draining the shadows
from a teacup
This haiku presented itself as a solid winner from the first time I read it and it continues to resonate with each reading. Like all good haiku, one that stays with you and reveals successive layers, this is truly a classic moment. The scene is set on the first line and the connection with the shadows and cup in the image gives us the marvellous second line draining the shadows. This evokes for me what the late Martin Lucas, the fine English poet and editor, described as a “poetic spell,” — a special essence. This haiku works beautifully with the image to raise both the elements of art and words, together creating something greater.
he folds and unfolds
the empty sugar packet
The poet has created a mystery that tantalises and draws us into the image. We are placed in the scene of a breakfast, so we wonder what the story of the night might have been. The image has many components that make a moment of intrigue. The darkness and light that falls on a simple game suggests something at play, and the mind can roam to create its own story through association with our own personal experience. There’s a lovely suggestion of movement and flow that gives us a feeling of time and space.
all the ways
you hide your pain –
rounds of coffee
Ah yes a good cup of coffee or tea, what wondrous gifts from ancient times. These simple beverages can allow us to move mountains and cross great rivers. The poet has suggested a deep and powerful moment and we are all connected by our own pain and suffering. The many ways we hide our pain indeed . . .
we take turns
What do we have to lose? I really liked the suggestive quality of this poem and how it works with the image. We have the shadows and a game element but the poet has us taking turns to lose. Perhaps the real test of winning is how we lose, and how we might elevate each other to a higher place, through support and encouragement. Some might read this as a negative moment, but I feel it contains a great teaching. This adds a depth to the image that I appreciate very much.
the small world
of our shortest day
The first line creates heaviness and a sense of containment that works well with the image. We are drawn by the smallness of the world in the scene, and the shortness of a day full of shadows. Perhaps the game of noughts and crosses with its small moves in tightly bound squares adds more shifts and links to the words and image. Sometimes the most deceptively simple scenes can evoke so much with further contemplation.