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Haiku in the Workplace: The Office Flirt

I anticipated that we might see two distinctly different approaches to this topic. On the one hand, there would be the flirters, evincing a brazen confidence in their animality, as condensed in this week’s third choice winner:

Coffee by the desk
An evening drink or two
Coffee in the morning
	[David Pilling]

On the other hand would be the observers, who found the actions of the flirters to be, well, brazen and confident, as opposed, perhaps, to their own actions. They may approve or disapprove, but they would be doing so mostly on the sidelines. It is an observer who can note the following, this week’s second choice:

mistletoe-curling charm
he breathes she thinks —
mouthwash
	[Andy Coleman]

But I should have thought further. It is a combination of these personae that resides in most of us. We would be that casual flirt, and at the same time that cautious swain. Physical and sensitive. Bold and meditative. George Clooney and Colin Firth. If only, as in this week’s top winner, in our dreams . . . :

immobilised . . .
frozen in a text trance
of e-yearning
	[David Dayson]

New Poems

office stud
the way he mispronounces
fax
     — Terri L. French
          *
circling
around me
a fly
     — Ernesto Santiago
          *
what she could have said
went right through me all night
could have been the flu
     – Ron Scully
          *
his right hand to back to back to business as usual
     — Betty Shropshire
          *
office cat boldly
pads carpet casting glances
tail curled in a hook
     — Kevin Trammel
          *
office babe
her blouse getting lower
as she rises
     — Marion Clarke
          *
office whispers
her underwriting
showing again
     — Peggy Bilbro
          *
the office flirt
in the elevator
she's all business
     — Michael Henry Lee
          *
wrapping me
around her little finger
a paperclip
     — Mark Gilbert
          *
Holiday Party
the boss steers his wife away
from the office flirt
     — Marilyn Appl Walker
          *
year-end party
everyone becomes
the office flirt
     — Christina Sng
          *
carpool gossip
on the floor mats
yesterday's snow
     — Elliot Nicely (bottle rockets 21)
          *
office party —
I'm watching wedding dresses
the day after
     — Marta Chocilowska
          *
sparks fly
a circuit-breaker
at the android plant
     — Marietta McGregor
          *
drawing close . . .
a new trainee smiles at me
like Mona Lisa
     — Nikolay Grankin
          *
she gets a rise
out of her boss
the office flirt
     — Johnny Baranski
          *
office party
she moves
from plate to plate
     — Mohammad Azim Khan
          *
punch-drunk . . .
he picks tinsel 
off my hair
     — Samantha Sirimanne Hyde
          *
eyes twinkle to boost
better collaboration
under mistle toe
     — Csilla Toldy
          *
slips out
in his groping eyes
my woolen scarf
     — Srinivasa Rao Sambangi
          *
exchanging glances
during the coffee break . . .
steam rises from my cup
     — Olivier Schopfer
          *
xmas sweater contest —
her v-neck plunges
below see level
     — Jennifer Hambrick
          *
elf on the shelf
the office flirt returns
to her cube
     — Tom Sacramona
          *
office flirt
invisible mistletoe
in their pocket year-round
     — Lori Zajkowski
          *
Christmas School Party —
kissing under mistletoe
Maths and History
     — Maria Laura Valente
          *
office party
my crush and I take off
our masks
     — Debbi Antebi
          *
the shape
of the office flirt’s blush
secret santa
     — Brendon Kent
          *
stolen glances —
flushing red cheeks
but not  with cold
     — Anna Maria Domburg-Sancristoforo
          *

Next Week’s Theme: Promotions and Bonuses

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 27 November 2014.

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