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HAIKU DIALOGUE – Poet’s Choice – cemetery

Welcome to Poet’s Choice!

Let’s talk about haiku! You are invited to respond to photographs – I will share a photo each week as a prompt for your writing…

For this series, each poet may send one haiku on the week’s theme, and it will be included in the blog post. There is no selection process. The haiku appear in the order in which we received them.

Submit an original unpublished poem via our Contact Form by Saturday midnight on the theme of the week, including your name as you would like it to appear, and place of residence. (If you send more than one poem, only the first one will be posted.)

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.

next week’s theme:  

The deadline for this theme is midnight Pacific Time, Saturday 28 September 2019.

I look forward to reading your submissions.

Poet’s Choice:  cemetery

Here are the submissions for this week:

gravestone
in a foreign land
no calligraphy

Christina Chin

 

grey garden…
the warp and weft
unraveling

B Shropshire
TX

 

dog lying
in it’s
master’s shadow

Lakshmi Iyer

 

dying
for the sun
to rise

Helen Buckingham

 

war cemetery –
proud president
in the first row

vincenzo adamo

 

resin and wind
among the dusty marbles
the slight earth

resina e vento
tra i marmi impolverati
la terra lieve

Ezio Infantino

 

cemetery stone
all those voices
welcoming me home

Stephen A. Peters

 

guest list
for the after-party –
room full of strangers

Eric Lohman

 

relations…
a network of shoots
and roots

carol jones
Wales

 

a lifetime … yet
all that remains
a shadow

Linda L Ludwig
Florida USA

 

full moon
the memorial stones
a uniform white

Anitha Varma
Kerala, India

 

the groundskeeper’s grin
crooked
headstones

Edward Cody Huddleston

 

night stirs –
hungry souls searching
soul mate

Radhamani sarma

 

shadowed sunlight
his upright life
tilts

Christina Pecoraro

 

his name was O’Brian
and here he lies
I piss on his grave

Garry Eaton

 

come join us
at the family plot –
chorus from beyond

Roberta Beach Jacobson
Indianola, Iowa, USA

 

leaning grave stone
confiding
my future

nancy liddle

 

the Milky Way
born
gathering stars

Teiichi Suzuki
Japan

 

father’s tombstone
facing at the sun
fallen mango leaves

Agus Maulana Sunjaya
Indonesia

 

morning
the spring breeze carries
the secrets of the graves

Aljoša Vuković
Šibenik, Croatia

 

posterity scroll
after only twenty years
the bonanza melts

Sherrod Taylor

 

even in death
he stood alone
class prefect

Christina Sng

 

what the living blissfully ignore
in death
we’re all the same

Anjali Warhadpande

 

Père Lachaise
“this is the end
beautiful friend”

Pere Risteski

 

terminal illness
arranging the funeral
playlist

Tomislav Sjekloća

 

summer afternoon
the cricket’s song
on his gravestone

Anna Maria Domburg-Sancristoforo

 

evensong
the bowed heads
of dandelions

Ingrid Baluchi

 

strong winds
not every leaf waits
for the fall to fall

Vandana Parashar

 

traces of life
on the headstone…
the green grass

Manoj Sharma

 

November graveyard
the warmth of your hand
in mine

Olivier Schopfer
Switzerland

 

pioneers
now permanently lodged
in the old cemetery

Sari Grandstaff

 

funeral
the sun gives way
to moon

Maria Concetta Conti

 

chess field
players have left
pieces remain

Saša Slavković
Slovenia

 

silent witnesses
they stand over the dead –
bodyguards

Aju Mukhopadhyay

 

fifty four
and no more
zig then zag

joel

 

full moon
spreading itself
on dead grass

SD Desai

 

hard stone
in memory of a gentle
poetic soul

Slobodan Pupovac
Zagreb, Croatia

 

the light that rises on your grave the shadows lengthen

luce che sorge sulla tua tomba s’allungano le ombre

Angela Giordano
Italy

 

cemetery yard –
still can’t press enter
at the end of file

Cristina Angelescu

 

only tombstones
and silence
on the green lawn

soltanto lapidi
e silenzio
sul prato verde

Rosa Maria Di Salvatore

 

Klondike Gold Rush
the unknown yellows
of wildflowers

(Probably invasive species Yellow Toadflax (Linaria vulgaris)!)

Alan Summers
Gold Hill, Shaftesbury, England

 

small town
a long walk
though history

Carmen Sterba

 

the passage of time
on a tombstone
no borders six feet under

John S Green

 

summer tribute
on my sister’s gravestone
first light of dawn

Richa Sharma

 

Veteran’s Day
all the white stones stand
in formation

Nancy Brady

 

roaring life
a daydreamer rests in peace
hopefully

Franjo Ordanic

 

Was the life he led
So on the straight and narrow?
His gravestone is crooked

Margie Gustafson

 

gravestone
all the roses
she never liked

Jackie Chou
Pico Rivera, CA USA

 

pioneers
in primal sleep dreaming
of Yukon gold

Barbara Tate

 

green grass
stars shining
above us

Guliz Mutlu

 

cemetery quiet…
our holiday squabbles
laid to rest

Michele L. Harvey

 

roll call
in the Yukon
gathering shadows

Don Miller
Las Cruces, New Mexico, USA

 

last secret handshake
the undertaker
a Mason, too

Autumn Noelle Hall

 

sunken cemetery
rehearsing our lines
breaks the silence

edna beers

 

marking vintage dust
headstones await dear ones
for silent dialogue

Vishnu Kapoor

 

visiting
with strangers
tombstones

Rehn Kovacic

 

heroes cemetery
shadows of tombstones
waking in sunrise

Adjei Agyei-Baah
Ghana/New Zealand

 

sunset
a murder of crows swoop
beneath the table

Robert Kingston
Chelmsford. Essex. UK

 

summer’s end
her message
well placed

Eva Su
Indonesia

 

A tombstone
Not a chrysanthemum
on the cut grass

Dennys Cambarau

 

late proposal
the champagne bottle
too cold

Radostina Dragostinova

 

cold moon
hoarfrost decorates roses
on a black marble plate

Dubravka Šćukanec
Zagreb, Croatia

 

death, a muted thought
I enjoy my ice cream
at a mountaineering base

Neelam Dadhwal

 

shadows lengthen
this inability to recall
your face

Marion Clarke

 

clicks on the line
my mother’s old number
gone dead

John Hawkhead

 

the brother he mentioned
once
in passing

Laurie Greer
D.C.

 

tombstone
between two dates
a dash

Sanela Pliško

 

Thomas W. O’Brien
in the gold rush of Klondike
a place of remembrance

Zdenka Mlinar
Croatia

 

cemetery
relative’s headstone
mournful flute song

Susan Lee Roberts
Sacramento, CA, USA

 

missing piece
graveyard history lesson
not forgotten

Kathleen Mazurowski

 

the winter sea
in my father’s silence…
chrysanthemums

Elisabetta Castagnoli

 

memorial park
a quiet place to rest
my bones

Rich Schilling
Webster Groves, MO

 

visitation day

tossing horse shoes, beers,

… memories

Lemuel Waite
Georgetown, Kentucky

 

the dreams
Klondike wealth
so gently covered

Paul Geiger

 

Ghostly figures walk
’tween marble shadows to their
permanent housing.

mark
Albany, NY

 

last trip:
the bare transparencies of light

ultimo viaggio:
le nude trasparenze della luce

Giuliana Ravaglia

 

not remembering
the name and the day…
autumn wind

non ricordando
il nome e il giorno…
vento d’autunno

Angiola Inglese

 

pioneer cemetery
behind birth and death dates
their stories

Debbie Scheving

 

into eternal light
Thomas O’Brien
obviously you lean

Adrian Bouter

 

summer sadness…
at the cemetery
raindrops

Mark Meyer

 

heavy jacket…
in the old cemetery
not even a flower

Elisa Allo
Switzerland

 

come and go
running to the fountain
summer sea

Francesco Palladino

 

pet cemetery
the little girl learns
about impermanence

Madhuri Pillai

 

so vainly
searching for his tomb –
the old cemetery

Tomislav Maretić

 

his black dog
in silent procession
round the picket

simonj
UK

 

late afternoon
long shadows lay down
at the foot of headstones

Ron Scully

 

always near
the spirit of loved ones
heaven’s river

Xenia Tran

 

his tombstone
destined to be dust
a life in words

Steve Tabb

 

rendezvous…
the shadow of my tombstone
embracing yours

arvinder Kaur
Chandigarh, India

 

tomb over tomb
in an endless procession
all over around flowers bloom

Tsanka Shishkova

 

morning mist
my long shadow cast
toward night

Janice Munro
Canada

 

worn out numbers
on old headstones
we fill in the blanks

Kath Abela Wilson
Pasadena, CA

 

refugee pioneer:
born after An Gorta Mór –
read of a Rising

Guy Stephenson

 

child abuser
even the crows
don’t rest on his stone

Pris Campbell

 

sun setting
leaves long shadows
on my memories

Alan Harvey

 

gated grove
tracing ancestries
of unrest

C.R. Harper

 

winter equinox
the headstone shadow
longer than ever

Hifsa Ashraf

 

no pushover
grasping the real life
spontanious remission

Karen Harvey
Wales

 

shift change
the shuffle out faster than
the shuffle in

Steve Smolak
Murphysboro, Illinois, USA

 

funeral day
the final rose dropped
onto the coffin

Christine L. Villa

 

dreams of gold
adventures
laid to rest

Margaret Walker

 

when ghost shadows stretch
it’s time to stop playing
in the cemetery

Greer Woodward
Kamuela, HI

 

Grandpa came for gold
but found opportunities
for his children

Dean Okamura

 

sudden wind
in the grass around the stone
dark beer and foul play

Susan Rogers
Los Angeles, CA USA

 

father’s day
swallows chattering
around his grave

cezar ciobîcă

 

under this ground
the only gold
buried in his teeth

wendy c. bialek
prescott valley, az usa

 

sun-filled graveyard
splinters of memories
that survive

Claire Vogel Camargo

 

halfway
between heaven and hell
minus six feet

Charles Harmon
Los Angeles, CA 90603

 

black hole collapsing a bad memory

Lucia Fontana

 

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).

This Post Has 59 Comments

  1. thank you to thf staff and kj for providing this weekly forum…the photo prompts have been so inspiring, the discussions are spirited, the poetry divine. i look forward to participation each week and savouring each poem. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!

  2. Wonderfully chilling set…..well done everyone!

    Marion Clarke’s

    shadows lengthen
    this inability
    to see your face

    is my choice of the week. Painfully true.

  3. I’m amazed by the variety here again. And that, with only a couple of days to create, approximately a hundred contributors get it done every week.
    *
    full moon
    the memorial stones
    a uniform white
    *
    Anitha Varma
    *
    Love the glow of the moon against the hardness of the stones, and the double meaning of uniform.
    *
    night stirs —
    hungry souls searching
    soul mate
    *
    Radhamani Sarma
    *
    I found this creepy at first read, yet moving. Then rereading and removing it from the cemetery setting it had a different meaning.
    *
    small town
    a long walk
    through history
    *
    Carmen Sterba
    *
    Nice contrast, and I love walking historic small towns.
    *
    gravestone
    all the roses
    she never liked
    *
    Jackie Chou
    *
    This created questions with story potential, which I enjoy.
    *
    last secret handshake
    the undertaker
    a Mason, too
    *
    Autumn Noelle Hall
    *
    Clever use of the lodge theme, and the too at the end works, which is hard to do.
    *
    memorial park
    a quiet place to rest
    my bones
    *
    Rich Schilling
    *
    Fun break between second and third lines.
    *
    visitation day
    tossing horse shoes, beers,
    …memories
    *
    Lemuel Waite
    *
    A good sentimental image, with the multiple use of tossing and the ellipsis.
    *
    his black dog
    in silent procession
    round the picket
    *
    simonj
    *
    Reminded me of images of dogs at their lost friends’ graves, only the dog can’t get in here.
    *
    rendezvous…
    the shadow of my tombstone
    embracing yours
    *
    arvinder kaur
    *
    Another lovely poem from a poet.
    *
    dreams of gold
    adventures
    laid to rest
    *
    Margaret Walker
    *
    Concise and yet covers it all.
    *
    under this ground
    the only gold
    buried in his teeth
    *
    wendy c. bialek
    *
    Clever use of the historical theme, with a bit of humor, in my view.
    *
    sun-filled graveyard
    splinters of memories
    that survive
    *
    Claire Vogel Camargo
    *
    Loved “splinters of memories” with the wooden grave markers.
    *
    And Robert Kingston’s “crows” would fit next week also!

    1. *
      under this ground
      the only gold
      buried in his teeth
      *
      wendy c. bialek
      *
      Clever use of the historical theme, with a bit of humor, in my view.

      Thanks, Debbie Scheving for noticing and appreciating my senryu with gold rush historic relevance and yes, my intended humour ….also the tombstones visually resemble teeth, (to me)….crooked teeth, and rather sparse which made me relate to teeth that had been repaired.

      I also noticed and agreed, that Robert’s Kingston”s poem relates to next week’s picture.

      1. Debbie Scheving I loved yours …

        the stories of the lives, between the birth and death dates, of those buried souls, stir the imagination!

        Anitha Varma

    2. Debbie Scheving and Ingrid Baluchi,

      I was thinking of Concord’s Sleepy Hollow Cemetery where Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Louisa May Alcott, and Nathaniel Hawthorn are at rest. This cemetery has a Poets section. It is about one and a half miles from the famous Waldon Pond.

      small town
      a long walk
      through history

  4. These are all very thoughtful.

    the winter sea
    in my father’s silence
    chrysanthemums
    .
    Elisabetta Castagnoli
    .
    pioneer cemetery
    behind birth and death dates
    their stories
    .
    Debbie Scheving
    .
    even in death
    he stood alone
    class perfect
    .
    Christina Sng
    .
    evensong
    the bowed heads
    of dandelions
    .
    Ingrid Beluchi

    1. Thank you, Carmen!
      Your ‘long walk through history’ is very fine. Cemeteries are often fascinating to walk through, peaceful and calming.

  5. Good evening everyone! What is the theme for next week? There is no title for the submission of the two bottles of wine … I have just written some haikus. Could you please tell me? Thank you 🙂

  6. late proposal
    the champagne bottle
    too cold

    Radostina Dragostinova

    perhaps this heart-felt poem by Radostina has been motivated by the recent tragedy, where a young man while proposing underwater…(behind the glass, holds up a written note..that faces the hotel room where his future wife can read it)..fatally drowns….never sees her answer…

  7. Thank you KJ for another inspiring photo.
    Yet again a fabulous amount of submissions. Working backwards I selected these. Now for a second reading of the rest.
    .
    .
    Klondike Gold Rush
    the unknown yellows
    of wildflowers

    (Probably invasive species Yellow Toadflax (Linaria vulgaris)!)

    Alan Summers
    Gold Hill, Shaftesbury, England
    .
    Marion Clarke
    .
    clicks on the line
    my mother’s old number
    gone dead
    .
    John Hawkhead
    .
    memorial park
    a quiet place to rest
    my bones
    .
    Rich Schilling
    Webster Groves, MO
    .
    not remembering
    the name and the day…
    autumn wind
    .
    non ricordando
    il nome e il giorno…
    vento d’autunno
    .
    Angiola Inglese
    .
    rendezvous…
    the shadow of my tombstone
    embracing yours
    .
    arvinder Kaur
    Chandigarh, India
    .
    worn out numbers
    on old headstones
    we fill in the blanks
    .
    Kath Abela Wilson
    Pasadena, CA
    .
    shift change
    the shuffle out faster than
    the shuffle in
    .
    Steve Smolak
    Murphysboro, Illinois, USA
    .
    funeral day
    the final rose dropped
    onto the coffin
    .
    Christine L. Villa
    .
    black hole collapsing a bad memory

    Lucia Fontana

    1. thank you Robert Kingston, for bravely jumping in with your comments…i have enjoyed them an look forward to more of your reviews.

  8. A very beautiful collection, with very different sensations.
    My choices :

    shadows lengthen
    this inability to recall
    your face
    Marion Clarke

    morning mist
    my long shadow cast
    toward night
    Janice Munro

    rendezvous…
    the shadow of my tombstone
    embracing yours
    Arvinder Kaur

    1. Thank you, Angela. Although mine could refer to the narrator experiencing memory problems due to old age or even Alzheimers, I was thinking more of how time erases the details of a face, particularly when a loved one has been taken from us at a young age.
      marion

  9. Thank you for putting this poignant collection together Kathy and for including mine here too. I was especially taken with:
    .
    rendezvous…
    the shadow of my tombstone
    embracing yours
    .
    arvinder Kaur
    Chandigarh, India

  10. A wide range of images, and emotions, some light hearted, some deep and dark
    this is one that stayed with me-
    .
    sunset
    a murder of crows swoop
    beneath the table
    .
    Robert Kingston.
    .
    This verse conjures an image, after the funeral, of family members picking over items left behind by a dearly departed one.
    Many times a family member is forgotten, until they die, Line 2 in this instance is so apt…
    Haiku can be read in many ways, this is how I see it 🙂

      1. I quite agree, Ingrid, I find them interesting to observe, and have photographed them on many an occasion, their antics can be humorous.

      2. Indeed an intelligent species. We must remember they too have a dark side.
        .
        day moon
        crows circle
        the magpies nest

  11. This is quite a collection! I am still in the process of savouring but here are five that have stood out for me so far:
    .
    November graveyard
    the warmth of your hand
    in mine
    .
    Olivier Schopfer
    Switzerland
    .
    .
    chess field
    players have left
    pieces remain
    .
    Saša Slavković
    Slovenia
    .
    .
    tombstone
    between two dates
    a dash
    .
    Sanela Pliško
    .
    .
    not remembering
    the name and the day…
    autumn wind
    .
    non ricordando
    il nome e il giorno…
    vento d’autunno
    .
    Angiola Inglese
    .
    .
    father’s day
    swallows chattering
    around his grave
    .
    cezar ciobîcă

  12. Thank you for sharing my haiku and I love the responses. Some very diverse shares this week. I’m enjoy challenges.

  13. Many thanks Kathy for including mine.
    My choice:

    November graveyard
    the warmth of your hand
    in mine

    Olivier Schopfer
    Switzerland

    shadows lengthen
    this inability to recall
    your face

    Marion Clarke

  14. just a quick note to say thanks as always to all the poets who submit, & also for the supportive & encouraging dialogue that continues in these comments… this is what we were hoping for when Poet’s Choice was first imagined!
    & I have to mention how much I love all the Yukon references this week, among the shadows & memories, along with some truly original images… well-done!

  15. My warmest congratulations to all the poets, really well done!
    I particularly appreciate the chiaroscuro in:
    morning
    the spring breeze carries
    the secrets of the graves
    By
    Aljoša Vuković
    Šibenik, Croatia
    … a very smart way to lighten both the atmosphere and theme!

  16. Many thanks, Kathy, for including my verse in this huge and diverse collection of poems. Haven’t read them all, yet, but I will.

  17. Dear Kathy Munro,
    Greetings. Profound thanks for including mine. Delighted to see the following one by Kath Abela Wilson
    So much of history in the lines.
    worn out numbers
    on old headstones
    we fill in the blanks

    Kath Abela Wilson
    Pasadena, CA

  18. Thank you Kathy for putting together all these excellent haiku and including mine. This one captures the feeling I got right off the bat when seeing this photo. I like the use of “full moon” here. A wonderful haiku in my opinion:

    full moon
    the memorial stones
    a uniform white

    Anitha Varma
    Kerala, India

  19. Wow, that must be a record for number of contributions! Poets really are fascinated by death aren’t we. I have picked this one from Marion out because it can be about recall in life or the drift of our living selves into the mists of memory when die. Nicely done.
    *
    shadows lengthen
    this inability to recall
    your face
    *
    Marion Clarke

    1. Yes, there are obviously a few of us who like a good graveyard ku, john! I’m going to enjoy reading these.
      .
      And thank you. 🙂
      .
      marion

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