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Haiku Dialogue: Poet’s Choice, monoku

 

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Welcome to the Poet’s Choice series, hosted by guest editor Craig Kittner.

Posted below are the submissions for the monoku theme. For this series, the haiku appear in the order in which I received them.

Our next theme is suchness, or things as they are.

Suchness is practiced in haiku by presenting things without abstraction, conceptualizing or commenting. It is related to the admonition to show, not tell. It is simplicity. You present an experience as you found it and allow your reader to share it and make of it what they will.

This week’s inspiration comes from our very own kjmunro, with a poem that was first published in A Hundred Gourds in 2012:

her room
as she left it
the dream catcher stirs

What do we know from this poem? Some one is no longer there, but her room remains and there is a dream catcher in it. Something has put it in motion and that has brought attention to it. There are many possibilities for interpretation, but they are secondary. This moment exists just as it is and like all moments it has richness. Focusing on it brings us into unity with it.

Your turn now. Write us a haiku that tells it as it is.

Send one original, unpublished haiku of suchness via our Contact Form by Saturday, August 25, and it will be included in next week’s blog. (If you send more then one, only the first one will be posted).  Include your name as you would like it to appear. Please note that acknowledgement emails will not be sent.

 

Here are the submissions for monoku:

daily forecast truncating my protein diet

Lakshmi Iyer

 

the queen feeds the five million

Mark Gilbert

 

crescent moon the dagger edges of loneliness

Jackie Chou

 

northern wind over the sea a fading cloud

Giovanna Restuccia

 

white dress the daisies around her grave

Marilyn Ashbaugh

 

death bed- wishing hundred   better lives

Radhamani sarma

 

wind chooses her straw hat becomes a boat

Neni Rusliana

 

looking at the sky a painter found himself

Aljoša Vuković

 

roadkill the rain not all mine

Stephen Peters

 

the natural beauty I like pink roses

Rosa Maria Di Salvatore

 

the sound of chirins August wind

Julia Guzmán

 

abandoned letter box

Vali Gholami

 

old song in my memories his smile

Maria Teresa Piras

 

incoming tide my kingdom disappears with a wave

Barbara Tate

 

holiday gathering flowers for her grave

Robin Anna Smith

 

hardness of Georgia water meteor shower

Eric Lohman

 

summer Moon – I forgive all that dream thief

Danijela Grbelja

 

white wings on white waves

Bruce Jewett

 

monsoon rain the desert primrose smiles

Rehn Kovacic

 

under a canopy stars hold their light

Peter Jastermsky

 

eyebrows shoot skyward UFO

C.R. Harper

 

summer the heat of his punch

Lori A Minor

 

transitioning into a summary my prognosis

Shloka Shankar

 

persistent rain the afterbirth of a dream

Anitha Varma

 

she is dying – Our Father …

Dubravka Šćukanec

 

winding swallow flight on a straight road

Slobodan Pupovac

 

airplanes trails crossed without meeting

Margherita Petriccione

 

learning how to fall first snow

Vandana Parashar

 

loneliness the pet I have grown up with

Radostina Dragostinova

 

eyelashes letting in the midge the carnivorous eye

Marie-Louise Montignot

 

triple moon my scar tissue rippling

Roberta Beary

 

echo of my longing in cicada’s cry

SD Desai

 

how much pain does a tear drop hold

Linda L Ludwig

 

the deepest loneliness inside my heart

Tsanka Shishkova

 

gravity’s mirror falling upward into life

Bob Whitmire

 

milk weed crashes the new garden slightly out of sync

Lemuel Waite

 

home infusion nursing by skylight

Sherrod Taylor

 

the scene unfolding…pop-up book

Sari Grandstaff

 

an answer caught between daisy petals

Benedetta Cardone

 

clouds besides the white egrets

Guliz Mutlu

 

dried licorice root  revived into tea

Ljiljana Dobra

 

insomnia the hunger cramps of the beggar

Angela Giordano

 

his last close shave underground

clysta seney

 

balloon with no string me without you

Carol Raisfeld

 

sucking hard on a hose when finally, water.

X3+us the Whale

 

driving rain windshield wipers stop please!

joel

 

a word is hovering over an insult street rain cop

Alan Summers

 

my co-pilot’s furry smile we drive sunsets

nancy liddle

 

work in progress along the guardrail  broom

Angiola Inglese

 

petals on her grave this shattered doll-face

Marietta McGregor

 

iri[slinks] his indelible dream

Christina Chin

 

gathers to welcome spring butterflies

Agus Maulana Sunjaya

 

wind chimes  the muse of breeze

Pravat Kumar Padhy

 

sunset visits a traveling hermit in ochre robes

Anjali Warhadpande

 

transpiration of a mothers love

carol jones

 

autumn moon hiding behind my poncho

Neelam Dadhwal

 

melting icebergs the bitterness of blue curaçao

Ingrid Baluchi

 

emergency landing sparkles between us

Sanela Pliško

 

hands stroking the bubbles in and out

Bisshie

 

mating pond skaters making waves

Tomislav Maretić

 

spring returning the scene of a crime

Rich Schilling

 

high branch drama

Kathleen Mazurowski

 

the scent of your perfume lingering summer heat

Olivier Schopfer

 

sandstone cliffs the shape of the wind

Steve Tabb

 

super natural multiverse

Charles Harmon

 

a blind man beside the pond feels his reflection

Dean Okamura

 

moonwalking surgically socked

Helen Buckingham

 

in place of the ice sheet lightning

Laurie Greer

 

dolphins swim a song I cannot sing

andrew shimield

 

my yellow out of the bug’s shell

Robert Kingston

 

three weeks on a diet and my bathroom scale still hasn’t heard the news

Franjo Ordanic

 

again the flower I don’t remember

Peggy Hale Bilbro

 

whippoorwill calling his name in my dreams

Margaret Walker

 

labeled resilient the pain disregarded

Debbie Scheving

 

dark night somewhere a train whistle

Valentina Ranaldi-Adams

 

speaking in public a thousand eyeballs

Margie Gustafson

 

in the river’s gurgle a cough

Adjei Agyei-Baah

 

autumn fireflies too late to die young

Autumn Noelle Hall

 

wishbone- my heart in a confusion

arvinder kaur

 

summer heat revealing the trails of Morphos

Hifsa Ashraf

 

still the wind among the red poppies the last kiss

Giuliana Ravaglia

 

summit the climber reaches into space

john hawkhead

 

tiger approaches from the frame

Susan Bonk Plumridge

 

swallows going berserk my cat

Tomislav Sjekloća

 

my daughter’s pep talk on mine maturing wine

Madhuri Pillai

 

mid-August ghosts on greeting cards

Babs McGrory

 

Happy breeze makes clothes linedance

Guy Stephenson

 

a large flock of fish follows the seagull’s shadow

Zdenka Mlinar

 

inside a drop of seawater clouds

Elisa Allo

 

smoking late thoughts at nth night coffee

Luisa Santoro

 

free hugs the scarecrow and me

Eva Limbach

 

yoga room the om of air plants

wendy c. bialek

 

across the hill this light

Adrian Bouter

 

Dark forest swarm of fireflies guide

Aju Mukhopadhyay

 

slowingtocheckhisphone pace  now   q u I  c  k   e   n    i    n     g

John Green

 

gardenia bush the lei grows blossom by blossom

Pris Campbell

 

church bells the sun rises on cue

Edward Cody Huddleston

 

low winter sun the small tracks left just enough tension

Paul Geiger

 

hummingbirds fed up empty feeder

Kath Abela Wilson

 

gladiolas on my way my prettiest skirt

Virginia von Hahn

 

a swallow flipped still time for the rain

Saša Slavković

 

sweating it Indian summer

Michele L. Harvey

 

as I grow cold trees disperse my colour

simonj

 

meteor shower his lungs still dirty

Cezar Ciobica

 

–breathless darts of an unknown past.

Benedicta Boamah

 

lock of blonde bookmark the first fear she faced

Ron Scully

 

leopard spots pray it’s not me

Ronald K. Craig

 

full moon lily blossoms

Nancy Brady

 

just after rain the silvering

Susan Rogers

 

dreams of Mars dreaming of us

Greer Woodward

 

toeing the line my mind wanders

Karen Harvey

 

falling leaves hollows to hold the rain

Kelly Sauvage Angel

 

downsizingcrampsmystyle

Ann Rawson

 

the river bends their murmuring conversation

Christina Pecoraro

 

 

Guest Editor Craig Kittner lives near the banks of the Cape Fear River in Wilmington, North Carolina. He has worked as a gallery director in Washington, DC, and a program director for the Kentucky Arts Council. He currently serves on the board of the North Carolina Poetry Society, directing contests for the 2020 edition of the Pinesong Awards anthology.

 

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).

After several years of moves, Craig Kittner has put down roots in the sandy soil of Eastern North Carolina. There the sunshine is clear. The climate gives rise to riotous growths of wildflowers. Birds abound, and the sky is alive with ocean breezes. Craig is content to walk the forests and beaches, gathering imagery for his poems. His work has been published in Frogpond, Chrysanthemum, Failed Haiku, bottle rockets, and the Autumn Moon Haiku Journal. In 2018, he had two poems selected as judges' favorites in the 5th Annual Golden Haiku Competition, and one poem selected for the Winston Salem Writers' Poetry in Plain Sight project. His first chapbook, Time's Sweet Savor, was published in 2016 by New Books on Front Street, an imprint of Old Books on Front Street in downtown Wilmington.

This Post Has 96 Comments

  1. My goodness I really enjoyed these monoku.

    I am in love with Adrian Bouter’s

    across the hill this light

    I cannot get this monoku out of my mind. It is exquisitely beautiful!

    In addition I really resonated with:

    crescent moon the dagger edges of loneliness
    –jackie chou
    I feel the sharp edges of that dagger.

    learning how to fall first snow
    –vandana parashar
    this captures a hard to capture
    vulnerability so beatuifully

    loneliness the pet I grew up with
    –radostina dragostinova
    (this one also haunts me)

    balloon with no string me without you
    –carol raisfeld
    so much said in so few words

    high branch drama
    –kathleen mazurowski
    I can see this so clearly

    dolphins swim a song I cannot sing
    –andrew shimield
    I simply love this one

    dark night somewhere a train whistle
    –valentina ranaldi-adams
    I love the mystery and the music in this.

    My gratitude to Alan Summers for his remarkable and insightful commentary on so many of the monoku. His comments are invaluable for me and always help me to see the haiku in a new light. Thank you Alan for your kind words about my monoku this week.

    My gratitude also to Debbie Scheving for her comments acknowledging the three of us who wrote on the same story for the breveity, 5-7-5 and monoku.
    Kathleen Mazurowski’s “high branch drama”, Susan Bonk Plumridge’s ” tiger approaches from the frame”, and mine..“just after rain the silvering.” It was a challenge to come up with the monoku this time but I really enjoyed having three very different sorts of haiku approach the same story. Thank you Debbie! And thank you Susan Bonk Plumridge and Kathleen Mazurowksi for your monoku!

  2. Thank you very much Autumn, Alan, and Laurie. This was my first monoku, but it won’t be my last. I appreciate the feedback.

    1. Hi Margie! :-)
      .
      speaking in public a thousand eyeballs
      .
      Margie Gustafson
      .
      .
      Good to hear there will be more, these are really interesting challenges, and can get us out of any rut in writing we might not have been aware of too.
      .
      The ‘suchness’ challenge will be very interesting too!
      .
      Alan
      .
      p.s.
      .
      Your monoku is really striking, as I can feel the shininess of each eyeball reflecting back the image of the person making a speech too. Very vivid.

      1. Thank you Alan. A theatre group I work with asked to use it in a presentation about creativity. I enjoy your haiku as well and your observations are always so astute.

  3. Thank you Alan for commenting on my monoku. It’s wonderful to read your comments it makes me read the poems again and appreciate them. Wonderful selection.

  4. It’s going good with new experiences of writing and viewing haiku created in different order and perspective, without selection. But somehow my haiku under conventional theme wasn’t published in the site which I have mentioned and received a comment also. This must a chance omission, in any way! It was,

    l drive my scooter
    my long shadow moves ahead
    tricks by morning Sun

    1. Hello Aju.

      Apologies, I failed to see your comment from August 17. I have added your 5-7-5 to that blog posting for posterity’s sake.

    2. I love this haiku. I can just see the long shadow elongating.
      You capture the moment beautifully!

  5. Alan

    Thank you for your comment on my “whippoorwill” monk! Much appreciated. That you wrote nine pages of comments is amazing! Thank you.

    I learn so much from your comments here and your classes!

    Margaret

  6. Thanks Craig for the opportunity to read all these monoku, I see that I still have a lot to learn ….
    Among this week’s favorites

    learning how to fall first snow

    Vandana Parashar
    ……………………………………………………………

    airplanes trails crossed without meeting

    Margherita Petriccione

  7. What an amazing set of monoku – is this the largest selection yet? Too many to comment on for me as every one has something to think about and the imagery is great. Congratulations and great thanks to Alan for his marathon yet incisive commentary. Looking forward to next week!

    1. We had 117 haiku sent in for the first post of the Poet’s Choice series, on brevity. This week’s post had 113.

      Please remember how this series works. To quote from the first post, “you may only submit one haiku each week, and that haiku will be posted in the blog. I won’t be making selections nor will I be providing commentary. Each of you will decide what you want your peers to read and what you want to say about the submissions. That’s why it’s called ‘Poet’s Choice.'”

      So there is not a competitive element in these posts. Just a sharing of ideas, procedures, and poetry.

      We are going to be continuing this format for a while, with different guest editors mixed in.

      I hope everyone is enjoying and learning from it.

      And you all have my appreciation for your contributions.

      1. Hmm…so I’m wondering if you aren’t picking any then are our haiku considered published? I’m just asking because if they are then I can’t submit them to journals and if they aren’t then I can.
        Thanks for these great weekly columns! Wednesday is no longer just a Wednesday, it’s the day the Haiku Dialogue appears.

        1. Hi Rich,

          That is going to depend on the submission policy for any particular journal. Please check them carefully. Some say that submissions should not have appeared anywhere and some specify only edited venues. These posts are not edited per se.

        2. Rich, in the approx 20 journals that I have researched recently, they are specifically noting “including blogs and forums.” The one exception I remember is the monthly senryu journal Failed Haiku. On a positive note, there is alot of exposure here and your contributions are enjoyed and appreciated. It would be interesting to know how many lurkers there are who don’t contribute haiku or post. Also, if you ever put together a chapbook you can include these, I believe.

          1. Thanks Debbie! I guess I never thought about how many people are contributors here and how many people read without contributing. If I had a chapbook I would be including some from here. That seems a long way off but definitely a future goal.

  8. i’m happy that you read, commented on and loved my yoga room one liner, Alan S. just as i was saying to Debbie:
    i want to share something i gazed at the day after i wrote this monoku…..a news article appeared below in my browser something about how empty yoga studios have become….something to do with religious teaching associated with the lack of attendance. i’m trying to find it again….to know what it was saying in full….but it hasn’t come up in my search….does anyone know more about it?
    always look forward to your feedback and take on all the poems posted in haiku dialogue….often educational, always learning something new.

  9. Fellow writers,

    What accomplished writing! After reading the series I understood much more about monoku than I had before. Thank you!

    I found Kathleen Mazurowski’s

    high branch drama

    very evocative. In the northeast, we had squirrels and small birds up there and feeders hanging from branches — lots of fussing with the seed. Also the squirrel that got up on the basement ceiling and had to be broom swept out of an upper ground window. Those adorable animals have long, sharp claws when you see them up close (not recommended.

    In Hawaii, some little dramas, small, empty bird nests on the ground. What happened there? No eggs nearby or egg parts. Hope the chicks made it.

    Dubravka Scukanec’s

    she is dying — Our Father…

    rang true to me. So hard to find the right words to say at moments like this To use a traditional prayer is considerate, often going back to an individual’s childhood as well as moments of comfort throughout a lifetime.

    Thank you, Alan, for commenting on my work. You wrote nine pages about our poems. Nine pages! We all thank you for your careful attention to our efforts throughout our haiku seasons.

    Not to mention thanks to Craig and kj for keeping us going. Will the project continue after the next two sessions?

    Greer

    1. We will continue with the open posting, but prompts will be different as will editorship.

      1. thank you Craig & Greer (& all!)…
        just to add that we are actively seeking guest editors for this column – even just for a month or 2 – to help keep this wonderful feature going!!! New guest editors contribute new perspectives & energy… please do consider this & send a note along for more information! thanks, kj

  10. Thank you Craig for including my monoku and for this wonderful collection. It was my first time writing a monoku. I never heard that term before. Reminds me of that hybrid swimsuit style – the monokini. Alan and others have commented so eloquently and expertly. I will be reading further. I notice the places where the poets are from is no longer included. Should we leave that out? I liked seeing where everyone was from. Such an international group of contributors.

    1. For the rest of this series I will be listing poets’ names only. In preparing over 100 haiku for posting each week, I’m under a lot of time constraint. Other obligations require me to be as efficient as possible for now.

      1. I assumed that the reason for leaving off the locations was the 100 contributions and the list reading so long. But I did find it very helpful to see the country when there was an unfamiliar cultural reference or a little irregularity in the translation. Maybe consider adding country only and not the cities later on would work. Thank you for your time put in here. As I read on a lapel button once “Don’t Yell at Me I’m a Volunteer.” I was a young woman then but it stuck with me.

  11. Thank you to Charles Harmon (the one in OUR supernatural multiverse) for letting me know about this week’s monoku theme; much fun was had by usually-a-tanka-poet-me–might just have to revist the ku multiverse.

    Diving in for my first read-through, I caught these poems in my net:

    dolphins swim a song I cannot sing [Andrew Shimield]

    –as someone concerned about the Climate Crisis, I flashed-forward to a time of no dolphins; let’s hope we can learn their song, or at least learn to feel and appreciate it, before then.

    sandstone cliffs the shape of the wind [Steve Tabb]

    –I love the un-asked question of which shapes which here. It the ku were reversed, it would be equally effective: shape of the wind sandstone cliffs Either way, I revisit the badlands and feel the grit in my teeth reading this poem (which is a good thing, in terms of sensory writing).

    learning how to fall first snow [Vandana Parishar]

    –I love the multiple images and readings possible in this ku: learning how to fall first/snow, learning how to fall/first snow Is it the snow learning or the poet? Is it a soft, light snow, or a heavy wet one? Finally, here in the Rockies, we can get snow as early as September. So anyone learning how to “Fall” here better get used to the idea of pre-equinox snow! Just a wonderful, fun haiku!

    hummingbirds fed up empty feeder [Kath Abela Wilson]

    –our garden is filled with competing hummingbirds all chasing and tail-flaring and making very competitive vexed noises, so this ku really hit home in a giggling way. Luckily for me, my husband does a marvelous job of keeping the feeders full, so at least they’re all just fighting over the flowers!

    speaking in public a thousand eyeballs [Margie Gustafson]

    –again, so many possible ways to read/interpret this one, and all because of the single-line format. In addition to “seeing” the nerves of the stared-at public speaker, I see the 500-member audience’s riveted attention. Since I’m also a fan of the visual arts (and a little out-of-the-box when it comes to poetic interpretation), I could also imagine the visual statement an artist might make publicly with a gallery plinth piled with 1000 glass eyes. Maybe human eyes; maybe museum-grade animal eyes; maybe a combination of both. Just picture it–what might THAT say?

    Thank you to all for sharing your poems–now up for air and another read-through! ~Autumn

  12. Another great week. A couple seemed a little long to me for monoku but I will let the more experienced comment on that.
    *
    airplanes trails crossed without meeting
    *
    Margherita Petriccione
    *
    The common ribbons in the sky, but with a stop after airplanes it reminded me of all those people we cross paths with when traveling.
    *
    triple moon my scar tissue rippling
    *
    Roberta Beary
    *
    What Alan said…
    *
    his last close shave underground
    *
    clysta seney
    *
    First thought was a miner, then a burial, as close shave has two meanings.
    *
    balloon with no string me without you
    *
    Carol Raisfeld
    *
    First read was loss, the third the balloon set free..
    *
    a word is hovering over an insult street rain cop
    *
    Alan Summers
    *
    I hear drama involving the law.
    *
    emergency landing sparkles between us
    *
    Sanela Plisko
    *
    Is sparkles supposed to read sparks? If so, I like the double meaning overlap.
    *
    spring returning the scene of a crime
    *
    Rich Schilling
    *
    Intrigue in seven words. I see the thaw uncovering a murder mystery.
    *
    I enjoyed the musicality of Pravat Kumar Padhy’s “wind chimes the muse of breeze”, Valentina Ranaldi-Adams’ “dark night somewhere a train whistle”, wendy c. bialek’s “yoga room the om of air plants”, and Edward Cody Huddleston’s “church bells the sun rises on cue”.
    *
    the river bends their murmuring conversation
    *
    Christina Pecoraro
    *
    I can’t explain it better than simonj did.

    1. glad you enjoyed mine, debbie….
      i want to share something i gazed at the day after i wrote this monoku…..a news article appeared below in my browser something about how empty yoga studios have become….something to do with religious teaching associated with the lack of attendance.

      1. Wendy, I don’t practice yoga but I have observed that with so many other options people aren’t making many long term commitments to set classes and groups. Short term commitments of a few weeks, online apps, and the drop in gyms etc seem to be doing well. At least in the states it looks to be the cultural trend.

    2. Thank you Debbie for your comments. Those were my thoughts (my father and the Chilean mining disaster) and today 8/24/2019 another one added– the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Paris close shaves by the French underground.

  13. So much beauty here, poets. I am awed. I especially hold these in my heart:
    *
    autumn fireflies too late to die young
    Autumn Noelle Hall
    *
    falling leaves hollows to hold the rain
    Kelly Sauvage Angel
    *
    summer the heat of his punch
    Lori Minor
    *
    how much pain does a tear drop hold
    Linda L. Ludwig
    *
    smoking late thoughts at nth night coffee
    Luisa Santoro
    *
    echo of my longing in cicada’s cry
    SD Desai

    1. So kind of you to include my haiku, Agnes. As I shared with Alan Summers below, after posting it here, I hand-wrote it on a tag which is now tied with other haiku to a washing line in the Japanese Shofu-En at the Denver Botanical Gardens. I decided SOMEONE had to include a non-5-7-5 haiku, may as well be me…Smiles, Autumn

  14. the river bends their murmuring conversation
    .
    Christina Pecoraro
    .
    .
    A two phrase enjambment of complementary events that create an air of languidity.
    What a relaxing piece to finish on.

    1. Thanks simonj. You penetrated the mood smoothly with your “air of languidity.”
      .
      Christina

  15. I will read again and comment on more later but wanted to mention my admiration for the three poets who took up the challenge of continuing their same theme during this series. I wasn’t up to it. The themes held up on their own in the monoku form I thought.
    *
    Kathleen Mazurowski’s “high branch drama”, Susan Bonk Plumridge’s ” tiger approaches from the frame”, and Susan Roger’s “just after rain the silvering.”
    *
    Looking forward to next week’s!

  16. Writing MONOK was a task for us last week, which, as the editorial maturity of Mr. Craig Kittner says, we have successfully done … Thank you to our teacher and congratulations to fellow poets!
    Also, thank you Mr. to Alan Summers on a positive comment on my monok.

  17. The monoku is a difficult form of haiku to write. I applaud all the poets who attempted writing one this week. Thank-you Craig for all your efforts on the column.

  18. Many thanks, Craig for including my verse, appreciated.
    .
    So many wonderful verses to read and aspire to, well done to all poets.
    .
    how much pain does a tear drop hold
    .
    Linda L Ludwig.

    How much indeed. Some tears are brought about by loss, and whether its a pet or a human can be a very painful experience. And then there’s the ‘crocodile tears’ which only hold the pain of not being able to getting ones own way or trying to.
    This verse, I find, holds sadness and humour in equal measure.

  19. lock of blonde bookmark the first fear she faced

    Ron Scully

    a child’s first haircut….the first fear?….or lost hair from chemo.?..saved and preserved into a bookmark.

    when i hear “first”…..i think second, third…….i think about the parents who are letting go of children to start school….and their fear of losing them…..having their young lives cut short.

    touching poem, Ron, says a lot about, “then”…..and even more about what is to come……

  20. monoku on Haiku Dialogue

    There are a lot of different approaches to one-line haiku in English, and they sometimes cross over to monostich etc… as we can see in the journal Proletaria, the online journal dedicated to the art of literary one-liners.
    .
    .
    We have the lyrical one line haiku from Stuart Quine, who now has two one-line haiku collections from Alba Publishing.
    .
    Here’s one from the second collection:
    .
    .
     night bus a buckled beer can zigzags down the aisle
    .
    .
    Something many of us have seen or heard more than once! Sometimes it’s a soft drink can with a similar irritating or amusing aspect to it.
    .
    .
    This one has musicality that I love!
    .
    .
    mocked by crows down icy cobbles I tumble home
    .
    .
    And this incredibly moving, for me, one line haiku:
    .
    .
    alone on the shore tasting the salt of my tears
    .
    .
    I highly recommend checking out both collections from Alba Publishing!
    .
    .

    There two touch on food, in different ways:
    .
    .

    daily forecast truncating my protein diet
    Lakshmi Iyer
    .
    .
    and
    .
    .

     
    the queen feeds the five million
    Mark Gilbert
    .
    .

    As food and water shortages can become a political or military weapon etc… I guess just like the early Japanese people in agriculture who kept a close eye on nature for their harvests, so even today, an eye on the weather forecasts, whether cellphone app, TV or radio or txt alerts, and even word of mouth are more and more vital.
    .
    I admire the use of the verb, and the specificness of ‘protein diet’.
    .
    .
    Mark Gilbert’s monoku had me thinking of human royalty, but of course there are are and many fellow animal species who have royalty. I also think back to the sad and deliberate miscommunication behind the ‘let them eat cake’ which in French history wasn’t a processed sugary confection and more like a type of bread, albeit a sweeter type.
    .
    It’s an interesting treatment, and a six word phrase which Hemingway made famous borrowing from a well known Small Ad in the newspapers about baby shoes. I’ve noticed more and more that alliteration, if not overdone, carries a quite powerful emotional undertone too. The one line verse certainly reverberates (no pun intended) and I find it both poignant and haunting.
    .
    .
    Page 1
    .

    1.  
      crescent moon the dagger edges of loneliness
      Jackie Chou
      .
      .
      Ah, yes, in the past I’ve experienced this, and the use of the moon, which is no longer full, is very powerful.
      .
      .

       
      death bed- wishing hundred   better lives
      Radhamani sarma
      .
      The method of the unfulfilled hyphen is very strongly used here. And the missing words (and grammar) highly effective for a person on a death bed and for loved ones to hear that person without missing out on every other word. Powerful verse, and an original and fresh treatment of the monoku.
      .
      .

      roadkill the rain not all mine
      Stephen Peters
      .
      .
      This grabbed me because of the syntax, and the internal phrase of ‘not all mine’ and that the logic has been subverted. It’s a powerful verse because of its collection and order of the words and how it’s phrased. I might, if I was being too linear and logical think it’s that the fault of the accident and death is not all down to the driver.
      .
      Is rain being used here not only due to the weather conditions, but tears adding to the liquidity of the road surface post-accident? Of drivers and passengers sitting on the side upset by the killing of a beautiful animal? Who knows, but the ordering of the words makes this a very powerful single line of poetry.
      .
      .

      holiday gathering flowers for her grave
      Robin Anna Smith
      .
      .
      I find the use of a gerund a powerful device if used well, as in this case. Is it the holiday that is gathering the flowers for a grave, her grave? Whose grave, a deceased loved one, or the author who feels they do not have long for the world?
      .
      Of course we can logically separate the line into two parts:
      .
      .
      holiday
      [I’m] gathering flowers for her grave
      .
      .
      But it doesn’t do the job of the single line. Rightly or wrongly I feel the holiday choice was one made while both people were alive, one younger, perhaps a daughter?
      .
      Is it a group of people who have visited the grave site in another part of the country or world where they have had to make time for a holiday, and so it’s a gathering of people mutually on holiday for this main purpose, and so a ‘holiday gathering’? In a non-linear way of thinking, which I often do, it’s almost as if the holiday has become a force in its own right, gathering people, and gathering flowers, for a special acknowledgement of one person who will forever reside in this ‘holiday destination’.
      .
      .
      Page 2

      1.  
        summer the heat of his punch
        Lori A Minor
        .
        .
        As violence is again being endorsed, especially domestic abuse, whether parents or partners, the Summer is one to be dreaded. Why? Because of the live sports broadcasting that fans will watch liquored up at home or in a bar, and alcohol and seasonal heat, and frustrations are more to be dreaded than at most other times of the year. The use of the syntax is highly and disturbingly effective.
        .
        .
         
        transitioning into a summary my prognosis
        Shloka Shankar
        .
        .
        Perhaps this is about the power of those ‘in power’ who hold life and death, and the information about it in their hands, to reveal when and how they wish. A neat little summary might be correct, but if it’s a health or job situation, we might wish to be gently informed, rather than what might appear a glib summing up of our ‘prognosis’.
        .
        Two technical words of ‘transitioning’ and ‘prognosis’ actually, in my opinion, aid and not detract from the haiku.
        .
        .

         
        persistent rain the afterbirth of a dream
        Anitha Varma
        .
        .
        The partnership of ‘persistent’ and ‘afterbirth’ are formidably powerful, and is it a dream? Or a dream about what has happened, or a fear, or actually a long held wish of happiness? This enigmatic monoku is very powerful.

        .
        .

        learning how to fall first snow
        Vandana Parashar
        .
        I love this approach to monoku where the reader might think it’s about learning ‘how’ to fall, and then it’s falling snow, and then of course, snow becomes slick, becomes ice, and so both participants, human and nature learn ‘how’ to fall, effectively and hopefully safely. Wonderful! :-)
        .
        .

        triple moon my scar tissue rippling
        Roberta Beary
        .
        .
        Wow! The effect of the verb (also possibly acting as an adjective as well) is very powerful, as we have both movement and sensation. As Japanese haiku often have the last word (usually a kireji) giving the tone and meaning etc… of all that has gone before, so the ‘rippling’ does that for me. It takes me back to ‘triple moon’ and whether that’s an effect of a type of glazing (window glass) effect or are they cicatrix (the scar of a healed wound)?
        .

        The Moon carries both old scars from an ancient protoplanet impact, and also last year two more scars from impacts.
        .
        Of course the author had a recent very nasty impact accident, and I wish her steady recovery.
        .
        page 3

        1. I’ve been more and more won over by the use of verbs, in short verses such as haiku, and it’s great to see a “rear action” verb, rather than the logical order we often encounter.
          .
          .

          home infusion nursing by skylight
          Sherrod Taylor
          .
          .
          That wonderful and inspired word choice of ‘skylight’ lifts this haiku, and like a few others I’ve talked about, and others, I couldn’t include, I hope to see a few of these now-classic examples appear in anthologies this year and next year!!! :-)
          .
          .

           
          the scene unfolding…pop-up book
          Sari Grandstaff
          .
          .
          The magic of expert paper engineers for children’s books are astounding. I love the use of the ellipsis as well as the fun opening lines! Great one! :-)
          .
          .

           
          an answer caught between daisy petals
          Benedetta Cardone
          .
          .
          She or he loves me, loves me now, has been a test carried out by youngsters and young adults the world over, I feel. But that the answer is caught between! Wow, what a brilliant brilliant monoku!!! :-)
          .
          .

          insomnia the hunger cramps of the beggar
          Angela Giordano
          .
          .
          Is it from the comfort of a person who has a home, and can’t sleep, and gets to see those who have no homes, and sometimes cannot sleep due to fear of theft and violence? Food is over produced in many countries yet it is often denied to those of us who are homeless. Some companies will even spray discarded out of date food with chemicals homeless people cannot eat. Many of us feel unwell if we have to wait for a meal longer than twenty minutes in a restaurant, or at home. Some mothers in Britain, have homes, but won’t eat every day so their child will never go hungry. We are a mixed up human existence.
          .
          .
          my co-pilot’s furry smile we drive sunsets
          nancy liddle
          .
          .
          I love that internal phrase of ‘we drive sunsets’!!! :-)
          .
          .
          petals on her grave this shattered doll-face
          Marietta McGregor
          .
          .
          A strong list of words ending with a doll-face being shattered. The use of ‘doll-face’ instead of ‘doll’s face’ is disturbing and adds to the tension.
          .
          .
          iri[slinks] his indelible dream
          Christina Chin
          .
          .
          page 4

          1. I wasn’t sure of the hidden words but a fun play on musicality! Love ‘indelible dream’ and wonder if iris is to do with the human eye, or a medical scanner or a flower, but love [slinks] that is inserted! :-)
            .
            .

            sunset visits a traveling hermit in ochre robes
            Anjali Warhadpande
            .
            .
            Breathtakingly beautiful, and more than quietly awesome, as it packs power without telegraphing. Wonderful!!!!!!!
            .
            .

             
            transpiration of a mothers love
            carol jones
            .
            .
            What an incredible word choice to describe a mother’s love. Great use of a word that means one thing, but perfectly captures the effect of a good mother.
            .
            .

             
            autumn moon hiding behind my poncho
            Neelam Dadhwal
            .
            .
            Wonderful!!! Love the moon hiding behind a poncho! Fresh, original. :-)
            .
            .

             
            melting icebergs the bitterness of blue curaçao
            Ingrid Baluchi
            .
            .
            Great connection between the pure blue of icebergs now being reduced to oil-drilling platforms. Great use of comparison techniques in a monoku! :-)
            .
            .
            hands stroking the bubbles in and out
            Bisshie
            .
            .
            Wow! Whether it was a temptation for the author to fill in the blanks and explain, and the same for the reader, just sit back and enjoy this “withholdment” technique. :-)
            .
            .

             
            spring returning the scene of a crime
            Rich Schilling
            .
            .
            Great use of the verb pinning both parts of the monoku, and light humour with is eerily correct as governments, pharmaceuticals and other big business despise nature unless it converts to hard cash profiteering. Great one! :-)
            .
            .
             
            high branch drama
            Kathleen Mazurowski
            .
            .
            Cool three word verse!!!!!!!! :-)
            .
            .
            page 5

          2.  .
            moonwalking surgically socked
            Helen Buckingham
            .
            .
            Another three worder, and packed with content and resonance. Read it again, it’s worth it!
            .
            .

             
            in place of the ice sheet lightning
            Laurie Greer
            .
            .
            This should have that Queen song playing too! Wonderful! :-)
            .
            .

             
            dolphins swim a song I cannot sing
            andrew shimield
            .
            .
            Ah, those songs we cannot sing, but why not? I remember reenacting that famous Wayne’s World scene of them banging their heads in a car to a song by Queen. I did the same in Los Angeles, but we swapped it to songs by Kabir instead. :-)
            .
            And yes, our water bros and sisters swim a song we’ve long forgotten, alas.
            .
            .

             
            my yellow out of the bug’s shell
            Robert Kingston
            .
            .
            Wonderful! I love that the monoku on this page don’t try to stuff in everything, as it’s fun to just say a few words, and sit back as a reader and enjoy what lies in front of us.
            .
            Fascinating and brilliant monoku!
            .
            .
             

             
            whippoorwill calling his name in my dreams
            Margaret Walker
            .
            .
            Beautifully done, full of atmosphere and resonance.
            .
            .

             
            dark night somewhere a train whistle
            Valentina Ranaldi-Adams
            .
            .
            Ah, yes, even when we are longer close to trains, they come to us, sometimes willingly, to travel our dreams. Beautiful.
            .
            .
            speaking in public a thousand eyeballs
            Margie Gustafson
            .
            .
            page 6

          3. Gosh, know the feeling when I read out my poems in front of a shopping mall in Ipswich, Queensland. Public speaking is still one of our greatest fears, but thankfully I’ve been trained so that I want those eyeballs on me for health and safety, or perhaps a little poetry. :-)
            .
            .

             
            in the river’s gurgle a cough
            Adjei Agyei-Baah
            .
            .
            Fantastic! :-)
            .
            .

             
            autumn fireflies too late to die young
            Autumn Noelle Hall
            .
            .
            Wow! That’s a great last few words and the choice and order of them.
            .
            .
             
            wishbone- my heart in a confusion
            arvinder kaur
            .
            .
            I love that you put ‘a confusion’ instead of the logical “my heart in confusion”. Beautifully done, and using the unfulfilled hyphen technique!
            .
            .

             
            summer heat revealing the trails of Morphos
            Hifsa Ashraf
            .
            .
            Reminds me of the ginko events I helped to lead in an inner city rainforest full of butterflies including these wonderful beings.
            .
            The genus name Morpho comes from an Ancient Greek epithet μορφώ, roughly “the shapely one”, for Aphrodite, goddess of love and beauty.
            WIKIPEDIA
            .
            .
            Love the use of the verb! :-)
            .
            .

            summit the climber reaches into space
            john hawkhead
             
            .
            .
            Ah yes, space starts less than an inch from our toes, and we are closer to what we realise is space when at the peak of a high entity. What a thrill, as Karen and her family know, to touch space from a mountain.
            .
            .
             
            my daughter’s pep talk on mine maturing wine
            Madhuri Pillai
            .
            .
            Wow, great use of the word ‘maturing’ and how we all mature, or get over aerated. ;-)
            .
            .

            page 7

          4. .

            a large flock of fish follows the seagull’s shadow
            Zdenka Mlinar
            .
            .
            Wonderfully visual and eerie all at the same time!
            .
            .

             
            inside a drop of seawater clouds
            Elisa Allo
            .
            .
            Beautiful! And reminds me of the famous haikai verse of a dragonfly’s eyeball mirroring mountains.
            .
            .

             
            smoking late thoughts at nth night coffee
            Luisa Santoro
            .
            .
            Great use of atmosphere, and that ‘nth’ night. Brilliant! :-)
            .
            .

             
            free hugs the scarecrow and me
            Eva Limbach
            .
            .
            Ah, when free hugs are dished out, are we there, or out of sight. Thankfully a scarecrow can be very forgiving and generous.
            .
            .
             
            yoga room the om of air plants
            wendy c. bialek
            .
            .
            Love it, and can hear that particular sound that appears to be saying yes! Or maybe no, or maybe ‘not sure’ get me out of this weird human environment. :-)
            .
            .

            across the hill this light
            Adrian Bouter
            .
            .
            Simple but utterly beautiful.
            .
            .
             
            Dark forest swarm of fireflies guide
            Aju Mukhopadhyay
            .
            .
            I like the abruptive method here, and the uppercase of “Dark” as if it’s an entity of its own visiting or revisiting the forest over centuries ago and even longer.
            .
            .
            slowingtocheckhisphone pace  now   q u I  c  k   e   n    i    n     g
            John Green
            .
            .
            Great! I love those videos of cellphone twitchers stumbling over or bouncing off obstacles that normal people would easily see several metres away. :-)
            .
            .
            page 8

          5. Page 9 of 9
            .
            .
            .

             
            gardenia bush the lei grows blossom by blossom
            Pris Campbell
            .
            .
            Lovely!
            .
            .

             
             
            low winter sun the small tracks left just enough tension
            Paul Geiger
            .
            .
            Great one, and last word really makes us want to read the poem again!
            .
            .
             
            hummingbirds fed up empty feeder
            Kath Abela Wilson
            .
            .
            Fun! I get sparrows or jackdaws scolding me so loudly I can hear them in every room. :-)
            .
            .

             
            gladiolas on my way my prettiest skirt
            Virginia von Hahn
            .
            .
            Beautiful!
.
            .

             
            as I grow cold trees disperse my colour
            simonj
            .
            .
            Magical and mystical, and suitably disturbing as poems should be now and then, at least for me. :-) :-)
            .
            .

             

             
            full moon lily blossoms
            Nancy Brady
            .
            .
            I see myth and legend coming together just like the “Full Moon Lily of the Nile” known as Agapanthus.
            .
            .
             
            just after rain the silvering
            Susan Rogers
            .
            .
            Love the ‘just’ and ‘silvering’ starting and ending the poem! :-)
            .
            .

             
            dreams of Mars dreaming of us
            Greer Woodward
            .
            .
            Awesome! :-)
            .
            .

             
            toeing the line my mind wanders
            Karen Harvey
            .
            .
            Ah, yes, sometimes we need to dip our toes into something not authorised by the big bosses (usually male) of the world! :-)
            .
            .

             
            falling leaves hollows to hold the rain
            Kelly Sauvage Angel
            .
            .
            Fantastic! It is after all those ‘hollows’ that cup the sustenance that various co-species require. Great tongue-wording, with “falling” that leaves a hollow “to hold the rain”.
            .
            Great wording and atmosphere!
            .
            .
            Wow, what a journey. Look forward to everyone’s comments, however familiar or unfamiliar you are reading or writing or both, with monoku, that you might be. :-)
            .
            Alan
            .
            page 9 of 9
            .
            .

          6. Thank you, Alan, for your poetic analysis. It adds immense value to the Monoku.

          7. You are too kind, Alan. Commenting on nearly everyone’s monoku with such insight. You teach us with every comment a different way of seeing, and how to write, how to read, and how to react. You show us things we might have missed, things we never knew, and things we hadn’t considered. Thank you for making all of us better poets, Alan. I, for one, am grateful for this, and I am sure I am not alone in this. ~Nan

          1. Thank you Alan, for taking the time to provide feedback on mine . I’m sure you know how appreciative we all are.
            Best wishes
            Rob

    2. Hi, Alan–always a joy to bump into you! Thanks for your Wow! After posting it here, I hand-wrote that monoku on a tag that is now fluttering in good company from a washing line of haiku at the Denver Botanical Gardens’ Japanese Shofu-En. In explaining it to my daughter, I had to laugh at myself a little. As a broody teen, I used to think it would be the height of tragic-romantic to die young (think Keats); but somewhere along the way, I suppose I acquired some sense and got so busy enjoying/writing about the fireflies (which, btw, we don’t have here at 8,000 feet!), I lost track and got old. Then again, we’re never really too old to enjoy the fireflies (or whatever kigo stands in for them wherever each of us is) are we? This–along with writing/reading poetry–is consolation enough. ~Autumn

    3. Dear Alan,

      How kind and thoughtful of you to take the time to comment so extensively.

      I am wondering whether you and I are slightly at odds on the role of the verb, but maybe we will get to debate that in person at some point.

      I am so glad you noticed the withhold in the work I submitted this week. That’s exactly what I was going for, encouraged by many of the comments you have made on your blog.

      Take care
      Bisshie

      1. Hello Alan, many thanks for you comment on my verse. I’ve been working my way through your comments, as always a wealth of information.
        In page one I particularly like

        alone on the shore tasting the salt of my tears

        So many images can be imagined, from a broken holiday romance, to the desolate sadness of immigrants desperate for a better life. A far reaching verse.

      2. Hi Bisshie,
        .
        You said:
        .
        “I am wondering whether you and I are slightly at odds on the role of the verb, but maybe we will get to debate that in person at some point.”
        .
        Oh, I don’t think so! :-) At one point I wanted to avoid verbs in haiku or not have them showcased. Now it’s just another device to use or not, or blend them into the background, or reveal the haiku by foregrounding verbs.
        .
        .
        You said at this site:
        .
        “Verbs; I don’t think they are necessary in a haiku but other people disagree and some of you think I am nuts in counting the number of verbs in my haiku and maybe you are right.”
        .
        https://poetrypea.com/series-2-episode-17-whoku-with-mark-gilbert/
        .
        .
        At first I disagreed with non-haikai poets, mainstream or general poets, that verbs were really vital in all poems. But when I internally disagree I also store the opinion away to mull over sub-consciously.
        .
        I now don’t mind if there is a verb, and if it’s foreground or background active in a haiku.
        .
        .
        I do agree that often one verb, whether para-visible or strongly placed can be plenty, and two is a rare maximum and three should be an exception. :-)
        .
        What I love about haiku is that I can’t control it, it evolves me. :-)

  21. moonwalking surgically socked
    .
    Fun, though not so much for the patient. I enjoyed Helen Buckingham’s take on the apparent size and weight of astronauts’ boots contrasting/supporting the clever phrase ‘surgically socked’, which one imagines to be the awkwardness of a plaster caste mending a broken tibia, fibula or whatever. Made me smile, as did:
    .
    downsizingcrampsmystyle
    .
    Ann Rawson, I couldn’t agree more, especially where brevity is concerned. Enjoyed this one, too, and thank you, Alan, for a couple of very useful sites on how to write monoku. I’m sure it will take considerable practice.
    .
    The three that gave me pause for thought were Jackie Chou’s:
    .
    crescent moon the dagger edges of loneliness
    .
    One normally thinks of the moon as having healing, softer qualities, it being considered a feminine entity in many cultures, so ‘dagger edges’ pulled me up, though of course we speak of a slice of moon and of its sharpness.
    .
    The strength of Lori Minor’s unexpected juxtaposition in so few words…
    .
    summer the heat of his punch
    .
    Linda L. Ludwig’s monoku
    .
    how much pain does a tear drop hold
    .
    I imagine this to be emotional pain, but physically, too. It hurts to see someone we know and love shedding a tear, and how sometimes we can be personally affected by a more distant tragedy, such as a news item, with the spontaneity of hot tears of grief, anger or frustration.
    .
    Lots to read in this week’s offering, and looking forward to the comments. Thank you Craig.

    1. Thank you so much, Ingrid. This was a hard one to write and put out there, but necessary for my growth and healing, I think.

    2. Thanks so much, Ingrid! And well done Lori, for putting yours out there – powerful and accomplished, as is your trademark. Several did it for me, but Roberta’s is my stand-out choice this week – excellent work.

  22. What a collection to consider, to ponder over through this next week. I may actually understand this form more fully as I read and re-read the various ways that each monoku can be interpreted. Thanks to the editors of this column, week after week, expanding my haiku experience.
    .
    On the other hand, Karen Harvey’s monoku fits me to a T. Oh, a squirrel.

  23. So MANY fantastic lines here!
    On a couple of readings, these jumped out. A couple more, and the rest will:

    *
    wind chooses her straw hat becomes a boat

    Neni Rusliana

    love the overlap

    *

    the natural beauty I like pink roses

    Rosa Maria Di Salvatore

    here too
    *
    incoming tide my kingdom disappears with a wave

    Barbara Tate

    never saying sand castle–perfect!
    *
    hardness of Georgia water meteor shower

    Eric Lohman
    wow–see it, hear it, feel it
    *
    eyebrows shoot skyward UFO

    C.R. Harper

    wonderfully clever and visual
    *
    learning how to fall first snow

    Vandana Parashar

    lovely
    *
    an answer caught between daisy petals

    Benedetta Cardone

    nice fresh take on a classic scene
    *
    melting icebergs the bitterness of blue curaçao

    Ingrid Baluchi

    I love the evocation of those glacial blues; wonderful poem

    *
    sandstone cliffs the shape of the wind

    Steve Tabb

    so true and visual and concise
    *

    super natural multiverse

    Charles Harmon

    another concise one–beautiful and eloquent use of the monoku form
    *
    dark night somewhere a train whistle

    Valentina Ranaldi-Adams

    one line, two senses–great
    *
    speaking in public a thousand eyeballs

    Margie Gustafson

    I hate it too; nicely evokes some of the terror
    *
    swallows going berserk my cat

    Tomislav Sjekloća

    with my cats it’s sparrows–the call of the riled–
    love a good cat poem!
    *
    the river bends their murmuring conversation

    Christina Pecoraro

    nicely done!
    *
    Thanks Craig and everyone

    1. Thank you, Laurie. You saw what I saw. I have a beautiful photo of melting icebergs floating in a river taken in Iceland by my daughter, and the powder blue brittleness was my prompt, though I’ve never tasted a bitter Blue Hawaii cocktail.

    2. Thank you, Laurie! Lot of swallow nests at my place, but my cat is not a chooser though! I manage to save a bird from its mouth now and then.

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