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HAIKU DIALOGUE – The Language of Flowers – Flowers: Color symbolism

 

The Language of Flowers: A Global Perspective with Guest Editor Carole MacRury

Floriography, the sending of secret messages via coded flower arrangements, was popular during the Victorian Era (between 1837 and 1901). Hanakotoba is the Japanese form of the Language of Flowers. Countries around the globe have their own language, myths, meanings, history and symbolism pertaining to flowers, some going back thousands of years. While the sending of secret messages through flowers might not be as popular today as it was in the Victoria age, we still use flowers to express significant moments in our lives, such as births, deaths, weddings, religious services, holidays and specific cultural and personal ceremonies.

We grow gardens, arrange flowers, and pick wildflowers to brighten our homes. The scent of flowers can lift our spirits or cause an allergic reaction. We communicate through the color of flowers. White, for instance, can represent purity, innocence, or death depending on one’s culture. Flowers throughout history have been used for their mind-altering effects. The poppy for instance evokes remembrance of those fallen in war, but also represents their medicinal ability to ease pain and our passage out of this world, or cause addiction. Flowers flavor and spice our food, or help heal our ailments through herbal remedies. Many countries around the globe have a national flower. Our hearts are lifted or broken through flowers, either cultured or wild. We are inspired by flowers through art, music and literature, whether exploring the sensuality of Georgia O’Keefe’s blossoms, or taking a trip down memory lane listening to Pete Seeger’s ageless melody, “Where Have All the Flowers Gone,” a song as relevant today as yesterday. Sadi, an ancient Sufi poet says, “buy hyacinths to feed thy soul.”

My photos are meant to inspire you to dig deep into your own relationship with flowers within the framework of your own specific cultures through each weekly sub-theme. My preference has always been to look closely into flowers in all stages of their lives: bud, blossom, fading. I find that looking into the heart of a flower one often finds oneself.

Banner Art courtesy of Sondra J. Byrnes Haiku Poet and Ikebana Artist

next week’s theme:  Daffodil – A Death Poem

Daffodils symbolize change and rebirth. The daffodil represents new beginnings as we get out from under winter’s darkness and enter the light of springtime. While white lilies and chrysanthemums are often associated with death in some cultures, Westerners choose colorful flowers for funerals as well. I chose this image to inspire you because it had the feeling of a ghost flower. It’s beautiful, even with the life and color gone from it. I left a vase of daffodils alone and instead of rotting and softening and falling apart like iris, camellia, or tulips, they dried to the translucency of shoji paper. This one daffodil blossom lay weightless in my hand as if its spirit had flown.

It reminded me of the centuries-old Japanese custom of writing a death poem shortly before death, surrounded by family and friends. Although, apparently, it wasn’t unusual for some poets to practice death poems in advance! Bashō said that each verse he wrote was in effect his death poem. This spoke to me deeply, as many of my own poems speak to the transience of life. As haiku poets, many of us practice mindful living and have a deep awareness of the transience of all things. To me, this has resulted in my everlasting awe of the natural world and my place in it, and in turn has helped me accept the fleetingness of life. Many of our beloved and respected haiku poets have left behind death poems. I am particularly touched by this one from Johnny Baranski, which is engraved on his gravestone:

long before I came
long after I leave
blossoming pear

Johnny Baranski
(1948-2018)

(Permission granted by Amy Baranski, Literary Executor)

Here is an example of a Japanese death poem from Yoel Hoffman’s Japanese Death Poems: Written by Zen Monks and Haiku Poets on the Verge of Death. This image is part of an essay I wrote published in Simply Haiku, 2004 titled, “Illustrations of Japanese Death Poems.”

I invite you to write a death poem or a poem that speaks to the transience of life. The daffodil is meant to inspire, and there is no need to include a flower in your haiku unless you want to. This is an opportunity to celebrate your life in some small way that feels significant to you. I leave you with one of mine:

an empty shell
fills with moonlight
winter’s end

(Dreams Wander On: Contemporary Poems of Death Awareness, 2011, Robert Epstein)

The deadline is midnight Pacific Daylight Time, Saturday June 25, 2022.

Please use the Haiku Dialogue submission form below to enter one or two original unpublished haiku inspired by the week’s theme, and then press Submit to send your entry. (The Submit button will not be available until the Name, Email, and Place of Residence fields are filled in.) With your poem, please include any special formatting requirements & your name & residence as you would like it to appear in the column. A few haiku will be selected for commentary each week. Please note that by submitting, you agree that your work may appear in the column – neither acknowledgment nor acceptance emails will be sent. All communication about the poems that are posted in the column will be added as blog comments.

below is Carole’s commentary for flowers: color symbolism:

My grateful thanks to all of you for accepting the challenge to write to color symbolism in flowers. I received haiku for nearly all the colors on the short list. I was pleased to see a fair number of haiku using blue. But all colors were represented. Blue has many connotations beyond a flower such as feeling blue (sad), playing the blues (music), having a true-blue friend (loyal). Red, too, was used in a creative way. Some poems I felt were inspired by the image itself, as it related to pink and young children. There were quite a few haiku to read through, which means many didn’t make it to the long list. Some I’m sure I’ll see in future publications. Others I felt were probably perfect in their mother tongue but didn’t quite translate well into English. Others could benefit by editing, something I can’t do here in Haiku Dialogue, no matter how tempted I am to do so. I made a point of looking up unfamiliar terms, and even looking up the meaning of color and flowers myself to better understand haiku from different cultures, such as discovering orange marigolds are often used to cheer up the sick, that yellow carnations in some countries signify disappointment, and that in certain countries red poppies could represent the opium industry. The whole point of “The Language of Flowers” was to share our cultural backgrounds, so my task of reading and understanding haiku required a bit of research on my part at times, and I did the best I could. But the best haiku always rose to the top.

The poems I chose to comment on all surprised me in some way with their originality and fresh use of language. For the benefit of those poets who might be at the start of their haiku journey, here are a few things I look for in haiku. First, they must reach me on an emotional level. I look for poetry, not cold facts or statements or opinions. I love surprise, the ‘aha moment,’ or what I like to call a small epiphany. I especially appreciate a pause (kireji) between the two parts of a haiku. Within this pause the reader often makes associations that deepen the meaning of a haiku. A complete sentence can work out well if the content is strong enough, but rarely do three independent parts work. I received quite a few haiku written in three separate lines, creating a choppy reading with no focus. I feel even the best monoku benefit with a pause. I hope you enjoy my comments and take the time to add a few comments to your own favorites.

plum blossoms shine
whitest in moonlight,
widow’s eulogy

Christopher Seep
Ballwin, MO, USA

This is a stunning image and while the first two lines are composed of a statement, the juxtaposition with ‘widow’s eulogy’ extends that statement into the unspoken as we begin to make our own personal associations between the two parts of the haiku. I might have played with putting ‘shine’ on line 2, but it doesn’t detract from the overall resonance of the juxtaposition. Eulogizing is focusing on the positive and praising the life of one who has died. I enjoyed the subtle metaphor alluding to the fact that praise for the deceased person might be enhanced or even exaggerated, much as the plum blossoms at night are enhanced, or made whiter, in the moonlight. Is the widow being eulogized, or is the widow eulogizing her departed husband? I prefer the widow remembering the best of her dearly departed as so happens when we lose people.

arum lily
how this white bloom
contains darkness

John Hawkhead
UK

I know these flowers well, and where I live, every season they lighten up a dark roadside ditch with their white light. I love the way this haiku speaks to darkness and light beyond just the flower and suggests the concept of yin/yang, or the complementary forces that make up our lives. Neither light nor darkness can exist without the other. Arum lily looks the same as a calla lily, only taller. Both are native to South Africa (Zantedeschia aethiopica) and are not true lilies. The white lilies are symbols of purity, innocence, and beauty. Yet, they also symbolize life and death. Today, they are commonly used for both funerals and weddings. They are also toxic to eat. In Ancient Greece, they represented both death and resurrection. The white arum has an interesting mythological history. Calla lilies are said to come from the ancient god Hera, the wife of Zeus. In the story, Zeus brought Hercules to nurse from his wife while she was sleeping. He wanted his son to have the strength of the gods. Hera awoke and pushed the baby away from her. Drops of milk flew across the sky creating the Milky Way, and everywhere they landed on earth, calla lilies bloomed. They also have been tied to Venus in Roman mythology. Venus saw the flower and felt her beauty was threatened by its pure white blossom so she cursed it with an unsightly pistil. I enjoyed discovering this bit of mythology and I hope you enjoyed my sharing it. This lovely haiku is grounded in the strong image of a flower yet offers a subtle metaphor that speaks to our own lives too.

widowed again red spider lily

Bryan Rickert
Belleville, Illinois USA

Red spider lilies are bright summer flowers native throughout Asia. They are associated with final goodbyes, and legend has it that these flowers grow wherever people part ways for good. In old Buddhist writings, the red spider lily is said to guide the dead through samsara, the cycle of rebirth. There is another undertone that I detected because I tend to be sensitive to connotations of a word. You have a widow that has been widowed more than once. The use of ‘again’ and ‘red spider lily’ connotes a slightly darker scene, if one remembers that black widow spiders eat their mates after mating. I prefer to stick with the symbolism of the red spider lily as a guide for the departed, but with haiku each word matters, and this haiku can also resonate with those not familiar with Buddhist writings.

Labor Day –
next to the Armani logo
an unnoticed carnation

Aljoša Vuković
Croatia, Šibenik

I appreciate the use of symbolism in this political haiku. In some countries, red carnations are worn on May Day to symbolize socialism and the labor movement. It is a day to celebrate solidarity among workers as well as workers’ rights. The fact that the clothing with the Armani logo outshines the carnation speaks for itself as to the distance between workers and the wealthy. A strong image that I believe most of us can certainly relate to.

another quarrel
the hydrangeas
begin to blue

Terri French
AL

This is an interesting juxtaposition when one thinks of how hydrangeas can only turn blue in acidic soil and that quarrels, too, are acidic in their own way and affect our mood. The word ‘blue’ can connote not just the color of the flower, but also suggests an emotion when we think of the blues – a state of feeling sad or depressed. I appreciate the connection the poet makes between hydrangeas beginning to blue, and the mood of a person also beginning to blue in an emotional way. This feeling was further enhanced by the alliteration in the last line.

his flowers
all the colours
of guilt

Margaret Mahony
Australia

I enjoyed this senryu as it’s well known that flowers are sometimes gifted to ease a guilty conscience. Especially if flowers are not regularly given, and they appear out of nowhere, for no special reason. The phrase ‘all the colours / of guilt’ is unique and says everything.

break of day
she answers my red
with yellow roses

Richard Matta
San Diego, California USA

I chose to include this haiku for commentary because it spoke to the overall theme of “The Language of Flowers” as well as the symbolism of color. After weeks of writing haiku to “The Language of Flowers,” most of us realize red roses symbolize love and romance. But the surprise of this haiku comes in the communication between the two gifts of roses. Yellow roses symbolize friendship, which suggests this might be a sweet but sad letdown at the ‘break of day.’

pressed freesia –
the fragrance
of absence

Dan Iulian
România

I received many poems written to a similar theme of remembrance, but this one rose to the top immediately for its ability to evoke emotion in so few words. It opens with a strong image of pressed freesia, a flower that we often see grouped in many bright colors. It has a sweet fragrance that can fill a room. The sense of smell is often imbued with memories. Reading this haiku reminded me of my mother’s passing, except that for me the absence is felt each year the purple iris bloom. Not a word could be taken away or added to this lovely haiku. The alliteration of ‘freesia/fragrance’ makes this poem memorable and the phrase makes excellent use of figurative language.

& here are the rest of the selections:

white on white…
a flower crab spider
looking for prey

Deborah Karl-Brandt
Bonn, Germany

 

pink cosmos
finding tranquility
in old age

Marilyn Ward
UK

 

between us
the words not spoken
cherry blossoms

Stephen A. Peters
Bellingham, WA

 

lost chivalry…
a bouquet of daffodils
for myself

Jackie Chou
United States

 

wild iris
she wears purple
at her retirement party

Tracy Davidson
Warwickshire, UK

 

outbreak of war
and yet
the blue flower

Eva Limbach
Germany

 

buttercup sun each bloom a light bowl

Daya Bhat
India

 

blue chicory
on the side of the road
to somewhere

Anette Chaney
Harrison, Arkansas

 

the sound of bells
held in a book
lily-of-the-valley

wendy © bialek
az, usa

 

roadside memorial
the zinnias
that would have cheered her too

Laurie Greer
Washington, DC

 

twin camellia buds
those tiny flutters
in my belly

Padmini Krishnan
United Arab Emirates

 

wedding day—
the motia bracelets
on mom’s hands

Hifsa Ashraf
Rawalpindi, Pakistan

 

in a half-drunk glass
a yellow rose brightens up
her single bedside

Sonika Jaiganesh
UK

 

another chance
after chemo
reblooming roses

Barrie Levine
Massachusetts USA

 

new arrival
the pink rose bud
of her lips

Seretta Martin
California, USA

 

moon garden
climbing the trellis
a whiter shade of pale

Margaret Dornaus
Ozark, Arkansas, U.S.A.

 

so few stars
to light a dreamless night
black iris

Peggy Hale Bilbro
Alabama

 

white peonies …
the weight of leaving
too soon

Annie Wilson
Shropshire, UK

 

multi-color bouquet
covering all his
bases

Pat Davis
NH USA

 

black Orchid flower –
keep something
to yourself

Danijela Grbelja
Sibenik, Croatia

 

all the blues banished in one delphinium

Ingrid Baluchi
North Macedonia

 

Violets
just enough blueness
to calm the argument

Marianne Sahlin
Sweden

 

gran’s journal
the pressed lilacs
so quiet

Arvinder Kaur
Chandigarh, India

 

forget- me- nots …
I carry
her memories

(Forget-me-not, a small blue flower that represents remembrance and is long-associated with dementia.)

Ram Chandran
India

 

bluebell woods …
evening out the heartbeat
of spring

Lori Kiefer
UK

 

last day of school
a handful of daffodils
for the yellow jar

ron scully
Burien, WA

 

still waiting
at the florists…
red roses

Mona Bedi
Delhi, India

 

red hibiscus
whether to kiss
with eyes open

Keith Evetts
Thames Ditton UK

 

angelversary . . .
the snow falls on
green buds

P. H. Fischer
Vancouver, Canada

 

bluest of blue morning glories what they mean just to me

kris moon kondo
Kiyokawa, Kanagawa, Japan

 

black and blue hydrangeas an apology

Sharon Martina
Warrenville, IL

 

sea of love iris
beside my kitchen door
my father’s blue eyes

Sigrid Saradunn
Bar Harbor, Maine

 

old battlefield
clumps of poppies redden
the warriors’ silence

Florin C. Ciobica
Romania

 

night cherry tree . . .
my bed under
the snow

Ivan Gaćina
Croatia

 

bringing the mountain to me Himalayan blue poppies

Susan Burch
Hagerstown, MD

 

new day—
the garden pond full
of pink lotus

Sushama Kapur
Pune, India

 

baby’s breath
in the garden of newborns
only white flowers

(A garden in Kamakura, Japan)

Kath Abela Wilson
Pasadena, California

 

white chrysanthemums
dad asks me
about my travel plan

Maya Daneva
The Netherlands

 

forget-me-not drifts
your silence
borders my blues

Sangita Kalarickal
United States

 

the irises
her purple
in my winter

Maurice Nevile
Canberra, Australia

 

pink tulip beds –
after our walk she chooses
teaberry ice cream

Tomislav Maretić
Croatia

 

diagnosis —
rimmed with orange marigolds
my neighbor’s yard

Goran Gatalica
Croatia

 

Something blue –
Her mother’s hydrangeas
above the church door

Vivienne Tregenza
Penzance

 

white lilies
on the casket
. . . the fragility of life

Rupa Anand
New Delhi, India

 

everything
he loved about her –
a pink hibiscus

Samo Kreutz
Ljubljana, Slovenia

 

white lotus
the stench of mud
in the pond

Jeff Leong
Kuala Lumpur

 

white roses
the slow step
of the bride

Slobodan Pupovac
Zagreb, Croatia

 

a single tulip
lollipop pink…
childhood love

Ana Growl
Surrey, UK

 

over and again
we bow endlessly to each
and every red poppy

Hla Yin Mon
Yangon, Myanmar

 

happy home garden
but yellow carnations
don’t lie

Richa Sharma
India

 

family Bible
the flowering dogwood
pressed by words

Richard Straw
Cary, North Carolina

 

geranium
the cobbled road
of the old town

Tsanka Shishkova
Bulgaria

 

smiling
at the moon
white lotus

(In some traditions, white lotus refers to a sense of awakening – a pretty flower that blooms in muddy waters.)

Zahra Mughis
Lahore, Pakistan

 

cornflower
remembering you
little sister

Marion Clarke
Warrenpoint, Northern Ireland

 

so sick
of all these blues
cornflowers

James Gaskin
Fukushima, Japan

 

tucking lavender
and luck
into her bridal bouquet

Adele Evershed
Wilton, Connecticut

 

grandpa’s
hospice room –
blue violets

Dan Campbell
Virginia

 

cemetery visit
I touch the daffodil
still blooming

John S Green
Bellingham, WA

 

white lilies
wither on sidewalks
another mass shooting

Caroline Giles Banks
Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

 

white roses
cover the coffin
her lingering scent

Victor Ortiz
Bellingham, WA

 

coming out
he chooses
the pink bouquet

Helen Ogden
Pacific Grove, CA

 

pink roses
what if she were
a boy

Teji Sethi
India

 

cut friendships –
the indifferent scent
of a yellow tulip

amicizie recise –
il profumo indifferente
di un tulipano giallo

Dennys Cambarau
Sardinia, Italy

 

breaking news
pink petals falling
from the roses

Kerstin Park
Sweden

 

red anthurium
heartache
in paradise

Susan Farner
USA

 

lost in fragrance . . .
the whiteness
of a Shiuli

Daipayan Nair
India

 

first anniversary
nothing to say but
a red carnation

Elena Malec
Irvine, California

 

new moon
the shrine aglow
with marigolds

Ravi Kiran
India

 

sunflower joy –
off of the canvas
out of the frame

(an attempted nod to an artist and a poet)

D. M. MacDonald
Sacramento, California

 

lofty mountain . . .
blooming on ancestors’ lap
pink Shirui lilies

Milan Rajkumar
Imphal, India

 

red hibiscus
the mark on her forehead
shines like Venus

Subir Ningthouja
Imphal, India

 

first love
the pinking tips
of a wild rose

Firdaus Parvez
India

 

Guest Editor Carole MacRury resides in Point Roberts, Washington, a unique peninsula and border town that inspires her work. Her poems have won awards and been published worldwide, and her photographs have been featured on the covers of numerous poetry journals and anthologies. Her practice of contemplative photography along with an appreciation of haiku aesthetics helps deepen her awareness of the world around her. Both image and written word open her to the interconnectedness of all things; to surprise, mystery and a sense of wonder. She is the author of In the Company of Crows: Haiku and Tanka Between the Tides (Black Cat Press, 2008, 2nd Printing, 2018) and The Tang of Nasturtiums, an award-winning e-chapbook (Snapshot Press 2012).

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

Managing Editor Katherine Munro lives in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, and publishes under the name kjmunro. She is Membership Secretary for Haiku Canada, and her debut poetry collection is contractions (Red Moon Press, 2019). Find her at: kjmunro1560.wordpress.com.

The Haiku Foundation reminds you that participation in our offerings assumes respectful and appropriate behavior from all parties. Please see our Code of Conduct policy.

Please note that all poems & images appearing in Haiku Dialogue may not be used elsewhere without express permission – copyright is retained by the creators. Please see our Copyright Policies.

 

This Post Has 39 Comments

  1. as well as all the one’s showcased by comments:
    these also stand out to me:

    i live by and love mountains and the ‘pop’ of poppies….so this one by susan b. touched my heart:

    bringing the mountain to me Himalayan blue poppies

    Susan Burch

    focusing on the quick passage of life:

    white lilies
    on the casket
    . . . the fragility of life

    Rupa Anand

    for the cadence i see:

    white roses
    the slow step
    of the bride

    Slobodan Pupovac

    simply heartfelt:

    cornflower
    remembering you
    little sister

    Marion Clarke

    so sorry about your loss of sister-sibling(s). glad you can write about the remembrance so beautifully.
    my haiku was partially inspired by my oldest sister, living, and having just revealed to me, her favourite flower is the lily-of-the-valley!

    like the imagery and cadence here

    tucking lavender
    and luck
    into her bridal bouquet

    Adele Evershed

    brings me to other worldliness:

    lost in fragrance . . .
    the whiteness
    of a Shiuli

    Daipayan Nair

    liking the snappy humour in pat’s poem:

    multi-color bouquet
    covering all his
    bases

    Pat Davis

  2. carole,
    what an incredible flora trip you have provided in these sessions. i, too, am moved daily by the vision, aura, colours, patterns, textures, scents and symbolism of flowers….living, and dried.
    i am sooooo enjoying the inspiring topics, photographs, comments you are gifting us with and reading everyone’s posted submissions and comments. like a cherished flower….i want it to continue to bloom forever!

    thank you for including my lily-of-the-valley haiku.

    1. You are so welcome Wendy! And thank you for gifting our poets by mentioning your favorites from our list.

  3. bringing the mountain to me Himalayan blue poppies

    Susan Burch

    I like it probably because I read it literally and figuratively, making the reveal more satisfying.
    It works the mind out as well as having a pleasing image.

  4. Another cracking week’s poems — thank you, Carole. I have been one of the sinners not appending my name directly after each poem submitted. Now repenting.

    1. Thanks Keith. It’s particularly helpful when posting two poems at once. Appreciate your understanding! It’s like opening presents, reading each poem. Participation has been wonderful, and for that I thank everyone!

  5. Thank you Carole, thanks to your column I noticed today some wildflowers I had never noticed before.

    1. Thank you Dan. Spotting wildflowers feels like a gift, doesn’t it? Here in Colorado the mountain sides come alive with wildflowers.

  6. Dear Carole,
    Thank you for one of my favorite topics for Haiku Dialogue. I always find your topics inspirational. Thanks for choosing one of my haiku.

    1. Thank you Anette! It’s lovely to hear you’ve found the topics inspirational.

  7. This week is another lovely bouquet of flowers! I so appreciate your commentary, Carole. It helps me see the poems with your eyes. I was particularly taken by the two following poem. Today is my little sister’s birthday so she is close to my mind. And the visual image of the buttercup as a bowl full of light is so striking. Thanks to everyone for making this column happen each week.

    cornflower
    remembering you
    little sister
    Marion Clark

    buttercup sun each bloom a light bowl
    Days Baht

    1. Marion will be delighted to know the poem about her sister brought yours back to you Peggy! My sister had hazel eyes, but I thought of my deceased sister too. And yes, doesn’t the buttercup sun open offer an amazing image! Buttercups bring back my childhood. Appreciate greatly your pointing out a few favorites. 🙂

      1. I’m happy this one brought your sister to mind too, Carole. I miss both mine so much. Niamh died as an adult six years ago, so I got to spend many more years with her. Sheelín was only seventeen when she died in 1986, so the memories of her are much fainter, but her blue eyes still shine in my mind.

          1. Very sorry to hear about your losing both sisters Marion. Having lost mine few years ago I can relate to your pain. May peace and strength be with all of us.
            Thank you for connecting with my little line! 🙂

    2. Dear Peggy Hale Bilbro, this is such a sweet co incidence! Loving birthday wishes to your little sister 🙂 <3
      Thanks for connecting with the poem 🙂
      Daya

    3. I’m pleased the cornflower haiku appeared on your sister’s birthday, Peggy. When those of my two sisters come around each year they are bittersweet—filled with a sense of great loss, but also great memories. Thanks so much for commenting.

  8. I do so appreciate all your commentary, Carole, adding so much learning each week to our perception of flowers. What an enormous subject this turns out to be! And this week, no exception. Your photographs too are quite stunning. Thank you for all the effort you put in, and to the others behind the scenes. Thank you, too, for including mine among so many wonderful poems.
    There were two more pressed flowers besides Dan Iulian’s poignant freesias:

    family Bible
    the flowering dogwood
    pressed by words
    Richard Straw

    That surprise third line brought a neat link to the book in which the dogwood flower is pressed, since there is a connection of spiritual symbolism with this particular lovely tree. ‘Pressed’ also suggests ‘pressure’, as if the flower has a duty to uphold the message of purity, faithfulness and hope the Bible offers, or maybe it’s the other way round…a sort of symbiosis between the two.

    I thought of the Bible again with Wendy Bialek’s poem:

    the sound of bells
    held in a book
    lily-of-the-valley

    How lovely to open a book and be confronted by sight, sound and smell, and for me, memories, even before commencing reading.

    1. Thanks, Ingrid! Reading your comment and delphinium poem (copied below) helped remove whatever blues I had today:

      all the blues banished in one delphinium
      — Ingrid Baluchi, North Macedonia

    2. Ingrid what a delightful and insightful commentary on both poems. Thanks so much. I’m sure our poets appreciate this very much as do I. We all benefit by comments such as these.

    3. ingrid,
      thank you for your lovely reflection on my lily…..valley, haiku!

      i definitely relate to your fabulously phrased aha moment….”says it all” for the healing benefits of flowers haiku:

      all the blues banished in one delphinium

      Ingrid Baluchi

  9. I wanted to call out Marion Clarke’s poem; the combination got me right in the ‘feels’–I have an only little sister, we grew up on a farm (to me, ‘cornflower’ evokes the farm) and she lives far away….

    cornflower
    remembering you
    little sister

    thank you!

    1. Thanks Danita, for your comments. It’s wonderful the way Marion’s poem invites us in to connect in our own way with our sisters as well. Juxtaposition is such a powerful tool for haiku poets.

    2. Thank you, Danita. I’m so pleased this haiku connected with you. I love how the cornflower brought you to the farm, as it suggests happy, sun-filled memories to me, which in turn reminded me of the excitement of summer visits to my great-uncle’s farm with my siblings. Unfortunately the inspiration for my haiku was tinged with sadness, as my younger sister, Sheelín, died at just seventeen from Cystic Fibrosis. Her eyes were blue, and she loved every shade of the colour, so I selected the cornflower as a symbol for her short life. However, reading your comment brought me back to happier days when my brothers and sisters and I used to run through the fields together on the farm. Many thanks for the memories.

  10. Thank you so much Carole MacRury for the beautiful introduction to next week’s theme. I am taking away so much from here every week and enjoying writing to the thoughtful prompts.
    Thanks to Kjmunro and Lori too.
    This week apart from the ones in the commentaries wonderful poems from selections too.
    Just wanted to bring to your notice this haiku –

    buttercup sun each bloom a light bowl

    marilyn ashbaugh
    edwardsburg, michigan

    My haiku seems to have paired up with Marilyn Ashbaugh’s name. Or other way round.

    There’s so much effort involved in running this feature. Sorry to point this out.

    – Daya

    1. Thank you Daya. Our list manager will correct this asap. We had asked for everyone to include their name and details within the poem space on the entry form. You did. Not everyone does this, unfortunately, but it does make the massive cut/paste chore much easier. The good thing is the increased submissions tell us people are enjoying the prompts. 🙂 I see a way to avoid this in future for all guest editors and will recommend it to our managers.
      I appreciate your understanding.

      1. Dear Carole MacRury, I am so sorry. I did include my name but after both the poems… I will be careful to include my name henceforth under each poem.
        Thank you so much for including mine in the selectors.
        Sorry for the confusion.

        1. Dear Daya, No need to apologize as the error was mine. But thank you for bringing it to my attention as I am hopeful we can improve our process to avoid such errors in the future. Thankfully, it doesn’t happen often. 🙂

    1. I know Marilyn. It will be corrected asap. I choose poem by content and you can rest assured that your entry was read and considered along with all other poems. I’m recommending an additional improvement that would avoid cut/paste errors in future. I will recommend that for those that submit two poems at once to put their name under each poem. This would greatly help to avoid losing a name in the massive cut/paste procedure putting everyone’s poem into one document. Thanks for understanding.

      1. As the time stamp indicates, I was the first to comment regarding this. I wanted the poet to know I had nothing to do with the mistaken appropriation. Thank you for the correction.

        1. Thank you so much Marian for your prompt alert. I jumped on it as soon as I read your message. 🙂

    1. Thanks Carole for selecting mine and for your lovely, insightful commentary. So many good poems this week, so I’m not going to single any out, but I’m looking forward to next week.

        1. Thank you Carole for your commentary on my haiku, you made my day. Always a privilege to be among these wonderful poets.

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