Bernard Gieske, US ~ Choice Haiku Thread Guest



Weddings Threads


It is amazing to see so many haiku being submitted. A wedding is a very special event and many things and persons are involved before, during, and after this momentous and traditional rite of passage. It lends itself to a diversity of responses.   

I was indeed surprised how many haiku focused on the undesirable and unforeseen happenings at a wedding ceremony as well as extenuating circumstances such as pregnancy and divorce. There were haiku that dwelt on the negative aspects of marriage. I always tend to think of marriages/weddings as being positive steps towards a brighter, happier future.  In reading these haiku I came to realize that this is not always the case for everyone thinking about a wedding or marriage. There are some haiku I didn’t grasp, due, I think, to not knowing the traditions of the country. 


 Pravat Kumar Padhy’s haiku was particularly meaningful to me:


wedding morning

the butterfly wings

its tender touch

# 27. Pravat Kumar Padhy, IN

Just as the morning is the beginning of a new day, so marriage is the beginning of a new journey in life. The butterfly seeking the sweet gifts of flowers on this morning evokes a promising sunshiny day, the exchange of many gifts, and an array of colorful flowers. So too marriage is a promise of future joys. The butterfly has undergone the transformation of a past life as a caterpillar. The marriage couple now will undergo their own transformation. The wings of a butterfly are fragile and must be handled with care. So too marriage calls for a “tender touch”. The kind of desired transformation of those becoming one will need to take place under all the conditions of love which include tenderness, kindness, trust, faithfulness, and so many other things.  


Chen-ou Liu reminds us that the future promised may not turn out as expected. This haiku, though, seems a bit stronger than just a reminder with13 crows present.  No bride and groom would want to proceed under these circumstances, but love is a very strong influence, often overcoming all odds. This wedding takes place in a garden and, at first, I misread it as “garden weeding”, a garden being invaded by weeds.  Here the newlyweds are reminded that they cannot expect their marriage to be problem free. There will be weeds in the garden and these will need to be dealt with, hopefully, with that “tender touch” of the previous haiku.

thirteen crows

on a telephone wire

garden wedding

# 01. Chen-ou Liu, CA


I don’t think Harvey Jenkins in his haiku is focusing on the wedding cake but indirectly reminding us that those involved in a wedding are human and have their faults. He may be thinking about love being blind or having a more noble thought that true love can accept such faults and married couples can help one another become better persons despite their faults.    

wedding cake

all its tiered faults

are covered in icing


# 03. Harvey Jenkins, CA


golden rings

I try on

my new name

# 88. Cara Holman, US

Cara Holman’s haiku has a lot of meaning. Here, I think, the emphasis is on becoming one and, even though it is not directly expressed, the reader is aware of the joy that accompanies this act as well as the complete acceptance of her husband by the bride. A real transformation has already begun. It is not overshadowed by the symbolism of the golden rings, which are themselves very rich in meaning. The ring closes the bond and being a circle it symbolizes eternity and unity. The fourth finger of the left hand, on which each ring is placed, should not be overlooked with its direct link to the heart. The rings are golden.


a dew drop…

sun caressing its

morning bride

# 40. Diana Teneva, BG

 Diana Teneva’s haiku is also very meaningful. It reflects a lot of the same thoughts as Pravat Kumar Padhy’s haiku as well as some of those of Diana Teneva’s. The dew drop is circular and occurs in the morning. The sun caresses which is reflective of the “tender touch”. Gold is the sun’s metal and the sun has been considered by many as a god. In this case the bride is the goddess.    


Of all the extenuating circumstances that can color the wedding ceremony, this haiku caught my fancy.

baby bump

        the bride

                wears white

# 123. Patricia Carragon, NY US 



Flowers are more than an accessory of a wedding. They have their own expressive language (floriography) and send messages clear and loud besides lending color to the scene. I am partial to flowers, so my picks here are overly subjective.

blue eyes of the bride—

in them a wedding bouquet

of irises

# 84. Tonka Lovric (Davor), CR

According to THE ILLUSTRATED SIGNS & SYMBOLS SOURCEBOOK, the iris speaks passion.  And Tonka Lovice (Davor)’s haiku has more than one.

Lilacs, depending upon the color, convey several messages. In general they symbolize beauty and pride. Their purple color conveys the idea of the first emotions of love and a white lilac represents youthful innocence. So the choice of lilac to describe the dawn is not just very colorful, befitting a beautiful bouquet, but also very meaningful. 

lilac dawn

gathering a bouquet

for the bride

# 70. Máire Morrissey-Cummins, IE

 As the bride walks down the aisle, no doubt, what comes first to mind, is the music accompanying the wedding march. In Cara Holman’s haiku, the audience is pleasantly wafted with the pleasant scent of freesia, which is reminiscent of innocence and trust.  

                                                aisle walk

the trailing scent

of freesia

# 90. Cara Holman, US

In Stefanija Ludvig’s haiku, the preacher’s intoning  “..or forever hold your peace“ was reinforced by the gardenias which their strong statements: “You’re lovely”, secret love, purity, and refinement.  

the preacher intones

"...or forever hold your peace—"

scent of gardenias

# 96. Štefanija Ludvig, CR



In this next haiku, the wedding takes place in a garden. No doubt, many of the flowers already mentioned were present, but Karin Anderson highlights sunflowers. Her combining the three words of “ringed”, “blaze”, and “I do”” with the sunflowers emphasizes the unifying act of what is taking place and much more. The ring is placed on the finger as the couple says “I do”; thus, the link or bond. The ring and the ringed sunflowers also have the shape of a circle symbolizing eternity and unity. Sunflowers have magical powers and this can be considered part of the meaning of “blaze” here. They confer the couple with their potent power. Sunflowers adorned the crowns of Roman emperors for this reason. Marriage is a celebration. Native Americans considered the sunflower as sacred and used them extensively in celebrations and festivities.         

garden wedding

ringed sunflowers blaze

to I do

# 28. Karin Anderson, AU

 Finally, the sunflower is a symbol of light, hope, and innocence and even world peace.  We can hope that these sunflowers keep blazing not just for these newlyweds but for everyone.  


wedding gifts—

in the bride’s bouquet

some lily of the valley.

# 32. Dan Iulian, Romania

The lily of the valley is a precious gift to be held dear.  It conveys the sense of sweetness and a promise of happiness. For Christians lily of the valley are interpreted as the “tears of the Virgin Mary” and elicit the virtue of humility, which I equivocate with the virtue of truth, a very important element for a successful marriage. I don’t know how true this is: the lily of the valley has a reputation for attracting silver, but, perhaps, more importantly it is a symbol of spring and new life.    


If you read some of my haiku in the thread you will notice that I also included several flowers as well as some food items:

            daisies = innocence, loyal love, purity, beauty, respect

            tulip (red) = “Believe me”, declaration of love

            lemon blossom = fidelity in love, “I promise to be true”

            orange blossom = innocence, eternal love, marriage, fruitfulness

            primrose = “I can’t live without you.”

            daffodil = regard, unrequited love, “You’re the only one.”

            chrysanthemum = cheerfulness, abundance, and “You’re a wonderful friend”.

            betal nuts - symbol of love and marriage   

garlic cloves - symbol of protection and good luck.  It was once the practice of brides to carry garlic on their wedding day.

            barley – In India, the barley is sacred to the God Indra, “the one who ripens
            the barley”. It is symbolic of male potency and promises fertility to the bride 
            and groom when scattered at weddings.  


With this haiku of Cristina-Monica Moldoveanu, the symbolism of the tree adds more meaning to this scene and the haiku can be read in two ways. The acacia thrives in harsh conditions and has endured for thousands of years despite drought. It also provides shelter for many animals. It is a symbol of endurance and protection.

bridal veil
floating in the wind—
acacia blossom

                                        #190. Cristina-Monica Moldoveanu. RO


I found Bouwe Brouwer’s haiku amusing:

bridal gown

the cat can't find

any legs

# 210. Bouwe Brouwer, NL

Another Bouwer haiku is also an interesting twist of “the two shall become one”:

                                                wedding vows—

a mosquito

with my DNA

# 212. Bouwe Brouwer, NL               


Nature is a wonderful complement to the wedding ceremony. Many of the haiku reflect nature’s role. In my previous selections I chose those haiku that convey a meaning and not just paint a beautiful scene. Of those that more or less paint such a picture, I like

                                                spring wedding

falling blossoms

nature's confetti

# 02. Rachel Sutcliffe, UK

I particularly like the simplicity of this haiku.


The first line of Eftichia Kapardeli’s haiku splashes with color:

gold threads of sun—

her white wedding dress

fit for a Goddess

# 17. Eftichia Kapardeli, GR (Greece)


John Daleiden gives us a different version of a shotgun wedding: 

something borrowed—

her father's 45

in her garter belt


# 124. John Daleiden, US


What was she thinking of?  With that I will end with a bang.    









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