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Haiku Dialogue: What’s at Hand Week 2

 

 

Welcome to Haiku Dialogue — What’s at Hand Week 2 with Guest Editor Craig Kittner.

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

Next week’s theme is a borrowed book.

Immerse yourself in the theme, then submit an original unpublished poem via our Contact Form. Please note the new deadline is Saturday 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.

This week’s theme was a throw pillow

muttering thunder
our arguments left
on a throw pillow

Agus Maulana Sunjaya
Tangerang – Indonesia

 

patchwork elephant
just a throw cushion away
from extinction

Alan Summers
Wiltshire, England

 

indentation
on a throw pillow —
missing cat

Amy Losak

 

scatter cushions the joys of a long haired cat

andrew shimield

 

jazz pianist —
a throw pillow
in the silent film

Angiola Inglese

 

throw pillow wrath’s soft answer

Ann K. Schwader
Westminster, CO

 

sea creature pillows
all the friends
i need

Bona Santos

 

black and white
your striped
insistence

Christina Pecoraro

 

film credits . . .
the pillow’s embroidery
on my cheek

Elisa Allo
Zug, Switzerland

 

lace wedding pillows
now hers
without his

Greer Woodward
Waimea, HI

 

pillow fight
the feathers tickle
childhood memories

Hifsa Ashraf
Pakistan

 

explosion of down
from a thrown pillow —
she Googles up PETA

Ingrid Baluchi

 

throw pillows
our words weighing down
the therapy couch

Jackie Chou
Pico Rivera, CA, USA

 

first robin song
morning light accents
on the throw pillows

Janice Munro
Canada

 

throw pillow
yet again
she picks herself up

John Hawkhead

 

pillows . . .
thrown out
with the marriage

Laurie Greer
Washington, DC

 

convalescence
lilies on the throw pillow
begin to open

Lucy Whitehead (UK)

 

rain on rain —
a fake moon
on my pillow.

Maria Teresa Sisti

 

first apartment
I trade my teddy bear
for a throw pillow

Marilyn Ashbaugh
Michigan, USA

 

crimson throw pillow
with the face of his boss
anger management

Mark Meyer
Mercer Island, WA USA

 

soft light of dawn
on a velvet throw pillow
a newborn cat

Marta Chocilowska

 

throw pillow
your slogans
hit me

Martha Magenta
UK

 

couch cushions
we sink into watching
the moon rise

Michele L. Harvey

 

dog’s day
the chewy throw pillow
on the floor

Mohammad Azim Khan
Pakistan

 

hotel room
they toss pillow after pillow aside
to find the bed

Nancy Brady
Huron, Ohio, USA

 

arranging
disorder
bed throw pillows

Olivier Schopfer
Geneva, Switzerland

 

pillow play
tossing laughter
back and forth

Pat Davis
Pembroke, NH USA

 

a throw pillow
good catch
for the cat

Radhamani sarma

 

her hand
a pillow for her cat . . .
winter lullaby

Réka Nyitrai

 

Three throw pillows
Hush the sofa
Waiting for children

Richa Sharma

 

at the curb threadbare
without any throw pillows
discarded couch

Sari Grandstaff

 

homeland
embroidered pattern
on a sofa cushion

Serhiy Shpychenko
Kyiv, Ukraine

 

the pillow eviscerated
a trail of feathers
to the doghouse

simonj
UK

 

throw pillow out of the way
first one then another
spring kisses

Stephen A. Peters

 

delight
word for this year
tossed on my chair

Susan Bonk Plumridge
London, Canada

 

we pretend
our castle has a moat —
dad’s turquoise pillow

Susan Rogers
Los Angeles, CA USA

 

tropical island
on a fringed pillow –
places not seen

Valentina Ranaldi-Adams
Fairlawn, Ohio USA

 

Think of how many throw pillows there must be in the world and all the small moments that have occurred in their presence. Our writers find everything from humor to despair in these humble accoutrements.

In Marilyn Ashbaugh’s “first apartment” the pillow becomes a symbol of maturity. We are witness to a private rite of passage. It calls to mind all that is gained and lost in moving out on one’s own.

What’s the narrator of Serhiy Shpychenko’s “homeland” feeling? A sense of belonging? Or are they far away and homesick? Just like a haiku, the pillow is a small thing capable of carrying big concepts.

Juxtaposing discarded pillows and a failed marriage, Laurie Greer evokes the bleakness of lost love with just six words. A subject that Greer Woodward also handles elegantly. How’s that for synchronicity?

We have several interactions between pets and pillows here. Some of them don’t end so well for the pillow. Ingrid Baluchi’s sly redirect in line three of “explosion of down” made me chuckle.

The brain loves to connect the dots, to find patterns in random ideas and images. Agus Maulana Sunjaya, Angiola Inglese, and John Hawkhead have manipulated this tendency particularly well.

There’s also a tendency to anthropomorphize objects that we live with every day. Sari Grandstaff teases this with her “at the curb threadbare.” She doesn’t say we should feel sorry for the abandoned couch, but I for one can’t help it.

Christina Pecoraro’s “black and white” is going to tickle my brain for a while. It’s mysterious but its wording feels so right. Perhaps the narrator is sitting on a couch, staring at a pillow while someone rants. Or maybe the sight of a pillow reminds the narrator of some authoritarian figure. There are many intriguing possibilities.

There’s lots more to be said about what our writers have presented to us this week. Please share your thoughts below.

 

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 is a member of the North Carolina Poetry Society and likes to dabble in community theater.

 

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.

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 65 Comments

  1. this has been quite an education me, with the diverse responses to the same stimulus. From the patchwork pillow shaped into an elephant…on its way to extinction to weighing down the therapy coach like words, an object for anger management and a soft place for a kitten to be….to the “unsaid” valued cushions that can get re-covered with new fabric…so they are kept, while the worn couch is thrown out, how the blue-green pillow represents water in the pretend moat in a fantasy play castle to the imprint on a face from pressing against the decorative stitches….and then the responses to all these poems….tossed before me, may i assure you they are all keepers to help me blossom my dreams as they gently lay upon my head. Thank you to all!

    1. Great stuff, Wendy! I’m pleased that you are finding so much of value here. Thank you for participating.

      1. Thank you Craig, for your welcoming words. testing out the waters/ when i lick/ a new envelop.

  2. Many wonderful haiku in this new feature!

    throw pillows
    our words weighing down
    the therapy couch
    .
    Jackie Chou
    Pico Rivera, CA, USA

    The more this poem is read, the more pervasive the content.
    Multiple meanings, perhaps different to each reader.
    Lying down, feeling down, lying to ourselves and others, getting at the truth.
    Pillows stuffed with down feathers, allowing birds to stay warm and fly as they soar into the sky.
    Pillows are soft and comforting, just as kind words can be.
    But words can also be hard as bricks and sharp as knives.
    Even words heard in childhood years ago, or words from yesterday.
    Words can weigh us down, and can also lift us up, healing and protecting.

    Thank you for your thoughtful words helping us think and feel, Jackie.

  3. There are many different takes here on a very common, sometimes annoying, object. The following three really spoke to me.

    convalescence
    lilies on the throw pillow
    begin to open
    .
    Lucy Whitehead (UK)
    .
    Perhaps the poet feels her convalescence is going sonslowing that even the embroidered lilies open faster than her recovery. Or perhaps she feels comfort and encouragement in the partially opened lilies. Or perhaps someone has laid lilies — an offering of hope — on the pillow. So many possibilities here.

    first apartment
    I trade my teddy bear
    for a throw pillow
    .
    Marilyn Ashbaugh
    Michigan, USA
    .
    A poignant double sided poem, this mixes the nostalgia for childhood with the excitement for a new beginning. Sweetly powerful!

    homeland
    embroidered pattern
    on a sofa cushion
    .
    Serhiy Shpychenko
    Kyiv, Ukraine
    .
    Serhiy’s poem presents a powerful visual image. I can’t help but see one after another ethnic and cultural patterns, exotic to me, but filled with nostalgia for those who have left their homeland for a new life in another land. The poem leaves the reader with the comforting thought that at least the poet still has that pillow to keep memory alive.

    1. Thanks for your comments Peggy. I hadn’t thought of some of those interpretations. It’s nice to know it’s open to different readings.

  4. thank you Craig for sharing a brilliant set of haiku. I really enjoyed reading them all. But, this one is really strong and profound as well.

    at the curb threadbare
    without any throw pillows
    discarded couch
    .
    Sari Grandstaff

  5. What terrific selections this week – reinforcing why I now view Wednesdays with such anticipation. Congratulations to all the fine poets selected. Such a variety on a theme – and how impressively written. Everyone’s comments simply add to the experience, providing even more depth. Thank you, all!

  6. This new column is off to a fantastic start–great poems and great comments. I love all the poems, and am especially moved by those including animals. Cats, of course, are naturals for haiku, loving to curl up in small places as they do. The elephant haiku powerfully , painfully, conveys their plight, as does Ingrid Baluchi’s goose down. Different sorts of human trauma are memorably expressed by Ann K. Schwader’s “ throw pillow wrath’s soft answer,” Jackie Chou’s “therapy couch,” and John Hawkhead’s “yet again…” which speaks to a longer struggle. Also want to note the many beautiful details—can’t mention everything, but some are Janice Munro’s “morning light accents,” Réka Nyitrai’s hand as pillow, and the perfect “trail of feathers/ to the doghouse” by simonj. Such a revealing little tool the humble throw pillow has turned out to be!

  7. we pretend
    our castle has a moat —
    dad’s turquoise pillow

    Susan Rogers
    Los Angeles, CA USA

    Before i-phones and i-pads, all children needed was a common household item and imagination.

  8. first apartment
    I trade my teddy bear
    for a throw pillow

    Marilyn Ashbaugh
    Michigan, USA

    A nice coming-of-age haiku

  9. Agus Maulana Sunjaya’s haiku reminds me that seemingly inanimate objects can not only mirror but absorb our emotions, in this case “muttering thunder.” In a similar vein, there’s Jackie Chou’s “weigh[ed] down…therapy couch.” Also Martha Magenta’s slogans that target and “hit” their mark. And Mark Meyer’s crimson-faced boss needing “anger management,” or so it seems to me— while in Ann Schwader’s one-liner someone’s “wrath” is being met with a pillow-softness rather than, say, the cutting edges of a vase.
    .
    In Angiola’s Inglese’s haiku it seems the “silent film’s” throw pillow is no more silent than the jazz pianist.
    .
    Like Craig I find it amazing that our two ‘Greers’ speak poignantly of loss: a marriage ‘thrown out’ (Laurie) and a ‘hers without his’ (Woodward). Sari Grandstaff’s couch, “threadbare and discarded” without any pillows to perk it up, is all used up, and like a sad, laughing clown. Reading these three, I feel the edges of grief.
    .
    It’s full-blown grief I feel for Alan Summers’ “patchwork elephant,” perhaps a stand-in for those noble giants worldwide. “Extinction” is such a severe, such a final fate. That it should be but a “cushion’s throw” away— shorter, it seems to me, than a stone’s throw— is cause for mourning.
    .
    I find John Hawkhead’s ku haunting. Has “she” been carelessly — and repeatedly (“yet again”) thrown aside? Does she “pick herself up” heroically? out of habit? or rather than walking away from rejection, or worse, abuse? Or could she be afflicted with some chronic pain which she refuses to surrender to? Should we be quietly cheering her on or should we be hoping she’ll break a fruitless cycle? Much for musing here.
    .
    On a lighter note, I applaud both Nancy Brady and Stephen Peters for not allowing throw pillows, in whatever form, to get in the way of ‘close encounters.’ Also Pat Davis for “tossing laughter / back and forth” with “pillow play.”
    .

    1. Thanks Christina for your overall commentary which only helps to make this feature increase in value for everyone who pops in to visit. 🙂
      .
      .
      You said:
      .
      “It’s full-blown grief I feel for Alan Summers’ “patchwork elephant,” perhaps a stand-in for those noble giants worldwide. “Extinction” is such a severe, such a final fate. That it should be but a “cushion’s throw” away— shorter, it seems to me, than a stone’s throw— is cause for mourning.”
      .
      .
      Yes, the annihilation of all other animals is very close, and in 80 years our planet can no longer be called blue, alas: https://weather.com/en-IN/india/news/news/2019-02-05-earth-may-lose-its-blue-colour-in-another-80-years
      .
      There is barely any time, we here, and elsewhere, will be the record-keepers of what was, and could have been.
      .
      Many thanks again. I am still hopeful that there will be a turn in our attitude. Daily, across social media I see many countries attempting to turn the tide, such as Pakistan who plan to plant a BILLION trees, wow! 🙂

  10. Thank you for including one of mine Craig. Wonderful selection…so many great haiku. I was really struck this week by how many of the haiku showed how daily objects such as throw pillows become an intimate part of our lives, whether it was the impressions we leave on them, the impressions they leave on us, or how they support us and are woven into our lives and memories. The ones below expressed this intimate relationship with ‘what’s at hand’ for me.
    .
    .

    indentation
    on a throw pillow —
    missing cat
    .
    Amy Losak
    .
    .
    sea creature pillows
    all the friends
    i need
    .
    Bona Santos
    .
    .
    film credits . . .
    the pillow’s embroidery
    on my cheek
    .
    Elisa Allo
    Zug, Switzerland
    .
    .
    pillow fight
    the feathers tickle
    childhood memories
    .
    Hifsa Ashraf
    Pakistan
    .
    .
    soft light of dawn
    on a velvet throw pillow
    a newborn cat
    .
    Marta Chocilowska
    .
    .
    couch cushions
    we sink into watching
    the moon rise
    .
    Michele L. Harvey
    .
    .
    we pretend
    our castle has a moat —
    dad’s turquoise pillow
    .
    Susan Rogers
    Los Angeles, CA USA

    1. Nicely put, Lucy. I believe that any object will reveal rich and complex relationships if focused upon with an open mind. I’m hoping we’ll gather lots of evidence of this over the next several weeks.

      1. It’s wonderful having our attention brought to what’s right under our noses. Looking forward to exploring this theme.

    2. Thanks for your insights, Lucy!
      There comes a certain period in our lives when we find ourselves left with familiar inanimate objects around us that brings comfort – a throw pillow, blanket, a good book or even just a simple poem!

  11. Thank you for choosing my haiku Craig. Thank you Alan Summers for your positive comments.

    1. Thanks Susan! 🙂
      .
      .
      delight
      word for this year
      tossed on my chair
      .
      Susan Bonk Plumridge
      London, Canada
      .
      .
      I really like diving and delving into everyone’s haiku as there are always ‘extra’ and sometimes ‘overlooked’ rewards for that little bit of closer reading.
      .
      Great verse! 🙂

  12. Susan Rogers! I so love and it is so vivid in my mind …your
    preteding your castle has a moat…
    and using a throw pillow…your dad’s turqoise one, to represent it! It is SO tangible and unforgetable! Really wonderful!

  13. Thank you, everyone, for your well wishes and for deepening our conversation. I’ve already seen some new things in these poems, inspired by your comments. I’m looking forward to seeing where it all goes during the week.

    Ta!

  14. lace wedding pillows
    now hers
    without his
    Greer Woodward
    Waimea, HI

    This one is very poignant. The first line sets up a nice image. Then lines two and three are
    hard-hitting.

  15. Alan Summers love your invention of a measure of distance in time and space! “a throw cushion away…” brilliant. Can be felt in many ways! Thank you for your time and concentration here and encouragement to many!

    1. Thank you! 🙂
      .
      So many companies sell images of our fellow animal species but DON’T put any of the profit into worthy causes. I am going to continue my research into which companies will do that.
      .
      I loved diving inside each haiku and was amazed at the intricacies of craft that I unearthed!

  16. Thanks, Craig, for choosing & publishing such a diverse, thought-provoking, & enjoyable set of poems.
    Mark Meyer

  17. Craig, thank you for your comments and your selection. A wonderful diversity of haiku.

    Alan Summers”s haiku struck me in both the head and heart with a single throw.

    1. Thanks Marilyn! 🙂
      .
      It’s great that Craig has got us to really think about how we submit just one poem, so it has to be chosen and crafted carefully! 🙂

  18. Very pleased to be included amongst all these gems Craig. If I hadn’t been, I’d have just buried my face in the throw pillow!

  19. A great selection! Here are some of my favorites:

    Alan Summers’ “patchwork elephant” – I thought of buying pillows and other things in museum gift shops – usually costing more than you’d like. But, buying them anyway knowing the profits go to worthy causes.

    Serhiy Shpychenko’s “homeland” I felt the poet’s nostalgia and longing for the past.

    Nancy Brady’s “hotel room” – I’ve been faced with the frustration of finding places for the many pillows placed on a hotel bed, and having to use the floor as a last resort.

    Marta Chocilowska”s “soft light of dawn” – Her love for cats shows in this delicately worded haiku. I ‘ll pick out three of her words to summarize: soft-velvet-newborn.

    I enjoyed all the poems in this selection! Thanks, Craig, for including mine.

    1. Thank you Pat! 🙂
      .
      You said:
      .
      “Alan Summers’ “patchwork elephant” – I thought of buying pillows and other things in museum gift shops – usually costing more than you’d like. But, buying them anyway knowing the profits go to worthy causes.”
      .
      .
      Too often companies use the image of our fellow animal species without donating back to vital charities and causes, but thankfully there are some companies with integrity. We just have to research the genuine ones and separate them from the ones who thoughtlessly take advantage of those creatures for profit.

  20. Thank you Craig for including mine here and for your comments on my haiku! Alan Summers’s haiku with elephant as motif and the object of a throw pillow representing how threatened elephants are is quite wonderful. Even that the elephant is patchwork speaks to the fragility of their endangered species. I also enjoyed Amy Losak’s haiku how it includes who is “not in the picture.” Martha Magenta’s haiku was a favorite for me. Very clever and fun! Susan Rogers’s haiku put me in mind of one that I wrote also with throw pillow as fort:

    kids’ sleepover
    they defend their blanket fort
    with the throw pillows

    1. Thanks Sari! 🙂
      .
      You said:
      .
      “Alan Summers’s haiku with elephant as motif and the object of a throw pillow representing how threatened elephants are is quite wonderful. Even that the elephant is patchwork speaks to the fragility of their endangered species.”
      .
      Yes, it’s actually a patchwork piece and I’ve just realised that a gift from a haiku poet in the U.K. has an Indian elephant. I’ve always admired elephants, they are something special in deed.
      .
      .
      at the curb threadbare
      without any throw pillows
      discarded couch
      .
      Sari Grandstaff
      .
      .
      Ah, those discarded couches! And those left on front lawns rain or shine for sitting out front too. 🙂
      I like your unusual but highly effective line choices and line break in the first line. Cool! 🙂

      1. Cool, yes, elephants are special beings. Thank you Alan for your insightful comments!

  21. A variety of approaches, as usual, and several to make one smile. The inconvenience of some ‘luxuries’ we’re all supposed to appreciate, though cluttering up my bed with extras is merely a nuisance. Two stand out for me:
    .
    Nancy Brady’s :
    hotel room
    they toss pillow after pillow aside
    to find the bed
    .
    and
    .
    Olivier Schopfer’s:
    arranging
    disorder
    bed throw pillows
    (the practiced ‘art’ of the casual toss of scatter cushions, especially for visiting guests and at open house opportunities)
    .
    Of course, pillows have their uses, as in Mark Meyer’s amusing:
    crimson throw pillow
    with the face of his boss
    anger management
    .
    and Amy Losak’s:

    indentation
    on a throw pillow —
    missing cat

    I love cats, but not so much what they leave behind.
    .
    andrew shimfield’s monoku:
    scatter cushions the joys of a long haired cat
    .
    Many more to enjoy and think about. Agreeing with Martha’s thoughts of disappearing wildlife, and sometimes the cruelty involved in making our lives comfortable, which was behind my contribution. Thank you, Craig, for including mine, and for your comments.
    Looking forward to this series.

    1. Thanks Ingrid for your kind remarks.
      Obviously it is a common frustration in hotels and even in my home as every comforter/duvet set has so many throw pillows and pillow shams, etc.
      drowning in
      throw pillows
      i dream of marshmallows

      ~nan

  22. .
    .
    The Gentle Act of Omission and Other Cats
    .
    .
    .
    I just had to bring in the felines! 🙂
    .
    .
    I started having one favorite, then favorites, and ended up loving every single haiku! What a strong range of work!!! 🙂
    .
    .
    As my time is short, and I have to prepare for an even bigger day tomorrow, here are just a few of the brilliant works presented on the webpage.
    .
    .

    scatter cushions the joys of a long haired cat
    .
    andrew shimield
     
    .
    .
    There could be said to be two kinds of one-line haiku in English: the abruptive/multi-stop (Summers/Kacian) and the run through melody (Stuart Quine) while Marlene Mountain is in a class of her own, and our most important exponent.
    .
    Andrew’s is first of all a joy to read, and takes a little from both main categories. 🙂
    The first two words act as context setting (we can assume this is someone’s home and private space). The first two words already feel cosy before we are told about the joys of “a long haired cat” quite possibly introducing irony, as the statement is telling one thing but suggesting the sacrifices of forever removing cat hair! 🙂 A long haired cat made me smile again, remembering that once fun song that became intensely irritating when I was younger, despite being about Liverpool, a fantastic city! Clue: Jimmy Osmond.
    .
    .
     
    throw pillow wrath’s soft answer
    .
    Ann K. Schwader
    Westminster, CO
    .
    .
    Another one-line haiku which also uses a literary device and succeeds admirably. Is ‘wrath’ the name of a pet (human or other animal) or of an animal that is a veritable force of nature! 🙂 In contrast with ‘wrath’ which usually means a ‘great anger’ at the very least, we have ‘soft answer’ which makes me wonder if this is not a cat. 🙂 It uses more than one literary device and is wonderful, and sheer wonderfulness in fact! 🙂
    .
    .

     
    black and white
    your striped
    insistence
    .
    Christina Pecoraro
    .
    .
    Is ‘black and white’ and ‘striped’ yet another cat? Are we facing a feline invasion, not of body snatchers, but throw pillow snatchers? This beautifully whimsical verse uses its own literary device that captures the catness of a cat too! 🙂
    .
    .

     
    film credits . . .
    the pillow’s embroidery
    on my cheek
    .
    Elisa Allo
    Zug, Switzerland
    .
    .
    I guess most of the film was missed, one of the deadly hazards of late night viewing! 🙂 I guess the embroidery was deeply embedded as if a tattoo was ‘carved’ into your face? I am sure most of us have experienced this. I love the craft of ‘light omission’. I wonder if the film credits belonged to the movie you first started watching? I think a few of us have been there too! This is really a well crafted haiku, with the lightness of humor that would have had me rushing to nab it for the haijinx journal when it was still running! 🙂
    .
    .
     

    pillow fight
    the feathers tickle
    childhood memories
    .
    Hifsa Ashraf
    Pakistan
    .
    .
    Ah, the glorious pillow fight! Hopefully done in the best of spirits. I really like that phrase:
    “the feathers tickle childhood memories” and it’s great to occasionally turn to childhood, especially as sometimes we really do need to retune our ‘adulthood’ at times. 🙂
    .
    .

     
    throw pillows
    our words weighing down
    the therapy couch
    .
    Jackie Chou
    Pico Rivera, CA, USA
    .
    .
    I’m often wary of the last line surprise effect unless it’s done for a deeper reason. This stunning verse opens apparently harmlessly and lightly with ‘throw cushions’ which we assume mean a person has a sense of comfort, security, and joy perhaps? Sandwiched in-between is the line ‘our words weighing down’ which makes good use of the present participle (e.g. ongoing action). The last line brings a sombre and thoughtful tone, and it’s poignant.
    .
    It could have been:
    .
    .

    throw pillows
    our words weighing
    the therapy couch
    .
    .
    But the person or persons already know they are entering a therapy session, so ‘down’ is necessary, and is a useful oblique nod to the down of birds (geese, perhaps) and our often-need of comfort, and a wish to migrate to better climates. A lot of care and craft in this one!
    .
    .

    first robin song
    morning light accents
    on the throw pillows
    .
    Janice Munro
    Canada
    .
    .
    Lovely opening line, almost a haiku in itself. Great choice and selection of words, and their order, and verb choice. Sometimes verbs can overpower tiny poems, sometimes they save them, sometimes they add just enough of a notch upward. Beautiful beautiful haiku!
    .
    .
     

     
    convalescence
    lilies on the throw pillow
    begin to open
    .
    Lucy Whitehead (UK)
    .
    .
    If only this was on a course we are running. I can’t say more. 🙂 This is a beautifully crafted haiku on so many levels. Each word has its place and is crucial, and is worth more than one, more than two, careful slow reads. A real gem!
    .
    .

     
    rain on rain —
    a fake moon
    on my pillow.
    .
    Maria Teresa Sisti
    .
    .
    So simple but so atmospheric! Read it again, and you will be rewarded further.

    .
    .

    throw pillow
    your slogans
    hit me
    .
    Martha Magenta
    UK
    .
    .
    We are bombarded by slick or not so slick slogans and buzz words and catchphrases that are basically empty promises, as hindsight is showing us in a devastating way in recent years. Poetry sales have increased in recent years as people are soaked with false statements, and want a direct truth, almost any truth. We even teach ourselves to mouth slick soundbites rather than dialogue, and only make ourselves our own clickbait. The very name ‘throw pillow’ is a suggestion of flinging these cushions left, right, and centre, without actually stopping to try to grasp, if not a 20-20 hindsight, at least some inkling of what we might be doing, and does it really benefit us beyond a few mere seconds of amusement or self-gain? Again, a highly crafted verse.
    .
    .

    first apartment
    I trade my teddy bear
    for a throw pillow
    .
    Marilyn Ashbaugh
    Michigan, USA
    .
    .
    It was a US President who ‘invented’ the teddy bear toy. Here we have the important ‘first place’ where it’s our choice, and only our choice’ to make a home for ourselves. While some retain their soft toys, this person has shifted to a life choice of interior design perhaps, and a sophistication. It’s also a symbol of first passage from child to young adulthood, and is beautifully presented in its clarity of language.
    .
    .

    couch cushions
    we sink into watching
    the moon rise
    .
    Michele L. Harvey
    .
    .

    There’s a conscious choice to make “moon rise” two words as the verb is important and plays off the action of sinking into couch cushions. Another sublimely beautiful and beautifully crafted haiku.

    .
    .

     
    a throw pillow
    good catch
    for the cat
    .
    Radhamani sarma
    .
    The action of a cat, and its playfulness that includes a human companion is resplendent here! It’s both an action haiku, and a still shot, a freeze frame, or a freeze framing unfolding click by click. Brilliant!!!
    .
    .
     
    her hand
    a pillow for her cat . . .
    winter lullaby
    .
    Réka Nyitrai
    .
    .
    Breathtaking opening two lines, followed by another one! The omission is deliberate, as I am guessing the throw cushion was requisitioned by the human and the cat came in moments later. Sublime crafting of a poem.
    .
    .
     
    Three throw pillows
    Hush the sofa
    Waiting for children
    .
    Richa Sharma
    .
    .
    I love ‘hush the sofa waiting for children’ for its utter magic, and using perhaps unusual word order that succeeds! 🙂 Love the simple opening line that is then expanded by the magical middle line followed by the last line.
    .
    .
     

     
    homeland
    embroidered pattern
    on a sofa cushion
    .
    Serhiy Shpychenko
    Kyiv, Ukraine
    .
    .
    The opening line is a brilliant method of subverting the surprise last line method deployed by many of us. It works as both opening and closing line. How is there so much in this haiku? Sublime, poignant, hopeful, and so many other feelings and emotions. Read slowly, read again, and slowly word by word.
    .
    .
     

     
    delight
    word for this year
    tossed on my chair
    .
    Susan Bonk Plumridge
    London, Canada
    .
    .
    It’s not always easy to use certain types of words that ‘tell’ such as joy, or delight. Here, I paused for a half-second on the first word/line and then realised how perfectly placed it was for the next line, and then the next line! 🙂 There is a great feeling in this verse, and a life choice, or at least a big decision, maybe a life changer, in adopting and sticking to ‘delight’ and not any negative aspects or actions that impacted the narrator in the previous year or years.
    .
    .
    Incredibly strong work throughout!
    .
    I think and feel that Craig’s request to focus on just one poem for submission has paid dividends!
    🙂

    1. Alan, your comments are a poetry all their own and greatly enhance my appreciation of the many haiku. Thank you!

      1. Thank you Marilyn! 🙂
        .
        .
        first apartment
        I trade my teddy bear
        for a throw pillow
        .
        Marilyn Ashbaugh
        Michigan, USA
        .
        .
        Also a very subtle alliteration that enhances the feel of this haiku.

      1. No worries Lucy! 🙂
        .
        .
        convalescence
        lilies on the throw pillow
        begin to open
        .
        Lucy Whitehead (UK)
        .
        .
        I love that last line, made all the more stronger by the choice of preceding lines. Fantastic! 🙂

    2. Dear esteemed poet,
      Greetings! So many thanks for selecting mine for your comments, really rewarding and encouraging . Going through again and again with your expertise comments, a great feast. Once again thanking you profusely.
      with regards
      S.Radhamani

    3. Thank you, Alan, for your comments overall and on my haiku:
      .
      .
      first robin song
      morning light accents
      on the throw pillows
      .
      .
      I was thinking of ‘accents’ as a noun (accents of light) but now I see how it might be read as a verb and if not, the action of creating accents can be implied. I was also thinking of the use of ‘accent’ as an adjective as in ‘accent pillows’. Interior decorators suggest pillows to create colour accents.
      .
      Your reflections are thought provoking and much appreciated.
      .
      I was also moved by your haiku:
      .
      .
      patchwork elephant
      just a throw cushion away
      from extinction
      .
      .
      This haiku elegantly touches a sad truth: there soon will be a generation for whom extinct species will be images from the past. The thought of this coming from the design on a cushion with extinction only a toss away brings to mind our thoughtless throwing, tossing and discarding…
      a prominent aspect of some human societies. For me, your haiku is a wonderful example of subtlety and directness combined.

      1. Dear Janice,
        .
        That’s the beauty of a well-placed word, it can do double or even triple work as noun/verb/adjective bringing a change and addition to nuances. 🙂
        .
        Thank you for your commentary on my haiku, I am deeply moved. Yes, you are right, whereas as a youth there seemed to be very few fellow animals made extinct by us, or so it seemed, we are now killing off thousands of species, and I am amazed that we are not yet the lone animal species we appear to crave to be, alas.

    4. I loved all interpretations of a throw pillow, deep and meaningful .. Thank you so much for liking my poem Alan! Thank you Craig for including it. ☺

  23. Thaks a lot for selecting mine, Craig!

    I am very familiar and understand this situation:

    crimson throw pillow
    with the face of his boss
    anger management

    Mark Meyer

    🙂

  24. Craig, love your added notes — and not just because of the delight (thanks so much) of finding there your comments about my own ku. In fact, since they come at the end, I didn’t even see them at first.
    .
    You sum up my ‘why,’ perfectly with this: “Just like a haiku, the pillow is a small thing capable of carrying big concepts.” That’s what your incisively-crafted notes show so well.
    .
    Kudos on a great beginning!

  25. Quite a lot of fun reading these throw pillow haiku. The one that threw itself in my face is

    patchwork elephant
    just a throw cushion away
    from extinction

    Alan Summers

    We often celebrate wild birds and animals on throw cushions and other home decor, and as haiku writers we love nature, but I wonder how many give much thought to the extinction rate of these rapidly disappearing creatures?

    1. Thank you Martha!
      .
      I can’t say more about why Karen, many years ago, got me thinking, but we do take our fellow animal species for granted when we use them to decorate our homes, work places, or leisure venues.
      .
      The awful fact is that we are the only animal species capable of extinguishing all other animals, which we are doing at an ever alarmingly increasing rate.
      .
      .
      patchwork elephant
      just a throw cushion away
      from extinction
      .
      Alan Summers
      .
      .
      Although we bought the cushion to enjoy it, and have a theme of nature, both British and international, we are both aware of what is ‘beyond the fun’ of these decorations. I remember going to a Sri Lankan elephant sanctuary, a genuine one, and I am glad I gave a decent donation.
      .
      Oddly enough, despite the fact that Sir David Attenborough was an animal hunter, collecting them for various people etc…, and not approving of conservation for many years, he now has changed, and Blue Planet II is very much a conservation film. A shame he didn’t support the film-makers decades ago, but he is very needed now. It’s often said saints came from bad backgrounds in order to understand the people in all their hues.
      .
      I can only hope that a new generation of humans will work on limiting the rest of us with our excessive use of plastics etc…
      .
      Thank you for mentioning this haiku.
      .
      .
      patchwork elephant
      just a throw cushion away
      from extinction
      .
      Alan Summers

      .
      .
      I did think long and hard about submitting this haiku, but all my other versions didn’t seem to resonate with me.

      1. I am so glad you did submit this one Alan, as it’s outstanding. I dearly love elephants and they deserve to be treated better, than being murdered for their tusks. Thank you.

  26. Thanks for choosing my haiku, Craig.

    It seems to me that Stephen Peters and I were thinking along the same lines. Throw pillows get in the way. His is Just perfect, and gets to the heart of the matter.

    throw pillows out of the way
    first one then another
    spring kisses
    Stephen A. Peters

    Now, to read more thoroughly the other gems.

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