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Haiku Dialogue: What’s at Hand Week 21

 

 

Welcome to Haiku Dialogue — What’s at Hand Week 21 with Guest Editor Craig Kittner.

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

For June 26, our final theme is a tacky souvenir. 

Immerse yourself in the theme, then submit one original, unpublished haiku via our Contact Form. Please submit by Saturday, June 22 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 broken shell.

a broken shell-
ocean with a speech
impediment

Aljoša Vuković
Šibenik, Croatia

 

broken shell
in the nest
bombing

Angiola Inglese

 

all the places
where the shell is broken –
receding waves

arvinder kaur
Chandigarh,India

 

egg tooth
we speak only of
the afterlife

Betty Shropshire

 

no coins
a crushed sand dollar
in the back pocket

Carmen Sterba

 

talk of divorce —
sandals crushing
broken shells

Carol Raisfeld

 

her sea song
still resonates
cracked conch

Charles Harmon
Los Angeles, California, USA

 

they’re fighting again
I listen to the sea waves
in my broken conch

Christine G
Delisle, SK, Canada

 

beach drift . . .
we mend the cracked wings
of angels

Debbie Strange

 

settled
on a clam shell shard
nibble away, sandfly

Don Wentworth

 

nautilus shell
the fractal
fracturing

Edward Cody Huddleston

 

home leave —
deep in his coat pocket
a broken shell

Eva Limbach
Germany
(Mare Tranquillitatis)

 

post-storm
the broken shell fills
with stars

Hifsa Ashraf
Pakistan

 

city break
shells of shattered spirits
curled up on cardboard

Ingrid Baluchi
Cambridge, U.K.

 

sinking tide
a broken shell, abandoned
again

Kari Davidson

 

low tide search
among shattered shells
the unbroken

Kath Abela Wilson
Pasadena, California

 

half moon scallop vows to fulfill

Laurie Greer
Washington DC

 

my shadow on the beach –
looking for the other half
of a shell

Maria Teresa Piras

 

mother’s Day
in my scrambled eggs
broken shells

Marta Chocilowska
Poland

 

broken sky
the mosaic pattern
of a dunnock’s egg

Martha Magenta

 

raised voices
eggshells
that I walk on

Michele L. Harvey

 

the words you used
to whisper in my ear
broken seashell

Olivier Schopfer
Geneva, Switzerland

 

in the shell of a shed
the sapling
persists

Pat Davis
NH, USA

 

I can’t hear
the sound of the sea
broken shell

Paul Geiger
Sebastopol, CA

 

broken shell
the sea
still singing in it

Pratima Balabhadrapathruni

 

broken seashell
honeymoon over
so quickly

Rehn Kovacic

 

broken shells
the jagged edges
of war

Rich Schilling

 

bullied boy
counting broken bits
of seashells

Roberta Beary
County Mayo, Ireland

 

still in it
the voice of the sea…
broken shell

Rosa Maria Di Salvatore

 

morning after divorce
two halves
of eggshell

Serhiy Shpychenko
Kyiv, UA

 

winter solitude
my other half missing
from all her shells

simonj
UK

 

snail’s journey . . .
a boy connecting
the broken pieces

Srinivasa Rao Sambangi

 

sand dollar clutched
in her tiny hand
sudden tears

Stephen Kusch
Oakland, CA

 

cracking eggs to Bach—
the beat of a cantata
in my frittata

Susan Rogers
Los Angeles, CA, USA

 

shining pearl
in a broken shell…
low tide

Tsanka Shishkova

 

broken shell
through the cracks
new grass growing

Veeramani Kozhikode

 

my blind leap
the broken shell
blushes in the sand

Vicki Miko

 

Lamborghini
under chocolate shell –
kinder surprise

Zdenka Mlinar
Zagreb, Croatia

 

Consider the forces that break shells. Waves, gravity, life, hunger, death, time, entropy . . . will. Contemplation of the broken draws us closer to things universal.

Six of my selections deal with the impact brokenness has on a shell’s ability to hold the ocean’s sound. Aljoša Vuković takes a humorous stance. His shell still voicing the sea, but with a slur or stutter.  Charles Harmon, Pratima Balabhadrapathruni, and Rosa Maria Di Salvatore exhibit positivity with voices still singing in their broken shells. Paul Geiger takes a darker tone with the sound becoming lost. While Christine G makes the sound of brokenness a refuge.

Serhiy Shpychenko expresses the emptiness of loss as two halves of a morning’s eggshell. It is a poised and powerful statement.

Equally powerful is the hope that Kath Abela Wilson packs into line 3 of her haiku. After the bleakness of “shattered shells,” “the unbroken” shines forth.

I haven’t quite cracked the code of Betty Shropshire’s piece. An egg tooth’s sole purpose is to set a hatchling free to start a new phase of existence. I see the connection between that fact and a conversation about the afterlife, but I feel I’m missing something deeper. It’s a pleasurable riddle.

What do you see in these cracks, holes, and jagged edges? Please add to the comments 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 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 59 Comments

  1. sinking tide
    a broken shell, abandoned
    again
    *
    Kari Davidson
    *

    This wonderful ku is a keeper for me.
    It shows the ups and downs of life and gives hope. It’s yin and yang, the course of the world … the universal principle of dao.

    1. Thank you, Eva! For some reason, after I wrote it, the broken shell in my haiku made me think of a foster child.
      Your haiku spoke to me immediately, as I work with veterans– “home leave” made me think of someone returning from overseas possibly from some kind of military service. There is some kind of memory or experience which he can probably never explain and never relive; the shell is “deep in his coat pocket.” It must be something precious because he’s brought it with him, but it’s also… broken. Yours is a beautiful haiku.

  2. Thanks Viki and Christine for appreciating my poem. When brainstorming this week’s topic, I did not think of eggshells, so I was happy to read the poems about them.

  3. Thank you Craig, for choosing my verse, and to the others who’ve commented on it. I’ve enjoyed the many verse here and could comment on many of them.
    A lot of us thought of seashells, so I appreciate the poets who sent verses about other “shells”, like
    in the shell of a shed
    the sapling
    persists
    -Pat Davis
    .
    I especially liked the humor in Aljosa V’s line:
    ocean with a speech impediment
    .
    settled
    on a clam shell shard
    nibble away, sandfly
    -Don Wentworth
    .
    That sandfly’s going to be nibbling a long time! makes me think of moving the beach, one grain at a time, or eating an elephant bite by bite.
    .
    post-storm
    the broken shell fills
    with stars
    -Hifsa Ashraf
    .
    Lovely seaside scene: the storm is gone and night has settled. In a half-filled shell we get the reflection of the stars above; even broken, the broken shell can still hold beauty.
    .
    sand dollar clutched
    in her tiny hand
    sudden tears
    Stephen Kusch
    .
    I’m thinking the child can’t understand, feels the tide has left the sand dollar behind to die on the beach. The sadness of abandonment would bring a sensitive child to tears.

  4. Thank you, Craig, for including my haiku in this publication. I loved all the haiku. Three particularly impressed me:

    mother’s Day
    in my scrambled eggs
    broken shells
    Marta Chocilowska’s

    broken shell
    in the nest
    bombing
    Angiola Inglese

    bullied boy
    counting broken bits
    of seashells
    Roberta Beary

    1. Thank you so much, Maria Teresa!
      I like your searching for the other half of the shell 🙂
      Marta

  5. Thank you for including my haiku Craig. Many thanks to Alan Summers for the mention.
    .

    city break
    shells of shattered spirits
    curled up on cardboard
    .
    Ingrid Baluchi
    .
    This haiku stood out for me. I may have interpreted differently from other people, but for me it portrays the stark image of rough sleepers in London and other cities, where homes are sold to foreign investors to keep empty while the homeless are cruelly moved on to find another cold patch to lay sleep on. A memorable but sad haiku.

    1. Thank you, Martha. You interpreted my poem precisely as I had intended. Visiting UK after a gap of over 20 years — Cambridge of all places, and coming from a relatively poor country that is Macedonia, I was utterly shocked by the number of homeless people of all ages strewn around the streets, ignored by the municipality and tourists alike. Shameful.

      1. Your poem is heart-wrenching. This is a very sad sight to see! Not knocking compassion, but we hear so much about the need to open doors and take in refugees from other lands. So what shall we do with the homeless on our streets now? And where will the refugees end up? Difficult questions people need to consider.

  6. Thank you to editors of the magazine for publishing my haiku and all the praise to maestro Kittner and his cooperatives. Congratulations to a colleague Aljosa Vukovoc from Šibenik.

  7. Thank you, Craig Kittner, for including my poem! I liked your commentary, especially your first two sentences.
    In different ways, I was touched by every poem and I love all the meaningful interpretations! Thank you.

    egg tooth
    we speak only of
    the afterlife
    *
    Betty Shropshire
    *
    Betty Shropshire’s poem is so intriguing. Do we humans “speak only of / the afterlife”… when the “egg tooth” animals are the actual essence of it?

    in the shell of a shed
    the sapling
    persists
    *
    Pat Davis
    NH, USA
    *
    Pat Davis’ poem is my favorite! It brings another story to the meaning of “broken shell”. Maybe a tornado, hailstorm or fire has left only “the shell of a shed”; yet, there it is, the “sapling / persists” surviving all. Nature is remarkable!

    bullied boy
    counting broken bits
    of seashells
    *
    Roberta Beary
    County Mayo, Ireland
    *
    Roberta Beary’s poem gives me a tear. A “bullied boy” retreating from the world to find comfort in nature. I especially like Alan Summer’s vision of maybe the boy is saving the “bits” for a mosaic! And Laurie Greer’s thoughtful observance how we humans can sometimes be resilient and hopefully self-healing—“counting” and “to take control”. And we humans are the only ones who can control the bullying.

    winter solitude
    my other half missing
    from all her shells
    *
    simonj
    UK
    *
    Simonj’s melancholy poem brings a tear, “my other half missing / from all her shells”. Simonj’s heart is broken. I can almost picture the hand-picked collection of shells she carefully displayed one by one. Or maybe a bunch of the shells were delicately placed in a bowl or basket. With heartfelt thoughts, maybe beyond “winter solitude” the shells can bring a bit of comfort.

    snail’s journey . . .
    a boy connecting
    the broken pieces
    *
    Srinivasa Rao Sambangi
    *
    Srinivasa Rao Sambangi’s poem is a bit heartbreaking for me. Studying his new discovery, maybe the “boy” is trying to repair the snail’s house? Or is there a deeper “journey” “connecting” the boy and the snail?

    Thank you!

  8. I like a number of poems already commented on – and here are a few more:
    .
    morning after divorce
    two halves
    of eggshell
    Serhiy Shpychenko
    .
    Two people, joined as one, are two again. Maybe what was in the broken shell will have lasting significance despite the breakup.
    .
    broken seashell
    honeymoon over
    so quickly
    Rehn Kovacic
    .
    Relationships, like seashells, are fragile. The shell remains, but cracks are already visible. Such is life. Cracks may be repaired!
    .
    sinking tide
    a broken shell, abandoned
    again
    Kari Davidson
    .
    I like the use of “sinking” here which causes me to think of a “sinking” feeling. Goes well with the use of “abandoned,” as well as “again.” Evokes sadness. Great choice of words!
    .
    they’re fighting again
    I listen to the sea waves
    in my broken conch
    Christine G Delisle
    .
    A child finds a way to deal with emotional upheaval in the family. Paired with this idea is the broken shell: despite its flaw the child holds on to hope. Nice.
    .
    her sea song
    still resonates
    cracked conch
    Charles Harmon
    ,
    If the use of sea song refers to “work” then her legacy continues to be noticeable and of value. Despite the crack, her life still has meaning and it recognized by those around her. A bit of a mystery here, but a moving poem nonetheless.
    .
    egg tooth
    we speak only of
    the afterlife
    Betty Shropshire
    ,
    Interesting! Most of use, in one way or another, attempt to crack through the mysteries of existence. The bird does not know what is on the other side but does what comes naturally. Likewise, humans speculate what is on the other side of their many closed environments. I think there is more to this, from your perspective Betty, but it’s a powerful image for me given your choice of words!
    .
    Thanks to all of you.
    Ron
    .

    1. Thanks for your comment on my verse. It’s very hard for children to watch and hear parents seriously arguing. The child in my verse is trying hard to drown it out with the soothing wash of waves.

  9. These resonated with me:
    raised voices
    eggshells
    that I walk on Michele L. Harvey

    I love the contrast in the loud sound of voices and the softer sound of walking on eggshells.

    mother’s Day
    in my scrambled eggs
    broken shells Marta Chocilowska

    I’ve read the interpretations already given. When I read it I pictured an elderly and/or loving mother not mentioning the broken shells in her eggs, just appreciating the effort of her child.

    low tide search
    among shattered shells
    the unbroken Kath Abela Wilson

    I like that “the unbroken” can be a person or a sea shell.

    bullied boy
    counting broken bits
    of seashells Roberta Beary

    This one tore at my heartstrings. I am particularly sensitive to the topic of kids being bullied, as I advocated for many a bullied child during my long years of teaching.

  10. I like Susan Roger’s upbeat haiku:

    cracking eggs to Bach
    the beat of a cantata
    in my frittata

    two haiku with positive undertones:

    Kathabela Wilson’s

    low tide search
    among shattered shells
    the unbroken

    Charles Harmon’s

    her sea song
    still resonates
    cracked conch

    So much said with so few words.

    Michele L. Harvey’s

    raised voices
    eggshells
    that I walk on

    This one hits home for me, as I had a temperamental mother growing up.

    Lots of other wonderful ones. Great selection, Craig!

  11. Two that stood out to me in rereading are:
    .
    the words you used
    to whisper in my ear
    broken seashell
    .
    Olivier Schopfer
    .
    Words and whisper are nice together. The word used can be heard two ways.
    .
    bullied boy
    counting broken bits
    of seashells
    .
    Roberta Beary
    .
    A nice rhythm for such a sad image. At first I thought he was counting shells for comfort, then in rereading thought he might be bullied because of his counting the broken bits, or just because.

  12. Thank you everyone for a rewarding read. Betty Shropshire’s will linger for me…holding an awareness of before birth and after death:
    .

    egg tooth
    we speak only of
    the afterlife
    .
    Betty Shropshire
    .
    .
    Many resonated but I would like to mention just two more. I am moved by how broken things offer comfort in troubled times in these haiku:
    .
    they’re fighting again
    I listen to the sea waves
    in my broken conch
    .
    Christine G
    Delisle, SK, Canada
    .
    .
    bullied boy
    counting broken bits
    of seashells
    .
    Roberta Beary
    County Mayo, Ireland

  13. Thank you, Craig, for including my poem, and to Alan and Laurie for your comments – always appreciated.
    Two very different outlooks in the following poems which caught my attention among several others this week:
    Nature’s determination in Pat Davis’
    .
    in the shell of a shed
    the sapling
    persists
    .
    and Rich Schilling’s
    .
    broken shells
    the jagged edges
    of war
    .
    If only we could feel and experience more of the first than the second.

  14. Thank you, Craig, for publishing my “scrambled eggs” 🙂
    My favorite poem this week is

    the words you used
    to whisper in my ear
    broken seashell
    *
    Olivier Schopfer

  15. Marta Chocilowska’s

    mother’s Day
    in my scrambled eggs
    broken shells

    offers an unmistakable image of childish love. She also lets us help put it together!

  16. a broken shell.

    Some original treatments of the prompt!
    .
    .

    a broken shell-
    ocean with a speech
    impediment
    .
    Aljoša Vuković
    Šibenik, Croatia
    .
    .
    We have certainly denied the ocean(s) its voice now, all clammed up with our unnecessary single-use plastic. A strong haiku!
    .
    .

     
    broken shell
    in the nest
    bombing
    .
    Angiola Inglese
    .
    .
    Shells always makes me think of bullet casings or larger shell casings first, partly as we have experienced the 75th Anniversary of the Normandy Landings of WWII in an attempt to fight fascism.
    .
    Now we seem to again target civilians, namely women and children, and hospitals, and homes, over “valid” military targets.
    .
    .
     
    all the places
    where the shell is broken –
    receding waves
    .
    arvinder kaur
    Chandigarh,India
    .
    .

    A haiku that wraps negative space around it. A very powerful haiku.
    .
    .

     
    egg tooth
    we speak only of
    the afterlife
    .
    Betty Shropshire
    .
    .
    egg tooth:
    a hard white protuberance on the beak or jaw of an embryo bird or reptile that is used for breaking out of the shell and is later lost.
    .
    I’ve seen the practice of the preposition ‘of’ left deliberately as an enjambment, and it can work, as it does here.
    .
    Another strong haiku with a lot of reverberation.
    .
    .

     
    no coins
    a crushed sand dollar
    in the back pocket
    .
    Carmen Sterba
    .
    .
    Some people stamp over other people to be the next billionaire, earning money that others actually made for them. Others are rich beyond words on simplicity and lack of greed. Great haiku!
    .
    .
     
    talk of divorce —
    sandals crushing
    broken shells
    .
    Carol Raisfeld
    .
    .
    Both literally and metaphorical. We often think our first default is to destroy, but never re-build afterwards. Another strong verse.
    .
    .
     

     
    they’re fighting again
    I listen to the sea waves
    in my broken conch
    .
    Christine G
    Delisle, SK, Canada
    .
    .
    Another one about divorce, impending, or domestic abuse perhaps? So many people are killed in a marriage. So many children scared and scarred, sometimes repeating the pattern.
    .
    .
     
    beach drift . . .
    we mend the cracked wings
    of angels
    .
    Debbie Strange
    .
    .
    As to be expected, not only beautful but unexpectedly beautiful!
    .
    .
     
    settled
    on a clam shell shard
    nibble away, sandfly
    .
    Don Wentworth
    .
    .
    The dreaded sandfly, are they are as painful as the Queensland ones I endured. They make the worst mosquito almost fairylike in comparision.
    .
    .

     
    nautilus shell
    the fractal
    fracturing
    .
    Edward Cody Huddleston
    .
    .
    Just love that first line in itself!
    .
    From my haibun:
    .
    .
    A character in a poem is never written
    .
    There are nautiluses who remember useful things for only a day,
     .
    Alan Summers
    pins on a map: 3rd haiku anthology (Inhaiku Mumbai anthology)
    Inhaiku Mumbai ed. Rohini Gupta (November 2nd 2018)
    from haibun: A character in a poem is never written
    .
    .

    home leave —
    deep in his coat pocket
    a broken shell
    .
    Eva Limbach
    Germany
    (Mare Tranquillitatis)
    .
    .
    A seashell in a coat pocket instead of a military shell casing. This soldier brings something back that is hopefully positive.
    .
    .
     
    post-storm
    the broken shell fills
    with stars
    .
    Hifsa Ashraf
    Pakistan
    .
    .
    Ah, an infinity shell, awesome! I bet there was a crow or two playing there too! 🙂
    .
    .

     
    city break
    shells of shattered spirits
    curled up on cardboard
    .
    Ingrid Baluchi
    Cambridge, U.K.
    .
    .
    I like the juxtaposition of the first line where people pollute the skies with short holiday hops by plane, and broken society can’t pick up those pieces let alone their own. Powerful work!
    .
    .

     
    low tide search
    among shattered shells
    the unbroken
    .
    Kath Abela Wilson
    Pasadena, California
    .
    .
    Glad there is something unbroken, but shhhh…
    don’t tell the ‘high ups!’ 🙂 Neat poem! Love the opening line too!
    .
    .
     
    half moon scallop vows to fulfill
    .
    Laurie Greer
    Washington DC
    .
    .
    Wonderful rhythm here, a real joy to read out loud too!!!
    .
    .

     

    mother’s Day
    in my scrambled eggs
    broken shells
    .
    Marta Chocilowska
    Poland
    .
    .
    Ah Mother’s Day, I had three one time, but at least I have two surviving mothers-in-law, who are amazing! Just think of broken shells as added calcium! 🙂
    .
    .

     
    broken sky
    the mosaic pattern
    of a dunnock’s egg
    .
    Martha Magenta
    .
    .
    There is something magical about dunnock eggs. They used to be my favorite photos in the early bird books I got from my milk round money as a wee bairn.
    .
    .

     
    raised voices
    eggshells
    that I walk on
    .
    Michele L. Harvey
    .
    .
    Ah, yes, it’s now normal, expected, and demanded, that as many of us as possible to angry for no reason. I can so relate to violent or potentially violent arguments about to happen, and tiptoeing away, if possible.
    .
    .

     
    broken seashell
    honeymoon over
    so quickly
    .
    Rehn Kovacic
    .
    .
    Ah, those seaside romances never last!
    .
    .
     
    broken shells
    the jagged edges
    of war
    .
    Rich Schilling
    .
    .
    Strong use of juxtaposition of comparison!
    .
    .

     
    bullied boy
    counting broken bits
    of seashells
    .
    Roberta Beary
    County Mayo, Ireland
    .
    .
    I don’t know if I’m right in this, but in my imagination at least, the boy is a collector, his only comfort. A group of cowards look to destroy anything that makes him in the least bit happy. I hope in another dimension he made a mosaic out of them (shells or boys).
    .
    .

     

     
    winter solitude
    my other half missing
    from all her shells
    .
    simonj
    UK
    .
    .
    An intriguing last two lines, especially that last line. It does feel incredibly sad. I am so sorry.
    .
    .

     
    snail’s journey . . .
    a boy connecting
    the broken pieces
    .
    Srinivasa Rao Sambangi
    .
    .
    Wonderful poem!

      1. At least I met all my mothers, the last one a few years ago. Only one made me scrambled eggs, or more specifically six-egg omelettes, as per request. 🙂

        1. Alan, in my poem it is not a mother, who makes scrambled eggs for children, but a child who makes it for his mother 🙂

          1. mother’s Day
            in my scrambled eggs
            broken shells
            .
            Marta Chocilowska
            Poland
            .
            Marta said:
            “in my poem it is not a mother, who makes scrambled eggs for children,
            but a child who makes it for his mother”
            .
            .
            Yes, I’ve done that when I did 24/7 care for six months (no sleep) caring and cooking for my mother. It set back Karen’s M.E. for a year or more.
            .
            .
            I read it initially as the spirit of “Mother’s Day” or of “Mother” in the breakfast, remembering the parent.
            Interesting that the pronoun belongs to a male child. I wondered if the author was ‘my’ so thanks for the nod.
            .
            re
            broken shells
            That could mean a very young child, even a teenager, who has not learnt to cook (yet).
            .
            What was strong was that I could read it as a remembered regular dish by a mother, just as I remember omelettes or chicken curry, or lemon meringue or fancy salad dressing etc…
            .
            I’m sure this haiku will turn up in a Robert Epstein anthology! 🙂

          2. Alan, thank you again for your extensive and insightful comment, as always bringing a new knowledge and a new point of view 🙂
            Love
            m.

    1. Thanks to Alan and Craig for choosing and enjoying my haiku.
      As always I read many interesting texts here.

    2. Alan, I appreciate your interest. I still remember the time my family came home from one of the beaches along the Pacific Ocean when I was about four or five. The next day my mother smelled something fishy in the clothes basket. She went through the clothes and found a sand dollar in a pocket of my short shorts.
      .
      no coins
      a crushed sand dollar
      in the back pocket
      .
      Carmen Sterba
      .
      Some people stamp over other people to be the next billionaire, earning money that others actually made for them. Others are rich beyond words on simplicity and lack of greed. Great haiku!

    3. Thanks for your comment on my verse.
      A young friend told me that when her parents started drinking and fighting, she’d take her younger sisters into her bedroom and tell them stories to protect them and try to drown out the abuse. Even happily married folks have arguments — that’s life — but we forget that the children overhear and often don’t understand where, or how far, this is going.

      1. Abuse is an epidemic and too often authority figures laugh it away. Children absorb everything, whether it’s blows reigned down upon them, or words directed at them, or words within earshot.
        .
        As children absorb everything no wonder some copy the abuse.

  17. Another set of beautiful poems! Thank you, Craig, and all contributors.
    was especially struck by:
    *
    a broken shell-
    ocean with a speech
    impediment

    Aljoša Vuković
    Šibenik, Croatia
    so clear and clever, yet also empathetic
    *
    nautilus shell
    the fractal
    fracturing

    Edward Cody Huddleston

    love the dizzying geometry of this
    *
    home leave —
    deep in his coat pocket
    a broken shell

    Eva Limbach
    Germany
    (Mare Tranquillitatis)

    this one offers some chilling possibilities–not just a seashell but a spent bullet shell
    *
    post-storm
    the broken shell fills
    with stars

    Hifsa Ashraf
    Pakistan
    lovely–and “storm” could mean so many different things, from rain to war to personal turmoil. A fragile and hopeful moment
    *

    city break
    shells of shattered spirits
    curled up on cardboard

    Ingrid Baluchi
    Cambridge, U.K.
    a poignant and true description of the homeless; powerful poem
    *
    raised voices
    eggshells
    that I walk on

    Michele L. Harvey

    another striking combination of cleverness and emotional depth.
    *
    bullied boy
    counting broken bits
    of seashells

    Roberta Beary
    County Mayo, Ireland

    perfect portrayal of the shattering wounds of cruelty. that “counting” is especially resonant, as if to say wounds matter, even if small, as well as a suggestion of being able to take control by quantifying an experience. And specifying “sea” shell rather than leaving it at shell–of course we have to “see” the pain, witness the brutality to keep if from continuing.
    *
    snail’s journey . . .
    a boy connecting
    the broken pieces

    Srinivasa Rao Sambangi

    I am charmed by this one! Thanks!
    *
    cracking eggs to Bach—
    the beat of a cantata
    in my frittata

    Susan Rogers
    Los Angeles, CA, USA

    ha–the perfect Sunday brunch!
    *

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