no one left to decide
who is right
– Vandana Parashar (India)
Cattails, May, 2017
I see two ways readers can interpret this haiku.
1) Both sides of a conflict have sustained great casualties, and ideas of morality are left outside the realm of comprehension.
2) War always engages in violence and in that respect, neither side should be able to decide what is right or wrong.
Both interpretations contain a sense of irony. It is ironic that we try to be moralistic when it comes to killing other people for land, resources, domination, and more.
I feel the ellipsis conveys the tragedy of the circumstance and the silence after an intense battle. The structure is standard, but the chilling “o” sounds strung through the haiku provide a strong impact.
I think this haiku, or even senryu, makes for striking but subtle commentary on the irony and tragedy of war.
– Nicholas Klacsanzky (USA)
This poignant haiku takes us not only to the actual battlefield but also to the daily grudges and rows that are mostly endless and bring harmful effects to our lives. I have observed such situations many times in my own life where fights based on egos don’t end just because everyone thinks he or she is right and the next person is wrong.
The first line of this haiku is about a war zone: a zone that is a territory full of danger and harmful effects. The war zone indicates our mindsets and our egos with negative thoughts and feelings that disturb us mentally, physically, and spiritually, that bound us to not see out of the box, that steal our positive energies and act as a slow poison.
When one is in that war zone, one is not able to think or act rationally or logically. This is the level where we don’t go beyond our limited perceptions of the world and relationships, which makes us judge our relationships without having set criteria. We hallucinate about our surroundings and defend ourselves, merely giving reasoning to what is delusional and not reality. We feel that we are right and we justify our point of view with arguments without logic. We live with such delusions all the time which takes us to the comfort level of not being rejected, defeated, or surrendered.
Overall, this haiku is all about our negative attitude towards relationships when we are having trouble handling issues and problems. We end our relationships without even reaching any conclusion about who is wrong and who is right. We have a false self-image and we live with it all our lives and get involved in an endless war that we pass on from generation to generation without reaching any finality.
– Hifsa Ashraf (Pakistan)
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“The Battle of Sekigahara” by Kris Knapp