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Editor's Choice Haiku
 

 

 

 

John Daleiden

 

These 'blooming" Haku!

 

Spring blossoms indeed!  22 haiku poets from 6 countries submitted 87 haiku to this very popular haiku thread. The countries included: Australia, Canada, India, Poland, Trinidad and Tobago, and the United states. The poets were as prolific as the season. A bouquet of roses to each of you.

After the coldness of winter we are always eager to discover the first signs that Spring will soon relieve us from the cold and snow

last spring snow:
daffodil buds
probe the garden

# 56. Marilyn Hazelton, US

In this haiku the juxtaposition of the snow and "probing" daffodil buds provides an exciting moment of expectationcan the the tulips, crocus, hyacinth and other blossoms be far behind?

hyacinths transform
grey with blue and green—
a Brahms concerto

# 05. Phyllis Jean Green, US

After the unrelenting gray winter colors the world is soon transformed. The hyacinths emerge and in this haiku the writer suggests not only their fragrance but offers the reader a world of lush sounds in her juxtaposition of the hyacinth with the rich sonority and tones of a "Brahms" concerto. The lyrical element of Spring sounds heightens our sense of hearing.

Another certain sign of Spring is the fall of rain instead of snow:

rain again
puddle full of clouds
and plum petals

# 27. Jacek Margolak, PL

One of the ironies here is that the nurturing rain also becomes the agent for causing the beauty of the plum blossoms to end; but never fear, with so many blossoms, there will certainly be an abundant fruit crop of plums. Nature is in a constant array of change.

Similarly:

against the wind—
on my dress
cherry petals

# 03. Katarzyna Predota, PL

I can hardly wait for cherry harvest time in the orchard!  Once again, irony is used to suggest / imply that the abundance of blossoms will ensure a full harvest. The haiku demonstrates both the frailty of Spring and a fecund production of fruitfulnessquite a nice use of irony.

cherry blossoms
the starlings' nest box
still empty

# 57. Iga Gala Miemus, PL

In contrast this haiku boldly paints the expectation of life among the aviary species. This haiku speaks volumes about the nature of Spring. Just as blossoms of all variety of plant life are an indicator of the growing season, so too, are the waiting "nest boxes" of birds, who typically lay eggs and hatch their broods during the warming Spring weather. The "still empty" nest boxes conjure up all manner of imagesthe chirping of hungry chicks, the constant flight of the parent birds to feed their youngand you are free to add your own images here also. The denotation of "empty" masterfully offers the reader an array of expectation.

Just as the natural world awakens form a long winter sleep in Spring, so too, children join in the celebration of the new season; observe these children in action:

spring blossoms—
chalk drawings
on cracked sidewalks

# 06. Karen O'Leary, US

Amid the "spring blossoms" these children have made "chalk drawings" on the sidewalks. The drawings of the children are just as temporary and fragile as the blossomsfor they will soon vanish with time as the elements of nature work on them. Interestingly, the canvas for the drawings is the "cracked sidewalks"and how did these sidewalks become cracked?  Why of coursethat is the natural work of thawing and freezing. The use of effective image contrasts in this haiku evokes images of constant season change.

morning kisses
the orchid in the kitchen
           finally bloomed

# 48. Robin Beshers, US

Man is not content to limit the blossoming world to the outdoors; many people bring plants into the indoors so they may enjoy the growing earth all year around. In this case an exotic tropical plant, the orchid, has been nurtured in a kitchen environment and it has "finally bloomed". The owner is so overjoyed she is moved to offer "morning kisses" in appreciation. This haiku proclaims an image of eulogy to the skill of the green thumb gardener who is able to produce blossoms in otherwise hostile environmentsprovide the ideal conditions and wait. Patience is truly a virtue and this haiku demonstrates the truth of that aphorism.

Regardless of where we look during the Spring season, we are offered a constant field of blooming and changea welcome respite to the drudgery of the winter season.

morning brightness
magnolia petals
begin their fall

# 01 Bill Kenney, US

 

Month of March
a bit of yellow poui
before full moon

# 21. Gillena Cox, TT

 

Cherry Point
a strong easterly blows
petals to the starfish

# 33. Garry Eaton, CA

 

bus stop bench
sunlight bristles
the maple’s blossoms

# 10. Martin Gottlieb Cohen, US

The endless profusion is aptly described by this simple haku:

in her garden
suddenly
blossom blossom blossom

# 07. Ed Baker, US

Not only is the eye delighted with an unending variety of blossoms, but other senses are also stimulated.

the fragrance
of lime blossoms:
my evening tea

# 13. Keith A. Simmonds, TT

Here, both the sense of smell and taste are stimulated by the abundance of the season.

The pastoral senses of our environment can be awakened when we see the vast and healing quality of an entire landscape rife with growth and color:

morning glories
twine the sagging fence
blue-sky afternoon

# 80. Catherine J. S. Lee, US

Here, the simple picture of "morning glories / twining on a sagging fence" against a "blue afternoon sky", paints a quiet landscape with healing qualities. That "sagging fence", somehow does not seem to "sag" so much because it is encircled with enticing flowers.

Some images of blossoms can also command us to consider some distasteful ideas: Consider this field of sunflowers:

field of sunflowers
ten thousand Cyclops
stand at attention

# 47. Susan Weaver, US

This innocent depiction of a sunflower field suggests a dark realm. The Cyclops was a Roman and Greek mythical race of primordial giants who lived upon an island. They were giants with a single eye in the middle of their forehead (like the sunflower)they had a foul disposition. According to Hesiod they were strong, stubborn, and "abrupt of emotion". Collectively they eventually became synonyms for brute strength and power. Isolated by Uranus who feared their strength, they were eventually freed by Zeus for whom they fashioned thunderbolts to use as weapons. Zeus used these weapons to overthrow Cronus and the other Titans. In this haiku the Sunflowers are compared to the Cyclops and the images of unusual appearance and brute strength denote oddities in the natural world. Here we have images that suggest a wide array of social relationshipsconflict and contribution. The use of classical images in a haiku can be quite effective.

The blossoms can also remind us of other unpleasant aspects of life:

disappearing
a python’s slinky tail
through wisteria

# 41. Barbara A. Taylor, AU

The sight of any snake is enough to send some people into hysterical screaming. If my wife had observed this scene should would have shrieked so loudly that the dead would have been awakened in the next countyand she grew up in a tropical Caribbean environment! This haiku evokes conflicting reactions to an otherwise beautiful environment. It is somewhat like a senryu because it may invoke a humorous portrayal of human reactionsa negative reaction to any snake, even one which is feeing.

Additionally, the same nurturing factors that contribute to the the proliferation of flowers, may also contribute to a similar growth in other animals less appreciated

flower blossoms
larger at the garbage dump
a rat disappears

# 50. Karina Klesko, US

Blossoms can also make us think about the fragility of all life:

forget-me-nots—
how beautifully they bloom
on your grave

# 54. Andrzej Dembończyk, PL

Likewise, the abundance of flowers might make us think of a distasteful human obligation in most societies:

forsythia, forsythia—
income tax
forsythia

# 58. Marilyn Hazelton, US

This haiku offers a subtle comments on "income tax"; this is a very effective senryu.

The negative impact of humans on the world environment is suggested in these two haiku:

Global Warming—
northern cherry blossoms
open early this year

# 81. Aju Mukhopadhyay, IN

 

industrial zone—
dandelion fluff floating
in grey skies

# 69. Krzysztof Kokot, PL

Finally, as I read all 87 haiku over and over during the submission periodas I attempted to select some noteworthy haiku for comments, I came to regard all of the blossom haiku with a Salvador Dalí kind of deliberate distortion of perspective.

Earth Day—
an electronic garden
where the bytes bloom

# 84. John Daleiden, US

The haiku commented on above and the other haiku in the thread show what the skilled haiku writer can achieve with a generally simple vocabulary and the skillful use of haiku writing techniques such as juxtaposition,  irony, comparison, and contrast. Read the entire "blooms" haiku thread.

John Daleiden

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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