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HAIKU DIALOGUE – Welcome to Seeing Beyond Seeing

Seeing beyond Seeing: Mood, Memory and Metaphor

Like haiku, photography is about seeing and experiencing. Haiku, meditation and photography have much in common: all are based in the present moment, all require complete focus, and all are most successful when the mind is free from distracting thoughts. An image and a haiku are both a ‘moment in time’. Both are viewed objectively yet often experienced subjectively through our own experiences and interpretations. Mood, memory, and/or metaphor all play a part in our writing and in our interpretation of other poets’ writings.

To start off the New Year, I’d like to share some of my favorite photographs in hopes the images will inspire a haiku. This is not a haiga exercise. I’d like you to free yourself up and allow the image to speak to you as to mood, memory, metaphor, either one, two or all three. Reflect on the mood evoked by the image, or the mood you are currently in. Does the image spark a memory? Do you sense an interconnectedness to the image or the object within that might offer a subtle metaphor to deepen your experience or interpretation of the image? There is no need to speak directly to the object or image unless you want to. Let your mind ‘link’ to the image through your own unique sense of connection.

For the sake of this exercise let’s keep to a simplistic meaning of metaphor. “A metaphor is a figure of speech in which the qualities of one thing are carried over to another”. A good example would be Nick Virgilio’s famous haiku, ‘lily out of the water out of itself’ which resonates beyond the image of a lily into a state of being we can relate to. Some have said haiku is metaphor. Let the images speak to your world and your associations.

For the month of January, each poet may send one or two haiku/senryu on the week’s image via our Contact Form.

There will be a selection process in which I will briefly comment on a few of the selected pieces.

The haiku appear in the order in which we receive them.

Photo One:

A view through a broken window to where the sun is setting above the horizon. What does sunset, shards of glass, torn curtains, ocean, a small boat on the horizon say to you?

The deadline is midnight Pacific Time, Saturday January 11, 2020.


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

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. 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).

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).

This Post Has 28 Comments

    1. Dear Steve, Please resubmit you haiku using the contact form link above. You’ll find it in red font.


      1. Carole, I apologize – I must have been thinking of the way we are responding to John’s renku request.

    1. Hi Robert. Thank for the link concerning photo haiku but keep in mind my images are to inspire haiku not create haiga. The focus will be on best writing utilizing mood, memory or metaphor…as inspired by an image, and this can, and already has taken some far from the image. A haiga or photo haiku may come from this exercise, but it’s not a requirement. Best writing, and inspiration is though…..feel free to allow yourself to respond from deep within yourselves….utilizing your reactions to this image.


    1. Ingrid…please use the contact form shown above. Click on ‘contact form’, shown in red. This is the way I receive poems

      Please resubmit any poems posted here by mistake. Thanks a lot.


  1. a friendly reminder to please submit poems via the Contact Form as described above!
    cheers, kj

  2. wonderful first photo… inspiring, carole….you have made it so easy to participate….looking forward to more!

  3. Is it “next week’s theme” that is throwing people off? Photo One above is the prompt to write to now – the poems generated by it will be posted in next week’s column…
    I could change the wording – “current theme”? But it is always confusing… check the deadline for submissions if you are unsure…
    thanks, kj

  4. I wanted to ask why the haiku sent last week were not published here

    thanks for the new theme

    1. Hi Michael. You are just in time. The first photo has been posted. I welcome your contribution!


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