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Sketchbook 

Editor's Haiku Choices


Karina Klesko Commentary

end of October—
visiting priests, at the inn,
eating pumpkin soup

Cristian Mocanu

Cristian Mocanu's poem has a nice color contrast between the orange pumpkin color and the dark robes of the visiting priests. The pumpkin is usually carved and the contents made into a soups/pies or pastries. The pumpkin seeds also can be baked or used to plant more pumpkins. The whole interaction between the priest's visit, the pumpkin, October/Halloween or Hallow'd Eve, is a circular evolution--the pumpkin being round--the moon now waning after the harvest, coming to an end also may have a biblical implication. The tradition beginning in Ireland of carving out turnips was changed to carving pumpkins in the USA because pumpkins were more abundant; the candle provide light on dark nights . . . The end of Harvest/October could be a metaphor for the last supper. The sense of taste, not often used in haiku, is a nice compliment to the vision of the pumpkin dancing with light on a windy hallo'd eve. Another interesting factor of this poem is that the priests are only visiting, and soon will move on as does the moon in its cycles. 

harvest moon
empty candy wrappers
in a bowl

Trish Shields

Trish Shield's poem has an interesting twist--the full moon, and the empty candy wrappers filling the candy dish. It gives the reader a feeling of being filled with emptiness in one respect /or filled with the sweet contents of the bowl . This is a rather profound idea in a haiku of only three lines, yet it succeeds. 

Both of these haiku capture the syntax of the poet. As we move around the world and more and more poets write haiku, it will be the 'essence' of the haiku which will take the spotlight rather than each word perfectly aligned in a perfect little nest. These are wonderful in the English language and bring the quality of eastern poetry to the western world. I find more and more the beauty of what is being said rather than how it is being said a real factor in selecting quality haiku from an editor's point of view. I like the internal workings of both of these poems. 

It certainly was hard to pick only two haiku from the October themed thread. Thank you.


Karina Klesko


John Daleiden Commentary

Warm October sun—
the little girl's eyes fixed
on a green lizard...

Zhanna P. Rader

Indian Summer is a delightful time of the year where temperatures vary from day to day or even hour to hour. In Zhanna P. Rader's haiku a green lizard and a little girl both have come out to enjoy the sun—the girl’s eyes are “fixed” on the small creature. And we do not know if her emotional state is one of terror or wonder. The poet has left us room to speculate on this moment of ambiguity based on our personal experiences of little girls and lizards having a chance meeting. 

two black clouds
spindle downward—
October afternoon

Karina Klesko

October is a time of year when the gradual changes in the natural environment seem to become accentuated—a time of year when humans notice the changes more than during other seasons. In Karina Klesko’s poem the seasonal reference, “October afternoon” is general—it allows the reader to supply general details of the scene—a change in leaf foliage, 
cooling temperatures, sunny afternoons, cool mornings, daily changes in weather—our personal experiences. In addition, the poet notes that “two black clouds / spindle downward”—an image associated with harsh weather. Are those two “downward” “spindling” clouds harmless, or are they serious storm clouds, perhaps the tails of clouds that form into a destructive tornado? The ambiguity of understanding the visual scene provides the reader with a moment—a question—is a bad storm impending, or is this just a changing sky?




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