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HAIKU DIALOGUE – The Haiku Mind – Signs of Spring

The Haiku Mind 

Recently, my five-year-old daughter was comforting her younger sister when she spontaneously composed this haiku as a source of solace:

leaving
all that’s left
the fog

I was shocked! I haven’t shared much haiku with her yet thinking it was a bit beyond her ability to comprehend. Well, she showed me! This beautiful haiku came from a heart that knows no poetic rules nor has had any training. It flowed out of a haiku mindset that I believe is inborn in all of us.

Unlike adults, young children do not carry around the concerns and worries of the world. They have yet to have years of self-consciousness weigh down their creative efforts. Their first impulse is followed without wondering whether it will be “good enough”. They simply create. It is a freedom many of us long for in our own writing. So, let’s regain some of that innocence. Let’s write from that first spark that alights within us. Let’s throw off what we believe what a haiku “is” or “isn’t”. Let’s let go of trying to “follow the rules” and allow ourselves the satisfying joy of creation.

Each week I will provide a simple prompt for your imagination and memories to springboard off of. I’d like for you to try to clear your mind, breathe deeply, and follow the first image or feeling that comes to mind. Take a minute to jot down your impressions and see where it goes. Try not to take too long or spend too much time on revision. Allow yourself to trust your own inborn haiku mind.

noticing
the sunset first
her innocence

Please send one to two unpublished and freshly created haiku by clicking here: Contact Form, and put Haiku Dialogue in the Subject box.

I will select from the entries, providing commentary for a few each week, with the rest being listed in the order they are received.

next week’s theme: Hobbies

Most of us have a passion for something, what is it for you? Is it something you do inside or outside? Is it a solo project or a group effort? Is it only done during a certain time of year? What does it involve? Is there a specific place that you go? Is there a smell or taste associated with it? What about a sound? How did you come to discover this interest?

Let yourself follow the first thought that comes to mind and engage that idea with all of your senses. Allow yourself to create and throw off what you think “should” or “should not be” in regards to your haiku. There is no right or wrong here. Bring yourself into the moment and stay there awhile. Let it linger.

The deadline is midnight Eastern Standard Time, Saturday March 28, 2020.

This week will be the last prompt in “The Haiku Mind” series so stay tuned for what’s next!

Below is my commentary for Signs of Spring:

I hope this week finds you safe and well. Even though isolation has only just begun for my family, it is already difficult to be cut off from family and friends. With two little children we are trying to navigate building a new routine that will keep us all in good spirits. Part of my joy this week was reading all of your submissions and I thank you for the many well wishes. There is abounding beauty in this week’s haiku that I am sure will bring you delight, comfort, and a sense of community. We at least have thoughts of spring (or the beauty of autumn for our Southern hemisphere friends) to keep our spirits thriving!

Among the many glorious images of spring many of you wrote about the coronavirus pandemic. I know my life has been deeply impacted by it as have many of yours. However, I see people all over the world finding ways to still connect with each other and the splendor that is all around us. I thought I would share a few that helped me this week.

cherry blossoms
even under
quarantine

M. R. Defibaugh

I was saddened to hear that Japan had to cancel all of their cherry blossom festivals this year, yet excited that they are finding a way to carry on by filming the cherry blossoms to stream for viewing. Even under quarantine we can still witness their magic. There is a certain comfort that spring will continue to carry on while the rest of the world comes to a halt. That beauty will persist, warmth will return, and light will linger a bit longer.

social distancing ……now I hug trees

John Green

This week my children and I did exactly this. As we are unable to be out in public and they are no longer able to see their school friends, we went outside and hugged our trees. Have you ever done this before? It feels almost magical to hold them, to feel their strength, their years. It helped give us a sense of connection to the earth as it awakens and reminded us that this will pass. These trees have stood for over a hundred years and have lived through more storms than I will ever know. It gives me hope that my family can ride out this storm alongside them.

the tiny buds
I wouldn’t have noticed
shelter in place

Deborah P Kolodji

Being forced to slow down does have its benefits. Yesterday, as I sat on my porch, I watched a downy woodpecker for a little while. It occurred to me that I had never actually seen a woodpecker, only heard them. What an incredible sight to see! It is something that perhaps I would have missed had my daily routine not changed. I wonder what other delights await me as spring rolls on.

As always I encourage you to engage further with Haiku Dialogue through the comments section below. I hope to “see” you there! Happy reading!

signs of spring
mosquito control dissolves
in the fog

Michael Henry Lee

 

rising out of the dead leaves grandma’s snowdrops

Randy Brooks

 

springtime
twirling
kites

Olivier Schopfer, Switzerland

 

spring dawn a fresh pimple

john hawkhead

 

after fifty …
I no longer count my springs

dopo i cinquanta…
non conto più le mie primavere

Angela Giordano, Italy

 

morning rapture
despite
the economic clime

Nancy Liddle

 

spring…
it’s different
again

Tsanka Shishkova

 

rerouting
the daily walk
first blossoms

Bryan Rickert

 

short sleeves –
wind has changed
among the violets

Maria Teresa Sisti

 

breath of spring . . .
swaying in my rucksack
granny’s herbarium

Ivan Gaćina, Zadar, Croatia

 

fiddleheads
a tender pigment
on my paintbrush

Marilyn Ashbaugh, Sierra Vista, AZ

 

hundreds of frogs
sounding out spring
village swamp

Christina Chin

 

tickling
under my toes
grass buds

Teiichi Suzuki, Japan

 

mother’s blue irises
still remembering her first
split leaf whistle

Robert Kingston Chelmsford, U.K.

 

first crocus
all the things we decided
to believe

Agus Maulana Sunjaya, Tangerang, Indonesia

 

picnic
sparrows find
the crumbs

vincenzo adamo

 

tender leaves
open up…
stories of spring

Lakshmi Iyer

 

spring
the winds
in me

Pere Risteski

 

together again
a house martins couple
in a hurry

Marta Chocilowska

 

morning darkness
under the bedroom window
blackbird’s song

Slobodan Pupovac, Zagreb, Croatia

 

sap moon
a grouse drumming
up spring

Kristen Lindquist

 

at her tomb
cherry blossoms arrive
before me

Nisha Raviprasad

 

crocus spears
her final
hospice visit

Christina Pecoraro

 

railroad track
digging dandelions
with my mother

Edna Beers

 

secret thoughts
on her lips
first crocus

Alegria Imperial

 

open windows
a bee wanders
into the room

Minal Sarosh

 

jasmine blossom
the first mini skirt
of spring

Louise Hopewell

 

mango pollen…
spring comes home
on her dupatta *

*dupatta is a long scarf worn by Indian women. It’s usually made of dainty chiffon or other delicate fabrics

arvinder kaur, Chandigarh, India

 

spring equinox
I quench my thirst
at a blue sky

Anna Maria Domburg-Sancristoforo

 

rain
on the cancelled parade –
coronavirus

Valentina Ranaldi-Adams, Fairlawn, Ohio USA

 

empty planters
a pair of crocs
at the porch door

Laurie Greer

 

laundry
drying on the terrace …
snowmelt

bucato
steso sul terrazzo …
disgelo

Daniela Misso

 

early spring…
adding to my diary
new spectrum of colour

Jibril Dauda Muhammad, Nigeria

 

scavenger hunt
finding things
not on the list

Pat Davis, NH

 

kicking the walls
of her womb- her spring –
a wake up call

Radhamani sarma

 

slow thaw
irresistibly drawn
to the IV drip

Ingrid Baluchi, Macedonia

 

light as air
watching the baseball game
courtesy of Goodyear

Paul Geiger

 

spring afternoon–
a green balloon drifts over
the subway platform

Lorraine Schein Queens, NY

 

first mow
the hanging basket
with clashing colors

Carmen Sterba

 

balance
of snow on Azalea buds
spring equinox

Peggy Hale Bilbro, Alabama

 

strangers
turning into friends
spring wine

Adrian Bouter

 

off to work…
the bees are early
this time

Willie Bongcaron, Philippines

 

tulip buds
above the snow
first of spring

Ann K. Schwader, Westminster, CO

 

easing my loneliness the lilac’s sweet perfume

Clifford Rames

 

a parliament of crows
in the elm tree
a lot to talk about

Ann Rawson

 

outracing my torpor—
the measured strides
of my running shoes

Rashmi Vesa

 

kitchen window …
a lorikeet clings
to a camellia bloom

Madhuri Pillai

 

social distancing
all but for the pairing
of rabbits

Michele L. Harvey

 

on the fence
cooing doves clinch
our dream house

wendy c. bialek

 

dusk on the river
where the ice was
a fisherman

Steve Tabb

 

drifting in
on a thermal. . .
another turkey buzzard

Don Miller

 

spring rain . . .
snow dust and robin calls
at dawn

Janice Munro

 

spring garden
old friends
show up

Joanne van Helvoort

 

coronavirus…
the snowy egret
snatches a fish

Pris Campbell

 

sea of daffodils
the green tick in your window
tells us you’re OK

(In the Scottish Highland village of Ballachulish volunteers have distributed flags to every household for display in their window or front door. A green tick means you’re healthy and able to go about your business, a red cross means you’re not so well and need help. The volunteers monitor the community and arrange assistance where it is needed)

Xenia Tran

 

In the deepness of the forest
the toc…toc…
of the woodpeckers

Julia Guzman

 

spring breeze
a little more sway
in her step

Rich Schilling, Webster Groves, MO

 

self-isolation
the lingering fragrance
of wildflowers

Hifsa Ashraf

 

pandemic spring
I add daffodils
to my Instacart

Sari Grandstaff, Saugerties, NY

 

coronavirus …
only spring runs
in the meadows

coronavirus … solo la primavera / corre nei prati

Lucia Cardillo

 

trying
to forgive him
bluebells

cezar-florin ciobica

 

isolated…
the daffodils wave
in the garden

Margaret Walker

 

new pasture gate
a path to
yellow forsythia

Lemuel Waite, Georgetown, Kentucky

 

in the woods
worrying about the virus
peepers

Elizabeth Meer

 

staying indoors…
on the windowsill
a bluebird

cristina apetrei

 

cabin in the woods,
pine pollen floats
through the open windows

Charlotte Staats

 

flowering nettles –
a bumblebee breaks
its buzzing

Tomislav Maretić

 

crack in the rock
a green sprig emerges
this year too

Kath Abela Wilson, Pasadena, California

 

purple crocuses
my hope rises
with the sun

Nancy Brady, Huron, Ohio

 

watering
spring dreams
melting icicles

Charlotte Hrenchuk

 

the lure of fresh air
my dog waits
by the front door

Ronald K. Craig, Batavia, OH USA

 

spring snow
the crocuses
persist

Greer Woodward, Waimea, HI

 

spring celebration
a pandemonium
of poppies

Susan Rogers, Los Angeles, CA

Guest Editor Tia Haynes resides in Lakewood, Ohio, near her beloved Lake Erie. She was featured in New Resonance 11: Emerging Voices in English-Language Haiku and has appeared in journals and anthologies worldwide. Much of her inspiration comes from the landscape and people of the American Midwest as well as life with her two small children. Her chapbook, leftover ribbon, (Velvet Dusk Publishing) is available on Amazon. Follow her on Twitter: @adalia_haiku

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).

This Post Has 46 Comments

  1. Thank you so much for putting this beautiful collection together Tia and for including my contribution here too. It’s a real balm for the soul to read so many haiku filled with hope and kindness here. May everyone stay safe and well xxx

  2. Hi Tia,

    Thank you for selecting my haiku, and commenting about you and your family hugging trees also—it is a lovely experience. I wanted to also express my joy in reading, and re-reading the opening part of this Haiku Mind weekly workshop:
    .
    Recently, my five-year-old daughter was comforting her younger sister when she spontaneously composed this haiku as a source of solace:

    leaving
    all that’s left
    the fog

    I was shocked! I haven’t shared much haiku with her yet thinking it was a bit beyond her ability to comprehend. Well, she showed me! This beautiful haiku came from a heart that knows no poetic rules nor has had any training. It flowed out of a haiku mindset that I believe is inborn in all of us.
    .
    I am an early childhood advocate, under Papa Green Bean (click on my picture), and love this so much—it rings true to the core of humanity. If we all would respect our children, the world would quickly become a much more peaceful place.

  3. A beautiful read this week, and so much hope in the annual return of spring during stressful times. I appreciated each one, and Tia and Lori Z. for putting it together.
    *
    breath of spring…
    swaying in my rucksack
    granny’s herbarium
    .
    Ivan Gacina
    Zadar, Croatia
    .
    Lovely movement cleansing scents.
    *
    at her tomb
    cherry blossoms arrive
    before me
    .
    Nisha Raviprasad
    .
    A quiet image that I appreciated on second read.
    *
    laundry
    drying on the terrace…
    snowmelt
    .
    Daniela Misso
    .
    Loved the white of the damp linens (in my mind) against the last of the snow.
    *
    pandemic spring
    I add daffodils
    to my instacart
    .
    Sari Grandstaff
    Saugerties, NY
    .
    There is both sadness and strength here.
    *
    Take care everyone!

  4. These spring haiku
    make my heart sing with hope
    haiku endures

    Thank you for being present in these trying times and helping us remember the light and beauty.

  5. Re-reading these haiku today — especially those referencing the pandemic in so many creative ways — I found myself strangely unalone.
    .
    I also noticed that in my prior inadvertently omitted Nancy Brady’s strong and piercing haiku:
    .
    purple crocuses
    my hope rises
    with the sun
    .
    Would that, especially in these trying times, sunrise pulled us and our latent hope into its radiance embrace. And why not?

  6. Tia, thank you for the honor of being included among your selections! There were many haiku that did an excellent job of capturing the emotions of this global tragedy. I imagine they will also offer a poignant reminder years later. Here are just three of my favorites:
    *
    the tiny buds
    I wouldn’t have noticed
    shelter in place
    *
    Deborah P Kolodji
    *
    A metaphor for all the things we can learn to appreciate better.
    ***
    self-isolation
    the lingering fragrance
    of wildflowers
    *
    Hifsa Ashraf
    *
    Lingering fragrances and sweet memories can get us through life’s many ordeals, including this one. Another perhaps unintended and unsettling layer is that the first symptom of COVID-19 can sometimes be a loss of smell.
    ***
    pandemic spring
    I add daffodils
    to my Instacart
    *
    Sari Grandstaff
    *
    It would be nice if we could have all the experiences of spring delivered to our doorsteps.
    ***
    “There is a certain comfort that spring will continue to carry on while the rest of the world comes to a halt. That beauty will persist, warmth will return, and light will linger a bit longer.”
    *
    Well said, and let’s hope the fullness of that light returns as soon as possible. Stay safe, everyone!

    1. Thanks for your appreciation of my haiku.

      I recently found out something about daffodils called the “vase effect” which adds a deeper meaning to Sari’s haiku. Daffodils are so cheery and make me happy and if you put them in a vase with irises, the irises thrive and live longer. But, if you put them in a vase with roses or tulips, they become toxic and kill the roses and tulips.

      https://www.compoundchem.com/2018/03/23/daffodils-kill/

      I just found this an interesting additional meaning to this poem in a pandemic.

      And, M.R., I loved your poem, too. Cherry blossoms are so beautiful, yet ephemeral. Beautiful poem.

      I enjoyed all of these poems in this time of COVID-19 yet I think they will last beyond this crisis.

  7. Crocuses were the first image that jumped into my mind when thinking spring. I love the link Agus Maulana Sunjaya makes with “all the things we decided/to believe,” especially in these troubled times.
    .
    first crocus
    all the things we decided
    to believe
    .
    It seems to me that both the ‘crocus’ and ‘the things we decide to believe’ can break through to light even when, as Hopkins says, “The times are winter.”
    .
    For the same reasons I muse upon what the ‘secret thoughts’ may be in Alegria Imperial’s
    .
    secret thoughts
    on her lips
    first crocus
    .

    and applaud the persistence in Greer’s simple yet lyrical
    .
    spring snow
    the crocuses
    persist
    .
    I also find Clifford Rames’ lovely one-liner a parallel to my past experiences as well as an anticipation of how my own loneliness may well ebb when I scent this year’s soon-to-bloom lilacs:
    .
    easing my loneliness the lilac’s sweet perfume
    .
    Thanks Lori and everyone for this week’s evocative haiku.

  8. Tia, thank you so much for the prompts and commentary you provided. Kudos to all poets who carried on, writing ku that nourished and inspired us against rather bleak global circumstances. Grateful to be a part of the haiku community.

  9. Thank you Tia for including my ku. Congrats to all the authors. Take care everyone!

  10. A beautiful collection of haiku on the signs of spring.

    One that particularly stood out for me was-

    signs of spring
    mosquito control dissolves
    in the fog
    Michael Henry Lee

    Spring awakens mosquitoes.That irritating buzz…their constant reassertion of life is a painful nag. They exercise an overreaching claim to all our little joys of spring. Attempts at dissipating the menace are mostly futile. I like the way in which fog has been used here. Mosquito control measures like fogging have scant accountability, quite a few times the tax payers’ money is siphoned off in ghost bills raised by local bodies. This haiku reads like a parable of our times.

    Some poetic respite to the locked down life ! Thank you Tia !

    Stay safe and healthy !

  11. Poignant and beautiful:

    mother’s blue irises
    still remembering her first
    split leaf whistle

    Robert Kingston Chelmsford, U.K.

    Thanks Tia for including me ! Love the collection and totally appreciate the hard work !

    1. Dear Arvinder Kaur
      Pleased the my haiku touched you.
      Best
      Rob
      .
      Thank you for including mine Tia and what a tremendous selection we have.
      Well done everyone!
      .
      flowering nettles –
      a bumblebee breaks
      its buzzing
      .
      Tomislav Maretić
      .
      This for me is a gentle reminder to leave part of the garden to its own devices.
      Something I do each year. The draw of butterflies, bees and other insects is joyous to watch.
      Thank you Tomislav Maretić.

  12. At a time of crisis, so much hope shown here with the advent of Spring, at least in the northern hemisphere…and who knows, ‘down under’ as well, with new growth appearing miraculously on blackened trees and scorched landscape.

    Thank you, Tia, for including mine.

    So many to admire and I particularly like Louise Hopewell’s

    jasmine blossom
    the first mini skirt
    of spring

    Looking out my window I’ve been watching magnolia buds opening all in a rush with early spring warmth — too soon it seems as each, now, like a fragile cup, holds snow as temps plummet. Even birds wait with baited breath.

  13. Thank you for this injection of hope in a challenging time. Spring is always a little slower to arrive in New England, too, so I appreciate the green spring energy. Honored to be included in this round of so many good ones!

    Some of the ones that especially stuck with me:

    the tiny buds
    I wouldn’t have noticed
    shelter in place

    Deborah P Kolodji

    mango pollen…
    spring comes home
    on her dupatta

    arvinder kaur

    spring garden
    old friends
    show up

    Joanne van Helvoort

    In the deepness of the forest
    the toc…toc…
    of the woodpeckers

    Julia Guzman

    1. Thanks Kristen, I appreciate the good word on mine. I also love the others you’ve singled out from arvinder, Joanne, and Julia.

      Another one that stood out for me is:

      purple crocuses
      my hope rises
      with the sun

      Nancy Brady, Huron, Ohio

      We all need some hope in this difficult time.

      1. Thanks Deborah for your kind comment. Yes, crocuses do provide hope: hope that winter will soon be gone and right now, hope for a world broken by a deadly virus. Especially as we shelter in place, noticing the new buds…as your haiku expressed.

        Stay safe, stay healthy…

    2. I think an “injection of hope” is quite apt here. There is still so much beauty to behold and this week reminded me of that!

  14. spring snow
    the crocuses
    persist
    .
    Greer Woodward, Waimea, HI
    .
    This haiku is very descriptive of how nature behaves where I live in Ohio. I was not expecting someone in Hawaii to be the poet. Just five words bring a vivid image to my mind.

  15. Thank-you Tia for selecting my haiku for publication. Congrats to my fellow Ohioans Ronald K. Craig and Nancy Brady. I am not surprised that many poets submitted haiku about the coronavirus since the entire globe is being impacted by the pandemic.

    1. Thanks Valentina, and congrats are in order for you and Ron as well. I agree with you about Greer’s haiku. Crocuses persist through snow, which is always a hopeful sign.

  16. Thank you Lori and Tia for putting this all together and for including my haiku .
    .
    among this week submission That struck me include.
    .

    open windows
    a bee wanders
    into the room

    Minal Sarosh
    .
    .
    off to work…
    the bees are early
    this time

    Willie Bongcaron, Philippines
    .
    .
    In the deepness of the forest
    the toc…toc…
    of the woodpeckers

    Julia Guzman

  17. So many moving verses, well done to all poets.
    Another marvellous collection, Tia.
    .
    spring breeze
    a little more sway
    in her step
    —Rich Schilling
    A gentle uplifting verse, a wonderful observation. This also brings to mind the liveliness of the people in the community, I live in, out and about making the most of the spring sunshine, while observing the restrictions. Lovely words.

    1. Thanks carol! I made it light because I was forcing myself to think of something besides the pandemic and all things related. Thanks for the comment! I’ll take any positivity these days.

      1. Hi Rich
        .
        It is a struggle to think on the brighter side of life, at the moment, with so many human statistics.
        I’m sure you will agree, we are all more than happy for having this thread to portray our feelings.
        Having all the hopes and emotions of others to read makes us realise we are not alone no matter where we live in the world. This is the beauty or haiku.
        Keep well, keep safe, be positive 🙂

  18. purple crocuses
    my hope rises
    with the sun
    Nancy Smith
    .
    A colorful and uplifting poem in the midst of our darkening world. No crocuses in my garden, just daffodils parading yellow. Thanks, Nancy.

    1. Thanks Ron, and congrats as well. There is a different smell in the air, and dogs probably recognize it earlier than we do. Our neighbors have the daffodils and they are equally hopeful; they remind me of trumpets announcing spring. You are probably a week ahead of us up at the lake. On the other hand, I love all the crocuses that are planted around the city. They bloom at different times, depending on how far from the lake they are.

    2. We recently discovered crocuses on our property that we hadn’t noticed last year, which was our first spring in the house. They are my little reminder of the unexpectedness of hope. It was my oldest daughter who discovered them and the sheer delight in her voice of “mommy! mommy! come quick! a sign of spring!” has given me buoyancy for days.

  19. Thank you Tia for including my haiku and for putting this together. With many of the usual events canceled, such as St. Patrick’s Day parades and cherry blossom festivals, sharing our haiku here is very welcomed. It is an online creative gathering of sorts. Here are three that particularly struck me this week as my favorites:

    isolated…
    the daffodils wave
    in the garden

    Margaret Walker

    tender leaves
    open up…
    stories of spring

    Lakshmi Iyer

    balance
    of snow on Azalea buds
    spring equinox

    Peggy Hale Bilbro, Alabama

    1. Sari, I am pleased that my haiku struck you in some way. Thank you so much for letting me know.

      I have not yet had a chance to read them all but am sure there will be several that will “speak to me”.

  20. thank you, Tia, for your time and effort!
    we don’t give up ! the haiku give us strength and hope!
    Congrats to all the featured writers!

    my favorite ones

    strangers
    turning into friends
    spring wine
    *
    Adrian Bouter

    isolated…
    the daffodils wave
    in the garden

    Margaret Walker
    *
    coronavirus…
    the snowy egret
    snatches a fish

    Pris Campbell
    *
    slow thaw
    irresistibly drawn
    to the IV drip

    Ingrid Baluchi
    *
    tickling
    under my toes
    grass buds

    Teiichi Suzuki

    1. Thank you for noticing my poem, Cesar-Florin.
      I’m sure there is a story behind your bluebells, but for now I miss their beauty deep in English woodlands.

  21. Reading these on my failing 4s so hard to comment. Each is wonderful; this difficult time shows how truly essential this writing and blogging are. Thanks to all and to Tia and THF for keeping it–and me–going. Stay well everyone.

  22. Glancing quickly through these haiku, I notice that despite the Clovid-19 outbreak fears, many of the haiku display the feeling of hope. I know for myself that like sap rising spring makes me feel hopeful especially after the grays and cold of winter. Thanks for the feeling of hope you have all given me. Now, to read more closely all of the haiku, and wishing everyone healthy outcomes during this crisis. Thanks too to Tia for all you are doing with this column.

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