Posted in Haiku

Marlene Mountain’s Pig

pig and i spring rain

(Published in Frogpond, 2:3-4, 1979)

© Marlene Mountain (1939 – 2018) (USA)

Pigs and rain both symbolize abundance, power, and strength. So, I can see a very close connection between the first word (pig) and the last word (rain). Another element that comes to my mind is the food chain. Rain helps to nourish plants and bring fertility to crops. Pig meat is used as food, so it shows the interdependence of different elements of nature that gain strength only if the cycle is not disrupted. Spring symbolizes the abundance of blessings, whether it is in the form of food or rain, that makes a person happy.

Besides that, I can see a friendly relationship between animals, nature, and human beings—key elements of nature. Spring here also indicates harmony and a balanced relationship among all nature’s agents.

Spiritually, I can see a balance between physical (pig) and spiritual (rain) needs.
In addition, I can see the dominance of ‘i’ in this haiku that indicates the individual identity of these three: pig, i, and rain.

Hifsa Ashraf (Pakistan)

“The transparent, childlike directness of this haiku and the poet’s complete immersion in sensory awareness put it in the category of “much harder to do than it looks”. I look to this poem often when I feel my own poetry is becoming too weighted down with words and thought.”

(From Favourite Haiku on the New Zealand Poetry Society‘s website)

Melissa Allen (USA)

“I think it was de Tocqueville who, after seeing how many roving bands of semi-domesticated pigs ran unattended in the city streets of America in the 18th century, remarked that they were a perfect expression of America’s come-one come-all, democratic spirit. This poem by Marlene Mountain reminded me of him because by using the non-capitalized personal pronoun “i” she puts herself on a plane with the “pig”, and is as free as a pig is to enjoy the rain which falls democratically on all alike. There is something uninhibited in the pig’s appreciation of rain that the poet may well share, even if she does not bask, Moonbeam McSwine-like, in the mud. It is the poet’s joy to participate in the fructifying seasonal rebirth brought on by the change of weather, and take pleasure in the simple companionship of this uncomplicated animal. Reading it is like breaking through barriers to a free place.”

(From re:Virals 109 on The Haiku Foundation blog)

Garry Eaton (Canada)

“American poet, Marlene Mountain, has been experimenting with single line or ‘monostich’ haiku since the late 1960s and this is one of her most anthologised.

From a formal aspect there’s a seasonal reference, what’s known as a kigo in the Japanese classical tradition, with spring rain. There’s a natural caesura, or breath pause, after pig and i: an invitation to consider its juxtaposition with spring rain. From a semantic point of view: pig and i is a more formal choice than ‘me and the pig’. And pig rather than ‘the pig’ creates a kind of archetypal pig, something more than a specific farmyard oink.

Use of the lower case personal pronoun is quite common in contemporary EL haiku: the argument for it is often the dilution of personal ego – but there’s too much of a whiff of Zen in that for me. And it’s an argument that feels contradictory too: a lower case i seems to draw even more attention to itself than the standard upper case, which we’re so familiar with we hardly notice it (as long as it’s not overused). But here I’m actually in favour of the lower case for the parallel it appears to draw between the pig and the narrator, both as equals in the spring rain, on the balanced see-saw-like single line.

pig and i – spring rain

But … is the prettiness/tentativeness of spring rain making me see the pig, probably the least pretty of animals, (and the haiku) through rose-tinted spectacles? Someone else would have to analyse and argue for that case.”

(From haiku: a poetry of absence or an absence of poetry? on the An Open Field blog)

Lynne Rees (UK)

Did you enjoy this haiku and commentary? Let us know in the comments.


Posted in Tanka

Elliot Nicely’s Small Worries

these small worries . . .
wave upon wave,
the ocean
beneath itself

(Presence, #58, 2017)

© Elliot Nicely (USA)

A very well-crafted tanka that shows a relationship between our feelings and ocean waves. The opening line “small worries” takes us to our daily activities, where we constantly pass through a lot, and which lets our mind and heart oscillate between logic and feelings.

The ocean here symbolizes the deep feelings and thoughts that are sometimes unfathomable, and we can’t deal with them well. Waves upon waves may be our cognitive process that keeps on filtering our thoughts to find out some solutions based on logic. I can also see an element of ego here where a person’s worries can be related to his/her egoistic approach towards life. Waves upon waves in terms of the heart could be saying that feelings are blindfolded, and we can’t see that logic and thought dominates compassion, kindness, etc. In both cases, the worries or problems are not dealt with effectively, which may lead to destructive thoughts, poor relationships, and in the long run, poor mental and physical health.

Hifsa Ashraf (Pakistan)

Yes, small worries are but waves in our lives—they come and they go. In a moment, there are worries to think about and that give color to our mundane life. And then in the next moment, these are all gone and we’re back to our own silent and secure existence.

Willie Bongcaron (Philippines)

I like that this tanka points to the fact that we often get so wrapped up in the daily grind, that we often forget that our troubles are usually pretty minor. The ocean in the poem is a kind of reminder that each moment is new, and an issue of just the moment before can be washed away.

The word “collapsing” works well not only as an image, but also in its power. We commonly see ourselves as a linear story of a person. But in fact, we are always changing, and in each moment, we can choose to be a new individual.

Let’s talk about the punctuation a bit. The ellipsis reflects the continuous motion of the waves, and the comma allows the reader to pause a bit to imagine the waves. Also, take notice of the economy of language: no line is longer than three words, but each of them is strong and creates a stark image.

Sound is also important in this tanka. In my mind, the “s” and “o” sounds create the most prominent effects. The “s” letters seem to be making the “sss” of incoming waves, and the “o” letters appear to be mimicking the “ooo” of receding waves.

This tanka is written in a convincingly straightforward manner, but the last line surprises and allows us to introspect about how daily strifes are not so essential in the larger picture.

Nicholas Klacsanzky (Ukraine)

Did you enjoy this tanka and the commentary? Leave us a comment if you did.


© Dawn Hudson

Posted in Haiku

Svetlana Marisova’s Still Pond

still pond—
shadow of a mayfly
in the depths

Mainichi Daily News (April 13, 2011)

© Svetlana Marisova (1990 – 2011) (Russia/New Zealand)

Overall, I can see the serenity, calmness, and productivity in this haiku. Three words—stillness, shadows, and depths—depict that life is on the verge of either death or life. I can see the positive side of it—new life, reproduction, renewal in a season when there is no interference and disturbance.

Metaphorically, a still pond can be a meditation process where life flows in moments, and a person’s deep experiences of life reflect as shadows and show the true image of the self.

Hifsa Ashraf (Pakistan)

Reading this haiku a few times, I could not stop feeling pulled down by the deep sound of the vowels in it…. This ku seems to be a hymn to “o” and “ou,” so it deals a lot with  meditation and mantras (“om” or “aum” …).

Through its images, I’m pushed to linger in an introspective mood: it opens me to a feeling of impermanence with the ephemeral presence of a mayfly, and its shadow …

The haiku invites us also to see beyond the surface of things, bringing us into the circle of life and then death. “Death” can be easily recalled at the end of the poem thanks to the assonance with “depths” used by the poet…, as if ending a life should be something natural, but also perceived as an emotional event that cuts through our own lives—deeply helping us to grab the essence of our existence, its core, the meaning of us here and now, because life and death are always together, although we try to hide from this fact most of the time.

A haiku that can be read and read again—finally reaching a new awareness ….!

Lucia Fontana (Italy)

Not only is this haiku deep (no pun intended), but it is also meditative. The brief life of a mayfly is commonly seen as a metaphor of the extremely short span of time we get to live on this planet (according to cosmic time). Mayflies, crane flies, and cicadas usually remind us that we aren’t immortal. They give our egos a pinch. And in the context of the poet herself, she was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. Maybe the poet saw the mayfly as a representation of herself.

The contrast with the peace of the still pond and the deep shadow of the mayfly creates poignancy. Even this little insect with such a brief life can reach down into the depths of the pond with its shadow. Also, this can be seen as expressing the idea that when all is peaceful outside and/or within, even the smallest creature can have a big influence.

This haiku is also a nod to Basho’s famous “old pond” haiku, I believe. Instead of sound, though, we have the sense of sight. But we can derive a similar conclusion: the mayfly, in a sense, has become the pond—or at least a part of it.

With plenty of “s” and “o” sounds, the haiku is musical. In my reading, the “o”s slowed me down and allowed me to take in the haiku in a bit more. There is also a judicious use of the em dash, making the reader pause to realize the stillness of the pond.

A classic haiku from a poet who was taken away from us way too early. I hope more people read her work.

Nicholas Klacsanzky (Ukraine)

Did you enjoy this haiku and commentary? Let us know in the comment section.


© Albrecht Dürer (1471–1528)

Posted in Haiku

Jim Krotzman’s June Morning

June morning
grazing cows
shape the creek

© Jim Krotzman (USA)

A good one … the objects (cows) within the object (creek) shape the object …

Gabri Rigotti (South Africa)

It’s a great picture on how small the creek is with grazing cows, and even though I know cows don’t migrate, I also picture wild herds of buffalo doing the same thing elsewhere.

Fractled (USA)

I am very familiar with this scene. A lovely walk along the river, following its gentle curve, enjoying the scent of spring grass, the sound of birds singing, perhaps spotting a family of moorhens. Then suddenly you come across the place where your feet sink into a mess of mud and cow poo, all trodden together by the herd which has left that goo for you to get your feet stuck in.

I can imagine the herd, bumping against one another, in order to squeeze into the space between trees to drink the delicious clear water. They churn up the river bank with their feet, leaving a brown, flattened, sticky mess which oozes with river water, now spreading into a new shape.

Martha Magenta (UK)

Precise words that convey clearly what the author wants the reader to see. The word “shape” brings us to layers of sharing and interpretation. In my case, I imagine a herd grazing silently and nonchalantly as some of them stay in the creek, perhaps finding a cooler place where they chew cuds—as others roam freely on the slopes. The author zeros in on the bunch staying in the creek where the cows shapes the creek as they perhaps crowd the place.

Willie Bongcaron (Philippines)

I like the relaxed mood of this haiku. In June, the flowers are blooming and birds are singing. The cows are grazing. I think it is beautiful nature-sketching.

Norie Umeda (Japan)

The haiku opens with a very classical kigo which, in the author’s hemisphere, reminds us it is the eve of summer. It is also marked by grazing cows, which need to feed their calves, producing a lot of milk, and suggesting their almost stillness in the new grass, busy with their task of being mothers….

We can appreciate this haiku for its visual nature; in an instant, a fresh green sensation captures our attention when imagining those peaceful animals eating and eating….

But it is in the third line that we can have the feeling of a charcoal drawing, as if the short sounds were sketching the landscape.

It’s very well juxtaposed and original that the outlines of the cows are tracing the boundaries between the calm lawn, which shows the grounding of the poem, maybe of the author himself also, and the void of the creek, the uncertainties of what can’t be seen, the beginning of the end, or the end of an earthy dimension and the birth of an ethereal one….

The surprise at the third line is granted. A very well done haiku by James Krotzman!

Lucia Fontana (Italy)

Much has been written about the content, so I will touch upon the element of sound in this haiku and its economy. In my opinion, the “g” and “c” sounds mimic the act of grazing. Also worth noting is that each line is only three syllables each. Krotzman has achieved a complete seasonal scene with resonance in succinct form, which is not easy to do. I enjoy the haiku’s simplicity and understated manner.

Nicholas Klacsanzky (Ukraine)

Did you enjoy this poem and commentary? Let us know in the comment section.

cow© Osuga Takashi

Posted in Haiku

Robert Major’s Dream

Wakened by birdsong;
drifting from one world of dreams
into another

(First Place (shared), British Haiku Society, James J. Hackett Haiku Contest, 1999)

© Robert Major (1920 – 2008) (USA)

In some cases, a dream gives inspiration to artists or writers. This author was wakened by birdsong. It is a nice song to awaken to.

The second line “one world of dreams” shows that the dream is multilayered. It’s one dream transforming into another, and another, and another…. I feel that this haiku portrays surrealism.

– Norie Umeda (Japan)

This immediately brings to mind the spiritual concept of worldy illusion. Many spiritual traditions are based on this idea, and it basically means that this universe amounts to nothing in the end. It is a play or test rather than something that should be taken so seriously. This belief is often based on the fact that existence itself is eternal, and that death is just a pretense because of this.

I like the use of the rare semicolon, as it shows the intricate connection between dreaming and wakefulness. In terms of sound, I enjoy the “d”s and “r”s throughout the haiku. The “d” sounds feel like a tapping on the door or another alert to the poet to wake up, such as sharp birdsong. In my mind, the “r” sounds reflect the sensation of drifting.

A philosophical haiku done well.

– Nicholas Klacsanzky (Ukraine)

Did you enjoy this haiku and commentary? Let us know in the comments section below.


Posted in Haiku

Lucia Fontana’s Gongs

little gongs
awakening me . . .

original in Italian:

piccoli gongs
un canto d’uccelli

© Lucia Fontana (Italy)

(Honorable Mention, IHPD Contest by My Haiku Pond, April 17th, 2018)

This haiku gives me a nice reference to the morning and the way mornings are beautiful because of bird songs. Little gongs awakening me… I can feel this in two different ways: the physical awakening in the morning and the other is the mental awakening of the soul.

– Neha Talreja (India)

When we are waking up, reality can feel a bit blurred or altered. Our dreams can seep into our waken state and also we can feel disoriented. I think this may have been a part of what the poet was expressing. Birdsong usually does not sound like a gong being struck, but it may appear that way when you first wake up.

I think this haiku shows a connection between nature and spirituality as well. Though most people who are religious get beckoned to a church through the tolling of bells, to a mosque through a vocal recitation of the Quran, and what follows in each religion, the poet here possibly sees birds as messengers of a spiritual message. The word “awakening” can also mean becoming enlightened in some way. So, maybe the poet is saying that she heard birdsong and felt transcended after listening to it. This haiku could be pointing to the fact that we don’t need these human-made religions in order to feel the depth of spirituality—all of nature can be our divine sanctuary.

It seems the most evident pairing of sounds in this haiku is in “gongs” and “birdsong.” The “o” sound creates the impression of a gong’s elongated resonance. The “g”s in this haiku could be simulating a mallet hitting a gong with its hard sound. In addition, the ellipsis also helps to give the feeling of the long-lasting toll of a gong.

A spiritual haiku that mixes the abstract with reality.

– Nicholas Klacsanzky (Ukraine)

In spring, baby sparrows chirp with a high tone, but it seems “gong” is another sound. It’s like the sound of the rising sun. Or, “gong” could be the headache of the poet when she wakes up. So, this “gong” may not only be a sound, but also an impression.

– Norie Umeda (Japan)

Did you enjoy this haiku and the commentary? Let us know in the comment section.

© Faryn Hughes

Posted in Haiku

Robert F. Mainone’s Light

all around
light failing in a field
of fireflies

© Robert F. Mainone (1929 – 2015) (USA)

(Museum of Haiku Literature Award, Frogpond XXIV, 2001)

In my childhood, I felt the firefly was beautiful, amazing, and mysterious. But as I got older, those images changed to the idea of impermanence. It is not something metaphorical—I just feel impermanence from it.

– Norie Umeda (Japan)

I love the ambiguity of this haiku.  In the second line, we are not sure if artificial light is failing, the light of the fireflies is flickering, or if moonlight is toning down. This type of mystery adds to a reader’s interpretation and curiosity. Also, the scene of a field adds to the epicness of the imagery.

Though fireflies are connected to various seasons, personally, I associate them with summer and perhaps spring. This sense of a season interacts with the imagery well, as it creates a contrast. Summer, and especially spring, is often seen as a joyful and relaxing period. However, life is not full of roses—even in spring. The light failing is a reminder that every moment, there is something fading away—maybe to return again, just like the flickering of firefly lights.

The moment is so enchanting, I think a one-part structure works well. What also works well is the sound. With plenty of “f”s and “l”s to hear, the haiku is sonorous.  The soft “l”s and hard “f”s make for a reconstruction of the feeling when a firefly’s light turns on and off, in my opinion. Besides any interpretation, the haiku reads wonderfully.

– Nicholas Klacsanzky (Ukraine)

Did you enjoy this haiku and commentary? Let us know in the comment section.

Posted in Haiku

Alan Summers’ Juniper

juniper the tether end of larksong

© Alan Summers (UK)

(Poetry & Place anthology issue 1 ed. Ashley Capes and Brooke (Close-Up Books, April 2016)

I really love the imagery of the juniper and larksong. Larksong itself is a strong image created by fusing a visual and audible image!

The brevity of the poem makes it very direct, but I feel there is much more to it than can be seen at first glance…

…It took me a few reads to see what is going on, but I can see how the wonderful song of the bird is drawing the observer/reader in close, like the juniper berries are drawing in the lark. The song is making the observer/reader take a look at the natural scene—beyond the everyday view, deep into a wondrous microcosm, a symbiosis of the bird and tree, the bird eating the berries, spreading the juniper seeds through its faeces.

The juniper bush also reminds me of a funny scene from the movie “Monty Python’s Life of Brian,” where it is the only means of food for a recluse who has taken a vow of silence.

Brian is fleeing from an unwanted following of fanatics looking for a savior and arrives on a mountaintop. He falls into a recluse’s hole, hurting the man’s foot. The man shouts out in pain, cussing about breaking his 5-year silence. But soon, he starts singing, as he might as well. Brian is trying to keep him quiet so his following doesn’t find him, but to no avail of course.

When the mob arrives and they hear what has happened, they decide it is a miracle performed by Brian. Soon though, they wonder why there savior “led” them to the mountaintop where there is no water or food.

Then Brian points out a nearby juniper bush and its presence is declared another miracle!

The scene ends with the recluse fighting Brian’s following over the juniper bush.

I guess the point being that the recluse’s voice led the group to discover the juniper bush, like the lark’s song draws us into the haiku moment.

Michael Smeer (Netherlands)

There have been some eastern poems about drinking, but they were not corrupted. They look like saintly poems. I think that this author drank the gin “juniper” to the limit “tether” until morning when the larks were singing—but heaven’s gate closed, because the larksong ended.

Bad habits will make you lose your mind, and it will be its own tether. Maybe we think that the past drunkard poets as saintly because they stand far from power. They say Santoka was always drinking, but his haiku is popular now.He wrote many haiku, begging and drinking while he was wandering. I think there isn’t a commonality between this author’s life and Santoka’s life, but they can’t stop drinking to their dream.

– Norie Umeda (Japan)

I imagine this juniper as an old, dying, or felled tree. Lark sparrows (based on what I have read) tend to favor more open grassland. Could it be that the bird is singing a happy song?

Alternatively, the tendency in places to plant and save more juniper trees (ecotourism) means the larks in those areas are in decline. In this case, could it be that the bird(s) is singing a sad song?

Thirdly, if we define juniper as an evergreen (from the Latin, junniperus) the youthful image that arouses contrasts with “the tether end of larksong” which one could imagine meaning that the birds are getting ready to migrate, taking with them their beautiful sing-song. Does it mean winter is on the doorstep?

Lastly, in certain countries, poachers trap birds (including larks) and eat them. I can picture a bird glued (birdlime) to a branch. It’s a slow death and would surely provoke a heart-breaking song. I am not sure larks are trapped in that way (they nest near the ground) but the image jumped into my mind.

– Corine Timmer (Portugal)

The juniper has distinctly sharp shoots and often the shape of the tree itself forms to one side, and I think comparing it to the “tether end of larksong” is a fine association. Besides showing an intriguing connection, I believe the image brings the reader to a state of mental silence, watching the lark’s song in its last sound.

Juniper berries are a summer kigo, or seasonal reference. The call of the lark is reflective of summer, in my eyes, as it has an uplifting and energetic resonance. The juniper is also reflective of summer, with its sharpness matching the blaze of summer heat.

The “r” sounds in this monoku also associate with the call of the lark in its curved song.

You can easily feel the moment of the haiku when you read it, and it brings one peace and introspection.

– Nicholas Klacsanzky (Ukraine)

Did you enjoy this haiku and commentary? Let us know in the comments.

Posted in Haiku, Senryu

Maya Lyubenova’s Wishing Well

wishing well —
the words I whisper
back in my face

© Maya Lyubenova (Bulgaria) (1956 – 2016)

This is a powerful haiku. It reminds us to be careful of what we wish for, and also implies how attaching to even a single thought can significantly impact someone’s life. The act of whispering amplifies the silence surrounding the wish, creating more depth, which is also signified by the depth of the wishing well. The “w” sounds in the first two lines seem to create a calming effect. By contrast, the third line hits the reader in their own face, allowing him or her to reevaluate their own wishes/desires or perhaps discard them.

– Jacob Salzer (USA)

Did she drop the words in the well? This haiku has a strong kire at the end of the first line, but the middle of the second line has a kire with “the words.”

I feel words fell in the well like a coin. So, in the second line “I” …this viewpoint starts inside the “well,” and this “I” whispers back in my face. Its viewpoint is turned upside down again. It looks like the wishing well keeps whispering endlessly.

In our country, a well is a sacred place. We think that there is a god in the well. It seems that it is a common understanding among people in the world. Often, folktales are told as a moral story involving a well.

But this haiku is lovely and mysterious. Maybe the repetition of the “w” sounds make us proceed to the third line.

The first line’s kire and the middle of the second line’s kire creates a strong separation. The enjambment of the second line creates discomfort, but becomes a gentle slope by the “w” sounds.

– Norie Umeda (Japan)

Bulgaria is such a beautiful country with a rich culture. Line one is very strong in this haiku. It sets the perfect scene. Very mysterious, and also feminine, because it is more likely for a woman to follow the gypsy teaching to visit a wishing well at night during a full moon to bring a silver or gold coin to make a wish. In line 2 and line 3, the rest of the story is built. I believe this girl wished for something very special and even she had a doubt if her wish would ever come true. I enjoy this haiku very much. Here is an inspired haiku:

two silver coins
spin in night air—
first golden leaves

– Laughing Waters (USA)

A simple ku with deep layers of meaning… for one, in a wishing well, we normally toss a coin or two and whisper a wish. But a wish could just be a wish. It is an inkling of what we want to become a reality, whether it is about love, attention we want from another person, a windfall, or what have you. But we know that a wish just comprises words that needs more than an act of wishing… it will only go “back in my face.” Perhaps more actions are needed for the wish to come true… this brings us to the sweat that we apply in order to achieve the wish. As they say: “action speaks louder than words.” This is how I interpret and see this ku.

– Willie Bongcaron (Philippines)

If you enjoy this poem and the commentary, please let us know in the comment section.

Posted in Senryu

Gabriel Bates’ Dead End Street

dead end street
I walk away
from my mind

Otata 27, March, 2018

© Gabriel Bates (USA)

For me, this is quite a dark haiku.

dead end street I am thinking of a tall wall standing in front of me, then I can’t go further. Anybody might have experienced a problem he or she thought couldn’t be solved.

I walk away Walking away is like giving up on something. I think the writer walked away from his problems, or from some realities, or anything else….

from my mind I guess this is what he chose. To be drunk at the corner bar, or somewhere else, to find some temporary peaceful state from his bad memories or his unsolved problems….

– Fei Zhan (Indonesia)

The first line, dead end street, indicates no solution to a problem or nothing out of the box. I could see the disappointment and demotivation that the poet expressed here cleverly. Sometimes, if we don’t get solutions to certain problems, we leave them, stop thinking about them, deny them, or buy time to find out the best solution. This is a strategy to deal with certain problems. I can feel the burnout the situation creates as well where a person simply finds an escape from bitter realities that keep on engaging his or her mind and thoughts. Walking away may be a temporary break that gives us space to do certain other things in life and to get some ideas. Sometimes, people give up and completely forget about a situation; sometimes, they come back with a peace of mind that gives them more insights and maybe effective problem-solving ideas.

– Hifsa Ashraf (Pakistan)

This haiku has a Zen quality to me. The mind itself can be likened to a dead end street due to its limitations. We are restricted and contained within the boundaries of our ego. To free ourselves of these limitations, to be in a state of mindlessness is to become much more conscious and present—a state which is conducive to becoming aware of haiku moments, and a state of enlightenment. In meditation, one can visualize walking away from the ego-mind which traps us in behaviours and prevents us from being who we really are. We turn away from thoughts, because they are only the mind chattering to itself.

– Martha Magenta (UK)

I see escapism in this ku. When we are faced with a “dead end road,” we sometimes panic and forget what is the best thing to do given the circumstances. But the will to survive soon takes over and in time we are back to where we were—our old, sane world with all the dramas therein.

– Willie Bongcaron (Philippines)

Sometimes my phone’s map shows me the past of streets and houses. This “existence” has completely disappeared. However, not much of a difference can be seen, so it is not much of problem for others. Maybe the poet bumped into a dead end street in a virtual town. A “dead end” reminds of a closed mind or a closed society.

In the third line, maybe the poet finds a metaphorical key, and he walks away from his “mind.” This mind is his “preconception” or “imprint.” We are thinking a large amount of information every day. This process looks like fog. While walking in fog, our clothes get wet without us noticing. In essence, the poet walks away from his environment.

– Norie Umeda (Japan)

For me, the main message of this senryu (I believe it leans more towards senryu than haiku) is about how we can get into a meditative state, despite physical obstacles, and that surrendering to the moment is more valuable than frustration. But, I want to focus on sound since people have commented enough on the content of the poem.

The hard “d” sounds in the first and last line indicate the wall, and the soft “w” sounds in the second line show the peace of surrender. This is only my interpretation, so other readers can feel differently about what the sound in the poem represents. However, the musicality of this senryu can be easily felt.

– Nicholas Klacsanzky (Ukraine)

Did you like this poem and commentary? Let us know in the comment section.