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HAIKU DIALOGUE – Simply a Daily Activity (2)

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Please use the Haiku Dialogue submission form below to enter one or two original unpublished haiku inspired by the week’s theme, and then press Submit to send your entry.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
headphones on
wish you were here

Bittor Duce Zubillaga
Basque Country

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
Ontario, Canada

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.

riverside hotel
during our breakfast
one egret fishing

Keiko Izawa
Japan

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.

winding up
the long run
ticker

Richard Bailly
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.

lunch break
liking posts
half-read

Alex Fyffe
Texas, USA

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 –
new moon

Valentina Ranaldi-Adams
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.

So not-haiku.

 

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.

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 14 Comments

  1. Lovely selections and commentary Craig! I particularly enjoyed this one:

    riverside hotel
    during our breakfast
    one egret fishing

    Keiko Izawa
    Japan

    What struck me most was what I felt between the ‘our’, and the ‘one’. The comfort in dining together, having food brought to you, against the ‘one’ egret along, having to fish for its own breakfast. It’s probably a moment that would make me full of gratitude to be enjoying breakfast with someone, and not alone like the egret.

  2. I’ve enjoyed reading all the work selected for Simply a Daily Activity. Thank you Craig for including my “brushing my hair…” in today’s commentary. Congratulations to all for the fine works selected.

    Stay inspired!
    Michelle

    1. Michele, I really enjoyed your haiku too, but I did rush the reading at first! I’m happy Craig pointed out the punctuation. I could really sense an after and a before with the act of brushing one’s hair, and discovering a lone feather had emerged from the heavy pillow. Truly, for me, with a ripe imagination, a lovely haiku!

      1. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment Carole.

        Stay inspired!
        Michelle

  3. brushing my hair…
    from the heavy pillow
    a single feather
    /
    Michelle V. Alkerton
    Ontario, Canada
    /
    This haiku brought to mind my childhood when bed pillows were stuffed with chicken feathers. Every so often a small feather would work its way out of the pillow.

    1. Ever have one poke through the pillowcase and stab your cheek?

      We had one growing up that did that to me a few times.

      Revenge of the chicken!

  4. Craig, I was so surprised and pleased that you had chosen my haiku for commentary. Thank-you very much. Thank-you also to Kathy, Lori, and the Haiku Foundations for the efforts on this column. Congrats to all poets.

    1. I feel that your haiku is very timely. Many folks are facing the challenge of maintaining mental health in the face of fallout from the pandemic and political and social toxicity.

      As with any form of suffering, I believe it’s helpful to know we are not alone with what we’re facing.

  5. Powerful haiku all. Congrats to all especially my fellow Ohioan, Valentina. Simple yet gets to the heart of all difficult times whether death or depression or just listening the news.

    Michelle Alkerton ‘s haiku…thick hair represented by a thick pillow capturing a feather during the day becoming a wonderful surprise.

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