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HAIKU DIALOGUE – The Haiku Mind – Water in Motion

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Please send one to two unpublished and freshly created haiku by clicking here: Contact Form, and put Haiku Dialogue in the Subject box.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

When you see the sky what do you feel? What time of day first comes to mind? What season? Are you someplace special? Is there something in the sky? Are you with someone special? Do you hear anything? Is there a certain sensation that you feel? Do you smell anything? Is there a taste with this memory or thought?

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 February 15, 2020.

Below is my commentary for Water in Motion:

Some of our best haiku are fully written in the moment when our haiku minds are ready and willing. This series is an exercise in letting loose and learning to trust our instincts so that when those “haiku moments” come we are prepared to follow. As we go on I would love to learn what inspired your haiku (and I’m sure your fellow poets would love to know too!) … Were you recalling a previous event that you had yet to put words to? Where were you imagining yourself to be? Was this something you saw/felt this past week? … and what your process was like … Was it freeing to try to write without concern of whether it was a “good” or “bad” idea? Was it difficult? Did you struggle wanting to critique or censor yourself? … Let’s share in the comments the art behind our art.

What a wonderful week of haiku! Thank you all for sharing your poetry with me and for the many notes of welcome. I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to be in the moment with you as you explored “water in motion”.

From sorrowful implication:

chemotherapy
the gleam of her hair
on the floor

Isabel Caves, Auckland, New Zealand

where my thoughts were drawn to the tears being shed by the woman portrayed here, perhaps even those of her family and friends. The word “gleam” holds the weight of this haiku for me as it invites multiple readings; is the floor dirty and her hair “gleams” in contrast? Does it gleam from the perspective of the woman for whom her hair holds much importance? Is it because it has fallen/been shaved off under bright hospital lights? Does it imply youthfulness; that this is perhaps a young girl instead? The possibilities are rich in this evocative moment.

To thoughts of our world and its future:

climate change
my kigo drifts
into the next season

Terri French

where I found myself at once laughing at the cleverness of this haiku then in heartbreak over its reality. As haiku poets, we notice the little things. We pay close attention to the signs of the seasons and climate change is deeply evident all around. Each season’s internal rhythm is slowly eroding and our poetry is changing because of it. I wonder what role we can play in calling attention to this crisis through our writing as a global community. We are uniquely situated to do this and for it to be at the forefront of Terri’s thoughts is indicative of where I think we all are.

Then to the simplicity of quiet reflection:

silence–
snowfall
in my palms

Nicky Gutierrez

calling me to wonder at the profundity of silence and what can be experienced when one pushes pause on the daily rush. In a world that prizes efficiency over art and “do”-ing over being, we need these lingering moments that connect us to something beyond ourselves, to be reminded that we are more than a “to-do” list, more than a paycheck, more than the material, we are human. And in our humanity we belong to a precious cycle of life that can be found by simply watching the snow fall.

Into beautiful serenity:

even deep
in my sleeping bag
creek song

Ann K. Schwader, Westminster, CO

that drew me in from the first reading. My senses and imagination are stirred as I feel nestled in the warmth of my sleeping bag, smell the forest night air, hear the movement of wildlife outside my tent, see the memories of the day’s hike floating through my mind, and taste the campfire supper I shared with a loved one. In a few words, I am transported to the natural world outside while I sit and type at my dining room table. I truly felt as if I was with Ann in her experience and took delight in all the space given to me as a reader to walk around inside her words.

With that I invite you to enter into the rest of this week’s selections. I hope you can find something here that inspires you to keep writing and to write with abandon. I look forward to your next submissions and happy reading!

Indian summer
the applause
of the waves

Pere Risteski

 

a cool
last wave
summer’s end

Helen Buckingham

 

rainwater
my uncertainties
in the ripples

Jackie Chou, Pico Rivera CA USA

 

ebb tide
my thoughts wander
to something more

Stephen A. Peters

 

waterfall
the coolness of the mountains
at dusk

Olivier Schopfer, Switzerland

 

wind rippled water
these unfamiliar feelings

Benedetta Cardone

 

lapping waves…
once I would have done
anything for you

Michele L. Harvey

 

careless wish
this fountain of old
fills with snow

C.R. Harper

 

bubbling fountain
mama says don’t
lick it

Julie Bloss Kelsey

 

wave after wave
touching the seaside
her cheap perfume

Agus Maulana Sunjaya, Indonesia

 

catching crayfish
the camouflage of light
upon light

Kat Lehmann

 

silenzio intorno-
ogni salto del fiume
una preghiera

silence around-
every jump of the river
a prayer

vincenzo adamo

 

endless
that one summer that
will last forever

Michael Henry Lee

 

wave after wave
the moon weaves my silence
into a symphony

Hifsa Ashraf, Rawalpindi, Pakistan

 

downloading
my new weather app
first raindrops

Eva Limbach, Germany

 

sound of an oar
a riverboat taxi
for two

Christina Chin

 

river flow
the coin
i didn’t toss

Pamela A Babusci

rainy night a brief silence passing under Pont Neuf Bridge

Tom Bierovic

 

empty sky
a single raindrop
down her cheek

john hawkhead

 

incoming tide
a crab runs
from the castle

Carol Raisfeld

 

rainy night-
trickling water
from the tap

Angiola Inglese

 

mountain creek
that first smile
of my baby

Zlatka Timenova

 

skinny dipping
in the wake of her curves
the wake of her curves

Joshua Gage

 

last light
of a summer day
must we go in

Rehn Kovacic

 

swells –
seagulls now visible,
now hidden

Tomislav Maretic

 

spring brook
if I’m free
to go down

Srinivasa Rao Sambangi

 

in the river
the tinkle of anklets-
gentle waves

arvinder kaur, Chandigarh, India

 

garden sprinkler
the rhythm
of my solitude

Madhuri Pillai

 

teaching me
how to fall for you
spring rain

Vandana Parashar

 

crystalline pond
on my skin the shadow
of ripples

Joanne van Helvoort

 

waterfall
the laughter
of little girls

m. shane pruett

 

umbrella
mic’ing
the rain

Laurie Greer, Washington DC

 

water
going everywhere…
skinny dipping

Pat Davis

 

new moon
the sea sparkles
with each crest

Bona M. Santos, Los Angeles, CA

 

lapping
at the same stream
water and bamboo

Kath Abela Wilson, Pasadena, California

 

in the shower
my creativity
block’d again

Mark Gilbert

 

waiting room
everyone stares
at the fish tank

Barbara Kaufmann, NY

 

between two waters —
you and me
so young still

Anna Maria Domburg-Sancristoforo

 

Kanda river…
cherry blossoms fall
floating out to sea

Mark Meyer

 

steady rain…
all the curtains
lifted up

Anna Goluba

 

winding waters
the ebb and flow
of wild stories

Rashmi VeSa

 

icy waves
against the rocks… words
swallowed one by one

Elisabetta Castagnoli

 

ocean echoes
the splash
of lovers

Christina Pecoraro

 

out on the dock
waves lapping
the night

Janice Munro

 

riverside
no beginning no end
just now

Charles Harmon, Los Angeles, California, USA

 

summer’s end
the sea lifts my boat
one last time

Pris Campbell

 

barefoot in the stream
the undulating S
of a water snake

Greer Woodward, Waimea, HI

 

river rapids
so many stories
in the stones

Charlotte Hrenchuk

 

rebirth ..one push a w a y from the harbour

wendy c. bialek, az, usa

 

ripples on the pond
I still can’t
skip stones

Nancy Brady, Huron, Ohio

Lori Zajkowski is the Post Manager for Haiku Dialogue. A novice haiku poet, she lives in New York City.

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

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 60 Comments

  1. in the river
    the tinkle of anklets –
    gentle waves
    .
    arvinder kaur
    .
    Tinkle, anklets, and gentle waves are all small things that created a lovely image against the larger river. I don’t know how many women are gathered here, but besides the water, I also saw the movement of fabric in gentle waves. Beautiful.

    1. I agree and the “tinkle of anklets” is what drew me in. Such a unique phrase that sounds like what it is portraying which deepens the sensory experience.

  2. Thank you for including mine and your precious work.
    A wonderful selection. Congratulations everyone

    I particularly appreciated:

    silence–
    snowfall
    in my palms
    — Nicky Gutierrez

    silence around-
    every jump of the river
    a prayer
    — Vincenzo Adamo

    waterfall
    the laughter
    of little girls
    — M. Shane Pruett

    waiting room
    everyone stares
    at the fish tank
    — Barbara Kaufmann, NY

    1. You are welcome Elisabetta! I think my favorite part of your haiku was how you structured it line by line. The lingering on L2 and letting “words” be alone before moving on greatly added to the already strong juxtaposition. When read aloud the third line also feels like the words are being swallowed. Just wonderful!

  3. Thank you Tia for including mine (although my address is wrong). I particularly loved these two:
    .
    even deep
    in my sleeping bag
    creek song
    Ann K. Schwader
    .
    Pleasing rhythm of the assonance in this subtle sound poem.
    .
    empty sky
    a single raindrop
    down her cheek
    John Hawkhead
    .
    Beautifully done.

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed the selections. And I thoroughly enjoyed your haiku – I loved the play on the “shower moments” phenomenon. A fun and fresh take on the topic!

      As for the address, I apologize for the error. I’ll have that corrected!

  4. rebirth ..one push a w a y from the harbour

    wendy c. bialek, az, usa
    *
    laurie g. writes:
    Well, water represents birth/new life in so many rituals–this poem nicely taps into the universal tradition(s), even as the language speaks more to the physical, the labor of new life coming into its own. I like that it can be read both ways at once.

    *****************************************
    now to answer some the questions raised by tia:

    ————-
    this poem was written about an experience i had in 2011….when i spontaneously drove my car and got on a line for the port jefferson ferry that announced it was leaving in five minutes to leave new york….(the place i was born and always lived) my husband was in the passenger seat and i surprised him too!
    we purchased a one-way ticket.

    ___________
    we had been, “homeless” and living/sleeping in the car. i was very tired and wary, my legs needed to be up and stretched out.
    *
    once we parked the car on the ferry, and went to the deck, i stretched out my legs fully on the perimeter wood benches at the same time the ferry left shore.
    *
    i felt like such a weight had left my body. at the same time i was leaving the only place i really knew and letting go to be on a new journey….never to live again in new york.
    *
    i felt an amazing haiku moment….a rebirth, i equated this leg push with the surge of water that came from under the ferry hitting and pushing waves and bubbles against the walls of the harbour.
    *
    when the topic of water in motion came up….i remembered this experience which was so profound in me….but never yet put into words. soooooo i went with it.
    *
    i felt that i became one with the ferry and i was giving birth to a new self.

    1. Wendy–
      Amazing story! You followed that uncensored impulse twice, once in the driving away, and again in the writing. And it seems it has proved to be the right thing, that letting go and ceding control to…the powers that be?
      Thanks for the backstory.

    2. Thank you Wendy for giving us this picture of all that went into those seven words. I have been hoping that a few poets would be willing to share. I can imagine myself there with you; making the decision to buy that ticket, letting go, and yes, certainly a moment of rebirth! Reading your haiku aloud also gives a great sense of movement. The ellipsis and the spreading apart of the word away are both very effective in that regard. A unique haiku among the group this week and one I greatly enjoyed!

      1. thanks, tia…..your prompt inspired me to write this poem and your encouragement in your requests for background enabled my story, now!
        i am happy to break the ice…..and am sure more stories will float out…..and give this haiku dialogue all it is capable of being!
        *
        thanks for going deeper into the waters and pointing out more artistic aspects of my poem. and thank you for selecting it….and allowing a special unfolding for us to explore in ourselves….with your freeing atmosphere here.

  5. I love these two in particular because I love ocean related works.

    wave after wave
    the moon weaves my silence
    into a symphony
    Hifsa Ashraf, Rawalpindi, Pakistan

    ebb tide
    my thoughts wander
    to something more
    Stephen A. Peters

    I also have a question because it’s never clear to me who selects and comments on the weekly posts???

    1. my understanding….unless noted elsewhere…..the person running the monthly …..does both!
      in this case…..tia….chooses the topic, makes the decisions on which submissions she wants to select and writes her own commentary.
      .
      the other people are doing the background work….like posting the information ( lori z. from new york) and watching the works …administration (kj monro from canada)
      .
      someone correct me if i am wrong.

      1. correct, Wendy – the guest editor supplies the prompts & overall theme, makes the selections, writes the commentary, & monitors these comments… & there are several others of us behind the scenes… kj

    2. Hi Linda!

      Thank you for your question and for sharing the ones you loved! As kj said I am the one making the selections and providing commentary along with the prompts and overall theme. It’s a wonderful challenge! kj and Lori do an amazing job behind the scenes and keep this whole thing running.

  6. part 2
    *
    swells –
    seagulls now visible,
    now hidden

    Tomislav Maretic

    *
    this paints a lovely picture, and though no sound is specified, I can hear the water and the birds calling. Also, that repeated “now”–it captures the rhythm of wings and waves and also the ongoingness of the moments. It’s always only NOW
    *
    in the river
    the tinkle of anklets-
    gentle waves

    arvinder kaur, Chandigarh, India
    *
    this one is also clear and audible–anklets and waves both one sound and two separate ones–and perhaps both reflecting the sealight, as well
    *

    garden sprinkler
    the rhythm
    of my solitude

    Madhuri Pillai
    *
    I’m always a little mesmerized by sprinklers. The white noise (visibly white, too) mutes the rest of the world and creates a little bubble of peace and privacy.
    *
    *
    winding waters
    the ebb and flow
    of wild stories

    Rashmi VeSa
    *
    “Wild” and “wind” just letter apart–I can picture the twisting currents and imagine the twists of the plots being recounted
    *
    *
    rebirth ..one push a w a y from the harbour

    wendy c. bialek, az, usa
    *
    Well, water represents birth/new life in so many rituals–this poem nicely taps into the universal tradition(s), even as the language speaks more to the physical, the labor of new life coming into its own. I like that it can be read both ways at once.
    *
    *

    1. great commentary on all these poems, laurie.
      *
      you finally got it up in two parts….i forgot to tell you to do the last first!!!! LOL!!!!!!
      *
      thanks for reading and giving outstanding observation on my poem.

  7. Thank you, Tia, for the prompt, and all the poets for the poems! This is a beautiful and sense-itive selection, evoking so many images, textures, and sounds –as well as the freshness of the innocence we were trying to tap into; was that as elusive for others as it was for me? Felt like I was swatting at a no-see-um, and any contact was a surprise and an accident, not the result of a strategy.
    In any case, among the many that struck me:

    *
    careless wish
    this fountain of old
    fills with snow

    C.R. Harper

    *
    I can think of many wishes that would fit here, and the tone of the poem could be regret, resignation, or,,,,something else. This is one that will read differently at different moments.
    *
    catching crayfish
    the camouflage of light
    upon light

    Kat Lehmann
    *
    Don’t have any first-hand experience with crayfish, but I can picture the light on light. Light can illuminate in various ways, sometimes to conceal rather than show–or to show that it CAN conceal. Very nice.
    *

    river flow
    the coin
    i didn’t toss

    Pamela A Babusci
    *
    Another one rich in emotional tones; regret, relief? A road not taken, with all the possibilities still intact in imagination.
    *

    swells –
    seagulls now visible,
    now hidden

    Tomislav Maretic

    *
    part 1

    1. The innocence of thought without doubt or censorship is quite elusive. It is not an easy ask on my part and I wondered how many poets would be interested in this kind of creative exercise. It is certainly a challenge in my own writing! It’s more about following those gut reactions without trying to think up what you imagine an editor is looking for, and about letting our inner poet have an unfettered voice. What is resulting is quite beautiful! Thank you for having delved so thoughtfully into several of them this week. I have greatly enjoyed your commentary. I’m so glad you were able to figure out a way to post all that you had written!

  8. I’ll just comment on two of the many thought-provoking poems in this selection.

    lapping
    at the same stream
    water and bamboo by KathAbela Wilson

    and

    in the river
    the tinkle of anklets-
    gentle waves by arvinder kaur

    I just love the delicate sound quality of both.

    1. I agree with you. Reading them aloud adds another layer to these haiku. So glad you enjoyed this week’s selections!

  9. Watery soundtrack of my repose–

    waterfall
    the laughter
    of little girls
    m. shane pruett
     .
    umbrella
    mic’ing
    the rain
    Laurie Greer, Washington DC
    .
    sound of an oar
    a riverboat taxi
    for two
    Christina Chin

    river flow
    the coin
    i didn’t toss
    Pamela A Babusci
    .
    To all: Kudos!

    Lemuel Waite

    1. A wonderful way to relax! I found many of the haiku this week to have a meditative quality to them. Definitely a great soundtrack for decompressing.

    1. When I read this one it immediately reminded me of my own little girls. I found it to be quite a perfect pairing!

  10. ocean echoes
    the splash
    of lovers
    .
    Christina Pecoraro
    .
    Valentine’s Day is almost here and romance is everywhere.

    1. Thanks, Valentina. And to Helen B. too.
      By the way, I love your name — the whole of it sounds like music.
      Happy 14th.

  11. I just posted a lengthy comment and did not save it. It didn’t appear in the blog; any way to track it down?

    1. try using the back button in your browser….after going into history of the post you made……good luck laurie……i can’t tell you how many times that has happened to me….my husband begs me to write it in word and then copy/paste it into comments

          1. Laurie, Do you think there might be a word limit in the “Comment Box”? You might try to send an abbreviated version and see what happens. Just a thought!

          2. thanks for this Laurie & Wendy – I was not aware of a word limit, but I do know that too many links to outside sites will not get through… thanks for finding a solution! kj

  12. A wonderful selection, Tia, I have enjoyed reading them all. Well done poets.
    .
    mountain creek
    that first smile
    of my baby
    —Zlatka Timenova
    The first thing that came to mind was that fresh and clear gurgling of a mountain creek, its beauty, breath taking, and brings an immense upsurge of emotion. A little beauty Zlatka

      1. Thankyou, Tia, so many marvellous reads, the connection of pure water and the sound of it
        really resonated with me.
        ,
        The choices are always a pleasure to read and comment on.

      1. An absolute pleasure, Zlatka, the comparison between the pure water and the baby, for me, shone out.
        Thankyou for your wonderful reply.

  13. great job tia…..terrific commentary! your picks are very clearly profound and your commentary is so right-on. i have also enjoyed the ‘ku listed without commentary.
    *
    chemotherapy
    the gleam of her hair
    on the floor
    .
    Isabel Caves, Auckland, New Zealand

    the gleam….could that be silver hair….or just the contrast of any shiny hair on the dull floor….dull from looking down depressed?
    .
    how the hair….was someone’s pride and joy….is now “decorating” the floor.
    ********
    climate change
    my kigo drifts
    into the next season
    .
    Terri French
    *
    wonderful statement on climate change…terri!!!!
    i totally agree with this.
    your ku/ryu reminds of one i wrote awhile ago:

    messing with
    my kigo list
    climate change

    copyright 2019 wendy c. bialek
    EarthRise Rolling Haiku Collaboration
    THF….download it….jim kacian May 25, 2019

    *
    even deep
    in my sleeping bag
    creek song
    .
    Ann K. Schwader, Westminster, CO

    i got everything that tia got!
    this is amazing…ann!!!!
    the reflecting/vibration of the sound of the creek….does bring in the entire forest and campsite and tastes etc.
    i contrast this with the working person….who brings their day home with them….like the doctor….still worries about her/his patients….the teacher….wonders if she could have taught the day’s lesson better and reached the minds of all her/his students…..
    *
    how we bring into bed and our dreams….what we surround ourselves with in our waking state. how it resonates

    i will respond with more observations in a future post.

    1. Thank you Wendy for your kind words and for your thoughtful responses to the selected haiku. There is much to be said about all of them!

  14. Thanks so much for including mine, Tia. Congratulations everyone – my favourite (on first reading) is:
    .
    ocean echoes
    the splash
    of lovers
    .
    Christina Pecoraro

    1. Thanks, Helen. Your ‘on first reading,’ though parenthetical, means a lot to me. First readings often bypass analysis and over analysis, and cut to the heart quickly, sometimes mysteriously.
      .
      Having said that, I am humbled to be in the company of so many marvelous poems this week.

  15. So many evocative haiku about water…from birth to unexamined tears (or was that intentionally ignored tears pretending not to see?) to skin deep feelings of water on skin and so much more. Lots to appreciate and read.

    Mark Gilbert’s particularly hit me because I feel just the opposite. Often while in the shower my creativity opens with the sluicing of the water and its relaxing effect. I write haiku on the shower wall only to lose the moment after I step out. Perhaps it is the same thing after all. Well done all.

    1. ditto!!!! nancy……
      *

      my haiku saved
      on the tiled shower walls
      china markers

      .
      wendy c. bialek
      *china markers are special wax crayons
      they are waterproof and bold….mark easily on glossy surfaces like glass/ceramic, etc.

    2. Thanks for your comment, Nancy – mine was close to yours I think, as I had just given up on responding this week since I was getting nothing and then the next moment my words popped into life and I scrawled them in the condensation like you with a finger … so it was a very Zen-like moment (only achieving something when no longer trying to achieve it).

      1. I had a hard time, Mark. Trying to let go and let the mind do its thing was difficult for me. Then it came to me at the last moment, obviously since my haiku was last in the series. I suppose that’s why yours was stood out for me. The shower effect helped.

  16. Looks like i didn’t make the cut this round but i’m glad this one did.

    catching crayfish
    the camouflage of light
    upon light

    Kat Lehmann

    When i was younger i spent hours hunched over in a spring stream lifting rocks, trying to catch crayfish. i always used a butterfly net (never thought of using it for butterflies). i teach my kids how to catch them now. there is definitely a camouflage of light and also with the leaves. nice image!

    1. Oh I’m so sorry Kat, I had actually selected you poem!! It must have been left off on my end by accident. Many apologies!

    2. Thanks, Rich! It’s good to hear that someone else has memories of playing in a stream, turning over rocks to find crayfish. As a child, I used to catch tiny crayfish with a cup. A few years ago, I showed my kids how to get behind a crayfish to catch them because they swim backwards, and how they get lost in the reflected light. Then I caught a crayfish with my hands! I picked it up between its pinchers to show my kids for a moment. They were amazed, and I felt like a really cool mom. 🙂

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