It would seem a great many of us subscribe to the theory that much of the pleasure to be had in an activity lies in its anticipation, to judge from the preponderance of poems on the subject. Some said as much in just so many words:
holiday plans — buoyed up in a sea of anticipation [David Dayson]
but even when not named outright, it was pretty clear how the promise of time away affects us:
with far-off stare — a holiday state of mind already there [David Dayson]
and of course what might predict pleasure might also predict its impediments:
You, Road Warrior. Racked up frequent flyer points. Now try to use them. [Alexa Mahnken]
Even if you do manage to get away, whither goest thou?
Car trip with the kids to visit Mother-in-Law. Is it Monday yet? [Alexa Mahnken]
So planning for the summer getaway is not an unalloyed pleasure. Witness my third choice this week
On vacation but the out of office message doesn’t mean a thing. [Alexa Mahnken]
It’s bad enough that this year it’s a staycation, but to be back in the office during it is just sad. Surely you have a mother-in-law who misses you?
On the other hand, my second choice takes solace in the expectation:
office deadlines — the heat of the moment cooled by vacation plans [David Dayson]
We all know we work harder before leaving for a vacation, and inevitably we will return to a pile of work that will cause us to work harder after as well. This nicely turned poem soothes our concerns about such things. Of course we will be burdened in these usual ways, but this cooling before the fact is worth a great deal.
My top winner mines the same ore:
from my desk — flights of imagination leaving daily [David Dayson]
It is surprising what a great relief even a small bit of mental withdrawal can afford us, and how necessary it can seem. The cheeky borrowing of the airline advertising phrase “leaving daily” perfectly suits this poem, and whisks us to destinations limited only by our imaginations.
I write this on the verge of a little travel myself — to London. That which you seek to escape, I seek to explore. Needless to say, I’m looking forward to it . . .
summer vacation an excel spreadsheet outlines each detail — Michael Henry Lee * more work taking days away then more work — Paul Millar * revoked vacations — a wastebasket filled with travel brochures — Maria Laura Valente * no summer plans — also a vacation — Anna Maria Domburg-Sancristoforo * in control of my summer vacation plans a snoozing pooch — Ernesto P Santiago * summer tryst planning the vacation with my boss’s wife — Celestine Nudanu * destination bounded aqua velvety kisses with . . . soft breeze swaying — Katherine Stella * holiday season I go where the overtime’s best — Rachel Sutcliffe * summer vacation working only 9 to 5 — Amy Losak * summer vacay — boss he giveth & he taketh away — Roberta Beary * mapping out the next vacation plan office meeting — Willie Bongcaron * she holds the fort while her boss goes to Maui . . . the embezzler — Michael H Lester * the vacation began all according to plan except that the plane was still in Milan — Mark Gilbert * my mind set the killer whale folded in the bag — Enrique Garrovillo * For the holidays i bought a hat Smiles from colleagues — Angela Giordano * finally summer vacation . . . walking barefoot above the hills — Eufemia Griffo * lackadaisical boss . . . his vocation a vacation — Charlotte Digregorio * summer vacation plans — disturbing my daydream a phone call — Ana Drobot * candlelit dinner it’s so far until next summer he says — Kerstin Park * everybody’s off to France we buy a ticket for Paris Can Wait — Marietta McGregor * beach holiday — my daughter’s faith in sand castles — Arvinder Kaur * vacation the seamless blend of days and dreams — Pat Davis * meeting after meeting — puddle jumping across a squandered summer — Gail Oare * mapping on the wall the tour is over father proclaims — S. Radhamani * high seas vacation worldly cares gone beyond three miles — Paul Geiger * bush camping . . . I tell the boss it’s doctor’s orders — Madhuri Pillai * come summer the call of the breeze on my priority — Angelo Ancheta * vacation brochure the adventurous route up to the decision — Adrian Bouter * Escape Tours come with us to visit the world’s zoos — Jan Dobb * eclipse viewing in Oregon PTO request denied — Deborah P Kolodji * meeting in July dreaming of golden beaches with open eyes — Elisa Allo * already on the road — our summer vacation plans left at home — Tomislav Maretic * lunch al desko talking up my summer staycation — Lee Nash * airport strike we hit the road to the coast — Martha Magenta * offshore scanning the horizon jellyfish glow — Anthony Rabang * summer vacation — all the relatives coming to our beach house — Angela Deodhar * Two suitcases not nearly as heavy as parting resentments — Stephan Massi * kismet holiday that me leaving Italy will never be back — Lucia Fontana * counting down the days . . . I spice up my screen life with a sunny wallpaper — Olivier Schopfer * autumn equinox — my plans fly to the southern hemisphere — Marta Chocilowska * s k p p n g stones across the slate bay brother always won — Ron Scully * sandals, book, hat, phone get away from it all oop! phone no-go — Trilla Pando * checking out of office message oil level — Mike Gallagher * revealing the lost office calendar . . . my leave inked in — Karen Harvey * spreading his vacation days over the year newly hired — Devin Harrison * summer vacation my second thoughts on delegation — Srinivasa Rao Sambangi * kismet holiday we avoid talking about the end — Steven Smolak * vacation plans ruined again — Aunt Flo — Susan Burch * It doesn’t matter what I plan for vacation perseids — Cezar Ciobika * dream vacation hanging at the tip of an unpaid bonus — Adjei Agyei-Baah *
Next Week’s Theme: Eating at Your Desk
Send your poem using “workplace haiku” as the subject by Sunday midnight to our Contact Form. Good luck!
From 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 14 July 2015.