Neighbour / #HaikuSeed / Editor’s Garden

#HaikuSeed neighbour

neighbour’s terrace garden
like their water lilies
plentiful my envy

I wrote this haiku for the #HaikuSeed water lily from a few days ago which bloomed from a thought I would have still had for today’s prompt if I hadn’t already written it.

Over the years I’ve read a few haiku about neighbours and I remember being amused, even sniggering, when reading them. We get a sort of exclusive sneak peek as the writers, through their haiku, admit a thought or opinion about their neighbours they wouldn’t have otherwise to their friends and acquaintances, much less to their neighbours, hadn’t they been motivated to create art. There is often silliness, even pettiness to our thoughts and opinions about our neighbours, I’ve realized. It may not be something that determines our relationship with them but still, in some corner of our minds and hearts, there is coveting, judgment, anger, compassion and many such opinions and feelings towards our neighbours that we would likely never express.

A few months ago, my neighbours hanged money plants in colorful little pots that dropped from the ceiling of their first floor verandah. It gave their home quite a serene look. I’ve been meaning to decorate my home with plants, both indoor and outdoor but I obviously didn’t get to doing it because of my laziness. So I coveted their hanging plants.

A few weeks ago, I visited a terrace gardener’s home to buy some plants for my home. This guy was selling most of his garden plants as he was going out of India to live with his daughter, or son – I can’t recall. His amazing terrace garden had water lilies growing in large round cement pots amidst a plethora of other green plants and colorful flowers. I envied his terrace garden. I didn’t dare buy water lilies as I had little experience in growing plants.

Another haiku I’ve written recently and not with neighbour prompt in mind:

street dog
sniffing neighbour’s car —
go on… do it

I’ve always found it absolutely hilarious and love it when Basho, Issa talk directly to animals or insects in their haiku. How entertaining is the idea that there is this person, looking at some other creature and mumbling to himself as if he was talking to it. So whenever I’m in a mood to create light-hearted, amusing haiku and there is already a sort of funny image forming in my mind, I use a similar expression in my haiku. I’m an animal lover, so you see why writing as if directly addressing the animal is enticing to me.

— Sankara Jayanth Sudanagunta
Founding Editor

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