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Haiku Dialogue: What’s at Hand Week 6

 

 

Welcome to Haiku Dialogue — What’s at Hand Week 6 with Guest Editor Craig Kittner.

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

Next week’s theme is a favorite vessel.

Immerse yourself in the theme, then submit one original, unpublished haiku via our Contact Form.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 odd picture.

nightshift work
founder’s eyes on the wall
keeping us in check

Adjei Agyei-Baah
Ghana/New Zealand

 

the oddest picture–
a shop window passing by
our past self-portraits

Alan Summers
Oxford Street, England

 

antique frame
the child we never had
stares back

Ann K. Schwader
Westminster, CO

 

moth repellent –
the picture of his ex
in a rusted trunk

arvinder kaur
Chandigarh,India

 

scribbles
faces allowed to wear
sad faces

C.R. Harper

 

snapshot
six playmates
13 hands

Carol Jones
Wales

 

quick beauty portrayed
corruption personified
fade to Gray

Charles Harmon
Los Angeles, California, USA

 

Jonny’s drawing
our family of five
and his phantom sister

Christine Eales

 

smartphone selfie
finger pointing at the moon
where is the wonder?

Dean Okamura

 

time travel
that photo of my dad
which looks like my son

Deborah P Kolodji
Temple City, California

 

bare tree…
a cloud takes the place
of the leaves

Elisa Allo
Zug, Switzerland

 

spring equinox –
on a blurry photo he walks forward
looking back

Giovanna Restuccia
Italy

 

Blue Period
grown old now
I understand

Helga Stania

 

family farm…
the father’s photo
as a scarecrow

Hifsa Ashraf

 

trompe l’oeil fly
on the portrait’s nose
granny kept in check

Ingrid Baluchi
Ohrid, Macedonia

 

class photo
the only one trying
not to smile

Isabel Caves
Auckland, New Zealand

 

splitting up
the odd pictures
no one wants

Joanne van Helvoort

 

holiday snap
among our smiling faces
my sister’s frown

John Hawkhead

 

tuxedoed conductor
his swimsuited orchestra
holds basoons

Kath Abela Wilson
Pasadena, California

 

1950s Greenland
pictures of my father
endless ice

Laurie Greer
Washington DC

 

windswept street
a stranger paints me
as a ghost

Lucy Whitehead
UK

 

in the attic trunk
a sepia group photo…
every face blurred

Mark Meyer

 

spring thaw . . .
time drips
from Dali’s clock

Martha Magenta
UK

 

portrait gallery
all the eyes that follow me
around the room

Michele L. Harvey

 

torn picture
the edge
of a memory

Pat Davis
Pembroke, NH USA

 

‘I’ll always love him’—
that blue-eyed stranger’s photo
in mother’s drawer

Pris Campbell

 

in a beehive hairdo
mom’s photo kept
under her sweaters

Rehn Kovacic

 

family photograph
stranger in the back row
nobody remembers

ron scully

 

I brush off
a best friend’s jabs at me
caricature

Ronald K. Craig
Batavia, OH USA

 

how funny –
a photo of my baby
just born

Rosa Maria Di Salvatore

 

picture gallery
between portrait and still life
view from the window

Serhiy Shpychenko
Kyiv, UA

 

ill on a journey
a tretchikoff woman
facing the mirror

simonj
UK

 

picture frame
on a moldy wall
in the basement

Slobodan Pupovac
Zagreb, Croatia

 

torn magazine page
stuck on construction paper
perseveres

Susan Bonk Plumridge
London, Canada

 

all-day rain
a bunch of dogs
playing poker

Terri French

 

Pictures can act as opiates. Lulling us into believing that a moment can be captured and held, unchanging, as years pass. But pictures are illusions. Collected dots that fool the brain.

An odd picture, however, can cut through the trickery. Inspiring curiosity instead of nostalgia. Urging us to look more deeply.

Take the class photo Isabel Caves writes of for instance. Who is the one trying not to smile? And why? Are the others smiling naturally, or are they trying to smile? Or is no one smiling, but only one is trying not to smile? What is going on between this one and the others?

Terri French presents a very common odd picture, dogs playing poker. Yet her addition of “all-day rain” is beguiling. I imagine someone trapped indoors by this rain, their eyes repeatedly returning to the picture. Their brain unwillingly dissecting the image over and over and over.

I can easily picture Susan Bonk Plumridge’s simple collage, but what makes it persevere? Does it keep showing up in a box of keepsakes? Is it the one thing on the wall that she just can’t bring herself to take down? What makes that torn page so resilient?

Something about this theme breeds questions and uncertainties, and I love it.

Is there anything in Slobodan Pupovac’s picture frame? Or is it just framing a pattern of mold on the wall?

Does Serhiy Shpychenko’s picture gallery contain a painting of a view from a window, or just a window?

Are the eyes that follow Michele L. Harvey the eyes of the portraits in the gallery or the eyes of other visitors?

What do you make of all this oddness? The floor is yours, please comment.

 

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 59 Comments

  1. row the boat in fours*
    even those afraid to sing
    merry harmony

    * In elementary school, we sang:

    “Row, row, row your boat
    Gently down the stream
    Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily
    Life is but a dream”

    The first time our class sang this song in a four-part round was amazing. We heard a room full of harmonious sound. None of us were singers, but our voices blended. I do not know how that worked. We can achieve so much together.

      1. Hi Dean,
        It’s a song I often mention in haiku critiques, and life is but a dream or maya, isn’t it, but one to be enjoyed to the full regardless. 🙂
        .
        “Maya, (Sanskrit: “magic” or “illusion”) a fundamental concept in Hindu philosophy, notably in the Advaita (Nondualist) school of Vedanta. Maya originally denoted the magic power with which a god can make human beings believe in what turns out to be an illusion…”
        .
        Haiku and its earlier cousins of hokku and haikai verses is a community based activity, and your comment seemed to fit wonderfully well with this weekly feature every Wednesday at the Haiku Foundation. 🙂

  2. Thank you Craig
    Thank you Alan. I wrote this haiku as for a while my youngest son put an imaginary sister in his pictures. He never said anything about her but there she was in his drawings. Maybe he thought a sister would be a good addition as he had two older brothers.
    Alan – your haiku this week looks very surreal to me as I keep on not understanding it! a real merry-go-round in my brain.
    Deborah’s time travel – we all love looking for family in each generation that have a face that you recognize as the same – it’s magical when it happens.
    Elisa’s bare tree – such a beautiful classic nature haiku
    Pat’s torn picture – with the word, ‘edge’ in there. For some reason I love haiku with the word, ‘edge’ in them. Is it because we are on the edge of the world observing it in a special way?
    Slobodan’s picture frame – there are so many questions. Where are the answers?

    1. Hi Christine! 🙂
      .
      You said:
      “Alan – your haiku this week looks very surreal to me as I keep on not understanding it! a real merry-go-round in my brain.”
      .
      I have to say that on a Skype session today, regarding haiku and haibun, that the participant was nervous she might not have gotten it at all, although there is no right or wrong! 🙂
      .
      Then I asked her what she thought and not to be nervous, as every insight is incredibly useful. She was bang on correct about it, so proving keeping it simple is best.
      .
      It’s actually not surreal. At all. 🙂
      .
      In fact I gave a clue in my ‘address” 😉
      .
      .
      the oddest picture–
      a shop window passing by
      our past self-portraits
      .
      Alan Summers
      Oxford Street, England

      1. Any interpretation, however wrong you might feel it is, would be wonderful, so never worry about getting the poem wrong, it’s there to be a catalyst! 🙂
        .
        “a real merry-go-round in my brain” sounds great, I hope! 🙂

    2. Hi Christine! 🙂
      .
      You said:
      .
      “Thank you Alan. I wrote this haiku as for a while my youngest son put an imaginary sister in his pictures. He never said anything about her but there she was in his drawings. Maybe he thought a sister would be a good addition as he had two older brothers.”
      .
      What a lovely story, and what a lovely guy! 🙂

  3. Amazing haiku and early commentaries, CRAIG, yours included.
    .
    Who wouldn’t recall
    SUSAN’S ‘torn magazine page/stuck on construction paper,’ with her strong verb, ‘perseveres’? or
    SERHIY’S often refreshing ‘view from the window’ between sometimes stuffy pieces in an art gallery?
    .
    And who wouldn’t wonder about
    the identity of RON’S forgotten ‘stranger in the back row’ of a ‘family photograph?’
    PRIS’S ‘blue-eyed stranger’ from (I’m guessing) mother’s early love-life? or
    PAT’S (maybe deliberately, maybe not) ‘torn picture’ and ‘the edge /of a memory’ it evokes — ‘edge’ implying for me the foto’s perhaps heartbreaking, perhaps forbidden content.
    .
    Had to chuckle over
    ‘all the eyes (following MICHELE)’ around the ‘portrait gallery’;
    INGRID’S ‘trompe l’oeil fly/ on the portrait’s nose/ granny kept in check ( bless her!);
    the ‘13 hands’ in CAROL’S ‘snapshot’ of ‘six playmates,’ plus a possibly teasing adult; and
    KATH’S hilariously ‘swimsuited orchestra.’
    .
    Loved what felt eerie to me in
    MARTHA’S ‘spring….drips/ from Dali’s clock,’
    MARK’S ‘blurred faces,’
    LUCY’S ‘ghost[ly] image’ painted by a ‘stranger’ on an aptly chosen ‘windswept street’ and
    LAURIE’S ‘endless ice’ not only under her father’s feet, but perhaps in his glacial demeanor, or simply as part of ‘1950s Greenland’ before global warming became an everyday concern;
    ADJEI’S ‘founder’s eyes on the (night shift) wall / keeping us in check.’ Ouch.
    .
    Felt empathy over
    HELGA’S elderly understanding of a ‘Blue Period,’ capitalized as if an era in one’s life;
    HIFA’S father ‘as a scarecrow,’ possibly down to ‘skin and bones;’
    the imagined or wished for ‘phantom sister’ in CHRISTINE’S ‘Johnny’s drawing;’
    and especially ANN’S ‘antique frame/ the child we never had/ stares back’ which lingers in my consciousness.
    .
    Mused about why
    JOHN’S sister wore a ‘frown’ ‘among our smiling faces;’
    ISABEL’S ‘only one’ in a class of others was ‘trying/not to smile’ and
    C.R.’S ‘faces’ were ‘allowed to wear’ sadness.
    .
    Was intrigued by
    CHARLES’ ‘beauty’ and ‘corruption’ fading to (one wonders how many) shades of ‘Gray;’
    ARVINDER’S ‘picture of his ex/in a rusted trunk’ which nonetheless remains ‘moth repellent;’ and
    ALAN’S ‘a shop window passing by/our past self-portraits,’ — wondering if possibly mannequins in chic contemporary clothing mirrored our former selves.

      1. Thanks, Craig.
        Hope Oscar Wilde doesn’t turn over in his grave reading my first impression. After opening your link, re-read Charles’ wonderful haiku a whole new way.

    1. Thanks, Christina, – I chose the word “edge” hoping it would evoke some of the images you imagined.

  4. I enjoyed the variety of imaginative and creative responses to the prompt. I always like learning something new as in this haiku, with commentary, where I learned Basho’s line and about Tretchikoff’s artwork. Haiku is truly a window onto the universe!

    ill on a journey
    a tretchikoff woman
    facing the mirror
    .
    simonj
    UK

  5. Interesting topic, Craig!

    windswept street
    a stranger paints me
    as a ghost
    Lucy Whitehead

    Has an unearthly quality: my first image was of a painting (or photo) with a distant person’s clothing almost tattered by a wind, hand protecting the face. But why is that person there? How does the painted know it’s a rendering of oneself? Why did the artist/photographer capture me? Or is Deborah’s word “paints” only figurative? But again, why is the subject viewed as a ghost? Haunting image! Thanks, Lucy.

    splitting up
    the odd pictures
    no one wants
    Joanne van Helvoort

    Brings up a scene in which relatives are dividing up the pictures of one who has passed. Or digging up an old photo box from the attic and sorting through pictures long unseen. Each person has favorites but the ones not wanted are still too valuable to throw away. They ARE memories, but not MY memories. Are they kept out of guilt, respect, nostalgia? We’ve all been there. Thanks, Joanne!

    time travel
    that photo of my dad
    which looks like my son
    Deborah P Kolodji

    Simply an excellent use of words and images. The first line time travel says it all: the inheritance of physical characteristics can be so striking! It encourages speculation of other attributes passed down from generation to generation. Thanks, Deborah!

    spring thaw . . .
    time drips
    from Dali’s clock
    Martha Magenta

    Wow, what a juxtaposition! We’ve all seen Dali’s clock. Like sands in an hourglass, time drips/slips away. We lose track of time. Where did it go? What will happen in the next drip? Like Dali’s preternatural images, we wonder if time is real. And a spring thaw slowly brings its own joys, only to be replaced in an instant by summer. Really liked this poem, Martha.

    Many others deserve our comments.
    Thanks again, Craig!

    Ron

  6. Wonderful prompt this week and fascinating selection of haiku. Thanks for including mine Craig. This one jumped out at me as being particularly powerful.
    .

    antique frame
    the child we never had
    stares back

    .

    Ann K. Schwader
    Westminster, CO
    .

    There’s such a sense of what could have been.
    .
    Pris Campbell’s blue eyed stranger is very evocative as well and has the same sense of an alternative life that could have been lived. Both haiku have a sense of loss. Pat Davis’s ‘torn picture’ is wonderful. It says so much about how our memories work in pictures and how we forget.

  7. Very interesting collection Craig ! Its fascinating to know and read how poets respond to a prompt. Each one of us has an odd picture tucked away somewhere,of the uncle who ran away,of the exes staring from the drawer. Some of the first lines evoked a world of images for me,like ‘scribbles’ by C.R. Harper,’bare tree’ by Ellisa Allo,’windswept street’ by Lucy Whitehead,all open infinite possibilities.Pat’s poem actually takes the reader to the edge of memory. Pris Campbells ‘blue eyed stranger’ really haunts ! very powerful ! Rehin kovacic’s ‘beehive hairdo’ very amusing and yet has a touch of melancholy about it, an image thats rare. Loved them all !

  8. Another thought-provoking set of poems!
    Ron Scully’s “family photograph” reminded me of the many times I’ve turned a photo over in the hopes of reading a “left-to-right” list of people’s names, and most of the time finding the back side blank. Guess that’s a reminder for all of us to take a minute to identify the people in our photos – and putting a date would be a helpful addition! One of my mother’s old albums was made of black pages. The photos were affixed using “photo corners”, and each photo was labeled using white ink. Great memories – thanks!
    simonj’s poem “ill on a journey” made more sense to me after I Googled “tretchikoff woman” for an image. Then I could picture the painful scene immediately!
    Every poem spoke to me in some way. Thanks, Craig, for including mine.

  9. 1950s Greenland
    pictures of my father
    endless ice

    Laurie Greer

    This for me this has many facets….endless ice can be an intriguing subject for a photographer to capture…but if you, as a child experienced the emptiness, or loss of warmth… from not having a parent present…while they were away taking those pictures…..now that is quite another picture.

    1. Thank you, Wendy! The pictures I had in mind predate me, but it’s often seemed my father had more rapport with the ice than with his family. As time is showing, though, that ice is not forever,

  10. the oddest picture–
    a shop window passing by
    our past self-portraits

    Alan Summers
    Oxford Street, England

    Is this a reflection of a past reflection?

    or….could this be a bookstore window? Could those portraits be yours and…..? on a book cover you once wrote? Or Flyers posted from an old poetry reading? Lots of surfaces to reflect on!

  11. torn magazine page
    stuck on construction paper
    perseveres

    Susan Bonk Plumridge
    London, Canada

    perseveres?

    Could it be the celebrity of Michael Jackson? Construction paper used as a backing to glue a page torn from a magazine….gives me the impression that this picture could be of someone whose celebrity or notoriety will be everlasting….construction paper not strong to last a lifetime, certainly not used for archival work…so it began in one’s early crafting stage while in school.

  12. moth repellent –
    the picture of his ex
    in a rusted trunk
    .
    arvinder kaur
    .
    Love it. The comic juxtaposition. and the haiku construction.
    .
    There is almost a grrr from the smell and the ex, repeated in the rrrusted trrrunk.

  13. snapshot
    six playmates
    13 hands
    .
    Carol Jones

    In Carol’s poem….could the 13th hand be that of the picture taker?
    Or could it be that of a mother….holding up an infant? Or a parent supervising….directing in someway?

    1. Wendy, that is an amazing response, and one that didn’t spring to mind when I wrote the verse.
      I always find what others see within a verse insightful, and this is one of those delightful moments.

      Thank you 🙂

  14. Two great mom haiku that capture a past that children, even when grown up, feel only starts with them, and not their parents as young and single at one time.
    .
    .

    ‘I’ll always love him’—
    that blue-eyed stranger’s photo
    in mother’s drawer
    .
    Pris Campbell
    .
    .
    Love each line but gosh, “blue-eyed stranger” is highly memorable!
    .
    .

    in a beehive hairdo
    mom’s photo kept
    under her sweaters
    .
    Rehn Kovacic
    .
    .
    Beehives remind me of Dusty Springfield and Amy Winehouse, and Motown etc…
    https://www.gettyimages.co.uk/photos/beehive-hair?sort=mostpopular&mediatype=photography&phrase=beehive%20hair
    .
    Two lovely haiku about mothers!

    1. Alan,

      Thank you for your appreciation of my poem. It means a lot to me. And for the link–in case people have no idea was a beehive looks like.

      Rehn

  15. What happens when a person encounters an odd picture?
    Do they try make sense of it?

    Teri French’s poem:

    all-day rain
    a bunch of dogs
    playing poker

    Terri French

    i’m getting the picture of Terri looking at this painting….was she thinking that she had to make sense out of this odd picture? Why were the dogs playing poker….instead of frolicking in the yard? aha!….because it was raining all day long.

    Was it also raining outside and so a good day to stand inside an art museum looking at paintings? (Or strumming through an art book….looking at paintings in your lap or online?)

  16. Jonny’s drawing
    our family of five
    and his phantom sister
    .
    Christine Eales
    .
    .
    We don’t often see direct naming of people in haiku, or at least what others would deem as ‘ordinary folk’ which this really works! 🙂
    .
    Children can reveal so much in a drawing or a painting and sometimes we overlook the complexity that is present.
    .
    Jonny’s drawing of “our family of five” and his phantom sister is deeply intriguing. A family of two parents, and each sibling would recognise that’d be two more, but not someone else.
    .
    Is this an imaginary friend, and a sister in this case, or does the child know more than the other siblings. It’s not unusual for a child to subconsciously be aware of a death in the family that the others would not know, could not know, except for the parents.

  17. a sort of nostalgia!

    1950s Greenland
    pictures of my father
    endless ice

    Laurie Greer
    Washington DC

    ……….

    this one made me smile! 🙂

    class photo
    the only one trying
    not to smile

    Isabel Caves
    Auckland, New Zealand

    1. .
      snapshot
      six playmates
      13 hands
      .
      Carol Jones
      Wales
      .
      .
      Intriguing to mix up numbers in letters and in figures. 🙂
      .
      I guess someone had to jump really high and all we got was this one hand, probably a jazz musician by now?
      .
      Great verse!!!

      1. Thank you, Alan.

        Many years ago my brother and some of his footy mates had their photo taken, there were six of them and there was 13 hands, they thought this was great with this mysterious hand on one of their shoulders, we went along with it, but knew there was a seventh person although we couldn’t see him.
        A great memory, of a childhood prank 🙂

        1. Hi Carol, I thought your poem referred to a different kind childhood prank – when someone would make rabbit ears behind a head! At any rate, your poem made me remember the time one of my students did that to me in a group photo taken by one of the other students.

          1. Hello Pat, The ‘rabbit ears’ didn’t we just love to get those in, if we could. What a great bunch of students you had. I’m so pleased this verse has brought back a happy memory.

            Thanks for sharing 🙂

  18. hi all,

    all-day rain
    a bunch of dogs
    playing poker

    Terri French

    I like this one so much, a picture of a masterpiece, and it is raining… it is something I would do, fascinate myself with the Coolidge series or even one of them…
    understated, funny and layered, there is a depth there, there is the seaason, and saying it as it is, and there is the aha moment I could get to, the necessary connection…

  19. There are so many gems in this week’s column. I could comment on many, but won’t (at least until I consider them more deeply). Having said that, I found Ron Scully’s haiku to remind me of so many odd photos over the years. Who is that person, we ask ourselves later. Several years ago, my family had a family reunion. Because our family was so spread out, I arranged for group photos to be taken of the different family groups. Our group photo of everyone included our next door neighbor. I suspect only my sisters, my nieces, and I will know who he is in the years to come.

    Well done to all.

  20. Dear Craig,
    Greetings! A lovely portrait gallery,

    This depiction of portrait gallery -really wonderfully carved.

    portrait gallery
    all the eyes that follow me
    around the room

    Michele L. Harvey

  21. Yes, I agree, Craig – there’s quite a bit of mystery in many of these.
    .
    Hifsa Ashraf’s
    .
    family farm …
    the father’s photo
    as a scarecrow
    .
    is disturbing, because of the “as” in the last line. Had it been “of”, all would have been plain, but I suspect the father could well be overworked and undernourished.
    .
    Was it just the faces that were blurred in Mark Meyer’s sepia group photo, and if so why?
    .
    Old photographs quite often throw up Ron Scully’s “stranger in the back row” to keep one wondering who and why.
    .
    I found Rosa Maria Di Salvatore’s submission a hoot. Loved it.
    .
    how funny –
    a photo of my baby
    just born
    .
    A diverse and very interesting selection of poems this time again, and I’m looking forward to reading comments.
    Thank you for including mine.

    1. Hi Ingrid,

      I think the father is worn out. 🙂 I captured it as if the father is enjoying his time on the farm so might pretend as a scarecrow for a photo. There could be various other aspects.

  22. ill on a journey
    a tretchikoff woman
    facing the mirror
    .
    simonj
    UK
    .
    Allusion to Matsuo Basho’s great haikai verse in the first line; and “The Green Lady” in the next line. Brilliant! 🙂
    .
    Outside of America the painting fascinated millions of us enough to buy a print to hang in our homes. I can understand the painting being placed so it would reflect. For many of us it was the only exotic presence in our lives, along with mystery.
    .
    I wrote a haibun called “The Green Lady” for the human/kind journal:
    https://www.humankindjournal.org/contrib_alan_summers/issue-11-alan-summers

    1. Thanks for explaining this haiku, Alan. I still plan on looking up the references to understanding it better, but now I have a better idea of what to look fir.

      1. re:
        .
        ill on a journey
        a tretchikoff woman
        facing the mirror
        .
        simonj
        UK
        .
        .
        Some haiku can be broken down line by line when an entire read “all in go” might defeat a reader:
        .

        The first line comes from this famous haikai verse:
        .
        In Japanese:
        .
        旅に病んで夢は枯野をかけ廻る
        .
        Matsuo Bashō (1694)
        .
        Sick on a journey–
        in my dream staggering
        over withered fields.
        .
        https://www.latimes.com/entertainment/arts/la-caw-off-the-shelf5-2009jul05-story.html
        .
        .
        The second line:
        .
        “a tretchikoff woman”
        .
        I had to think a moment, and an internet search quickly showed me the Green Lady painting and similar ones, which so many British households had in their front room, lounge etc…
        https://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=a+tretchikoff+woman&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8
        .
        Vladimir Tretchikoff, born in the Russian Empire (pre-Soviet era), moved to China, and other places and died in South Africa. It’s been said that his reproductions were so popular that it was rumoured that Tretchikoff was the world’s richest artist after Picasso. WIKIPEDIA
        .
        .
        Third line:
        “facing the mirror”
        .
        Together with the second/middle line, the painting is perhaps opposite the mirror, and can be seen ‘from the mirror’ at certain angles.
        .
        I think we had two famous kitsch reproductions of paintings, with one of a woman in a jungle perhaps. But the Green Lady (and other titles) is embedded into so many memories, perhaps this could be an elderly parent, rather than offspring. Although with me, as our last family dog lay dying, another kind of mirror was being faced.

        1. Yes, and being ill one might be “green around the gills,” and comparing their reflected face with the reflected green lady print.

          1. I’ve actually turned green, very strongly, as my wife can testify. Being in the back of a small car, all hunched up, and getting car sick, with no fresh air, was a trial. 🙂

        2. Thanks Alan for your expansion on my ku,
          .
          picking up on the literal Green Lady,
          .
          the figurative elderly patient although I read it as the possible odd hue of the traveller,
          .
          and the metaphorical mirror.
          .
          .
          Bashō’s death poem was the perfect setup!

  23. It’s great picturing all these pictures! Craig—thanks for another wonderful prompt—and for including mine. Each poem has something I can relate to. In particular those that leaped out at me on first reading:
    *
    For surprise and truth:
    Blue Period
    grown old now
    I understand
    Helga Stania
    *
    For reflections on fathers:
    family farm…
    the father’s photo
    as a scarecrow
    Hifsa Ashraf
    *
    For compression and double meanings:
    splitting up
    the odd pictures
    no one wants
    Joanne van Helvoort
    *
    For masterful use of inside and outside the frame:
    spring thaw . . .
    time drips
    from Dali’s clock
    Martha Magenta
    UK
    And
    ill on a journey
    a tretchikoff woman
    facing the mirror
    simonj
    UK
    *

    Just lovely:
    torn picture
    the edge
    of a memory
    Pat Davis
    Pembroke, NH USA
    Hard to mention only a few when all are remark-able!

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