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Please use the Haiku Dialogue submission form below to enter one or two original unpublished haiku inspired by the week’s theme, and then press Submit to send your entry.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.
sinking into something
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.
a paper boat journeys
round the puddle
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.
the cat shakes its paws
one at a time
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.
on the sea bottom
a flat fish
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
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.
the water overflows
from a rose leaf
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
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.
as rice —
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.
of dripping trees
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
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.
one hundred percent
earthworms on a stroll
Peggy Hale Bilbro
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.