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Haiku in the Workplace: Summer Vacation Plans

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 . . .

New Poems

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!

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 14 July 2015.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Tanka
    a trip to Sweden-
    a positive biopsy
    turns it to a rest

    From Milan to Tuscany
    through the hay bales

  2. As usual, an array of very different viewpoints. Love the breadth of the haiku mind! Thanks again, Jim.

  3. Thank you!
    I really enjoy the selected poems. So many aspects of summer vacation.

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