Times of Transition with Guest Editor Deborah Karl-Brandt
For the next few weeks let’s talk about Times of Transition. Arnold van Gennep and Viktor Turner explored these times of transition scientifically, because human existence is defined by them. So, together, let’s do the same – by reflecting on our lives. All of us experience periods in life when alteration takes place and we have to change too. Everything changes: the seasons, moods, the weather – there might even be times when the boundaries of right and wrong, of good and evil seem to change. We are caught in the middle of transition, becoming opaque like water in turmoil. Looking back, we hardly recognize our way up to the present; looking forward, our path seems to be foggy and uncertain. Sometimes we are challenged to let go of our former self to become someone new.
next week’s theme: Becoming parents
Suddenly new life begins to stir. A child changes everything. Write about the responsibility for and how you love your child. Write about the feeling of being perfectly or not at all prepared for this task. Whether it was the best or worst decision of your life to become a mother or father, write about it. Even if it was your conscious decision or a life-changing hardship not to raise a child of your own, please write about it.
The deadline is midnight Eastern Daylight Time, Saturday September 02, 2023.
Please use the Haiku Dialogue submission form below to enter one or two original unpublished haiku inspired by the week’s theme, and then press Submit to send your entry.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 Deborah’s commentary for Falling in love:
of the rainbow
Love can enter our lives in many different forms. Some of them are still socially unacceptable. This poem reminds me to work towards a better future, where each person is allowed to live and love as they see fit. Writing about love in all its facets can be a step in that direction. At least I hope so!
how my rib cage rattles
every time I see you
Baisali Chatterjee Dutt
The hint of a disease? No, it is love. Under its influence, our body becomes strange to us. The heart is a muscle that we cannot actively control. Love may be longed for, you may resist it, or it may have struck you like a bolt from the blue. We have to live with the effects, because love is a force of nature.
crumpled leaves this unrequited love poem
In this poem is deepest autumn. The budding feelings are not returned. The poem written for the beloved person cannot fulfill its purpose. Love cannot be forced. A painful truth that we have probably all experienced once in our lives. And so we do suffer together with the author of this work.
what did it mean
This poem also makes us wonder if there really is only one great love in life. There are many circumstances that can separate lovers. Will “star-crossed” define the whole life of a (young) person? Fortunately, they don’t all end up like Romeo and Juliet.
On her eighteenth birthday, my cousin unexpectedly moved out and in with a man who not only could have been her father, but had also been her coach. The family reacted in horror. For three years, the two had lived their love in secret. Today they have four children together. Her story taught me that true love knows no age limit.
I fall in love
with this waning moon
A setting that we automatically associate with goodbyes, not with the beginning of something new. In this poem (as in Tao) they merge: beginning and the end, life and death, the finding of love and its loss. The poem asks the question if it is ever too late for love. A very deep meaning haiku.
naked moon he leaves me with tenderness
When love touches us, it changes us forever. This one-liner makes us think about union, about the separation afterwards and about the question of what remains of love. No matter if it is short or if we can enjoy it for a long time. In this case, the tenderness remains, after the tendernesses. A change for the better.
afraid to leap
the safe path
Is there a right life in the wrong one? There was a chance for happiness and it was wasted because courage was lacking. And always the question, what if…? Regrets, I’m sure, each of us knows them. This haiku encourages us to be braver, to trust our hearts and to try the leap. Perhaps then we will find what we long for.
a sapling once burnt
A class reunion. Meeting again after many years. Long-buried feelings prove to be tougher, more stubborn, and more resilient than you thought. Hadn’t this love been extinguished long ago? But just as some trees can survive wildfires, love can survive adverse circumstances. Perhaps it now has a chance for fulfillment.
your last phone message
Old Bar, Australia
This haiku touched me very much. Only recently I realized that I can no longer remember the voice of my deceased favorite aunt. A second loss. How good that today there are ways to preserve voices and with them the memories. However, it is also not good to dwell too much on memories. When is it time to let go? And how can we let go? I think it depends on the person. The answer to this can only be different for each of us. Grief over the loss of a love takes time.
Join us next week for Deborah’s selection of poems on the theme of Becoming parents…
Guest Editor Deborah Karl-Brandt lives in Bonn, Germany, with her husband, two rabbits and numerous books. After her PhD studies in Scandinavian languages and literatures, she now works as a freelance author and poet. One of her poems won 2nd place in the 2021 Pula Film Festival Haiku Contest. Her poems have most recently appeared in Prune Juice, Kingfisher, First Frost, Frogpond, Failed Haiku and Tsuridoro. If she is not outside for a long stroll or to do some birdwatching, she is an avid reader who is currently exploring Chinese Xianxia Webnovels.
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.
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