skip to Main Content

HAIKU DIALOGUE – the way of the itinerant

 

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 housekeeper: be aware of the changing state of your dwelling

Issa wrote a well-known haiku about how he kept house.

Choose a room where you live, maybe one you don’t spend a lot of time in. Sit there quietly for a while and notice its state of cleanliness. Is there dust in the corners or in the air? Any cobwebs or pet fur? How about the windows? Does their condition alter the view? Let the room’s condition inspire a haiku.

Please send up to two unpublished haiku by clicking here: Contact Form, and put Haiku Dialogue in the Subject box.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 July 4, 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 itinerant:

If you are literally itinerant, you are constantly experiencing unfamiliar environments, and how sharp our senses become when they take in the new! The way of the itinerant is to achieve that mindset, that setting aside of your sensory filters, even when you can’t leave home.

The worldwide web is awash in fresh perspectives and novel stimulation. With a few keystrokes you can be a stranger in strange land while sitting in your favorite chair. With a bit of imagination you can transport yourself.

Isekai dreams
I tread as lightly as rain
in District 9

Alan Summers, Catford, London

Line two is so achingly beautiful! One of those lines that I wish were mine. Line one names a Japanese genre that puts ordinary people in otherworldly places, so we know this dream has unsettled the dreamer. The allusion to a movie where interstellar aliens are quarantined on Earth rounds out this expression of modern day alienation. As quickly as the world can change, we can all be thrown into the role of itinerant with little warning.

Titan’s crystal shores
this yearning to sail
hydrocarbon seas

Deborah P Kolodji, Temple City, California

And why limit yourself to travels on earth? Our technological proxies are out there exploring the universe beyond our little blue dot. Deborah embraces this expansion with ease.

wild oregano…
the scent of Little Italy
in Tuscany

Clifford Rames

Juxtaposition is haiku fuel. It comes naturally to the itinerant who compares what they are experiencing with what they knew at home. I am struck here by the reversal of expectations. A tiny treatise on originations.

the return…
my mental map becomes
an artifact

Pat Davis NH

As one who has lived in many places, my mind is littered with old maps. They pop into my head occasionally when I think about where I’m going, making me view my current place in a new light. “Artifacts” is an ideal description for these obsolete mental constructs.

Below are the rest of my selections for this week:

a lighter shade of today
the same laughter
in another dialect

Stephen A. Peters

 

Kerala backwaters
I sleep in the memories
of the boat house

Lakshmi Iyer

 

road to the moon
traveling back and forth
by the Ferris wheel

Teiichi Suzuki

 

behold
a barren blueless heaven
martian

simonj, UK

 

our sister city –
better looking
and more successful

Sari Grandstaff, Saugerties, NY

 

starlit sky
I’m looking for a place
to stay

Eva Limbach, Germany

 

in my dream
seventeen steps
up to Japan

Brăilean Mirela

 

Paris café
every cigarette held
just so

Bryan Rickert

 

Murree chairlift
I scribble a poem
on every passing cloud

Hifsa Ashraf

 

sinking into
a yellowish postcard
Asmara

sprofondo dentro
una cartolina giallastra
Asmara

Daniela Misso

 

waterfalls —
the sporadic noise
from horse’s hooves

Rachel Rabo Magaji

 

so unfamiliar
under rainy day feet
hot burning sand

Debbie Scheving

 

a wandering dervish
on his way to the stars
the smoke of stove

Bakhtiyar Amini

 

Mongolian vastness
shutting my eyes
I follow the eagle’s hunt

Helga Stania

 

nowhere
to get away from myself
Laurie Island

Laurie Greer

 

streak of light
the shadow of Giza
in my eye

Neena Singh, Chandigarh, India

 

Khatadin summit
where the mountain and I
finally arrive

Ron Scully

 

jewel hat
a dew drop records
the mountain

Melissa Moffat, Australia

 

a world map
creased with folds
empty travel diary

Rashmi VeSa

 

without ripples –
crescent moon sailing
on the old pond

TANPOPO Anis

 

Huayna Picchu
the mist unshrouds
my ancient past

Madhuri Pillai

 

pointing homeward
the full half
of the moon

Alex Ben Ari

 

ethnic neighborhood
all the suppertime scents
from somewhere else

Michele L. Harvey

 

sunny side up
beneath the tray
waves of rays

Mark Gilbert

 

opening the door
of an Irish cottage…
grass tastes of sky

Elisa Allo

 

strange bird song
on the breeze
a step inside out

Lisa Frank

 

peripatetic
roaming a universe
page by page

Charles Harmon, Los Angeles, California

 

sparrow’s first flight
every hour
dad’s call

Neha R. Krishna

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 23 Comments

  1. Congratulations to Alan for his beautiful and expansive haiku:

    Isekai dreams
    I tread as lightly as rain
    in District 9

    Alan Summers, Catford, London

    I also liked the imagery here:

    road to the moon
    traveling back and forth
    by the Ferris wheel

    Teiichi Suzuki

    I scribble a poem
    on every passing cloud

    Hifsa Ashraf

    sinking into
    a yellowish postcard
    Asmara

    Daniela Misso

    Thanks, Craig for including my haiku in your selections. All the haiku on ‘the way of the itinerant’ are lovely and in this time of the pandemic when we are at home, it was a treat to read about the dream destinations. A virtual journey indeed! Congratulations to all the poets featured. Alan’s pick of one poetic line from each haiku is remarkable.

    1. .
      Thank you Neena! 🙂
      .
      .
      streak of light
      the shadow of Giza
      in my eye
      .
      Neena Singh, Chandigarh, India
      .
      .
      What a stunning haiku!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂
      .
      .
      And you picked some great haiku there too!!!

    2. .
      Thanks again Neena
      .
      re:
      .
      “Alan’s pick of one poetic line from each haiku is remarkable.”
      .
      .
      Yes, I’ve done this a couple of times before in the past, and people loved it. It makes us look at both our own haiku differently, as well as see “more” in the other authors’ haiku! 🙂

  2. Echograms & The Poetic Line in Haiku
    by Alan Summers
    .
    .
    The lovely lines make up the beautiful tension of “the poetic line”:

    .
    Just consider some of the lines, the lovely bones of haiku, that the rest of the body of haiku sit upon.
    .
    Picking a single line from each haiku, they often resonate as strongly as a whole haiku, or a potent poetic line of a much longer type of poetry.
    .
    .

    I tread as lightly as rain
    Alan Summers

    .
    .

    this yearning to sail
    Deborah P Kolodji
    .
    .

    the scent of Little Italy
    Pat Davis
    .
    .
    a lighter shade of today
    Stephen A. Peters

    .
    .
    I sleep in the memories
    Lakshmi Iyer
    .
    .
    road to the moon
    Teiichi Suzuki
    .
    .
    a barren blueless heaven
    simonj
    .
    .

    our sister city
    Sari Grandstaff
    .
    .
    I’m looking for a place
    Eva Limbach
    .
    .
    in my dream
    Brăilean Mirela
    .
    .
    every cigarette held
    Bryan Rickert

    .
    .
    on every passing cloud
    Hifsa Ashraf
    .
    .
    sinking into
    sprofondo dentro
    Daniela Misso
    .
    .
    from horse’s hooves
    Rachel Rabo Magaji
    .
    .
    under rainy day feet
    Debbie Scheving
    .
    .

    on his way to the stars
    Bakhtiyar Amini
    .
    .
    I follow the eagle’s hunt
    Helga Stania
    .
    .
    to get away from myself
    Laurie Greer
    .
    .
    the shadow of Giza
    Neena Singh
    .
    .
    where the mountain and I
    Ron Scully
    .
    .
    a dew drop records
    Melissa Moffat, Australia
    .
    .
    creased with folds
    Rashmi VeSa
    .
    .
    crescent moon sailing
    TANPOPO Anis
    .
    .
    the mist unshrouds
    Madhuri Pillai
    .
    .
    pointing homeward
    Alex Ben Ari
    .
    .
    all the suppertime scents
    Michele L. Harvey
    .
    .
    beneath the tray
    Mark Gilbert
    .
    .
    grass tastes of sky
    Elisa Allo
    .
    .
    a step inside out
    Lisa Frank
    .
    .

    roaming a universe
    Charles Harmon
    .
    .

    sparrow’s first flight
    Neha R. Krishna
    .
    .
    And sometimes we get an echogram of a mesmersingly longer poem perhaps?
    .
    A huge thanks to all poets who “delivered the line” as well as “the poem” itself!
    .
    Echograms & The Poetic Line in Haiku©Alan Summers

      1. Thank you Debbie, that’s really very kind!
        .
        It’s amazing how just by singling out a single line, that we see some of the magic that goes into this micro poems! 🙂
        .
        warmest regards,
        Alan

    1. Hi Alan, I would love to take credit for “the scent of Little Italy”. But alas, it is one of the other poets who deserves credit.

      1. How odd, and humblest apologies, that I did that!
        .
        .
        the scent of Little Italy
        .
        Clifford Rames
        .
        .
        my mental map becomes
        .
        Pat Davis NH
        .
        .
        Apologies both to Pat Davis, and Clifford Rames.
        .
        humbly,
        Alan

  3. .
    ethnic neighborhood
    all the suppertime scents
    from somewhere else
    .
    Michele L. Harvey
    .
    .
    It must be an incredible experience to live in a neighbourhood where there could be dozens upon dozens of different cuisines! 🙂
    .
    The smell of food as we finish a work shift and think about food is a strong memory. For me it might be a fish supper which meant either fish in batter with chips (British chipped potato fries) or chicken and chips (but still ‘fish supper’). 🙂
    .
    Having worked in India at a charity site and having real authentic Indian food (not the restaurant nonsense) for breakfast, lunch, and evening meal was an incredible experience. Curry might seem unusual for breakfast in some countries, but a real curry (not just hot spices, but others too) is a brilliant start to the day, and the end to a day. It’s like having a day long cuddle from a loved one.
    .
    Michelle, I hope you got invited to at least one or two of those suppertime scents! 🙂

  4. .
    Asmara or Asmera, is the capital and most populous city of Eritrea, in the country’s Central Region. It sits at an elevation of 2,325 metres (7,628 ft), making it the sixth highest capital in the world by altitude. WIKIPEDIA
    .
    .
    I love the abruptness of the line break in the English version, what are we sinking into…?
    .
    We find it’s a yellowish postcard, and haven’t many of us come across these postcards at our childhood home or at second-hand markets?
    .
    Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be in a sky high city and with no pandemic, no politics, no hate crimes?
    .
    Pre-Pandemic “At any one time, there are a million people airborne somewhere in the world. That equates to an entire airborne city – a city in the sky.”
    City in the Sky | PBS
    .
    .
    I love the idea of delving into that postcard! 🙂
    .
    .

    sinking into
    a yellowish postcard
    Asmara
    .
    sprofondo dentro
    una cartolina giallastra
    Asmara
    .
    Daniela Misso

    1. Thank you for noting my haiku!

      Interesting thoughts about! Great the idea of a city in the sky! It makes me remind about the connection of man with nature and tranquillity. This unfortunately contrasts with the current situation of the city that I have evoked (it is under dictatorship and in poverty) and in general with the whole global situation.

      Thanks Alan Summers.

      1. Sadly it seems that two big so-called democratic countries will not be worrying about elections and will stay in power. I do not understand this glamour around fake strong men images.
        .
        My current living role model for a leader is Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand.
        .
        I am so sorry that this city is so besieged.

  5. A timely topic this week, dreaming of traveling again. So many things I’ve taken for granted.
    *
    I especially enjoyed the other-worldliness in Alan Summer’s “Isekai dreams”
    *
    the circular images in Teiichi Suzuki’s “road to the moon”
    *
    the double meaning in Sari Grandstaff’s “our sister city”
    *
    the psychological reality in Laurie Greer’s “…Island”
    *
    and Mark Gilbert’s use of ” waves” far from the sunny beaches.

    1. Thanks for noting my poem! There really is an Antarctic island by that name. And I loved the tactile quality of your footsteps–somehow they conveyed the sounds of the different surfaces and weather too.

  6. I love this itinerant collection. Beautiful lines from so many.
    Favourites hard to pick but I too am drawn to . . .

    Mongolian vastness
    shutting my eyes
    I follow the eagle’s hunt
    … Helga Stania

    and

    jewel hat
    a dew drop records
    the mountain
    … Melissa Moffat, Australia

    Melissa’s poem really brings an image of that high mountain ‘recorded’ in a dew drop. So lovely.
    Congrats to all the poets for heart warming haiku.

  7. Congratulations to all the poets whose verses have been selected this week! I have enjoyed reading them all. Two that will definitely linger in my mind are
    *
    Murree chairlift
    I scribble a poem
    on every passing cloud
    *
    Hifsa Ashraf
    *
    I love the playfulness of this poem and the image Hifsa has created.
    *

    Mongolian vastness
    shutting my eyes
    I follow the eagle’s hunt
    *
    Helga Stania
    *
    This is so cinematic – an epic story captured in three lines!

  8. Another favourite! 🙂
    .
    .
    Mongolian vastness
    shutting my eyes
    I follow the eagle’s hunt
    .
    Helga Stania
    .
    .
    Aren’t those documentaries great, about eagle hunters!
    .
    .
    The Eagle Huntress | Official HD Trailer (2016)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vfi5JS6HTH0
    .
    and
    .
    Mongolia: The Last Eagle Hunters | 101 East
    101 East takes a spectacular journey into the wilds of Mongolia to search for an ancient lifestyle that’s in peril – the traditions of the Kazakh golden eagle hunters.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlqFdWgXEPs
    .
    Wow! 🙂
    .
    .
    So that’s why this one resonated! 🙂

  9. I adore this one! 🙂
    .
    .
    sparrow’s first flight
    every hour
    dad’s call
    .
    Neha R. Krishna
    .
    .
    We have a roof renewed so that the sparrows can continue to nest there year after year. At the moment there are a lot of baby sparrows! 🙂
    .
    .
    Beautiful little haiku, gorgeous, and true! 🙂

  10. all enchanting poems! great picks, craig and creative reads…..congrats to all poets!!!!!

    Murree chairlift
    I scribble a poem
    on every passing cloud

    Hifsa Ashraf

    loving this one….hifsa…..that’s just what i would do too! (in between capturing images on a camera)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RoOTeRpEGCk

  11. Congratulations to the poets chosen for comment, each one a fabulous read. Great choices, Craig.
    .
    Hard to cherry – pick favourites this week, they’re all a marvellous read. Well done to all poets.

  12. Thank you Craig for including my itinerant haiku among this wonderful haiku travelogue! I love all the different directions people went with this theme. Especially now when we are not really traveling much due to the pandemic. I particularly was struck with these two haiku:

    a lighter shade of today
    the same laughter
    in another dialect

    Stephen A. Peters

    Paris café
    every cigarette held
    just so

    Bryan Rickert

    I like the noticing of details when traveling and you are people watching and eavesdropping in cafes and such. The cultural uniquenesses and also the commonalities among people really stand out. Worthy of notice and capturing these moments in haiku.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back To Top