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re:Virals 402

Welcome to re:Virals, The Haiku Foundation’s weekly commentary feature on some of your favorites among the best contemporary haiku and senryu written in English. This week’s poem, proposed by Beata Czeszejko, was:

     how we ended
     flower                         thrower
     — C. X. Turner
     Failed Haiku volume 8 issue 89 April 2023

Introducing this poem, Beata writes:

Protests, never ending…protests! Why is my life (I was born in 1962 and the protests started) spent on protests? Reading such an interesting text related to a very topical, everyday problem, because it concerns protests that never end and do not resolve anything – I wonder if poetry should deal with current problems that plague humanity like: war, climate, health care, poverty, hunger, injustice… Are we doomed to be a protesters? Why should we describe injustice so painful for everybody and everywhere? And why not?

“The Times – They Are A- changing” as Bob Dylan sang and…on the other hand “Ars longa vita brevis” – this quote suggests not to think too much … and write too much about the eternally bothersome issues of everyday life. Because they prevent us from writing poems about the most important topics – the fragility of life, about love, about many, many philosophical problems. Hence appeared in my thoughts: what for poetry should or should not describe?

Opening comment:

I expect there will be many different readings of C. X. Turner’s verse, unusual in several respects (two lines, past tense, the wide separation of the final words). It means what you want it to mean. For me, as someone who went up to college in the exhilarating 1960s, it speaks of youth, nostalgia and rueful regrets.

The last line, reassembled into “flower thrower,” brings to mind that alternative title for Banksy’s Love is in the Air, where an aggressive-looking man is about to hurl the bouquet of flowers with which he is armed. A theme derived from non-violent protest, and in particular the days of “flower power” and beat poet Alan Ginsburg’s influential article of 1965 on how to make a march a spectacle, leading to the flag anthem of my generation, San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)….all across the nation such a strange vibration, people in motion.

How we ended? I don’t think many of us lived throughout our three score and ten in self-sufficient hippie communes. Free love turned out to have a cost. We mostly put away our guitars, married, got office jobs, houses and kids. And the wars and the nastiness continued in the world. But for a time, it was beautiful.

Jennifer Gurney:

Whoa. This one got me good. I read it several times to have the meaning emerge on perhaps the third read. And emerge is what occurred, like magic 8 ball, where the saying just comes up and is apparent.

The poet seems to be saying that the couple’s relationship ended at the wedding, with the throwing of the bouquet. That typically is seen as the send off to the honeymoon, as the newly married couple leaves the reception. Perhaps that’s where things went south.

I love the sparseness of the poem. There are only five words and two lines. But the space between flower and thrower is a vast chasm. In the first reading, the space represents both the arc that the thrown flowers travels to the lucky one who will catch them, but also the emotional distance between the new bride and groom. Because clearly there is a chasm between them if this is the end. Makes me wonder what went wrong. Good haiku does that, makes me wonder, ponder, muse.

But this seemingly simple, and yet not at all, poem wasn’t finished with me yet. After sitting with my new poem-friend for a while longer, the magic 8 ball of poetry interpretation had a different response.

A couple is dating and they have an argument. One brings flowers to apologize, but the other cannot accept the contrition. It’s just too big of an ask. And they throw the flowers on the front stoop in a grand gesture of “We’re done!” In this reading, the chasm of space is also the distance that the flowers traversed, but this time it’s from one to the other, then hovering, then to the ground. Also, the space represents the distance between the two parts of what once, very recently, was a couple.

I really enjoy C.X. Turner’s poetry. This one in particular speaks to me.

Ruth Happel:

It is likely there can be multiple interpretations of this haiku, but for me the image of a flower thrower calls to mind the famous Banksy mural titled Love is in the Air (Flower Thrower). In Banksy’s interpretation of this phrase, the man throwing the flowers clearly poses with both the expression and appearance as if he will launch a bomb. But instead he is throwing a bouquet of flowers. The message Banksy conveys is we should try to resolve differences peacefully. The first line of this haiku makes we wonder, do we end conflict in a good way, by trying to work toward a positive resolution? Or in the end do even flower throwers cause harm, by their relatively harmless but clearly violent adjacent intent? I would like to think that as Banksy constructed his artwork on the West Bank Wall separating Palestine and Israel, hopefully this haiku uses positive imagery to move toward a future that is hopeful and positive for all.

Jerome Berglund:

Turner has crafted a senryu positively crackling with ma and yûgen, humor or pathos depending on how the reader completes it in their imagination, chooses to fill in those critical tracts of blank space in their personal interpretation. One of those pieces a critic is almost hesitant to inquire into intentions regarding, to limit expansive possibilities it stretches so magnificently across, to disperse the gorgeous mists enshrouding it. What is certain is there is an exciting concrete element in the presentation accomplishing the cut, providing a pause and emulating the concept — of flying a distance through the air — beyond serving as a cutting mechanism. (Though we may also posit that break occurs between lines 1 and 2?) In your ‘we’ who — or what — is the flower and who is doing the lobbing? Or was there a third party involved? Did you picture bridesmaids? Love me and love me nots? A gifted bouquet gotten old and disposed of? Perhaps an opera performance concluded with tokens of appreciation raining down? All these and many more valid options exist in this flexible micropoem, a box fit for Schrodinger and a credit to the senryu form and Failed Haiku’s discerning editor for selecting it. Kudos to C.X. Turner for providing such a captivating poem to consider, tempting clouds on which to envision unique shapes and characters, personal meaning and emotional coloration!

Nancy Brady:

Five words make up this senryu, but it’s the position of the words that give a clue as to the meaning I attributed to it. Line 1 starts it with “how we ended” which could be positive or negative. Because of the use of the word we rather than it, I ascribed this senryu to be about a relationship.

Reading on, the second line has two words, flower and thrower separated by a space larger than either word. Connecting it the first line, those words remind me of a wedding and tossing of the bouquet. The relationship is positive enough that the “we” ended with a commitment ceremony. If, however, the word “flower” had been “vase” this changes the tenor of the senryu and relationship entirely…from positive to negative. Now, it is a fight that ended the relationship.

Personally, I like the positive reading and to the couple, “Congratulations and Best Wishes!”

Amoolya Kamalnath:

This verse, a duostich, is in two lines with seven syllables and only five words. The second line is kind of broken with much space in between the two words indicating duration.

The verse begins with a question word and then takes us into an ending. Who, what, why – were the questions in my mind. The second line begins on a happier note and ends again on a sad note just like the line above.

This is about a relationship falling apart – the journey from utmost joy to deep sorrow. I think this is about the relationship of a couple where the initial dates/meetings happen with gifting of flowers and other beautiful stuff apart from all the tender love and care. And then after a certain time period, as they get to know each other better and take the relationship for granted, differences appear and the relationship itself breaks. All the gifts received may be thrown away. All the stowed memories are pushed away. Some letters and photos are disposed off. It could also be throwing out the partner from one’s life and from one’s mind and may be heart too.

There’s something about flow and throw here, the flow of love and affection, showering of kisses and more and then hurling abuses at each other or may be even throwing things at each other.

This verse could metaphorically imply life and death too. We’re born as flowers (the small cute innocent little babies) and at our end, our bodies are disposed off (custom- appropriately).

My daughter asks if it’s about a poet and their garden which they’ve tended to and has borne many flowers but the garden is later left untended either due to moving out from that house or any other reason.

A very poignant verse making one dwell on one’s own relationships and all the causes and effects of all that one says or does to and with their partner/spouse.

Harrison Lightwater — intriguing, engaging and elusive:

It’s not clear from the words what meaning the poet intended, but that leaves scope for a reader to think. “How we ended” could suggest a romantic relationship, or a friendship, between two people; or a war; or even the end of “we” the human race. Flowers are thrown at a wedding, or on the coffin at a funeral. Then there is a probable reference to Banksy’s “flower thrower” which could put the lines into the ambiguous and almost surreal context of factional hostilities, or terrorism, in Palestine with the suggestion that it’s better to throw flowers than Molotov cocktails.

In the published verse the author has conspicuously separated the words “flower” and “thrower” with a wide spacing. That must be deliberate, but it’s not clear to me why. It suggests the author means us to read line 2 as alternatives: how we ended…flower; or how we ended…thrower (thrown over?).

Altogether I found the couplet intriguing, engaging but elusive: I felt that I failed to grasp it. I look forward to the poet’s own comment for enlightenment.

Author C. X. Turner:

I wrote this poem when reflecting on one of my favourite pieces of Banksy art, for the Failed Haiku theme: senryu inspired by works of art. I had in my mind the drawing which first appeared on a wall on the side of a garage in Jerusalem in 2003. The man in the black and white mural wearing a scarf and baseball cap who appears to portray a masked Palestinian throwing a bunch of colourful flowers in rage.

Since I first saw this piece, the idea of bombing an establishment with flowers has captured my imagination, as has Banksy’s art in general with its anti-establishment, anti-war, anti-capitalist ethos and associated belief system.

The evident emotion in the piece and the replacing what is usually a sign of war with a sign of peace made me think about the ending of a close relationship, the pain often caused on both sides. This juxtaposition underpinned the layout and form of the poem.

As conflicts continue to rage around the world, in and outside of people’s homes, threatening to destroy lives, so the layout on the page is intended to imply closeness and an element of hostility.

The pet name of ‘flower’, can be read as synonymous with affection, the hopeful symbolism of flowers, the intimacy of having pet names and perhaps a peaceful ending to a relationship.

It could also symbolise some element of rage at the situation, the person, the departure. The giving and the taking away. The gift of cut flowers, which bloom for a short while, before dying.

I hope in this short poem to have conveyed the juxtaposition of love and hate, peace and war whilst considering the overwhelming wish for there to be peaceful resolution to conflict, both personally and in the wider world.


Thanks to all who sent commentaries. As the contributor of the commentary reckoned best this week, Harrison has chosen next week’s poem, another couplet, which you’ll find below. We invite you to write a commentary to it. It may be as long or short, academic or spontaneous, serious or silly, public or personal as you like. All with respect for the poet. Out-takes from the best of these take their place in the THF Archives. Best of all, the chosen commentary’s author gets to pick the next poem.

Anyone can participate. Simply use the re:Virals commentary form below to enter your commentary on the new week’s poem (“Your text”) by the following Tuesday midnight, Eastern US Time Zone, and then press Submit to send your entry. The Submit button will not be available until Name, Email, and Place of Residence fields are filled in. We look forward to seeing your commentary and finding out about your favourite poems!

Poem for commentary:

     about the wind
     three windmills agree
     — Marie-Therese Taylor
     The Heron's Nest Volume XXV, Number 2: June 2023

The Haiku Foundation reminds you that participation in our offerings assumes respectful and appropriate behavior from all parties. Please see our Code of Conduct policy.


C.X. Turner is a registered social worker, living and working in the UK. Her poetry is mainly focused on writing short-form poems, on a daily basis. Her poems have been widely published in journals and anthologies, and three of them were nominated for Touchstone awards in 2022. She enjoys working on solo projects as well as collaboratively with other poets, and exploring different art mediums in her haiga. She is part of the Wales Haiku Journal team. Her co-authored book of short poems, Building Sandcastles, is due out in the summer of 2023.

A haiku of hers that just appeared in The Heron’s Nest caught my eye:
inside the greenhouse
frost feathering
the sky


There’s an extensive write-up on Banksy’s Love is in the Air at Sotheby’s website: the original canvas came up for auction there in 2021, estimate 3,000,000 – 5,000,000 USD…


Ars longa, vita brevis quoted by Beata has often come to be rendered as “art is forever, life is short.” However, the phrase opens Hippocrates’ Aphorismi, and the full quote is:
Ars longa, vita brevis, occasio praeceps, experimentum periculosum, iudicium difficile.
Art/skill is long, life is short, opportunity risky, experiment dangerous, and judgment difficult. Hippocrates continues: nor is it sufficient that the physician be ready to act as necessary, but the sick, and the attendants and all outward necessaries must be prepared and fitted for the matter.

This Post Has 19 Comments

  1. As a first time responder, I followed what seems to be the pattern of respondents. I have recently ( in the last few months) started reading this column and have always been impressed (and fascinated) by what poets have said about the various haiku or senryu.

    In fact, it was intimidating, but I decided to give it a go. My response was simple and based on my readings of it. The poet writes, but the reader interprets based on his or her experience. Once it’s out there, well…

    As Eavonka said, she enjoyed seeing all the responses and reading of it since she knew that it was ekphrastic. I will admit I had no idea it was based on a painting.

    I, too, enjoy reading everyone’s responses because I learn so much from them including how often out individual experience affects the responses. Whether or not I ever respond again remains to be seen.

    1. “Out” should be “our.” I hate typos, especially my own, and doubly when auto-correct kicks in to change it.

    2. Nancy, don’t be intimidated! All the responses are fascinating, and provide a rare window for the poet as well as for other readers (and other poets) on how a poem works on readers. People’s readings will cover a wide range and we can all help deepen an appreciation, as well as an appraisal, of a poem.. Poets are, and should be, grateful for constructive appraisal expressed in a thoughtful manner. Please do become a regular contributor.

  2. Wow, thank you so much to everyone for your commentary and replies. I’m blown away by the differing interpretations of my poem.

    It is such an honour to not only be able to share the thoughts and emotion behind the writing of the duostich, detailing the source of inspiration, but also to be able to read the views of those people whose poetry I admire and who have read and taken the time to share their thoughts. Thank you all.

    It would be remiss not to thank Beata Czeszejko for choosing my poem in the first place, Mark Gilbert for letting me know it had been selected, and to Keith Evetts for tracking me down for author comments!

    I appreciate the haiku community tremendously and it has been an absolute pleasure to discover re:Virals and the awesome work that goes into this weekly feature from The Haiku Foundation.

  3. I saw Strictly Ballroom at the Brisbane cinema (Queensland), and we all stood up at the end and applauded. The film and the audience experience, even though I’m rarely a crowd person, was incredibly powerful. Stunning film by Baz Luhrmann.

    Wiki doesn’t mention it, but that song Love is in the Air was also a hit for Four Weddings and a Funeral, which is a guilty pleasure for me, and almost as chaotic as 200 wedding guests fighting in a Romeo & Juliet real life wedding between two gangster families for real, I can imagine Baz Luhrmann making a second movie, but hard to beat his first one.

    Love is in the Air/Four Weddings and a Funeral:


    how we ended
    flower thrower

    — C. X. Turner
    Failed Haiku volume 8 issue 89 April 2023


    about the wind
    three windmills agree

    — Marie-Therese Taylor
    The Heron’s Nest Volume XXV, Number 2: June 2023

    As both are duostich (not duostitch! 🙂 ) I thought I’d mention “Duostich: Navigating Unicorns by Alan Summers, with Michael Lindenhofer” in the inaugural issue of The Pan Haiku Review:

    Some of you may recognise the nod to David Grayson’s article of almost 8 years ago:
    “…two-line haiku remain, in fact,“unicorns”

    The web link to his article is in “Duostich: Navigating Unicorns by Alan Summers, with Michael Lindenhofer”.

    The whole inaugural issue of PHR1 is given over to 1-line haiku and 2-line haiku, with essays, articles, features, brand new, as well as previously published one & two line haiku.

    I am relieved that more duostich are appearing where there is no ‘3rd line’ crudely squashed into the 2nd line or even the first line. 🙂

    Both these poems ably use white and negative space so that any other words become potent invisible text.

    Congratulations to both duostich writers! 🙂

    This weeks duostich writer C.X.Turner has two more in Pan Haiku Review as well! 🙂

    warm regards,

    Alan Summers
    editor, The Pan Haiku Review

    1. Unfortunately I’m unable to replicate the spacing of C.X. Turner’s duostich, even though it works as this:

      how we ended
      flower thrower

      — C. X. Turner
      Failed Haiku volume 8 issue 89 April 2023

      That spacing does add tension here:


      how we ended

      Banksy is from Brizzle (Bristol UK) and when the city council were against us, the general populace, we felt we had a voice in Banksy, as it was a very dark period (yet again) for Bristol. I never met him, to my knowledge, but a neighbour of his (she didn’t know his real identity either) had an original by him in her house, as part of an internal wall, and also Karen and myself took part in two art trails, where we sold haiku cards, t-shirts, mugs, haiku corian etc… 🙂 We did get to meet part of Massive Attack though, in the small back garden. 🙂

      I could also see the poem as a summing up and conclusion to a volatile relationship, on both sides, or sadly domestic violence.

      On a lighter note, it was bizarre being in the middle of a big gangster fight of 200 wedding revellers between two big and infamous Bristol gangs, real Romeo & Juliet. My first time in a big fight trying to mediate, the second wedding atmosphere I broke with an original Aussie ballad by myself for the bride. A one off poem but it made everyone instant friends rather than a nasty brawl.

      I’m glad there’s a duostich this week and next week. I’ll look forward to seeing the comments next Friday, on whether people ‘get’ duostich for various reasons.


    2. Alan, re this sentence of yours:

      “Both these poems ably use white and negative space so that any other words become potent invisible text.”

      I understand and agree with the first part: ” “Both these poems ably use white and negative space”

      What I don’t understand is the claim that follows: “so that any other words become potent invisible text.” What “other words” are there? And how do these (invisible? potential?) words become “visible text”?

      Or is this perhaps your way of saying that a gap (such as in the gap between ‘flower’ and ‘thrower’ in C.X.’s ku )
      is a ‘concrete’ element that enhances or adds to the meaning of the existing text?

      1. I like Harrison’s view that the gap conveys the notion of alternative readings/consequences. I like also the thought that it could represent the arc or trajectory of the hurled bouquet.

      2. Dear Lorin and Keith,

        Lorin said:
        “What I don’t understand is the claim that follows: “so that any other words become potent invisible text.” What “other words” are there? And how do these (invisible? potential?) words become “visible text”?

        Or is this perhaps your way of saying that a gap (such as in the gap between ‘flower’ and ‘thrower’ in C.X.’s ku ) is a ‘concrete’ element that enhances or adds to the meaning of the existing text?”

        Keith said:
        “I took Alan to mean the (‘other’) words/ideas suggested by the visible text that the reader may insert into the gaps — either the physical or the semantic gaps a poet leaves on purpose.”




        how we ended


        When I don’t understand something well, such as show and tell, and white space, and negative space, I keep investigating year in year out, constantly refining or finding my understanding. 🙂

        I’ve looked at negative space not just in writing, but in advertising campaigns (television, streaming video, billboards, and other mediums) and the best have palpable words even though they do not appear.

        This is not so much subliminal methods (advertising, and covert techniques) but something as simple as an Old English Sheepdog appearing in multiple adverts in the past promoting a Dulux brand paint. When I’ve seen this dog in other types of adverts not connected to paint at all, or the dog appears on television, film etc… for years I saw the word ‘Dulux paint’. I guess it’s a known technique of the nether regions of governments made famous in The Manchurian Candidate.

        The method also called Coercive Persuasion, is a systematic effort to persuade individuals or groups to accept a certain allegiance, command, or doctrine. As a colloquial term (brainwashing), it’s generally applied to any technique designed to manipulate human thought or action either against the desire, will, or knowledge of the individual or make them unwittingly pursue an action. I’m rarely effected by this, perhaps due to my former security training maybe, but an advert might make me hungry, or make me want to enter a supermarket the following day and buy some product I had no intention or need to obtain.

        Palpable negative space or even white space can occur in other ways. I remember being deep in St Pauls, Bristol, and could see or hear nothing untoward at all, but felt/saw tension to qualify for “You could cut the tension with a knife”. I believe I only found out the following about the first St Paul’s Riots (April 2nd 1980) where a bungled armed robbery warrant for Raymond Mighty went horribly wrong on numerous fronts. We talk about sense switching a la Jane Reichhold, I could see danger in the air, but not the action or sound of it.

        Perhaps it is just me, but I feel sensitive to text that I see but is not visible, such as


        how we ended


        I didn’t even think of it as Bristol’s artist Banksy but the space between the two words. A flower or flowers in a vase, the flowers thrown/chucked/dumped, or even the vase with or without the flowers thrown, or simply domestic items in general thrown against walls over days, weeks, months, building up to either a separation, impending divorce, arrest, or murder (domestic violence is still not taken as seriously as it should be).

        So I see hurled objects, whether in a home, or a street, pub, bar etc… That’s my background, mediating scenes of violence, preventing people being injured, blown up, killed, in my past. I carry what I was.

        Literary wise? 🙂
        I see creative gaps even when they are not accentuated. I cannot help it if I enjoy and appreciate a poem differently from many other people.

        I guess I’m ‘different’, too different perhaps for some people? 🙂

        Keith said:
        “I took Alan to mean the (‘other’) words/ideas suggested by the visible text that the reader may insert into the gaps — either the physical or the semantic gaps a poet leaves on purpose.”

        Yep, that too, even without my experiences with preventing violence, de-escalating situations, mass evacuations etc… 🙂

        I combine all my odd backgrounds of security work (various kinds), hospitality, providing homes etc… into being a poet (I hope) and my own interpreter.


        1. This is not so much subliminal methods (advertising, and covert techniques) but something as simple as an Old English Sheepdog appearing in multiple adverts in the past promoting a Dulux brand paint. When I’ve seen this dog in other types of adverts not connected to paint at all, or the dog appears on television, film etc… for years I saw the word ‘Dulux paint’. I guess it’s a known technique of the nether regions of governments made famous in The Manchurian Candidate.
          The method also called Coercive Persuasion, ” – Alan
          Ah, thanks, Alan I think I understand you a bit better now, via your example of the particular sheep dog.
          I’d call that simply “strong association”. I have a similar (but opposite) example that works along the same line. I distinctly recall the first time, as a young child, I saw a petrol pump without a model of a sheep on top. I didn’t recognise it as a proper petrol pump because the sheep was missing. Then all the sheep (and clam shells, which appeared on some petrol pumps in place of the sheep) vanished from petrol pumps. Still a child, for a while I doubted that what came out of the new petrol pumps was ‘real’ petrol, despite that it had the same smell.
          re ‘flower ………………………. thrower’
          I wouldn’t have got it if I’d not see the Banksy mural (and other murals by him… we assume he’s a him)
          Having that particular image in mind, the ‘gap’ works for me as showing the physicality, the heft of the throw.
          It’s a good, minimal, ekphrastic ku to me. Without associating C.X.’s ku with the Banksy image, I don’t know but I think I’d probably read ‘distance between flower and thrower’ into it. The heft would be missing.

    3. “Wiki doesn’t mention it, but that song Love is in the Air was also a hit for Four Weddings and a Funeral, ..”

      Nope. Wiki doesn’t mention it because ‘Love is in the Air’ is not in Four Weddings & a Funeral.

      There are two songs with similar titles, so it might be easy to confuse them if one is just looking at the song titles.
      ‘Love is in the Air’ is in Strictly Ballroom and ‘Love is all Around” is in Four Weddings and a Funeral.

      1. Lorin: Just love Strictly Ballroom! Especially that it is so Australian. My dancing shoes went off to the charity shop years ago.

        Groan at 4Weddings.

        I took Alan to mean the (‘other’) words/ideas suggested by the visible text that the reader may insert into the gaps — either the physical or the semantic gaps a poet leaves on purpose.

      2. Dear Lorinn, of course you must be right, and my brain told me to test if I was right and persuaded me I was right after playing both ‘film tracks’ against each other several times. Very weird what the mind does, but then it’s often our Loki! 🙂

        I”m in a public place going through feedback of 75 haiku so I’m just taking a quick break. I’m fascinated to test myself again as to how I got that so wrong! 🙂


        1. ah, Alan, those two titles are so similar: same number of beats, same beginning with “Love is”. It’s easy to get the titles mixed up.
          ‘Love is all around” came out in the ’60s (just checked Wiki now: 1967, The Troggs . Yeah, the height of the 60’s. “)
          ‘Love is in the air’ came out in the late ’70s and then later, in the ’90s, was the theme song for ‘Strictly Ballroom’ , that you saw on first release , going by what you’ve written above)

  4. Thank goodness for Harrison Lightwater, who is able to write a commentary without drawing readers’ attention to a word count or a syllable count of the poem, without declaring love for the poem (or any part of it) and without using the word “wonderful”. Kudos, Harrison!

    C.X. Turner’s ku clearly refers to Banksy’s famous ‘Love is in the Air (Flower Thrower) 2003)’.

    The song, ‘Love is in the Air’ , was the theme song in the comedy/love story/ dance film, ‘Strictly Ballroom’ (1992)

    It’s fun to look at Banksy’s wall art and listen to the song at the same time.

    how we ended
    flower thrower
    — C. X. Turner

    Who “we” might be isn’t clear to me (could be a couple, could be a generation, could be the collective ‘we’ of football team followers etc. … ) but the separation of the two words on the 2nd line suggests that whomever “we” represents , they end up apart. In that case, L2 might stand alone as a ‘concrete’ poem.
    (As a concrete ku, I’d like it (L2) better than TUNDRA)

  5. I was so excited this morning to see how people had interpreted Luci’s poem, and wow, you all did not disappoint! Tremendous commentary that stretched my own instant assumptions far and wide. What struck me the most is that a poem written to an Ekphrastic theme could be read in so many ways untethered to the art that inspired it. Kudos to everyone.

  6. I can’t think of another haiku with such a wide range of interpretations. I must admit in my casual response I did not think of a relationship or marriage. I immediately thought of ‘flame thrower’ and the newsreel footage of American troops burning Japanese out of their bunkers during WWII. Like Beate I thought of Vietnam era protests, and like Harrison I felt line 1 referred to ‘us’ the human race, still protesting while simultaneously waging war and destruction. A very striking poem.

  7. I loved reading the commentaries today on this intriguing poem. I especially loved reading C.X.’s comments on her inspiration for the poem. These each added a wonderful layer to my own thoughts on the poem, deepening my understanding and connections. Each week this occurs for me, and I am grateful. Felt it was time I told you all how much I appreciate you. You stretch me every day. I also wanted to say a special thank you to Keith for all he does to support and uplift the poetry community.
    With a grateful heart,
    Jennifer (Jen) Gurney

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