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HAIKU DIALOGUE – Opposites Attract – above/below

Opposites Attract

Hello – kj here – I will be taking the reins again for the next few weeks, with the theme ‘opposites attract’. The prompt each week will be a pair of opposites – feel free to be inspired by one or the other, or both! I hope this draws you towards excellent haiku – the way the compass, even in these uncertain times, will always settle on ‘North’…

                  compass needle


next week’s theme:  OPPOSITES ATTRACT – loud/quiet

The deadline is midnight Pacific Daylight Savings Time, Saturday September 12, 2020.

Please submit one or two original unpublished haiku inspired by the week’s theme by clicking here: Contact Form. Please put Haiku Dialogue in the Subject box, & include your name as you would like it to appear, & your place of residence, with your poem. I look forward to reading your submissions.

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 above/below:

On behalf of Lori Zajkowski & the rest of The Haiku Foundation team, thanks as always for all the kind comments – I am choosing not to reply to each one, but know that I do read them & your words are so appreciated! I would also like to mention at this time that along with the poems that I select to comment on every week there are many other excellent haiku… thank you poets! kj

summer’s end
migrating birds above
the refugee camp

Cristina Apetrei

Here, at the end of summer, the birds move on, but the refugees do not… or perhaps they do, but not following a regular route the way the birds do…

turbulent seas
stomach rolling
with each swell

Edna Beers

A rough sea can be unrelenting when one is in the middle of it, especially below deck…

video conference
his smart collar and tie
over hawaii shorts

Ingrid Baluchi

A timely take on above & below, & a reminder for those of us who might be using video for physically-distanced business meetings…

a child fills the footpath
with rainbows

Louise Hopewell

Sidewalk chalk drawings in the neighbourhood always seem to brighten the day… & not only during lockdown – what a joyful picture!

lost –
instead of stars

Marilyn Ashbaugh
Wichita, Kansas

People used to navigate using the constellations… now, in urban areas at least, they are much more likely to look up to see familiar landmarks…

lunch time…
mother’s call
from the balcony

Mohammad Azim Khan
Peshawar Pakistan

In this poem, the poet describes a simple scene – perhaps from the neighbourhood or from memory – that encapsulates not only the prompt of above & below, but also a wonderful haiku moment…

have an appointment
to meet the boss
seventh floor

Nani Mariani

A unique take on the theme, looking at the hierarchy within a company as illustrated by the superior view from the higher office window…

stuck between floor

Roberta Beach Jacobson

& further, on the way to the seventh floor, perhaps, we find we are either above or below where we thought we were headed…

& here are the rest of my selections:

pandemic heaven help us

Adrian Bouter


below zero
on the high wire
a murder of crows

Agus Maulana Sunjaya
Tangerang, Indonesia


ground apple –
a climbing worm
above the petiole

mela a terra –
un verme arrampicato
sopra il picciolo

Angiola Inglese


grandma’s spectacles
perched on her head

arvinder kaur
Chandigarh, India


a young cloud floats
in old pond

Ashish Singh


harvest moon –
only a slight ripple
from her fishing net

Astrid Egger


tiny tidepool waves…
the little bluecrab boxes
with his shadow

B.A. France


guessing how long
he’ll keep his position

Bakhtiyar Amini


drone’s eye
traffic crawl
into ribbons

Bona M. Santos
Los Angeles, CA


passionate night

Brăilean Mirela


river mist
a curve of egrets
rise above it

Bryan Rickert


old pond
the stars make room
for water lilies

cezar-florin ciobîcă


working overtime
doing nothing

Charles Harmon
Los Angeles, California


constellation –
a homeless man counts
his dreams

Cherry A
Assam, India


hunter’s moon –
the bobtail squid
adjusts its flashlight

Corine Timmer


power outage –
banjo concerts
in the basement

Dan Campbell


her light
reflecting in the pond…

la sua luce
riflessa nel laghetto…

Daniela Misso


shooting star –
she puts more wood
on the campfire

Debbie Scheving
Bremerton WA


small suns bloom
in the green

Deborah Karl-Brandt


small boat
the Sagano train
above us

Deborah P Kolodji
Temple City, California


spring twilight –
sitting below wisteria
above the wall

Dennys Cambarau


love on the beach
sunshine on your back
a fire through me

Dianne Moritz


those piano years –
treble and bass clefs
always in discord

Dorothy Burrows


lying on the grass
we fly with a hawk
above the clouds

Elisa Allo


looking for roots –
something extra
of the mirror

Giuliana Ravaglia
Bologna, Italia


seesaw –
my granddaughter and her
first love

Gordana Vlašić


the whale twists 360°
as it breaches
I double down on yoga

Greer Woodward
Waimea, HI


summer moon…
counting the stars
to forget you

Hassane Zemmouri


peaks and troughs
no rope available
till the next blue moon

Helen Buckingham
Somerset, UK


a hint of green
at the darkening sky
reflecting lake

Helga Stania


the blueness of sky

Hifsa Ashraf


morning lament
a song sparrow above
chirps in agreement

Jackie Chou
Pico Rivera, CA USA


a duck

John S Green
Bellingham, WA


longer nights
the children track shooting stars
out of our lives

john hawkhead


airplane sound –
in the empty street
they practice parkour

Jorge Alberto Giallorenzi


summer storm –
an eagle flying
above the clouds

(eagles are the only birds that look for shelter flying above the clouds when there is a storm)

Julia Guzmán


heat haze
above the traffic jam
a white butterfly

Juliet Wilson
Edinburgh, Scotland


a corn moon
harvesting husks
for my pet goats

Kanjini Devi


bowled over by waves
I hardly know which way
is up

Karen Harvey


angel trumpet
I learn to pose
upside down

Kath Abela Wilson
Pasadena California


made up
to disguise
the years

Kathleen Mazurowski


morning drizzle…
a rainbow
in my eyes

Lakshmi Iyer


below zero
never sure when their parents’ icy silence
will snap

Laurie Greer
Washington DC


last year’s leaves
under trembling water…
spring sprinkles

Laurie Morrissey


the spin of moths
have you forgotten
your mask

Lisa Frank


below the bed
forgotten shoes
the sun sleeps in them

Ljiljana Dobra


lichen ensuring an unmarked grave

Lorraine A. Padden
San Diego, CA


from the plane’s window
I see only clouds above
become clouds below

Lorraine Schein
Queens, NY


the sky
has no answers
but I keep looking

M. R. Defibaugh


parked car
from the oak above
magpie blessings

Madhuri Pillai


on the hilltop
a giant white cloud

Manoj Sharma


cliff top…
the waves
seduce me

Margaret Mahony


above the pain
I dream

Margaret Walker


confinement –
I share my silence
with the moon

Maria Teresa Piras


first bungee jump
this could be heaven
or this could be hell

Marion Clarke


wilting lilies
under the overpass
a white bicycle

Maxianne Berger


a mountain cottage
the peak reflection
in the bathroom mirror

Maya Daneva
The Netherlands


reflecting pond
a motionless cloud
meditates too

Michele L. Harvey


prayers –
how I cheat god
for heaven

Milan Rajkumar
Imphal India


star portals
fireflies embody
the urge to God

Minko Tanev


deep night’s woes
the stars above

Mona Iordan
Bucharest, Romania


full moon…
the one above
its lake reflection

Nancy Brady
Huron, Ohio


now blue
above the
silent streets

nancy liddle


full moon rises in me a high tide

Neena Singh
Chandigarh, India


early morning –
a skylark’s song
rises with the breeze

Nick T


above forty degrees –
the brook disappears
with its song

Nicole Pottier


pine tree
a longing look
at the stars

Palle Krishna Rao


stepping off the Ferris Wheel
the carnival
still rocks

Pat Davis
Pembroke, NH


swirling ideas head in the clouds feet on the earth

Paul Geiger


just below the surface

Peggy Hale Bilbro
Huntsville Alabama


Star star star star star.
Over my shoulder, you point
out your favorites.

Pippa Phillips


preacher says up there
mother says here

Pris Campbell


in mother hen’s eye
… an elliptical hawk

R.Suresh Babu


how far from above
to the placid ground
the falling rains

Radhamani sarma


balloons in sky I send my dreams along

Rajeshwari Srinivasan


grass cushion
sangha of cicadas
chant with me

Rehn Kovacic


physics prof
the way he looks me
up and down

Roberta Beary
County Mayo Ireland


below the foul line
the game comes down
above the rim

ron scully


heaven to earth
the poet’s pen

Ronald K. Craig
Batavia, OH USA


the mask
      below the chin…
      what does it mean!?

Rosa Maria Di Salvatore


for her hair
she picks
fallen cherry blossoms

Sankara Jayanth S


crossing the border
Mexican free-tailed bats
high above the fray

Sari Grandstaff
Saugerties, NY


your heart
across the river
celestial swan



my feet getting closer
to the ground

Slobodan Pupovac
Zagreb, Croatia


height check
my son takes
a new scale

Srinivasa Rao Sambangi


yin and yang
tell me
about the moon

Stephen Peters


dark clouds
anxious ants rush
along the path

Stoianka Boianova


salt plains –
I gaze and gaze
at the sky below

Surashree Joshi


above the pier
                                and below
                                               full moon

Susan Rogers
Los Angeles


night drizzle –
the road shimmers
with neon lights

Sushama Kapur


moon at the zenith –
night runway waiting
for a takeoff

Teiichi Suzuki


my scars eclipsed
for a night

(amavasya is a Sanskrit word for the New Moon)

Teji Sethi


touching my shadow
at the bottom of the sea…
we say good-bye

Tomislav Maretić


the sky and the sea
migratory birds

Tsanka Shishkova


red flag
his hand on my thigh
under the table

Vandana Parashar


ocean’s desire
to meet the sky…
a piece of cloud

Vijay Prasad


summer heat –
the needles of the old pine
they fall into the shadows

vincenzo adamo


above and below

Vishnu Kapoor


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:

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