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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.

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:

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
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
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
     — 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
     — 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
     — 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
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!


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