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.
next week’s theme: failure
This week let’s write about our disappointments. The well-intended goal that quickly dissolved. The one that came close but, in the end, was not achieved. The ones we kick to next year – year after year, after year. The piano lessons were abandoned, you never organized your box full of photographs into an album, you didn’t call your friend who is hurting.
Will your setbacks create more resolve? I hope so. But sometimes it’s better to give up on unrealistic goals – this can free us to achieving more genuine aims. Writing haiku helps me to see the simple truths in a world that can seem all too complicated. I look forward to your writings.
The deadline is midnight Pacific Standard Time, Saturday January 21, 2023.
Please use the Haiku Dialogue submission form below to enter one or two original unpublished haiku inspired by the week’s theme, and then press Submit to send your entry. (The Submit button will not be available until the Name, Email, and Place of Residence fields are filled in.) With your poem, please include any special formatting requirements & your name & residence as you would like it to appear in the column. A few haiku will be selected for commentary each week. Please note that by submitting, you agree that your work may appear in the column – neither acknowledgment nor acceptance emails will be sent. All communication about the poems that are posted in the column will be added as blog comments.
Below is John’s commentary for success too:
Many haiku from last week’s long list were worthy of comment. I liked them all which is why I chose them. Thank you all for your generosity in adding your comments to your favorites. These 17 poems were selected for my comments because they struck a chord within me. Let’s all enjoy these poems, and please add your thoughts on the ones that grabbed you if you are so inspired.
his lonely poem
Such empathy. Pappas has given us an Issa moment. One of the brightest parts of becoming a haiku poet is to capture the smallest treasures among us. This snail has goals also!
that resolution of mine
somewhere deep inside
Stephen A. Peters
Yes, of course. Our resolution is not always obvious. It need not always be declared but just felt.
in his last breath
A final affirmation. This is a lifetime of hope. A full circle, complete.
to go outside
even a toe on the doorstep
The agony of growing older. The degrees we face step by step to make a circle.
finally letting go
of mother’s ashes
Belleville, Illinois USA
This must have been a tremendous relief. My mother wanted her ashes to be buried with me. One day it will happen. My wife and daughter will perform the ceremony. It will be a success.
morning dove’s song
I live to see
Massachusetts, United States
Beautiful sentiment. The appreciation of each day – waking to a single singing bird is a gift in itself. One of the joys of living a ‘haiku life’ is the added dimension of being able to stay in the present, which in the end, is the greatest present of all.
share a poem …
I’ve heard that a poem is born when it is read aloud to listeners. Daniela expresses this in a delicate subtle manner. I believe we all here at Haiku Dialogue could cross this intention off our list.
swimming further horizontally than
Frome, Somerset, UK
Fun! Not only is this concrete poem interesting to read, but the message is simple yet profound. Stay afloat and make some progress every day. Sometimes a successful day is just not to sink.
the new year
Another lovely take on what constitutes a win. The use of ‘silent’ and ‘breathing’ creates a strong feeling of meditation for me. For many of us, the quiet solitary moments when all we can hear is our heartbeat are most rewarding.
against all odds migratory birds
We usually think of new year intentions to be about ourself. But, I find the giving of experiences rather than things is more rewarding. Seeing trumpeter swans fly through each year is sensational. They bring awe.
the sea sings—
I quiet myself enough
Another stunning understated poem. The natural world is filled with music of all types. We humans just need to take the time to stop and listen. Certainly a goal for the poet.
guardando il mare…
un giorno intero
looking at the sea…
a whole day
As in Alan’s previous poem, Giuliana uses the sea as a source of achievement. Here, as healer of physical ache. The vast waters that cover our earth also act as healers of mental anguish, or simply rejuvenation.
I step into
Often, the journey of a lifetime is to discover yourself. I remember an old movie where Burt Lancaster seeks the Book of Knowledge, only to discover every page is a mirror. I believe writing poetry helps us to step into ourselves, and find a greater joy.
I pick up
Of course a very personal poem, which takes courage to write. Another positive that comes from writing poetry is gaining the strength of honesty.
a refugee boy writing
the word PEACE
Florin C. Ciobica
This almost brought me to tears. It still might. When we think about the harm war and violence take on our children, it becomes difficult to stay positive. The first line, ‘fresh snow’ adds an element of hope which is something we all cling to.
working the land
under my belt
A fresh way to approach the annual goal of losing weight for many of us. Gardening is a hobby that has numerous benefits. Those of us who live in an urban setting do not have the luxury of getting our hands into soil – there is little ‘space’ in a concrete jungle.
i finally let go
of my anxiety
Many suffer during the dark months of winter. Spring brings fresh blooms and a relief from seasonal affective disorder. Mona may have very different intentions with this poem from my interpretation. I understand. Anxiety can come from many sources. Either way, liberation of fear is a huge success.
Join us next week for John’s selection of poems on the theme of failure…
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.
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