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Haiku Dialogue: What’s at Hand Week 8

 

 

Welcome to Haiku Dialogue — What’s at Hand Week 8 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 lost piece of clothing.

Immerse yourself in the theme, then submit one original, unpublished haiku via our Contact Form.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

surf’s up
aware of Neptune’s sighs
the fish dish

Adrian Bouter

 

takeout menu
I attempt to join up
some of the dots

Alan Summers
Wiltshire, England

 

Brexit debate
arguing over
the takeaway menu

andrew shimield

 

Friday night Chinese
the choices
for one

Ann K. Schwader
Westminster, CO

 

her phone number
on the takeout menu
midnight wine

Anthony Rabang

 

empty chair-
grandma always insisted
on her mccrum potatoes

arvinder Kaur
Chandigarh, India

 

take out menu –
his little black book
her new twitter feed

B Shropshire
TX

 

setting down
the takeout menu
last first date

C.R. Harper

 

sushi takeout
a mosquito
tastes first

cezar-florin ciobîcă

 

sidewalk takeout
where you don’t see what you’ll get…
paying the price—twice!

Charles Harmon
Los Angeles, California, USA

 

she tastes with her eyes
he with his nose
counting loose change

Christina Pecoraro

 

he always was
on your takeaway menu
cutlery for one?

Christine Eales
UK

 

a take out menu
I choose between the same meal
in one hundred ways

Dubravka Šćukanec
Zagreb, Croatia

 

equinox moon –
chatter and chips
with a drag queen

Elisabetta Castagnoli

 

chill night
extra chili
to go

Helen Buckingham
Wells, Somerset, UK

 

takeout menu…
fingerprints all over
the discount offer

Hifsa Ashraf
Pakistan

 

Karachi fast food
on today’s menu
‘student burger’

Ingrid Baluchi
Ohrid, Macedonia

 

a pigeon pecking
gravy from a foam dish –
takeout menu

Janice Munro
Canada

 

driving through rain
for No. 27
hot chicken soup

Joan B
New York

 

takeaway menu
the numbered list of things
she says I don’t do

John Hawkhead

 

Takeaway hamburger-
on the stove a line of ants
coming and going

Julia Guzmán

 

fried ice cream
so good I write
advertising haiku

Kath Abela wilson
Pasadena, California

 

soy stained
sushi menu
evidence

Kathleen Mazurowski

 

he used to call me
his little dumpling
takeout menu

Kimberly Esser
Los Angeles, CA

 

stickymenusnewfusions

Laurie Greer
Washington, DC

 

bacon flavoured
vegan option –
second thoughts

Madhuri Pillai
Melbourne, Australia

 

date night rummaging for dinner in the drawer

Marion Clarke

 

pad kee mao —
on the takeout menu
some sample splatters

Mark Meyer

 

outdoor lunch
a mooching stray goes off
with my wings

Marta Chocilowska
Warsaw, Poland

 

spring cleaning
I take out a spider
on a pizza menu

Martha Magenta
UK

 

takeout menu
raindrops settle
our sidewalk debate

Michele L. Harvey

 

snow flurry
in my takeout bag
hot spring rolls

Olivier Schopfer
Geneva, Switzerland

 

so many choices
we settle for pizza
again

Peggy Bilbro
Alabama, USA

 

our special request
that they unknot the noodles
take away menu

Pratima Balabhadrapathruni

 

first date
circling takeout
on the menu

Roberta Beary
County Mayo, Ireland

 

Chinese takeout menu
my stepmom orders
the Happy Family

Sari Grandstaff

 

McDrive
snow on the car
with myself

Serhiy Shpychenko
Kyiv, UA

 

the trifold flyer
of a chinese restaurant
becomes a paper crane

simonj
UK

 

Valentines Day
off the take out menu
dinner for one

Stephen A. Peters

 

I hold the menu
over my head and run—
takeout umbrella

Susan Rogers
Los Angeles, CA

 

takeout
she slips her phone number
with the menu

Vandana Parashar

 

take away menu
I hide the shopping list
for my new diet

Vessislava Savova

 

Fast and convenient, but not so good for your health. The takeout menu makes a decent metaphor for modern life.

Andrew Shimield’s “Brexit debate” works both literally and metaphorically. It’s easy to picture a couple arguing about what food to order while the TV plays coverage of the political struggle. And it’s easy to picture “takeaway menu” as the details of the Brexit withdrawal agreement being debated in the House of Commons. All delivered with a powerful economy of words.

An attribute shared by Serhiy Shpychenko’s “McDrive,” which in a few words captures how drive-thru culture can be alienating and ridiculous in a faintly horrible way.

Loneliness shows up in several poems this week. Joan B’s has subtle tinge of it. I imagine the person is sick and that the soup offers comfort, but she has to brave the rain to get it. Perhaps risking more sickness. I can’t help but wish someone was there to bring the soup to her.

We were given several good juxtapositions of the comfort of food and the discomfort of weather. Helen Buckingham’s delivers charm and a hint of wistfulness. Olivier Schopfer’s hints nicely at the upcoming change of seasons.

There’s a fair bit of humor this week as well. Sari Grandstaff’s play on words with the common Chinese menu item “Happy Family” was particularly effective. Also Madhuri Pillai’s questioning of bacon flavored vegan options, and Ingrid Baluchi’s of the ingredients that go into a “student burger.”

Lastly, I’d like to commend Mark Meyer for resisting the urge to translate “pad kee mao.” When writing for an online publication, you are assured that your readers have easy access to a search engine. This opens the door to using unfamiliar elements that would be worth avoiding in a print publication.  In Mark’s haiku, the humor is strengthened by the delay in looking up the translation.

Do you have any tasty tidbits for us? Please share below.

 

Guest Editor Craig Kittner lives near the banks of the Cape Fear River in Wilmington, North Carolina. He has worked as a gallery director in Washington, DC, and a program director for the Kentucky Arts Council. He took second prize in the North Carolina Poetry Society Bloodroot Haiku Award for 2019.

 

Katherine Munro lives in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, and publishes under the name kjmunro. She is Membership Secretary for Haiku Canada and an Associate Member of the League of Canadian Poets. She co-edited an anthology of crime-themed haiku called Body of Evidence: a collection of killer ’ku.

Craig Kittner

After several years of moves, Craig Kittner has put down roots in the sandy soil of Eastern North Carolina. There the sunshine is clear. The climate gives rise to riotous growths of wildflowers. Birds abound, and the sky is alive with ocean breezes. Craig is content to walk the forests and beaches, gathering imagery for his poems. His work has been published in Frogpond, Chrysanthemum, Failed Haiku, bottle rockets, and the Autumn Moon Haiku Journal. In 2018, he had two poems selected as judges' favorites in the 5th Annual Golden Haiku Competition, and one poem selected for the Winston Salem Writers' Poetry in Plain Sight project. His first chapbook, Time's Sweet Savor, was published in 2016 by New Books on Front Street, an imprint of Old Books on Front Street in downtown Wilmington.

This Post Has 45 Comments

  1. Thank you Craig and Pratima for your comments on my haiku.
    Interesting selection of haiku, I particularly like Martha’s ‘Spring cleaning, ‘ a haiku I can related to, Marion’s one liner ‘ date night..’,
    Pratima’s witty ‘our special request’, Alan’s relatable ‘I attempt to join up /some of the dots and Hifsa’s ‘fingerprints all over.’

    1. Dear Madhuri,
      .
      Thank you for “Alan’s relatable ‘I attempt to join up /some of the dots” 🙂
      .
      .
      Marion’s one liner aka monoku is very astute, and another great verse capturing the culture of take out/delivery food! I remember a decent company, now gone, that covered cuisine of multiple cultures, and able to mix Japanese and Indian, with something Western, and topped with Japanese beers like Sapporo or Asahi or Kirin, although I’m partial to Indian beers like Cobra too. 🙂
      .
      .

      date night rummaging for dinner in the drawer
      .
      Marion Clarke
      .
      .
      Ah, yes, very handy as a free taxi ride to the wider world! 🙂
      .
      .
      spring cleaning
      I take out a spider
      on a pizza menu
      .
      Martha Magenta
      UK
      .
      .
      And that’s service for you!!! 🙂
      .
      .
      our special request
      that they unknot the noodles
      take away menu
      .
      Pratima Balabhadrapathruni
      .
      .
      So takeout menus can be crime scenes! 🙂 I wonder what a CSI takeout menu or a mafia takeout menu looks like? 😉
      .
      .
      takeout menu…
      fingerprints all over
      the discount offer
      .
      Hifsa Ashraf
      Pakistan

      1. Madhuri, thank you.

        Alan, I cannot resist this:

        squatted mosquitoes
        on the blue scarf
        who*dun* it

        outtahheeeeer

      2. Madhuri, thank you.

        @Alan,

        squatted mosquitoes
        on the blue scarf
        who*dun* it

        outtahheeeeer

  2. Many thanks Craig, and to Laurie for the lovely comments.
    My particular favourites are: Marta’s, for the beautifully etched air of disappointment, and Olivier’s for the heart-warming cold-hot contrast.
    Congratulations everyone.

  3. take out menu –
    his little black book
    her new twitter feed
    .
    B Shropshire
    TX
    .
    .
    It’s always an occasion when Betty Shropshire brings out a haiku!
    .
    This is chillingly brilliant. Is it autobiographical or pure fiction, or observational, perhaps in an take out cafe, with that very long contradictory wait for something called ‘fast’ food. Was Betty talking, during the long wait, to someone who had had enough and was doing her revenge, and all during the time it took for her meal to be bagged up to go?
    .
    How far did she get through the black book Betty? 🙂

  4. Thanks Pat – a nice idea about echoes…

    old takeaway menu
    yesterday’s choices
    sweet and sour

    Cheers
    John

  5. Craig, thank you for including mine, and for making my coffee break so much more enjoyable reading through these.
    Who would have thought such a common item as a takeout menu could produce so many ideas?

  6. Thank you for including mine and your precious work.

    Love Joan B’s haiku:

    driving through rain
    for No. 27
    hot chicken soup

    it’s true and intimate

    Elisabetta

  7. this is such a collection and there are more amusing ones, and there are more of those that are deep as stories, but some are fascinating for me because I never guessed that was an angle too …

    date night rummaging for dinner in the drawer

    Marion Clarke

    I love the multiple pauses in the one-liner and how it changes the aha element with each changed read for me

    date/night rummaging for dinner/in the drawer

    is my most favourite way to read it, because I cannot but let my imagination lead me into various side lanes that offer different and mysterious often fantastic turns as to what night is looking for, what it will find, what is that date, …I come up with the chilling friday the 13th? and then laugh.
    Marion, I love love love your one liner,

    surf’s up
    aware of Neptune’s sighs
    the fish dish

    Adrian Bouter

    i find this one funny, like Hagar asking what is for dinner and the answer being – yesterdays leftovers…
    but also possibly
    the fish that swam the sea and all the sighs of the sea were once part of its environment

    takeout menu
    I attempt to join up
    some of the dots

    Alan Summers
    Wiltshire, England

    the ubiquitous dots that link the name of the dish to the price on the right side of the takeaway flyer
    the speaker is trying to see what is pocket friendly, perhaps…
    is the speaker also trying to think something else and is the speaker joining the dots to understand even as the choice of what to order is being made?

    the trifold flyer
    of a chinese restaurant
    becomes a paper crane

    simonj
    UK

    oh yes, and tulips and what not, real observation of a fun moment

    bacon flavoured
    vegan option –
    second thoughts

    Madhuri Pillai
    Melbourne, Australia

    yes indeed…very much in sync with the vegan world

    1. Thank you pratima,
      .
      .
      takeout menu
      I attempt to join up
      some of the dots
      .
      Alan Summers
      Wiltshire, England
      .
      .
      You said:
      :the ubiquitous dots that link the name of the dish to the price on the right side of the takeaway flyer
      .
      the speaker is trying to see what is pocket friendly, perhaps…
      is the speaker also trying to think something else and is the speaker joining the dots to understand even as the choice of what to order is being made?”
      .
      .
      Great breakdown!
      .
      I don’t think I was much for one having take out meals when I was single. My main memory was when I met Karen and she became too ill to manage her own meals. I’d get proper Indian take out from a small Indian corner shop, all nicely frozen and homemade, no weird additives, just beautifully made.
      .
      When my mother fell ill, and no one else would help, Karen managed to help, and we’d often, after being burnt out with 24/7 care, phone a company (now gone) that could take orders from any kind of restaurant. The food was often restaurant made to a good standard unlike the companies that now specialise in this. It was a lifeline, but of course it’s still not homemade.
      .
      Years later in another town our fridge, when we officially lived together, was dotted with take out meals, if we were to burnt out to cook. The dots are as you say, checking prices, and thankfully we had a gas station dead opposite for a decent bottle of wine and not too expensive.
      .
      We prefer to home cook as junk or trash food is not only expensive on the level of luxury food, with out the quality, but filled with excess salt etc…
      .
      The best ‘take out’ food was when I was doing conferences and conventions where the head of the security team was Indian, and we had a big team of amateur cooks bringing legitimate authentic Indian food better than any Indian food restaurant could wish to aspire to.
      .
      Indian food, when done authentically, is medicine, is home, even for a non-Indian, and goes beyond comfort, it’s ‘need’ and warmth and safety. My greatest desire was realised when I met my half-sister, and then my birth mother, a few years ago, and found out the father’s family ran a Pakistan/Indian food restaurant, and although geared mostly to British immigrants, called ex-pats, it was done with expertise and love and attention.
      .
      Not many take out food meals are done with joining up the dots of family and good obligations, hence the deaths that have occurred with corporate companies demanding high commissions. So support directly your own take out restaurant that puts safety and the family first.

  8. Love, CRAIG, your apt observation that a “takeout menu makes a decent metaphor for modern life.” Thanks for including mine.
    .
    Felt kinship with traces of our humanity in:
    .
    VESSISLAVA’S hiding ‘the shopping list/for my new diet’ when spying a ‘take away menu’ —which even structurally takes first place with its opening-line prominence;
    .
    VANDANA’S ‘slip[ping] her phone number’ inside the menu, while ANTHONY noted ‘her phone number/ on the takeout menu’ itself
    .
    and MARION’S ‘rummaging for dinner in the drawer’ something we’ve all done in a pinch, if not other times.
    .
    Enjoyed the ubiquitous smudges of our human condition in:
    .
    ROBERTA’S ‘circling takeout/ on the menu’ while perhaps circling the other on a ‘first date’ encounter;
    .
    MARK’S ‘some sample splatters’
    .
    LAURIE’S wonderful one-liner, ‘stickymenusnewfusions,’ which feels gooey even to read,
    .
    KATHLEEN’S recognizable ‘soy stained…menu,’
    .
    JOHN’S ‘numbered list of things/ she says I don’t do’ which, it seems, shows up on one of the things he does do: order from take out
    .
    MARTHA’S ‘spider /on a pizza menu’
    .
    HIFSA’S ‘fingerprints all over’
    .
    CEZAR-FLORIN’S ‘mosquito’ that ‘tastes first’ and
    .
    ALAN’S perhaps doodling in his ‘attempt to join up/ some of the dots’ on the ‘takeout menu,’ we don’t know why.
    .
    Found pathos in
    .
    KIMBERLY’S ‘he used to call me / his little dumpling’ perhaps inferring she experienced herself as nothing more than an item on ‘a take out menu’
    .
    SERHIY’S solo McDrive
    .
    STEPHEN’S also solo ‘dinner for one’ on ‘Valentine’s Day’ which is not unlike
    .
    ANN’S ‘Friday night Chinese / the choices/ for one.’
    .
    JOAN’S ‘drinking through rain’ to pick up the very specific (and solitary?) ‘No. 27 / hot chicken soup’
    .
    CHRISTINE’S (at least for me) partly shadowed ‘he always was / on your takeaway menu’ with its concluding query, ‘cutlery for one?’
    .
    and ARVINDER’S ‘chair’ now ’empty’ of ‘grandma’ who ‘always insisted/ on her mccrum potatoes’
    .
    Almost giggled over
    .
    KATH’S ‘fried ice cream/ so good I write/advertising haiku’
    .
    MARTA’S ‘a mooching stray goes off / with my wings’
    .
    SARI’S ‘my stepmom orders/ the Happy Family’ and
    .
    SUSAN’S ‘I hold the menu /over my head and run—“ which I myself did in a recent downpour, and no doubt will again, it works so well
    .
    and B’S ‘his little black book’ juxtaposed with ‘her new twitter feed,’ different means to the same end.

    1. Thanks, Christina 🙂 It happened to me on the street in London (with a sandwich) many years ago!
      Marts

    2. Thanks Christina,
      .
      You said:
      .
      “ALAN’S perhaps doodling in his ‘attempt to join up/ some of the dots’ on the ‘takeout menu,’ we don’t know why.”
      .
      .
      takeout menu
      I attempt to join up
      some of the dots
      .
      Alan Summers
      Wiltshire, England
      .
      .
      It covers all kinds of things. When I was in my teens, take out places slowly emerged. It was a thing for teens, but out of my price range. In my twenties, I think a few of us ordered pizza but it was daftly expensive, for just a bit of flat bread with thinly scraped topping, meanness in extreme. It would have been cheaper to have gone to a restaurant perhaps. Joining up the dots.
      .
      Of course leaky ball point pens will leave their mark (dots of blue or black ink, smears and smudges, indentations, a history of indecision and knowing I didn’t want to do any washing up, which I’ve done since 6 years old).
      .
      We don’t pin take out menus on the fridge anymore. We don’t phone up dodgy companies that cover take away places nationally, so phone direct for a fish supper, or a curry, or better still, I can pop out and have a couple of pints of Kingfisher while waiting at the local Indian food restaurant. But lately, we stay in the place together, and fun interaction with the staff, and made their first female waiter very welcome on her first big day (I’m ex-catering).
      .
      Take out menus are histories. I wish I had saved them all over the decades, joining up even more dots of my past.

      1. And thank you back, Joan, for recognizing my focus on your ‘No. 27/ hot chicken soup.’ Its number added to its specificity for me — gave me the feeling it had been tasted and savored before, that it wasn’t just some generic dish. What you didn’t mention was my error in substituting ‘drinking’ for ‘driving’ for which I apologize.
        Someone who would drive through rain (often a put off) to pick up a very particular soup seems to have wanted it to work its magic again. A pointed, sparse and wonderful haiku, Joan.

        1. Christina, thank you. Coincidentally, two days ago I had some dental surgery done and have twice driven to the store for hot chicken noodle soup. My haiku got ahead of me!

  9. One of those magical haiku that just like Salinger, could kickstart a short story or more! 🙂
    .

    takeout
    she slips her phone number
    with the menu
    .
    Vandana Parashar
    .
    .
    Is she a moped or van deliverer, the customer/deliveree, or a chance customer, or does she like the person at the shop counter, or the counter person?
    .
    .
    J.D. Salinger (author of Catcher in the Rye) created a number of haiku, and one haiku in particular became the catalyst for a famous character for a series of short stories, that of Seymour Glass:
    https://area17.blogspot.com/2018/10/taking-out-important-in-haiku.html
    .
    Amongst a bevy of incredible senryu and haiku, which I expected with this wonderful theme of ‘to go’ food, this one has that I want to know more tease that is wonderful.
    .
    Vandana Parashar, I feel you should start work on a haiku novel now! 🙂

  10. Friday night Chinese
    the choices
    for one
    Ann K. Schwader
    Westminster, CO

    This one resonates with loneness .

  11. Thank you so much, Craig, for including my take on the takeout menu haiku! And your perceptive comments too. So many excellent choices here! Thanks also to all the haiku poets here for these morsels. Anthony Rabang’s haiku made me think of the old brush-off trick of giving a takeout restaurant’s telephone number to a man who asked for your phone number if you did not reciprocate his feelings. Vandana Parashar’s is a bold move of giving your real telephone number to a customer that you are interested in dating. Both creative uses of takeout menu theme.

  12. Thanks again , Craig! After reading through the posts, new ideas for a wide variety of hybrid recipes…

  13. Great insights from Craig and the featured poets so far, I’m looking forward to reading more as they come. I enjoyed John Hawkhead’s for the surprise with many possible echoes in Line 3.
    takeaway menu
    the numbered list of things
    she says I don’t do

    1. Thanks Pat – a nice idea about echoes…

      old takeaway menu
      yesterday’s choices
      sweet and sour

      Cheers
      John

  14. Thank you Craig once again for your thoughtful curation and this time, for including mine.

    Andrew Shimield’s skillful allusion to Brexit impresses me with both it’s ‘largeness’ and simplicity:
    .
    .

    Brexit debate
    arguing over
    the takeaway menu
    .
    andrew shimield
    .
    .
    As Craig observes, Andrew’s haiku brings up images of debates over food choices in a menu or perhaps while eating a takeout meal. These images ground the haiku but the use of the word ‘takeaway’ instead of ‘takeout’ allows our minds to take another leap to the agony of Brexit..on many tongues in news broadcasts, in homes, public places and of course in British Parliament.

    1. thanks Craig and Janice for your comments.
      Takeaway is the more common term in the UK. Our kids get obese on takeaways, not takeouts! I did consider both terms and takeaway seem to fit best.
      John Hawkhead’s and Hifsa Ashraf’s stood out for me.

  15. Enjoyable poems all ! Thanks for including mine . Needless to say I feel in notable company. Yes,i agree with the melancholy bit. For me,it always works. Like…

    Friday night Chinese
    the choices
    for one

    Ann K. Schwader
    Westminster, CO

    McDrive
    snow on the car
    with myself

    Serhiy Shpychenko
    Kyiv, UA

    her phone number
    on the takeout menu
    midnight wine

    Anthony Rabang

    Found ‘special request’ very amusing.

  16. Thank you for publishing my haiku Craig. By far the funniest for me is:
    .
    Karachi fast food
    on today’s menu
    ‘student burger’

    Ingrid Baluchi

    I was unsure about this weeks topic. I began drafting a haiku about a crow feasting on some throwaway fries, then I had a rethink and decided the topic must be the actual ‘takeout menu’ rather than dishes or food. My crow will have to wait for another day.

    1. Thank you, Martha! I can’t help seeing the funny side of things…
      Your ‘take out’ may have a couple of meanings these days, but I hope the spider found a more comfy place to stay:
      .
      spring cleaning
      I take out a spider
      on a pizza menu

      Martha Magenta
      UK

  17. Thank you, Craig, for including my poem in this tasty selection.

    Love Joan B’s haiku:

    driving through rain
    for No. 27
    hot chicken soup

    Food temptation is hard to resist indeed!

  18. Laurie Greer’s monoku…so appropriate as you can just see everything stuck together including the fusions of new tastes.

    There is so much to savor and appreciate. I need to return to sampling all the tasty treats.

    1. Thank you for noticing, Nancy!

      And thanks to Craig for including it. Another batch of great poems this week.
      Especially loved :

      chill night
      extra chili
      to go

      Helen Buckingham
      Wells, Somerset, UK

      the repetition really clinches it–and so hard to use repetition in a form as tight as this
      masterful

      *

      spring cleaning
      I take out a spider
      on a pizza menu

      Martha Magenta
      UK
      nicely done–for wording and surprise
      *

      date night rummaging for dinner in the drawer

      Marion Clarke

      love the “d” drumming through–someone determined not to be disappointed
      *
      snow flurry
      in my takeout bag
      hot spring rolls

      Olivier Schopfer
      Geneva, Switzerland

      for the deft seasonal shift

      *
      so many choices
      we settle for pizza
      again

      Peggy Bilbro
      Alabama, USA

      for being so true
      *

  19. Craig, thank you for choosing my haiku and for the insightful comments. Chicken soup is indeed the best cure for maladies physical and emotional!
    Joan

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