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HAIKU DIALOGUE – yellow fence

 

Welcome to Haiku Dialogue

Let’s talk about haiku! We begin our new format for 2019 with photographs – I will share a photo each week as a prompt for your writing and you’re invited to join in the fun!

Submit an original unpublished poem (or poems) via our Contact Form by Sunday midnight on the theme of the week, including your name as you would like it to appear, and place of residence.

Please note that by submitting, you agree that your work may appear in the column – neither acknowledgment nor acceptance emails will be sent. All communication about the poems that are posted in the column will be added as blog comments.

Poems will be selected based on the potential to generate discussion – these poems will be the best to talk about…

 

next week’s theme:

The deadline for this theme is midnight Pacific Time, Sunday 27 January 2019.

This will be the final photo prompt in this series – our first guest editor will be taking over the feature for the next few months with a whole new set of topics – stay tuned… there will be a proper introduction next week…

I look forward to reading your submissions.

 

HAIKU DIALOGUE:  yellow fence

Here are my selections for this week:

hills and valleys
within this serenity
our minds’ borderlines

Adjei Agyei-Baah
Kumasi, Ghana

 

bicycle tour
taking a break with tea
and lemon cake

Adrian Bouter

 

the winter light
a house on the prairie
with no other walls

Alan Summers
Wiltshire, England

 

yellow fence –
colored the way
of our autumn*

(*my husband and I are peers and we are going through our autumn of life)

Angela Giordano
Avigliano (PZ), Italy

 

fences
inside or outside
always a stranger

Anna Maria Domburg-Sancristoforo

 

an unwrapped scarf
to wipe silent tears
morning breeze

Anthony Rabang

 

fence graffiti –
a painted heart
bleeds in rain

arvinder kaur
Chandigarh, India

 

wet paint
on a new fence
no picnic

Barbara Kaufmann
NY

 

southern border
van Gogh yellow
makes the departure

Basant Das

 

tables
turned on
the pic-
nicking
pines

Bill Gottlieb

 

sitting on the fence
even our minds
divided

Charles Harmon
Los Angeles, California, USA

 

fence table tree
his wooden
shyness

Christina Pecoraro

 

dinnertime
at the picnic table
an ant family

Christina Sng

 

early dusk
the cracked fence
mending itself

Debbi Antebi
London, UK

 

all that’s left…
the silence of forest
before dawn

Eufemia Griffo

 

keeping out or keeping in
secret
of an old fence

Greer Woodward
Kamuela, Hawaii

 

homecoming –
the wind whistles
through the fence

Hifsa Ashraf
Pakistan

 

no trespassing
the way we insist
on ownership

Ingrid Baluchi
Ohrid, Macedonia

 

the language of a wall

Janice Munro
Canada

 

full moon
stationed by the border gate
a snowy owl

Joanne Reinbold

 

Camp site –
the empty place
full of light

Julia Guzmán

 

walled in –
another week
without a paycheck

Julie Bloss Kelsey

 

rest stops
times in our lives to pull over
and picnic

Kath Abela Wilson
Pasadena, California

 

picnic tables…
a part of us
relishing the splinters

Laurie Greer
Washington DC

 

suburban mum –
a glimpse of the wilderness
behind her fence

Lucy Whitehead
Essex, UK

 

rolling hills
the road
away

Margaret Walker

 

border crossing
the ins and outs
of neighbors

Marilyn Ashbaugh
Edwardsburg, MI USA

 

lengthening shadow
this fear of another
hard border

Marion Clarke

 

peeking through the slats
my imaginary friend
and I

Mark Gilbert
UK

 

endless fence…
his lifelong search
for an escape route

Mark Meyer

 

over the border
blackbirds sing
the same song

Martha Magenta
UK

 

privacy fence
what i’ve never
told anyone

Michael Henry Lee
Saint Augustine, Florida

 

border crossing
crows on one side tell those
on the other

Michele L. Harvey

 

gated community
imprisoned
by her obsessions

Nancy Brady
Huron, Ohio

 

yellow fence
the garden club
lured to the lot

Pat Davis
Pembroke NH, USA

 

gloomy day
I paint my own
sunshine

Rachel Sutcliffe

 

freshly painted fence
the spring in the step
of my neighbour

Rashmi Vesa

 

yellow fence an owl’s wing brushing the moon

Réka Nyitrai

 

a yellow fence –
what will there be
on the other side?

Rosa Maria Di Salvatore

 

autumn years
learning to live
a fenced-in life

Sanjuktaa Asopa

 

forty-nine degrees  who will pay for the wall?

simonj
UK

 

country road
the pine trees peep out above
the guard rail

Slobodan Pupovac
Zagreb, Croatia

 

yellow picket fence
not quite as old as the line
that divides neighbors

Stephen A. Peters

 

startling
even the bees –
yellow fence

Susan Rogers
Los Angeles, CA, USA

 

back to nature
a satellite dish
on the new rv

Terri French

 

ribbons of gold
curl and fall…
last anniversary

Tia Haynes
Lakewood, Ohio

 

working day –
only birds visit
the weekend resort

Tomislav Maretic

 

the universe…
the world beyond
the fence

Tsanka Shishkova

 

remnants of summer –
the fence painted
sunflower yellow

Valentina Ranaldi-Adams
Fairlawn, Ohio USA

 

empty park
the dog plays
with a rag doll

Vandana Parashar

 

what do they know
of yellow fences
evergreen trees

Victor Ortiz
Bellingham, WA

 

unending wall
loneliness awaits
arrival of moon

Vishnu Kapoor

 

even dogs
at the protest parade
wear yellow vests

Wendy C. Bialek
AZ, USA

 

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.

 

This Post Has 66 Comments

  1. Thank you to so many for the kind words. With the tumult of my husband on furlough, I forgot that I had sent one in. I love the diversity of responses to this prompt – happy to be included.

  2. gloomy day
    I paint my own
    sunshine
    .
    Rachel Sutcliffe
    .
    What a lovely poem from someone who shall be missed. This gift from Rachel I shall keep close to my heart always. Thank you Rachel. Godspeed.

  3. Deeply saddened !
    Rest in peace, dear Rachel Sutcliffe!
    Leaving it here ,maybe will be commenting later. Prayers.

  4. REST IN PEACE
    Such a great loss.
    .
    .
    gloomy day
    I paint my own
    sunshine
    .
    Rachel Sutcliffe
    .
    .
    Rachel was a ball of fire in her haiku, despite a desperately severe and chronic illness.
    .
    I don’t think she ever allowed a gloomy day to effect her, and just like a haiku poet, found beauty in even the most mundane objects and situations. Her gentle craft, against all the odds, shines through. Such a simple haiku and it’s the judgement of where to place line breaks, rather than make it a one line haiku for instance.
    .
    .
    From Marion Clarke at The Haiku Foundation:
    .
    “Following communication with Rebecca Sutcliffe, sister of Rachel Sutcliffe and with permission from Rachel’s parents, it is with a very heavy heart that I inform the haiku world of Rachel’s recent passing.”
    .
    “Despite suffering from a very serious autoimmune disorder for many years, Rachel always displayed a wonderful sense of humour and was a fine and prolific writer of haiku and senryu. Her poetry has been published widely in dedicated haiku journals and on her blog Project Words.”
    .
    “Rachel will be dearly missed by all in the global haiku community. I was honoured to include this monoku of hers in a selection back in October on The Haiku Foundation’s ‘Per Diem’ feature. I think it demonstrates her ability to find something positive in times of such adversary.”
    .
    “May our friend rest in peace.”
    .
    .
    deep woods happy to just be
    .
    Rachel Sutcliffe
    Per Diem, The Haiku Foundation, October 2018
    .
    .

    Rachel’s blog and poetry can be discovered and admired at:
    https://projectwords11.wordpress.com

    .
    .

    1. thanks so much for letting us know, Alan – I too am shocked & saddened by this news… I admire Rachel’s work immensely… it has been a privilege to share it here
      .
      gloomy day
      I paint my own
      sunshine
      .
      Rachel Sutcliffe

  5. autumn years
    learning to live
    a fenced-in life

    Sanjuktaa Asopa

    This one captures what declining health in the later years does to the quality-of-life.

  6. My favorite from this week…

    early dusk
    the cracked fence
    mending itself
    Debbi Antebi

    Of course, this immediately calls to mind the Frost classic “The Mending Wall”, and all of its associations (so timely now when “Something there is” for so many of us “that doesn’t love a wall”—or does!) But here the cracked fence is mended not by neighborly human hands but by the coming of dusk, whose murky tide “mends” all distinctions. And “early dusk” is a wonderful way to evoke season in this haiku; the year is darkening. A lovely ku, with dusky depth. (I regularly see Ms. Antebi’s work in many journals—she has the advantage of a rhythmic and memorable name—and she is consistently engaging and entertaining, as she is here.)

  7. This week’s selections have been a wonderful read. The yellow barrier and the surrounding scene inspired a surprising mix of responses and styles. I’ll mention four of my favourites…there are many more.

    Living in Ontario with the United States on the opposite bank of the St Lawrence River, I am touched by these two human haiku:
    .
    border crossing
    the ins and outs
    of neighbors
    —Marilyn Ashbaugh
    .
    .
    walled in –
    another week
    without a paycheck
    —Julie Bloss Kelsey
    .
    .
    This one conjures a vastness of space beyond walls:
    .
    the winter light
    a house on the prairie
    with no other walls
    —Alan Summers
    .
    .
    And delightfully transcending gloom:
    .
    gloomy day
    I paint my own
    sunshine
    —Rachel Sutcliffe
    .
    .
    Thank you Kathy for another great post. I feel honoured to have been included.

    1. Dear Janice,
      .
      You said:
      .
      “This week’s selections have been a wonderful read. The yellow barrier and the surrounding scene inspired a surprising mix of responses and styles. I’ll mention four of my favourites…there are many more.”
      .
      and
      .
      “Living in Ontario with the United States on the opposite bank of the St Lawrence River, I am touched by these two human haiku…”
      .
      .
      Thank you so much for including mine, and the deeply poignant action of including Rachel Sutcliffe’s haiku, as she just died. It makes all of this so much more real, and that walls should only be raised to mostly shelter humans, and not to divide us.
      .
      .
      You said:
      .
      “This one conjures a vastness of space beyond walls:”
      .
      the winter light
      a house on the prairie
      with no other walls
      .
      —Alan Summers
      .
      .
      Thank you! Although I never lived in America, I have lived in an equally large country, and in farmland, when I lived in a Queenslander house. No walls, only tiny fences, and open spaces, and the coming and going of blue heelers, tractors, birds, cows, and horses, and the neighbour’s dog, was and is a fondly remembered treat.
      .
      .
      You said:
      “And delightfully transcending gloom:”
      .
      .
      gloomy day
      I paint my own
      sunshine
      .
      —Rachel Sutcliffe
      .
      .
      A wonderful one from Rachel, which I hope wasn’t her last for this THF feature, and that she might have sent a new one before she died. She really was expert at saying so much with so few words.
      .
      .
      You said:
      “Thank you Kathy for another great post. I feel honoured to have been included.”
      .
      .
      the language of a wall
      .
      Janice Munro
      Canada
      .
      .
      The language of a wall, or the wall, can all depend on us. Here is Banksy’s response:
      https://www.bennettstevens.com/Banksy-Palestine/i-xC7KCBX
      .
      .
      Proud to say Banksy is a fellow Bristol boy! When our Bristol local authorities were so anti-Bristol and tried to use the police, it seemed he was our only voice. Things are better in Bristol and now it’s called the happiest city in the U.K. 🙂
      .
      Great haiku!

      1. Thank you Alan. I am saddened and shocked to hear of Rachel’s passing. I and I am certain many others will miss her writing.

        I enjoyed Banksy’s wall art showing a way ‘to paint our own sunshine.’

  8. Dear Kathy,
    Wonderful selection, going through . To cite one example, the following, i marvel

    the universe…
    the world beyond
    the fence

    Tsanka Shishkova

    with regards
    S.Radhamani

  9. .
    THE EVERYONE NARRATOR
    .
    .

    I’m always intrigued by narrators, as they are not always the author when we write a poem. In haiku, as it’s both brief, barely six seconds of utterance, and commonly supposed, at times, that author and narrator are one, we zero in even more into the ‘voice of the haiku’.
    .
    .
    empty park
    the dog plays
    with a rag doll
    .
    Vandana Parashar
    .
    .
    Now the author could be the narrator, and is merely assuming the park is empty as there is only that one person, them! That’s an intriguing stance and personal choice of presence to be made in itself. Do some of us remove ourselves from the equation when we are the only human in a specific area such as a park?
    .

    Does the author displace themselves voluntarily? Does the author step aside for a different narrator, the “everyone” or even “no one” not unlike the Spaghetti Western character of the man with no name? 🙂
    .
    What, why, who, which poets, and when, do they decide that the narrator, the poem’s talker, is other than the author themselves? In Japanese haikai verses the personal pronoun is often inferred (as it is in conversation and written correspondence) and accepted as a presence (but within the white space of talking and writing). We often know it’s not necessary to spell things out when we talk amongst friends, family, neighbours, or simply people local to our area. We ‘do shortcuts’ in our conversation: But we don’t step aside as a presence, except in creative writing?
    .
    As haiku must be the shortest approach to creative writing, perhaps we will be too centre stage? Or is it an interesting perspective, to be the everyone narrator, or actually as if we are a surveillance camera, or even as if we are one of those rarely known and therefore anonymous surveillance camera operators?
    .
    In effect, haiku can appear as if taken covertly, so why not from the perspective of the 24/7 electronic eye?
    .
    Articles in grammar (a, an, the) are interesting as they do far more than act as a mere grammatical tool, they can nudge nuance.
    .
    .
    the dog plays
    with a rag doll
    .
    .
    Is the park really empty, as this is not just any random dog, but ‘the’ dog. Is it the narrator’s dog, or the author’s dog? Or a dog that has become a stray, alone but for a doll dropped from a pram one day?
    .
    .
    Or is the author and narrator one and the same person, and merely letting the dog into the park very early in the morning, and the park appears empty as they are the living human soul, amongst the souls of other creative life, but not human?
    .
    Aspects of the ‘everyone’ narrator, and even the no-one narrator, are intriguing devices whether meant deliberately or liberating, accident or design.
    .
    .

    I love this haiku too! 🙂
    .
    .

    rolling hills
    the road
    away
    .
    Margaret Walker
    .
    .
    A neat example of just four words, and yet better as a three-line haiku rather than as a monoku. We are given an expanse to be who or what we are, or were, or could be.
    .
    .

    yellow fence an owl’s wing brushing the moon
    .
    Réka Nyitrai
    .
    .
    I wonder how many fences we contain in ourselves even before we create external ones? Here, the fence is never an obstruction, as one of the world’s iconic creatures simply brushes the moon, almost as a personal statement. An everyone narrator voicing what surely most of us realise, that we only need just enough walls, as shelter, and the rest is a mistake.
    .
    .
    Fascinating aspects of the narrator from each haiku! 🙂
    .
    Enjoy finding more examples on this terrific page! 🙂

    1. One’s self can be a noisy, demanding presence that covers up serenity. To release one’s self and become one with the haiku? Bliss.

      1. What I like about haiku is that it takes from the hokku and other haikai verses composed in the classic era up to the early 1890s and then appeared and evolved in the late 1890s just as the industrial revolutions gathered pace around the world, and continue to do.
        .
        Yes, little pockets of space, of truth, sometimes quiet, sometimes pointing things out that are wrong. More and more people are clicking onto poetry be it online ordering, or on Twitter and other social media. When there is no truth or sanity, there is poetry, even when it bangs the drum a little.
        .
        Occasionally, we can show the personal pronoun too. 🙂
        .
        .
        snowing
        through the blizzard
        particles of me
        .
        Alan Summers
        .
        Winner, The Haiku Calendar Competition 2011 (Snapshot Press)
        .
        Publication credits: The Haiku Calendar 2012 (Snapshot Press)
        Feature: Cornell University, Mann Library spotlight (March 2013)
        Per Diem: Transcendence ed. D. Wentworth April 2014; and iPhone App Version 5.0, January 2016, both by The Haiku Foundation
        .
        Magazine Interview:
        Sonic Boom Interview with Alan Summers with Shloka Shankar (Issue seven, December 2016)
        http://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/61020d_c768ded5d26144628db5f8d863f7ae00.pdf
        https://www.thehaikufoundation.org/omeka/files/original/724503644a042672b8a57ed98cc19ffd.pdf
        .
        Anthology credits: The Humours of Haiku (Iron Press 2012); Faces and Place ed. Don Baird (The Little Buddha Press 2015); naad anunaad: an anthology of contemporary international haiku ed. Shloka Shankar, Sanjuktaa Asopa, Kala Ramesh, India, 2016 (Haiku Society of America Merit Book Awards, Best Anthology [tie] 2017); Earth in Sunrise: A Course for English-Language Haiku Study (Kumamoto University, Japan, textbook for teaching university-level English-language education) ed. Professor Richard Gilbert and David Ostman.
        .
        Collection credit: The In-Between Season (With Words Haiku Pamphlet Series 2012)

    2. Thank you Alan! I really questioned if this would have any meaning to anyone but me.
      I appreciate reading your comments on my own haiku and those of others. It is always a learning experience.

      1. Hi Margaret! 🙂
        .
        You said:
        .
        ” I really questioned if this would have any meaning to anyone but me.”
        .
        .
        rolling hills
        the road
        away
        .
        Margaret Walker
        .
        .
        It ticks all the boxes in my opinion. We have ‘rolling hills’ which is a great context setting and opening line, and expansive. Then we zero in and find a road, and then the powerful single word last line of ‘away’.
        .
        Highly crafted, and just four words! 🙂

    3. Dear esteemed poet,
      Greetings! Indeed fine examples chosen by you.

      “As haiku must be the shortest approach to creative writing, perhaps we will be too centre stage? Or is it an interesting perspective, to be the everyone narrator, or actually as if we are a surveillance camera, or even as if we are one of those rarely known and therefore anonymous surveillance camera operators?”

      Reading over again and again.

    4. Dear Alan,
      Thank you so much for your detailed appraisal of my haiku.
      There is so much to learn from all of you and I hope I prove to be a worthy learner.
      Thank you once again. 😊

      1. Thank you Vandana,
        .
        I enjoyed reading and re-reading your haiku, and working out some thoughts from my perspective. I hope others come back to your poem here! 🙂

    5. Alan, Thanks for sharing your insights so freely. I can keep learning every week in this forum.

    6. rolling hills
      the road
      away
      .
      Margaret Walker
      .
      .
      I said: “A neat example of just four words, and yet better as a three-line haiku rather than as a monoku. We are given an expanse to be who or what we are, or were, or could be.”
      .
      .
      Actually this three line haiku is five words, and still not an easy task to create such a strong atmospheric poem but Margaret does! 🙂
      .
      I can see the thought and craft put into this poem, with an expansive, open, yet personal and immersive “rolling hills’ as I think of both beauty and freedom and something natural all together.
      .
      As green belts are being created as we speak across desert-riven lands that were not so long ago green, only some of us can dream of ‘rolling hills’.
      .
      The middle line is just two words, but ‘the road’ always carry meaning beyond its one syllable title for a route from A-B. We are always on ‘the road’ metaphorically and it’s our choice to walk, stroll, run, or even stagger from sign post to sign post to continue ‘our road’.
      .
      The last line, just one word, feels intensely atmospheric to me, and adds a little mystery, a little Yūgen perhaps, where words are needed any further, or cannot capture.
      .
      That last line could almost be an innovative pivot line/word, where in English, pivots tend to be placed only in the middle line, yet Margaret has found a way to be original in her exploration of what it is ‘to be’.

  10. Thanks, dear KJ!
    I’m so glad. It’s an honor indeed to be included in this selection.

    I congratulate all the authors for their original interpretations of the feeling that we are behind the fence.

  11. thanks everyone for the comments so far… what struck me this week was the number of poems about walls & borders – the political interpretations of this photo… which was taken at a campground on the North Klondike Highway between Whitehorse & Dawson City, just past the town of Carmacks. For those who might be interested, the tulip photo was taken in a friend’s yard in Kelowna, BC, & the snow was on my neighbour’s shed. The scene above is Kathleen Lake, near Haines Junction, Yukon Territory, Canada. Happy writing!

    1. endless fence…
      his lifelong search
      for an escape route
      .
      Mark Meyer
      .
      .
      Wonderful partnership between the opening line and the phrase of the last two lines!!! 🙂

  12. I love the space left in Greer’s ku. So much for the reader to engage with. Especially the use of the verb “relishing”. I felt the same way upon reading it:

    *

    picnic tables…
    a part of us
    relishing the splinters

  13. Thanks, Kathy, for your fence-full, fanciful selections.
    .
    For a reason I can’t yet name, my own face became unexpectedly wet when I read these two haiku, one following the other:
    .
    an unwrapped scarf
    to wipe silent tears
    morning breeze (Anthony Rabang) and
    .
    fence graffiti –
    a painted heart
    bleeds in rain (arvinder kaur)
    .
    That fences can be richly psychological /metaphorical was reinforced for me by
    .
    Adjei Agyei-Baah’s “our minds’ borderlines”
    .
    Debbie Antebi’s “…/ the cracked fence / mending itself”
    .
    Michael Henry Lee’s “privacy fence/ what I’ve never / told anyone” and
    .
    Mark Meyer’s “endless fence…/ his lifelong search /for an escape route”
    .
    Felt essential and existential quiet as I entered into Eufemia Griffo’s “all that’s left…/ the silence of forest / before dawn”
    Julia Guzmán’s “Camp site – / the empty place / full of light” and
    Vishnu Kapoor’s “unending wall / loneliness awaits / arrival of moon.”
    .
    Loved the folksy, reminiscent details in
    .
    Laurie Greers’s “picnic tables / a part of us / relishing the splinters”
    .
    Tomislav Maretic’s “/working day –/only birds visit / the weekend resort”
    .
    Vandana Parashar’s “empty park /the dog plays/ with a rag doll”
    .
    and Christina Sng’s “dinner time / at the picnic table /an ant family”
    .
    Found myself commiserating in different ways with Julie Bloss Kelsey’s pointed “walled in – another week / without a paycheck” and Sajuktaa Asopa’s “…learning to live / a fenced-in life” while cheering for Lucy Whitehead’s “suburban mum” who could catch “a glimpse of wilderness / behind her fence”
    .
    Relished the visual poetry of Réka Nyitrai’s “yellow fence an owl’s wing brushing the moon”
    .
    Thought not only of “the universe…” but the realm of life after death in Tsanka Shishkova’s “the world beyond / the fence”

    1. Also mused upon death in a procession of possibilities in answer to
      .
      a yellow fence –
      what will there be
      on the other side?

      Rosa Maria Di Salvatore

    2. Christina, Thank you for your kind comment on my poem. I am glad it resonated with you.

      1. You’re welcome, arvinder. Truth is, among the many wonderful ones, it was one of my favorites — so much evoked, and so lyrically.

  14. I went blank on this prompt and didn’t enter, but thank goodness for those who did. So many good ones!

    on the fence
    what shall my ku
    say today?

    1. Hi Pris,
      .
      Writing to prompts is rarely easy, although a great discipline in itself, as it hones us for those all important commissions etc… 🙂
      .
      You said:
      .
      “I went blank on this prompt and didn’t enter, but thank goodness for those who did. So many good ones!”
      .
      .
      on the fence
      what shall my ku
      say today?
      .
      Pris Campbell
      .
      .
      Wow, that haiku could be said for any kind of poetry or step forward to do something in a crazy world gone a little crazier. 🙂
      .
      It’s a powerful verse!

  15. i can’t say what my fav’s are….i find something wonderful in each poem chosen:

    hills and valleys
    within this serenity
    our minds’ borderlines

    Adjei Agyei-Baah
    Kumasi, Ghana

    the last line ” our minds’ borderlines ” by Adjei…a very poetic, even rhyming definition of a fence…which we draw ourselves.
    It begs the question, if we could put it up…we could take it down, at will.
    llllllllllllllllllllllllll

    unending wall
    loneliness awaits
    arrival of moon

    Vishnu Kapoor

    when i studied this picture, i saw that there was no end to the fence, i saw that the area was uninhabited, but Vishnu put it together and added the passage of time, waiting for the moon to come…to have a companion and the emotional equivalency of “unending wall” with “loneliness” enhancing the picture with a heartfelt story

    llllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll

    All unique, but each of the following poems seemed to have been jumped off by the colour yellow or capitalize on or vibrate with it… the colour….. yellow:

    bicycle tour
    taking a break with tea
    and lemon cake

    Adrian Bouter

    yellow fence –
    colored the way
    of our autumn*

    (*my husband and I are peers and we are going through our autumn of life)

    Angela Giordano
    Avigliano (PZ), Italy

    even dogs
    at the protest parade
    wear yellow vests

    Wendy C. Bialek
    AZ, USA

    0

    yellow picket fence
    not quite as old as the line
    that divides neighbors

    Stephen A. Peters

    0

    startling
    even the bees –
    yellow fence

    Susan Rogers
    Los Angeles, CA, USA

    0

    ribbons of gold
    curl and fall…
    last anniversary

    Tia Haynes
    Lakewood, Ohio

    0

    southern border
    van Gogh yellow
    makes the departure

    Basant Das

    0

    yellow fence
    the garden club
    lured to the lot

    Pat Davis
    Pembroke NH, USA

    0

    gloomy day
    I paint my own
    sunshine

    Rachel Sutcliffe

    0

    what do they know
    of yellow fences
    evergreen trees

    Victor Ortiz
    Bellingham, WA

    0

    yellow fence an owl’s wing brushing the moon

    Réka Nyitrai

    a yellow fence –
    what will there be
    on the other side?

    Rosa Maria Di Salvatore

    0

    remnants of summer –
    the fence painted
    sunflower yellow

    Valentina Ranaldi-Adams
    Fairlawn, Ohio USA

    0

    to be continued

  16. .
    For me, the least words with most impact…
    .
    .
    the language of a wall

    Janice Munro
    Canada
    .
    .
    Captures the lore of walls from antiquity, to current events in USA, how even innocents are caught up on walls…
    .
    Jan
    In Texas

  17. I looked forward to reading the poems for the fence prompt. I found it difficult and didn’t enter this time. But here are my favorites, all of which I found fresh and startling in some way, familiar in others, as in the poem about a border. I live on a border.
    . . .
    homecoming –
    the wind whistles
    through the fence
    .
    Hifsa Ashraf
    Pakistan
    .
    I can feel all the potential emotions of a homecoming, with the last two lines.
    . . .
    the language of a wall
    .
    Janice Munro
    Canada
    .
    So much said in 4 words. Great monoku.
    . . .
    over the border
    blackbirds sing
    the same song
    .
    Martha Magenta
    UK
    .
    So familiar to me living and crossing a border every day. I envy the birds freedom and their song is everyone’s song…make me think deeply about the divides among us when it comes to borders.
    . . .
    privacy fence
    what i’ve never
    told anyone
    .
    Michael Henry Lee
    Saint Augustine, Florida
    .
    An interest take on the fence, how they hold in secrets. Lovely
    . . .
    gloomy day
    I paint my own
    sunshine
    .
    Rachel Sutcliffe
    .
    This one just made me feel good! Yellow is a powerful uplifting color and I love the effect it had on this poet.
    . . .
    yellow fence an owl’s wing brushing the moon
    .
    Réka Nyitrai
    .
    This scene is worded in such a beautiful way. I can see it clearly.
    . . .

  18. How could I not think of Robert Frost’s “Something there is that doesn’t love a wall” vis á vis “Good fences make good neighbors” in mulling the potent and sometimes evocative
    .
    the winter light
    a house on the prairie / with no other walls (Alan Summers) [to which I breathed “Thank heavens!”]
    .
    fences / inside or outside /
    always a stranger (A.M. Domburg Sancristoforo)
    .
    keeping out or keeping in / secret/
    of an old fence (Greer Woodward)
    .
    the language of a wall (Janice Munro)
    .
    border crossing
    the ins and outs / of neighbors (Marilyn Ashbaugh)
    .
    …fence /not quite as old as the line/
    that divides neighbors (Stephen A. Peters)
    .
    and the timely/terrible “lengthening…fear of another” in
    .
    lengthening shadow
    this fear of another
    hard border (Marion Clarke)
    .
    At the same time, I loved the playfulness in
    .
    peeking through the slats
    my imaginary friend
    and I (Mark Gilbert)
    .
    as well as the upbeat perspective in
    .
    Rachel Sutcliffe’s “I paint my own / sunshine”
    .
    Rashmi Vesa’s “the spring (season? bounce?) in the step”
    .
    Victor Ortiz’s teasing “they” in “what do they know/of yellow fences/ evergreen trees and
    .
    Slobodan Pupovac‘s “…pine trees peep(ing) out above/ the guard rail”
    .
    More to come…

    1. Are walls only subjugation? Or an intended aim not loudly stated at least? The song Don’t Fence Me In has been covered by many artists from Roy Rogers and Gene Autry, to Bing Crosby, and The Killers: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lq5vrpwdMGM
      .
      Ever since the fences and walls rose up in history it was merely a precursor to corporate dominion. What is wrong or scary or mean about wide open spaces and free movement? After all the biggest threat to a community can be its very own citizens, hence the all day and night need of a police presence.
      .
      As the U.K. government has drastically reduced the street presence of ordinary police officers then violent crime has risen to alarming levels. We can never completely wall or fence someone out, or completely wall or fence ourselves in.
      .
      Sometimes walls and fences are good, they hold a roof, for instance, that can bring shelter, or keep children or pets from running out onto a busy wall. But wouldn’t it be wonderful if we kept walls and fences, in general, to a minimum rather than to a maximum. Now that might be worth installing and repairing, more walls and fences for the forcibly homeless to call their own, when they want, on their terms, and no need for anyone else to fence themselves and others?
      .
      .
      Mending Wall
      BY ROBERT FROST
      .
      https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/44266/mending-wall
      .
      .
      Thanks Christina! 🙂
      .
      .

      the winter light
      a house on the prairie
      with no other walls
      .
      Alan Summers

      1. snowing
        through the blizzard
        particles of me
        .
        Alan Summers
        .
        Thanks, Alan, for the particles of you that show up both in your marvelous haiku (plural) and your awesome commentaries.
        .
        It’s gotten so that when I see your name or get ready to click on one of your links I prepare for “pockets…of truth, sometimes quiet, sometimes pointing out things that are wrong,” though more often things that are spot on. Such benevolent, and yes, practical, guidance!
        .
        Though I’ve saved your Sonic Boom interview til later, after long years I have, thanks to you, reread Frost’s MENDING WALL in its entirety. (Earlier I’d quoted the easily remembered contrary perspectives on a wall from its con-versation between two neighbors.). The whole of it is worth the re-read, especially in light of the ku and commentaries in Kathy’s column this week.
        .
        So thanks again and again to you, Frost, Kathy, and all poets here and elsewhere who refuse to fence in their developing wisdom.

        1. Hi Christina,
          .
          You said:
          .
          “It’s gotten so that when I see your name or get ready to click on one of your links I prepare for “pockets…of truth, sometimes quiet, sometimes pointing out things that are wrong,” though more often things that are spot on. Such benevolent, and yes, practical, guidance!”
          .
          .
          With haiku being created just before the 20th Century, and taking a little from hokku, and a lot from the emerging industrialised world, it makes sense to include the darker aspects alongside the surviving beauty of the natural world (while it lasts).
          .
          .

          You said:
          .
          “Though I’ve saved your Sonic Boom interview til later, after long years I have, thanks to you, reread Frost’s MENDING WALL in its entirety. (Earlier I’d quoted the easily remembered contrary perspectives on a wall from its conversation between two neighbors.). The whole of it is worth the re-read, especially in light of the ku and commentaries in Kathy’s column this week.”
          .
          .
          I feel that such everyday and dominant features such as walls and fences would naturally be picked up as symbolism, and so it’s been fascinating to see everyone’s take on that theme here.
          .
          .
          You said:
          .
          “So thanks again and again to you, Frost, Kathy, and all poets here and elsewhere who refuse to fence in their developing wisdom.”
          .
          .
          It’s been great! I guess when the Berlin Wall came down someone had to put up another one somewhere, and remind us that there are those who would divide us, and poets have a duty to resist.

  19. Well written comments this week. I’m enjoying all your takes on this image. A couple of haiku capture the fence-iness of fences particularly well in my mind.

    Many times I’ve run into old fences and walls in the woods and wondered, as Greer’s piece does, “keeping out or keeping in”? Old relics do keep their secrets, don’t they?

    Ingrid’s “no trespassing” gets right to the heart of how and why fences divide us.

    Thanks for sharing everyone. Have a good week.

  20. early dusk
    the cracked fence
    mending itself Debbi Antebi
    When I read this poem I thought of how the night hides physical flaws.

    what do they know
    of yellow fences
    evergreen trees Victor Ortiz
    Other than the obvious message, I thought about how trees branch out over neighbors’ fences and how that could be a problem, or be happily received. Also, I’ve seen many articles lately about plant consciousness. and what trees “know” – fascinating reading.

    peeking through the slats
    my imaginary friend
    and I Mark Gilbert
    A strong visual image and lots of fun!

  21. peeking through the slats
    my imaginary friend
    and I
    Mark Gilbert
    UK

    This one captures the imagination of childhood.

  22. fences
    inside or outside
    always a stranger
    Anna Maria Domburg-Sancristoforo

    Why is a person a stranger? Sometimes a person builds emotional or mental fences that leaves that person isolated. Sometimes these fences are built by others. This haiku captures both of these cases.

  23. This photo of a fence, coming as it does at a time of the Mexican border, France’s gilets jaunes and Brexit controversies, was likely to encourage poems where fences guard, become barriers, speak of secrecy, loneliness, privacy, seclusion and isolation, not just as physical obstructions, but psychological ones too . . .
    .
    Adjei Agyei-Baah:
    hills and valleys
    within this serenity
    our minds’ borderlines
    .
    Anna Maria Domburg-Sancristoforo:
    fences
    inside or outside
    always a stranger
    .
    Charles Harmon:
    sitting on the fence
    even our minds
    divided
    .
    Janice Munro’s succinct poem, just six syllables that say so much about the human condition:
    the language of a wall
    .
    Marilyn Ashbaugh:
    border crossing
    the ins and outs
    of neighbors
    .
    Mark Meyer:
    endless fence . . .
    his lifelong search
    for an escape route
    .
    Nancy Brady:
    gated community
    imprisoned
    by her obsessions
    .
    Stephen A. Peters:
    yellow picket fence
    not quite as old as the line
    that divides neighbors
    .
    and several others written in the same vein.
    .
    I liked the following three poems written from Nature’s perspective on Man’s odd behaviour:
    .
    Martha Magenta:
    over the border
    blackbirds sing
    the same song
    .
    Michele L. Harvey:
    border crossing
    crows on one side tell those
    on the other
    .
    and in particular,
    Victor Ortiz:
    what do they know
    of yellow fences
    evergreen trees
    .
    To end on a smile, the following two fun ones:
    .
    Susan Rogers:
    startling
    even the bees —
    yellow fence
    .
    Laurie Greer:
    picnic tables…
    a part of us
    relishing the splinters
    .
    Thank you Kathy for including one of mine.

    1. Thanks for your as-always insightful commentary, Ingrid.
      In my own first commentary it was your haiku, inadvertently omitted, that initially brought to mind both Robert Frost’s words and (to me) the preposterous wall our current USA administration is trying to foist on us. You sum it up perfectly.
      .
      no trespassing
      the way we insist
      on ownership (Ingrid Baluchi)
      .
      For after all as Martha Magenta so wonderfully noted, and you in highlighting her:
      .
      over the border
      blackbirds sing
      the same song

  24. Wonderful selection. The haiku that stands out for me are those that highlight the way people are divided, in sometimes sad, cruel and dangerous ways, e.g.
    .
    fences
    inside or outside
    always a stranger

    Anna Maria Domburg-Sancristoforo
    .
    sitting on the fence
    even our minds
    divided

    Charles Harmon

    .
    This one says so much in just four words:
    .
    the language of a wall

    Janice Munro
    .
    walled in –
    another week
    without a paycheck

    Julie Bloss Kelsey
    .

    A different kind of border, the one perceived between genius and insanity, and the
    xanthopsia of Van Gogh:
    .
    southern border
    van Gogh yellow
    makes the departure

    Basant Das
    .
    and closer to home, a very real danger to life:
    .
    lengthening shadow
    this fear of another
    hard border

    Marion Clarke

    1. Martha, I too was caught not only by your own haiku, noted in my reply to Ingrid Baluchi, but by Charles Harmon’s
      .
      sitting on the fence
      even our minds
      divided
      .
      which is an incisive take on the human condition of so many, myself (a gemini) included.

    2. Thank you, Martha. I have known life here in Northern Ireland during The Troubles and it was a dangerous place. With Brexit looming, I really don’t wish to go back to a situation where Northen Ireland and the Republic of Ireland are divided by a hard border.
      .
      marion

  25. I too had a hard time responding to this one but yesterday this came to me:

    off-season rest stop
    the bright yellow fence
    substitutes for sunshine

    Along the lines of Rachel Sutcliffe’s and Valentina Ranaldi-Adams’s wonderful haiku here. This was the mood for me. Also quite taken with Julie Bloss Kelsey’s haiku as I too was observing that this is a utility fence and the empty picnic tables where federal park rangers, perhaps might have lunch if this were in a National Park or federal lands, for instance. Arvinder Kaur’s haiku very striking and love that take on the photo.

  26. I had a very hard time responding to the yellow fence photo. It just wouldn’t speak to me. Thankfully that has not been the case for so many others! NOW I’m inspired!

    Charles Harmon paints a picture of our current social and political map… divisions everywhere.

    sitting on the fence
    even our minds
    are divided

    and Janice Munro distills it even more with the perfect imagining:

    the language of a wall

    I enjoyed particularly Lucy Whitehead’s interface of the suburban and the wild. I know so many of these people, who take their nature in measured cups through car windows and over fences:

    suburban mumꟷ
    a glimpse of the wilderness
    behind her fence

    Mark Gilbert made me laugh, remembering a four legged friend who used to nose through the fence at passers-by:

    peeking through the slats
    my imaginary friend
    and I

    I am a bird person, and bird poems, well done, always speak to me. Martha Magenta (I love that name!) presents probably my favorite of the week:

    over the border
    blackbirds sing
    the same song

  27. walled in –
    another week
    without a paycheck

    Julie Bloss Kelsey

    This captures the current politics beautifully! Well done!

    1. yes, ironically “good job” Julie!

      Thank you Kathy for including my poem in your picks for this week, and the great picking job you have done with this HD.

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