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HAIKU DIALOGUE – Times of Transition – From youth to adulthood (1)

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.

Below is Deborah’s selection of poems on the theme From youth to adulthood:

budding moon
swopping my coal tar soap
for Mum’s camay

Adele Evershed
Wilton, Connecticut

 

under-bed demons –
the first time I dared
to stare into darkness

Alan Peat
Biddulph, United Kingdom

 

from year to year
more and more comfortable
footwear

Amin Pędziwiater
Poland

 

sunflower
finally standing up
for herself

Amoolya Kamalnath
India

 

my father
asks for my copy of “Peter Pan” –
coming of age

Ana Drobot
Romania

 

daughters’ date nights
sudden understanding
of my mother’s curfew

Anjali Warhadpande
Pune, India

 

tulips fields
a new language
for I love you

Anna Maria Domburg-Sancristoforo
The Hague, Netherlands

 

travelling alone
I meet myself
for the first time

Annie Wilson
Shropshire, UK

 

peace sign
the flower power vest
from my old man

Archie Carlos
Minnesota, USA

 

my grandson finds
the shadow with a limp
hide and seek

Arvinder Kaur
Chandigarh, India

 

police message
of my dad’s accident
my adolescence too

Ashok Weerakkody
Sri Lanka

 

broken chrysalis
bags of outgrown clothes
to be given away

Baisali Chatterjee Dutt
Kolkata, India

 

nothing changed
holding my father’s hand
in an old photo

Bakhtiyar Amini
Germany

 

valedictorian
my loneliness
in plain sight

Barrie Levine
Massachusetts, USA

 

learning to budget –
the monthly rent paid
with a bit leftover

Bonnie J Scherer
Alaska, USA

 

first kiss
the awkward clink
of our glasses

Bryan Rickert
Belleville, Illinois

 

All grown up –
my turtle-shaped sandbox
becomes a planter

Caroline Ridley-Duff
UK

 

Independence Day
I make my first solo trip
outside of the USA

Chen Xiaoou
Kunming, China

 

a stranger’s lips
upon mine
nibbling adulthood

Cristina Povero
Italy

 

her first apartment
landlady tiptoes in
and shuts the window

Cindy Putnam Guentherman
Illinois, USA

 

scattered connections with home bluebell wood

C.X. Turner
UK

 

pay phone no home to go back to

Cynthia Anderson
Yucca Valley, California

 

family album –
my smile
in black and white

Daniela Lăcrămioara Capotă
Romania

 

birdsong fills
the generation gap
twilight walk

Daya Bhat
India

 

new keys…
on Mom’s face
a cautious smile

Debbie Scheving
Bremerton WA USA

 

legal age ceremony
the memories don’t line up
in the usual order

Dejan Ivanovic
Lazarevac, Serbia

 

death anniversary
searching for answers
in drawers and cupboards

Dejan Pavlinovic
Croatia

 

after her diagnosis
I suddenly became
head of the family

Diane Funston
Marysville, CA

 

her graduation
to womanhood …
sari trips

Dipankar Dasgupta
India

 

“you’re not old
enough to be 18”
mom loses this fight

Eavonka Ettinger
Long Beach, CA

 

the childish lies…
waiting for mother
to believe in me

Ella Aboutboul
West Sussex, UK

 

class reunion –
everybody still spoiling
for a fight

Eva Limbach
Germany

 

piccola donna –
cullando il fratellino
tutta la notte

little woman –
cradling her little brother
all night long

Giuliana Ravaglia
Bologna, Italy

 

“one small step…”
when dad says man includes woman
I ask what he means

Helen Buckingham
UK

 

holding on
for dear life…
dear life

Herb Tate
Jersey, UK

 

dark night walk home
country pub shift over
a car purrs to a stop

Ingrid Baluchi
North Macedonia

 

pink dawn…
even Barbie
moves on

Jan Stretch
Victoria, Canada

 

first job
I already earn more
than my father

Jenny Shepherd
London, UK

 

college graduation by my side two ex-girlfriends

John S Green
Bellingham, Washington

 

18th birthday
choosing earrings for mother
to hate

John Hawkhead
United Kingdom

 

memory care
waiting for her father
to take her home

John Pappas
USA

 

mother’s day–
from the delivery room
a loud birthcry

John Zheng
Mississippi, USA

 

after dad left
editing his war diary
full of love poems

Kathabela Wilson
USA

 

words stutter
in a foreign tongue
pregnant pauses

Kavita Ratna
India

 

living alone
taste of the first bourbon
shared with the moon

Keiko Izawa
Japan

 

landing on the moon —
the imprint of our bodies
in the meadow grass

Keith Evetts
Thames Ditton, UK

 

this dandelion . . .
how many
miles more?

Lakshmi Iyer
India

 

wild grass
doing it’s best
fields of my youth

Lexie Gem Zaragoza
Philippines

 

coming of age
my childhood leaving
too soon

Lori Kiefer
London, UK

 

handpicking…
weedy lawn
a scarlet pimpernel

Luciana Moretto
Treviso, Italy

 

heartbroken
I gather dandelions
for the substitute

M. R. Defibaugh
United States

 

too many years apart
my grandson’s moustache

Margaret Mahony
Australia

 

now swimming
with the big fish
student driver

Margaret Tau
New Bern, NC

 

war
the toy soldier
has defected childhood

tempo di guerra
il soldatino
diserta dall’infanzia

Maria Cezza
Italy

 

the first heels-
the balance
of blossomed spring

Maria Malferrari
Bologna, Italy

 

predator or priest
my chapel veil
sinks in the mud

Marilyn Ashbaugh
Edwardsburg, Michigan

 

first driver’s license
the highway suddenly
too dangerous

Maya Daneva
The Netherlands

 

adolescence
in jeans
that no longer fit

Michelle V. Alkerton
Ontario, Canada

 

I grew old
in a sunday –
the first tie

Mircea Moldovan
România

 

mom’s last days lifting her up lifting me up…

Mirela Brailean
Iasi, Romania

 

spring cleaning—
my daughter discovers
the lost parts of me

Mona Bedi
Delhi, India

 

awkward silences
fill red vermilion summer—
an arranged marriage

Monica Kakkar
India & USA

 

seventeen magazine…
I finally fill out
a bra

Nancy Brady
Huron, Ohio

 

summer disco
the boys too cool
to dance

Nick T
Frome, Somerset, England

 

glued to the TV –
this old child I still call
mummy

Nicole Pottier
France

 

new dawn
the voice of his childhood
breaking

Olivier Schopfer
Schwitzerland

 

high school lab partner
I understand his gaze
for the first time

Padmini Krishnan
United Arab Emirates

 

behind the last book rack
the first kiss
that I stole from her

Ram Chandran
India

 

first day at work
the sparks that lit
a fuse

Ravi Kiran
India

 

dog’s toy
now no one breaks
my silence

Richa Sharma
India

 

grandma’s funeral
fight as he may—dad’s one tear
and our first hug

Richard L. Matta
San Diego, California, USA

 

parents’ estate sale
amidst the broken things
a childhood toy

Richard Straw
Cary, North Carolina

 

before
my father’s smile…
his last breath

Rita Melissano
Illinois, USA

 

always the bride never the bridesmaid

Roberta Beach Jacobson
Indianola, IA, USA

 

at last
an end to studying–
Bar Mitzvah

Ruth Holzer
Herndon, VA

 

25th birthday-
Cakes and balloons
No more enchant me

Santhoshi Valli
India

 

mortgage closing
my Barbie dream house
in the moving van

Sari Grandstaff
Saugerties, NY, USA

 

Worm Moon
my grandfather’s body
not my grandpa

Sébastien Revon
Ireland

 

all grown up
she’s free
burning her bra

Sharon Ferrante
Florida, USA

 

inner bonding
our embrace
in a lighter shade

Suraj Nanu
Kerala, India

 

my name
on his last breath
an orphan

Susan Farner
USA

 

class reunion—
everyone has 15 minutes
for his life

Tomislav Maretić
Zagreb, Croatia

 

adulting…
a drawer in my freezer
for just green veg

Tony Williams
Scotland, UK

 

underage drinker
a classmate’s obituary
sobers me up

Tracy Davidson
Warwickshire, UK

 

boys still my buddies
day by day girls appear
more appealing

Vishnu Kapoor
Chennai, India

 

the wildflowers
I had forgotten
finding my inner child

Wanda Amos
Old Bar, Australia

 

I’m not going
on a graduation trip
mother’s tears

ne idem
na maturalno putovanje
mamine suze

Zdenka Mlinar
Croatia

 

Join us next week for Deborah’s commentary on additional poems, & our next prompt…

 

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.

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 14 Comments

  1. The selected haiku are all beautiful and powerful. I read them several times as these are all related to our own experiences. Congratulations to all. Thanks Deborah for this wonderful selection.

  2. Thank for the poems. Each one enriched me.. Congratulations to the writer and Deborah..

  3. I thought the offerings this week were varied and vulnerable. A couple to comment on:

    sunflower
    finally standing up
    for herself

    Amoolya Kamainath

    Loved the double “standing” image, combined with the positive sunny tone.

    traveling alone
    I meet myself
    for the first time

    Annie Wilson

    “Meet myself” will stick with me.

    after her diagnosis
    I suddenly became
    head of the family

    Diane Funston

    A lot of backstory story in three lines, and an effective jolt in “suddenly”

    mortgage closing
    my Barbie dream house
    in the moving van

    Sara Grandstaff

    This made me smile. Also appreciated the contrast in the house sizes, and the question is she wholly moving on?

  4. Such an enjoyable read. Congrats to all and thanks Deborah for including mine. I was particularly taken with this selection.

    spring cleaning—
    my daughter discovers
    the lost parts of me

    Mona Bedi
    Delhi, India

  5. Congratulations to all the poets for such stunning haiku on those moments of transitional clarity. So many resonated with me. Here is one:
    my name
    on his last breath
    an orphan
    –Susan Farner
    Even though it has been quite a few years, there’s those moments when I miss being able to pick up a phone or travel to my childhood home to talk or see either of my parents. Losing my dad made me an orphan, too, Susan. My condolences.

    On a lighter note, Tomislav Maretic’s haiku
    class reunion–
    everyone has 15 minutes
    for his life
    –Tomislav Maretic
    makes me smile especially since I have my fiftieth year class reunion in a few months. How did we get to this point?

    Thanks Deborah for selecting one of mine. I appreciate it

  6. Thank you Deborah for including mine. I enjoyed reading all the poems. Not sure which ones spoke out most. Here are a few that spoke out clearly to me.

    before
    my father’s smile…
    his last breath

    Rita Melissano

    glued to the TV –
    this old child I still call
    mummy

    Nicole Pottier
    France
    Illinois, USA

    seventeen magazine…
    I finally fill out
    a bra

    Nancy Brady
    Huron, Ohio

    living alone
    taste of the first bourbon
    shared with the moon

    Keiko Izawa
    Japan

    “one small step…”
    when dad says man includes woman
    I ask what he means

    Helen Buckingham
    UK

    after her diagnosis
    I suddenly became
    head of the family

    Diane Funston
    Marysville, CA

    valedictorian
    my loneliness
    in plain sight

    Barrie Levine
    Massachusetts, USA

    nothing changed
    holding my father’s hand
    in an old photo

    Bakhtiyar Amini
    Germany

    broken chrysalis
    bags of outgrown clothes
    to be given away

    Baisali Chatterjee Dutt
    Kolkata, India

    sunflower
    finally standing up
    for herself

    Amoolya Kamalnath
    India

    budding moon
    swopping my coal tar soap
    for Mum’s camay

    Adele Evershed
    Wilton, Connecticut

    Thank you again.

    Dipankar

    1. Thanks Dipankar for including my haiku in this list since these other haiku are very relatable to me as well. Actually, all of the haiku this week represent such great, if sometimes painful, events in life.

    2. Thank you Dipanker for complimenting my valedictorian poem. I liked your graduation poem too!

  7. Such an excellent collection of ku! A priceless list really! Feel so many emotions reading these!

  8. Thank you so much, Deborah, for including my poem amongst this collection of deeply meaningful works.

    I was particularly struck by the juxtaposition of these two stellar poems right next to each other:

    before
    my father’s smile…
    his last breath

    Rita Melissano
    Illinois, USA

    always the bride never the bridesmaid

    Roberta Beach Jacobson
    Indianola, IA, USA

    My mind filled with images of a father who had never smiled and then suddenly, there I was smiling at Robin’s wonderful twist to an overused phrase.

  9. A great read, thank you, Deborah, and thank you for including mine. No matter what background and culture, we grow up the same in so many ways, in times of sadness, as well as the joys of expectation.
    ***
    Sometimes it just takes the realization of time spent away to see and recognize yourself in a different light. I’m sure many of us have had Annie’s experience:-

    travelling alone
    I meet myself
    for the first time

    Annie Wilson
    Shropshire, UK

    ***
    Sometimes it takes a different experience to see beyond ourselves to recognize others in a different light. I appreciated this one:-

    after dad left
    editing his war diary
    full of love poems

    Kathabela Wilson
    USA

    ***
    Albeit the pleasures of dressing all grown-up as in Maria Malferrari’s first heels and Mircea Moldovan’s first tie, mostly we give in to this (rather more mundane but so true) practicality, which made me smile:-

    from year to year
    more and more comfortable
    footwear

    Amin Pędziwiater
    Poland

  10. Thank you Deborah for including my haiku this week and congratulations to all the poets here! I am so enjoying reading all of these. These three haiku resonate deeply with me. The first two because the death of a grandparent marks such a transition. Shifts in family dynamics, awareness of mortality, life cycles. The third haiku I appreciate as I also alluded to Barbie in my haiku here and this seems to be the summer of all things Barbie:

    Worm Moon
    my grandfather’s body
    not my grandpa

    Sébastien Revon
    Ireland

    grandma’s funeral
    fight as he may—dad’s one tear
    and our first hug

    Richard L. Matta

    pink dawn…
    even Barbie
    moves on

    Jan Stretch

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