tale! and lovely images
    *

    first snow
    an urban grey
    but still

    Nancy Liddle

    *
    yup, know what you mean. Love the “but still”
    *
    yin and yang
    the dark shadow of
    a white dress

    Bakhtiyar Amini

    *
    I kept toying with yin/yang ideas but couldn’t get anything going. This shadow image is perfect.
    *
    Also enjoyed the other iterations of white lies
    Looking forward to seeing the reds! Stay well one and all

    morning news
    heavy patches
    of dense fog

    Margaret Walker

    *

    1. Thank you Laurie, for commenting on my haiku. I appreciate your taking the time to read and acknowledge so many of the poems in this selection.

      Margaret Walker

  4. Thank you Tia for including my “morning news” in this excellent collection.

    Two that especially caught my eye were –

    white magnolia petals
    crinkled with brown –
    I add face cream to the list

    Jessica Wheeler

    A unique twist on “magnolia petals” (and one I can identify with!)

    Another was

    foraging
    I pick the mushrooms
    from her salad

    M. R. Defibaugh

    This one made me chuckle. Evidently I am not the only one who picks the mushrooms from the salads of those who don’t like them. I will now always think of it as “foraging”.

  5. Ascension Day
    a field of white
    dandelions
    .
    Laurie D. Morrissey
    .
    .
    Perfect timing… and the tension of anticipation.

  6. Thank you, Tia for including my ‘blind dog’ verse. I thought long and hard about leaving out the word ‘blind’. I went with it to honour our beautiful Uma, who was our darling all-white fostered dog 🙂

    1. Hi Christopher – it does vary, but generally well over 100 submissions/week of one or two poems each to Haiku Dialogue… I think the record was 165 or so, but that was many months ago… with thanks to the poets – of course! – but also to our fabulous & dedicated guest editors… cheers, kj

  7. Many good ones but this one by Margaret Walker is fantastic!

    morning news
    heavy patches
    of dense fog

    Margaret Walker

  8. A mixed reaction this week to the theme of ‘white’, as Tia pointed out.
    Expected were the white flowers (so many of them lovely), the wedding-related poems (mostly from the female perspective), the moon, waves, snow and fog.
    I tried to get away from this, offering a different perspective, but my submission (x 2) were not included. I’m disappointed because both spoke of my strong feelings of current events. Not sure if they were considered, possibly, too dark for these times?

    1. Post them here so we can also appreciate them. I think Tia has encouraged that for those who are disappointed.

      1. Thanks, Peggy, for the invite.
        I’m sorry if my comment sounded like a moan; I respect the editors’ choices over the many weeks this has been evolving, (would not myself like such responsibility) so if work doesn’t get included, so be it…. I’ll just do a couple of handstands in a corner somewhere and try again next time. 🙂

  9. Dear Tia,
    I am thrilled and honored that my haiku was commented on by you today. My heartfelt thanks and appreciation. I enjoy and learn from all of your comments, and look forward to reading all of the haiku selected here. So many fine poets and poems each week.
    .
    whispers
    a child counting
    the fawn’s white spots
    .
    Claire Vogel-Camargo

  10. Thank you for this beautiful collection Tia, I especially love the imagery in
    .
    whitewater
    a hawk airing its wings
    mid-river
    .
    Tim Cremin
    .
    Thank you so much for including my poem too.

  11. What a collection of haiku this week. I understand the feeling of dichotomy. From white lilies, snow, innocence to the darker side of white, all the shadows, there is so much to explore and contemplate. I like Wendy’s new sheet of paper like a new start, a new chance, a new day. I also found Charlotte’s wedding veil and surrender to be multi-layered…is she surrendering to norms or settling or…?
    .
    Thanks Tia for the comments on my haiku. I am excited that you felt it had something worth commenting on. I had so many iterations of it (couldn’t, wouldn’t, shouldn’t) trying to strike the right balance. I think many young women have felt this way. Thanks again.

    1. I didn’t put this in my commentary but I know I felt that way when I was planning my second wedding. I really debated on whether or not it was appropriate for me to wear white. I eventually decided to forgo what other people thought and wore a beautiful white dress that I cherish to this day.

        1. Well done ladies for having that inner strength and doing what you felt was the right thing for you on your important day… I can almost hear those whispers 🙂
          .
          Another marvellous read, one and all. Congratulation poets.
          So many goodies, but this one made me stop and think, and yes, she’s right, even more so during these days of woe.
          .
          a new day a new sheet of paper
          —wendy c. bialek
          On times we say and/ or do things in the spur of the moment, and often it is something we may later regret. In these testing times I would think even more so.
          Hopefully people whether friends, neighbours or family, will understand and start anew.
          A thoughtful and thought provoking verse. Well done.

    2. Thank-you for your comment on the wedding veil poem. I had hoped people would see the layers and similarities between the flag & the veil.

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