Skip to content

HAIKU DIALOGUE – Resolutions – Failure (1)

Resolutions with Guest Editor John S Green

The start of each year is an opportunity to renew. We humans often make declarations. We write down goals, we resolve to do better, we create targets, we make promises. We also regret last year’s unsuccessful promises. Last year, we may have accomplished a few goals, but others we failed – some ridiculously quickly.

Over the month of January, let’s look at this annual tradition of making resolutions. The success we have had, and the failures also.

Below is John’s selection of poems on the theme of failure:

Our loyal HD writers sent in over 300 poems once again. Wow! Thank you for your dedication. I have reserved 21 poems to be posted next Wednesday for comment. The following is my ‘long list’ of submissions I selected for your viewing pleasure. As you read the wonderful heartfelt poems about disappointment, please mark down one or more that grabbed you and make a comment. It means so much for the author of that poem. Enjoy.

The most prevalent subject was relationship struggle:

forgetting
to forget his birthday…
January blue

Marina Bellini
Italy

 

taking longer
to heal this time –
my broken heart

Dan Campbell
Virginia

 

my voice
silenced long ago
you are still talking

Vicki Vogt
United States

 

my parrot’s sudden scream
on new year’s eve
heartbreak

Lakshman Bulusu
Princeton, NJ, USA

 

after a string
of love failures
a siesta

Sreenath
India

 

I close the door
the echo to remain
from your goodbye

Toni Pavleski
Prilep, Macedonia

 

failure
despite all efforts
last goodbye

neuspjeh
unatoč svim naporima
posljednje zbogom

Zdenka Mlinar
Croatia

 

half moon—
all those words
that you didn’t say

Daniela Lăcrămioara Capotă
Romania

 

Valentine’s day –
all those flowers
I never gave

Milan Rajkumar
Imphal, India

 

seven summers
he is still searching for me
in every woman

Vandana Parashar
India

 

unable to meet
each other half way …
divorce

Natalia Kuznetsova
Russia

 

After first marriage
I vow not to love again:
successful failure

Jenny Shepherd
London, UK

 

foggy skies
liquid eyes blink away my heart
yet again

Padmini Krishnan
United Arab Emirates

 

e poi l’inverno
fra sassi sgretolati…
non so il tempo delle rose

and then winter
between crumbling stones..
I don’t know the time of roses

Giuliana Ravaglia
Bologna, Italy

 

pounding rain an apology too late

Cynthia Anderson
Yucca Valley, California

 

ungiven caress—
the silence of a crocus
in the snow

Daniela Misso
Italy

 

divorce agreement—
equally in two torn
the wedding photos

Dan C. lulian
România

 

ash moon
I can’t make you love me
if you don’t

Susan Burch
Hagerstown, MD

 

unarranging
another meet up
depression

C.X.Turner
United Kingdom

 

broken relation
not enough kintsugi
to mend the antique

Mona Iordan
Romania

 

heartsick
the buoyant songbird flutters
and flies far away

Jonathan English
Washington, DC

 

missed voice mail
his final tag
you’re it

Lorraine A Padden
San Diego, CA USA

 

writing and rewriting my grievances a letter you’ll never read

Eleanor Dean
Massachusetts, United States

 

Exercise and health/cooking breakdowns were popular:

clothes organizer
those with large sizes still
on the indoor bike

Mirela Brailean
Romania

 

power lifting
the muscle memory
of covid

marilyn ashbaugh
edwardsburg, michigan

 

Marathon training—
new running shoes
still in the box

Caroline Ridley-Duff
England

 

I gave it my all
this heated attempt to melt
10 pounds from the earth

Shelli Jankowski-Smith
Massachusetts, USA

 

adding
an extra notch . . .
Orion’s belt

Lori Kiefer
London UK

 

harvest moon
i’ll put on
weight again

Charles Harper
Yokohama

 

my best intentions
languish upon countertop
last year’s air fryer

Jenn Ryan-Jauregui
Tucson, Arizona USA

 

cookie jar
the resolve
crumbles

Ravi Kiran
India

 

healthy diet: day 4
she looks for will power
in a chip bag

Pam Joy
Southeast Alaska

 

sweet tooth
won
last year

Govind Joshi
Dehradun, India

 

stretching the truth …
my new yoga mat
gets a workout

Bonnie J Scherer
Palmer, Alaska USA

 

Measuring tape
confirms living
in the moment

April Woody
Virginia

 

battle of wills
my food-loving dog
stops wagging

Ingrid Baluchi
North Macedonia

 

listing a mixer
for sale on eBay
never opened

Barrie Levine
Massachusetts, USA

 

old recipe
burnt cookies
in a new oven

Dubravka Šćukanec
Hrvatska

 

French cooking class
my soufflé
a flop

Ruth Holzer
Herndon, Virginia

 

Below are the rest of my long list selections:

the heat—
finding our winning ticket
after the claim deadline

P. H. Fischer
Vancouver, Canada

 

between me and my thought a hole in the wall

S.Eta Grubešić
Bukovac, Srbija

 

sidewalk…
well-loved books in a box
for free

Deborah Karl-Brandt
Bonn, Germany

 

midnight moon
recycling last year’s
resolution

Helen Ogden
Pacific Grove, CA

 

I make a mess
of trimming the hedge
summer clouds

Tony Williams
Scotland, UK

 

back tour motherland…
I fumble speaking
my mother tongue

Nitu Yumnam
India

 

Tuscany
finally letting go
of the dream

Seretta Martin
San Diego, CA, USA

 

harnessing the mule train
and breaking again
the night spider’s web

Sheila Barksdale
United Kingdom

 

sharing day
a kitchen full
of ants

Sherry Grant
Auckland, New Zealand

 

snow-covered fir
I leave him
for mother

Richa Sharma
India

 

warm breeze
finding yet another new spot
for last year’s seeds

Wai Mei Wong
Toronto, Canada

 

Eighth-grade home-ec class
Sewing my first wool skirt I
Did not match the plaids

Jennifer Gurney
United States

 

doves leave . . .
defeat of haiku in voicing
my thought

Bipasha Majumder (De)
West Bengal, India

 

all the books
I’m still not reading
social media

Eavonka Ettinger
Long Beach, CA

 

lost game—
going back home
unscored

partita persa—
tornando a casa
senza punteggio

Dennys Cambarau
Sardinia, Italy

 

wrong note
the whole room
grimaces

Suraja Roychowdhury
Lexington, MA, USA

 

rusty locks
cobwebs on my violin
and the Mozart bust

Tsanka Shishkova
Bulgaria

 

plant a seed
that does not sprout—
my failure

Maria Teresa Sisti
Italy

 

failing
to pay proper respect
the sun has set

Hla Yin Mon
Yangon, Myanmar

 

pouring rain
a flood of rejections
in my inbox

Jackie Chou
United States

 

the spring hills
rectus abdominis
further and farther away

simonj
UK

 

a lost camera…
across the uncharted sea
a summer sunset

Marilyn Ward
UK

 

fifty-third
lap of the sun
still not found myself

Tracy Davidson
Warwickshire, UK

 

rejection letter
back to square one
for a hot chocolate

Samo Kreutz
Ljubljana, Slovenia

 

ghost town
some of the resolutions
dust in the wind

Stephen A. Peters
Bellingham, WA

 

my poor
choice of words
hunger moon

Bryan Rickert
Belleville, Illinois, USA

 

parting—
the other half of the haiku
written in the wind

separazione –
l’altra metà dello haiku
scritto nel vento

Maria Teresa Piras
Serrenti – Italy

 

dry spell
no ripples
in the frog pond

Caroline Giles Banks
Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

 

after months of practice,
a sneeze ruins
her singing concert

Guido De Pelsmaeker
België (Holsbeek)

 

social outcast
a thousand flamingoes
walk away

lev hart
Calgary, Canada

 

cherry tomatoes
rotting on the vine—
seeds of regret

Ann Sullivan
Massachusetts USA

 

first page
of the calendar—
abandoned diary

Ana Drobot
Romania

 

a thousand words of encouragement
but …
every night I cry

Nani Mariani
Australia

 

Only
Who
Can
Help
Frozen
Snow

Willow Brandt
Ashfork

 

third time
misses the ball
my old dog

Chittaluri Satyanarayana
Hyderabad, India

 

dance recital—
watching the other children
twirl

Colette Kern
Southold, NY

 

Heavy hand of time:
I feel it on my shoulder
As autumn wind blows

Evan Spivack
Teaneck, NJ

 

chewed nails
seen through varnish…
the wait

Kavita Ratna
India

 

winter solitude
counting stars
in cloudy skies

Rjeey Ilarina
Daja Sur, Banga, Aklan Philippines

 

disconnection
another year
without my sister

Margaret Mahony
Australia

 

neglected child
watching a star fall—
my life story

Arnel Lanorio
Nueva Ecija, Philippines

 

starry sky
I fail to see
backyard fireflies

Meera Rehm
UK

 

loud mooing…
the dung beetle blunders
into milling hooves

Al Gallia
Louisiana USA

 

the tailings pond’s
metallic teal water
an empty womb

Maxianne Berger
Outremont, Quebec

 

death notice
losing a chance for
the promised visit

Bona M. Santos
Los Angeles, CA

 

school report card
i wish i were
not a bully

Christopher Calvin
Kota Mojokerto, Indonesia

 

pondering on
the chances
i didn’t take

Jelive Geverola
Carmen, Bohol, Philippines

 

featured haiku
can’t find
my entry

Ruth H. Hermosa
Gloria, Oriental Mindoro, Philippines

 

Ulysses
gets the better of me
another year

Alfred Booth
Lyon, France

 

pregnancy
her vision vanishes
without a heartbeat

Jan Stretch
Victoria, Canada

 

grabbing a snowflake
the new opportunity
dissolves in my fist

Marcia Burton
Salt Spring Island, Canada

 

closet still
disorganized
so many hangups

Sari Grandstaff
Saugerties, NY, USA

 

my ambition to walk
the entire length of Japan
only a dream

kris moon kondo
Kiyokawa, Kanagawa, Japan

 

a short story’s
long internment—
never submitted

Kimberly Kuchar
Austin, Texas

 

Join us next week for John’s commentary on additional poems, & our next prompt…

 

Guest Editor John S Green, author of Whimsy Park: Children’s Poems for the Whole Family, is widely published in all styles of poetry – especially haiku. John lived in Europe before moving to the United States at age thirteen. His daughter cooks with spice, and his wife still laughs at his jokes.

Lori Zajkowski is the Post Manager for Haiku Dialogue. A novice haiku poet, she lives in New York City.

Managing Editor Katherine Munro lives in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, and publishes under the name kjmunro. She is Membership Secretary for Haiku Canada, and her debut poetry collection is contractions (Red Moon Press, 2019). Find her at: kjmunro1560.wordpress.com.

The Haiku Foundation reminds you that participation in our offerings assumes respectful and appropriate behavior from all parties. Please see our Code of Conduct policy.

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

This Post Has 47 Comments

  1. Thanks John for selecting my Haiku. And to all the those whose haiku was selected, congratulations. And the images in these haiku shine like morning gold threads and capture the readers attention to read them again and again.

  2. Thank you so much for including my haiku
    my voice
    silenced long ago
    you are still talking

    I really enjoyed reading all the haikus but there are a couple that really stole my heart:
    half moon—
    all those words
    that you didn’t say

    Daniela Lăcrămioara Capotă
    Romania

    ungiven caress—
    the silence of a crocus
    in the snow

    Daniela Misso
    Italy

    and one person that I see often on here:
    listing a mixer
    for sale on eBay
    never opened

    Barrie Levine
    Massachusetts, USA
    It’s fun to watch for Barrie’s haiku. Not only do they really resonate for me but he is al so from Massachusetts.
    Thanks to all the poets…I loved reading them all.
    Vicki Vogt
    Watertown, MA USA

  3. Thank you for including my haiku in your long list! There were so many other haiku that really struck a chord with me, but a few did particularly stand out. Just to note two of them:

    my ambition to walk
    the entire length of Japan
    only a dream
    by kris moon kondo…perhaps the regret of old age? Certainly not only meets the theme but leaves the reader with a strong visual image of the writer’s desire.

    pregnancy
    her vision vanishes
    without a heartbeat
    by Jan Stretch…this hits hard and lasts, a poem that I can’t easily get out of my mind.

    1. Hi Seretta,

      Beginning with the new year, Haiku Dialogue has begun a new format. Each prompt is now a two-week cycle. The first week, the editors lists their ‘long list’ of selections without comment. The second week the top selections with comments are listed. So there is a prompt due only every other Saturday by midnight now.

      Thanks for asking.
      John

  4. Thanks much, John for including my haiku in this long list of “Failure” selection.
    A great read.
    I particularly liked

    failing
    to pay proper respect
    the sun has set

    Hla Yin Mon
    Yangon, Myanmar

    I so relate to this.

    And

    school report card
    i wish i were
    not a bully

    Christopher Calvin
    Kota Mojokerto, Indonesia

    I like this for accepting a past mistake which is the first step towards a new reformed life.

  5. I agree with Eavonka Ettiger, most of these haiku resonate with me. I think it’s easier to dwell on the failures with regrets, or maybe it’s just me.

    One I particularly liked was Eleanor ‘s monoku of writing and rewriting letters of grievances, but this may be less of a failure than a therapeutic way to get out hurts and negative feelings as long as the letters are not sent. During a separation and divorce, I had a journal of “letters not sent” which got out toxic emotions without hurting the person(s) to which they were directed. Eventually I destroyed the journal, which also had positive entries as well. For that time it helped me through a rough time. Eleanor, I wish a positive outcome for you.

    Jelive ‘s haiku
    pondering on
    the chancesth
    I didn’t take
    again speaks to me as looking back and the regrets I might have as the failure.

    Congratulations to all the poets. Well done to all. I was impressed by them. I be reading and rereading them throughout the week.

    My failure to submit this week is not a regret. I got to finally travel to, finally meet my newest grandson, and spend time with my son and his wife before returning home.

    1. Hi Nancy,
      Congratulations on your grandson! I have a grandson who is my only grandchild. He is 13 months old.

      I think poetry in general is a form of therapy. I write haibun and others styles of poetry as well in addition to haiku.

      1. Hi John,
        Isn’t having a grandchild wonderful? A thirteen-month old is a fantastic time of It life…toddling around, learning to speak, and understands more than he can say. It just changes one’s perspective, and for myself, it makes me want to help build a better world for them. My husband and I have six between us, and they range from a sophomore in college to a three-month old.

        It also gives me, at least, a greater writing perspective and does work as therapy. I find I write all sorts of poetry and keep trying to understand more..

  6. So many beautiful poems! Thank you, John, for including one of mine.

    A few of my favourites:

    I gave it my all
    this heated attempt to melt
    10 pounds from the earth

    Shelli Jankowski-Smith
    Massachusetts, USA
    This powerful turn of thought had me read the poem a few times and then connect with a sense of wonder. Yeah, where does lost weight actually go? I love it.

    adding
    an extra notch . . .
    Orion’s belt

    Lori Kiefer
    London UK
    This image is immediate, palpable and speaks for itself. I love the metaphor!

    pregnancy
    her vision vanishes
    without a heartbeat

    Jan Stretch
    Victoria, Canada
    Firstly, Jan, we are neighbours! I am on Salt Spring Island. This poem really hit my heart. The way you pair the sense of hearing and seeing is powerful. It may not be autobiographical, but if it is, I am sorry for your loss.

      1. Thank you John for including my haiku among another great collection this week! Love the theme!

    1. Thanks for your kind mention of my haiku Marcia, I’m glad you enjoyed it! ???

  7. Thank you John, for including one of my haiku among this stellar grouping! A very resonant theme. I enjoyed so many… here are a couple that I kept circling back to:

    old recipe
    burnt cookies
    in a new oven

    Dubravka Šćukanec
    Hrvatska
    Sometimes that mismatch between old and new is disappointing. I recently got a new oven after 25 years with my old one, and can relate to this!

    social outcast
    a thousand flamingoes
    walk away

    lev hart
    Calgary, Canada
    A sad idea, but this unlikely image just delighted me. A thousand flamingoes… that’s really getting the cold pink shoulder from a big crowd!

  8. This one also stands out for me:

    my best intentions
    languish upon countertop
    last year’s air fryer

    Jenn Ryan-Jauregui
    Tucson, Arizona USA

    An exquisite portrayal of the mundane. Comedy with an ironic note. That air fryer is worthy of a whole series of tv sitcoms. 🙂

    1. Ha! We just got an air fryer and my wife had it cleaned in 20 minutes and we used three nights in a row. There is a haiku friend on Facebook who posts about her air fryer dishes which inspired me to get one. I love to cook . . .

    2. . . . but I have to say that I think Jenn’s leaving out of the definite article in L2 was a mistake : we used to call this sort of language use “Tontoism” or “Tonto Speak” (after the Lone Ranger’s friend). It makes the ku sound like a spoof. an imitation of Japanese or other languages. I don’t know if that was intentional or not.

      It would be so easy to get rid of that superfluous “top” Of course anything on the counter is on the countertop. Where else could it possibly be?

      I’d suggest:

      my best intentions
      languish upon the counter
      last year’s air fryer
      .
      (Ha, John, You could write a recipe book ,”My Year with an Air Fryer”. Sure to be a best seller. 🙂 )

  9. featured haiku
    can’t find
    my entry

    Ruth H. Hermosa
    Gloria, Oriental Mindoro, Philippines
    .
    Ouch! This senryu resonates for me and I’m sure many others have had this experience, too. Here (in the view of the ‘I’ of the ku ) is the moment of imminent failure, the moment immediately before one is faced with the fact that one’s entry is not among the chosen ‘featured haiku’ entries.

    There is suspense. This verse is short, simple and cinematic, too, for this reader: I can easily see the facial expressions of the “I” of the ku changing from expectation to disappointment to a sense of failure (however short) as if I was filming her, close up.

    Smoothly done, Ruth. This ku stands out for me among many excellent entries..

    1. Yes, we all do the scroll to see if our haiku will appear among the editor’s selections. I understand the wide swing between disappointment and joy.

  10. It’s so odd how much I enjoyed all these “failures”. Probably because I can relate to them all so well.

    Thank you, John, for including mine! I had a slightly different read on one of my favorite poems:

    unarranging
    another meet up
    depression

    C.X.Turner
    United Kingdom

    For me, as someone who also suffers from depression and anxiety, this one felt far more about how the disease disassociates me from socializing with anyone. But now that I think about it, that is still a relationship breakdown, eh?

  11. Thank you John for including my haiku. Just loved this weeks theme

    ash moon.
    I can’t make you love me
    if you don’t

    Susan Burch
    Hagerstown ND

    Very poignant, struck a chord with me..

  12. John, thank you for including my poem on your long list. There were quite a few that stood out to me. Here are my comments on three of them.

    the spring hills
    rectus abdominis
    further and farther away

    simonj
    UK

    ~ I love the metaphor of winter weight gain followed by the scientific anatomical term for what the hills have covered up. The use of both ‘further’ and ‘farther’ made me stop and think as well.

    all the books
    I’m still not reading
    social media

    Eavonka Ettinger
    Long Beach, CA

    ~ I was caught in a delightful loop by this poem, reading it two ways. As the prompt was ‘failure’ it must mean that social media is taking up book reading time, rather than ‘so many books, who has time for social media?’

    cookie jar
    the resolve
    crumbles

    Ravi Kiran
    India

    ~ says it all in very few words. The image of resolve crumbling along with the cookie that will be eaten is perfect.

  13. So much to enjoy here! My personal favorite:

    adding
    an extra notch . . .
    Orion’s belt

    Lori Kiefer
    London UK

  14. Several fun ones — or maybe not — about dieting:

    healthy diet: day 4
    she looks for will power
    in a chip bag
    Pam Joy
    Southeast Alaska

    In our family, we say Will Power, and then wonder who he is.

    and

    I gave it my all
    this heated attempt to melt
    10 pounds from the earth
    Shelli Jankowski-Smith
    Massachusetts, USA

    It’s got to go somewhere, I guess.

    I love this one too:

    sharing day
    a kitchen full
    of ants
    Sherry Grant
    Auckland, New Zealand

    Thank you for this variety of failures, John, and for including one of mine. So glad I’m not alone.

  15. John, I really appreciate being among the selections for this theme. Thank you very much. (FYI, I noticed that the ‘l’ is missing on my first line as the word was ‘loud’).

    [l]oud mooing…
    the dung beetle blunders
    into milling hooves

    Al Gallia
    Louisiana USA

  16. Odličan posao gospon Green, hvala Vam puno!

    1.
    između mene i moje misli rupa u zidu

    S.Eta Grubešić
    Bukovac, Srbija
    ————–
    Dvolinijski haiku… Moja
    omiljena forma. Bravo, Eta!

    2.
    stari recept
    izgoreni kolačići
    u novoj pećnici

    Dubravka Šćukanec
    Hrvatska
    ————
    Šteta, ako su zdravi kolačiči, ako su “gurmanski”, i nije baš… ?

    3.
    prekinuta veza
    nedovoljno kintsugija
    za popravak antike

    Mona Iordan
    Rumunjska
    —————
    Ah, ta antika… ?
    Bravo, draga Mona!

  17. Thanks John for another intriguing selection. Two poems in particular grabbed my attention:

    fifty-third
    lap of the sun
    still not found myself

    Tracy Davidson
    Warwickshire, UK

    I love poems which make me stop and think which is exactly what happened here. Thank you Tracy for using such an interesting phrase.

    dry spell
    no ripples
    in the frog pond

    Caroline Giles Banks
    Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

    I find Caroline’s poem open to so many interpretations. Has the pond dried up? Perhaps it’s an imaginary pond and the ripples refer to lines of poetry? There’s lots here to excite my imagination.

    1. Thanks, Nick for highlighting two of your favorites. well played by Caroline on the ripples of poetry you reference!

  18. Thank you John for including me on this list of successful haiku about failures! These three haiku resonated with me. I love the word choices here in all three. Each one became part of a haibun in my mind when reading them:

    stretching the truth …
    my new yoga mat
    gets a workout

    Bonnie J Scherer
    ~~~~~
    missed voice mail
    his final tag
    you’re it

    Lorraine A Padden
    ~~~~~
    my poor
    choice of words
    hunger moon

    Bryan Rickert
    ~~~~~
    ~~~~~

    1. Thanks for your appreciation of my poem! I’d love to read your haibun if you write one. You’ll find me on Facebook. ?

    2. I have been writing a lot of haibun. Drifting Sands just had a call for collaborative haibun . I did one with a friend and it will appear in the next issue.
      Thanks for commenting, Sari.

Comments are closed.

Back To Top