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HAIKU DIALOGUE – the way of the gardener

 

the way of …

Haiku moments are the will-o’-wisps we seek. The purest of them aren’t formed by effort. They arise naturally when we allow ourselves to simply be.

Haiku is flavored by the nature of the writer’s beingness. There are many ways to be. For June and July we will try out nine of them and see what comes to light.

next week’s theme: the way of the fisher: be patient and catch the things that swim the depths of your mind

Find a comfortable place to sit. Set a timer for 15, 30, or 45 minutes. However much time you think will push your patience just a little. Get silent. Notice your breathing. Close your eyes and observe the images and memories that arise. When something catches your interest jot down some notes about it. Better yet, speak your notes into a recorder or an app on your phone. When the timer goes off, sort your catch and make haiku out of whatever imagery feels freshest.

Please send up to two unpublished haiku by clicking here: Contact Form, and put Haiku Dialogue in the Subject box. The deadline is midnight Eastern Standard Time, Saturday June 13, 2020.

Selected haiku will be listed in the order they are received with a few chosen 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 can be added as blog comments.

Below is my commentary for the way of the gardener:

“The way of…” series is all about paying attention. The name given to each week’s prompt is the least important element and may mislead the unwary. The successful haiku will display authenticity to the moments the prompts are designed to generate. I’m looking for immersion in the experience.

I’m offering a game and I hope you’ll play it like a child, with enthusiasm and innocence. Haiku thrives on beginner’s mind.

closed eyes …
voices of leaves and birds
in my hair

ad occhi chiusi…
voci di uccelli e foglie
nei miei capelli

Daniela Misso

I think I actually gasped when I read this. There’s a rich sensuality here that transports me. With vision cut off the poet is awash in a nature-infused wind. This is subtle and masterful synesthesia. Many unsaid things live in this haiku.

through the fingers parsleysage. rosemary..time

simonj UK

I almost passed over this haiku. In my first reading the allusion threw me, and I wondered if it was in keeping with the spirit of the prompt. But after it sat in my brain a little bit it pulled me in. I can see these herbs in the poet’s hands and how his mind drifts to the old ballad and then leaps to the wordplay at the close. I conclude that this haiku crystallized the stream of consciousness element of the prompt most effectively.

the bell jar fogs
in a sunbeam
seeded cosmos

Vicki Miko

A good example of how a single observation, presented simply, can generate a multi-layered experience. Breaking this down: the little cosmos seedlings, protected from the rest of world by their jar, fed by the sun, with the evidence of their “breathing” on the glass; living in their own little cosmos. It leads one to contemplate how we limit our own cosmos in search of harmony.

a bird
with no song …
Zen garden

Agus Maulana Sunjaya, Tangerang, Indonesia

The brevity and simplification here are a perfect match for the subject. A Zen garden, designed for meditation, which leads the mind to silence. A silent bird, the opposite of what we expect from birds, making its silence more significant. Koan-like and in the now.

So, how do you feel about process driven haiku? If you followed the prompt’s instructions, how was the experience for you? Do you use any tricks or games to get your work flowing? I’d love to see some lively discussions in the comments section. Please share your thoughts.

Below are the rest of my selections for this week:

pinned gardenia
mother’s peepers
inhale her past

Roberta Beary, County Mayo, Ireland

 

wisteria in bloom-
birdsong
behind the hedge

vincenzo adamo

 

a golden light
around the weeds…
dandelions

Lakshmi Iyer

 

honeycomb
on a *tahli branch
stinging memories

*A Punjabi name for Dalbergia sissoo tree

Hifsa Ashraf

 

brushing away
fallen leaves
so many earthworms

Nancy Liddle

 

rock garden–
scattered stones
stay connected

Teiichi Suzuki, Japan

 

lunch in the shade
a Venus de Milo
holds the hoe

Joanne van Helvoort

 

lavender afternoon . . .
a sip of wine accompanied
by humming

Marion Clarke

 

lotus pond
moons on the roots
of silence

Neha R. Krishna, Mumbai, India

 

geraniums
the sound of helicopters
multiplying

Deborah P Kolodji, Temple City, California

 

children’s garden
clambering all over the trellis
peas and beans

Louise Hopewell

 

autumn rain
the garden floods
with robin’s song

Vandana Parashar

 

daisies
eyeing the lawn’s potential
as meadow

Laurie Greer

 

suburban chorus
after the lawn mowers…
bird song

Nick Taylor, Frome, England

 

a tangle of thoughts…
a few colorful flowers
among the weeds

Mark Meyer

 

the height
of the midday sun
okra blossoms

Bryan Rickert

 

daisies..
the first butterfly
on the pink hat

Hassane Zemmouri

 

the hosta full of holes
where are you now, snail

Carolyn Dancy

 

rainy morning
slugs feasting on
first strawberries

Franjo Ordanic

 

spider web
on pruned roses
new shoots

Angiola Inglese

 

listening to his hoe tell me how

Marisa Fazio

 

cavorting
around citrus branches
erstwhile standard rose

Madhuri Pillai

 

sunflowers
face each other
daydreams …

Neena Singh

 

roses
abloom with ants and aphids
. . . cultivating ahimsa

Ingrid Baluchi, Macedonia

 

no words…
a posy
from her garden

Margaret Mahonyno

 

summer’s dawn –
watching strawberries turn red
with the blackbird

Dorothy Burrows

 

twilight garden
the slight shimmer of dewdrops
on the mint leaves

C.A. Harper

 

garden hose
on the move —
a glass lizard!

Tomislav Sjekloća, Cetinje, Montenegro

 

the wilderness
adopting the porch
homeschool

C.R. Harper

 

white currant blossom
in a world of his own
this little fly

Xenia Tran

 

grilling sun
a wasp probes the length
of my nose

Rashmi VeSa

 

spring flowers
sharing the perfume
with a bee

Janice Munro

 

peeking
over the privacy fence
sunflowers

Rich Schilling

 

what’s left
of the afternoon
empty pea pods

Kari Davidson

 

windchimes
last year’s husks
rattling in the breeze

Mark Gilbert

Guest Editor Craig Kittner was born in Canton, Ohio in 1968 and took up residence in Wilmington, North Carolina in 2012. Between those two events, he lived in 14 different towns in 8 states and the District of Columbia. He has worked as a gallery director, magazine writer, restaurant owner, and blackjack dealer. Recent publications include Human/Kind Journal, Shot Glass Journal, The Heron’s Nest, and Bones. He currently serves as contest director for the North Carolina Poetry Society. Craig is fond of birds, cats, and rain… but rarely writes of cats.

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.

This Post Has 26 Comments

  1. Welcome back, Craig. I found the theme of nature calming this week, and look forward to the weeks ahead.
    *
    through the fingers parsley
    sage rosemary time
    .
    simonj
    *
    It so happens I was singing this song on my way home from work, I have no idea what prompted it, and was actually a bit startled to come across this the next day. The image and scents of the herbs, memories of the song, and the personal feeling of time slipping through my fingers lately, moved me.
    *
    I appreciated the delicate attention to detail in Vicki Miko’s “the bell jar fogs…”
    *
    Joanne van Helvoort’s “…holds the hoe” made me laugh, a unique contrasting image.
    *
    I am partial to the faces of sunflowers in Rich Schilling’s “peeking…”
    *
    And could almost hear Mark Gilbert’s “…
    husks rattling in the breeze”
    *
    A lovely read, all.

  2. A lovely selection! I am delighted to have my poem included. Many thanks, Craig.
    I enjoyed reading so many of this week’s haiku that it is challenging to pick out individual verses. I agree with all the comments about Daniela Misso’s wonderful poem. Reading it is like switching on a film moment in my head. Mesmerising! Two of the many others I enjoyed were…
    *
    rock garden–
    scattered stones
    stay connected

    Teiichi Suzuki,
    *
    I thought this captured the current world situation really well. I loved the image of a rock garden. It reminded me that although such a garden is made up of individual stones you need all of them in place to create harmony and beauty.
    *
    twilight garden
    the slight shimmer of dewdrops
    on the mint leaves

    C.A. Harper
    *
    I find this image arresting. I can almost smell the mint and feel the moisture as I read it. I love the choice of words and the sounds they make. It somehow evokes a very calm , reflective and beautiful scene. I like the way it focuses on a tiny detail and in doing so brings the garden to life.

    Many thanks to all the poets. I shall definitely be reading all these verses again.

    1. Thanks Dorothy for your imaginative comment.
      I was impressed with your knowledge about a rock garden.

  3. Thanks Craig for including mine. I found this a difficult exercise. Along with Daniela Misso’s, I enjoyed both Marion Clarke’s and Janice Munro’s (respectively)
    .
    lavender afternoon . . .
    a sip of wine accompanied
    by humming
    .
    spring flowers
    sharing the perfume
    with a bee
    .
    and Deborah P Kolodji’s ultra-topical
    .
    geraniums
    the sound of helicopters
    multiplying

    1. Thanks, Mark.

      If you don’t mind sharing, what was it about the process that you found difficult? How did you deal with it? Others may have had a similar experience and may benefit from your insights.

      1. I think I just felt I was seeing images that were too familiar and I needed to go wandering and get down and get closer – on hands and knees etc then it started to work better.

  4. Thank you Craig for including my haiku. Loved every one and I am honoured to be featured with such wonderful poets.

  5. Excellent reading! I also love Daniela Misso’s “closed eyes…” I’ll comment on two more, although every one deserves it.

    a golden light
    around the weeds…
    dandelions By Lakshmi Iyer

    Dandelions are a favorite of mine. I love that this poems separated them from the category of weeds, and in such beautiful golden light.

    listening to his hoe tell me how By Marisa Fazio

    I love the sound of the words, the brevity, and the fact that I can wonder about the story beyond the words given.

    Thanks to Craig, Lori, and kj for keeping us motivated and inspired.

  6. Honoured to feature in your selection Craig. All the haiku are beautiful, congratulations to the poets.

    The haiku by Daniela Misso and your commentary is amazing. So enjoyed reading it many times.

    closed eyes …
    voices of leaves and birds
    in my hair

    I could feel the sound vibrations of the garden in these words—the rustling of leaves in the breeze, the twittering of birds and the breeze playing with hair. This is what your prompt made me do … I sat on the garden swing and listened to this music of Nature, saw the sunflowers nodding and the haiku flew at me.

    Glad that you liked it!

  7. Thank you for the inspiring prompt and creating this wonderful collection Craig! They are all beautiful and
    .
    closed eyes …
    voices of leaves and birds
    in my hair
    .
    ad occhi chiusi…
    voci di uccelli e foglie
    nei miei capelli
    .
    Daniela Misso
    .
    took my breath away too.
    .
    Thank you for including my contribution as well and all good wishes,
    Xenia

  8. Wonderful collection Craig! All these haiku are worthy of publishing, but I agree with your first selection. That poem takes my breath away. This series of themes will be a challenge for me!

  9. Dear Craig,

    Thank you for including my haiku, your comment means a lot to me !

    Loved reading all the poems, especially:

    *

    closed eyes …
    voices of leaves and birds
    in my hair

    ad occhi chiusi…
    voci di uccelli e foglie
    nei miei capelli
    .
    Daniela Misso
    *
    (beautiful!)

    *

    brushing away
    fallen leaves
    so many earthworms
    Nancy Liddle
    *
    (the wonderful smell of damp gardens and compost)

    *

    geraniums
    the sound of helicopters
    multiplying
    Deborah P Kolodji, Temple City, California
    *
    (As a kid, I had to sweep up all those boxelder helicopters! Plus, a more sober meaning, I could not have said it better than Kath Abela Wilson)

    *

    the hosta full of holes
    where are you now, snail
    Carolyn Dancy
    *
    (I remember saying the same thing!)

    *

    what’s left
    of the afternoon
    empty pea pods
    Kari Davidson
    *
    (yummm… raw peas)

  10. through the fingers parsley…sage. rosemary..time
    .
    simon j UK
    As Craig said; so much more than meets the eye.
    Nice one Simon!

  11. lunch in the shade
    a Venus de Milo
    holds the hoe
    .
    Joanne van Helvoort
    .
    Comic ironic…and full of story.

  12. closed eyes …
    voices of leaves and birds
    in my hair

    Daniela Misso

    Brings back to me all my deepest moments in all the gardens I have known! That sense of being so fully taken with natural sounds iand sights intimately .. the pleasure and inner vision of true presence in the heart of the garden.

    Then we remember …and listen as Deborah P Kolodji allows the awareness of that larger threatening world we inhabit. We hear and feel the propellers turning with our spinning vulnerability

    geraniums
    the sound of helicopters
    multiplying

    Deborah P Kolodji, Temple City, California

    This beautiful theme, which inspired me also, to inhabit my small garden world as words fell like petals into my lap… created a wonderful lasting result for all of us . Thank you Craig and l the poets!

    g

  13. .
    Like Craig Kittner, I find this haiku incredible!
    .
    .
    .
    closed eyes …
    voices of leaves and birds
    in my hair
    .
    .
    ad occhi chiusi…
    voci di uccelli e foglie
    nei miei capelli
    .
    Daniela Misso
    .
    .
    .
    It’s one I would have loved to have written myself as I live and breathe birds and their song and chatter as our roof is designed for sparrows. Plus our buddleia tree is a fun conversational refuge for sparrows, blackbirds, and others! 🙂
    .
    .
    I really hope that this haiku by Daniela Misso is anthologised more than once, including the Red Moon Anthology. Does anyone know if the RMA editors ever check out Haiku Dialogue? There are continually incredible haiku happening here! 🙂
    .
    .

    Just two haiku, one of leaves (and rain) and the other about how morning birdsong effects my whole body in different ways:
    ,
    .
    .

    I start to rain
    and into falling leaves
    my childhood
    .
    Alan Summers
    Troutswirl – The Haiku Foundation –
    A Sense of Place: HIKING TRAIL – sight ed. KJMunro
    .
    Anthology credit:
    All the Way Home: Aging in Haiku (2019) ed. Robert Epstein

    .
    .

    book of birdsong
    the compartments
    in my body
     .
    Alan Summers
    Brass Bell – Morning Haiku curated by Zee Zahava (2015)

    1. And even without knowing the original language, it sounds even better in Italian. Superb.
      .
      ad occhi chiusi…
      voci di uccelli e foglie
      nei miei capelli
      .
      Daniela Misso
      .
      Thank you, Craig, for notching up even further the delicious depths of this genre and making us delve deeper into ourselves. It seems to have greater importance these days of uncertainty.
      I feel privileged to be included.

  14. windchimes
    last year’s husks
    rattling in the breeze
    .
    Mark Gilbert
    .
    This one does a nice job of misdirection before the reader realizes what the wind chimes really are.

  15. I second Carol’s comments–every poem a beauty. Following this Way is the hardest thing I’ve tried to do since that Suchness prompt months ago! Like that one, this challenges and changes how I see and know everything. Thanks, Craig, for this rich experience–and for including my effort.

  16. Every one a beauty, no favourites, this time 🙂
    .
    A marvellous collection, Craig Kittner, and well done to all the poets.

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