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HAIKU DIALOGUE – Simply Precipitation (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 Winged Thing

Choose something with wings 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 April 29, 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Please use the Haiku Dialogue submission form below to enter one or two original unpublished haiku inspired by the week’s theme, and then press Submit to send your entry.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 precipitation too:

I appreciate all of you joining me in delving deeply into simplicity.

Let’s get right to the commented-on haiku.

starlit night—
sinking into something
countless

Carole MacRury
Point Roberts, WA

“Countless,” what a word!

A word to stop the mind in its tracks.

The ability to separate out such a word and make it resonate is one of haiku’s superpowers.

Our former guest editor shows us something with this bold choice of a submission.

A prompt is a thought generator, an eye focuser, and contextual seed.

Prompts are meant to be expansive.

monsoon
a paper boat journeys
round the puddle

Nitu Yumnam
India

The image of the handmade toy in its puddle somehow invokes the day-by-day actuality of the monsoon rains for one who has never experienced such a season.

Our awareness of the warming of our planet can add fearful complications to the rain.

It’s good to be reminded of the simplicity a childlike mindset can engender.

spring shower
the cat shakes its paws
one at a time

Bette Hopper
Lufkin, Texas

Observation.

Simple, deliberate, and specific.

It brings focus to the present moment, which is where life occurs.

The cat feels the rain on its paws and responds. It’s doing what comes naturally and that resonates.

precipitation—
on the sea bottom
a flat fish

Teiichi Suzuki
Japan

A simple key to an intricate thought-map.

At the bottom of the sea is rain still rain?

Where does the cycle of precipitation begin and end?

Or is something else going on? Subtle humor, perhaps.

The smell of rain
followed by its cool wetness
A snail peeks out

Lea S. Jusi
Singapore

I like the rhythm here that leads us nicely to the surprise ending.

There is no equivalent to Japanese kireji in English. Every English language haikuist must work out for themself how best to cut their fragments from their phrases.

Lea’s choice of capitalization sans punctuation is a bold and effective one.

morning dew
the water overflows
from a rose leaf

Dejan Ivanovic
Lazarevac, Serbia

I love that the dew is dripping off a leaf, not the flower.

It would feel less haiku otherwise, and the rhythm works well this way.

Plus, the surface properties of a rose leaf are ideal for the holding of dew. My mind is led to a contemplation of this and sees it in all its simple thereness.

a drift of rain
lightening and darkening
along the peninsula

Alan Summers
Chippenham, England

Again, observation.

How many years of learning to look form the basis of this poem?

Like a painting by Turner.

It is simply there and simply right.

dew-covered crocus forgiven again

Lorraine A Padden
San Diego, CA USA

Like a little incantation whispered to oneself.

Haiku is gifted with the power to invoke. Crocus here serving as kigo, its dewiness making it all the fresher.

plain
as rice —
rain

Allison Douglas-Tourner
Victoria BC Canada

Simple, brief, minimalist. They are related but by no means synonymous.

By virtue of its history and its nature, haiku is well suited for simplicity, and it can hardly avoid being brief, but minimalism can seem out of place.

Not here though. The juxtaposition of rice and rain is just too good.

Two simple things that sustain life, but are often undervalued. They are comfortable companions and that is well captured here.

the drip
of dripping trees
cottage clock

Tony Williams
Scotland, UK

Does the cottage actually have a clock? I think not.

Perhaps it has no need of one. Perhaps the lack of one is what makes it a proper place to be.

I find the repetition in this haiku a crucial element to bring its simplicity forth.

winter evening –
all the snowflakes
of my childhood

Rosa Maria Di Salvatore
Catania (Italy)

Some haiku bypass the brain and go right for the heart. Reading this one, my eyes teared up and I felt an ache in my chest.

There’s a connection between snow and childhood that rises to the level of the mythical. Rosa taps into it here.

humidity level
one hundred percent
earthworms on a stroll

Peggy Hale Bilbro
Alabama

This one simply made me laugh.

And it has a pleasing rhythm that rolls right off the tongue.

 

Join us next week for Craig’s selection of poems on the theme of simply a winged thing…

 

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. Beautiful selection and commentary—particularity appropriate responses with the ‘simply’ theme. Relaxing and thought provoking.

    morning dew
    the water overflows
    from a rose leaf

    Dejan Ivanovic
    Lazarevac, Serbia

    All twelve haiku were worthy, but, for me, this one rose (pun absolutely intended) to the top. If Dejan, indeed, witnessed this . . . kudos! I see myself watching a PBS nature doc where a photographer spent days waiting for that perfect moment. Ha!

  2. Impressive set of haiku, simple, precise,with only a few words. Congrats to all.

    Bette Hopper’s haiku shows she knows cats and precipitation. Cats dislike getting wet, shaking off the wet one step at a time washing a paw, putting it down only to wash another wet paw. The same thing happens with snow. Classic, Bette.

    Alan’s lightness and darkness reminds me of seeing a far off rain in the distance, knowing it might be coming our way. Now there, soon here?

    Again, congratulations.

  3. From stars to snowflakes, dew, rain and puddles to snails, a cat, a flat fish and earthworms, each of these selected poems held great appeal. Well done to all!

    marion

  4. It’s been wonderful just to read a few haiku, with notes by Craig Kittner!

    I like how something can be simple but point out “there’s something else out there” in an inclusive manner and not the usual knee-jerk reaction we see around places both physical and in the media.

    .

    This one catches movement, and those small characteristics of something that enriches haiku:

    .

    spring shower
    the cat shakes its paws
    one at a time

    Bette Hopper

    .
    I love how this goes beyond the trap of a moment being only the time to snap out, or in, a breath! Time doesn’t work like that. And cats have their own ceremony of time, after all.

    .

    And as a snow freak, it’s not just for Christmas! 🙂

    .
    winter evening –
    all the snowflakes
    of my childhood

    Rosa Maria Di Salvatore

    .

    What a sublime haiku! Beautifully uplifting and yet poignant, and I hope every child somehow experiences snow like this author’s haiku, whether metaphysically or perhaps on a holodeck! 🙂

    .

    I love how the phrasing defies perceived fragments and phrases:

    humidity level
    one hundred percent
    earthworms on a stroll

    Peggy Hale Bilbro

    .
    The syntax is robustly smooth and yet disruptive and subversive, and by the way, who is on a stroll, the human interloper, or the rest of the world! 🙂

    .

    All of the featured haiku are my favourites, and I’m hoping to comment more at some time.

  5. Thank you Craig, for selecting mine for commentary. As you could probably tell, it was your image that inspired me. When I first looked at it, I was reminded of all the ‘connect the dots’ games I did as a child and with my grandchild….and then the stars popped up, and between the two thoughts connecting numbers and our galaxy, my haiku was born.
    Thanks so much for the image that provided this haiku!

    Absolutely enjoyed all 12 haiku, but this one spoke to me beyond the image and the sound.

    the drip
    of dripping trees
    cottage clock

    Tony Williams
    Scotland, UK

    I so appreciated the sense of time ticking by….either through the droplets or the second hand of the clock…this haiku put me in one those silent moments when the world seems to move on while I remain in a moment of peaceful stasis. Thanks Craig! Thanks Tony.

    1. Thank you for the insight into your creative process.

      I find the many ways poetry comes to us so fascinating.

  6. So glad you liked my haiku enough to select it for commentary, Craig! One of the things I love about spring is seeing the earthworms out exploring the world, though I confess that it is a bit of anthropomorphizing the think of the earthworms ‘strolling’. I always move them from the sidewalk to the grass when the sun comes out. They are our good friends and we should cherish them.

    1. re:

      humidity level
      one hundred percent
      earthworms on a stroll

      Peggy Hale Bilbro

      I can also read this that you are on a stroll coming across the earthworms. Of course I can start anthropomorphizing them and wondering if they are fanning themselves and wiping the glow away with silk handkerchiefs.

      Also you are a time traveller as “USA” native earthworms disappeared more than 10,000 years ago.

    2. Reading your comment I now see an Issa-like quality to your approach as well, which is nice.

      Honoring the qualities of non-human individuals and showing them love may skirt the boundaries of anthropomorphization, but worrying about it seems a very Western-mindset thing to me.

    3. I loved yours too Peggy and the fact you removed as many as you could back to the grass. Earthworms are so essential to the health of our soil.

  7. Over the moon to appear in this column and receive commentary. Immense gratitude to Craig Kittner, Katherine Munro, and Lori Zajkowski for including my work! Appreciate your efforts and the time you devote running this column.

    Among the best ones, this one touched the heart:

    plain
    as rice —
    rain

    Short, simple, and sweet. Will remain in my head for days…

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