Simply with Guest Editor Craig Kittner
Simplicity is one gateway to a balanced mind.
The world sorely needs balanced minds to mitigate all this conflict.
Haiku is uniquely suited for the cultivation and dissemination of simplicity.
In this round of Haiku Dialogue I’m seeking works that invoke the simple perfection of a moment in time.
The successful haiku will be formed out of love for what is not everlasting, but impermanent.
next week’s theme: Simply a Place to Dwell
Choose something that can be lived in and portray it simply. Present any juxtaposing element, be it physical or mental, with the same level of simplicity.
The deadline is midnight Eastern Daylight Time, Saturday May 27, 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Please use the Haiku Dialogue submission form below to enter one or two original unpublished haiku inspired by the week’s theme, and then press Submit to send your entry.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 Craig’s commentary for simply a daily activity too:
In everyday activity there is quietude fit for reveling and revelation.
Whereas precipitation and winged things can come along out of the blue and grab your attention, offering haiku moments with flourish and flair, everyday activities are always there.
Quietly awaiting your attention.
crowded morning tube
wish you were here
Bittor Duce Zubillaga
A group of human beings all engaged in the same activity will still have as many realities as there are people.
And people who aren’t even there are present in the minds of the people who know them.
How often does a work of art provide the only common ground?
Our realities meeting in a painting, a poem, a song.
brushing my hair…
from the heavy pillow
a single feather
Michelle V. Alkerton
This haiku just dares you to read too fast and misunderstand it.
A bold compositional choice and an excellent example of thoughtful punctuation, it feels masterful.
It’s also a good example of what makes daily activities a useful subject for haiku.
During the performance of this activity something unexpected occurs and the mind is pulled into focus.
What happens next?
Whatever the reader envisions.
during our breakfast
one egret fishing
Breakfast is breakfast, no matter where you eat it.
And while you are in an unfamiliar place, doing a familiar thing, those who belong there go about their lives as usual.
A truth reflected in this haiku, which also works simply as a depiction of a peaceful moment.
I believe there may be an element of omotenashi here too. However I do not feel qualified to offer commentary on that aspect.
Perhaps we can discuss it in the comments for this week.
the long run
Fargo, ND, USA
Everyday activity is the realm of the overlooked and taken for granted.
How often do you consider your heart?
Not as the center of your emotional life, but as part of the biological mechanism that makes it possible for you to have one.
When it pounds from exertion it’s hard to ignore.
The pairing of “winding up” and “ticker” imply a certain age, giving this haiku a subtle edginess.
Paying attention to one’s inattention.
A flash of awareness brought on by a shift in activity that calls into question our conception of rest.
What are we left with through all this mindless activity?
not yet able
to face the day –
Fairlawn, Ohio USA
An appreciation for everyday activities perhaps grows when they are hard to do.
The new moon rises, unseen, with the sun. The lunar cycle that peaks with fullness and light, starts invisibly.
Western society doesn’t know what to do with grief. Not really.
We are supposed to get over it, move on, see what’s next.
Find a “new normal.”
Which is so unnatural.
Join us next week for Craig’s selection of poems on the theme of simply a place to dwell…
Guest Editor Craig Kittner claims a round-earther identity as an alternative to the ones the world would impose. While their feet feel the earth, their ragpicker mind works the trash heap that’s their brain, pulling out words. Origami Poems Project, Shot Glass Journal, bottle rockets, and Acorn have recently hosted his work.
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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