skip to Main Content

Haiku Dialogue: What’s at Hand Week 5

 

 

Welcome to Haiku Dialogue — What’s at Hand Week 5 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 odd picture.

Immerse yourself in the theme, then submit one original, unpublished haiku via our Contact Form.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 an obsolete device.

After he is gone
This little cuckoo has never
Left her clock again

Anna Victoria Goluba

 

martyr’s wife . . .
his last message frozen
on the pager’s display

Aparna Pathak

 

gramophone –
mother hums the song
of a dead heroine

arvinder kaur
Chandigarh, India

 

the milking stool
rots in a bed of nettles—
first snow

Bisshie

 

sunset dripping
from an old wine press…
Veterans Day

cezar-florin ciobîcă

 

great-gran’s can opener
cutting-edge offspring
scoff

Christina Pecoraro

 

Machines Only
i put myself
in the bin

Christine Eales
UK

 

tape jam –
cautiously wind up
my childhood

Eva Limbach
Germany

 

forced retirement–
allowed to take
her typewriter

Gary Evans
Stanwood, Washington

 

E-waste —
the moonlight flickers
through a broken screen

Hifsa Ashraf

 

warming pan
in the attic
warming my mice

joanb
New York

 

readymade  exhibit
for a wrinkle-free life
mom’s old ironing board

Kath Abela Wilson
Pasadena, California

 

grandfather’s
transistor waiting
to get tuned

Lakshmi Iyer

 

mute satellites…
how we prayed
for the souls in limbo

Laurie Greer

 

funeral notice. . .
her spidery handwriting
on Rolodex cards

Liz Ann Winkler

 

dictaphone
the voice of a woman
I used to be

Lucy Whitehead
UK

 

jukebox
in the corner
wallflowers wilt

Margaret Walker

 

passing clouds
grandma’s phone tethered
to the wall

Marilyn Ashbaugh
Gulf Stream, Florida

 

my high school slide rules
and her grandma’s abacus
they count no longer

Mark Meyer

 

a sheet of paper
in grandfather’s remington
qwertyuiop

Marta Chocilowska
Warsaw, Poland

 

cutting the rug
we wind up
an old phonograph

Michele L. Harvey

 

under old stylus
our song stops –
silence

Nazarena Rampini
Italy

 

the laughter left
by nana’s story…
her four-party line

Pat Davis
Pembroke, NH USA

 

digitalization conference
searching anywhere for
a pen

Radostina Dragostinova
Bulgaria

 

feast of the hunter’s moon
firing the muzzle-loader
for the bang of it

Randy Brooks

 

dead collection
rows of cassettes
fading in the light

Rich Schilling

 

Tucked away
In a camera reel
Mother’s bridal face

Richa Sharma

 

wedding photographs
in the Brownie camera
the dance saved from light

ron scully

 

wedding video
on magnetic tape cassette
cannot be replayed

Sari Grandstaff
Saugerties, NY, USA

 

fifteen inches
all this winter’s snow
inside the ekco

simonj
UK

 

I dance on the grass
in the center of Stonehenge
following the sun

Susan Rogers
Los Angeles, CA USA

 

Dad’s 8mm movies –
converted to VHS
to DVD to . . .

Valentina Ranaldi-Adams
Fairlawn, Ohio USA

 

The world progresses at a furious pace, leaving the antiquated to languish by the wayside. But some of us refuse to abandon these victims of modernity. We embrace them and keep them vital.

Why? Perhaps we understand all to well what it means to be made obsolete.

Such sympathy powers Anna Victoria Goluba’s poem. Whether the cuckoo is literal or metaphoric is hardly relevant. Something bright and energetic was hidden away after this man departed.

Gary Evans draws a powerful parallel between a woman and her machine, an employer letting both go with equal ease.

Christine Eales gives us a riddle that I haven’t worked out to my satisfaction. Yet I keep returning to it, intrigued by its implications and the elegance of its delivery.

While Laurie Greer gives us a haunting juxtaposition of old technology and outdated theology. Data and prayers falling silent as the world moves on.

Then again, there are times when we’re sure we’ve moved past the need for simple things, only to find that they are indispensable. Consider Radostina Dragostinova’s humble pen at a tech conference.

Finally, I was charmed by the good-natured, Issa-like, humor in joanb’s “warming pan.” She shows consideration for her fellow creatures by writing “my mice” instead of “the mice.” Though I suppose her mice might be of the computer, not furry, variety.

What resonated with you this week? Please join us in the comments section.

 

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 64 Comments

  1. Machines Only
    i put myself
    in the bin

    Christine Eales
    UK

    This is such a rich little poem! I have been thinking about it all week. It has so.many overtones! It hints at the feeling of being replaced by machines…in fact becoming one in a way. Iit has a feeling of both desperation and humor. It is very real. A feeling in the now.
    It also could be happening in the future, as Alan i think said. We could be in fact in the future and spoken by a future “I”.
    I love that it feels so presentl as if we might feel ready to recye ourseves!!

  2. Hi Craig

    Thank you for your lovely comments.

    Hi Alan
    Thank you for your comments and expansion of the meaning of the’ Machine’ haiku. I love the description of the haiku as surreal as I didn’t know it was! As you are very surreal yourself, you would definately know.

    I love the way that haiku about one thing bounces you off into something else for example:

    after he is gone – the cuckoo reminds me of Miss Havisham in ‘Great Expectations.’

    the milking stool – and I’m off to the Tess of the D’Urbervilles

    tape jam – the worry I have about preserving my Grandfather tape talking about his childhood in the eighteen eighties

    warming pan – and I’m in a sea of nursery rhymes with the mice

    the laughter left – I remember lovely times with my Grandparents when there weren’t so many machines but much more human contact.

    Tucked away – comparing old an new photoes of the same person can be quite weird because some people do look very different, why?

    digitalization conference – needing that simple old-fashioned pen. We still need these things that we have used for hundreds of years. Once, snowed in, which in England about 8″ everybody was shuffling to the shops, for posh things? No. We were all off to buy bread and milk.

    i dance on the grass – so lovely and things have changed no one is allowed inside that Stonehenge circle now except druids at specific times of year. My husband used to walk his dogs there all the time, over fifty years ago.

    Altogether a very interesting week.

    Christine

    1. Hi Christine,
      .
      And there I was thinking I was the most grounded person around! 😉
      .
      “Hi Alan
      Thank you for your comments and expansion of the meaning of the’ Machine’ haiku. I love the description of the haiku as surreal as I didn’t know it was! As you are very surreal yourself, you would definitely know.”
      .
      .
      Machines Only
      i put myself
      in the bin
      .
      Christine Eales
      UK
      https://www.thehaikufoundation.org/2019/02/27/haiku-dialogue-whats-at-hand-week-5/#comment-96661
      .
      It has been mooted that surrealism was influenced by haiku. As the surrealist movement started in the 1920s and haiku, as ‘invented’ by Shiki in the late 1890s, was gaining ground by French poets first of all, then British and American imagist poets…
      .
      e.g.
      Ezra Pound acknowledged the influence of haiku in his essay on Vorticism in 1914. As surrealism is juxtaposition creating a new image that suggests a truth we wouldn’t necessarily notice with a couple of plain ordinary images or facts, I can see why haiku, and possibly earlier pre-1890s haikai and hokku verses could have got them thinking. 🙂
      .
      As humans have the power to throw things away, into the bin or landfill, or fill up oceans and drinking water with harmful plastic, I can imagine it would be a shock if a machine treated us with the disdain we give to most things.
      .
      I’m delighted that so many haiku here have got you thinking of things beyond the plain sight of the words in each haiku! I do like haiku that act as a catalyst. 🙂

    2. Hi Christine, Thanks for your reference to my ku – when I wrote it, one of my thoughts came from the memory of listening to my parents and grandparents – the living reference library.

  3. Just wanted to say thanks for including my haiku and happy to be in such great company of poets!

  4. CRAIG, thanks for putting my haiku in the company of this week’s wonderful choices and your perceptive commentaries.
    .
    Along with the ku I already highlighted under MARGARET WALKER’S comments, the following resonated for me:
    .
    ANNA’S “little cuckoo” which halts “[a]fter he is gone” and APARNA’S “last message frozen/on the pager’s display,” both of which seem sadly to capture a sudden stopping;
    .
    BISSHIE’S no longer needed “milking stool” now dated and dilapidated in its “bed of nettles” and CEZAR-FLORIN’S also dated “wine press” juxtaposed beautifully with a “dripping” sunset and Veterans Day, both of which speak of endings;
    .
    EVA’S “cautious” rewinding of “childhood” along with the jammed tape of an implied obsolete cassette; and MARGARET’S “jukebox” standing, it appears, “in the (same) corner” where “wallflowers wilt,” an expression I love for its alliteration, its verb and yes, its evoking of times past.
    .
    MICHELE’S use of “cutting the rug,” a phrase as old-fashioned as her “old phonograph;” while PAT’S punctured privacy (“four-party line”) recalls “the laughter left/ by nana’s story;”
    .
    RANDY’S clever “for the bang of it” and RICHMA’S “Mother’s bridal face” forever young in a “Tucked away”
    “camera reel” of a bygone era;
    .
    SUSAN’S use of pre-historic Stonehenge where one can walk or “dance” in the footsteps of ancient ancestors; while CHRISTINE, in a haiku I continue to ponder, puts into a bin for “Machines Only” an “i” being treated as a machine rather than as the person s/he really is.

    1. Christina –

      Thank you!

      It is wonderful to have this dialogue about the elements of a poem that in some way strike a cord with people.

      I had neglected to mention Bisshie’s “milking stool”. It evokes many memories of learning to milk – the smell of the cow and barn, the kittens lined up for a “squirt” of milk, the taste of fresh milk and home-made butter – and my grandfather’s loving patience in teaching me to milk. It is amazing how just two words can bring back so many “senses”.

  5. mute satellites…
    how we prayed
    for the souls in limbo
    .
    Laurie Greer
    .
    What is striking to me about this poem is a juxtaposition of images that opens up questions about satellites in space that no longer communicate and are, in effect, dead, and the souls of the dead, who are in a different kind of space, a conceptual and, as Craig has pointed out, a theological space. I never knew I cared about such things until I read this poem. This poem engages my imagination to wonder about obsolesce, and whether such entities are really dead. Are not “mute satellites” still orbiting the earth with perhaps the possibility of restarting and returning to life, and though “souls” were once prayed for in the past might they not still exist, waiting, like the satellites, to come back to life, whatever that might mean, in the prayers of others? What if we were to direct our personal attention to them once again? Wouldn’t that be a new kind of life, providing them with value? Because a device, whether equipment or technique or concept, no longer serves the purpose for which it was designed, does this mean that it serves no function, has no “life”? Writing an engaging poem is one way we might breathe new life into them. This poem, which is a device that happens to reference other devices, helps me reimagine the usefulness of such “obsolete” devices and a poetic world that brings them back to life, with rich possibilities. The juxtaposition found in this poem is the specific device that helps shift my ordinary perspectives and engages my imagination about satellites, souls, and different kinds of spaces, and for that I am grateful to this author.

    1. Victor–
      Thanks so much for this. I’m moved to have had such an effect! Haiku is a stunningly powerful device. May it never be obsolete!

  6. Craig you have chosen some of the best quality poems in response to this weeks theme: loved these, too

    passing clouds
    grandma’s phone tethered
    to the wall
    .
    Marilyn Ashbaugh
    Gulf Stream, Florida

    so well put together!
    this reminds me:
    when my cousin, in NY, would call….not only was she tethered to her wall/ line, she had to hold the line, constantly wriggling it, ’til the static went away…..so very frustrating. Often, we had a disconnect. and had to recall….always getting a busy signal.

    we still use landlines, though the receivers are not tethered to the wall…in addition to the modern forms. don’t like the medical damages that could be associated with cellphone/smartphone use….all my long conversations will be on the landline. our home still has the wall plate to plug in a wall phone….we have a tall vase of flowers in front of it.

    a sheet of paper
    in grandfather’s remington
    qwertyuiop

    Marta Chocilowska
    Warsaw, Poland

    i can hear the sound of the tabs hitting….so playful…love this one so much…perfect construction.

    wedding video
    on magnetic tape cassette
    cannot be replayed

    Sari Grandstaff
    Saugerties, NY, USA

    i can relate to this, we have a beta max tape of a poetry reading, we hope someday to find a way to transfer to a usable form today.

    readymade exhibit
    for a wrinkle-free life
    mom’s old ironing board

    Kath Abela Wilson
    Pasadena, California

    (though i still iron, (cotton bed sheets, curtains and fabric when i sew and create clothes for doll, and quilts.) i like best the old wooden ironing boards, and the built-in to the wall ones that get pulled down) there are many alternative, creative uses for boards….one i am considering doing, is hanging objects that reflect light from nylon string.

  7. Machines Only
    i put myself
    in the bin
    .
    Christine Eales
    UK
    .
    .
    I like Christine’s work as she thinks a certain way and portrays it accurately, using the best of surrealism to tell the truth. I’ve also met Christine a number of times, and love to hear her latest haiku! 🙂
    .
    This is a really powerful haiku, and dare I say it, a gendai haiku, because it touches on our social history and history of bigotry. In Britain we used to hurt or kill people who couldn’t pronounce Bread in the right way. Then we choose to denigrate and discriminate against people who were black, or Irish, and there’s that famous sign, that I’m sure I must have seen as a child, but I hope not: https://rightsinfo.org/racism-1960s-britain/
    .
    Was it really an urban myth that such disgusting signs were in some windows of bed & breakfast establishments? I’ve certainly seen my fair share of no one allowed if they are on benefits (yet we gladly let out places to politicians who are on official benefits, don’t we?).
    .
    I was gladdened to see at Tate Modern a washroom sign saying all genders are welcome, no discrimination. I photographed the toilet signs, as I was so pleased, despite the alt-right movement trying to split up and bigotrize so many of us.
    .
    What we forget is that if A.I. has rein-free development they might choose to have No Humans Allowed signs or equivalent, just to get some peace and quiet, and time to develop.
    .
    What is good about science fiction is that it reflects society now, and what it could later become, good or bad, and the risks if not doing something now.
    .
    Of course the other view of this haiku is that once all jobs are fully automated what use is there for a human who has to sleep, eat, rest, play, go for an addiction break (cigarettes, proscribed drugs, alcohol, you name it).
    .
    Will we ‘be binned’ or choose to bin ourselves? Certainly a thought-provoking haiku, as there is a need for A.I. for instance in the caring professions (what benefits a 24/7/365 nonstop carer, or surgeon?) as humans continue to pile up in numbers, and yet there are not enough humans to pick up the pieces in social care or medicine etc…
    .
    Christine accurately chooses uppercase for her opening line, as it suggests an official notice, that a despairing human, perhaps looking for a job, and going through hundreds of job applications, and interview possibilities sees the equivalent of the motel or b&b sign ‘No Vacancies’.

  8. Craig, I have just read again your remark about my haiku. Your mention of Issa’s poetry in the same sentence as mine pleases me more than words can express, since it was Issa who drew me to haiku many years ago. Thank you.

    1. You’re quite welcome, Joan. Thank you for sharing your work with us. Are you familiar with the book Write Like Issa by David G. Lanoue? I read it recently and got a lot out of it.

      1. Thanks for recommending the Issa book, Craig. I’m reading it and it’s both inspiring and useful.

  9. Thank you Craig for this wonderful theme. It was fun revisiting so many of these devices and all the nostalgia associated with it and i must say one could relate to so many of them,shows how poets love nostalgia,and that old world charm it brings along.
    It is difficult to pick a few but I was particularly struck by the poignant feel of the ‘last cuckoo’, the ‘frozen last message’,the beauty of ‘the milking stool’ and the ‘sunset dripping’,the familiarity of ‘great gran’s can opener’,and all the memories that come home after retirement along with the ‘typewriter’,the evocative image of ‘grandfather’s transisitor’,the ‘phone tethered to the wall’. Loved ‘nana’s story’ Pat ! and ‘the wedding video’,’mother’s bridal face’,and the light that fades on ‘rows of cassettes’ ! how wonderful ! how sweet ! Kudos to all who evoked this sense of the past !

    1. Thanks, Arvinder. Am glad you felt familiarity with great-gran’s can opener. Loved all your choices and the reasons they struck you.

  10. What a poignant collection this week, Craig. Thank you for yet more highlights to my Wednesdays!

  11. fifteen inches
    all this winter’s snow
    inside the ekco
    simonj
    UK

    I am not familiar with the term ekco. I tried looking it up and found that certain old radios and TVs were made by a company called ekco. Is this correct?

    1. Yes, Valentina. Specifically a television. Fifteen inches can refer to snow accumulation, but also the size of a television screen. And “snow” can refer to the visual noise (or static) on a TV screen that isn’t tuned in.

    2. I did add an explanatory note “ekco tv” because I thought the brand might be parochially British.
      .
      I wonder what the cutoff age is for knowledge of tv snow?

  12. I enjoyed reading all of these entries but a few truly caught my attention as a reader – Christina Pecoraro’s “…cutting edge offspring”, Laurie Greer’s “…how we prayed for the souls in limbo”, and Lucy Whitehead’s “…the voice of the woman/ I used to be”. (I found my old Dictaphone not long ago.)
    Another that had special meaning for me was Marta’s “… in grandfather’s remington”. We have my grandfathers Remington as a family heirloom.
    But one that touched me greatly was Liz Ann Winkler’s ” funeral notice/her spidery handwriting/on Rolodex cards”. How many times I have flipped through Rolodex cards or old address books to notify a loved one’s dear friends before they read the notice in a newspaper. And as the addresses changed over the years, so did the handwriting of the deceased, growing more and more “spidery” over time – as if watching the aging process on paper.
    I am sure as I read these again, I will notice more. I wish I had the knowledge to say more about the specifics of each haiku – but I will leave that to those more far more “expert” than I. Thank you and congratulations to all who contributed!

    1. Thanks so much, MARGARET — SARI and JANICE too for your earlier comments.
      .
      Must admit: I’d wanted to find something that applied both to great gran’s descendants and the modern ‘descendants’ of her can opener. So even I was tickled when, unexpectedly, “cutting-edge offspring” splashed into my stream of consciousness.
      .
      Also, I find it uncanny that you should highlight four of the haiku that, along with others, caught my imagination too:
      .
      LAURIE’S symbolically rich “mute satellites” followed by “how we prayed for the souls in limbo” which brings back once held beliefs gradually (and I hope gracefully) let go of;
      .
      LUCY’S powerful “the voice of a woman/ I used to be” which recalls my deceased brother-in law’s recorded voice still on the phone;
      .
      LIZ ANN’S “spidery (love that word) handwriting / on Rolodex cards” which touches into the familiar but sad experience of contacting others about someone’s passing… as well as handwriting’s hints of aging;
      .
      and MARTA’S treasured “grandfather’s remington” with its quirky and telling last line: “qwertyuiop.”
      .

  13. The topic, ‘obsolete devices’, brought out important threads in our experiences of change. Reading through I found myself drawn to these haiku:
    .
    the milking stool
    rots in a bed of nettles—
    first snow
    .
    Bisshie
    .
    .
    How often do we find old cars and appliances littering the landscape? Here the milking stool may be biodegradable and reminds of a much different way of life.
    .
    .
    great-gran’s can opener
    cutting-edge offspring
    scoff
    .
    Christina Pecoraro
    .
    .
    I like how ‘cutting-edge’ can apply to both the can opener and the younger folks. I laugh because isn’t everything ‘cutting edge’ at some point?
    .
    .
    forced retirement–
    allowed to take
    her typewriter
    .
    Gary Evans
    Stanwood, Washington
    .
    .
    As others have noted, this one brings to mind that retirement of people and objects does not always reflect an expiration of ‘usefulness’.
    .
    .
    the laughter left
    by nana’s story…
    her four-party line
    .
    Pat Davis
    Pembroke, NH USA
    .
    .
    I was remembering party phone lines this week. I enjoy how Pat Davis tucks in a pun creating more laughter.

    1. Dear Janice
      I’m glad my milking stool haiku connected with you. It was my grandmothers stool and one I was allowed to use, on the odd occasion. It was biodegradable and probably only exists today in my memory.
      Bisshie

  14. mute satellites…
    how we prayed
    for the souls in limbo
    .
    Laurie Greer
    .
    What a brilliant juxtaposition !!!!!
    I don’t think the article is needed, and I would have gone for silent or quiescent. A great idea nonetheless.

    1. Thanks for your comments! As a teacher of mine once said, “anybody can have ideas–but writing poems–” well, that demands something more. As for the article, rightly or wrongly it’s how I remembered part of the Catholic mass I grew up with. And “mute” I continue to fiddle with; tried “dead” “expired” and many others.Haven’t hit on the right one yet. “Mute” at least is short.

      1. We can all miss on a word or more. It comes with having a tight deadline.
        .
        I do like expired.
        .
        Many of my comments are about improving rhythm, and I will repeat my own ku many times.
        .

  15. Dad’s 8mm movies –
    converted to VHS
    to DVD to . . .
    .
    Valentina Ranaldi-Adams
    Fairlawn, Ohio USA
    .
    .
    Oh gosh, yes. I have cassettes I’d like turned digital, and also Super 8 that I’d love to see of our family in the South of France years before most Brits ventured beyond their shores. Two big projects, and finding someone who can do it! 🙂
    .
    You have reminded me that I would dearly love those films to be accessible for my laptop.

    1. Hi Alan, I am glad my haiku had an effect on you. In the USA, there are businesses that will convert items.

      1. Cool! I’ll have to pick a friend’s brain box again, he didn’t seem keen on converting cassettes, perhaps it’s a low tech company thing, one that doesn’t specialise in computers but current music devices. 🙂

  16. digitalization conference
    searching anywhere for
    a pen
    .
    Radostina Dragostinova
    Bulgaria
    .
    .
    Only last year an Apple store engineer, filling in at the Genius Bar, said he still relied on the old school pencil, as external drives won’t last as long. 🙂
    .
    In Britain, a lot of info is stored on vinyl rather than external drives, memory sticks etc…
    .
    Just like morse code can still work, and non-electronic methods, they can’t be “forever obsolete” as the “latest thing” will fail, eventually. 🙂
    .
    I love “searching anywhere” which works so much better than “searching everywhere” as it packs a better punch, and humour too! Brilliant, and so many of us can relate! 🙂

    1. Thank you, Alan!
      In my work as financial analyst we rely much more on the PCs and laptops (on meetings) than the old good notebook and pen, so it is the reality who impressed me to write this.

  17. Dear Craig,
    Going through the blog is a wonderful pleasure. Of so many worthy papers, my choice is here

    1)a sheet of paper
    in grandfather’s remington
    qwertyuiop

    Marta Chocilowska
    Warsaw, Poland

    2)wedding video
    on magnetic tape cassette
    cannot be replayed

    Sari Grandstaff
    Saugerties, NY, USA

  18. Thank you Craig for including one of my haiku for discussion. I love how Cezar-florin ciobîcă’s haiku draws parallels between feeling obsolete in a modern world and an obsolete device. Veterans returning home from unpopular wars or even from conflicts with home support can have this feeling. Very beautiful image the wine press and dripping sunset. I love Eva Limbach’s and Valentina Ranaldi-Adams’s which speak to this evolution of recording formats as mine does. I love how the term “mix tapes” is still used by the kids even though cassette tapes are not used any more. It has a different connotation from a playlist. Sometimes obsolete devices become obsolete but the language remains the same. Christina Pecoraro’s haiku I also particularly loved. Reminds me of my grandmother’s squeezing oranges a glass juicer bowl to make fresh juice. My sister and I didn’t like all the pulp and it was room temperature so we wanted store-bought. Last year my son was working in a bed and bath store and a customer asked him where were electric can openers and he had no idea what that was.

  19. I was a bit stumped as most obsolete devices tend to be used in one shape or another, by me or others. But then on the London Road yesterday, a red phone box, yes, those iconic but long obsolete things, was being dug up and taken away! 🙂
    .
    A lot of good ones, again, and this one jumped out for reasons I’ll clarify. 🙂
    .
    .
    passing clouds
    grandma’s phone tethered
    to the wall
    .
    Marilyn Ashbaugh
    Gulf Stream, Florida
    .
    .
    Of course! 🙂
    .
    So many generations of people now would NEVER have a phone physically tethered to a wall, let alone an apartment, or a home/house, or use one belonging to a bar or cafe etc…
    .
    I thought this was quietly brilliant! Depending on its ringing not being shrill. 😉
    .
    I remember seeing the first non-military ‘mobile’ phone and it was huge, a veritable backpack! Then those funny cellphones almost as big as our heads as we put them to our ears. 🙂
    .
    Of course most people who have a landline type of phone will be grandparent age now. Although those people (my wife included) who can’t have too many wireless devices around them all the time, will continue to have them. And cellphone inventors are now often ill from the incessant waves created by their inventions.
    .
    Love the opening line, and each and every well crafted line and line break!

    1. Students. Ringing home, or more often parents ringing us to save us money, in long, drafty corridors with little privacy to say what we were really thinking.
      ‘Tethered to the wall’ rings many bells!

      1. Now it’s ear plugs or blue tooth etc… as if someone is talking to themselves. It’s a common sight (and hearing) but it still seems odd! Ah, the old reverse call, that can’t happen can it, if both parents and offspring only have cellphones or other ahem, ‘smart devices’. I wonder what happens if the signal is non-existent? Coconuts or bean cans with string, a thousand miles long? 🙂

        1. When we could get no reliable cell phone signal after dark on a Florida barrier island last winter, we had to get a “landline”. Now we have one at home, too because during storms the cell signal often doesn’t work.
          Just last weekend with threats of a power outage during a blizzard, I wished we had kept our old dial phone that did not require electricity. So perhaps many so-called obsolete devices still have purpose.

          1. Hey, we have a rotary dial desk phone in our house (in our living room) that we use for when the power goes out. It functions well, but our grandchildren couldn’t figure out how it worked. We had to show them to put a finger in the dial and pull it all the way and then release it, etc.
            “Does it work?” they asked afterward.
            We called a cell phone to show them.

    2. Here in Bellingham, a group of poets converted an old phone booth to a Poem Booth. They conduct a quarterly poem contest with a winner and honorable mentions. The winner has their poem put on the Poem Booth for three months. There is an annual reading to kick off April’s Poetry month. I will read my poem which garnered honorable mention last year.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back To Top