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Haiku in the Workplace: Retirement

The topic for this week’s contest was retirement.

Many of the entries were melancholic, but our winning poem was chosen for its empathy.

bridleless 
the old racehorse gallops 
when he wants 
	Andrew Shimield, England

Our guest judge Graham High, author and president of the British Haiku Society, notes: “The stark opening word ‘bridleless’, conjures up a person thrown on their own resources to fill the time.”

The first runner up is:

08.02am 
he misses the train 
and his old colleagues 
	Frances Trosborg, England

New Poems

retired; now —
in winter even the birds
forget to sing
     — Ernest P. Santiago

          *

retirement 
through faded curtains
falling leaves
     — Rachel Sutcliffe

          *

at the senior center . . .
he rocks
on the dance floor
     — Charlotte Digregorio

          *

equally alike
the days are moving forward —
time for haiku
     — Anna Maria Domburg-Sancristoforo

          *

retirement
fresh out 
of excuses
     — Michael Henry Lee

          *

retirement card
all the people
whose names you never knew
     — Jennifer Hambrick

          *

too poor to quit
I find myself retraining
life coach
     — Karen Harvey

          *

stately bonsai
from desk to kitchen 
home at last
     — Lynette Tan

          *

these mayflies
are having the time of their lives
counting the days
     — Mark Gilbert

          *

retirement . . .
how many cherry petals
in my hair
     — Diana Teneva

          *

sleeping in
not sleeping in
retirement
     — Johnny Baranski

          *

retirement party
the cake knife slices
through my name
     — Joe McKeon (Failed Haiku 1.3)

          *

long-awaited retirement
my daughter phones me to ask
if I can babysit
     — Christina Sng

          *

my golden years
more gray
than black and white
     — Mary P. Myers

          *

amid laughter
her promise to read
all of Dickens
     — Marietta McGregor

          *

well-deserved rest
an old alarm clock is still
near the bed
     — Nikolay Grankin

          *

last day . . .
the spiteful boss
fakes kind words
     — Samantha Sirimanne Hyde

          *

last year
to retirement 
calculating benefits
     — Mohammad Azim Khan

          *

chase —
retirement bounces
always farther
     — Maria Teresa Sisti

          *

winter dawn —
his wristwatch only marks
free hours
     — Maria Laura Valente

          *

honey-do list 
#9 — a terraced
garden-scape
     — Jan Benson

          *

granddaughter with office bag my half-way smile
     — Pravat Kumar Padhy

          *

nowhere to be today
same can be said
for this red azalea
     — Ron Scully

          *

after two months 
retirement becomes
tiring
     — Amy Losak

          *

last working day
amid applause
worry line
     — Srinivasa Rao Sambangi

          *

a lifetime
of pushing pen
how do I smell the roses . . .
     — Madhuri Pillai

          *

retired teacher
on vacation dreams 
smiles of his pupils
     — Elisa Allo

          *

retirement party 
the urge to put on my
comfortable shoes
     — Brendon Kent

          *

retired
playing solo chess
before dinner
     — Eufemia Griffo

          *

heat wave
the old dog takes refuge
under the shady tree
     — Olivier Schopfer

          *

sembra la neve
sui fiori del miscanthus —
è solo luce

the snow
on the miscanthus —
it's just light
     — Disingrini Severa

          *

newly retired
I make a to-do list
for my hobbies
     — Debbi Antebi

          *

even longer
walks in the park
at anytime
     — MR QUIPTY

          *

to leave the trail
and pack it in . . .
see ya later!
     — Michael Stinson

          *

high heels Goodwill
pantyhose in the trash
ransomed toes wiggle
     — Trilla Pando

          *

Last day at work
already someone has taken
the stapler from my desk
     — Alexis Rotella

          *

retirement —
new ideas for the young drifter
in his novel
     — Steve Smolak

          *

old tailor —
stitching dark matter
into stars
     — Roberta Beary

          *

insight —
a dazzling sun beam crosses
my therapy office
     — Lucia Fontana

          *

retirement party 
his watery eyes
in the end
     — Pasquale Asprea

          *


Next Week’s Theme: The Commute

Send your poem using “workplace haiku” as the subject by Sunday midnight to our Contact Form. Good luck!

kacian_jimFrom October 2014 through April 2016 Haiku Foundation president Jim Kacian offered a column on haiku for the London Financial Times centered on the theme of work. Each week we share these columns with the haiku community at large, along with an invitation to join in the fun. Submit a poem by Sunday midnight on the theme of the week, from the classical Japanese tradition, or contemporary practice, or perhaps one of your own, which you might even write for the occasion. The best of these will be appended to the column. First published 16 October 2014.

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Thank you for publishing my haiku alongside many poets who I know and admire. I love our online international poetry community.

  2. commuter traffic
    always so agreeable
    my dashboard buddha

    ~Peter Newton
    (Chrysanthemum #15, April 2014)

    a new senryu below:

    stop-and-go traffic
    a Cheeto’s bag
    crossing the food desert

  3. These make for great reading – some are wistful, others are funny. 😄 I work in an office, and Alexis Rotello’s missing stapler made me smile!

    marion

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