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HAIKU DIALOGUE – Seeing Beyond Seeing – Photo Four and Intro to The Haiku Mind

Intro to Innocence and The Haiku Mind – welcome Guest Editor Tia Haynes

Recently, my five-year-old daughter was comforting her younger sister when she spontaneously composed this haiku as a source of solace:

leaving
all that’s left
the fog

I was shocked! I haven’t shared much haiku with her yet thinking it was a bit beyond her ability to comprehend. Well, she showed me! This beautiful haiku came from a heart that knows no poetic rules nor has had any training. It flowed out of a haiku mindset that I believe is inborn in all of us.

Unlike adults, young children do not carry around the concerns and worries of the world. They have yet to have years of self-consciousness weigh down their creative efforts. Their first impulse is followed without wondering whether it will be “good enough”. They simply create. It is a freedom many of us long for in our own writing. So, let’s regain some of that innocence. Let’s write from that first spark that alights within us. Let’s throw off what we believe what a haiku “is” or “isn’t”. Let’s let go of trying to “follow the rules” and allow ourselves the satisfying joy of creation.

Each week I will provide a simple prompt for your imagination and memories to springboard off of. I’d like for you to try to clear your mind, breathe deeply, and follow the first image or feeling that comes to mind. Take a minute to jot down your impressions and see where it goes. Try not to take too long or spend too much time on revision. Allow yourself to trust your own inborn haiku mind.

noticing
the sunset first
her innocence

Please send one to two unpublished and freshly created haiku by clicking here: Contact Form, and put Haiku Dialogue in the Subject box.

I will select from the entries, providing commentary for a few each week, with the rest being listed in the order they are received.

next week’s theme: Water in Motion

What comes to mind when you think of water in motion? What do you see? What do you feel? Is there a certain scent or taste? What do you hear? Is it a certain place you are transported to? Who are you with? What are you doing?

Let yourself follow the first thought that comes to mind and engage that idea with all of your senses. Allow yourself to create and throw off what you think “should” or “should not be” in regards to your haiku. There is no right or wrong here. Bring yourself into the moment and stay there awhile. Let it linger.

The deadline is midnight Eastern Standard Time, Saturday February 8, 2020.

Below is Carole MacRury’s commentary for Photo Four:

My thanks to editor kj munro for providing me this opportunity to share my photos this month and my thanks to post manager Lori Zajkowski for her web skills and assistance each week. Most of all, my deepest thanks to all of you who submitted to the photo prompts. Truly, we learn from each other and I am appreciative to all who took the time to comment on your favorites. There isn’t one of us who doesn’t appreciate finding out how our poems resonate with our peers. Each week, there were so many deserving poems, but I had to limit myself to commenting on four. It’s been a joy to be with you this month and I treasure those weekends I was able to immerse myself in your poetry. I hope you enjoyed interacting with my photographs as much as I enjoyed reading your haiku.

I expected to see this discarded tulip in its rough bed inspire poems of loneliness, abandonment, rejection, and yes there were a fair number of such poems. But you’ll also find prom queens, beauty and the beast, cultural diversity, cloning and genetics along with poignant poems of birth. Here are the four poems I have chosen for this final week. Each took on the challenge of utilizing mood, memory and metaphor and brought us fresh poems that while inspired by the image, went beyond it. Thank you everyone. Please feel free to add your comments and interpretations to these four poems or any of the others on the long list. I’m sure the poets would appreciate it. We all see things in our own unique ways through own experiences.

snow…
time curls up
in a tulip

neve…
il tempo si accartoccia
in un tulipano

Kyoko Bengala

I found it a challenge to write about this poem. I felt its truth through my own lens immediately, but I realize this is a poem of depth that can be interpreted many ways. On the surface, we have snow…, the ellipsis serving to make us pause and consider what that means within the framework of the following 2 lines. Well, we all know about spring snows that descend on new blossoms, and the dismay we feel when that happens. It’s as if time stops, spring comes to a halt, at least for a little while. Like the tulip, we curl up and wait for the snow to melt, hoping that the blossoms will reappear. There is so much meaning in the word ‘time’. It is not just minutes and hours, it’s the indefinite continued progress of existence and events in the past, present, and future regarded as a whole. That’s a lot for one tulip to hold, a lot for us to hold adding depth to this haiku. On the lighter side, this poem spoke to my own habit of ikebana classes in the wintertime, waiting for winter to pass by immersing myself in out-of-season imported flower arranging. Passing time, waiting for spring, but I prefer my first response and the sense of mystery and grace this haiku affords me.

playground games
my son picks
dandelions

Rich Schilling
Webster Groves, MO

There is delightful space in this poem for conjecture. What does it mean when there is a son choosing to pick dandelions instead of doing what other kids do at a playground? It means you have a child who appreciates flowers, whether they are considered weeds or not. I could relate to this one because I have a granddaughter who does the same. Is it any different that it’s a son? This makes the poem stronger in my opinion as it reminds me of the stereotypical roles that can be put on children. I am touched by how the image of a discarded tulip inspired this poem.

smoothing
his sharper edges
new granddaughter

Michele L. Harvey

I enjoyed the way the image worked to inspire this poem. Instead of seeing a discarded tulip, this poet appreciated the smooth silky pink petals that perhaps reminded her of baby skin. The burlap possibly inspiring those sharper edges. It’s lovely to see the image inspire the miracle of birth and its ability to soften the curmudgeons among us. I won’t look at this image again without remembering that what seemed a discarded tulip nestled in burlap, became a newborn nestled in a grandfather’s arms in this poet’s heart and mind.

closed wildflower her life as she lived it

Mark Meyer

This could be a one-line eulogy for a person who lived life on their own terms. I find many connotations to the phrase ‘closed wildflower’. A wildflower that is dead, or a wildflower with petals closed as can happen with some flowers depending on their peak blooming time. Both work for me, and I see closed wildflower as a metaphor for how this person lived her life; an unknown wildflower, not mainstream. I appreciate the mystery that remains about such a life and can sense how the image of a lone tulip inspired this poem. A lovely monoku.

Here are the rest of my selections:

alone
in the marriage
tulip

Pere Risteski

 

perfect bloom
again she hears the words
not good enough

Christina Sng
Singapore

 

should
or shouldn’t we?
designer baby

—Corine Timmer

 

left out
of the wreath. . .
a dead flower

R.Suresh Babu
India

 

pale cheeks
lined with broken veins
wheelchair corridor

Liz Ann Winkler

 

always a tomboy her first girlfriend

Marion Clarke

 

mania
the tulip and I
broken

Babs McGrory

 

cast aside
on the sunny side of the street
the beggar’s shadow

john hawkhead

 

second-hand dress
………..trying to escape
the farm

m. shane pruett
Oregon, USA

 

rejected love
the flower still holding
its kindness

Muskaan Ahuja, Chandigarh, India

 

neither dead
nor alive…
cut flower

Anna Goluba

 

picked flower
the guilt
kicks in

Tomislav Sjekloća

 

nouveau riche
still unacceptable
for the A list

Paul Geiger
Sebastopol CA

 

beauty and the beast –
the satin of her cheek
on his beard

arvinder kaur,Chandigarh,India

 

outcast…
that recognition
I never craved for

carol jones

 

the faraway look
in grandmother’s eyes
red tulips

Agus Maulana Sunjaya
Banten – Indonesia

 

our warm lips
the darkness shreds
petal by petal

Ron C. Moss
Australia

 

the show over
undressed mannequins
in rags

Teiichi Suzuki, Japan

 

an abandoned flower –
its beauty left
to me!

Nuky Kristijono
Indonesia

 

a beauty
in an old dress
the prom queen

Dubravka Šćukanec
Zagreb, Croatia

 

fragile spirit
the loneliness of
a secret love

Steve Tabb

 

her aging hands
cradle what’s left—
summer garden

Penny Harter

 

farmer in the dell
all the times I was not
chosen

Pat Davis NH

 

variegated tulip
discarded
our cultural blend

Ronald K. Craig
Batavia, OH USA

 

fall
in flower
my broken heart

Susan Rogers

 

burlap –
the harshness
of his words

Valentina Ranaldi-Adams
Fairlawn, Ohio USA

 

giving life
she leaves her bundle
at the fire station door

Debbie Scheving

 

inmigrantes
en busca de paz
vidas abandonadas

immigrants
seeking peace
discarded lives

Peggy Hale Bilbro
Alabama USA

 

farewell evening –
between us the scent
of a tulip

Maria Teresa Piras

 

bruised
yet…
the joy of living

Madhuri Pillai

 

crumpled scarf
after chemo her hair
even curlier

Louise Hopewell
Australia

 

cloned tulips
my struggle to fit into
societal stereotypes

Rashmi VeSa

 

that last time
she picked flowers-
morning dew

Barbara Kaufmann

 

last of litter
her mismatched
facial marks

wendy c. bialek
az, usa

 

spring finery
the dance
outside her world

Margaret Walker

 

gunnysack dress
one wallflower waiting
to bloom

Autumn Noelle Hall

 

first day of hospice
on the radio is broadcast
la vie en rose

cezar-florin ciobîcă

 

in the nurse’s arms
my beautiful boy
stillborn

Jo Balistreri

 

not good enough
for the choir
her ashes sing in the wind

Charles Harmon
Los Angeles, California, USA

 

first crush
he steals a tulip
from his mom’s garden

Christine Villa

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

Guest Editor Carole MacRury resides in Point Roberts, Washington, a unique peninsula and border town that inspires her work. Her poems have won awards and been published worldwide, and her photographs have been featured on the covers of numerous poetry journals and anthologies. She is the author of In the Company of Crows: Haiku and Tanka Between the Tides (Black Cat Press, 2008, 2nd Printing, 2018) and The Tang of Nasturtiums, an award-winning e-chapbook (Snapshot Press, 2012).

Guest Editor Tia Haynes resides in Lakewood, Ohio, near her beloved Lake Erie. She was featured in New Resonance 11: Emerging Voices in English-Language Haiku and has appeared in journals and anthologies worldwide. Much of her inspiration comes from the landscape and people of the American Midwest as well as life with her two small children. Her chapbook, leftover ribbon, (Velvet Dusk Publishing) is available on Amazon. Follow her on Twitter: @adalia_haiku

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

This Post Has 38 Comments

  1. Thank you and congratulations to all the fine poets and encouraging editors who make this feature possible. Thank you for kind words and comments from Valentina and Wendy and editors now and in the past. Yes, Mom passed at 94 just before Christmas after some years of decline with dementia and blindness. She taught hundreds of children and poetry was one of her tools to inspire imagination and creativity. Yes, it is a world of dew, and yet…

    If I have improved these past two years I give a lot of credit to reading good poetry from many excellent writers. And I have read many good comments in this column from editors and poets
    as well as essays in other journals. I made new friends in December with a gentleman from India who now lives in Cambridge and his son who lives in Pasadena. They visited our Southern California Haiku Study Group and shared some of their work. They asked me to read some of their haiku and offer advice. I did the best I could, and suggested they read Haiku Foundation Dialogue weekly and soak up the poetry and comments. Best advice: step off the X and write about something else than what is before your eyes. Think and feel mood, alternatives, magic…

    I love Editor Carole’s daughter’s haiku. While the quality in HFD is very good to excellent, the bar is not set so high as to make it inaccessible. I appreciate the opportunity for all three of my kids as well as my wife to have been able to be published here in the past two years.

    A deep bow and a tip of the hat to the Haiku Foundation Dialogue!

  2. tia you already have made a big splash with me…..as you have with your children….they pick up your waves with a silent radar.
    parents don’t have to say it out loud….they just have to live it….and children will follow what they see as truth and consistency.
    .
    thank you for sharing those special haiku moments of your family life!
    i look forward to amazing feasts….as you have set the table so openly, inviting.

  3. carole,
    all the poems posted here are worthy. your photos have brought out a wonderful array of creativity.
    please, please, come back soon…..let’s do more or this….soon!!!!!

  4. smoothing
    his sharper edges
    new granddaughter

    Michele L. Harvey

    i see this poem speaking to how gender causes people to condition themselves to treatment…..perhaps….this is grandad’s first….granddaughter….and the mother notices how he is modifying/changing the way he relates to her… with his perceived “softer” version. what comes to mind….the shaggy edges of the tulip petals….could be rough fingernails…..which the grandpa needs to file down, and his voice may be softened, as well as his handling to be more protective and guarded.

  5. outcast…
    that recognition
    I never craved for

    carol jones

    the emphasis, as i read this poem, is on the word, “that”

  6. a poignant poem about emotional survival….transcending pain/trama and able to love and see beauty in the world…despict the darkness.

    bruised
    yet…
    the joy of living

    Madhuri Pillai

  7. crumpled scarf
    after chemo her hair
    even curlier

    Louise Hopewell
    Australia

    louise, i’m thinking that the hair has dried (and by setting) curly in the crumpled scarf…detatched.
    not that the hair is growing in curly as a result of chemo….am i seeing this as you meant it?

  8. in the nurse’s arms
    my beautiful boy
    stillborn
    .
    Jo Balistreri

    to write such a beautifully, sad poem about a tramatic experience…does you good. i would believe, there has been much time between writing and original loss and trama, jo….for you to be able to do this.

    there is beauty in death….as there is beauty in life. to be of a positive mindset to see this in both….is what i can dream to aspire.

  9. first crush
    he steals a tulip
    from his mom’s garden
    .
    Christine Villa

    made me laugh and smile, christine
    what those “first crush” hormones make us do!

  10. i can relate so much to penny’s poem. my tulip’s don’t fare well in the hot summer’s here in az.
    the variegation of the petals….resonating with veins in aging hands…and the cradling…resonates with the curve of the petals.
    all the fine details highlighted in this fine haiku….then underneath…how the aged holds onto as much of life as she and (he) can and what is beautiful and meaningful and what makes us happy in life. thank you penny…for this reminder.

    her aging hands
    cradle what’s left—
    summer garden

    Penny Harter

    1. Just saw that my poem was included in Carole’s choices. Thanks so much for liking it, for your insightful comments. xxx

  11. wonderful love poem, kyoko….that deeply,deep comforting, secure and carefree feeling…..love that state of being wrapped up feeling an unaware of external buzz. wonderful pick, carole!

    snow…
    time curls up
    in a tulip

    neve…
    il tempo si accartoccia
    in un tulipano

    Kyoko Bengala

  12. charles….you have outdone yourself with this one! imho, the best poetry you’ve written, that i have followed of yours! was this about your mom?

    not good enough
    for the choir
    her ashes sing in the wind

    Charles Harmon
    Los Angeles, California, USA

  13. Thank you Carole for the month of thoughtful photo prompts and discussion. I was moved by many this week. The image that mirrored the tulip in color and fragility to me:
    .
    pale cheeks
    lined with broken veins
    wheelchair corridor
    .
    Liz Ann Winkler
    .
    Wendy’s dog reminded me of a sweet sheltie we had that was banned from breeding because his white fur ruff didn’t go all the way around his neck.

    1. hi debbie….you got it for sure…..designer animals and designer babies

      in this case it was a kitten litter….her nose was pink….which came to mind when i saw carole’s pink tulip photo.

      but this is what is so great about haiku…..i purposely did not mention a litter of what…..so more people could relate to it.

  14. A late thank you to Carole for such a creatively stimulating set of images & to the poets who responded with such varied and vivid words.

  15. Tia,
    your write is most interesting. And your child created a wonderful poem.
    Carol, I wasn’t inspired this week, the tulip did nothing, I miss my favourite tulip gardens. I don’t know if there is a poem there, but I did not feel like writing anything.

    But the Italian poem and translation by Kyoko inspired me, it also makes me want to read Jumpa Lahiri again…

    It is also nice to see the various ways the haijin think and write their poems, more obvious when I am not busy thinking my verses…

    It is very nice to read indeed. Thank you all.

    the quiet
    of my pen staying
    still…

  16. Thanks so much, Carole, for including my poem. It’s the first time I submitted to this. Didn’t realize it was “out there.”

    I loved reading your comments on the four as well as the entire list you selected. Such fine poems! <3

  17. Thank you, Carole, for including my poem and for the comments from Nancy and Corine. Though I read Dialogue and enjoy the many fine poems, this was my first entry. Very appreciative.

  18. Thank you for commenting on mine Carole! It’s not so easy to see an image and write to the mood of it, rather than the actual image. Thanks for the challenge and for all the great comments!

  19. my thanks, as always, to the poets for their submissions to the blog, & special thanks to Carole MacRury for a wonderful month… now please welcome our new Guest Editor Tia Haynes! I am looking forward to the weeks ahead… kj

  20. So pleased to have my poem selected. I was surprised because I sent the “wrong” revision. The one I meant to send was

    spring finery –
    the dance outside
    her world

    Thank you for selecting the one I did not intend to submit!

    1. I am surprised and happy. So much emotion, thank you for choosing my haiku:
      “Like the tulip, I curl up and wait for the snow to melt, hoping that it will reappear like the flowers. There is so much truth in these words of yours, Carole 🙂 (Snow is a boy) Congratulations to all.

  21. In my humble opinion, Carole, this has been the strongest selection of poetry in response to your inspiring photos. I’ve enjoyed the range of everyone’s work and your commentaries. Thanks for including mine this time. Continuing thanks to KJ, Lori, Lori, and the Haiku Foundation.

    1. Thank you Pat…I agree. So many fine poems. Thanks to all of you for sending them in. You can imagine how difficult it is to choose just four to comment on. 🙂

  22. So much heartfelt emotion, joy, and an essence of sadness within these delightful verses, well done to all poets.
    .
    should
    or shouldn’t we?
    designer baby
    — Corine Timmer
    There comes a time when we must accept the fact that the future generation is the result of indulgence between two people, hopefully, one of a loving relationship. It seems we can chose the sex of farm animals to prevent a glut of what is not required. The thought of humans delving into such realms is a shuddering thought, but non the less a thought provoking verse.
    .
    in the nurse’s arms
    my beautiful boy
    stillborn
    — Jo Balistreri
    I just can not imagine anything worse after carrying, and planning the future of a much wanted baby. Although I’m not a mother myself, I can only imagine the overwhelming grief. A very touching verse, Jo.
    .
    always a tomboy her first girlfriend
    — Marion Clarke
    I smiled when I read this. Nice to know people can be who they are, and enjoy life without hiding it from the world.
    .
    picked flower
    the guilt
    kicks in
    — Tomislav Sjekloca
    Well, Tomislav I feel your guilt on both accounts, picking wild flowers being one of them 🙂
    .
    abandoned flower
    its beauty left
    to me
    — Nuky Kristijono
    It takes a strong person to get through life after any trauma, and many do come through and positively shine with their own unique personality and talent. Beautiful words, Nuky
    .
    crumpled scarf
    after her chemo her hair
    even curlier
    — Louise Hopewell
    I can almost feel the happiness of discarding that scarf, after the worry and anxiety of the treatment, and then all that lovely, even curlier hair, coming back. Every dark cloud has a silver lining, moment.
    .
    These are just a few that caught me, but I enjoyed reading all the poems.
    .
    Thankyou for publishing my poem, Carole.

      1. An absolute pleasure, Carole, and a huge thanks for the opportunity of doing so.
        I’ve enjoyed reading the thoughts of others and look forward to the next session.
        My thanks to all behind the scenes who make this all possible.

  23. not good enough
    for the choir
    her ashes sing in the wind
    ,
    Charles Harmon
    Los Angeles, California, USA
    .
    I went WOW when I read this one.

  24. Wonderful selection of haiku! And you daughter’s poem is fantastic! Thank you for including me among all these outstanding works!

  25. Wow, the spectrum of these haiku and rage underlying emotions.

    Jo Balisteri’s stillborn haiku is particularly heartbreaking.

    Congratulations to all especially to my fellow Ohioans, Ron Craig and Valentina Adams for their poems of cultural diversity and texture.

    Now to spend time soaking up some of the other haiku’s nuances and depths.

    Thanks Carole for sharing some of your photos and your commentary.

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