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Humpday Haiku Review #2

September 11, 2013
by Claude Monet c. 1865-70

by Claude Monet c. 1865-70

WordPress enjoys such an embarrassment of riches when it comes to haiku that I thought I’d continue my Humpday Review from last Wednesday, making this a weekly. Herewith, this week’s modest installment of some of the very best pieces that caught my attention.

1. 9/8/13

We stand by the bed

folding laundry as our cat

sleeps in his old coat.

by William Delman at redbrickwriters

This one took my breath away, over and over again. Even after many re-readings, it hits me like a discovery–a eureka moment. I can’t stop sharing it with others. The scene it paints, so perfect; the metaphor and the duality it suggests have the subtlety of gossamer. William Delman is a former fiction editor for AGNI and a graduate of the creative writing program at Boston University; his work has appeared in The Massachusetts Review, Nimrod, Salamander, The Literary Review, Rhino, and other fine publications. His chapbook, The Possibility of Recovery, was published by Cervena Barva Press, and is currently available at thelostbookshelf.com.

2. Six-Word Whirl

Sometimes paradise

is defaced with rusty stains

that God can’t scrub out.

by magicalmysticalteacher

This is part of a series of haiku that re-imagines godhood. The writer has this to say: “I’m a special education teacher in a public school in the Desert Southwest. I blog anonymously to protect the identities of my students and my school. I have been writing poetry for many years. The death of my father in 2005 precipitated my romance with haiku. I try to write six pages of haiku per day. Out of 72 daily haiku, perhaps one is a gem; the rest are wood, hay, and stubble.”

3. kitchen

i have discovered

my favorite things in life

come from the kitchen

Written for Haiku Heights by Oneofaclass

Blurring the line between poetry and epigram, observation and quip, this piece delighted me instantly. Upon reading it, I conjured up an image of the words carved into a lustrous block of rare wood in the shape of some culinary delicacy. The author writes us to say: “I quit my high-tech job of 20 years to move with my family from the US to France, fulfilling a childhood dream. Cultural differences and the resultant perspective provide a wealth of new ideas.”

4. haiku

wild onion florets

stir above the green mint leaves

garden of small joys

by Gregory V Driscoll

A retired government computer specialist and Vietnam vet, Gregory Driscoll follows a reflective writing process. About this poem in particular, he reports that it “developed as I was working the other morning in our yard, when the wild onion blooms caught my attention & there sprang into my mind, along with the image, the idea of the little joys there are in life – even from things we’d rather not find, like unwanted plants in a garden.”

5. Two shadows

the shadow’s shadow

and the shadow by himself ~

both under my feet

Posted by Sky Vani

This is one of those poems that arrests the reader. At first, it may even seem to befuddle, taking risks that the terse lyricism and strange image may not be able to redeem. But this is also a poem that lingers, and most of us care more for memorable poems than transparent ones. After  reading this one the first time, I moved on, only to find myself clicking back to it, reading it fervently again.

6. Quiet

some days

you spend listening for

every missing sound

Posted by by dmarshall58

Of all the haiku I read that played with the traditional syllabic line lengths, this one resonated the most. According to the author: “writing haiku is a daily meditative process. Some days the results are good, and some days not. However, the perspective of a haiku writer continually renews the world and my perception of it.  I write haiku to stay connected to nature and living.”

7. Morning Ritual

we danced with bare feet

we laughed and knew each other

to music without words

Posted by Tshombe Sekou

The author informs us that this lovely haiku “was born out of the very moment me and my 18month old daughter were dancing in the kitchen to some John Coltrane…a moment of honesty and free of inhibitions; we danced in love.”

8. Pool

The garden pool dark

after releasing the moon—

I light a lantern.

Posted by Mark M. Redfearn

The lunar turnabout of the familiar image of the lanterns at night made this one a winner for me. One could interpret the operative verb “releasing” in many ways. But it would be hard to imagine anyone reading this one without having the fantastic picture in their mind’s eye of someone letting a lit moon drift back up to the night sky like a candle balloon. For that image alone, I too shall light a candle in thanks for this haiku.

9. Haiku 20130908

corner bakery

a shiny birthday balloon

hugging the ceiling

Posted by haikuandy Andrew O. Dugas

An accomplished writer, Andy Dugas has an admirable process for writing haiku–which becomes more of a ritual of contact and communication than your standard insular exercise in writing. Explaining his process, Andy says: “I write a haiku a day, inscribe that haiku on a postcard, then mail it to someone selected at random. I have a hat full of names, and am happy to throw in the name of anyone who provides a (snail) mailing address. Including you. I have already mailed out over 550 cards and have no intentions of quitting any time soon.”

10. HAIKU – 09042013-2 

faces of long-dead

family in a photo –

forgotten song

Posted by Ron at Randa Lane

I enjoy the way this haiku follows the traditional pattern of an observation followed by a turn or change of some sort in the final line. Here, what begins as a visual experience culminates as a sonic one–or, a nearly sonic one. The alliterative “f” sounds reinforce the musical quality of this memorializing haiku.

From → Archives

20 Comments
  1. this is a great collection of haiku poetry: my favorite is a cross between #1 by William Delman and #2 by magicalmysticalteacher… great posting! Thank you for including me

  2. dmarshall58 permalink

    A wonderful Idea! 1, 4, and 5 are my favorites. I especially like #5 for just the reason you mention. It’s cryptic, but it echoes (literally and figuratively, I guess). In the end, I do see it and understand it, as strange as it originally seems. And thanks for including my haiku. I’m honored.

  3. Pro-Life Chicken Haiku
    by Dan Nielsen

    blocking the diner
    hens hold picks of unborn chicks
    all scrambled and fried

    Published in Corvus 4

  4. Thanks for posting my haiku along with these other good poems.

  5. I’m really please to be on this list, and thanks for introducing me to some great blogs.

    Best — W.

  6. *pleased — noticed the typo as soon as I hit “post comment.” Anyway, thanks again!

  7. You’ve chosen an interesting set – I enjoyed them all and am honored to be included. I particularly identify with #6 and #2.

  8. Another great post. I liked the first haiku in particular. Thanks!

  9. Liana permalink

    every single one works…love this series of yours…keep waxing syllablosic for us, M

  10. It’s a big honor for me that my modest thought stands among these great works. Thank you for that, and thanks for your comment. I feel touched. My soul is singing!

  11. Thank for including me. It’s a real honor. The real boon is being introduced to so many wonderful haiku poets! Be well.

  12. Lovely to read such a great selection and from such different sources. Thank you!

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