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HAIKU DIALOGUE – Paradigm Shift – the habitation of turtles & Introduction to Finding peace & contemplation… in the great outdoors

Paradigm Shift and Introduction to Finding peace and contemplation… in the great outdoors

I would like to thank Guest Editor Craig Kittner for two wonderful months of remarkable poetry, & now welcome back accomplished poet & photographer Marietta McGregor, who returns to share her photos with us for the next few weeks… 

Introduction to Finding peace and contemplation… in the great outdoors with Guest Editor Marietta McGregor

At times in our lives, fast-moving events of our day-to-day existence may become overwhelming. Between work and family responsibilities, daily needs and doomscrolling, days rush by in a breakneck blur and we sometimes end the week with a sense of ‘where did that go?’ We’re surrounded by the wonders of our shared universe. Maybe it’s time to become immersed in the enjoyment of one aspect of this spectacular world which amazes, delights and refreshes us. We can marvel at the night sky or clouds by day, cheer a ladybug as it climbs a twig and opens its wings, dangle our feet in a cool river, rest in a tree’s benevolent shade, stroke velvety green moss, smell ozone freshness at the coast, crunch through frosty grass, listen to morning birdsong, taste a last autumn apple. Small pauses in quotidian life may be devoted to living slower, using every sense, and sharing our pleasure through poetry. Simple gifts.

Each week for the next few weeks there will be a photographic prompt on the theme of ‘Finding peace and contemplation. . .’ with images capturing moments when we might seek inspiration if the going gets tough. I look forward to reading your personal response to the moments you’ve discovered.

next week’s themein the great outdoors by water

Whether the climate is chilly or balmy, being by the sea or a lake can be a source of renewal. The tang on our lips after a walk along the shore in a stiff breeze. The shock of diving in. Introducing a baby to their first waves. Learning to float, feeling the water holding you up. Iodine scents of seaweed piled on a lonely beach. Sand castles, shells, rock pools, driftwood, pebbles, boats and kayaks. Favourite foods like fish and chips, oysters or clams. Do you relate more to inland water bodies or the ocean? This photo is of a lake in British Columbia, Canada. The dog was enjoying himself immensely, bounding in and out of the water even though it was cold. I look forward to reading your haiku responding to favourite moments by water.

The deadline is midnight Eastern Daylight Time, Saturday July 31, 2021.

Please use the Haiku Dialogue submission form below to enter one or two original unpublished haiku inspired by the week’s theme, and then press Submit to send your entry. (The Submit button will not be available until the Name, Email, and Place of Residence fields are filled in.) With your poem, please include any special formatting requirements & your name as you would like it to appear in the column. 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 Craig’s commentary for the habitation of turtles:

Some personal notes:

For those in the know, this last installment of Paradigm Shift is dedicated to Great A’Tuin and the beautiful mind that conceived it.

Also to Gary Snyder, who freed my mind by providing another way to identify with this land in which I dwell.

And a special thank you to Pippa Phillips for turning me on to the fabulous haiku movie Words Bubbling Up Like Soda Pop, available on Netflix.

For more perspectives on turtle haiku, check out Charles Trumbull’s “Turtle” essay from Frogpond 40:1: https://www.hsa-haiku.org/frogpond/2017-issue40-1/Trumble-Turtle-Fp40-1.pdf

Sea turtle (umigame) is a kigo for midsummer, a fitting end to this sequence. Thank you to all the writers who’ve submitted over the last 8 weeks.

Comments:

going back
into my shell…
this world of humans

Arvinder Kaur
India

I intended the overarching focus of Paradigm Shift to be the world outside of our human concerns. However, in contemplating the world turtles inhabit now, one can’t avoid the fact that most human activities negatively impact all ecologies. And many human attitudes negatively impact an individual’s well-being. Turtle or poet, each has ample reason to withdraw.

the world hurries
but is in stillness —
the slow path

Madeleine Vinluan
Philippines

Triggering memories of “The Tortoise and the Hare,” and quite koan-like, this piece inspires deep contemplation of the world’s inherent contradictions.

broken shells
hatchlings scurry
to the ocean

Meera Rehm
UK

“Broken shells” can refer equally to the hatchlings’ immediate past or potential future, if they don’t reach the ocean swiftly enough. The urgency of those new lives comes through strongly.

grandmother’s garden
no one knows
how old our turtle is

Danijela Grbelja
Croatia Sibenik

Turtle longevity verges on the mythical. So much is hinted at here, my mind spins out story upon story. I wonder if the grandmother has passed while the turtle lives on, and if so, what feelings that gives rise to in the family.

a terrapin
in my sister’s hands
coming out of her shell

Sarah Metzler
United States

To see a withdrawn child come alive through an interaction with a wild creature is pure joy. The double meaning implied in this haiku captures that bond beautifully.

Natal beach—
a turtle’s caruncle crack
frees an odyssey mind…

Claire Ninham
North Yorkshire, UK

“Odyssey mind,” what an appropriate term for the sea turtles’ existence! For their journeys surely define them. And the ancient legends that “odyssey” calls to mind simply reek of the sea.

briefly
the turtle has wings—
dragonfly

P. H. Fischer
Vancouver, Canada

Reminiscent of Moritake’s “a fallen blossom” and Basho’s “crimson pepper pod,” this haiku is a delightful celebration of playful misperception. It generates a nice, strong image as well. A reminder to avoid taking things too seriously.

& here are the rest of the selections:

minefield
a hatchling’s journey
to the sea

Ravi Kiran
India

 

quagmire bog
the reeking gloop
still repeated

John Hawkhead
UK

 

sand buried
rhythm of the sea
calling “my babies”

Hla Yin Mon
Yangon, Myanmar

 

dry season
mud cracks
on the turtle’s back

Bryan Rickert
Belleville, Illinois USA

 

Darwin’s giants
trudge in the sand
a finch sings

JL Huffman
Blue Ridge Mountains of NC, USA

 

mama turtle
returns to the sea
no goodbyes

Neena Singh
Chandigarh, India

 

the apartment
not quite empty
box turtle love

Roberta Beary
County Mayo, Ireland

 

back to the creek bed
the turtle’s already had
enough of this day

Sari Grandstaff
Saugerties, NY

 

the painted turtle
escapes underwater—
pool party host

Richard Matta
San Diego, California

 

the turtle
in silence it passes
moonlit nights

Vincenzo Adamo
Sicily Italy

 

rustling of reeds
a frog on the back
of a turtle

Slobodan Pupovac
Zagreb, Croatia

 

mourning
amidst the pandemic
cry of a turtle

Mona Bedi
Delhi, India

 

wetland
the perfect fit
of a turtle’s shell

Laurie Greer
Washington, DC

 

from the sea
back to the sea
track of the turtle

Helga Stania
Switzerland

 

sheltered cove–
after the hurricane
a lone sea turtle

Cynthia Anderson
Yucca Valley, California

 

evolving planet –
on the back of a turtle
satellite tag

Milan Rajkumar
India

 

seeking that one beach
gliding blue on layered blue
mothership

Blake Thomas
UK

 

riverbed
watching rocks
swim away

Pam Joy
Dyea, Alaska

 

sea turtle rescue
she leaves her name
on the beach

Alex Fyffe
United States

 

turning
to the peace within…
the turtle in me

Madhuri Pillai
Melbourne

 

mother’s footsteps
a young turtle reaches
the beach

Agus Maulana Sunjaya
Tangerang, Banten, Indonesia

 

after the season
between old cans
young turtles

Wiesław Karliński
Namysłów, Poland

 

troubled waters
inside little shell
some peace

Zahra Mughis
Lahore, Pakistan

 

surfacing for air pond turtle

Jenn Ryan-Jauregui
Tucson, Arizona USA

 

dawn sky …
towards the ocean
a hatchling

Devoshruti Mandal
Varanasi, India

 

lethargy
in the refrigerator drawer
house turtle

Angiola Inglese
Italia

 

flattened sand . . .
the weight of a sea turtle

Barrie Levine
Wenham MA USA

 

in their own world
they live and live and live
Darwin’s tortoises

Susan Farner
United States

 

alive…
the reflection
of a stone turtle

Anna Yin
Ontario, Canada

 

even the turtle totem
washed away . . .
warm rising seas

Melanie Vance
USA

 

late summer light tortoiseshelling the pondwater

Pippa Phillips
United States

 

two turtles in love
as a wedding gift
new life in the bathtub

Zrinko Šimunić
Hrvatska

 

old pond
a turtle carries
the sky on its back

Mona Iordan
Romania

 

arribada
the moon watches over
a beachful of nesters

Sushama Kapur
Pune, India

 

retreating the head
all the world
in a shell

Cristina Povero
Italy

 

the world
on a turtle’s back
swimming in stars

Greer Woodward
Waimea, Hawaii

 

turtle bowl
a tiny splash
of dreams

Christine Villa
California

 

sunset
the turtle’s shadow
lengthens

Florin C. Ciobica
Romania

Craig Kittner has lived a lot of places. Fourteen at last count. He was reared, for a while, in Illinois. Then North Carolina. Providence saw the start of some interesting things that DC helped solidify. Now he lives kind of near the sea and is compelled to ramble and write.

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.

Please note that all poems & images appearing in Haiku Dialogue may not be used elsewhere without express permission – copyright is retained by the creators. Please see our Copyright Policies.

 

This Post Has 13 Comments

  1. Thank you, Craig, for the original and inciting prompts and commentaries that inspired all those fine haiku. I totally enjoyed each of them. Congratulations to all the poets featured.
    Thank you, Katherine and Lori, for all your work.
    Welcome back, Marietta, I am looking forward to your photos.

  2. Thanks for your kind words, Pippa. I enjoyed your monoku as well. A beautiful image/verb!

    late summer light tortoiseshelling the pondwater

    Pippa Phillips
    United States

    Thanks for the commentary, Craig and your editing these past two months. Your prompts were inspiring, challenging, and fun.

    Welcome back, Marietta!

  3. Many thanks, Craig, for the enlightening and inspirational prompts and commentaries and to Kj and Lori for all your work. Congratulations to all the poets featured this week. As ever, the column is a joy to read.

    Welcome back, Marietta! I look forward to reading next week’s selection.

  4. I’m amost happier to see Words Bubble Up Like Soda Pop hyped than I am to see my monoku among this lovely selection of poems! While I’m here I’ll also direct you to Senryu Girl, an anime whose protagonist is a mute girl who teaches an ex-delinquent to love senryu.

    I really loved P. H. Fischer’s dragonfly/turtle poem. The surreal image it immediately conjured up is so striking.

    I loved to see the various takes on the World Turtle:

    old pond
    a turtle carries
    the sky on its back

    Mona Iordan
    Romania

    *

    the world
    on a turtle’s back
    swimming in stars

    *

    retreating the head
    all the world
    in a shell

    Cristina Povero
    Italy
    Greer Woodward
    Waimea, Hawaii

    *
    evolving planet –
    on the back of a turtle
    satellite tag

    Milan Rajkumar
    India

    *

    seeking that one beach
    gliding blue on layered blue
    mothership

    Blake Thomas
    UK

    *

    In celebration of this final turtle week I’d like to relate one of my favorite philosophy-adjacent stories (related by Steven Hawking):

    A well-known scientist (some say it was Bertrand Russell) once gave a public lecture on astronomy. He described how the earth orbits around the sun and how the sun, in turn, orbits around the centre of a vast collection of stars called our galaxy. At the end of the lecture, a little old lady at the back of the room got up and said: “What you have told us is rubbish. The world is really a flat plate supported on the back of a giant tortoise.” The scientist gave a superior smile before replying, “What is the tortoise standing on?” “You’re very clever, young man, very clever,” said the old lady. “But it’s turtles all the way down!”

    1. Oops, left off the name of one of the poems I mentioned above:

      the world
      on a turtle’s back
      swimming in stars

      Greer Woodward
      Waimea, Hawaii

    2. Love that story about the philosopher and the natural philosopher Pippa!

      I also really like your monoku: “…light tortoiseshelling the pondwater”, what a great image.

      Thanks to Craig for watching over us these past few weeks.

    3. Thanks for your kind words, Pippa. I enjoyed your monoku as well. A beautiful image/verb!

      late summer light tortoiseshelling the pondwater

      Pippa Phillips
      United States

      Thanks for the commentary, Craig and your editing these past two months. Your prompts were inspiring, challenging, and fun.

      Welcome back, Marietta!

  5. Thank you Craig for including my haiku among the turtle haiku this week. Congratulations to all the poets here! Thanks to Craig for the past couple of months of guest editing this column and welcome back Marietta! Thank you also to Kathy and Lori for your continued work on this Haiku Dialogue. I look forward to reading it every week.

  6. Thank you Craig for a month of fun prompts, commentary, haiku, and info! I thoroughly enjoyed it.

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