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Haiku Dialogue: What’s at Hand Week 10

 

 

Welcome to Haiku Dialogue — What’s at Hand Week 10 with Guest Editor Craig Kittner.

Let’s talk about haiku! Through June 26 we will see what 21 common objects can inspire.

Our theme for April 10 is a smartphone app.

Immerse yourself in the theme, then submit one original, unpublished haiku via our Contact Form. Please submit by Saturday April 6 at 6:00 pm eastern time. Include your name as you would like it to appear and your place of residence.

By submitting you agree that your work may appear in the column — neither acknowledgment nor acceptance emails will be sent.

I will select haiku that make good use of the theme and that are likely to generate lively discussions. I’ll add some thoughts below each week’s selections to get the conversation started.

Here are my selections for a threadbare blanket.

a faded pattern
of childhood blanket
winter sky

Agus Maulana Sunjaya

 

threadbare blanket-
moths are claiming
their ghetto

Aljoša Vuković
Šibenik, Croatia

 

folded together
old blanket
old dog

Ann K. Schwader
Westminster, CO

 

street children
sharing the night rain together
threadbare blanket

Anthony Rabang

 

weather forecast –
a tattered blanket
for the scarecrow

arvinder kaur
Chandigarh,India

 

unexpected frost
grandmas threadbare blanket
shelters the roses

Barbara Tate

 

the dog’s presence
despite his absence
threadbare blanket

Bisshie
Zürich, Switzerland

 

baby blanket
held together
with memories

Dean Okamura

 

knitted blanket –
grandma’s gnarled hands
over the brazier

Elisa Allo
Zug, Switzerland

 

spring offer –
the homeless woman wrapped in
leopard pattern

Eva Limbach (Mare Tranquillitatis)
Germany

 

washing line –
the old blanket no longer
smells of mamma

Geethanjali Rajan
Chennai, India

 

stitch by stitch
upcycling childhood blankets
to memory bears

Greer Woodward
Waimea, HI

 

long night
blanket ripped
by a louse

Guliz Mutlu
Turkey

 

cold winter —
another patch
in the old blanket

Hifsa Ashraf
Rawalpindi, Pakistan

 

care home –
dad’s binned comfort blanket
rescued

Ingrid Baluchi
Ohrid, Macedonia

 

an old blanket
I smooth out the ripples
of last night’s fling

Jackie Chou
Pico Rivera, CA USA

 

chair cover
her careworn blankie
close at hand

Janice Munro
Canada

 

windblown blanket
caught by the willow . . .
mapping stars

Joanb
NY

 

wild west museum
a threadbare blanket
without the smallpox

John Hawkhead

 

tattered sack
a dog and his man
sleeping in

Kaushal Suvarna

 

space blanket–
a glimpse of myself
on the homeless man’s back

Laurie Greer
Washington, DC

 

her comfort blanket
the warp unraveling
from the weft

Lucy Whitehead
Essex, UK

 

street lights
under the threadbare blanket
warmth of his dog

Madhuri Pillai

 

chilly nights
each thread
tenuous

Margaret Walker

 

worn blanket –
memories of childhood
envelop me

Maria Teresa Piras

 

threadbare quilt
grandma’s stories
unravel

Marilyn Ashbaugh
Tombstone, Arizona USA

 

all those bald spots —
my wool baby blanket
and me

Mark Meyer

 

the sweltering heat . . .
on the old man’s shoulders
a threadbare blanket

Marta Chocilowska
Warsaw, Poland

 

threadbare blanket
the worn-out routines
that enshroud me

Martha Magenta
UK

 

grandma’s quilt…
loving it
to pieces

Michele L. Harvey

 

homeless man
a threadbare bundle
on a park bench

Mohammad Azim Khan Khan

 

among the young girls
her face…
threadbare blanket

Nadejda Kostadinova
Bulgaria

 

a wee whimper…
his worn blanket
and a lullaby

Pat Davis
Pembroke, NH

 

the quilt from
Grandma’s dresses
into the box

Peggy Hale Bilbro
Alabama, USA

 

a man, a blanket
under the newspapers
under the bridge

Pris Campbell

 

so many
wriggle beneath this
aged cover

Radhamani sarma

 

Poster child’s smile
in the donation box
a threadbare blanket

Richa Sharma

 

stillborn son
the quilt comes apart
in her hands

Roberta Beary
County Mayo Ireland

 

hope
unravels . . .
a vagabond’s blanket

Ronald Craig

 

an old blanket
split into two pieces –
marital fight

Rosa Maria Di Salvatore

 

mother’s embroidered mothholes
my blanket stitch pierces her lip

simonj
UK

 

keepsake blankie –
adulthood frays
my edges

Valentina Ranaldi-Adams
Fairlawn, Ohio USA

 

ripped jeans in store window
the vagrant too flaunts
his frayed blanket

Vandana Parashar

 

on the back
of a chilled by cold migrant
his granny’s blanket

Zdenka Mlinar
Velika Gorica, Croatia

 

Kept for the sake of thrift or nostalgia, a threadbare blanket is interwoven with memory.  A new blanket may well keep your body warm, but an old one can warm the spirit.

Hifsa Ashraf ‘s haiku warmed me with its simplicity and implied acceptance of life’s progression.

Childlike in the best of ways, arvinder kaur’s “weather forecast -” simply made me smile. Even the inanimate can use a little kindness.

Valentina Ranaldi-Adams also inspired a smile, but a more complex one. The humor in “keepsake blankie -” underscores a pain I trust we’ve all felt when we try to hold ourselves together while longing for simpler times.

And just what is it that wriggles under the blanket in Radhamani sarma’s haiku? My imagination swirls.

There’s a bit of a mystery in Peggy Hale Bilbro’s poem as well. Why is the quilt being put into a box? I imagine it is being done lovingly. Perhaps it’s being packed for a move. Or maybe it’s  being put away in the spring after being enjoyed all winter.

The preciousness of an old blanket to the dispossessed was a common theme this week. By focusing on streetlights and the dog’s warmth, Madhuri Pillai let’s us complete her poem. This evokes a strong empathy for the man. Marta Chocilowska and Pris Campbell achieve similar effects in their haiku.

Which haiku did you warm up to? Please join the discussion with your comments.

 

Guest Editor Craig Kittner lives near the banks of the Cape Fear River in Wilmington, North Carolina. He has worked as a gallery director in Washington, DC, and a program director for the Kentucky Arts Council. He took second prize in the North Carolina Poetry Society Bloodroot Haiku Award for 2019.

 

Katherine Munro lives in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, and publishes under the name kjmunro. She is Membership Secretary for Haiku Canada and an Associate Member of the League of Canadian Poets. She co-edited an anthology of crime-themed haiku called Body of Evidence: a collection of killer ’ku.

Craig Kittner

After several years of moves, Craig Kittner has put down roots in the sandy soil of Eastern North Carolina. There the sunshine is clear. The climate gives rise to riotous growths of wildflowers. Birds abound, and the sky is alive with ocean breezes. Craig is content to walk the forests and beaches, gathering imagery for his poems. His work has been published in Frogpond, Chrysanthemum, Failed Haiku, bottle rockets, and the Autumn Moon Haiku Journal. In 2018, he had two poems selected as judges' favorites in the 5th Annual Golden Haiku Competition, and one poem selected for the Winston Salem Writers' Poetry in Plain Sight project. His first chapbook, Time's Sweet Savor, was published in 2016 by New Books on Front Street, an imprint of Old Books on Front Street in downtown Wilmington.

This Post Has 91 Comments

  1. keepsake blankie –
    adulthood frays
    my edges

    Valentina Ranaldi-Adams
    Fairlawn, Ohio USA

    Writing his haiku Valentine Ranaldi-Adams certainly dived in thought at a time when she was a little girl who did not get away from her favorite cloths (dekica, diapers, and maybe dresses) she rarely dropped out of her hand. With whom she went to bed or comforted when she was cold and sad …
    When reading it, I remembered my little niece who was not separated from her favorite diaper until her fourth year.
    Very nice!

  2. Haiku that stuck in MY blanket, despite its holes:

    keepsake blankie
    adulthood frays
    my edges
    Valentina Ranaldi-Adams
    Today’s leading theory of personality says our true nature doesn’t change much over the years, i.e., the “core” aspects or our innate traits. To me this poem reflects that: we are the same child, the same person, even as adults. We’re just more frayed now than in our younger years, but we’re the same “blanket.”
    .
    threadbare blanket –
    moths are claiming
    their ghetto
    Aljosa Vukovic
    This poem reinforces the brutal nature of poverty and the loss of hope that more and more humans are experiencing.
    .
    folded together
    old blanket
    old dog
    Here I see an old man and his dog, not necessarily a literal blanket, but the bond between them over the years, leading to an embrace, like a blanket.
    .
    street children
    sharing the night rain together
    threadbare blanket
    Anthony Rabang
    A moving poem that needs little comment. Focuses my thoughts on the precariousness of children who literally are trying to recreate a home they never had.
    .
    unexpected frost
    grandmas threadbare blanket
    shelters the roses
    Barbara Tate
    A previous treasure used to propagate the next treasure. Nice image!
    .
    baby blanket
    held together
    with memories
    Dean Okamura
    Don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater and don’t discard precious memories with a tattered blankie. We needs those links to our past.
    .
    worn blanket –
    memories of childhood
    envelop me
    Maria Teresa Piras
    Another nice reflection on the state of growing up. Whether positive or negative, our childhood memories are powerful experiences, the glue that hold us together as adults.
    .
    homeless man
    a threadbare bundle
    on a park bench
    Mohammad Azim Khan Khan
    Like the street kids and the vagabond, this one highlights the gravity of homelessness. The man is there, the humanity is there, despite the threadbare nature of his existence that we often focus on.
    .
    a wee whimper …
    his worn blanket
    and a lullaby
    Pat Davis
    Despite the less-than-comforting nature of the blanket, the soothing song is there, making all the difference.
    .
    .
    Sorry for the late commentary but today was my first opportunity to seriously contemplate these fine poems! Thank you Craig for your challenging prompts. Ron

  3. Gosh , this is a prompt that is both a sniffle-raiser or a fun weave.
    I must say that one thing I have learnt is that there are a few themes that bring out the little children in us, make us poignant, make us weep, or if crazy enough, make a rush for the camping ground to get our own experience out of it all

    writing from my makeshift tipi in the middle of the lawns, the places where I plucked out the threads help me watch the world and all the peepers at their windows…;) there is always room for mischief isn’t there, even under a threadbare blanket,

    Radhamani, pray what is it under that blanket you see, I hate unresolved mysteries …

    I really like Vandana’s poem because it points out something that I have always wondered about, …and it made me smile.

    And Ronald Craig’s poem for the style, form and the brevity

    And Valantina Ranaldi-Adam’s poem for its tone and expression.

    at least apps no make us all sad or cry, I hope Craig does not read this …

    1. What a poetic comment!
      “writing from my makeshift tipi in the middle of the lawns, the places where I plucked out the threads” 🙂
      Thank you, pratima. As for apps not making us cry . . . we shall see.

  4. Thank you Craig for including my poem in the collection as well as in the commentary. Its an honour. The theme this week was very very evocative and the poets have done full justice ! Much love

  5. stillborn son
    the quilt comes apart
    in her hands

    Roberta Beary
    County Mayo Ireland

    Picking one out of so many fine on prompt haiku was difficult.
    Roberta’s poem I felt was the one that ran deeper than others.

  6. Craig—thank you very much for including my haiku in this blog.

    Alan— thanks for your comments. When I started this assignment,
    I knew nothing about memory bears either. I was interested in finding out what people crafted out of old blankets and memory bears came up right away when I googled Many bears were made as gifts to grown children, to students who might be going to away to college, a touch of the past and home. Working with the idea, I was concerned about its potential sentimentality. I decided to look at readers comments about the different bears and discovered the deep feelings the bears evoked, they weren’t just trinkets. This gave me something to stand on as I put together the images.

    I want to talk about two haiku that focused on dogs. Ann’s

    folded together
    old blanket
    old dog

    and Bisshie’s

    the dog’s presence
    despite his absence
    threadbare blanket

    At first both struck me as recording the day to day and often adorable moments we have with and about our animals. Then I realized the images also resonated with end of life. In my own experience, when we buried our parrot, we wrapped her in cloth, a dish towel, I think. She was a small bird. Ann’s old dog in an old blanket might be the last instance of dignity one might give a lifelong pet.

    Bisshie’s image might be what you see when you try to settle in back home when a pet dies. After losing a pet, I find it difficult to see the places they liked to be, like the blanket. Even worse is putting away their dishes and favorite toys.

    Thanks to the poets for writing poems suggesting a wide range of emotions.

    Greer

    1. .
      .

      stitch by stitch
      upcycling childhood blankets
      to memory bears
      .
      Greer Woodward
      Waimea, HI
      .
      .
      You said:
      .
      “Alan— thanks for your comments. When I started this assignment,
      I knew nothing about memory bears either. I was interested in finding out what people crafted out of old blankets and memory bears came up right away when I googled'”
      and
      “Many bears were made as gifts to grown children, to students who might be going to away to college, a touch of the past and home.”
      .
      .
      Gosh, I didn’t realise they’d be made for young adults just living childhood behind.
      .
      .
      You said:
      .
      “Working with the idea, I was concerned about its potential sentimentality. I decided to look at readers comments about the different bears and discovered the deep feelings the bears evoked, they weren’t just trinkets.”
      .
      What a great method! Often, with our haikai verses, research is both valid, and important, as it is for any kind of poetry etc…
      .
      “This gave me something to stand on as I put together the images.”
      .
      And very successfully!

    2. Thank you Greer.

      When I wrote it, I was remembering the smell of my deceased black Labrador’s blanket. I had left for university when she died, but my parents put her blanket in the garage, until I came home.

      Bisshie

  7. CRAIG, marvelous prompt as this week’s haiku and comments bear out. Nothing threadbare about the emotions and/or memories they elicit, for sure.
    .
    AM MOVED BY
    .
    ROBERTA’S ‘stillborn son / the quilt comes apart / in her hands.’ Could virtually feel my own heart come apart imagining the expectant parents’ unspeakable pain;
    .
    ZDENKA’S ‘granny’s blanket’ ‘on the back / of a chilled by cold migrant.’ I too am ‘chilled’ by the less than human treatment of migrants (granny’s children), most of whom are bravely seeking asylum;
    .
    the usually pricey ‘ripped jeans’ juxtaposed in VANDANA’S ku with the ‘frayed blanket’ ‘flaunted’ by a no doubt poor ‘vagrant;’ the side-by-sideness of pricey and poor heightening this ku’s pathos;
    .
    RONALD’S ‘vagabond’ who doesn’t flaunt, but rather whose ‘hope/ unravels…’ slowly, sadly (in my imagination)…; while PRIS’S ‘a man, a blanket / under the newspapers / under the bridge’ leaves the state of his heart open, I pray to the possibility of better days — which is something I pray too for MOHAMMED’S ‘homeless man / a threadbare bundle / on a park bench.’ All elicit compassion
    .
    as does the unidentified someone in HIFSA’S ku who is set to brave a ’cold winter—made clear by ‘another patch’ being added to an ‘old blanket’ as well as MARTA’S ‘old man’ who huddles his ‘shoulders / beneath ‘a threadbare blanket’ not because of cold, but at a time of ‘sweltering heat…’; while LAURIE’S ku-personality, seeing a familiar ‘space blanket’ ‘glimpse[s] [her]self / on the homeless man’s back’— an original way of daring to see oneself mirrored in the disenfranchised;
    .
    JOHN’S ‘threadbare blanket / without the smallpox’ recalling how Native American peoples were decimated by infectious diseases brought into their lives by Europeans, a sad chapter in human history;
    .
    while in our own day INGRID’S ‘dad’s binned (wonderful verb) comfort blanket’ gets ‘rescued’ in time for him to take with him into a ‘care home,’ making us sigh with relief
    .
    even as MARTHA’S narrator (or is it the ‘threadbare blanket’ itself? ) is deadened by ‘worn-out routines/ that enshroud…’ powerful verb; GEETHANJALI’S sunbleached blanket sadly ‘no longer/ smells of mamma’
    .
    and EVA’S ‘homeless woman wrapped in / leopard pattern’ once again tugs at consciences along with ANTHONY’S ‘street children / sharing the night rain together’ under a ‘threadbare blanket.’
    .
    FOUND FAMILIARITY, NOSTALGIA AND SOMETIMES HUMOR IN
    .
    VALENTINA’S ‘keepsake blankie -‘ and JANICE’S ‘careworn blankie’
    SIMONj’S ‘embroidered mothholes;’
    ROSA MARIA’S ‘old blanket /split’ by a ‘marital fight;
    RADHAMANI’S ‘so many / wriggle’;
    MICHELE’S ‘loving…to pieces’ ‘grandma’s quilt’
    MARK’S ‘baby blanket’ with ‘bald spots’ akin to his own,
    LUCY’S ‘warp unraveling’ from ‘her comfort blanket’s’ ‘weft’
    KASHUAL’S ‘tattered sack/ a dog and his man/ sleeping in’ akin to
    ANN’S ‘folded together/old blanket/old dog
    JACKIE’S ‘ripples/of last night’s fling’
    GREER’S inventive ‘upcycling childhood blankets/to memory bears’
    DEAN’S ‘baby blanket/held together with memories’
    BISSHIE’S ‘dog’s presence/ despite his absence’
    BARBARA’S ‘grandmas / threadbare blanket’— not unlike the one ‘knitted’ by ELISA’S ‘grandma’s gnarled/ hands /over the brazier’— which now ‘shelters the roses’ from ‘unexpected frost’ while
    ARVINDER’S ‘scarecrow,’ thanks to the ‘weather forecast’ finds protection in ‘a tattered blanket,’ and
    ALJOŠA’S ‘moths are claiming/their ghetto’ in a ‘threadbare blanket,’ making us laugh in recognition.

      1. …and you, Barbara for your thoughtful thanks. A rose for you from under grandma’s blanket. — Christina

      1. Always a pleasure, Arvinder. Hope the weather forecast is appealing where you are. — Christina

      1. Hope
        unravels . . .
        a vagabond’s blanket
        .
        Ronald Craig
        .
        The sparseness of your haiku, Ron, took me deep. What I imagined as the slow, sad unraveling of hope made me want to cry out ‘stop’ before it reached despair. Then I began to realize that a shout like that is cheap if I myself don’t ‘stop’ — stop to see that the vagabond and I are knit together somehow…and respond from that. (Don’t mean to preach, except to myself.). Anyway, thanks, not only for your poem but your wonderful commentary above.

  8. ripped jeans in store window
    the vagrant too flaunts
    his frayed blanket

    Vandana Parashar

    I have always wondered why people who are not poor buy and wear ripped jeans. Nice comparison in this haiku.

  9. Thank-you for publishing mine, Craig. I was pleasantly surprised that it was selected for commentary.

  10. Hi Everyone, I enjoyed all your poems, but would like to comment on Bisshie’s

    the dog’s presence
    despite his absence
    threadbare blanket

    My first reaction was to the variety of senses this poem evokes: the shape of the dog left in the blanket, his/her scent embedded, the tactile quality of fur caught between the threadbare openings (I’m picturing a long-haired dog). Then I wondered where the dog went and why.

    1. Dear Pat

      I’m glad my work got you thinking. That’s the point isn’t it? I really enjoyed the way you explained it. Let’s just say, Suzy the black Lab cross is now on a very long walk, which she’ll love, especially if there is a muddy patch of water.

      Bisshie

  11. There is so much to contemplate in these haiku. Memories, and more…

    I was struck by several at first reading, Dean Okamura’s haiku reminds me of my older son’s first (favorite) blanket, the thermal blanket with satin edges. His comfort was to chew on the satin (“chewer parts” his name for them). So too for M.J.Piras’ haiku had me remembering the blankets my children and grandchildren all have. Ah, the memories of blankets well-worn and well loved.

    Loved Valentina’s haiku as well…she hits the mark with adulthood and a blanket. That’s why I still color (preferring kids coloring books). Adulting is hard.

    Now, to wrap up in my HP blanket and peruse the others. Well done, Craig.

    1. I am glad you thought about your older son. I pictured a nursery school friend of my daughter. His blanket wore out from rubbing on the ground.

  12. I’ll limit myself to mentioning three haiku. There are many more that warmed me with humour, recognition, deep sadness…
    .
    .
    unexpected frost
    grandmas threadbare blanket
    shelters the roses
    .
    Barbara Tate
    .
    .
    I don’t grow roses but I am a gardener and recognize this gesture of care…a special blanket continuing its protective role.
    .
    .
    care home –
    dad’s binned comfort blanket
    rescued
    .
    Ingrid Baluchi
    Ohrid, Macedonia
    .
    .
    With each move we make we downsize. A move into a care home means a deep cut…most possessions must be stored or let go. A comfort blanket would be one of my essentials. I like the sense of urgency in the word ‘rescued’.
    .
    .
    windblown blanket
    caught by the willow . . .
    mapping stars
    .
    Joanb
    NY
    .
    .
    A blanket caught up in a tree could be an annoyance, but here Joanb transforms it into a guide for star gazing.
    .
    .
    Thank you everyone for a wonderful read, and Craig, for your comments and for including mine.

        1. Thank you, Bisshie. I especially appreciated your haiku which combines both physical and emotional presence. I understand your grief, as do all of us who have lost a dog or a cat or any other four-legged loved one.

          joan

  13. Dear Craig, Greetings! So many blankets unfolding . Thank you for publishing mine. Among so many, the following has a telling effect, concrete image of immediacy. Appreciate.

    hope
    unravels . . .
    a vagabond’s blanket

    Ronald Craig

  14. Thank you Alan, for the mention. The word ‘enshroud’ is intended to convey a sense of not really living to the full, being caught up too much with old routines.

    Thank you Craig for publishing my haiku.

  15. Thanks, Craig, for including mine in such an enjoyable & meaningful set of poems. Like ’em all! — such a wide range of emotional tonal colors

  16. cold winter —
    another patch
    in the old blanket

    Hifsa Ashraf
    Rawalpindi, Pakistan

    care home –
    dad’s binned comfort blanket
    rescued

    Ingrid Baluchi
    Ohrid, Macedonia

    all those bald spots —
    my wool baby blanket
    and me

    Mark Meyer

    the sweltering heat . . .
    on the old man’s shoulders
    a threadbare blanket

    Marta Chocilowska
    Warsaw, Poland

    threadbare blanket
    the worn-out routines
    that enshroud me

    Martha Magenta
    UK

    grandma’s quilt…
    loving it
    to pieces

    Michele L. Harvey

    A lovely selection by the editors 🙂

  17. Thank you Craig for publishing my haiku. All are so beautiful. Some of my favorite ones are:

    unexpected frost
    grandmas threadbare blanket
    shelters the roses

    Barbara Tate

    the dog’s presence
    despite his absence
    threadbare blanket

    Bisshie
    Zürich, Switzerland

    baby blanket
    held together
    with memories

    Dean Okamura

    knitted blanket –
    grandma’s gnarled hands
    over the brazier

    Elisa Allo
    Zug, Switzerland

    spring offer –
    the homeless woman wrapped in
    leopard pattern

    Eva Limbach (Mare Tranquillitatis)
    Germany

    The list continues in the next thread.

      1. Most welcome Barbara and Marta 🙂
        I enjoyed reading the work. So many varied experiences of a threadbare blanket.

  18. Well loved or left alone?
    .
    .
    With leaked documents revealing how Britain will fare under one scenario, I fear there will be more and more homeless/displaced people ignored by politicians and big companies from FB to Starbucks.
    .
    This makes all these reactions to threadbare blankets all the more poignant when touching on people who sleep in streets, backroads, derelict buildings etc…
    .
    .

    a faded pattern
    of childhood blanket
    winter sky
    .
    Agus Maulana Sunjaya
    .
    .
    I assumer that this a child that is still hopefully okay, but now an adult, or perhaps a parent. The economy of language still keeps this haiku rich.
    .
    .
     
    threadbare blanket-
    moths are claiming
    their ghetto
    .
    Aljoša Vuković
    Šibenik, Croatia
    .
    .
    Ah yes, ghetto didn’t originally mean a bad or poor place but a gathering of like-minded people I believe, as in like attracts like. And in some countries the ghettos are rich in culture and keeping mass crime at bay.
    .
    Here we a verse that would delight Issa, the poet of insects and other small creatures! 🙂
    .
    .
     
    folded together
    old blanket
    old dog
    .
    Ann K. Schwader
    Westminster, CO
    .
    .
    The opening line works so well with th successive two lines and the hidden triple rhyming plus the multiple consonance, makes this original.
    .
    .
     
    street children
    sharing the night rain together
    threadbare blanket
    .
    Anthony Rabang
    .
    .
    Even in cities where wealth is present, there will always be children made to suffer, and frozen out of the creature comforts that poor people give to the rich business people, who alone would be unable to do the labour of their own greed. This scene makes me see and feel one thin blanket doing its best to protect so many children.
    .
    .

    the dog’s presence
    despite his absence
    threadbare blanket
    .
    Bisshie
    Zürich, Switzerland
    .
    .
    Yes, the folds, whether of an hour or more, or over a lifetime, show the shape of our fellow animals. Poignant yet wonderful.
    .
    .
     
    stitch by stitch
    upcycling childhood blankets
    to memory bears
    .
    Greer Woodward
    Waimea, HI
    .
    .
    I’m not sure I’ve heard of memory bears before:
    .
    Memory Bears
    .
    A Memory Bear is a lovely way to remember a loved one who has passed. Use their favorite shirts or clothing and turn them into a beautiful bear that can be with you always.
    59 Best Memory Bears images | Fabric dolls, Stuffed toys, Fabric animals (Pinterest)
    .
    What a wonderful deed, as it’s unbearable how many parents lose children who sometimes do not even get to be teenagers, whether for medical reasons, drugs, violence, traffic accidents etc…
    .
    Lovely verse!
    .
    .
     
    long night
    blanket ripped
    by a louse
    .
    Guliz Mutlu
    Turkey
    .
    Of course this could be slang for a person, or an active homemaking bug?
    .
    noun: louse; plural noun: lice; plural noun: louses
    .
either of two small wingless parasitic insects that live on the skin of mammals and birds.
    .
    used in names of small invertebrates that parasitize aquatic animals or infest plants,
    e.g. fish louse.
    INFORMAL
a contemptible or unpleasant person.
     .
    .
    I hope it’s not an instance of domestic violence which is a horrific act against a supposedly loved one.
    .
    .
     
    care home –
    dad’s binned comfort blanket
    rescued
    .
    Ingrid Baluchi
    Ohrid, Macedonia
    .
    .
    Oh, gosh, did the carers or cleaners get over efficient? I know what a worry it is finding the right care home, so many intricate factors.
    .
    .
     
    an old blanket
    I smooth out the ripples
    of last night’s fling
    .
    Jackie Chou
    Pico Rivera, CA USA
    .
    .
    I wonder why an old blanket was chosen, and was it instead of using a bed? Ah, strange bed choices. 🙂
    .
    Here’s a haibun I wrote called ‘Strange Bed’ and an ekphrastic treatment of a possibly old ‘blanket’ from artist David Cobley:
    http://area17.blogspot.com/2017/02/strange-bed-ekphrastic-haibun.html
    .
    A wonderful verse, and I love the word choice of ‘ripples’ which has more than layer of meaning for me. Was this an extracurricular activity? 🙂
    .
    .
     
    chair cover
    her careworn blankie
    close at hand
    .
    Janice Munro
    Canada
    .
    .
    This is very poignant, with a stark full on concrete image opening up the verse for the reader into ‘careworn’ and word choice of ‘blankie’ enhanced by ‘close at hand’. Beautifully crafted.
    .
    .

     
    space blanket–
    a glimpse of myself
    on the homeless man’s back
    .
    Laurie Greer
    Washington, DC
    .
    .
    Great choice! I used to always have one or two space blanket packets on my travels in case things went wrong for me or someone else. Original take, as its very reflective surface will show a version of ourselves, and none so more as on a homeless person’s back.
    .
    .
    You could actually bring the much longer line into a classic three-line haiku with either:
    .
    .
    space blanket–
    on the homeless man’s back
    a glimpse of myself
    .
    or make the long line a pivot/hinge line:
    .
    e.g.
    .
    .
    space blanket
    on the homeless man’s back
    a glimpse of myself
    .
    .
    Powerful verse, deeply memorable. Thank you.
    .
    .

    chilly nights
    each thread
    tenuous
    .
    Margaret Walker
    .
    .
    Margaret again shows how minimalist haiku can succeed and be as deeply crafted and moving as a longer verse. A brilliant one word choice for the last line, not an easy task, Highly crafted haiku that packs a punch and those five words do more than many longer poems.
    .
    寂しい (sabishii / samishii) means “I’m lonely.” However, Japanese people say it a lot to one another when they mean to say “I’m lonely (because I’m not with you.”
    .
    .

    threadbare quilt
    grandma’s stories
    unravel
    .
    Marilyn Ashbaugh
    Tombstone, Arizona USA
    .
    .
    Another five word haiku and a successful one word last line! Highly crafted, full of sabishii:
    .
    “寂しい (sabishii / samishii) means “I’m lonely.” However, Japanese people say it a lot to one another when they mean to say “I’m lonely (because I’m not with you.”
    .
    .
     
    all those bald spots —
    my wool baby blanket
    and me
    .
    Mark Meyer
    .
    .
    A fun but also poignant treatment in this verse! 🙂
    .
    .
     
    the sweltering heat . . .
    on the old man’s shoulders
    a threadbare blanket
    .
    Marta Chocilowska
    Warsaw, Poland
    .
    .
    Atmospheric lead in line and we have the contradiction of extreme and sticky heat yet the man still needs a blanket.
    .
    .
     
    threadbare blanket
    the worn-out routines
    that enshroud me
    .
    Martha Magenta
    UK
    .
    .
    I guess having something held over from the past can be double-edged. I have very few things that have survived, and would love to do another purge. Each second is my past, and I change watches regularly.
    .
    Interesting choice of word and verb with ‘enshroud’ almost as if religious or relic, or an Egyptian ruler wanting to come out?
    .
    .
     
    a man, a blanket
    under the newspapers
    under the bridge
    .
    Pris Campbell
    .
    .
    The middle line caught me, as I remember being a regular at a pub on a Sunday where many men would have the Sunday newspapers with their pint(s). Here those very newspapers self-rightously spinning stories about the rights and wrongs and slings and arrows that afflict their vision of society barely keep the warmth in for a rough sleeper under a bridge designed to convey vehicles, with parents and children, or goods bound for department stores or supermarkets, but unlikely for food banks.
    .
    The crafted skill choice of repetitive of the indefinite article [a] in the first line and using a comma (to boot!), and then under, and then under under, another under, creating the image of the kept underclass, and reminscent of Neil Gaiman’s companion novel “Neverwhere”. Know the rules to creatively adjust them, this goes beyond breaking them which can often cause disaster, but ‘re-adjusting’ them! 🙂
    .
    .
     
     
    stillborn son
    the quilt comes apart
    in her hands
    .
    Roberta Beary
    County Mayo Ireland
    .
    .
    No one can imagine a person’s world being ripped apart in the earliest stages or any stage of motherhood. A whole depicted in a quilt and her dreams for a new child in the world. As things get darker in so many quarters of the world, we desperately need all the children possible for a change. So much pain and grief in this poem.
    .
    .

    keepsake blankie –
    adulthood frays
    my edges
    .
    Valentina Ranaldi-Adams
    Fairlawn, Ohio USA
    .
    .
    Adulthood can be so overrated, and while it’s easy to escape childhood, too early in many circumstances, it’s impossible to successfully ‘escape back to childhood’. I hope you have moments where a breakout of adulthood is successful before the ‘wake up police’ are pounding down on the front door to your dream.
    .
    .
    As expected, a powerful grouping of poems. What’s interesting is that some innovative approaches, even one or more ‘no-nos’ by some haiku enforcers are brilliantly successful. Take note, where skill and craft is involved, there are no restrictions to fine writing. 🙂
    .
    Alan
    “who often wore out shoes beyond threadbare, but could buy another pair young adult”
    Summers

    1. Thank you, Alan–I like your suggestions on mine, and your always insightful and sensitive comments on all.

    2. Thank you, Alan for your in depth reflections. Your imagining of the newspaper readers and commerce trundling over Pris Campbell’s bridge was spot on. And the interplay of ‘rules’ and creative license is always fascinating.
      .
      When I chose the word ‘blankie’ for my haiku I hesitated…Thank you for your observation about the first line and your compliment.

      1. Hi Janice! 🙂
        .
        Basho, with haikai and hokku verses, brought in permission to use colloquial language, and it can be a powerful medium as it gathers more aspects of both author and others. So I’m all for it! 🙂

    3. Alan,

      Again, thank you for your comments on my minimalist haiku. I am sometimes concerned that I don’t give the reader enough information and, in leaving out words don’t paint a picture that is vivid enough to capture the reader’s attention.

      As always, your comments on each of the poems are a learning experience!

      1. Dear Margaret,
        .
        Readers are all different, some want ALL of the story, some want Most, some want SOME, and others enjoy creating their own individual ‘life’ experience around it as a poem or companion poem.
        .
        .
        chilly nights
        each thread
        tenuous
        .
        Margaret Walker
        .
        .
        It’s a rich poem, and you will have your readers-in-kinship, and that’s most important. I love how ‘each thread’ is more than just cloth, or tendrils of cold. Love the musicality of that last line, and how much a reader can pack into the poem and be rewarded by making the effort, and reaching out to meet the poem, and the poet.

    4. Alan,
      Like so many others, I always look for and look forward to your
      comments. Maybe it’s redundant to say, but I’m never disappointed.
      Masterful, meaningful, magnanimous! So again, deep thanks.
      — Christina

      1. Dear Christina,
        .
        That is very kind of you to say so, thank you! Ever since I started having published a commentary every month for the Azami journal edited by Ikkoku Santo (Osaka, Japan) I’ve greatly enjoyed this as a regular feature.
        .
        This year I was delighted to submit ten commentaries for The Readers’ Choice Awards for 2018 and have two of them published in the THN Volume 20 print annual:
        https://www.theheronsnest.com/order.html#annual
        .
        Not all of them picked the final top ten, but I was pleased I could highlight some superb haiku that might have been overlooked over wise. Although one of our previous Call of the Page course participants did get the Grand Prize, and another one was First Runner Up in the first section and Grand Prize and Third Runner respectively in the Popular poets section.
        .
        I’m going to post the other eight commentaries onto Area 17 at a later date too!
        .
        Just like in this weekly feature, it can be easy to overlook some real gems, and it’s a wonderful opportunity to highlight them.

      1. Thank you! 🙂
        .
        It’s been another fantastic week, and I can see this weekly feature could result into a very powerful anthology with multiple themes, from the challenges both you and KJMunro have set all of us.

    5. Thank you, Alan, for your comment. It’s always cold for old people … There is another haiku of mine, published in Cattails in 2015 with “a blanket”:
      *
      childhood blanket
      now I wrap in it
      my mother’s chill

      Marta

      1. Gosh, which haibun and haiku? 😉
        .
        They can be a required taste. 🙂
        .
        Ah, do you mean my ekphrastic treatment?
        .
        Enjoyed your ultra minimalist one above. 😉

          1. Cheers! 🙂
            .
            I was delighted it was picked up by Blithe Spirit. The former editor Dave Serjeant was hugely supportive as before I focused on performance haibun only.

  19. Once more, an accomplished and surprising group of poems! I found this prompt kept steering me dangerously close to sentimentality, but many poets managed to convey deep feeling without sentiment. Some–by no means all–I’m especially impressed by:

    folded together
    old blanket
    old dog

    Ann K. Schwader
    Westminster, CO
    so neat and sharp–and the three “old”s layered in
    *
    cold winter —
    another patch
    in the old blanket

    Hifsa Ashraf
    Rawalpindi, Pakistan

    feeling the warm and the cold, time involved with each. lovely
    *
    wild west museum
    a threadbare blanket
    without the smallpox

    John Hawkhead

    a whole huge awful history in three neat lines
    *
    tattered sack
    a dog and his man
    sleeping in

    Kaushal Suvarna

    beautiful and poignant picture-a man and his best–maybe only–friend
    *
    chilly nights
    each thread
    tenuous

    Margaret Walker

    it could all end any minute….a deeper chill in the chilliness
    *
    threadbare quilt
    grandma’s stories
    unravel

    Marilyn Ashbaugh
    Tombstone, Arizona USA

    a fine touch of pathos and humor
    *
    all those bald spots —
    my wool baby blanket
    and me

    Mark Meyer

    humor!!
    *
    grandma’s quilt…
    loving it
    to pieces

    Michele L. Harvey

    so simple and true-wonderful moment
    *

    among the young girls
    her face…
    threadbare blanket

    Nadejda Kostadinova
    Bulgaria

    very moving and vivid
    *
    mother’s embroidered mothholes
    my blanket stitch pierces her lip

    simonj
    UK

    grew up with lots of embroiderers–vivid and sharp poem
    *
    Thank you all, and Craig for putting it all together.

    1. Laurie,

      Thank you for your comment on my haiku. I very much appreciated your interpretation!

  20. Many of this week’s poems are infused with a sense of sadness and loss, either directly or implied.
    .
    I was struck by Aljoša Vuković’s:
    .
    threadbare blanket –
    moths are claiming
    their ghetto
    .
    …and wonder at the use of the word ‘ghetto’. A reference, maybe, to slum conditions occupied by minority groups too poor to own anything better, isolated and segregated.
    .
    Similarly Anthony Rabang’s:
    .
    street children
    sharing the night rain together
    threadbare blanket
    .
    In spite of their destitution, the word ‘sharing’ comes over as warm and comforting.
    .
    In 1962, one of Iran’s many destructive earthquakes, killing over 12,200 people and causing hundreds of injuries, occured while I was living in the country. It took a while for the international community to realize the extent of the devastation, but after several days, increased air traffic was observed arriving at Tehran airport not far away. In contrast to the shared possessions of Anthony’s street children, it was astonishing to learn that the army, organizing the relief procedure, exchanged all their own, threadbare blankets for the new ones pouring in.
    .
    Bisshie’s poignant:
    .
    the dog’s presence
    despite his absence
    threadbare blanket
    .
    I could not bear to be rid of my mother’s hand-knitted jumper, worn for as long as it lasted, and gave it to our cat as bedding. (She loved it, too.)
    .
    Marilyn Ashbaugh’s
    .
    threadbare quilt
    grandma’s stories
    unravel
    .
    My understanding of this is, just as the quilt unravels with the passage of time, so we forget the details of our grandparents’ stories from long ago, and that sense of regret at not having properly recorded them for our own children.
    .
    What a pleasure to read all these. Thank you, Craig, for including mine.

  21. Some of these threadbare blankets have interesting layers, like:
    .

    an old blanket
    I smooth out the ripples
    of last night’s fling
    .

    Jackie Chou
    .

    tattered sack
    a dog and his man
    sleeping in
    .

    Kaushal Suvarna
    .

    chilly nights
    each thread
    tenuous
    .

    Margaret Walker
    .

    all those bald spots —
    my wool baby blanket
    and me
    .

    Mark Meyer
    .

    stillborn son
    the quilt comes apart
    in her hands
    .

    Roberta Beary

    1. Martha,

      Thank you for mentioning my poem!

      Your …“the worn out routines/ that enshroud me” made me stop and think about what mine might be. Something to ponder!

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