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HAIKU DIALOGUE – Opposites Attract – junior/senior

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 – blunt/sharp

The deadline is midnight Pacific Daylight Savings Time, Saturday October 3, 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Please submit one or two original unpublished haiku inspired by the week’s theme by clicking here: Contact Form.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 junior/senior:

Through both the poems selected, & especially the ones chosen for commentary each week, it is hoped that readers will start to see the kinds of poems an editor prefers. For the poets who are submitting, it can be a useful exercise to examine the poems selected compared to those that are not (remembering that sometimes an entire submission is excellent, & it is difficult to choose just one poem for the column!). In general, I am finding too much telling – that is, narrative – & not enough “gaps” – those things left out of a haiku for the reader to figure out… & please keep in mind that, as with all art, these things can be a matter of opinion!

turning sixty
the cool click
back to zero

Helen Buckingham

A milestone birthday in so many ways – this ‘cool click’ reminds me of a row-counter for knitting, or a fancy watch or clock, or maybe a fitbit, or another electronic device… there is something intriguing about going ‘back to zero’…

autumn garage sale
his father’s golf clubs
tagged nfs

John S Green

Concrete images set in a specific seasonal scene – like a haiku, three little letters on a tag can mean so much…

climate change
father recycles
grandfather’s habits

Lamart Cooper

Here the poet has put a twist on the now-common practice of recycling – & how many of us can recall at least the stories of the frugal habits & cost-saving measures of our parents & grandparents…

feeling the same inside
regardless of age
nesting dolls

Laurie Greer
Washington, DC

Many will be able to relate to the concept of feeling the same as they did years ago, in some ways at least, & here the poet has juxtaposed the perfect image to take this poem to another level – identical dolls, each one smaller than the next, one inside the other…

my turn
to wear dad’s shoes
refugee camp

Mirela Brailean

Another key to a successful haiku is not telling the reader how to feel – here the poet describes a potentially heart-wrenching & politically-charged scenario in calm, straightforward language with powerful results…

mam’s denture
only half in
baby’s mouth


This poem demonstrates how a poet can write in a more narrative style, but still leave a “gap” as described above… the contrast between the teething baby & the grandmother’s dentures incorporates the idea of junior/senior…

junior senior
the vulture overhead

Stephen A. Peters

A reminder that the very youngest & the very oldest are perhaps the most at risk…

& here are the rest of my selections:

a rocking chair
where father used to sit
my own shadow

Agus Maulana Sunjaya
Tangerang, Indonesia


sleepy little head
nodding in the breeze
a mother’s song

Albert Schepers
Windsor Ontario, CA


this morning
my son’s bristles
in my razor

andrew shimield


children’s game –
an old man’s stick
move a leaf

gioco di bimbi –
il bastone d’un vecchio
sposta una foglia

Angiola Inglese


quinceanera –
that faraway look
in grandma’s eyes

arvinder kaur
Chandigarh, India


watching the captain
alone on the bridgewing
… far horizon

B.A. France


“Not now!”
Mum’s translating
Dad’s words

Bakhtiyar Amini


a trainee takes over
the mentor’s job –

Bona M. Santos
Los Angeles, CA


with some advice
the old man passes down
a wrench

Bryan Rickert


the mirror
pulling away from the tree
old portrait

C.R. Harper


spring fever
a senior couple kissing
among young adults

cezar-florin ciobîcă


“I taught your father
back in the day
hope you measure up”

Charles Harmon
Los Angeles, California


the corner office
still shut

Charlotte Hrenchuk


mimosa flowers…
my secret crush in
junior high school

Cherry A
Assam, India


my old mentor’s letters
each harder to read

Clifford Rames
Freehold, NJ


fathers –
proof that cracked bells
still ring

Dan Campbell


oh the irony!
senior citizen discounts
for Eternal Child

Dana Rapisardi


water trail –
five ducklings
behind the swan

scia sull’acqua –
cinque anatroccoli
dietro il cigno

Daniela Misso


blue moon
my old dog

David Gale
Gloucester, UK


for the camera…
wearing grandpa’s boots
up to his knees

Debbie Scheving
Bremerton, WA


her dream of flying
when she was a child

Deborah Karl-Brandt


voices of autumn –
the smile of child
in father’s heart

Dennys Cambarau


delicate rose –
the class tell their teacher
she stinks

Dorothy Burrows


almost October…
the withered pansies
around the shoots

Elisa Allo


online schooling
my son and my mother

Franjo Ordanić


grandfather’s razor
in his grandson’s hands
– he has a girlfriend

Gordana Vlašić


Never ending argument
Over seniority –

Goutam Dutta
Kolkata, India


the spit and image
of her father
graduation day

Greer Woodward
Waimea, HI


faded –
grandmother holds me
in her arms

Helga Stania


clever son
home from uni
… usual pile of laundry

Ingrid Baluchi


Denny’s dining
counting the years
to a senior meal

Jackie Chou
Pico Rivera, CA USA


the possibilities
of autumn

Janice Munro


Rounds before dawn
Doctor’s eyes
Awaken students

(I am a medical student. On certain rotations, the team would have to round on patients very early in the mornings. Whenever the attending physician made eye contact before asking me a question (usually to test my knowledge on a given topic), I always felt a bit of a rush. Inevitably, I would feel much more awake afterwards.)

Jerry French
Orlando, FL


child’s tears –
the broken shell of the tortoise

Julia Guzmán


my sensei and I
advancing, retreating
          a dojo dance

Kanjini Devi


junior doctors
thrown in at the deep end
second wave

Karen Harvey
North Wales


Thomas Prowse
father/son flutemakers
who was better

(19th century Prowse senior and junior were both flutemakers. Players
still compare and note differences in their flutes.)

Kath Abela Wilson
Pasadena, California


tentative steps
from arms waving to
trembling grip

Kathleen Mazurowski


boys’ school alumni –
the moustache and beard

Lakshmi Iyer


blue       mountains
the sea dunes –

Lemuel Waite
Georgetown, Kentucky      


knitting lesson
the tangled lines
of gran’s hands

Louise Hopewell


retirement –
my transformation
to a senior citizen

Madhuri Pillai


ancestral home
grandpa’s face in the
old coconut tree

Manoj Sharma
Kathmandu, Nepal


graduation day…
already outgrown
his Dad

Margaret Mahony


of name confusion

Margaret Walker


la neve alta –
sulle impronte di mio padre,
i miei passi…

deep snow –
on my father’s footprints,
my steps…

Maria Teresa Piras


wishing for springtime
a weary old man
and his old dog

Mark Meyer


first day
master students give freshmen
a campus tour

Maya Daneva
The Netherlands


windy clothesline
a baseball jersey
hugs grandma’s shawl

Melanie Vance


heirloom recipe
my spices mingle
with grandma’s

Michele L. Harvey


this parting…
from the old to the new
deciduous leaves

Milan Rajkumar
Imphal, India


hand me down
his brother’s sweater
feels more warm

Minal Sarosh
Ahmedabad, India


new boss
we call him
by his first name

Mohammad Azim Khan
Peshawar Pakistan


family reunion…
patriarch still called

Nancy Brady


Nana says
I’m having
a senior moment

nancy liddle


senior junior
barrier breached
virtual reality

Neena Singh
Chandigarh, India


young at heart –
he uses his thumbs
when texting his son

Nick T


old family house –
peeping at the rocking horse
in the nursery

Nicole Pottier


family portrait
the special bonds
between generations

Olivier Schopfer


no longer marked
on the calendar

Palle Krishna Rao
Chennai, India


rough edges
one generation’s

Pat Davis
Pembroke, NH


father and son
boarding a carnival ride
tight grip on one finger

Paul Geiger


even at my age
still working on it

Peggy Hale Bilbro
Huntsville, Alabama


on a child’s nose…
grandma peers

Priti Aisola


dormitory cleaning…
freshers scrub
the toilet bowls

R.Suresh Babu


headmaster’s cane
silencing entire class

Radhamani sarma


mobile app
my daughter
knows better

Rajeshwari Srinivasan


exchanging bows
with the abbot
sharing a smile

Rehn Kovacic


20 years older
he stumbles over
her eulogy

Roberta Beary
Co Mayo, Ireland


senior discount
on Tuesday matinees
save Junior Mints

Ron Scully


grandma Rosa Maria
smiles at me
from a picture

Rosa Maria Di Salvatore


grampa and grandson
jump off the dock

Ruth Powell


Sunday morning
the little girl tries on
mother’s shoes

Slobodan Pupovac
Zagreb, Croatia


senior moment
the glasses I search for
still on my head

Susan Rogers
Los Angeles


uneven shadows
boy helps grandpa
cross the street

Sushama Kapur


her absence –
somewhere in the room
bell-ring cricket

Teiichi Suzuki


grandpa’s newspaper
full of duckling doodles

Teji Sethi


stopping to pee
his buoyant stream
my trickle

Tim Cremin
Andover, Massachusetts


a pilgrimage –
new faces and new flowers
along the way

Tomislav Maretić


pecking order
the rooster’s feathers
as ruffled as his ego

Tracy Davidson
Warwickshire, UK


elderly couple
under an umbrella
cherry blossom

Tsanka Shishkova


pink azaleas
her prom date is
a no show

Valentina Ranaldi-Adams
Fairlawn, Ohio


hint of storm
boss says that I should use
the office gym

Vandana Parashar


retirement home
a newborn cries
in the arms of the mother

vincenzo adamo


new arrival
addition to family
a grandpa

Vishnu Kapoor


baka se igra
lutkama svoje unuke –
i nosi pelene

grandma is playing
with her granddaughter’s dolls –
and wears diapers

Zdenka Mlinar
Zagreb, Croatia


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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