park bench
the stranger beside me
inches closer

—Joanne Morcom

Previously published in author's chapbook A Nameless Place

About the author: Joanne Morcom is a writer and social worker in Calgary, Alberta. Her award winning poetry and flash fiction have appeared in a variety of print and electronic publications. Her poetry postcards are available from pooka press and her scifaiku chapbook, "A Nameless Place," is available from Sam's Dot Publishing or from the author at her own website.


Responses to the haiku for 9 April 2007 by Joanne Morcom

    Alan Summers
    2007-04-09 07:21:35

    A lot of us must have experienced this some time! ;-)

    curling up at dusk
    the park bench sleeper
    turns over a new page

    "First Australian Haiku Anthology" 2003   ISBN 0 9577925 9 X 

    home town...
    waiting in a hotel bar
    the stranger

    winterSPIN, New Zealand haiku magazine 1997

    Bill Kenney
    2007-04-09 08:14:18

    Suggests many possibilities, not all of them (but enough!) sinister

    high rise elevator
    I'm told by a stranger
    that Jesus loves me

    2007-04-09 11:50:12

    park bench
    the stranger inside me
    streches closer

    2007-04-09 13:05:39

    A strong moment...
    I feel an urge to move away!

    2007-04-09 13:42:35

    This is a very good "haiku"; however, traditionally, haiku's tend to be 17 syllables: the first line has 5, the second has 7, and the third line has 5 syllables again. I am not sure this is a traditional haiku but it is still good.

    Judith Ingram
    2007-04-09 21:09:19

    Terry . . . stick around awhile and you'll find there's nothing very traditional about haiku any more.

    Great poem, Joanne. I can feel a chill between my shoulder blades.

    Alan Summers
    2007-04-10 09:12:08

    Hi Terry,
    They're 5-7-5 in Japanese units called on.

    Maybe think of them as six second poems as that's a common time length for a haiku whether you're Japanese or not.

    See Tinywords About, link: also; and for more links etc...

    You're in for a pleasant surprise! ;-)

    b. m. richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2007-04-10 16:34:37

    bare branches
    cardinal flitting
    first peach blossom

    Joanne Morcom (morcomj at telus dot net)
    2007-04-10 18:42:02

    Thanks for your responses Alan, Bill, laryalee, Terry, Judith and Bob. After writing this haiku, I realized that the second line, the stranger beside me, is also the title of a book about the serial killer Ted Bundy. It wasn't an intentional reference, or was it?

    2007-05-09 05:51:30

    I've sat on a park bench or a bus bench, where the other person on the bench innocently shifts position & ends up closer, which is how I want to read the 'ku. There's also my first reading:

    park bench
    the (creepy) stranger beside me
    inches (too) close

    An interesting senryu with multiple meanings.