Editor's Choice "vegetable(s)" Haiku Thread ~ Karina Klesko, US




Essence of Time


Thirty-nine poets from thirteen countries contributed one-hundred-ninety-two verses to the May / June 30, 2011 "vegetable(s)" Haiku Thread.

This is one of the most enjoyable, at least palatable themes I have chosen. I loved all the food and looked up and learned many things which I have shared a little with you below. The words Spring ...Time....Summer ....Time ...but then Autumn and Winter without the word Time as an ending befits the general thoughts in the haiku thread. The word or essence of time, of things past, the present temptations of beautiful and colorful food, so fresh and abundant, and the holding onto that spring 'time" and that summer "time" seems to weave in and out of this beautiful tapestry of moods and feelings.

All of the poems were very good. I have just chosen a few to comment on.

Thank you for the opportunity and privilege of reading your haiku.

Karina Klesko



sultry day—
the seller fanning himself
with cabbage leaves

# 189. Cezar Ciobica, RO

I love the scene that presents itself.


Morning meditation
putting hands into the earth
to plant sprouts

# 151. André Surridge, NZ

Yes! That’s great.

2rd PLACETie

hometown memories...
a bag of mixed veggies

# 20. Chen-ou Liu, CA

I love the essence of this. Wabi. All the memories frozen in the past, suddenly right there in the present. A family reunion or class reunion, mixed with all sorts of people catching up on their lives. Constantly, we are able to bring the past into the present, but never the other way around. Yet in revisiting a place, people, family a little touch of the past is always right there with us. Once fields of farmers and fresh veggies, were cleaned, precooked and defrosted to save, timethe word time, past, present, saving time are all food for thought. Sorry for the pun!


planting potatoes
watching his shadow
rub its back

# 155. André Surridge, NZ

In this haiku our attention is drawn to the shadow of a man hard at work in the potatoe field; we see a double image that of the real man and the image of his shadow, but it the shadow we watch with fascination, as the shadow rubs its own back.  What a vision!

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returning home
all the lettuces
have gone to seed

# 48. Kirsten Cliff, NZ

I love the nostalgic haiku. This one is wonderfulin returning home the time not spent there to tend to the garden as it was, upon returning it has gone to seed as the saying goes. Grown wild and expanded. Friends now with families.

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vegetable garden—
between peas and tomatoes
our first kiss

# 22. Andrzej Dembonczyk, PL

Another wonderful poem playing with timelines. Peas, new plants of snap peas can be planted and harvested at early intervals and over the course of summer. Tomatoes grow steadily on the vine and take longer to mature and harvest. A fun and playful haiku,

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between them
the moon and the scent
of lemongrass

# 137. Alegria Imperial, CA

Here the lemongrass to me, brings in play on the word lemon, yellow, sun, light fragrant, fresh. When you use the word lemon in any sense it conjures up so many things. Sassy, health. Here it is used in a sensuous way—the inviting scent they both breathe in without even touching, the sharing of the simple pleasures heightening their awareness of one another.

Here, please read this. A cup of lemongrass tea is a good defense against cancer cells. Also I found it fascinating that in India lemongrass used it to preserve their old scrolls. So many wonderful uses for lemongrass. Here is the link

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busy bees
a hectare of bitter gourd

# 142. Willie R. Bongcaron, PH

In Willie’s poem, the bees cross-pollinate bitter gourds. A hectare is somewhere around a hundred acres—bees, known for the honey and sweetness, have a busy time in fields of bitter gourd. Sometimes we do not see where the efforts of our work may be used. We do what we need to do—the sweet with the bitter.

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‘it’s an umbrella’
her daughter insists
of a mushroom

# 147. Alegria Imperial, CA

Yes I agree, it is an “umbrella “ for insects and the “ faeiries and wee folk “ of course!

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hot peppers—
jumping from the swing
on a dare

# 38. Cara Holman, US

Hi Cara, this is nice. I have to be dared to eat a hot pepper. This is a fun and lively haiku—
Setting of a person, spicing up their life with just a little bit of danger...

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sweet potatoes—
not really potatoes
not really sweet

# 23. Juliet Wilson, UK

Juliet, ‘a rose by any other name’, the sweet potato might even baffle Shakespeare! I like this and it is in a namewhat someone conjures up in their mind. We add what ingredients it needs to make that veggie palatable…a little brown sugar, mash it all up like potatoes and there you go!  A very nice haiku for the study of human nature.

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bean soup
with roast sausages
lunch for uncle

# 25. Tatjana Debeljacki, SR

Now every time I read this...I go shopping for the ingredients…haiku or poem, it does the trick, power of suggestion, wabi /sabi/ what have you !

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Melted raclette
on boiled potatoes
winter delight

# 59. Sandra Martyres, IN

Here is a link to raclette…this sounds soooo good!a nice contrast between the cold winter and the words melted, boiled, delight. Raclette--The Other Swiss Melted Cheese Dish.

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peeling onions—
mom's eyes full of tears
come to my mind

# 120. Sunil Uniyal, IN

This is very nicely done, it brings a flood of emotions to the reader, finding themselves remembering back to their own mother and her tears of joy, of sadness, and of onions!

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tonight, the same shade
as the mountains

# 06. Stevie Strang, US

A wonderful haiku for the sense of vision. There are white eggplants so at first I pictured the white of the moon over the mountains. An exotic setting for many parts of the world. Then I imagined the deep purple of the eggplant transferring it to the shading of mountains.

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Sunday brunch
with the in-laws
the taste of pepperwort

# 07. Kirsten Cliff, NZ

Pepperwort is a little peppery and tasty, but the word itself...pepper and wort /wart...sounds mystical, like a witche's brew mixed with a couple of in-laws, the aha is there!

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lacy leafs hide
the orange root underground
now unsafe to eat

# 08. Carol Reed Sircoulomb, US

These are words to the wise. Observing the natural environment and the different stages of the life cycle brings about a wisdom of the earth in which we live. Human/nature instincts, almost a lost art.

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waymarks left behind
on the lettuce leaf
a snail

# 13. Vera Primorac, CR

Another poem of vision and observation. The “unseen” world leaves traces of its journey and existence for those careful to observe the unnoticed things in life... Awareness of even the most minute details have a purpose.

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three sisters
compliment each other--
corn, beans, squash

# 14. Munia Khan, BD

Very nice, the AHA is very strong and it is easy to understand the comparison.

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forgotten leek
in the corner of the garden
a sun dial

# 19. Nada Jačmenica, CR

Hello Nada, a very nice pivot. This is another poem about time: pastforgotten leak: the sun dial tucked into the corner of the garden, off to the side, not really there for all to see the time moving in the present and into the future. Some things remembered, some things forgotten. Also age and time. That internal clockwork that all things have.

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Near a fence
some rotten pumpkins

children without lamps

# 150. Maria Tirenescu, RO

I like this old world feel. The pumpkins serving as lamps to light their way. The rotten ones near the fence are useless to light anyone’s way and children without lamps gives it an almost religious feel for the hallowed eve.

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coriander soup
the smell of
summer rain

# 163. Priyanka Bhowmick, IN

This takes over the senses of taste and smell and touch...sound of the rain...perhaps the touch of summer rain, perhaps the soup that has cooled off enough to eat as the summer rain cools off the day. It is good for soothing one’s stomach. Coriander: Coriandrum sativum: Family: Umbelliferae

"Coriander is probably native to the Middle East and southern Europe, but has also been known in Asia and the Orient for millennia. It is found wild in Egypt and the Sudan, and sometimes in English fields. It is referred to in the Bible in the books of Exodus and Numbers, where the colour of ‘manna’ is compared to coriander. The seed is now produced in Russia, India, South America, North Africa — especially Morocco - and in Holland. It was introduced to Britain by the Romans, who used it in cookery and medicine, and it was widely used in English cookery until the Renaissance, when the new exotic spices appeared. Among ancient doctors, coriander was known to Hippocratic, and to Pliny who called it coriandrum for its ‘buggy’ smell, coris being a bug; or perhaps because the young seed resembles Cimex lectularius, the European bed-bug" (The epicentre: Encyclopeida of Spices).

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African market—
mounds of vegetables
I don't recognise

# 186. Juliet Wilson, UK

I love the whole idea of going to an African farmer’s market and all the sights, sounds and smells of exotic foods…it makes one dream of new places and adventure. A taste of the unknown.

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garnishing the salad bowl
June darkness

# 188. John Daleiden, US

Perhaps it is early June and a nice simple salad of watercress, anticipating the summer harvest of color…

Read Karina Klesko's "vegetable" haiku.










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