Featuring haiku brought to blossom by terrific writers from #HaikuSeed prompts:
door frame, mango, wintry, evening walk, bloom, pattern, tranquil
I seldom dive into language-specific commentary or poetry form-specific commentary. Basically my commentary is not technical. I’m also not good at writing appreciation. I hope the amazing writers being featured do not take offense if my commentary lacks literal words of praise. When a haiku sets off a chain of imagination inside me, there is an ecstasy I experience that I’ve often been aware of when I read haiku by Basho, Issa and the like. So my commentary is usually about all these images in my head spawned by the featured haiku and this is how I show my appreciation for the writers and their amazing haiku.
in the door frame a March moon
cut in half
– Hege A. J. Lepri
Apart from the beautiful image, I feel this haiku lends to several interpretations of human scenes. A lover halfway through the door, leaving angry. Or a lover halfway through the door, taunting and playful. Of course, the cut in half is too sharp of an expression for both these interpretations, unless you subscribe to the absurd.
Why does the writer say the half moon is hiding in the door frame? Did she first search for the moon through a couple of windows in her room, couldn’t find it and she comes out of her room and there! the half moon is hiding in the front door frame.
in the shade
of a mango tree
the gurgle of memories
– C.X.Turner (Luci)
The phrase gurgle of memories is brilliant. I think all of us likely played under and around large trees when we were kids. Maybe mango trees. So all of us likely have a lot of memories that feature trees.
Maybe it is the tree next to your cricket or football ground. Maybe it is the one you hid behind in hide and seek. Maybe it is the one you’d run to and use as a pivot to escape your rival’s grasp in catch me if you can.
And through all these games, if one were passing by the tree, they could hear a gurgle of noise so easily identifiable as a group of kids playing. You’ve grown up, and one day as you take a moment’s rest under a tree, all these memories come back to you. The gurgle of laughter, shouts, fights – all of it now a gurgle of memories.
pale and weak
labouring to rise
the wintry sun
I’m a little afraid to delve into the depths that this haiku can surely take an explorer. On its face, this haiku describes a gloomy winter day.
The dim sun making its way across the sky slowly. The cotton clouds acting like a quagmire, the sun labouring to rise. A beautiful image wonderfully expressed.
This also begs to be interpreted as a description of old age. Old people, pale and weak, struggling to find strength to rise and perform routine things. The winter cold all the more harsh on their joints. Another image that formed in my mind is of a very old man watching his own son labour to rise, indicating his son, like the winter sun, is also old.
into the forest
– Pippa Phillips
I love the images and stories this haiku created in my head. The writer could be saying that often the bedtime stories she tells someone, or someone tells her, involves forests and the narration of these stories is so evocative that the listener could themselves be walking into the forest along with the story’s characters. It being evening, the colors of sunset over the forest make this a beautiful picture.
Evening walks into the forest could also mean the writer is describing nightfall and boy, what an expression that is. ‘Evening’ walks into the forest, taking with it the light of day. Could as well be start of a fantasy novel.
Speaking of which, being a fan of the fantasy genre, I also quite like the idea of evening being the name of an actual person in the bedtime story.
across the milky way
i trace each step
Wonderful! This haiku totally captures the raw awe of looking at the milky way.
I’m not so sure about the tracing each step part because if the milky way was visible, I wouldn’t know where I’m stepping as I won’t be able to look away from the night sky. But sure, if you live in a place where milky way sighting is a common place thing, your evening walk is more composed and you could trace each step while also being mesmerized by the galactic visuals in the sky.
Reading this brought back memories from a few months ago when I was in Andaman islands with my wife and we were heading back to our hotel at night on a motorcycle. My wife asked me what the long smoke-like cloud was and why it wasn’t changing shape or moving. I looked up and a chill came upon me as I realized the long cloud could actually be the milky way because Andaman islands have very little light pollution and chances of seeing the milky way, even faintly, with the naked eye are high. I was driving the motorcycle, so I had to keep my eyes on the road (empty to the horizon) and I couldn’t. I was looking up every few seconds until I decided glances were not enough. So I pulled to the side of the road and stopped. We spent a good deal of time looking up that night at the faint arc of the milky way galaxy. That raw emotion I have experienced always when I looked at the milky way, either with the naked eye or through astrophotographs I took on occasion are brought back by this delightful haiku.
the last bloom
scent of ruin in my hair
– Adele Evershed
For some reason, scent of ruin in my hair has really got a hold on me. The image of jasmine flowers with dark bruises adorning a woman’s mane was quite quick to form in my head, probably because I’ve seen women here in India put flowers in their hair all my life (Hindu tradition) and I’ve seen how those flowers get squished and bruised through the day as they go about their routine. Beautifully written haiku.
It is also quite dramatic that the last bloom, one that we assume would be cherished as there will be no more blooms for some time to come, is called a ruin. Why is there such… bitterness (if it is that)?
The end of spring couldn’t have been a surprise, no, that is not the reason. Did something in their life coincide with the end of spring that left them ruing even the last bloom of the season?
the tranquil trickle
of a spring stream
– Marilyn Ward
Oozing with serenity and positivity – the scene this haiku paints and every single word used to create it.
— Sankara Jayanth Sudanagunta
game patterns on
– Linda, @LinderLeeL
a slice of mango
one dollar extra
exotic lemonade stand
– Skyeku, @FictionCrumbs
– Luna, @YourMoonliness
caught up in thoughts
an evening walk becomes
evening walk a jogger’s headlamp goes out
– Silk~, @Silk73507704
a wintry look
on the old man’s beard…
– Marilyn Ward, @deer_ward
the mango’s pit
than this season
– Luna, @YourMoonliness
popping open a mango
the sweet trickle of childhood
down my chin
– Alaka Y, @alwrites
brighter in spring
the subtle patterning
of a sparrow’s wing
Click the above button to read more haiku by writers on Twitter for the #HaikuSeed prompts listed in this feature blogpost.
- All featured works are copyrighted to the respective writers. We would love it if you cite being our journal if your work is going to be published elsewhere, no obligations though.
- Photos used in our journal are taken by and copyrighted to Sankara Jayanth Sudanagunta unless stated otherwise.