George Klacsanzky’s glasses

my glasses missing
I see impressionistic
paintings all day

George Klacsanzky (1956-2003)  (USA/Hungary)

George Klacsanzky with his typewriter and issues of his journal “Haiku Zasshi Zo”

I appreciate George’s insight into sight itself. How many of us take vision for granted? The saying “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” comes to mind when reading this haiku. I also like his sense of humor in “my glasses missing.” It seems some people have become numb to modern-day conveniences and items we use daily. But when a useful item goes missing, like glasses, then it seems we regain an appreciation for it and no longer take it for granted. In this way, George’s haiku could point to experiencing life without conveniences but also gently reminds us to not take things for granted. A beautiful haiku.

Jacob Salzer (USA)

First of all, it is a great honour for me to write commentary on this brilliant haiku of George Klacsanzky. He is truly a great and inspirational haiku poet.

The opening line gives an impression of a person’s view of the world without any artificial sight. It reflects the genuine connection of a person with nature or their surroundings where they enjoy nature or any imagery without any barrier (glasses) by using their insight or perception. I love the use of the word ‘impressionistic’ which conveys a strong image of what the person is viewing. It may also be a vivid memory that a person is cherishing or reminiscing about. There can be various interpretations of ‘paintings all day’. A person may be seeking solace in nature, their surroundings, a memory, or they are enjoying the deep elements of an image with the help of insight’s lens through daydreaming.

Hifsa Ashraf (Pakistan)

My father, George Klacsanzky, wore thick glasses. I think if he took them off or lost them, he would be seeing the world as if it was an impressionistic painting. But I think besides the humor in this haiku, I believe my father was expressing the fact that our experience as human beings is based on our subjective sensorial perception. Though our sense organs are tangible, the results they produce are variable and depend on each individual’s facilities. In a way, it seems my father was pointing to the illusion of our so-called reality.

I enjoy how the second line has enjambment. It is a witty line break that sets up a surprise in the last line. In terms of sound, it appears that the letter “s” takes the cake. From this string of “s” sounds, I can hear a paintbrush against a canvas. The letter “l” is also employed well, which gives the reading a more weighted feeling, in my opinion.

Another haiku by my father that on the face seems to be only comical but has deep philosophical undertones.

Nicholas Klacsanzky (USA)

Elliot Nicely’s comb

hospice care
the way she quietly combs
into his hair
with her fingers

Elliot Nicely (USA)
(previously published in Eucalypt #25)

This tanka gives me a real sense of peace and acceptance, specifically in: “she quietly combs sunlight into his hair.” I feel a gentleness in the verb “combs,” which reminds me of slow-rolling ocean waves, or a soft breeze in a field of grass. It also brings me a sentiment that the person lived a fulfilling life, regardless of their age. I first envisioned the man is in hospice and his wife is combing his hair, though I like how the tanka leaves this open for interpretation. It could very well be the woman who is in hospice and she’s combing the hair of her husband, her son, or someone else she’s close to. Hospice relates to a person who is physically ill and has 6 months or less to live. Love and compassion don’t always require words and can be expressed through silence, in gentle, wordless action. I feel this tanka expresses one of those moments. A beautiful poem. 

Jacob Salzer (USA)

The opening line of this tanka takes us to hospice care as an expression of a place that everyone knows. The tanka precisely describes the story of a woman who may be a nurse, a mother, a spouse, or a grandmother. In each case, she is caring and may be missing her motherhood memories in the past. The scene describes a carefree moment where she may be sitting in the sunlight with a child/boy/man and enjoying combing his hair with her fingers. It also shows the personal touch of a person with someone who is close to her and where there are no materialistic things needed to enjoy mundane activities.

This also demonstrates how both persons are pondering about life, maybe reminiscing their past. I can see the furrows in the hair resultant from combing with fingers, which depicts how fruitful life becomes when someone sows the seeds of love, care, and sincerity. I loved the imagery of this tanka, which portrays the story of life in hospice care—full of memories, love, compassion, kindness, and personal touch.

Hifsa Ashraf (Pakistan)

This is a moment of quiet yet powerful symbolic actions—whether intended or not. The person being cared for is ill or dying, and sunlight, the power of the sun, is being combed into the patient’s hair. In a way, it is giving life to a person on the edge of death. It could also be a sign of someone who has lived their life fully and is now returning to the realm of the natural world.

The sense of sound in this tanka is wonderful as well. The soft “o”s in hospice, combs, and into, and stark “i”s in hospice, quietly, sunlight, into, his, hair, with, and fingers make for a sonorous feel that adds emotion to the poem. The tanka is sparse in words, but each word seems carefully selected and paced. It’s a tanka with depth that can be clearly seen.

Nicholas Klacsanzky (USA)

“Endearment” by Asiza.