Editor's Choice "flower's" Haiku Thread ~ John Daleiden, US




Let The Force Be With You


in Sketchbook Valley
myriad haiku blossoms

the wonders seen here!
walk with me through this garden
of love, pain and delight

Thirty Poets from thirteen countries wrote one hundred-eighty poems for the "flower(s)" Haiku Thread.

Eight flowers in this Haiku Thread were a refreshing, new experience for me: amaltaas, anamnesis, brahmakamal, celandines, chicory blooms, ice flowers, rangoon creeper, valerian. I thank you poets especially for expanding my floral experience.

saying it with flowers
a bouquet of red roses,
for his sweet love

# 07. Sandra Martyres, IN

Sandra certainly has identified one of the deepest meanings of a floral bouquet—a deep expression of love. Now think for a moment—just where did the flowers on earth  originate?  Certainly they are not the creation of man—humankind.  Indeed—a force more powerful than human beings filled the world with these beautiful blossoms, and scents,

a poem written
after a long long time—
the brahmakamal blooms

# 97. Sunil Uniyal, IN

Saussurea obvallata, also known as Brahma Kamal, is a species of flowering plant named after Brahma, the Hindu god of creation. It is native to the Himalayas, India, Northern Burma and South-West China. In the Himalayas, it is found at an altitude of around 4500 m (Wikipedia).  This hardy and unusual plant named after the Hindu god of creation also suggests a distinct connection to the divine.

lotus flowers—
sprung from the footsteps
of Buddha

# 104. Alex Serban, RO

Nelumbo nucifera, known by a number of names including Indian Lotus, Sacred Lotus, Bean of India, or simply Lotus, is a plant in the monogeneric family Nelumbonaceae.

Native to Tropical Asia and Queensland, Australia, flowers of India and Vietnam, respectively.

From ancient times the lotus has been a divine symbol in Asian traditions representing the virtues of sexual purity and non-attachment.

Most deities of Asian religions are depicted as seated on a lotus flower. In Buddhist symbolism, the lotus represents purity of the body, speech, and mind as if floating above the muddy waters of attachment and desire. According to legend, Gautama Buddha was born with the ability to walk, and lotus flowers bloomed everywhere he stepped (Wikipedia). Lotuses in Hinduism symbolize prosperity, beauty, fertility, eternity and eternal youth (Jane Reinbold).

The ancient Egyptians used the lotus to symbolize the sun and rebirth (Reinbold). In  Egypt the Lotus is seen everywhere in ancient Egyptian tombs and temples, often held in the hands of gods and royalty. The Lotus grows in muddy waters, yet emerges from them pure and unblemished. Accordingly, the Lotus is the symbol of resurrection, purity, serenity and peace. The Lotus flower was part of the Ancient Egyptian creation story. Because the flower opens each day and closes each night, it is a symbol of rebirth and eternal life, the main theme of Egyptian religion. According to the creation story, Ra, the Sun God, created himself from amidst chaos and first emerged from the petals of the lotus flower. When Ra returned to the lotus flower each night, its petals enfolded him once again. The Lotus was the symbol of the Upper Kingdom of Egypt, seen as the tall white crown, symbolic of the Lotus bud (Lotus - The Flower).

In the flower(s) Haiku submitted to Sketchbook many of the poems either directly or indirectly suggest a significant link to the forces of creation, a life force, leading to a final trail of decay and then rebirthan endless cycle that is awaited with great anticipation and reverence.

One common topic in these haiku is the role of  flowers and "love":

will I ever see
your face?

# 118. Alegria Imperial, CA


wearing my hair
a different way

# 77. Cara Holman, US


Essence of shyness
She hides behind a flower
Blowing kisses

# 82. Sandra Martyres, IN


First date—
the bunch of hyacinths
hidden in a pocket

# 142. Maria Tirenescu, RO


from his posy
a primrose peeps
her first proper kiss

# 99. Karin Anderson, AU


a red rose bouquet
his profession of love—
evening mist

# 72. Sandra Martyres, IN


scent of jasmine ...
thinking of
the first time we met

# 112. Chitra Rajappa, IN

my first kiss

# 126. Alegria Imperial, CA


her hands
full of red roses
unfolding desire

# 40. Bernard Gieske, US


bouquet of violets—
on the white tablecloth
a love letter

# 32. Marija Pogorilić, CR


roses wither
on the dining table—
my unanswered calls

# 110. Juliet Wilson, UK


Drinking tea alone—
in the vase nearby
the dry peony

# 160. Maria Tirenescu, RO


winter dawn...
the last photo of her
amid azaleas

# 64. Chen-ou Liu, CA


northern wind—
new ice flowers
in our window

# 02. Juhani Tikkanen, FN


the cold wind of January

# 119. Willie R. Bongcaron, PH

A second major topic in the Sketchbook Haiku Thread is the role of flowers in life and death:

Jack-in-the Pulpit
so quiet
this cathedral woods

# 10. Bernard Gieske, US


spring rain—
next to the empty chair
a flower bouquet

# 102. Alex Serban, RO


only an hour ...
the white anemones
turn brown

# 131. Vania Stefanova, BG


waiting for him
with a laurel wreath—
end of war

# 149. Cezar-Florin Ciobīcă, RO


morning stiffness—
fresh-cut tulips
on the drain board

# 49. Ignatius Fay, CA


her fingers
deft with needle & thread
Dutchman’s Breeches

# 48. Bernard Gieske, US


she showers petals
on her infant's coffin
the tears come

# 94. Sandra Martyres, IN


in her hand the letter
of a late friend

# 175. Ramona Linke, DE


to a fallen comrade...
white roses

# 161. Willie R. Bongcaron, PH


in the graveyard—
it’s raining

# 138. Maria Tirenescu, RO


withered flowers fall
upon the bedside table...
an empty bed

# 165. Keith A. Simmonds, TT


tribute to the dead
she places a red rose
on his grave

# 96. Sandra Martyes, IN


autumn twilight
an old dog sits by the grave
overgrown with ivy

# 60. Chen-ou Liu, CA


final offering—
a wreath of white flowers
at her funeral

# 92. Sandra Martyres, IN


funeral service
a long stemmed red rose
piercing my skin

# 59. Janice Thomson, CA


wreaths of flowers
at the church service
he covers a yawn

# 11. Janice Thomson, CA


on a new grave—
the first snow flakes

# 156. Maria Tirenescu, RO


asylum window—
granny's breath becomes
ice flowers

# 147. Cezar-Florin Ciobīcă, RO


Old cemetery—
amidst ruined crosses
violas grow

# 148. Maria Tirenescu, RO


peace rose—
an enduring love
for the ages

# 180. John Daleiden, US

A flower, sometimes known as a bloom or blossom, is the reproductive structure found in flowering plants (plants of the division Magnoliophyta, also called angiosperms). The biological function of a flower is to effect reproduction, usually by providing a mechanism for the union of sperm with eggs.

In addition to facilitating the reproduction of flowering plants, flowers have long been admired and used by humans to beautify their environment but also as objects of romance, ritual, religion, medicine and as a source of food (Wikipedia).

Flowers seem to offer humans comfort, solace, and hope. While the blossoms extend an immediate visual experience of beauty to the beholder and the pleasurable remembrance of scent, they also offer a reality check about the mutability of life with the knowledge that regeneration is a matter for the ages.

The haiku above have been selected as exemplary verses featuring the following characterstics:

  • constructed with fragment and phrase lines

  • arranged in three lines

  • contain17 or less syllables in a 5 7 5 patternfrequently fewer syllables are used

  • presented with a kirejiwritten and unwritten, but obviously present

  • some haiku employ the middle line as a pivot

  • all introduce some type of flower

  • many use juxtaposition of images to express implied themes

  • taken together as a Thread the haiku rise to a symbolic presence indirectly suggesting metaphors for universal themes as discussed through out this essay.

east and west
let the force be with you
lotus blossoms

~John Daleiden, Phoenix Arizona
  in the Sonoran Desert









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