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HAIKU DIALOGUE – snow on the roof

 

Welcome to Haiku Dialogue

Let’s talk about haiku! We begin our new format for 2019 with photographs – I will share a photo each week as a prompt for your writing and you’re invited to join in the fun!

Submit an original unpublished poem (or poems) via our Contact Form by Sunday midnight on the theme of the week, including your name as you would like it to appear, and place of residence.

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.

Poems will be selected based on the potential to generate discussion – these poems will be the best to talk about…

 

next week’s theme:

The deadline for this theme is midnight Pacific Time, Sunday 20 January 2019.
I look forward to reading your submissions.

 

HAIKU DIALOGUE: avalanche risk

Here are my selections for this week:

white silence –
a blanket of snow
suspended from the roof

Angela Giordano
Avigliano (PZ), Italy

 

last love letter –
the quiet fall of snow
all night

arvinder kaur
Chandigarh, India

 

snow covered roofs
he starts shaving
in the afternoon

Astrid Egger
Queen Charlotte, BC

 

new snow on the roofs…
the roofer dreams of melting
nails

Bill Gottlieb
Cobb Mountain, CA

 

winter illness –
he slipped away
without a sound

Carole MacRury

 

avalanche
mom’s dough overflowing
from the wet basin

cezar-florin ciobica

 

frozen snow
my daughter’s giggle
reaches the rooftops

Christina Pecoraro

 

roof snow
the precariousness
of our situation

Christina Sng
Singapore

 

the weight of winter
everything
in layers

Claire Vogel Camargo

 

first snow
a blank day
on my calendar

Debbi Antebi
London, UK

 

spider web
on a snow shovel
until next winter

Dubravka Scukanec
Zagreb, Croatia

 

avalanche warning
my father clears
his throat

Edward Cody Huddleston

 

fresh snow
on the old path
I find myself

Eufemia Griffo

 

ceasefire –
the deafening silence
of snow

Eva Limbach
Germany

 

Gutterless shed bends snow creates wonder

Ian Ruitenberg

 

looking out the window
she says she too
would like a bob cut

Ingrid Baluchi

 

white lies
the deep snow
on our roof

Joanne van Helvoort

 

unseasonal snow
a robin’s song trickles
into melt water

John Hawkhead

 

the stillness
after she’s gone
snowfall

Kath Abela Wilson
Pasadena, California

 

Saturday night –
snow raising the roof

Laurie Greer
Washington DC

 

warm winter
roofs are removing
white caps

Ljiljana Dobra

 

after Xmas
waiting for an avalanche
of bills

Lori Zajkowski
New York

 

frosty silence
a silver knife cuts
through wedding cake

Lucy Whitehead
Essex, UK

 

doll house
childhood unravels
in her winter years

Madhuri Pillai

 

first temple visit
the graceful flow
of kimono sleeves

Margaret Chula

 

winter the downward slide

Margaret Walker

 

silence
slump
ing
into
winter

Marietta McGregor

 

foreclosure
the snow clings
to our roof

Marilyn Ashbaugh
Edwardsburg, Michigan

 

dream states…
flakes of sleep
drift upon the pillow

Mark Gilbert
UK

 

snowdrift…
the lies I tell
about his father

Martha Magenta
UK

 

blizzard conditions
unleashing an avalanche
of board games

Michele L. Harvey

 

an avalanche
of feelings
post-partum blues

Nancy Brady

 

snowbound world…
still a hostage
of his cold heart

Natalia Kuznetsova
Russia

 

fresh snow
the multiple layers
of silence

Olivier Schopfer
Geneva, Switzerland

 

back porch
the rhythm
of her neighbor’s shovel

Pat Davis
Pembroke, NH  USA

 

this fear
of falling
snow on snow

Rachel Sutcliffe

 

the words
you leave in
avalanche

Radostina Dragostinova

 

pure snow –
in the city
not one living saint

Réka Nyitrai

 

morning snow
that starling might be
my mother

Roberta Beary

 

heavy snow caps the roof
that mountain
behind us

Ronald K. Craig
Batavia, OH  USA

 

first love –
an avalanche
of kisses

Rosa Maria Di Salvatore

 

snowed in we measure time in inches

Shloka Shankar
India

 

crown fracture
my key goes in the front door

(a crown fracture is an avalanche precursor)

simonj
UK

 

as if to say shush sudden snowfall

Susan Rogers
Los Angeles, CA USA

 

slipping snow –
my counselor asks
when it all began

Tia Haynes
Lakewood, Ohio

 

sealed window pane
how did the coldness
seep into us

Vandana Parashar

 

Katherine Munro lives in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, and publishes under the name kjmunro. She is Membership Secretary for Haiku Canada and an Associate Member of the League of Canadian Poets. She co-edited an anthology of crime-themed haiku called Body of Evidence: a collection of killer ’ku.

 

This Post Has 64 Comments

  1. MANY wonderful poems this past week. Here are my 10 favorites and what they mean to me … I chose poems that are related to “snow on the roof” or “avalanche” (not including my own!).
    .
    slipping snow
    my counselor asks
    when it all began
    Tia Haynes
    .
    A nice connection between two discrete events in which both are going in the same direction – downhill! Well written, Tia.
    .
    first love –
    an avalanche
    of kisses
    Rosa Maria Di Salvatore
    .
    Maybe even subsequent loves, but this image captures the wonderment of love in three simple lines! Nice image, Rosa.
    .
    this fear
    of falling
    snow on snow
    Rachel Sutcliffe
    .
    Having broken my elbow in a fall last summer I can relate to this poem. Other consequences, both physical and psychological, result, like one problem piling on top of another. Thank you for portraying a single, complicated life event in a few words, Rachel.
    .
    snowbound world …
    still a hostage
    of his cold heart
    Natalia Kuznetsova
    .
    Fantastic poem with the snowbound image reinforced with the words hostage and cold. There may be many reasons why a person is in this position, but this poem aptly summarizes the physicality and emotionality of such a person. Well crafted, Natalia.
    .
    an avalanche
    of feelings
    post-partum blues
    Nancy Brady
    .
    How can I say more than this poem already does! For the many who suffer from this malady, these words distinctly describe the results. Right to the point, Nancy.
    .
    blizzard conditions
    unleashing an avalanche
    of board games
    Michele L. Harvey
    .
    My brothers and I grew up playing board games with the intensity of a blizzard: competitively, but friendly. A simple and concise poem that captured many youthful memories! Thanks, Michele.
    .
    foreclosure
    the snow clings
    to our roof
    Marilyn Ashbaugh
    .
    The weight of making this decision is at once unburdening and yet some pain lingers, at least for seven years. It takes time for one to shed the emotions from this financial resolution. A lot is packed into this poem, Marilyn.
    .
    after Xmas
    waiting for an avalanche
    of bills
    Lori Zajkowski
    .
    A poem that poignantly shows the devolution from happiness to sadness. Indiscretion often leads to overwhelming negative results. Well written, Lori.
    .
    white lies
    the deep snow
    on our roof
    Joanne van Helvoort
    .
    An insightful description of how white lies, little or otherwise, pile up. Eventually the roof collapses or someone below gets buried. Excellent, Joanne.
    .
    roof snow
    the precariousness
    of our situation
    Christina Sng
    .
    Leaving a lot to the imagination, this poem simply states how burdens pile up. Unless we clear the roof more serious consequences develop. A nice connection of ideas, Christina.
    .
    Thank you Kathy! And thanks to all poets for being inspired by kj’s visual prompt and for your subsequent dialogue! I am enjoying this weekly exercise tremendously.
    Ron

  2. snowed in we measure time in inches
    Shloka Shankar
    India

    This weekend many in the USA are experiencing this due to a big storm – a fitting haiku for us.

  3. Thank you Kathy for selecting my haiku. I enjoyed reading the selection of haiku and the various commentaries.

    Thank you Alan for commenting on my haiku, always loved your positive and encouraging comments.

    Thank you Arvinder Kaur, Christina Pecoraro and Astrid Egger for your kind thoughts on my haiku.

    1. Thanks Madhuri! 🙂
      “Thank you Alan for commenting on my haiku, always loved your positive and encouraging comments.”
      .
      .
      doll house
      childhood unravels
      in her winter years
      .
      Madhuri Pillai
      .
      .
      It’s also a great exception where an article (a, an, the) is not required in the second line (and certainly not in the opening line). Wonderful haiku, and I’ve enjoyed reading it all over again!
      .
      .
      ARTICLES, WHETHER TO HAVE OR NOT IN HAIKU:
      http://area17.blogspot.com/2018/03/the-definite-and-indefinite-article-how.html
      .

  4. Thank you KJ for selecting my haiku, and everyone who commented on it. I read the column a couple of times, having a difficult time to comment, as each haiku presented me with another appreciation of snow and how we experience it. Making a selection is harder than I thought at first, because on second reading, I would discover a more quiet appeal of some ku. Thank you to all for your participation and thoughtful comments

    white silence –
    a blanket of snow
    suspended from the roof
    Angela Giordano
    Avigliano (PZ), Italy

    last love letter –
    the quiet fall of snow
    all night
    arvinder kaur
    Chandigarh, India

    new snow on the roofs…
    the roofer dreams of melting
    nails
    Bill Gottlieb
    Cobb Mountain, CA

    winter illness –
    he slipped away
    without a sound
    Carole MacRury

    frozen snow
    my daughter’s giggle
    reaches the rooftops
    Christina Pecoraro
    The joys of snow, and winter…

    the weight of winter
    everything
    in layers
    Claire Vogel Camargo
    This haiku contains so much, the layers of meaning, the weight of winter, the layers we were and take off…

    first snow
    a blank day
    on my calendar
    Debbi Antebi
    London, UK
    Others have commented already on the relief of having a blank day, a snow day, on one’s calendar.
    spider web
    on a snow shovel
    until next winter
    Dubravka Scukanec
    Zagreb, Croatia
    I loved how this haiku combines the activity of a spider while the snow shovel is put away.
    avalanche warning
    my father clears
    his throat
    Edward Cody Huddleston
    This haiku seems tongue in cheek
    fresh snow
    on the old path
    I find myself
    Eufemia Griffo

    ceasefire –
    the deafening silence
    of snow
    Eva Limbach
    Germany
    This haiku reminds us of the acoustic properties of fresh snow, connecting to the larger image of the ceasefire.
    Gutterless shed bends snow creates wonder
    Ian Ruitenberg
    a one liner, that contains so much activity!
    looking out the window
    she says she too
    would like a bob cut
    Ingrid Baluchi
    What a nice touch of humour

    white lies
    the deep snow
    on our roof
    Joanne van Helvoort
    What a portent image! what happens under the roof?
    unseasonal snow
    a robin’s song trickles
    into melt water
    John Hawkhead
    I loved the allusions to sound, song trickling into meltwater… Yes.

    the stillness
    after she’s gone
    snowfall
    Kath Abela Wilson
    Pasadena, California
    The combination of snowfall and loss, in so few words.
    doll house
    childhood unravels
    in her winter years
    Madhuri Pillai
    someone else already commented on the potential of returning to a more childlike state., perhaps due to the aging process, perhaps by simple observation.

    first temple visit
    the graceful flow
    of kimono sleeves
    Margaret Chula
    I loved the sense of flow, and am intrigued how this picture could elicit so much.

    winter the downward slide
    Margaret Walker
    Yes, we may be feeling the weight of it alll.

    foreclosure
    the snow clings
    to our roof
    Marilyn Ashbaugh
    Edwardsburg, Michigan
    Despite foreclosure, something still hangs on…
    dream states…
    flakes of sleep
    drift upon the pillow
    Mark Gilbert
    UK
    This is beautiful, bringing snowflakes to our cozy inside… I loved the picture of flakes of sleep.

    fresh snow
    the multiple layers
    of silence
    Olivier Schopfer
    Geneva, Switzerland
    This is another haiku that says so much about layering, silence and how we perceive it.

    back porch
    the rhythm
    of her neighbor’s shovel
    Pat Davis
    Pembroke, NH USA
    I love the suggestion of activity, someone else’s mind you, in this.

    this fear
    of falling
    snow on snow
    Rachel Sutcliffe
    There is a lot of mystery in this one…And as snow continues to fall, more will be added.

    pure snow –
    in the city
    not one living saint
    Réka Nyitrai
    This was so unusual… Would I expect a living saint in a city…Was this a city of saints? i love the connection of purity of snow, as opposed to the city…

    morning snow
    that starling might be
    my mother
    Roberta Beary
    And here is a concept of reincarnation… somehow mother is still alive.

    heavy snow caps the roof
    that mountain
    behind us
    Ronald K. Craig
    Batavia, OH USA
    I like how this haiku connects the image of heavy snow to something that is behind us, and maybe quite literally the snow might also cap the mountain behind us.

    snowed in we measure time in inches
    Shloka Shankar
    India
    I loved how this combines different forms of measurement.

    as if to say shush sudden snowfall
    Susan Rogers
    Los Angeles, CA USA

    Yes, a sudden snowfall, and things become quieter.

    sealed window pane
    how did the coldness
    seep into us
    Vandana Parashar

    This haiku alludes to a concrete image, the presumed safety of a sealed window pane, but it can’t keep at bay a slow change seeping in.

  5. first love –
    an avalanche
    of kisses
    Rosa Maria Di Salvatore

    This one sweetly captures what love is like for the young.

  6. snowed in we measure time in inches
    Shloka Shankar
    India

    This is a clever haiku since time can be measured either figuratively or literally in inches.

  7. Here are the ones that really grabbed me on the first read-through. I’ve come to believe that the poems that speak to us say as much about the reader as the author. But these, IMNO all have that something special.

    winter illness –
    he slipped away
    without a sound

    Carole MacRury

    the weight of winter
    everything
    in layers

    Claire Vogel Camargo

    fresh snow
    the multiple layers
    of silence

    Olivier Schopfer
    Geneva, Switzerland

    this fear
    of falling
    snow on snow

    Rachel Sutcliffe

    snowed in we measure time in inches

    Shloka Shankar
    India

    as if to say shush sudden snowfall

    Susan Rogers
    Los Angeles, CA USA

    sealed window pane
    how did the coldness
    seep into us

    Vandana Parashar

  8. Thank you kj for selecting one of my haiku this week. I have really enjoyed reading this week’s selections. Like Mark expressed, I too have found photo prompts to be a challenge and I am delighted to have a reason to practice creating to someone else’s art.

    Reading through the comments I discovered that Kath Abela Wilson wrote her stunning ku in response to her mother’s passing. Her work had already gripped my heart and even more so now. My own mother passed when I was 28 before I had children and she was especially missed during the holidays. The empty space her absence has created feels encapsulated by Wilson’s words:

    the stillness
    after she’s gone
    snowfall

  9. Thank you, KJ, I found lots to enjoy and admire this week, and thanks for including mine. I have always found photo prompts difficult so I am getting in some excellent practice.

    I would like to add some words about Carole MacRury’s ‘winter illness — / he slipped away / without a sound’ in which I especially appreciated the subtle establishment of timescale in the first line which then itself slipped away in the following lines, with much poignancy.

  10. What a wonderful service you have created here Kathy and everyone else involved.Encouraging us all to stuff ourselves into a bunch of potential present moments then pick one and share it with each other.
    I wonder if we could interchange the word haikus with truths
    Really enjoying this picture thing

  11. The new format is really shaping very nicely with so much of discussion that gives new insights and interpretations to the poems. For me :

    winter illness –
    he slipped away
    without a sound

    Carole MacRury

    The deep melancholy is striking and attracts immediately. I guess this resonates with many of us as we hark back to the times when our own loved ones bid farewell. Although the poem leaves it open to the reader whether someone has walked out of a relationship or left this world.

    ‘avalanche’
    A very realistic and an everyday image that others can miss but not a true poet who catches the moment and expresses with all the symbolism intact. Many congrats Cezar-florin.

    ‘frozen snow’

    I identify a lot with this. Personally had also contemplated a similar image but did not do it well i guess.

    ‘ roof snow’ The precariousness of a situation in relationships conveyed so well by Christina Sing

    ‘the stillness’ by Kath Abela , They say grief is love that was yet to happen between two people. The huge loss in such few words. Amazing !

    ‘frosty silence’ I was left wondering like many others if the wedding should have taken place ! The juxtaposition of ‘cutting through’ and the wedding cake ,how words carry the weight of reality and the frosty silence sets in.
    Maduri,Personally I love childhood poems and this one works so very well.
    ‘first temple visit’ as graceful a poem as the kimono sleeves it talks about.’ morning snow’ by Roberta Beary,very poignant and catches the rhythm and music of a mother daughter relationship

    Enjoyed reading all poems. Besides the participation has lead to a lot of practice which is the pre requisite of any craft. Many thanks to Kathereine and to Alan and others who have commented on my ku. Thanks again !

    1. I enjoyed reading your comments Arvinder, and happy that mine caught your eye. Thank you.

      1. Carole – such a powerful poem:
        winter illness –
        he slipped away
        without a sound
        I would like to hear what you (& others?) think of ‘slips’ versus ‘slipped’ here…

        1. Ill and dying is never an instant death, and while using slips creates tension, using slips with sound calls for prognostication – there may well be a last gasp. I prefer the use of slipped – the quiet bedside vigil and then a realisation that the patient is no longer there.

          1. I prefer slipped to slip. My father slipped away AFTER we all left, including his hospice nurse. She had encouraged us to leave that evening at 10:30pm to get some sleep as his strong vital sounds indicated he was several days from dying based on her experience with hospice patients. And so we left, planning on seeing him the following day. She took his last set of vitals at 1:30am, according to the records, and then stepped away for a bathroom break, returning in a few minutes. She checked him again, and he was gone with the time of death recorded at 1:35am. My sister’s and I firmly believe he chose to die when he was alone. He slipped away…on his own, his will strong to control even in death. To me, that is the power of slipped over slip. Slipped seems more active.

          2. I hate autocorrect. The plural of sister is sisters. I can not believe I didn’t notice when it was changed. There was not an apostrophe originally.

  12. as if to say shush
    sudden snowfall

    Susan Rogers

    *************
    LA, CA

    Congrats Susan

    Your use of the sound

    “shush”

    to calm a baby,
    *************

    The sound of skis in the snow,

    *************************

    and alerting others to pay attention….

    Thanks again Susan…

    ******

    and again Kathabela,

    the stillness
    after she’s gone
    snowfall

    Kath Abela Wilson
    Pasadena, California

    Kathabela knows how to capture the quiet she feels since her mother passed.

    she related to the vast desert of snow beyond the

    rather limiting photo on the roof for me….

    k’s haiku isn’t sad.

    I guess My haiku was too literal but at least my work on the snow avalanche
    warning haiku

    encouraged a dialogue w my daughter about the details about the avalanche survival course she took in Vail, CO.

    Angela didn’t like my use of the word

    “safe” risk taker

    but would have liked
    “calculated” risk taker
    or
    “careful” risk taker.

    Angela explained the use of the locator beacon and the Avalanche Lung so a skier can breath when covered by snow with the exhale breath causing the lungs to freeze….1-17-19

    1. thanks for these comments, Janis – I would like to add regarding Kath Abela’s poem:
      the stillness
      after she’s gone
      snowfall
      another level of meaning for me is that the ‘she’ is the actual snowfall itself – because it always seems so calm after the snow has stopped falling, especially if it has been windy, with snow blowing all around…

    2. Alan Summer from ______?

      How did u find my moon haiku from 2015?
      I forgot about that one..thanks for reminding me….

      n 27, 2019 6:57 am
      Subject: Fwd: Posts from The Haiku Foundation for 01/26/2019

      Janis Lukstein says
      About
      Susan Rogers
      “Shush”

      Alan summers
      Comment
      And add my l…

      no consideration
      for star gazers
      the full moon

      Jk 2015 (jl)

      Posted 1-17-19 by Alan Summers

  13. I love all of them and found them all a great pleasure to read. It’s hard to pick one above the others, but the one that leaps out because it is so different is:

    pure snow –
    in the city
    not one living saint
    .
    Réka Nyitrai
    .
    Such an interesting jux. I find Réka’s writing fresh and original.
    .
    Many thanks to Alan Summers for talking about my haiku.

  14. what also struck me about many of these poems is the use of sounds (or the lack of sound = silence)… I wonder if this is a carry-over from A Sense of Place… I am again enjoying the huge variety of responses to this photo, &, as Carole MacRury notes, how some poems have been written as haiga, while others are closer to the image – with amazing results!

  15. My first haiku I ever wrote was a snow haiku, and I still find winter haiku to be as profound and beautiful. From snow itself to the weight of it to the emotions connected to the season. Lots of layers, just like Claire’s haiku stated. These haiku did not disappoint. So visual, so evocative. Congrats to all of the poets. Well done.

    Thanks, KJ, for all your hard work choosing the many haiku for the column each week. Wednesday is always a highlight of the week.

  16. morning snow
    that starling might be
    my mother
    Roberta Beary

    Another star(t)ling poem from RB, who always seems to commingle the past and present in a counterpoint of strange and inviting images of nature, life and family. Where I grew up, in Pennsylvania, the everywhere starlings were black and iridescent; blunt, tussling and magical birds! So I picture a black bird in white snow: pure new life flitted with the black fact of death. (RB’s apt cluster of conjunctions makes morning/mourning no accident, right? Neither is having us take sudden notice of the “no” in the middle of snow.) And starlings are aggressive birds that eat eggs and take over nests—just like the memory of the dead mother “might be” an intrusive, aggressive presence, a memory that eats you. And that seemingly simple “might be” is kind of perfect in another way, conjuring mysterious possibility and myth—“that” stranger could be an angel, right? The music of the poem is also beautiful: the murmuring of all those m’s and n’s is downright Mm-Mm: morning…snow…starling…might…my…mother. And the syllabic balance of the three lines—3, 5, 3—is exacting and evocative. Once again, RB delivers just-right, ever-fresh details, frosted with lyricism, to create for the reader an immediate outer and inner world—in eight perfectly placed words. Got to say I’m snowed; but sincerely so.

    snow covered roofs
    he starts shaving
    in the afternoon
    Astrid Egger

    I immediately loved this: The image of a man lazily spreading snowy-white shaving cream on his face in the afternoon, his day delayed by the heavy snow. A one-breath poem long as a yawn.

    first snow
    a blank day
    on my calendar
    Debbi Antebi

    And loved this, too: again, the “blank”, white day on the calendar matching the snow; maybe CAUSED by the snow—the internal and external whites; the unexpected but apt interpenetration of nature/human that is a hallmark of an involving haiku.

    foreclosure
    the snow clings
    to our roof
    Marilyn Ashbaugh

    And loved this, too: The owners are being forced out of the house, but the snow “clings”—sad, poignant contrast of legal and natural facts, of the inevitable. Simple and profound; making foreclosure so very “relatable,” as Ellen D. specially said…

    Thank you for all these sudden beauties, and many more.

    1. What incisive and poetically stated commentary!
      Takes me further into each of the haiku you unpack, Bill.
      Cheers and thanks.

  17. Thanks, Kathy, for your wonderful selections.
    Can tell they came from a discerning haiku connoisseur.
    .
    And to you, Alan, for your charming commentary on mine.
    .
    Thick snow, it seems to me, quiets us, so that otherwise
    ordinary sounds are enhanced as in
    .
    avalanche warning
    my father clears
    his throat — Edward Cody Huddleston
    .
    clearly a sound of apprehension. And
    .
    unseasonal snow
    a robin’s song trickles
    into melt water — John Hawkhead. As well as
    .
    back porch
    the rhythm
    of her neighbor’s shovel —Pat Davis. And also
    .
    morning snow
    that starling might be
    my mother — Roberta Beary
    .
    In the thick-snow quiet, the sound or soundlessness of
    our emotions too seem to well up from deep places as in
    .
    last love letter –
    the quiet fall of snow
    all night — arvinder kaur
    .
    One wonders if that “last love letter” was written, or retrieved, in
    the deep silence, or perhaps penned by one who’s passed….
    .
    There is a depth of poignancy too in
    .
    winter illness –
    he slipped away
    without a sound — Carole MacRury. And in
    .
    ceasefire –
    the deafening silence
    of snow — Eva Limbach. And
    .
    foreclosure
    the snow clings
    to our roof — Marilyn Ashbaugh
    .
    the stillness
    after she’s gone
    snowfall — Kath Abela Wilson
    .
    an avalanche
    of feelings
    post-partum blues — Nancy Brady
    .
    Then there are the marvelously evocative
    .
    dream states…
    flakes of sleep
    drift upon the pillow —Mark Gilbert
    .
    doll house
    childhood unravels
    in her winter years — Madhuri Pillai
    .
    the weight of winter
    everything
    in layers — Claire Vogel Camargo
    .
    the words
    you leave in
    avalanche — Radostina Dragostinova.
    .
    sealed window pane
    how did the coldness
    seep into us —Vandana Parashar
    .
    I love the humor or hint of it (at least to me) in
    .
    avalanche
    mom’s dough overflowing
    from the wet basin — cezar-florin ciobica
    .
    looking out the window
    she says she too
    would like a bob cut — Ingrid Baluchi
    .
    blizzard conditions
    unleashing an avalanche
    of board games —Michele L. Harvey
    .
    pure snow –
    in the city
    not one living saint — Réka Nyitrai
    .
    frosty silence
    a silver knife cuts
    through wedding cake — Lucy Whitehead
    .
    crown fracture *
    my key goes in the front door
    *(an avalanche precursor) — simonj

    after Xmas
    waiting for an avalanche
    of bills — Lori Zajkowski. Ouch!
     

  18. first temple visit
    the graceful flow
    of kimono sleeves

    Margaret Chula

    This is startlingly pure and visually original as an interpretation.. Of course, kimono sleeves! That is my reaction. I can see them flowing. One could never expect this, yet it is SO right and evocative. What could be better!?

  19. I enjoyed reading your selections Kathy, and I’m happy to see my own included. Thank you. At first, I began looking at the prompts as haiga, but since then, reading the various responses, I realize we are not writing haiga, where the poem isn’t too close to the image, but rather, we are simply letting ourselves be inspired by the image. In saying that, my choices for the most part were poems that resonated beyond snow itself and in some cases didn’t mention snow at all. When I read these poems and looked at the image, I felt privy to a small piece of the poets inner mind.

    snow covered roofs
    he starts shaving
    in the afternoon

    Astrid Egger
    Queen Charlotte, BC

    Knowing the wild weather of the Queen Charlottes, I really enjoyed the last two lines of this haiku. To me, it suggests that sense of being so snowbound one’s entire schedule is off the charts, one can linger in bed, start the day later. Or, depending on the man, it could be the fellow who gets up and spends his morning shoveling, before shaving. I appreciate the space for the reader in this fine poem.

    the weight of winter
    everything
    in layers

    Claire Vogel Camargo

    As is so often the case with my favorites, the simpler the better. The word ‘layers’ itself, is ‘weighted’ in this haiku. Layers of snow, layers of clothing, layers of one’s mood, one’s life.

    spider web
    on a snow shovel
    until next winter

    Dubravka Scukanec
    Zagreb, Croatia

    I had to smile at Dubravka’s haiku, as I have seen my own snow shovels covered in webs as they sit through the seasons waiting to be used again in winter.

    fresh snow
    on the old path
    I find myself

    Eufemia Griffo

    I like the contrast of new and old, fresh snow, old path. It reminded me that fresh snow on any path, especially in this case, an old one, sometimes forces on to step off the path to find their way, because the path isn’t as clear covered with new snow. One must often walk with memory. All these thoughts seemed to chime with the poet’s last line, “I find myself”.

    after Xmas
    waiting for an avalanche
    of bills

    Lori Zajkowski
    New York

    I love the peek into the poet’s mind with this one and the way the snow hanging from the roof, reminded her of the mass of bills that come after the holidays. The snow will fall, and in the end, the bills will arrive.

    first temple visit
    the graceful flow
    of kimono sleeves

    Margaret Chula

    Again, I love this peek into the poet’s mind showing how the image inspired her poem. The qualities of the kimono, graceful flow, seemed to also relate very nicely to the shape of the snow hanging off the room. I liked the awe of ‘first temple visit’ as well. Certainly seeing such a length of snow still intact falling from the roof had its own sense of awe. Lovely interpretation, lovely haiku.

    this fear
    of falling
    snow on snow

    Rachel Sutcliffe

    Another one that says a lot in so few words. If I read it as a haiga it might seen as if it were describing the image, But the word’ this’ makes it personal. I am reading it as an inspiration from the photo, and the human qualities I sense in ‘this fear of falling’, snow on snow. I feel a sense of being overwhelmed, of things building up, of waiting for the crash. I love the tension in this haiku.

    1. Carole, thank you very much for commenting on my haiku. You got it! All the ‘layers’ I was thinking of when I wrote it. And layers, the build-up of which, can cause an ‘avalanche’… I appreciate your haiku and can identify with it, having lost my dad a little over a year ago…slipping away in silence, as quiet as snow:

      winter illness –
      he slipped away
      without a sound

      Carole MacRury

  20. Considering that I love snow, and write hundreds of winter haiku, and many of them about snow, I missed this opportunity! But I am going to enjoy writing about a few of the great poems here. 🙂
    .
    .
    Here, I’ve titled my commentary as:
    .
    .

    “Snow in the air: the things we leave unsaid”
    .
    .
    If we had another opportunity what would or could we do? Let’s see…
    .
    .

    last love letter –
    the quiet fall of snow
    all night
    .
    arvinder kaur
    Chandigarh, India
    .
    Deeply moving without any over-telling or projecting emotions, and yet those key words: last; quiet; all night makes for a powerful haiku.
    .
    .
     
    snow covered roofs
    he starts shaving
    in the afternoon
    .
    Astrid Egger
    Queen Charlotte, BC
    .
    The opening line gives us a great image, and a wonder transition from that scene to a single person shaving. Is this an adolescent attempting to shave for the first time, or an adult who perhaps has a new job, or a new working shift? Leaving so much unsaid heightens the tension and resonance. This is like a great short story, no immediate beginning, just a middle with no end, wonderful!
    .
    .

     
    new snow on the roofs…
    the roofer dreams of melting
    nails
    .
    Bill Gottlieb
    Cobb Mountain, CA
    .
    .
    My brain went off on someone’s fingernails being melted by an irate builder (roofer)! In my case, with a new roof, it wasn’t the builder but very angry scaffolders taking a private family crisis out on innocent people.
    .
    This feels like a very surreal story/dream, and after all it’s been mused that surrealism came out of the sometimes extreme juxtaposition of images in haiku. Some of our jobs can effect or dominate our dreams, and having done a little roofing as a general builder, I loved the freedom and expanse of the rooftops and their skies. Fascinating choice of line breaks makes this a very memorable treatment of haiku.

    .
    .
     
    frozen snow
    my daughter’s giggle
    reaches the rooftops
    .
    Christina Pecoraro
    .
    .
    Strong and simple opening line, followed by the delightful line about the author’s daughter giggling. Great sound and visuals mixed together, and then both moving towards the rooftops and reaching them! What a wonderful haiku!
    .
    .
     

    the weight of winter
    everything
    in layers
    .
    Claire Vogel Camargo
    .
    .
    Alliteration can be such a powerful device in haiku if done just right as in this case. Without even reading further I get so much from that opening line. The choice of one word as a middle line is powerful, and only gains momentum with ‘in layers’ making this haiku resonate powerfully!
    .
    .

     
    first snow
    a blank day
    on my calendar
    .
    Debbi Antebi
    London, UK
    .
    .
    Ah, that magical first day, and wondering, for some of us who are snow lovers, will it stick, and gain momentum, and make the city like a fairytale for once?
    .
    I like the comparison of a white and blank day on the calendar and ‘first snow’ and also possibly leaving that day blank for nothing but sledding and tobogganing! 🙂
    .
    .
     
    spider web
    on a snow shovel
    until next winter
    .
    Dubravka Scukanec
    Zagreb, Croatia
    .
    .
    I like the shift from a spider web to the fact that this active larder is on a snow shovel, and both insect and human have finished with the tool until ‘next winter’. I think the haikai poet Issa would have loved this verse very much!
    .
    .
     
     
    Gutterless shed bends snow creates wonder
    Ian Ruitenberg
    .
    .
    A shed without rain gutters, so at least no snow will gather too. I like how the shed ‘bends snow’ great two word phrase! You could actually dispense with the last two words as your wonderful first four words say it all, brilliantly! 🙂
    .
    .
     
     
    white lies
    the deep snow
    on our roof
    .
    Joanne van Helvoort
    .
    .
    Great opening line! I remember using this in a different verse:
    .
    .
    white lies
    I lose my fingers
    in your chignon
    .
    Alan Summers
    Presence #49 (2013)
    .
    .
    I love your wording/phrasing and juxtaposition with ‘white lies’ and the next two lines, which makes for a fantastic haiku that just keeps resonating for me.
    .
    .
    .
     
    unseasonal snow
    a robin’s song trickles
    into melt water
    .
    John Hawkhead
    .
    .
    Ah, I’m reminded that in the South West of England, and in particular Bristol where I lived, we had snow as late as May one year. I’m a sucker for robin haiku, and written quite a few. A wonderful and context setting line, with magical flowing through the second line into the last line. Beautiful!
    .
    .
     
    the stillness
    after she’s gone
    snowfall
    .
    Kath Abela Wilson
    Pasadena, California
    .
    Ah, California can get cold, as I know, and it’s hard to believe it’s getting serious: https://www.washingtonpost.com/weather/2019/01/15/california-is-facing-back-to-back-storms-with-torrential-rain-multiple-feet-snow/?utm_term=.1f785726c6eb
    .
    Beautiful opening line. Wonderful opening lines are made when each successive line keeps up the tension and pace. Line two brings a heartbreaking phrase, and the last line is sublimely judged. Powerful haiku.
    .
    .
     
     
    frosty silence
    a silver knife cuts
    through wedding cake
    .
    Lucy Whitehead
    Essex, UK
    .
    Ah, this reminds me that I knew I had to step up rapidly to deliver a ballad which explains with humour and terrible rhymes (they work!) and no fight ensued, and got really friendly. That was in Queensland, Australia.
    .
    I had a similar but more Romeo and Juliet scenario with 200 guests fighting and sprawling out into the street. No one died or suffered life threatening injuries thank goodness.
    .
    I hope the frosty silence (great wordplay on frosting for the cake, and snow…) never became tenser or brutal. Ah, the first cut can often be the deepest, but hopefully only in keeping with a big slice of cake for everyone!
    .
    .
     
    doll house
    childhood unravels
    in her winter years
    .
    Madhuri Pillai
    .
    .
    A doll house can mean many things, of course, and there’s a famous book and television dramatisation of one. Here there’s a powerful choice of verb. Verbs are not always vital in haiku, and can work with or against such a brief verse.
    .
    Here, the verb is paramount, as it’s all about the verb making the haiku so powerful. This suggests dementia setting in, and speeding up the childlike aspects some/many of us show when we get in our very senior years.
    .
    The doll house is a great line because these houses can also show the stages through the original childhood, and have been a device in many drama series. Terrific but deeply poignant haiku.
    .
    .

    first temple visit
    the graceful flow
    of kimono sleeves
    .
    Margaret Chula
    .
    .
    I remember my first temple visit, in India, and being surprised by the thousands of a well-known symbol. Of course that symbol, shown in its original design, is a sun sign or sign for peace. I love the flow of the clothing, and it reminds me of my visits to Japanese temples, and ryokan greeters who wore kimonos. Wonderful and beautiful haiku from a deeply respected and iconic haikai artist.
    .
    .
     
    winter the downward slide
    .
    Margaret Walker
    .
    .
    A double-edged monoku! There’s humour in the single line, and it could be that as a child we might slide down frozen water. Now the winter as we get older and less able to slide, it can be downward, but hopefully only while the season endures. A very neat monoku!
    .
    .
     
    silence
    slump
    ing
    into
    winter
    .
    Marietta McGregor
    .
    .
    John Wisdom reminded me that he thought Twitter analytics loved vertical haiku better than three-line or one-line horizontal verses. 🙂
    .
    A fun and crafted trigger of alliteration, assonance and consonance, and pace, and resonance, marvellous!
    .
    .
     
    foreclosure
    the snow clings
    to our roof
    .
    Marilyn Ashbaugh
    Edwardsburg, Michigan
    .
    .
    The sadnesses of foreclosure, for whatever reason. The last line suggests a chilling realisation for this reader that the pronoun ‘our’ doesn’t refer to a next door neighbour necessarily. A great example of leaving some things unsaid in haiku.
    .
    .

     
    dream states…
    flakes of sleep
    drift upon the pillow
    .
    Mark Gilbert
    UK
    .
    .
    Ah, that first line reminds me of Ken Russell and William Hurt! 🙂
    Love ‘flakes of sleep’ which feels so accurate, as I’ve often slept in unusual situations, to say the least. Wonderful use of words with flakes and drift really making this haiku sing!
    .
    .
     
    snowdrift…
    the lies I tell
    about his father
    .
    Martha Magenta
    UK
    .
    .
    Ah, the lies we have to tell. Great juxtaposition of ‘snowdrift’ and those lies that gather over time, and not about our own father but someone else’s, what a responsibility.
    .
    .

     
    fresh snow
    the multiple layers
    of silence
    .
    Olivier Schopfer
    Geneva, Switzerland
    .
    .
    Fresh snow making things silent again, dampening down the slush sound of melting or dirty worked in snow. Love “the multiple layers
    of silence” which is terrific!
    .
    .

     
    this fear
    of falling
    snow on snow
    .
    Rachel Sutcliffe
    .
    .
    An unusual but highly effective opening line which gathers pace with that second line. Snow on snow reminds me of blue on blue, that dreadfully termed ‘friendly fire’ making this full of unsaid things, like a Nordic or Scandi noir!
    .
    .

    pure snow –
    in the city
    not one living saint
    .
    Réka Nyitrai
    .
    .
    Ah, that suggestion that something white is pure, is an intriguing one, which I think the British Victorians paid great store by. What a fantastic last line backed up by all two previous lines! Very powerful!
    .
    .

     
    morning snow
    that starling might be
    my mother
    .
    Roberta Beary
    .
    .
    Great choice and delivery of a line break in the middle line. The juxtaposition of ‘morning snow’ with a great desire to see and hear an intensely loved one is very powerful.
    .
    .

     
    snowed in we measure time in inches
    .
    Shloka Shankar
    India
    .
    .
    Ah, great concreteness of imagery, as in natural disasters regarding flooding or currently in mainland Europe desperately and dangerously thick snowfall. Great movement and phrases in this monoku, as we often ‘measure time in inches’ in other ways too.
    .
    .

    as if to say shush sudden snowfall
    .
    Susan Rogers
    Los Angeles, CA USA
    .
    .
    I wouldn’t expect so much alliteration and of the s-sound could work so successfully! Brilliant! 🙂
    .
    .
     
    slipping snow –
    my counselor asks
    when it all began
    .
    Tia Haynes
    Lakewood, Ohio
    .
    .
    Ah, slippery snow, and slippery slopes, both literal and allegorical, perhaps? It’s a long time since anyone interrogated me about the origins of something. It can be the start of a slippery slope, but sometimes we need to slip away from our measured gait through life. Love the consonance of s’s if ‘counselor’ is included, making this a page and a sound haiku.
    .
    Phew, great set of poems, could only feature a few, but other commentators should cover other wonderful work.
     

    1. Thank you very much, Alan, for commenting on my haiku “weight of winter”! Your words nail my meaning and feeling in writing it. Looking at the photo prompt, I immediately felt the weight.. the wintry… the layers in all aspects, even psychologically, that can build up to an avalanche. Again of snow or other. Thank you.

      1. My pleasure!
        .
        .
        the weight of winter
        everything
        in layers
        .
        Claire Vogel Camargo
        .
        .
        Great positioning of words, and proving that short long short lengths of lines in haiku are not the only way to present great haiku! 🙂

          1. Thank you! 🙂
            .
            .
            fresh snow
            the multiple layers
            of silence
            .
            Olivier Schopfer
            Geneva, Switzerland
            .
            .
            I just love that fresh snow as an opening line is enhanced by a strong juxtaposition, and really resonates ever stronger with each re-read.

        1. Thank you. Your comments mean a lot, Alan. I feel fortunate this ku came to me, and in one of those rare flashing moments 🙂

          1. Dear Claire,
            .
            I find it constantly amazing and refreshing how haiku makes us regularly happy and healthy.
            .
            And delighted at finding such a powerful haiku here. This column grows from strength to strength and it’s because of haiku like your poem, and from others.

    2. Alan, thank you for your comment on my monoku. Your comments are always positive and add to my “learning”.

      1. Thanks Margaret! 🙂
        .
        .
        winter the downward slide
        .
        Margaret Walker
        .
        .
        It’s great to see so many well crafted monoku on this web page, thank you for being part of that.

    3. Marvelous commentary, Alan, not only on the poetic structure of the haiku and their (sometimes) layers of meaning but also on their relationship to daily life.
      .
      Always I anticipate with relish your take on the selections. What a boon, especially for fledgling haiku writers. Bravo!

      1. Thank you Christina! 🙂
        .
        .
        frozen snow
        my daughter’s giggle
        reaches the rooftops
        .
        Christina Pecoraro
        .
        .
        Christina said:
        .
        “Marvelous commentary, Alan, not only on the poetic structure of the haiku and their (sometimes) layers of meaning but also on their relationship to daily life.”
        .
        Very good point about haiku and their relationship to daily life. It’s one reason why many, if not most, not only come from my own direct experience (experiential haiku) but that I regularly keep part/most/all of the haiku as strongly to the incident as possible. Not all haiku have to be actual experience or “all experience” of course, but can certainly be a starting point, at least. 🙂
        .
        .
        Christina said:
        .
        “Always I anticipate with relish your take on the selections. What a boon, especially for fledgling haiku writers. Bravo!”
        .
        Fledgling writers, either in general, or particularly haiku (or tanka or haibun) are VERY exciting writers to me! 🙂
        .
        I see the potential, and the new voice, as haiku requires new people doing their ‘thing’ all the time. Fledgling writers to haiku are often the actual gatekeepers, or will be, to keep haiku fresh and relevant. Basho wrote before haiku came along in the 1890s but he would have relished the challenge, just as he unstuck hokku and pre-haiku verses from being too ‘over-written’ and only belonging to a clique who raised rules and kept them strict. The only rule we have to follow, as without it no other rule applies, is one breath in, followed by one breath, and then keep breathing in general, and all day and night long. 🙂

        1. re:
          .
          frozen snow
          my daughter’s giggle
          reaches the rooftops
          .
          Christina Pecoraro
          .
          .
          Frozen isn’t redundant as it plays off the very “unfrozen” aspect of a giggle and more giggles! 🙂
          .
          It’s an interesting case and example of when an adjective can be useful and is neatly contradicted by the very active and mobile ‘giggle’ and ‘reaches’! 🙂

          1. Alan – thanks for this, as always – I also thought that ‘frozen’ was not redundant in this case, because the snow in the photo has frozen into this shape, defying gravity, at least for a time…

    4. Thank you Alan for commenting on my ku. I’m glad you enjoyed it! I always learn as I read your commentary.

      1. Thank you Tia! 🙂
        .
        .
        slipping snow –
        my counselor asks
        when it all began
        .
        Tia Haynes
        Lakewood, Ohio
        .
        .
        I love the crafting of this haiku, from its alliterative opening line, to the second line ending in ‘asks’ followed by ‘when it all began’.

  21. Dear Kathy,
    Greetings! So many beautiful picks. My like this week is the following

    World world is permeated with stillness. I appreciate this

    the stillness
    after she’s gone
    snowfall

    Kath Abela Wilson
    Pasadena, California

  22. I love Wednesdays!
    This forum is making us think away from the obvious. Not a single mention of ‘snow curl’ among all these many ways to see a roof with thick snow. Simple photo prompt — a great selection.
    .
    Thank you for including mine, Kathy. Currently in snowbound Europe, Ohrid in Macedonia is sitting under three feet of snow, and, looking out of the window, this is my first experience of snow curls, on nearly every roof of the town below.
    .
    Too many to comment on, I mention three that caught my eye and imagination:
    .
    Olivier Schopfer:
    fresh snow
    the multiple layers
    of silence
    .
    Not only the silence of falling snow, but how normal sound appears muffled, like in thick fog.
    .
    Claire Vogel Carmargo:
    the weight of winter
    everything
    in layers
    .
    Extra layers of woolies, too, and the way firewood is stacked.
    .
    Shloka Shankar’s monoku:
    snowed in we measure time in inches
    .
    Perhaps we’re excited children. For the elderly, the fear of falling and thinking twice about venturing out. Seven words that say much more.
    .
    The need to reflect upon Roberta Beary’s touching and thought-provoking:
    .
    morning snow
    that starling might be
    my mother
    .

    1. Ingrid, thank you for commenting on my haiku. Yes, woolies.. and I had not thought of firewood, but that too! Thank you 🙂

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