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HAIKU DIALOGUE – Paradigm Shift – the silence of satellites

Paradigm Shift with Guest Editor Craig Kittner

“Learn about pines from the pine,” Bashō advised.

Why do you think he said that?

Animism is a birthright of haiku.

However, western culture, despite all its scientific knowledge, tends to put human experience on some rarefied plane, separate and above all the other beings and forces of the universe. An ego-laden, anthropocentric attitude that would write off learning from the pine as anthropomorphism and personification.

How does this impact your writing?

Can you shift your perspective away from the human and dress yourself in the consciousness of another form?

next week’s themethe habitation of turtles

Land and water are equally crucial to the turtle. Is it more at home in one? Or does it dwell in some in-between?

The deadline is midnight Eastern Daylight Time, Saturday July 24, 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Please use the Haiku Dialogue submission form below to enter one or two original unpublished haiku inspired by the week’s theme, and then press Submit to send your entry.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 silence of satellites:

Haiku and the moon go hand in hand all the way back to the beginning.

And why not? The moon is an effective analogy for all the forces that have a strong influence on existence despite their silence.

And silence itself has so many implications beyond the absence of sound.

Now, with decades of our casting artificial satellites into orbit and our expanded knowledge of what’s out there, vast new fields of expression are open to us.

Our writing community has delivered plenty of paradigm shifting examples for your exploration.

watching over us
but no longer talking

Mark Meyer
Mercer Island WA USA

Telstar 1 launched in 1962 and was the first satellite to broadcast telephone calls, among other things. This haiku wraps this history in a veil of mythology. Telstar as an estranged deity, a fitting symbol for our age.

transmitting voices
without a sound

Xiaoou Chen
Kunming, China

The paradox here underlines the irony of all these artifacts we’ve launched into orbit. Traveling the void they are inherently silent, yet they constantly flood the world with our babble.

new moon
on the pond
sound of silence

Teiichi Suzuki

This homage to Basho is deceiving in its simplicity. The new moon is a dark moon, difficult to perceive in the sky, much less in reflection on water. It sparks contemplation of the emergence of something out of an apparent nothingness.

the light of a firefly
in the bush

Slobodan Pupovac
Zagreb, Croatia

There’s an intriguing little mystery here. For me, it generates memories of the silence in which I discovered the joy of watching both fireflies and the night sky. And thoughts of how the female firefly is earthbound, while the male flies around her sharing signals of light.

observing in silence a satellite

Ingrid Baluchi
North Macedonia

A fine example of stark simplicity opening vistas of contemplation. Is the poet observing a satellite or is a satellite observing the poet? Or perhaps an act of solemnization is implied. A moment of silence under the ubiquitous presence of satellites.

channeling others’ voices
in the jealous void

Bruce Bynum
Baton Rouge, LA

How is a person like a satellite? A fine riddle for our times. Reading this haiku, my mind went immediately to lockdowns, and people in social media endlessly parroting the words of others. Ideas going viral.

& here are the rest of the selections:

the silence in which he grows full moon

Deborah Karl-Brandt
Bonn, Germany


we are mute and rust:
unreal television moons

Sarah Davies
Bedford, UK


graveyard orbit —
a satellite peacefully
put to rest

Teji Sethi


in muted terror
sky debris

Jeff Leong


the Milky Way
our heartbeat

Mona Bedi
Delhi, India


a warm sea
roaring at the sky
… amavasya

*amavasya is no moon day

ಆಕಾಶದ ಮೇಲೆ
ಬೆಚ್ಚಗಿನ ಸಮುದ್ರದ ಗರ್ಜನೆ
… ಅಮಾವಾಸ್ಯೆ

Amrutha Prabhu
Bengaluru, India


train journey . . .
not leaving me alone
the cold moon

Milan Rajkumar
Imphal, India


glass and silver spies
listening for intelligence
blue whalesong, faintly

Blake Thomas


only the moon –
the sudden shadow
of a bat

Dennys Cambarau
Sardinia, Italy


satellites –
to be stars

Dan Campbell


Google Earth
from his house to mine
the moon at each turn

Richa Sharma


all around
a grassy stillness …
shooting stars

tutto intorno
una quiete erbosa …
stelle cadenti

Daniela Misso


the moon passes-
a dream that drags on
without noise

Vincenzo Adamo
Sicily, Italy


silence: satellites colliding

Alan Peat
Biddulph, United Kingdom


a star caught
in the barbed wire-
silent earth

Nicole Pottier


from the plasma field
earth’s dawn

Sarah Metzler
United States


a silence so deep
it deafens
the man in the moon

Tracy Davidson
Warwickshire, UK


starless night erasing messages from the past

Hemapriya Chellappan


river waters—
the moon’s silent ride
to the ocean

दरिया का पानी
चन्द्रमा की शांत सवारी
सागर की ओर

Arvinder Kaur
Chandigarh, India


reflection pond
the moon’s silence
broken by koi

Richard Matta
San Diego, California


night sky
satellites are up there
as if not

Zelyko Funda


light years away
the sound of star birth

Pat Davis
Pembroke, NH USA


observing our planet
a satellite goes silent

Marion Clarke
Warrenpoint, Northern Ireland


the floating
sheer bulk in silence
picks all sound

Hla Yin Mon
Yangon, Myanmar


satellite launch
flying in the face
of a cosmic silence

Laurie Greer
Washington, DC


star to star
their unheard whirling
jazz on TV

Alfred Booth
Colombes, France


man in the moon
the strong
silent type

Susan Farner
United States


human remains–
the unblinking eyes
of satellites

Cynthia Anderson
Yucca Valley, California


news flash—
a distant satellite
mutely blinks

Claire Ninham
North Yorkshire, UK


Snap of
umbilical chord
moon lights up my lap

Priti Khullar
Noida, India


solar winds
the silent shuffle
of space debris

Bryan Rickert
Belleville, Illinois USA


outer space
all of our secrets
finally silenced

Peggy Hale Bilbro
Huntsville, Alabama


no fanfare
death moon

Helen Buckingham
United Kingdom


all night
without a word
the glimmer of stars

Keith Evetts
Thames Ditton UK


the silence of

Dorothy Burrows
United Kingdom


the moon wafts
in and out of clouds …
parting a veil

Priti Aisola
Hyderabad, India


day moon…
my silent companion
from the funeral

Ed Bremson
Raleigh, NC


solitary amid a noisy fest sister moon

Luisa Santoro
Rome, Italy


circling the sun
how long is a year?

Lafcadio Orlovsky


atmospheric silence
a last moment
before re-entry

Sari Grandstaff
Saugerties, NY


whispering nautilus
the astronaut dreams
of the sea

Greer Woodward
Waimea, HI


graveyard orbit . . .
a trail of silence
rings the planet

Barrie Levine
Wenham MA USA


looking back
from our moon
the din of silence

Susan Rogers
Los Angeles, CA


space debris
photons spangling the void
we fall into

John Hawkhead

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:

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 21 Comments

  1. A note of appreciation.
    I enjoy reading this weekly exercise very much. Sometimes I send in a poem or two, sometimes I’m selected. But either way, I gobble up the top haiku with comments, and all the rest—followed by all comments and exchanges. A most rewarding read. Thanks to all!
    But, where is Alan Summers this week? Ha!
    the Milky Way
    our heartbeat

    Mona Bedi
    Delhi, India

    1. Thanks John!

      I rarely get time to write that much at the moment as I mentor a lot of people behind the scenes, and working on new exciting courses too!

      Ah, the river of heaven!

      the Milky Way
      our heartbeat

      Mona Bedi
      Delhi, India

      When I worked on landcare in Queensland, looking after the tree nursery for a 2000 acre plot, and helping in many other ways dawn to dusk, I was always amazed by the Milky Way, as there was no light pollution. We had just starlight to guide us staggering back to our tents or cars!


  2. Thanks to Craig for the insightful comments and to all at THF for including my poem. it’s an honor to have it appear with so many fine poems. So many interesting approaches to the subject!

  3. A lovely collection of poems. Congratulations, everyone and many thanks to Craig, Kj and Lori! I am thrilled to have a haiku included. I loved all the different takes on this inspirational theme. Just to mention one of the many that I will re-read and remember…

    all around
    a grassy stillness …
    shooting stars

    tutto intorno
    una quiete erbosa …
    stelle cadenti

    Daniela Misso

    I like this poem for its cinematic quality and its ambiguity. Memorable!

    1. Many thanks Dorothy for appreciating my haiku!
      Great collection! So many beautiful poems.

  4. I loved all of these eye in the sky haiku, but my favorite was the very last one by John Hawkhead:

    space debris
    photons spangling the void
    we fall into

    ‘photons spangling the void’…what a beautiful scientific-poetic image! Space and cosmos related poetry holds a special intrigue for me.

    Thanks once again, Craig, for including mine, and thanks to Lori and Kathy for your faithful work.

    1. Yes, John’s haiku is a nice one to close the week. The sequence is solely determined by the order in which I receive the entries, and it’s always a nice coincidence when the last one serves as a good sum up for all the others.

    2. Thanks Peggy! Me too; I love the overlaps between science and art. Much appreciated!!

  5. What an interesting set of haiku and senryu this week – for an interesting theme. Well done to everyone!

  6. Thanks so much Craig at al and congratulations all – my favourite this week has to be:

    solitary amid a noisy fest sister moon

    by Luisa Santoro

    I love the contrast between the ‘solitary’ moon and the ‘noisy’ness of the festivities, cleverly brought to life by the use of sibilance and ‘t’ sounds. Great work.

    1. Thank you so much, Helen, and congratulations to all the poets for such a fascinating selection!

  7. Thank you Craig for including my haiku this week and congrats to all the haiku poets here. This was an interesting prompt in light of the recent launch of some non-astronaut people into space. I love the different directions people went with this prompt and here are three that really stood out for me:
    satellites –
    to be stars

    Dan Campbell
    Satellites having imposter syndrome – love it!

    the silence of

    Dorothy Burrows
    United Kingdom
    Can never look up at the heavens without feeling this.

    satellite launch
    flying in the face
    of a cosmic silence

    Laurie Greer
    I like the play on language here. This haiku also draws my attention to the contrast of the immense noise made by rocket launchers and such with the presumed quiet of the space they are launching into.

    1. Many thanks, Sari, for appreciating my haiku. I liked yours too! It reminded me of standing in my garden on a summer’s evening, staring at stars and being totally engrossed in a magical moment. Thank you!

    2. Thank you, Sari! Delighted you liked mine. And I have enjoyed so many of yours over the past months–and your comments, as well.

  8. Thank you, Craig, for commenting on my poem…completely unexpected!

    I found it a daunting challenge. Then, looking up one dark night, there it was! A satellite slowly making its way over our busy nightlife town. Surrounded by the kerfuffle of discotheques and tourist crowds, booze cruise and wedding fireworks, it made me wonder what satellites make of this crazy old world we inhabit where so many of us may never have experienced the magical peace – not necessarily silence – away from artificial noise.
    Looking forward to reading how others tackled this prompt. Many thanks, as usual, to all involved.

    1. Nice to know the origin of your haiku. And “kerfuffle” is a wonderful word.

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