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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’…

                  quarantine
                  compass needle
                  spinning

                           kjmunro

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Please submit one or two original unpublished haiku inspired by the week’s theme by clicking here: Contact Form.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
România

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

simonj
UK

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
circling

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 –
downsizing

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
door
still shut

Charlotte Hrenchuk

 

mimosa flowers…
my secret crush in
junior high school

Cherry A
Assam, India

 

Parkinson’s…
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
misty-eyed

David Gale
Gloucester, UK

 

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

Debbie Scheving
Bremerton, WA

 

henbane
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
Italy

 

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
classmates

Franjo Ordanić

 

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

Gordana Vlašić

 

Never ending argument
Over seniority –
Twins.

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
Macedonia

 

Denny’s dining
counting the years
to a senior meal

Jackie Chou
Pico Rivera, CA USA

 

Shoshin
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
defining

Lakshmi Iyer
Kerala

 

blue       mountains
the sea dunes –
                                                           drifting

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

 

genealogy…
generations
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
Texas

 

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
Junior

Nancy Brady

 

Nana says
I’m having
a senior moment

nancy liddle
Australia

 

senior junior
barrier breached
virtual reality

Neena Singh
Chandigarh, India

 

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

Nick T
UK

 

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

Nicole Pottier
France

 

family portrait
the special bonds
between generations

Olivier Schopfer
Switzerland

 

birthdays…
no longer marked
on the calendar

Palle Krishna Rao
Chennai, India

 

rough edges
one generation’s
acceptance

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
adulting

Peggy Hale Bilbro
Huntsville, Alabama

 

glasses
on a child’s nose…
grandma peers

Priti Aisola
India

 

dormitory cleaning…
freshers scrub
the toilet bowls

R.Suresh Babu
India

 

headmaster’s cane
silencing entire class

Radhamani sarma

 

mobile app
my daughter
knows better

Rajeshwari Srinivasan
India

 

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
together

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
Japan

 

grandpa’s newspaper
full of duckling doodles

Teji Sethi
India

 

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
Bulgaria

 

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: 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.

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