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Haiku Dialogue: What’s at Hand Week 4

 

 

Welcome to Haiku Dialogue — What’s at Hand Week 4 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 an obsolete device.

Immerse yourself in the theme, then submit one original, unpublished haiku via our Contact Form. Please submit by 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 smooth coin.

twilight–
the beggar folds his mat
at the toss of my coin

Adjei Agyei-Baah
Ghana/New Zealand

 

distant thunder –
she flips
her last coin

Agus Maulana Sunjaya
Tangerang, Indonesia

 

smooth coins
how we slip away
into blue velvet

Alan Summers
Wiltshire, England

 

Smooth coins
At the bottom of a wishing well
Starry sky

Anna Victoria Goluba

 

a smooth coin
in his calloused palm –
fallen leaves

Arvinder Kaur
Chandigarh, India

 

worn coin
molecules of history
on each side

Bisshie
Zürich, Switzerland

 

coin of the realm
clipped rough around the edges
smooth operators

Charles Harmon
Los Angeles, California, USA

 

full moon
the lost coin
found

Christina Pecoraro

 

a well-worn coin
tossed into the sky
harvest moon

Dean Okamura

 

his luck
underwater
fountain penny

Deborah P Kolodji
Temple City, CA

 

smooth coin –
the vendor’s
shopworn persuasion

Janice Munro
Canada

 

tax day
melting the raise
from my chocolate coins

Jennifer Hambrick

 

nickel worn thin
with rubbing—
never did have two

Joan Barrett

 

dressing daddy
the lucky coin
in his pocket

Joanne van Helvoort

 

worn penny loafers
the unreadable
year I was born

Kath Abela Wilson
Pasadena, California

 

worn smooth
the days she can’t
make heads or tails of

Laurie Greer
Washington DC

 

the flood came
and went away
forgot the coins

Ljiljana Dobra
Sibenik, Croatia

 

lucky penny
worn out
from all my wishing

Lori Zajkowski

 

old coin
the way time wears
our faces

Lucy Whitehead
UK

 

mother’s coin pendant
a flash of smooth gold
on my daughter’s throat

Madhuri Pillai
Melbourne, Australia

 

golden links
his coin now worn
by generations

Margaret Walker

 

A lucky penny
Abraham Lincoln’s visage
Smoothed out with worry

Margie Gustafson

 

silver dollar —
the face of liberty
nearly worn away

Mark Meyer

 

a gypsy dancer
the smooth coins jingling
on her hips

Marta Chocilowska,
Warsaw, Poland

 

fading moon—
the wish-worn coin
in my pocket

Martha Magenta
UK

 

old nickels
tales of buffalo
in his thinning voice

(In the 1930’s the US Mint made nickels with a buffalo on one side and an American Indian on the other.)

Pat Davis
Pembroke, NH USA

 

passed on from mother
the coin he almost carried
to war

Pris Campbell

 

smooth coin
shying away
her rough hand

Radhamani sarma

 

vending machine
coin on the palm
reflects the moonlight

Serhiy Shpychenko
Kyiv, UA

 

the milled edge
of a faceless coin
carving your name

simonj
UK

 

in my hand the price of a smile

Susan Rogers
Los Angeles, CA USA

 

blind beggar’s bowl
a smooth coin makes
the same noise

Vandana Parashar

 

hunger moon
the worn-down head
of a buffalo nickel

Victor Ortiz

 

digital payment
lost smoothness
of coins

Vishnu Kapoor

 

spitting out
all my quarters—
no tampon change

Wendy C. Bialek
AZ, USA

 

For over twenty-five hundred years coins have accompanied us through history. They are ripe with personality, myth, and symbology, useful in haiku for all the connections they evoke.

Lucy Whitehead’s “old coin” speaks of the intimate relationship humanity and coins share, with time slowly having its way with both of us. And does time wear our faces in more ways than one?

Naturally, worn faces showed up often this week. However, I think we can we assume that Mark Meyer is alluding to more than just the effects of age on his silver dollar. While Margie Gustafson tosses in a little irony with a face made smooth from worrying.

Coins and luck go hand and hand, though a couple of our poets seem unsure of luck’s efficacy. Is the underwater penny in Deborah P Kolodji’s haiku still lucky? Will Lori Zajkowski’s lucky penny ever recharge?

Joanne van Helvoort takes us from luck into myth by calling to mind Charon and the price of a trip across the Styx.

Vishnu Kapoor brings us right back to the twenty-first century. Are coins doomed to obsolescence? What richness we will loose if they are.

The comments section awaits your two cents.

 

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.

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 113 Comments

  1. This particular haiku caught my attention. I saw the moon reflecting itself as the lost coin perhaps found in a river or lake. A beautiful piece and rare juxtaposition worth a gem!
    .
    full moon
    the lost coin
    found

    Christina Pecoraro

    1. Ah, the magic and mystery of light. The moon, when full, is the great searchlight in the night, and is the moon the coin, or a vehicle for something lost to be regained.
      .
      .
      full moon
      the lost coin
      found
      .
      Christina Pecoraro
      .
      .
      There’s always something special about these six word verses too! 🙂

    2. Thanks, Adjei and Alan.
      .
      Thought I’d give this week’s ku and commentary one last read and was rewarded by your lovely insightful observations.

      1. Always worth popping in, even a week later, as more and more people are coming back to these prompts, as they are so neatly given specific prompts, but with haiku that really expand on them too! 🙂

  2. also love all this talk about anthologies… of course, the thought had crossed my mind… one thing to consider is that all the content is available (for free) in THF archives… so we are looking at some ideas & considering our options… for now, I think, the brilliant thing is that brilliant new work continues to be created & shared here!
    thanks again Craig!

    1. Sounds great! There are anthologies and then there are anthologies, so I can well understand a lot of thought and care.
      .
      I am constantly amazed at the quality and sheer depth in these haiku and senryu each week, it’s quite staggering.

    2. You’re welcome, Kathy. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to edit your blog. I greatly enjoy working with all our wonderful writers.

  3. WOW!!
    the poems are great… the comments are great… thanks to Craig & all involved for this dialogue!
    sorry to be late to the party (again…) – so am I the only one to see the blue velvet sofa, & the coins slipping between the cushions? sometimes lost, sometimes found…
    smooth coins
    how we slip away
    into blue velvet

    Alan Summers
    Wiltshire, England

    1. Hi Kathy!
      .
      “WOW!!
      the poems are great… the comments are great… thanks to Craig & all involved for this dialogue!”
      .
      Yes, it’s been an amazing prompt resulting in some very fine poems.
      .
      .
      You said:
      .
      “sorry to be late to the party (again…) – so am I the only one to see the blue velvet sofa, & the coins slipping between the cushions? sometimes lost, sometimes found…”
      .
      smooth coins
      how we slip away
      into blue velvet
      .
      Alan Summers
      Wiltshire, England
      .

      Thanks KJMunro! 🙂
      .
      I remember the old days when coins were regularly found in sofas, and often some intriguing items, almost like a soft attic effect, a veritable history store! 🙂
      .
      I think one sofa I shared often had enough change for at least one take out a week! 🙂
      .
      .
      Your comment and how it’s worded is very revealing:
      .
      “so am I the only one to see the blue velvet sofa, & the coins slipping between the cushions? sometimes lost, sometimes found…”
      .
      A blue velvet sofa sounds amazing! Is this a velvet version of a Chesterfield?
      .
      That “sometimes lost, sometimes found…” comment and in combination of blue reminds me of the saying that brides so often followed:
      .
      “According to The Knot, “something old” stands for continuity; “something new” shows optimism for the future; “something borrowed” symbolizes borrowed happiness; and “something blue” represents purity, love, and fidelity.”
      https://www.rd.com/culture/something-old/
      .
      A case of we come from dust and we return to dust, and we attempt ‘life’ in between, and perhaps everything is an in between, all caught in blue velvet, be it coin boxes, or bags, or sofas, or casket linings, or simply the wide open sky, and/or sea?
      .
      Life is an experiment, have we passed it?
      .
      Thank you Kathy for your thought-provoking post.

  4. golden links
    his coin now worn
    by generations
    .
    Margaret Walker
    .
    .
    There are so many strong haiku it’s difficult to comment in depth. So many are also memorable, for various reasons, including this one by Margaret.
    .
    .
    I like the fact we will never know who “he” is but he was either a particular vital and important male father figure, or a great leader.
    .
    I keep thinking of statespeople who, whether they have faults, went beyond the call of duty that politicians perceive. Roosevelt was an American leader, and a disabled person, and yet he did more than a dozen astounding leaders put together have done. I yearn for someone like that in my own country, which has suffered under different parties who only appeared to want to look after the population in total.
    .
    .
    If only we could have golden links passed down to us.

    1. The world suffers from a ‘drought of men’ – I can’t find the origin of this phrase, but believe it to be an Arabic saying, referring to (lack of) competent leadership.

      1. I tend to look to female leaders now, after being blown away by the women who lead the Welsh, Scottish, and Green parties in the U.K. and how they worked together during a televised debate despite the awful male and suited ‘main’ parties.
        .
        Both Roosevelts seem cool, but it’s FDR I admire most, and of course there was Eleanor Roosevelt who did so much in her own right. Some presidents I even forget which party they represent because they do so much for the entire population, which parties don’t really like to do.
        .
        But we are sadly lacking male role models who currently appear venal and barely anything else. Where are the ‘golden links’ of today? It’s why Margaret’s haiku is so strong, and I’m given hope as children are rebelling against the venal aspects of politics and corporations.

    2. Alan –

      Again, I so appreciate your thoughtful comments. You always seem to give yet another perspective to my writing.

      It is so exciting to hear the what others “hear” as they read my writing – providing a new, and often unexpected interpretation that is, nonetheless, “just right”.

      And extra thanks because your words just sparked an idea for another haiku – or maybe haibun!

  5. in my hand the price of a smile

    Susan Rogers
    Los Angeles, CA USA

    I absolutely love this poem, Susan, brava

  6. simonj

    the milled edge
    of a faceless coin
    carving your name

    simonj
    UK

    yes, it is a common thing isn’t it, fancy you thought of that to pen into a haiku

  7. @Vishnu Kapoor

    digital payment
    lost smoothness
    of coins

    Vishnu Kapoor

    that is true…I miss the feel of coins taken from their water bucket, when vendors rolled carts into the bylanes… old days …nostalgia, very nice

  8. @Adjei Agyei-Baah

    twilight–
    the beggar folds his mat
    at the toss of my coin

    Adjei Agyei-Baah
    Ghana/New Zealand

    it is a fun read, like the toss of a coin is more like the ring of a bell …

  9. @ Alan Summers

    hi Alan,

    another wonderful poem from you and somehow, for me blue velvet does not seem blue enough to be the blues, rather it seems more like the weathered and worn are now going into history, blue velvet for me somehow brings in royal blue velvet …
    it almost reads as if, the glory is shared, not just one old smooth of a coin but more than one
    there are a lot of comments going on and maybe this is one point I wanted to share among others…

    anna

    1. Hi Anna,
      .
      Thank you! 🙂
      .
      I worry that my haiku here and on other social media platforms can divide people, but blame it on my “subconscious writer half.” 😉
      .
      .
      Anna said:
      .
      “… for me blue velvet does not seem blue enough to be the blues, rather it seems more like the weathered and worn are now going into history, blue velvet for me somehow brings in royal blue velvet …”
      .
      Yes, this time there was no direct or indirect nod to the blues, either black dog or jazz. Yes, worn and weathered hence the clue in smooth coins. It’s automatically wabi or wabi-sabi when we go through our recently deceased parent’s belongings, for instance.
      .
      .
      smooth coins
      how we slip away
      into blue velvet
      .
      Alan Summers
      Wiltshire, England
      .
      .
      “royal blue” is spot on!
      .
      For instance, that special colour of sky, whether Provence, France, or just Ipswich, Queensland (Australia):
      .
      bleu roi
      a thousand flying foxes
      quarter the moon
      .
      Alan Summers
      Haiku World: An International Poetry Almanac
      ed. William Higginson & Penny Harter
      Kodansha International (1996)
      .
      .
      And royal blue is often chosen for clothing or types of pottery (plates etc…).
      .
      .
      Anna said:
      .
      “it almost reads as if, the glory is shared, not just one old smooth of a coin but more than one
      there are a lot of comments going on and maybe this is one point I wanted to share among others…”
      .
      Thank you! 🙂
      .
      My mother and myself NEVER got on, until the last few years, a little while after my father’s untimely death. We had so many conversations and laughter, everything boiled down to basics, which was great. We forget that laughter can be so important, before we slip away.
      .
      Thank you so much for the time, as I know you are super busy.

  10. Thanks for publishing mine Craig. Great selection this week. Wonderful collection of work from everyone. Here are a few that really jumped out for me.
    .
    smooth coins
    how we slip away
    into blue velvet
    .
    Alan Summers
    Wiltshire, England
    .
    When I originally read this, I understood ‘blue velvet’ as a metaphor for the night sky and death. It’s really beautiful. I realised afterwards that it refers to a coin presentation box too. I love the assonance of ‘smooth’ and ‘blue’…to my ear it gives the whole haiku a gliding feel that echoes the slipping away motion as do the ‘w’ sounds ‘how’, ‘we’, ‘away’.
    .
    a well-worn coin
    tossed into the sky
    harvest moon
    .
    Dean Okamura
    .
    The verb ‘tossed’ really makes this haiku for me. The contrast between the motion of the coin and the relative stillness of the moon provides a wonderful tension and energy. Time/age works on several levels in this haiku. You have the duration of the coin toss (the instant it is in the air) and the duration of the moon (whether counted as a night, the time of the harvest moon, or the time of the moon’s existence). ‘Well-worn’ becomes associated with the moon too, highlighting the contrast between the age of the moon and the age of a coin itself, even if ‘well-worn’. In that way, it seems to put our human presence on the earth into perspective.
    .
    tax day
    melting the raise
    from my chocolate coins
    .
    Jennifer Hambrick
    .
    I thought this was a wonderfully fun and original take on the theme, although it could also be read as a lighthearted take on money struggles. I love the contrast between the seriousness of ‘tax day’ and the playfulness of ‘chocolate coins’.
    .
    worn smooth
    the days she can’t
    make heads or tails of
    .
    Laurie Greer
    Washington DC
    .
    I thought this was very poignant and clever. Laurie managed to use the metaphor of a coin without using the word ‘coin’. And it says so much.

    1. Thank you so much Lucy! 🙂
      .
      You said:
      .
      “When I originally read this, I understood ‘blue velvet’ as a metaphor for the night sky and death. It’s really beautiful.”
      .
      .
      Yes, it seems that velvet and blue shades of velvet are symbolic of life and death, the night sky, and perhaps even Homer’s wine-dark sea of ancient times in Greece, where we are not sure why the sea, the oxen sea (literal translation) might be about. But we live side by side with death, even in peaceful times perhaps?
      .

      You said:
      .
      ” I realised afterwards that it refers to a coin presentation box too.”
      .
      Yes, although part of this haiku was written ‘automatically’ and I didn’t consciously know about all the layers while in that ‘writing method’ so it intrigues me that it can be clear to readers, and myself even. 🙂
      .
      You said:
      .
      ” I love the assonance of ‘smooth’ and ‘blue’…to my ear it gives the whole haiku a gliding feel that echoes the slipping away motion as do the ‘w’ sounds ‘how’, ‘we’, ‘away’.”
      .
      .
      smooth coins
      how we slip away
      into blue velvet
      .
      Alan Summers
      Wiltshire, England
      .
      .
      Thank you so much! When it was fresh with me, I felt this haiku was good, but of course once it was out there, all my doubts materialised. 🙂

        1. I tried what is called ‘automatic’ writing many moons ago, where it’s just continual writing, pen fixed to the page or pages, for maybe 20 minutes, without any thinking or syntax etc…
          .
          Then there is the compulsive writing where even if I didn’t want to write, it was like the red shoes of HC Andersen, even unpleasant in fact one day! An hour or two, maybe three or four, but it was unending and really weird. 🙂
          .
          Then there is the other automatic writing where as soon as pen or cursor touches the white space, there’s no control over the content or phrasing. The syntax is often correct, or at least in a surreal manner.
          .
          Both The Searchers, written in 40 minutes, in a strange trance, but well received, and Not when she’s in Kansas is a mix of some earlier thought out verses, but mostly in a trance. It’s extraordinary that we know we must have written the work as our fingers are still tapping, but don’t recognise it at the same time.
          .
          https://the-otolith.blogspot.com/2017/01/alan-summers.html
          .
          p.s.
          .
          Paco Pomet loved my treatment of his painting which was an amazing accolade!

          1. Those two pieces are great. I think poetry allows us to access the subconscious, which in my experience is more intelligent and better at writing. I remember hearing someone talk on neurobiology, and he was making the point that the conscious part of our brain that we think of as ‘us’ is quite a small part. There’s so much else going on that we can tap into.

          2. Ah, yes, that which we think is us, is just a component, part of a larger machine. That’s cool. 🙂 If it was just left down to ‘us’ as we think we are, that would be a heck of a lot of trouble brewing, oh heck, that’s what’s been happening in current affairs. 🙂
            .
            Lucy said:
            .
            “Those two pieces are great. I think poetry allows us to access the subconscious, which in my experience is more intelligent and better at writing. I remember hearing someone talk on neurobiology, and he was making the point that the conscious part of our brain that we think of as ‘us’ is quite a small part. There’s so much else going on that we can tap into.”

        2. Lucy and Alan….I am not too aware of automatic writing “methods” as in a prescribed, time, or appointment where one designates/ or makes themself do-it. My experience with automatic writing and automatic art….have occurred during sleep or sleep states….all unplanned.
          The first, when i was fifteen years old….a completed poem, i watched myself write on paper appeared in my dream. i told myself to get up and write it down….because i knew i wouldn’t remember it in the morn. So i woke, scribbled it on a napkin and went back to sleep. 18 years later, i submitted it in to contest…it took first place and got published. The second automatic experience….was a photo composition that came to me just before i drifted to sleep. The next day…i went to my darkroom and recreated was i saw….this became the basis for a multi-award winning photo-montage.
          Both very powerful, experiences. Many of my current poems….come to me this way today…rather regularly.

          1. Wendy, wonderful that a completed poem came to you in a dream. That’s incredible. I often write just after waking up and it feels like the poem is already there, and all I have to do is pull on a thread. I also write poems based on dreams sometimes. I think states around sleep and dream are such fertile ground for creativity.

          2. Hi Wendy!
            .
            You said:
            .
            “Lucy and Alan….I am not too aware of automatic writing “methods” as in a prescribed, time, or appointment where one designates/ or makes themself do-it.”
            .
            That’s certainly one method, although I’ve become bad at making appointments with myself, but as I’m often at my laptop researching new developments in haiku etc… as part of my work, the space to do some of my own writing is available to a point. 🙂
            .

            You said:
            .
            “My experience with automatic writing and automatic art….have occurred during sleep or sleep states….all unplanned.”
            .
            I know my Professor kept a Dream Diary and much of his work comes from being able to recall and record his dreams. Mine often disappear, especially the lovely nightmares which I prefer, darn it! 🙂
            .
            You said:
            .
            “The first, when i was fifteen years old….a completed poem, i watched myself write on paper appeared in my dream. i told myself to get up and write it down….because i knew i wouldn’t remember it in the morn.”
            .
            Too right, and well done for doing that! We know so many famous examples of forgotten lines. Even the most simple of lines are as easily forgotten as complex ones, and within seconds! 🙂
            .

            You said:
            .
            “So i woke, scribbled it on a napkin and went back to sleep. 18 years later, i submitted it in to contest…it took first place and got published.”
            .
            Congrats!!! 🙂 They can often be the best, where there’s not too much interference from our waking self. 🙂
            .
            You said:
            .
            “The second automatic experience….was a photo composition that came to me just before i drifted to sleep. The next day…i went to my darkroom and recreated was i saw….this became the basis for a multi-award winning photo-montage.”
            .
            Cool! So obviously your sleeping experiences are invaluable and you capture them before they disappear. I have to go into dream states while awake, and unlike my Professor’s earlier advice, without the aid of a lot of alcohol. 🙂
            .
            You said:
            .
            “Both very powerful, experiences. Many of my current poems….come to me this way today…rather regularly.”
            .
            You are very fortunate, both in having these asleep times, and recording them rapidly once awake. The dream diary method has never worked for me alas. 🙂

    2. Lucy, and others, I’ve really been enjoying the dialog over haiku, and that chance to revisit everyone’s work. This has been an extraordinarily strong prompt week yet again.

  11. smooth coin –
    the vendor’s
    shopworn persuasion
    .
    Janice Munro
    Canada
    .
    .
    Janice’s brilliant senryu reminds me that I’m regularly astonished that the old and bad way of selling of the past century is not only still prevalent, but has gotten worse!
    .
    I still remember being told jacket sleeves that were too short or too long (both) would get to the right and correct length with ‘wear’. Once back in the 1970s, and I’m amazed my dad didn’t say anything as he’d been a head troubleshooter for a major national fashion chain. And again decades later, some salesman came out with some extraordinary tosh, as if sleeves could get longer with ‘wear’.
    .
    It’s almost as if the customer should be part of the conspiracy to be conned into buying something unsuitable, and Janice’s phrase “shopworn persuasion” is a great take on this theme! 🙂
    .
    Love the choice of line breaks, and delightfully senryu, despite pressure, never kowtows to rules, and neither should we when we next visit, in person, some kind of shop selling something we don’t really need or want. 🙂
    .
    If you want to know more about why senryu is really special, and much needed in our world, I have my judge’s commentary for the Sonic Boom senryu contest results. If you have an iPad, you might miss the other links so I’ll add them below.
    .
    Sonic Boom FOURTH ANNUAL SENRYU CONTEST
    http://sonicboomjournal.wixsite.com/sonicboom/contests
    .
    .

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Alan. I enjoyed your anecdote about the jacket sleeves. The urge to persuade can lead to creativity…buyer beware 😉 Thank you for the two links about senryu and the other one about automatic writing. I’m looking forward to looking them up this afternoon.

      Janice

  12. Some really great work this week. I’m enjoying the reading. Missed the deadline, but I’ll try to join in next week.

  13. I very much enjoyed the haiku and senryu that Craig chose this week. I wanted to highlight a few of them. 

    smooth coins
    how we slip away
    into blue velvet
    Alan Summers
    Wiltshire, England

    If you’ve read the comments you will have read Alan’s deconstruction of this piece of work. On reading the poem, I immediately personalised the coins and the blue velvet that they slipped away to was a blue velvet pouch. As I continued to read another meaning came to me. The coins slipped into an expanse of water. The water being blue velvet. I always appreciate a haiku which stimulates my imagination as this one did.
     
    Smooth coins
    At the bottom of a wishing well
    Starry sky
    Anna Victoria Goluba
     
    I very much appreciated the technique used in Anna’s poem. That is, the way she connected the ground with the sky.
     
      
    golden links
    his coin now worn
    by generations
    Margaret Walker

    Margaret’s use of the word “links” is I think, inspired.

      
    a gypsy dancer
    the smooth coins jingling
    on her hips
    Marta Chocilowska,
    Warsaw, Poland

    Marta’s use of synesthesia in this poem certainly adds another dimension.

      
    passed on from mother
    the coin he almost carried
    to war
    Pris Campbell

    This is another poem which allows my imagination free rein. Why did he almost carry the coin to war? Did he lose it? Did he not go to war? Did he die before he got to battle? I shall certainly continue to ponder on this, Pris.
     
     
     

    1. Hi Bisshie! 🙂
      .

      I hadn’t realised it was you Patricia!!! 🙂
      .
      .
      smooth coins
      how we slip away
      into blue velvet
      .
      Alan Summers
      Wiltshire, England
      .
      .
      You said:
      .
      “On reading the poem, I immediately personalised the coins and the blue velvet that they slipped away to was a blue velvet pouch.”
      .
      Cool!
      .
      .
      You said:
      .
      ” As I continued to read another meaning came to me. The coins slipped into an expanse of water. The water being blue velvet. I always appreciate a haiku which stimulates my imagination as this one did.”
      .
      Brilliant! It’s great you got another meaning, and even when we write in that ‘writer’s trance’ something unconscious is working behind the scenes too, with those added meanings and layers. 🙂
      .
      I’m reminded of the French movie “Le Grand Bleu” with Jean Reno (also starred Rosanna Arquette), and of that velvety color. I guess we associate or used to associate velvet with so many things, from sea to sky, to even deer velvet on their antlers!
      .
      Thank you! 🙂

  14. raising the bar
    has made all of us
    jump higher

    What a thrilling collection of poetry! And I see that everyone is jumping higher.
    Alan Summers, thank you for your constant comments with elucidation and
    encouragement, and for your “blue velvet.” I wonder if the pristine collectible
    coins are really more valuable than the smooth and worn ones roughened by
    experience? If only they could tell all their stories. Certainly friends and many
    brothers who have been a bit banged up from travel and tours overseas often
    have more stories to tell at first hand than those who stayed home watching
    television. But we can all travel in our dreams and imagination through poetry.
    “There is no Frigate like a Book.” Emily agrees. Just my two cents.

    1. Thanks Charles, and thanks to Craig, as this might not have been an easy haiku of mine, at first glance? 🙂
      .
      That’s very kind of you to say about my commentaries! I started very early on in my ‘haiku career’ with the Azami magazine (based in Osaka, Japan) and have enjoyed talking haiku ever since. 🙂
      .
      You said:
      .
      “…and for your “blue velvet.” I wonder if the pristine collectible
      coins are really more valuable than the smooth and worn ones roughened by
      experience?”
      .
      .
      Great point. It’s probably why I like the idea of wabi-sabi and kintsugi (金継ぎ, “golden joinery”) too! 🙂 I used to love finding well worn and extremely old coinage in my spare change, which no longer happens as the government constantly alter our coins nowadays. 🙁
      .
      You said:
      .
      “If only they could tell all their stories. Certainly friends and many
      brothers who have been a bit banged up from travel and tours overseas often
      have more stories to tell at first hand than those who stayed home watching
      television.”
      .
      Yep! 🙂
      .
      You said:
      .
      “But we can all travel in our dreams and imagination through poetry.
      “There is no Frigate like a Book.” Emily agrees. Just my two cents. ”
      .
      Yes, that too, and it reminds me of that lovely old American film:
      The Accidental Tourist is a 1988 American drama film starring William Hurt, Kathleen Turner, and Geena Davis. It was directed by Lawrence Kasdan and scored by John Williams. The film’s screenplay was adapted by Kasdan and Frank Galati from the novel of the same name by Anne Tyler. WIKIPEDIA 🙂

      1. Alan, “how we slip away” gave me a bit of a pause, but “into blue velvet” immediately called to mind an image of trays in an antique coin dealer’s shop, so I entered the poem through there. It has expanded wonderfully for me ever since.

        1. Hi Craig! 🙂
          .
          You said:
          .
          “how we slip away” gave me a bit of a pause, but “into blue velvet” immediately called to mind an image of trays in an antique coin dealer’s shop, so I entered the poem through there. It has expanded wonderfully for me ever since.
          .
          .
          Fantastic! 🙂
          .
          .
          smooth coins
          how we slip away
          into blue velvet
          .
          Alan Summers
          Wiltshire, England
          .
          .
          Yes,
          .
          “how we slip away”
          .
          in conjunction with:
          .
          into blue velvet
          .
          Might be a bit tricky, but it felt so poignant, and as it came straight from my unconscious or fugue I didn’t fight it but let the words lay where they fell. I guess having lost four parents and knowing one father-in-law lost before he should have gone, it was there in the background.
          .
          Thanks for trusting the haiku and trusting in the haiku.

  15. For those interested in language, 2019 has been dedicated as the year of Language, particularly raising awareness of loss of language among indigenous societies.
    A Little Haiku Contest by the magazine IRIS has this theme in mind. Check out Haiku Foundation’s calendar…no great rush as it is for the end of this current year.

  16. fading moon—
    the wish-worn coin
    in my pocket
    .
    Martha Magenta
    hits the spot with a traditional construction –
    a kigo, which sometimes seem staid, but this moon is counterbalanced with the novel wish-worn coin; an emotional cut after something awesome, not just a grammatical cut; a pleasing rhythm and consonance; and the comparisons – a moon/coin visual and an emotional fading/running out of wishes.
    What those wishes were remain unsaid.

  17. Feeling daft in saying so, but am I the only one not to understand the relevance of Alan’s ‘blue velvet’?
    .
    One of the intriguing ‘asides’ of Craig’s choices (and kj’s before him) is the opportunity to look at these excellent poems through the eyes of others . . . often to receive an unexpected and completely different interpretation of the meaning. In some cases, Googling up is a must! And from so doing, learning even more.
    .
    I do wonder, however, how much ‘colloquial’ language (English) interferes with a poem; certain words, phrases and even activities are not necessarily immediately apparent to those poets on both sides of The Pond. Could this be disadvantageous, because it is not always feasible or acceptable to include a note of explanation? I’m not referring of course to translations from other languages.
    .
    Final point . . . spelling, typos aside, how galling is it to an American audience to use British English spelling? Do we need to conform according to the nationality of editors, and is it considered rude not to?

    1. Dear Ingrid,
      .
      Ingrid said:
      .
      “Feeling daft in saying so, but am I the only one not to understand the relevance of Alan’s ‘blue velvet’?”
      .
      .
      Not daft at all. 🙂
      .
      .
      smooth coins
      how we slip away
      into blue velvet
      .
      Alan Summers
      Wiltshire, England
      .
      .
      If we break the poem down, we have the opening line which addresses the prompt:
      .
      “This week’s theme was a smooth coin.”
      .
      .
      I made ‘a smooth coin’ into “smooth coins”
      .
      I’m mindful that the old British currency pre-decimal era was almost antiquated (although good in austere times) and we often carried very old coinage in our spare and loose change. Many of those coins in circulation were actually collectible, and I wasn’t the only one to take out certain pennies, for instance there’d be a few Edward VIII coins, he who was famous for resigning as King etc…
      .
      The phrase “how we slip away into blue velvet” is completely open to interpretation and the reader’s choice.
      .
      Blue velvet has long been a method to store and protect valuable collectible coins, and medals, and silverware (cutlery): https://www.google.com/search?safe=strict&rls=en&q=blue+velvet+for+coins&tbm=isch&source=univ&client=safari&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiGqaCRwszgAhWeQxUIHdwUCSkQsAR6BAgGEAE&biw=1440&bih=768
      .
      .
      The ‘we’ can refer to the coins themselves, a slight personification, even, or that collectors who obsess over their collections are ‘lost to blue velvet’ and their various hobbies. Nowadays both children, youngsters, and young adults, and even older are lost to the ‘screen’ of wargaming (I remember a family friend’s son would spend 14-18 hours a day on Warcraft computer/video gaming); or other online stuff including gambling.
      .
      .
      If we see this as a juxtaposition of images rather than the phrase expanding on the opening line:
      .
      .
      smooth coins
      how we slip away
      into blue velvet
      .
      Alan Summers
      Wiltshire, England
      .
      .
      The coffin maker company called ‘Overnight Caskets” are offering a sale on coffins:
      .
      Monarch Blue Shade Bruce Finish with Blue Velvet Interior
      Was $3,499.99 now $1,199.99
      .
      So blue velvet can refer to the passage of time just like coins becoming smooth and worn, so humans become ‘worn’ in their own way, and we face the inevitable and come to the end of our lifespan.
      .
      Or the phrase I use can be simply someone with a few worn coins in their pocket, either through a habit of jiggling change, or worn and battered loose change from a bar, a nightclub, or late night diner after a shift ends, and simply taking a breather and stepping outside where the blue velvet of a night sky, perhaps late dusk/twilight, has a brief mesmerising effect of all those stars as if in a blue velvet container just as collectible coins or medals are placed.
      .
      I write in many styles from 575 to minimalist, from hokku-style all the way to Japanese haiku style. 🙂 Sometimes I look to the layers that might have allusions to other things, and symbolism, which is so prevalent in classical painting.
      .
      Thanks for the question, although I often compose haiku in a writer’s unconscious zone, I sometimes like to see if I can deconstruct my own poetry! 🙂

      1. Dear Alan, Thank you!!
        .
        It would appear, dauntingly, that the reader/interpreter of these poems has either to be extremely knowledgeable or somehow to get into the mind of the poet. For me, this is the hardest part….so I had Googled up ‘blue velvet’ and found references to a 1980’s film noir concerning a severed ear…I didn’t read on — or look up Rotten Tomatoes — but wondered why the heck anyone would be putting a severed ear into blue velvet (:
        .
        Thoroughly appreciate your fascinating explanation, as always, and thank you for taking the time to do so.

        1. Dear Ingrid,
          .
          I always suggest, if a haiku appears to be difficult, to deconstruct it word by word, as well as line by line.
          .
          re the movie “Blue Velvet” taken from a very famous song of the same name “Blue Velvet” by Bobby Vinton as well as a top 20 hit for Tony Bennett (still going strong at 92 years, singing with Lady Gaga etc…).
          .
          David Lynch (born January 20, 1946) was the director of Blue Velvet and is an American filmmaker, painter, musician, actor, and photographer. He has been described as “the most important director of this era”, and “the Renaissance man of modern American filmmaking”. WIKIPEDIA
          .
          Lynch also filmed the incredibly moving The Elephant Man with actor John Hurt.
          .
          Blue Velvet the movie is a film about a young college student who, returning home to visit his ill father, discovers a severed human ear in a field that leads to his uncovering a vast criminal conspiracy and entering a romantic relationship with a troubled lounge singer. WIKIPEDIA
          .
          I don’t find Google as useful as it was, as it brings up search results that benefits the company more than the user, so you will more often than not having to go three pages and beyond to get decent search results.
          .
          You said:
          .
          “It would appear, dauntingly, that the reader/interpreter of these poems has either to be extremely knowledgeable or somehow to get into the mind of the poet. For me, this is the hardest part…”
          .
          .
          smooth coins
          how we slip away
          into blue velvet
          .
          Alan Summers
          Wiltshire, England
          .
          .
          If you focus on the two concrete images of ‘coins’ and ‘blue velvet’ that can help. One thing that hadn’t occurred to me, was a possible connection to the practice of placing coins on the eyes of people who have just died:
          .
          “Reality talking here. Think of the size of the average coin. Think of the size of the average eye.
          When the body dies, the muscles no longer work. Eyes close because of muscle action. To keep the dead eyes closed, small objects were placed on the lids. Rocks, coins, seashells. Many cultures used different things. If coins fit the mythology, coins were used. (In all cultures, dead eyes are creepy.)”
          Elzanna Zapperelli, MFA Painting and Drawing & Arts Education, Ohio University (1991)
          Apr 3, 2018 QUORA
          .
          .
          Also ‘slip away’ has been used in the past to describe someone who ‘passed away’ or ‘gradually died’ etc…
          .
          My first association while writing the haiku, was about coins, and coin collecting, where velvet cloth is often used to protect. But also late skies around dusk can sometimes have that wonderful blue velvet hue…
          .
          e.g.
          .
          While I was staying the Museum Quarter in Amsterdam (The Netherlands, Europe) at The Poet Hotel, there was this wonderful blue hue at midnight, and after many versions, I wanted to capture the sound of geese flying overhead (very late) as well:
          .
          .

          museum quarter
          the midnight blue 
          of geese
          .
          Alan Summers
          Modern Haiku volume 48.3 Autumn 2017
          .
          .
          So keywords are museum and the district (quarter); midnight; and geese, and that it felt like a painting come alive. We were visiting the van Gogh museum just two minutes away as well! I think it might have been the launch night of the Munch and van Gogh joint event! 🙂

      2. Thanks, Alan, For opening all these meanings of blue velvet. As I am of a certain age, my mind went immediately to the song Blue Velvet and completely missed all the other images. But as you described each, I was able to go deeper and deeper into your poem. Thank you for the poem and for your explication.

        1. Thanks Peggy! 🙂
          .
          The song is strong with me because of David Lynch’s movie, but I’m also a fan of Tony Bennet who continues to do duets with contemporary singers like the late Amy Winehouse, and Lady Gaga who is brewing up a (good) storm with the remake of A Star is Born. 🙂
          .
          I guess in the back of my mind was when I had to clear my mom’s house after she died. There were a lot of velvet bags and cases for her costume jewellery, brooches, watches etc… She was never big on buying expensive stuff, and the costume jewellery was pretty swell, and not just because I bought a brooch for many of her birthdays. 🙂
          .
          .
          .
          house clearance
          room by room by room
          my mother disappears
          .
          Alan Summers
          Published: Blithe Spirit 26.1 (March 2016)
          Shortlisted for Museum of Haiku Literature (May 2016)
          Winner: The Haiku Foundation’s Touchstone Award Winner 2016
          Anthology credits: old song: The Red Moon Anthology of English-Language Haiku 2017
          The Reader as Second Verse article by Alan Summers
          ed. Jim Kacian and the Red Moon Press Editorial Staff ISBN: 978-1-947271-13-5
          .
          2018 Haiku Canada Members’ Anthology / L’anthologie 2018 des membres de Haïku Canada
          ed. Marco Fraticelli and Philomene Kocher
          .
          Touchstone Award Commentary:
          .
          “When I read haiku, I’m looking for an unexpected view on the well-known. I’m curious to learn about an open secret (after Robert Spiess). I’m looking for a simple (but not banal) and lucid language that expresses something extraordinary within the ordinary, something which I never read before in that way as well as something that is of beauty beyond time. ‘house clearance’ represents the pure power of haiku. Layers of meaning ascending from deeper layers of the mind (‘room by room by room’) in relation to existential truth (‘my mother disappears’). Perhaps one finds a human contradiction: memories can only get preserved vividly after “clearance.”
          .
          “An emotional and vivid image that brings sadness at first reading while effectively pointing out that taking away the physical doesn’t remove the memory.”
          Judges: Diane Wakoski; Gary Hotham; Ron C. Moss; Renée Owen; Michele Root-Bernstein; and Dietmar Tauchner

    2. Hi again, Ingrid! 🙂
      .
      You said:
      .
      “I do wonder, however, how much ‘colloquial’ language (English) interferes with a poem; certain words, phrases and even activities are not necessarily immediately apparent to those poets on both sides of The Pond. Could this be disadvantageous, because it is not always feasible or acceptable to include a note of explanation? I’m not referring of course to translations from other languages.”
      .
      I’m used to a lot of languages, perhaps as we are just outside Europe and Americas, and Northern Africa etc… and have been influenced by so many cultures. English is also a language system that takes words from other cultures e.g. pyjamas or pajamas (for bedtime) is taken from Pyjama or Pajama (singular) as it’s the trouser part of a hot weather outfit, where the top shirt is a kurta, worn in the Indian Sub-continent etc…
      .
      Before the internet, yes I’m that old! 🙂 I had several dictionaries and thesaurus and other information books of my own, as well as borrowed library books, and never felt it odd to have so much physical stuff around me. Now I’ll use internet searches although they are not as helpful now as they want to plow us into something they want to ‘plug’ but it’s always worth going several pages further in an internet search result. Just think of it as leafing through a book. 😉
      .
      Since the explosion of haiku writers from India and neighbouring countries, and African countries, as well as Indonesia and the Philippines, I feel my horizons have been joyfully expanded. Things were a little narrow at times back in the 20th century. 🙂
      .
      .
      You also said:
      .
      “Final point . . . spelling, typos aside, how galling is it to an American audience to use British English spelling? Do we need to conform according to the nationality of editors, and is it considered rude not to?”
      .
      I see you are published in Modern Haiku, but might not remember an earlier iconic editor called Robert Spiess? Well he was the first to publish my Australian haiku, and unlike other editors in other journals, had no problem with foreign terms. He was certainly an enabler, as it was both weird and frustrating I couldn’t get my aussie haiku published! Thanks Bob, for all that you did and so much more. 🙂
      .
      I write haiku in both American and British English, and would also expect editors to accept anything well composed in other varieties of English from Jamaican or other Patois etc… I’ve been an editor on several magazines over the years, and welcomed haiku that contained less usual words (re USA or UK usage). It enriches our genre after all.
      .
      I wouldn’t expect Americans to spell outside their norm, and in fact I have more American online course participants than British ones, and I also don’t mind going over to American British spelling if it’s via email/word.doc correspondence.
      .
      I can’t imagine any current editor being offended if British or American English was used.
      .
      Would this haiku have been accepted in a British publication? Or would an American publisher refuse this if it was in British English? I don’t know. All I know was that it needed to be in American English:
      .
      .
      moonlighting crows in other colors

      Alan Summers
      Journal Credit: Frogpond (39:1) Winter Issue 2016
      Anthology Credit: 2016 HSA Member Anthology Full of Moonlight
      .
      An American poet said she loved all the ‘o’s for both sound, and giving a suggestion of so many crows’ eyes. So the choice was really to do with the visual aspect which British spelling for color aka colour would have diminished.

      1. Hello again, Alan,
        .
        Thank you for elaborating further in answer to my questions. Smooth coin is taking on macarbre dimensions, but all interesting stuff.
        .
        Totally agree, languages, origins of and mutation over time makes for fascinating study. My background is Russian/Persian/English, and living here for the time being in Macedonia, I can pick out odd words now and then that must have come over here with Ottoman Turks, along with a sprinkle of Russian words which dot these Balkan languages.
        .
        Your mentioning dictionaries (before the internet) reminds me of the wonderful glossary of Anglo Indian words you may have come across, still regularly in print – The Hobson Jobson collection of hundreds of words brought over with the end of the British empire that remain in common use. Words like shampoo, veranda, typhoon, hulaballoo, thug, juggernaut, etc.
        .
        Urdu, a relatively ‘recent’ language, is made up largely of Persian, Hindi and Arabic. ‘Pyjama’ comes from the Persian (Farsi) word pāy-jāmeh پايجامه‎ lit. leg clothing. ‘Kurta’ (or its feminine version ‘kurti’) also comes from the Persian for a collarless shirt. I note that Iranian fashion-conscious ladies, whilst keeping to the required religious cover-all, have taken to wearing tight pyjama leggings that is still part of sub-continent traditional clothing.
        .
        Craig, we’re covering all sorts of aspects with your forum … thank you to you and to Alan.

        1. Hi Ingrid! 🙂
          .
          You said:
          .
          “Smooth coin is taking on macabre dimensions, but all interesting stuff.”
          .
          I guess placing coins on the eyes of recently deceased people made sense to various religions back in the day, but we don’t need to do that now?
          .
          “My background is Russian/Persian/English, and living here for the time being in Macedonia, I can pick out odd words now and then that must have come over here with Ottoman Turks, along with a sprinkle of Russian words which dot these Balkan languages.”
          .
          I’m a big fan of Byzantine Empire history 9th Century A.D. onwards, and the Rus, and other Vikings too! 🙂
          .
          “Your mentioning dictionaries (before the internet) reminds me of the wonderful glossary of Anglo Indian words you may have come across, still regularly in print – The Hobson Jobson collection of hundreds of words brought over with the end of the British empire that remain in common use. Words like shampoo, veranda, typhoon, hulaballoo, thug, juggernaut, etc.”
          .
          Oooh, not sure I had that one, but maybe other words. I used to regularly go to India twice a year for Divali and Holi etc… 🙂
          .
          “Urdu, a relatively ‘recent’ language, is made up largely of Persian, Hindi and Arabic.”
          .
          Cool! And there’s a lot of haiku in Urdu or translated into Urdu now.
          .

          ” ‘Pyjama’ comes from the Persian (Farsi) word pāy-jāmeh پايجامه‎ lit. leg clothing. ‘Kurta’ (or its feminine version ‘kurti’) also comes from the Persian for a collarless shirt. I note that Iranian fashion-conscious ladies, whilst keeping to the required religious cover-all, have taken to wearing tight pyjama leggings that is still part of sub-continent traditional clothing.”
          .
          Well anything Persian suits me fine. 🙂 Terrific history, and the garments are really practical.
          .
          .
          “Craig, we’re covering all sorts of aspects with your forum … thank you to you and to Alan.”
          .
          Yes, it’s really great that KJMunro and Craig Kittner have embraced haiku dialogue and in such a friendly fashion! 🙂

        2. Y’all are doing a great job! Which brings me to my two cents about the use of colloquialisms. Is it purposeful? Does it send a message that you want to send?

          My use of “y’all” is a mannerism of the southern United States. I use it to communicate that I want to be informal, friendly, and a little bit playful. Would I use it in a haiku? Yes, if I want evoke the south in the reader’s mind. But I would have to be mindful of all the thoughts that evocation may generate. For instance, if my intent is nostalgic, I may use it. If my intent is to be topical, definitely not.

          I am a North American writer, yet I have used amongst instead of among because it sounded right and lent an atmosphere I liked.

          In short, I believe the most important consideration for word choice is what best serves the needs of the poem.

          By the way, fun fact, Blue Velvet was filmed in Wilmington, NC, where I reside.

          Y’all come back now, ya hear?

          1. Hi Craig,
            And since haibun have been freed up by the constraints set by earlier Western proponents, direct speech, and in its local dialect, is an exciting development when it happens.
            .
            I look forward to your Blue Velvet haibun now! 🙂

  18. Congratulations, CRAIG, on your selections — thanks for including mine — and your always insightful commentaries.
    .
    Seems to me that Lucy Whitehead captured beautifully the theme
    of many of this week’s coin-ku with her words, ‘the way time
    wears / our faces.’ Which Margaret Walker echoed, at least to me,
    in her lines, ‘his coin now worn / by generations.’ And Margie Gustafson paralleled in ‘Abraham Lincoln’s visage/ Smoothed out with worry.’ Another creative slant of the same theme appears for me in Mark Meyer’s ‘silver dollar —/the face of liberty /nearly worn away,’ which is wonderfully symbolic.
    .
    I really appreciate the memories evoked by Pat Davis in her ‘old nickels /tales of buffalo /in his thinning voice’ as well as Pris Campbell’s ku ‘passed on from mother / the coin he almost carried/ to war’ both of which arrowed straight to my core.
    .
    ‘Shying away’ caught me in Radhamani sarma’s haiku. And ‘faceless coin’ in simonj’s.
    .
    At times a single word lit up a whole haiku for me as in both Adjei Agyei-Baah’s ‘toss,’ and Dean Okamura’s ‘tossed,’ Arvinder Kaur’s ‘calloused,’ Bisshie‘s ‘molecules,’ Deborah P Kolodji‘s ‘underwater,’ Janice Munro’s ‘shopworn,’ Kath Abela Wilson‘s ‘unreadable,’ Martha Magenta’s ‘wish-worn’ and Victor Ortiz‘s ‘worn-down.’
    .
    Besides those I attached to other commentaries, two of my favorite’s this week are Vandana Parashar‘s ‘blind beggar’s bowl /a smooth coin makes / the same noise’ and Alan Summers’ ‘smooth coins / how we slip away / into blue velvet.’ The latter brought to mind the black velvet box holding my great grandmother’s brooch as well as the blue velvet world into which she ‘slipped away’ at the early age of twenty-nine.

    1. Christina,
      Thank you for your kind words about my poem. I do appreciate them. I also enjoyed reading your comments about the other haiku.

      Thank you for taking time to comment!

    2. Dear Christina

      I’m happy that you enjoyed my choice of word “molecules”. I did spend some time thinking that one through. Thanks.

      Your commentary was very interesting to read. Thank you for taking the time to write it.

      1. Bisshie, your poem is amazing! It draws the reader into the intimacy of a coin and single molecules then throws us out into the universe. Where might all those molecules come from? Humans? The earth? Star dust? Kudos on a unique and mesmerizing poem.

    3. Dear Christina,
      .
      Wow! 🙂 Thank you so much:
      .
      “Besides those I attached to other commentaries… [t]he latter brought to mind the black velvet box holding my great grandmother’s brooch as well as the blue velvet world into which she ‘slipped away’ at the early age of twenty-nine.”
      .
      What an awfully young age for your great grandmother to pass away.
      .
      You have brought a great connection and one I was hinting at, and that you grabbed. Thank you!

      .
      .

      FULL QUOTE:
      .
      “Besides those I attached to other commentaries, two of my favorite’s this week are Vandana Parashar‘s ‘blind beggar’s bowl /a smooth coin makes / the same noise’ and Alan Summers’ ‘smooth coins / how we slip away / into blue velvet.’ The latter brought to mind the black velvet box holding my great grandmother’s brooch as well as the blue velvet world into which she ‘slipped away’ at the early age of twenty-nine.”
      .
      .
      Vandana Parashar‘s ‘blind beggar’s bowl /a smooth coin makes / the same noise’ is wonderful isn’t it? And reminds me that we have many blind people who are not blind, but could be vulnerable to a shop keeper, for instance, giving the wrong change deliberately, especially when we’ve had changes to our currency over recent years. Great use of alliteration, and rhythm, and careful placement of words and phrasing to make this very powerful.

      1. Yes, Vandana, it’s so beautifully crafted with the marvelous b-b-b opening…
        Then, not only the literal but symbolic truth that “whatever” the coin may be —of little value or priceless— it makes/ the same noise.
        As we who are human do, our ‘worth’ not diminished by poverty, say, or age.

  19. worn coin
    molecules of history
    on each side
    .
    Bisshie
    Zürich, Switzerland
    .
    .
    It must be amazing to think of the dna and all the stories that have gathered on coins and travelled vast distances in time and geography.
    .
    It would be mind-blowing if technology could project all those stories.
    .
    Wonderful haiku!

      1. Yes, a full projection, and backdrop, and all of them talking at once, and then technologically, we could step up to each individual or small group, and have a conversation over the years, decades, centuries. All from a coin! It’s why I loved your haiku as my mind went on a most excellent journey! 🙂

  20. fading moon—
    the wish-worn coin
    in my pocket
    .
    Martha Magenta
    .
    This touches me, makes me a bit sad, but I can’t quite explain why. And that’s what I like in a haiku.

  21. Thank you Craig for another spread of wonderful selections, your illuminating commentary and the challenging prompts.
    .
    I’ll mention three of the haiku that I enjoyed most…for having layers that I can unpack or wonder about…and for delighting me (and there are many more):
    .
    .
    fading moon—
    the wish-worn coin
    in my pocket
    .
    Martha Magenta
    .
    .
    a well-worn coin
    tossed into the sky
    harvest moon
    .
    Dean Okamura
    .
    .
    tax day
    melting the raise
    from my chocolate coins
    .
    Jennifer Hambrick

  22. Craig – here’s my “two cents”!
    So much emotion in Joanne van H.’s poem “dressing daddy”
    So much fun in Marta’s C.’s “gypsy dancer”
    So much nostalgia in Kath Abela W.’s “penny loafers”
    So much relevance to the past and present in Mark. M’s “silver dollar”
    So many echoes in Wendy B.’s “spitting out”
    So much history and culture in Victor O.’s “hunger moon”
    So much truth and questioning in Vandana P.’s “blind begggar’s bowl”
    It’s so illuminating – to see the wide frames of reference our poets have. I feel like I get to know more about each poet through their verses. Thanks to all!

  23. I enjoyed reading through all of these; so many creative permutations on (to me) a difficult prompt. A coin toss as to which ones I liked most.
    { & thanks for the nice comments on mine from the group!}

  24. Dear Craig,
    Greetings! HOW many coins jingling before us! Jennifer has captured the tax day to suit her purpose. Wonderfully drawn Many thanks for choosing mine.

    tax day
    melting the raise
    from my chocolate coins

    Jennifer Hambrick

  25. i love Mark Meyer’s poem…the wearing of lady liberty’s face…speaks of the highest value of freedom and humanity which has been eroded, and threatened, and often denied in our everyday lives.

    Pat Davis’ Buffalo tales resonates with me, I can hear the old man’s thinning voice as he shares history of a people who have been denied and stripped of equal rights in having a voice.

    i can see and hear Marta’s dancer’s coins, i can remember Kath’s pennyloafer’s, i can feel Martha’s “wish-worn” coin in my hands, And Vandana’s how a worn coin has the same sound or value to a hungry person….shows a comparison to a coin collector.

    All the selections Craig posted here are special. Thank you for posting my poem, Craig.

    1. Hi Wendy, I’m glad my poem resonated with you in that way. Thanks for commenting. Your poem evoked lots of feelings and scenarios, a successful ku!

  26. worn penny loafers
    the unreadable
    year I was born
    Kath Abela Wilson
    Pasadena, California

    This one brings back memories of when it was common to wear penny loafers and to put a penny in each of those shoes. I picture an older person looking at an old pair of shoes found at the back of a closet.

  27. Wendy Bialek, I can just feel the rage and impotence of not being able to meet such a basic need when out in public and no place to hide and no acceptable way to deal with it. Spiting out indeed when tossing the unhelpful contents from the purse.

  28. nickel worn thin
    with rubbing—
    never did have two
    Joan Barrett

    Nice take on the old saying of not having two nickels to rub together.

  29. This one generated a wealth of fantastic poems.
    I’m struck by all of them, but especially:

    For wit:

    coin of the realm
    clipped rough around the edges
    smooth operators
    Charles Harmon
    Los Angeles, California, USA
    *
    For elegance:

    full moon
    the lost coin
    found
    Christina Pecoraro
    *
    For language:

    nickel worn thin
    with rubbing—
    never did have two
    Joan Barrett

    *
    For understated poignancy:

    dressing daddy
    the lucky coin
    in his pocket
    Joanne van Helvoort
    *
    For wry truthfulness:

    worn penny loafers
    the unreadable
    year I was born
    Kath Abela Wilson
    Pasadena, California

    *
    For incisive observations:
    A lucky penny
    Abraham Lincoln’s visage
    Smoothed out with worry
    Margie Gustafson

    silver dollar —
    the face of liberty
    nearly worn away
    Mark Meyer

    For its rich evocations:

    in my hand the price of a smile
    Susan Rogers
    Los Angeles, CA USA
    *
    For so much unsaid:

    blind beggar’s bowl
    a smooth coin makes
    the same noise
    Vandana Parashar

    *

    1. Thanks, Laurie, for including mine. Love your reason for choosing each one, for this…, for that. Each added to the haiku’s aura.

    2. And Laurie, with my thanks want to add that I love yours
      .
      worn smooth
      the days she can’t
      make heads or tails of
      .
      for imaginative realism.

  30. Always enjoyable to read this blog.
    I like these interesting takes on the theme:
    .
    worn smooth
    the days she can’t
    make heads or tails of
    .
    Laurie Greer
    .
    .
    old coin
    the way time wears
    our faces
    .
    Lucy Whitehead
    .
    .
    silver dollar —
    the face of liberty
    nearly worn away
    .
    Mark Meyer

  31. spiting out
    all my quarters—
    no tampon change
    .
    or
    .
    spitting out
    all my quarters—
    no tampon change
    .
    Wendy C. Bialek
    AZ, USA
    .
    I assuming the first line is ‘spitting out’?
    .
    This is a powerful verse and perhaps, sadly, moreso, for mostly women. It’s extraordinary that in this day and age in the Western world, there is so much ignorance around women’s menstrual cycle from a girl’s first time until it ceases decades later. Even schools would rather girls lost an education, in most parts of Britain, it seems, rather than freely make available tampons and similar products. Why is this odd attitude to girls and women continue in Western society?
    .
    Commercials state they will provide products for girls in schools now, and there is a growing number of people and organisations who have stepped forward: https://www.google.com/search?q=charity+sponsors+tampon+for+school+girls&safe=strict&client=safari&rls=en&source=lnms&tbm=vid&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjM4rf9v8rgAhVvTBUIHRLTClwQ_AUIECgD&biw=1440&bih=768
    .
    America and the U.K. are two of the richest nations on this planet yet we deprive a large number of people a simple dignity. The poorest people often spend more money locally and support local people.
    .
    Of course ‘spiting’ could be read as a verbal version of ‘spite’ and spite by our governments against poorer sections could result in targeted innocents feeling spite against their governmental abusers.
    .
    A fine poem, whichever spelling, and it makes me mad that not having ‘spare change’ means an unfair embarrassment and problem laid upon an innocent. And a powerful poem, and brilliant response to the ‘a smooth coin’ prompt.
    .
    I’m not sure Lori Minor can accept this, but it’s worth asking:
    https://femkumag.wixsite.com/femkumag/guidelines

    1. Spilling out
      most all my Thank you’s,
      to Alan…………………………………for your kind, and lengthy recognition, of my poem.

      yes….i did submit the poem with a spelling “error” first….then quickly followed it up with a corrected version….i am a notoriously a bad speller. you understood that right!

      I agree with everything you have said here…about the pathetic state of affairs with regards to
      the ignorance or lack of sensitivity around feminine issues.

      I also wanted to “slip in”….that you might have noticed the connection between the menstrual period, (the sloughing off of cells, the thinning out of the lining walls) with the smoothed out coin….and where the machine can longer detect a quarter….either do to its lack of weight or lack of identity recognition….and is rejecting it by spitting it out.

      And, yes, i agree, femku is a great home for this….I will see if Lori will make an exception to her rule.

      Thank you, again, Alan for your sympathy and acknowledgement of these vestigial issues

      1. I apologize. I did receive the corrected version that had “spitting” instead of “spiting.” I posted the wrong one and failed to catch my mistake while proofing. I am somewhat spelling challenged myself. I have corrected the spelling.

          1. yes, typos can be an asset….spiritually guided, like automatic writing….with many creative twists and turns….uncontrolled, and undetected by the mind’s censorship.

      2. WENDY, when first reading your ku, I found myself substituting items for ‘no tampon change’ like no chocolate change; no soda change, etc., etc. Absolutely nothing satisfied.
        .
        As perceptive ALAN put it, “not having ‘spare change’ means an unfair embarrassment and problem laid upon an innocent .”
        .
        Loved that terrific take.
        But your own words show unequivocally why no substitute could possibly measure up to your candid original. You said:
        .
        ”(Y)ou might have noticed the connection between the menstrual period, (the sloughing off of cells, the thinning out of the lining walls) with the smoothed out coin…and where the machine can no longer detect a quarter.. either due to its lack of weight or lack of identity recognition…and is rejecting it by spitting it out.”
        .
        Wow!
        .
        Rereading your ku after that, I felt it’s remarkable heft and history,
        or as some would say ‘herstory.’

        1. Hi Christina,
          .
          You are so right!
          .
          And a lot of the haiku over the months are well worth revisiting, as sometimes we might overlook a few gems amongst the other diamonds.

        2. Christina….thanks for playful, exploration with my ku….and i appreciate the time you have taken to sift through and fully understand….my analysis.

      3. spitting out
        all my quarters—
        no tampon change
        .
        Wendy C. Bialek
        AZ, USA
        .
        .
        Wendy said:
        .
        “I also wanted to “slip in”….that you might have noticed the connection between the menstrual period, (the sloughing off of cells, the thinning out of the lining walls) with the smoothed out coin….and where the machine can longer detect a quarter….either do to its lack of weight or lack of identity recognition….and is rejecting it by spitting it out.”
        .
        .
        Yes, it was a brilliant response to Craig’s prompt! I can imagine it sitting so well in the smooth coin section of the anthology. I hope one happens with KJMunro and Craig Kittner as I’ve never witnessed so many powerful poems.

        1. thank you again Alan, for your words of praise….and for your wishes for all the powerful poems that have come from this precious…haiku dialogue.

  32. Thank you for publishing mine, Craig 🙂 My voice in discussion is:
    *
    dressing daddy
    the lucky coin
    in his pocket

    Joanne van Helvoort – very moving!
    *
    full moon
    the lost coin
    found

    Christina Pecoraro – this reminds me of the Gospel parable about the lost drachma
    *
    silver dollar —
    the face of liberty
    nearly worn away

    Mark Meyer – there is a lot of tenderness here! Love this.

    1. Thanks, Marta. Must admit, among other things — and there were many — I too thought of the scripture parable. Can see your own ‘gypsy dancer’ and hear the ‘jingling’ that her gyrating hips bring on. Cheers!

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