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HAIKU DIALOGUE – Rain ! Rain ? – Drought – long list

Rain ! Rain ? with Co-Guest Editors Arvinder Kaur & Vandana Parashar

India is a country of diverse geographical features. In the northeast we have Cherrapunji, which receives 11,777 mm rainfall each year, making it one of the wettest places on the Earth, and in the northwest we have the Thar Desert, also known as the Great Indian Desert, which is the world’s 18th largest desert. Every year we see nature’s bounty as well as its fury.

Floods, droughts, snowstorms, cyclones, earthquakes – we see it all. For the next prompts we’ll ponder over the two extremes which make us question – “How much is enough?”

Below is Arvinder’s & Vandana’s selection of poems on the topic of Drought:

winter drought
white flakes start to fall
in the snow globe

Deborah Karl-Brandt
Bonn, Germany

 

barren sky
barren land
– cicadas cry

Katherine Winnick
UK

 

long drought
pigeons pecking
temple grains

Manoj Sharma
Kathmandu

 

the river fell silent
i stumble upon the stone
of my childhood

Fatma Zohra Habis
Algeria

 

cracks widen
in the fields …
a nongin’s cry

(Nongin – nong-een: Mrs Hume’s / bar-tailed pheasant. In Meiteilon, Nongin means one who follows the track of rain.)

Subir Ningthouja
Imphal, Manipur, India

 

Long hot summer –
ladybirds
painting the town red

Caroline Ridley-Duff
UK

 

hard drought
even the farmer’s tears
desiccated

Curt Linderman
Seattle

 

one month without rain—
children’s laughter fades
by the rivulet

Sébastien Revon
Ireland

 

heat wave
an adder across our path
stops time

Robert Kingston
Chelmsford, UK

 

her dry fingers crumble
the cracked clay
no scent of rain

Ann Rawson
Scotland, UK

 

dry well …
all that remains
of a splash

Teji Sethi
Bangalore, India

 

a few pear blossoms
left on the dry branches
these wry words

Jackie Chou
United States

 

cracked skin . . .
land soaks up
the farmer’s sweat drops

Kavitha Sreeraj
India

 

elections
drought passes off
as a news ticker

Daya Bhat
India

 

dark clouds
they too leave
without saying anything

Baisali Chatterjee Dutt
India

 

adjusting my pace
to the rhythm of drought
dusty trail

Mike Stinson
Nebraska

 

the browning
of another summer
this endless thirst

Eavonka Ettinger
Long Beach, CA

 

saliva-less
at the well head
a broken pail

Herb Tate
Jersey, UK

 

brown patches
on the lawn
old arguments arising

Tony Williams
Scotland

 

another world –
even my ink dries out
before I add rain

Ana Drobot
Romania

 

in the cracks
of a lakebed
muted birdsong

Ravi Kiran
India

 

the cracked earth
on the peasant’s face
deep furrows

Mirela Brailean
Romania

 

returning home
to a drought
a hole in the ruby slipper

Kelly Sargent
Vermont, USA

 

drought on words
I sit staring
at the blank page

Tuyet Van Do
Australia

 

the wide expanse
of emptiness inside me
. . . parched soil

Lafcadio Orlovsky
USA

 

dry pond
its bed peels into
dry leaves

John Zheng
Mississippi

 

empty pitcher
the woman walks miles
with a baby in arms

Dipankar Dasgupta
India

 

year of drought—
the river no longer
a river

Neena Singh
Chandigarh, India

 

tears in the old farmer’s eyes
…another long hot summer

Margaret Mahony
Australia

 

long-term writer’s block
even the waterfall
sounds dry

Keiko Izawa
Japan

 

consecutive drought
a lone crane stands
where the pond was

Ram Chandran
India

 

job drought–
cracked windows
of the unemployment office

Teiichi Suzuki
Japan

 

drought…
papery dusty bed
menopause

Lorelyn De la Cruz Arevalo
Bombon, Philippines

 

dry spell another early night

Alex Fyffe
United States

 

deeper furrows
on the farmer’s withered face –
another drought

Natalia Kuznetsova
Russia

 

time famine —
we sip the last drop
of a conversation

Nalini Shetty
Mumbai, India

 

.long hot summer
……..mudcracks
within mudcracks

Nick T
Frome, Somerset, England

 

brims the riverbed . . .
chatter of monkeys over
the prayers for rain

Monica Kakkar
India

 

screeching crow
sheep bones scattered
on cracked earth

Louise Hopewell
Australia

 

a searing blue sky
the farmers collect money
for yagnya

(Yagnya is a Hindu ritual involving sacred offerings into fire along with prayers for rain.)

Padma Rajeswari
Mumbai, India

 

heat shimmer
the meadow I once knew
only a mirage

Keith Evetts
Thames Ditton UK

 

parched earth
all the fuss of thunder
only to pass by

Ingrid Baluchi
North Macedonia

 

wilted grass –
an old bull’s
look of despair

Dan Campbell
Virginia

 

parched farms
Nestle’s harvests
of spring water

Archie Carlos
Minnesota

 

drying out and cracking up
the surface
of my menopausal skin

Tracy Davidson
Warwickshire, UK

 

dust bath…
a sparrow spreads his wings
in the drought-stricken air

Laurie Greer
Washington, DC

 

soap in my hair
the spring-fed shower
stops cold

Sarah E. Metzler
USA

 

water rationing
a coyote drinks
from my bird bath

Adele Evershed
Wilton, Connecticut

 

drought
the farmer drops his last dime
in the well

Rich Schilling
United States

 

farmer’s trench
the tiller’s blade
kicks up dust

marilyn ashbaugh
edwardsburg, michigan

 

as if the phone call wasn’t enough Death Valley

Richard L. Matta
San Diego, California

 

the blank page
a desert to cross
each morning

Richard Straw
Cary, North Carolina

 

a summer well all this echoing emptiness

Biswajit Mishra
Canada

 

deep famine
a mother’s milk
running dry

Bryan Rickert
Belleville, Illinois

 

parched ponds know
rains are coming . . .
who will tell the ducks

Jan Stretch
Victoria BC Canada

 

hot noon
monkeys dig the ground
to look for water

Stoianka Boianova
Bulgaria

 

curved flower
not even a cloud
near or far

Nazarena Rampini
Italy

 

crackling through
the dry fissures
grief

Kavitha Ratna
India

 

drought again
a line of empty buckets
outside the well

Mona Bedi
India

 

flash drought
butterflies follow
the hose

Susan Farner
USA

 

broken barn door —
raindrops bouncing
off the hard soil

Ann Sullivan
Massachusetts, USA

 

scorched
another winged tattoo
on her back…

Priti Khullar
India

 

sun dried earth
all the things dad wanted
to become

Lori Kiefer
UK

 

parched landscape
…farther…farther
papiha’s song

Vipanjeet Kaur
India

 

sunbaked . . .
the earth
a broken puzzle

Barrie Levine
United States

 

drought –
my thoughts lost
in the roots

Daniela Misso
Italy

 

skull sockets
smoothed by the river
of another time

C.X. Turner
UK

 

the ache of silence
waiting
for rain

madeleine kavanagh
United States

 

second year of drought
barbed-wire and cattle
moved every five days

Debbie Scheving
Bremerton WA USA

 

the faint song
of a greenfinch…
drought

Cezar Ciobica
Romania

 

Join us next week for Arvinder’s & Vandana’s commentary on additional poems…

 

Guest Editor Arvinder Kaur, author, translator and an award-winning poet, specializes in English literature and Media Studies. She was one of the founding editors of the bilingual haiku journal Wah. She has been a guest editor at Triveni, Failed Haiku and recently at The Haiku Foundation’s Haiku Dialogue. Her haiku have appeared in several national and international journals. She is the author of four books of micropoetry, two of which are bilingual where she has translated her own work into vernacular. Her books have been very well received in India and abroad. She lives in Chandigarh, India with her family.

Guest Editor Vandana Parashar is a postgraduate in Microbiology, an educator and a haiku poet. Her haiku, senryu and tanka have been published in many national and international journals of repute and have won her many prizes and accolades. Her haiku was also shortlisted for the prestigious Touchstone Award 2020. She is an associate editor of haikuKATHA and one of the editors of Poetry Pea and #FemkuMag. Her debut e-chapbook, I Am, was published by Title IX Press (now Moth Orchid Press) in 2019 and her second chapbook, Alone, I Am Not, was published by Velvet Dusk Publishing in 2022.

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.

Photo Credits:

Banner photo credit: Unsplash

Prompt photo credit: prompt photo two – Drought – Unsplash

Haiku Dialogue offers a triweekly prompt for practicing your haiku. Posts appear each Wednesday with a prompt or a selection of poems from a previous week.

This Post Has 39 Comments

  1. I felt the despair in each of this week’s offerings. Thank you Arvinder and Vandana for editing this series. Disciplining myself to comment on only two.

    dark clouds
    they too leave
    without saying anything

    Baisali Chatterjee Dutt

    The double meaning in disappointment here was beautifully said.

    job drought-
    cracked windows
    of the unemployment office

    Teiichi Suzuki

    Expressed despair, with imagery fitting to the theme.

  2. Arvinder and I want to express our heartfelt thanks to all the poets who submitted, read and commented on the selections. Every poet has amazed us with their offering of poems and we’ll forever cherish this experience.
    A huge thanks to kj and Lori who have guided us and helped us every step of the way. It was an absolute delight working with them.

    1. Wonderful selections and comments! Thanks for prompting us to share our experiences with varied types of drought, whether literal, metaphorical, or spiritual.

    1. So glad that you liked the selections, Dipankar. Thanks to all the poets who submitted. It was an honour to read such diverse and fine poems.

  3. Congratulations to all the poets! Each poem leaves an impact, but these ones really hit hard:

    dry well …
    all that remains
    of a splash

    Teji Sethi
    Bangalore, India

    in the cracks
    of a lakebed
    muted birdsong

    Ravi Kiran
    India

    the cracked earth
    on the peasant’s face
    deep furrows

    Mirela Brailean
    Romania

    long-term writer’s block
    even the waterfall
    sounds dry

    Keiko Izawa
    Japan

    as if the phone call wasn’t enough Death Valley

    Richard L. Matta
    San Diego, California

    deep famine
    a mother’s milk
    running dry

    Bryan Rickert
    Belleville, Illinois

    1. Thanks for your kind comment, Nitu. I agree that each poet presented a unique perspective on the prompt. Thanks to each and every one of those who submitted.

  4. So many beautiful poems. I was particularly moved by madeleine kavanagh’s:

    the ache of silence
    waiting
    for rain

    1. Glad that you liked the selected poems, Pamela. Madeleine’s poem is definitely very poignant.

  5. Thank you Arvinder and Vandana for compiling this list of wonderful poems. I am thrilled that my poem was posted. I enjoyed reading these beautiful but sad haiku revealing the harsh reality of drought. Thank you Katherine and Lori for all that you do to keep this post running smoothly. Three stood out to me: .

    Eavonka’s poem,

    the browning
    of another summer
    this endless thirst

    ~ ~ ~

    Mona Bedi’s

    drought again
    a line of empty buckets
    outside the well

    ~ ~ ~

    Richard Straw’s

    the blank page
    a desert to cross
    each morning

    1. Thanks for your kind comment, Madeleine. It’s so good to know that the poems resonated with you.

  6. Thank you so much, Vandana and Arvinder, for including my poem in this esteemed collection. There were so many moving haiku, but I was really struck by this one:

    as if the phone call wasn’t enough Death Valley

    Richard L. Matta
    San Diego, California

    I found it filled with yugen, layered in possible meanings, and quite foreboding.

    1. I completely agree with you, Eavonka. The poets have given their best and we couldn’t be more thankful.

  7. This one stood way ahead of the rest among those published today.

    as if the phone call wasn’t enough Death Valley

    Richard L. Matta
    San Diego, California

    1. Happy that it resonated so deeply with you, Ravi. As Eavonka rightly pointed out, Richard’s poem is beautifully layered and poignant.

  8. Thank you Vandana Parashar and Arvinder Kaur for including mine in this thought provoking collection of poems. Thanks also to the whole Haiku Dialogue team!
    As I am reading through all the wonderful takes , these two felt more special-

    sunbaked . . .
    the earth
    a broken puzzle

    Barrie Levine
    United States

    the blank page
    a desert to cross
    each morning

    Richard Straw
    Cary, North Carolina

    1. Thank you for your kindness, Daya. Our heartfelt thanks to all the poets for making this a success.

  9. Thank you, Vandana Parashar and Arvinder Kaur, for including my haiku in the long list I’m grateful for the opportunity to share my work alongside such poignant contributions like:

    ‘In the cracks
    of a lakebed
    muted birdsong’
    – Ravi Kiran, India

    ‘Sunbaked…
    the earth
    a broken puzzle’
    – Barrie Levine, United States

    ‘Deep famine
    a mother’s milk
    running dry’
    – Bryan Rickert, Belleville, Illinois

    ‘Drying out and cracking up
    the surface
    of my menopausal skin’
    – Tracy Davidson, Warwickshire, UK

    and many others .Each piece offers a unique perspective on the theme, showcasing the depth of emotion and creativity within our community

    1. I can’t agree more, Nalini. Each poem is a gem and we are deeply thankful to all of you for trusting us with such beauties.

  10. So many good haiku on drought this week, focusing our minds on the urgent need for ‘green’ policies to stem climate change. This one captured it best for me:

    the cracked earth
    on the peasant’s face
    deep furrows

    Mirela Brailean
    Romania

    1. Thank you, your comment made my day! even more from such a collection of wonderful poems from poets and friends I admire so much.

    2. Well said, John. Poetry not only lifts spirits but also endeavours to lift the veil of ignorance. I sincerely hope that people realize the importance of trees and conservation.

  11. Thank you very much for choosing my haiku as part of this distinguished package
    The topic of drought was very poignant.
    Congratulations to all

  12. Thank you, Arvinder Kaur and Vandana Parashar! I’m delighted you enjoyed my work. Congratulations on a beautiful compilation. Each and every haiku is a delightful read. Thank you for yet more highlights to my Wednesdays! Congratulations, poets!

    1. Thank you for your kind comment, Mirela. The poems we received were all so good.
      We are thankful to all the poets.

  13. Congratulations to all the poets. Impressive haiku about the subject of drought. One that really hit me was Barrie Levine’s
    sunbaked…
    the earth
    a broken puzzle
    –Barrie Levine
    Not only was the drought theme represented well there, but with all the global conflict going on, my mind can expand it to how much of the world is in pieces, a broken puzzle, and how difficult it will be to put it back together, if at all possible.
    Again, congrats to the poets, and thanks to the editors for such profound haiku to consider. Thanks too to KJ and Lori for all your behind the scenes work keeping this column going each week.

    1. I agree with you, Nancy. Barrie’s poem addresses not only the drought but also the issue of looming war with deftness.

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