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Per Diem Archive: P. Newton July 2012, Strangers

The Kindness of Strangers

Haiku is the poetry of inclusion. The poetry of happenstance. A celebration of the ordinary, everyday observances we all make. Strangers among them. I suppose what interests me about strangers is the possibility that they are indeed friends we have not met yet. I like to believe that we are more alike than we are different. I think these poems reveal this to be true. Nearly all the people I have asked permission to reprint their poems here are strangers to me. Each of them couldn't have been friendlier. And so, we collaborate like thousands of haiku readers and thousands of haiku-writers do every day. Meeting somewhere inside the poem.

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Author: Susan Constable
a gentle breeze
along the beach
tai chi shadows
Author: Andrea Cecon
crowded square -
a mime's glance
crosses mine
Author: Marion Alice Poirier
an old woman sweeps
the walk of cherry blossoms
children’s laughter
Author: Matt Morden
summer’s end
I stop myself talking
to a stranger’s child
Author: Johnny Baranski
the cheery yellow taxi
that takes you away
my dark mood
Author: Jean LeBlanc
a clothesline
sags beneath the weight
of all those aching backs
Author: Paul David Mena
not quite incense
a smoldering cigarette
at the curb
Author: Hilary Tann
quietly
we become
audience
Author: Ed Markowski
roller coaster
we have no advice
to offer the newlyweds
Author: Michael Ketchek
in passing
to another waitress
her real smile
Author: Catherine J.S. Lee
  pasture cairn
the old farmer’s
  bent spine
Author: Curtis Dunlap
country store –
two old-timers whittle
over world affairs
Author: Ce Rosenow
dying fire . . .
I sit quietly
with my ghosts
Author: Lorin Ford
bikers’ headlights
 threading down the mountain-
     moonless night
Author: Tom Clausen
one generation
pushes another
      in a swing
Author: Alexis K. Rotella
Foggy morning
at the bus stop
a dress with cranes
Author: vincent tripi
Behind him on the Harley       ladybug
Author: Chad Lee Robinson
spring morning
the freshly painted name
on the overpass
Author: Aubrie Cox Warner
Wal-Mart
an old man
also talking to himself
Author: Christopher Patchel
long night
internet friends
of internet friends
Author: Peter Yovu
seems to know
what I’m made of
the taxidermist’s eye
Author: Ed Markowski
magnolia blossoms 
   the kindness of a stranger
         in the Mississippi fog
Author: Ed Markowski
sex under stars
   the blindness of two strangers
         lost in the moonshine
Author: Michele Root-Bernstein
polished wood
in my hand the hand
of the artisan
Author: Joyce Clement
fills
& empties
seaside café
Author: David Serjeant
post office queue
we learn all about
his family overseas
Author: Roary Williams
he only tells
the guy at the gas station
he’s in love
Author: David Caruso
a saxaphone plays
beside the slight percussion
of coins in a cup
Author: Kathe L. Palka
at the farmer’s stand
a woman scolds her children
-- my children listen
Author: Merrill Ann Gonzales
inside pitch
learning to pronounce
new names
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