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HAIKU DIALOGUE – Opposites Attract – right/left

Welcome back to HAIKU DIALOGUE – Opposites Attract

Hello – kj here – welcome back to Haiku Dialogue!

Here is the post that we meant to run on 28 October, for the prompt ‘right/left’. We have one more prompt for ‘Opposites Attract’, & then we will be welcoming a pair of Guest Editors with a brand new theme for the next few weeks…

For this final 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 – hello/goodbye

The deadline is midnight Pacific Daylight Savings Time, Saturday November 14, 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Please submit one or two original unpublished haiku inspired by the week’s theme by clicking here: Contact Form.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.

Here is my commentary for the week:

fingertip to wrist
lefthandwriting lesson

Ann K. Schwader
Westminster, CO

There is no doubt that in many ways it is a right-handed world, so those who are not right-handed must find a way to cope – in this poem it is possible that the writing lesson involves a gentle correction to the finger or the hand, & it is also possible that the graphite is all over the writer’s left hand because their hand smeared the fresh letters as soon as they were written…

returning from war
he learns to write
with his left hand

Deborah Karl-Brandt

This poet explores one of the many challenges a veteran might face – importantly, without judgement, & without explaining or describing every detail – & the result is haunting, evocative, & emotional without a trace of sentimentality…

waze app
after three right turns
we ask a local

Lamart Cooper

Who hasn’t had a frustrating experience with an electronic device – especially when travelling in an unfamiliar place, trying to find a specific location – here, again, the poet does not mention how the speaker feels about the situation, nor how the reader should feel about it, although the message “Recalculating…” echoes…

Below are the rest of my selections:

countryside trip
mountains on each side of the road
maintain the pace

Adjei Agyei-Baah


a new tattoo
on her left breast
sign of spring

Agus Maulana Sunjaya
Tangerang, Indonesia


right brain writes haiku
while left side
counts syllables

Alan Harvey
Tacoma, WA


leaning left
the glasses
I slept in

Alex Fyffe


a tap dancer
in New Orleans jazz time
sudden moonwalk

Alfred Booth
Colombes, France


equinox –
a local politician balances

Aljoša Vuković
Šibenik, Croatia


it’s on the left
she says
pointing right

andrew shimield


autumn sea –
left and right
rocks and seagulls

mare d’autunno –
a sinistra e a destra
scogli e gabbiani

Angiola Inglese


the flick
of a horse’s tail –
swarm of flies

( Punjabi translation )

ਮੱਖੀਆਂ ਦੀ ਭਰਮਾਰ –
ਘੋੜੇ ਦੀ ਪੂੰਛ
ਕਦੀ ਸੱਜੇ ਕਦੀ ਖੱਬੇ

arvinder kaur
Chandigarh, India


red can buoy
sliding to starboard…
another homecoming

B. A. France


driving wife
our left and rights

Bakhtiyar Amini


transcontinental rail
a ride through
sunrises and sunsets

Bona M. Santos
Los Angeles, CA


kids’ stuff
left-right, left-right…
refugee camp

Brăilean Mirela


left or right wing test…
a flock of snow geese
flying forward

cezar-florin ciobîcă


left hook right cross
technical knockout
shadow boxing

Charles Harmon
Los Angeles, California


flag march –
the silence deepens
around foot steps

Cherry A
Assam, India


passenger seat
his glance on the left
slit of my dress

Christine L. Villa


doing headstands
east and west switch places
like right and left

Claire Vogel Camargo


family secrets –
left hand hiding
from the right

Cynthia Anderson


lonely at times –
the road less

Dan Campbell


furrows in the field –
to the right and left
scattered seeds

solchi nel campo –
a destra e a sinistra
i semi sparsi

Daniela Misso


the back and forth
of a tennis ball –
the candidates debate

Debbie Scheving
Bremerton, WA


final debate
the pendulum

Didimay D. Dimacali
Norwalk, California


by the rail track
guards choose –
life or death

Dorothy Burrows


the right-hander
scores the three-pointer
with his left hand

Dubravka Šćukanec


summer end
our eyes focus on
different directions

Elisa Allo


fede nunziale –
la mano destra
stretta alla sua

wedding faith –
the right hand
close to hers

Giuliana Ravaglia


left and right
in one line
at the polls

Greer Woodward
Waimea, HI



Helen Buckingham
Somerset, UK


Coming from the right
Going to the left
Voters at the polls

Helen Ogden


double rainbow…
a refugee kid runs
left and right

Hifsa Ashraf


rampant lion…
the flow
of Arabic script

(Reading from right to left, Islamic calligraphy can be zoomorphic, usually presenting secular thought in calligram form. Al-Mutanabbi’s lion is a good example.)

Ingrid Baluchi
Ohrid, Macedonia


an oak tree
leaning to the left
election time

Jackie Chou
Pico Rivera, CA USA


citrus moon
……………..facing its
western shadow

Janice Munro
Northern Hemisphere


clumsy paper cuts
left hander navigates
a world made right

Jenn Ryan-Jauregui
Tucson, AZ


left – right
boys file into a sunset
the red of poppies

john hawkhead


sunrise –
grandpa’s right hand

Jorge Alberto Giallorenzi


summer moon –
my late friend’s ring
in my left hand

Julia Guzmán


traffic lights
trusting her guide dog
through the park

Kanjini Devi


autumn dusk
the empty seesaw
taken by sparrows

Keiko Izawa


to the right / his freckles / to the left
rising sun

Kelli Lage


war wound
commissioning a concerto
for the left hand

Laurie Greer
Washington, DC


back and forth
.tuning Tchaikovsky…
distant thunder

Lemuel Waite
Georgetown, Kentucky


left right
traces in the snow
a drunken hunter

Ljiljana Dobra


driving on the
wrong side of the road
election day

Louise Hopewell


elections –
sitting on the fence
he ponders

Madhuri Pillai


evening walk
a maskless man comes
closer and closer

Manoj Sharma
Kathmandu, Nepal


on each hand
we cross the road

Margaret Mahony


right and left
in concert
“New World Symphony”

Margaret Walker


coronavirus –
left and right
the same wind

coronavirus –
a destra e a manca
lo stesso vento

Maria Teresa Piras


entering stage right
I perform my small role –
exit stage left

Mark Meyer


pink slippers
ondad’s laces
………kitchen waltz

Melissa Moffat
Western Australia


black ice –
my right hand slips
into his left

Michele L. Harvey


money lender’s vault…
locking up with right hand
checking with the left

Milan Rajkumar
Imphal, India


no moon night
my left eye begins

Minal Sarosh
Ahmedabad, India


autumn whirlwind
the clock’s hands rotate
one hour to the left

Minko Tanev


Ferris wheel
the right and the left voters
on a spin

Mohammad Azim Khan
Peshawar Pakistan


broken wrist…
six weeks being

Nancy Brady
Huron, Ohio


binned photo of the autocrat
as plump smiling

nancy liddle


tears –
behind the sunglasses
enough is enough

Nani Mariani


autumn sun
the old couple

Neena Singh
Chandigarh, India


he draws a smiley
on the ballot paper

Nick T


looking down at the curb
before crossing the street
London traffic

Olivier Schopfer


faded words
in her old letters…
lingering scent

Palle Krishna Rao
Chennai, India


cricket bat
sandwiched between hands
left and right

Radhamani sarma


swaying left and right
the autumn leaf waves
a neat goodbye

Rajeshwari Srinivasan


old leftist
McGovern t-shirt
still fits

Rehn Kovacic


what’s left ?
after the second star
to the right

Robert Kingston


the long shadow
of my lead pencil

(dæg-mǣl (Old English) = sun dial, literally day mark)



a little boy
tries to put the right foot
in the left boot

Slobodan Pupovac
Zagreb, Croatia


me ham and eggs
her crepe suzette
it must be love

Stephen A. Peters


left and right
the middle path
peace, peace, peace

Subir Ningthouja
Imphal, Manipur


now there’s no one
on my right

Surashree Joshi


jungle trail
a primal silence
left and right

Sushama Kapur


November –
narrow road
between right and left

Teiichi Suzuki


ambidextrous –
both hands

Teji Sethi


all the faces turn
right to left and back –
the tennis ball

Tomislav Maretić


which path to take
her hand hovers
over the ballot paper

Tracy Davidson
Warwickshire, UK


stone footsteps
to the left and right
Zen garden

Tsanka Shishkova


four left feet –
taking dancing lessons
as a couple

Valentina Ranaldi-Adams
Fairlawn, Ohio USA


google map
I still can not find
the way to your heart

Vandana Parashar


what’s left
in her life
… the right to life

Victor Ortiz
Bellingham, WA


first tentative steps
victory march
of the toddler

Vishnu Kapoor


learns how to write
from left to right
an Arab migrant

uči pisati
s lijeve na desnu stranu –
arapski migrant

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:

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.

This Post Has 21 Comments

  1. It’s lovely to read everyone’s poems again – I have really missed the ‘Haiku Dialogue’. Many thanks to Kj and Lori – I am delighted to have a poem in this column. Congratulations to all the poets. Two poems that I particularly found memorable this week are…
    double rainbow…
    a refugee kid runs
    left and right
    Hifsa Ashraf
    I loved both the cinematic image and the poignancy and power of the poem.
    the flick
    of a horse’s tail –
    swarm of flies

    ( Punjabi translation )

    ਮੱਖੀਆਂ ਦੀ ਭਰਮਾਰ –
    ਘੋੜੇ ਦੀ ਪੂੰਛ
    ਕਦੀ ਸੱਜੇ ਕਦੀ ਖੱਬੇ
    arvinder kaur
    Another memorable visual image that beautifully captures the way a horse’s tail moves. I also loved the reality of the last line.
    I look forward to reading next week’s column.

  2. Thank you KJ for including one of mine.
    Nice to see you all back.
    This one both tickled me and raised concern in equal measure.
    it’s on the left
    she says
    pointing right
    Andrew shimield

  3. A lovely selection of haiku.

    So nice to be back with Dialogue… smiling…. thanks kj and everyone.

  4. Understandably, so many very interesting haiku here about the US election.

    However, three on a different note immediately caught my attention.

    In an earlier comment, I mentioned John Hawkhead’s poignant “left-right”.

    Another was Melissa Moffat’s

    pink slippers
    on dad’s laces
    kitchen waltz

    I see a young girl dancing with her father – learning the steps of the waltz. Beautiful image that brought back memories!

    And one that brought me much needed laughter right now was Valentina Ranaldi-Adams’

    four left feet –
    taking dancing lessons
    as a couple

    I remember those early attempts at ballroom dancing when we were newly married. “four left feet” is a very apt description.

    As always I enjoyed reading every poem – and am so glad Haiku Dialogue is back!

    1. I am glad you liked my haiku Margaret. It was inspired by the dancing lessons my spouse and I took when we were dating.

  5. Welcome back Kjmunro and happy the website technical difficulties are fixed. Great haiku here and I especially enjoy the election/voting haiku.

  6. HI KJ, glad to see you back with this ‘bumper’ selection. This one from Helen Buckingham resonates particularly with me:
    Pushing the boundaries of haiku with a clever and focused political observation.

  7. so appropriate for 11/11 Veteran’s Day in U.S.:

    left – right
    boys file into a sunset
    the red of poppies

    john hawkhead

  8. Thanks kj – I’ve missed you! And to everyone for another great set – I especially love Deborah Karl-Brandt’s:

    returning from war
    he learns to right
    with his left hand

    … on a number of levels, yet appears so simple. Excellent work.

  9. Thank you kJ and best wishes to all, I recommend learning to juggle to appreciate the use of both hands.

  10. So glad to have Haiku Dialogue back! Thanks dear kj for the Editor’s Selections and the commentary…enjoyed reading all the featured poets. Thanks for including mine.

    So many haiku resonated with me. The left-right theme was a great idea!

    Congratulations to all haijin.

  11. Hello here, Kj and Lory! I feel such a refreshing mood, seeing this column, open again…and yes, am left-handed from birth, too!

    Here there are two haiku which particularly touched my heart:
    ambidextrous –
    both hands

    Teji Sethi
    and this one:

    driving wife
    our left and rights

    Bakhtiyar Amini
    Thank you so much for publishing one of my haiku. Congrats to all dear poets. I’m glad we are here together, in this magical space, after a little while!

  12. The haiku in the commentary are so fitting especially the lefthanded writing lesson. To this day, the callus on my left hand remains and smearing of ink isn’t unusual. My sisters and I were fortunate to have a grandmother who was never switched and taught us to tilt paper the other way so that we don’t write upside down like many do.
    The haiku are excellent and the wait well worth the website’s upgrade. Thank you to all (KJ, Lori, and the whole staff). Congratulations to all especially my fellow Ohioan, Valentina. Four left feet, indeed.

  13. It is good to see the return of this column after the web site was down. Thank-you for publishing one of mine. Congrats to all the poets.

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