empty lawn chairs
all our serious talk
last night

22 Responses

  1. Sheila Sondik Says:

    I love this haiku. It's full of rueful wisdom presented so lightly.

  2. Alan Summers Says:

    empty lawn chairs
    all our serious talk
    last night

    —Roger Jones

    A nice sense of mystery, even intrigue, as the reader will wish for an idea about the clues left around a late night talk, and did it start in the daylight, or evening?

    I like it when a haiku isn't just a snapshot, something should always be left out, left aside.

    This haiku resonates beyond its words, and allows the reader to become a creative partner.


    Alan, With Words

  3. Brandon Bordelon Says:

    We've all had them–those "serious talk[s]" with a friend or loved one that go long into the night. Hopes and dreams are expressed; deeply-held beliefs and deeply-buried fears are revealed. You feel euphoric, ecstatic, drunk with words. In the magic of the wee hours, the usual barriers to communication are temporarily lifted. There is no gap between what you think and what you say, what they hear and what you mean. You are filled with language and filled with life. But then the morning comes. And in the light of day, you doubt the experience of the night before. Was I really able to articulate everything in my heart? Did they really and truly understand? Words then seem hopelessly inadequate, and true connection with another human being forever out of reach. In this haiku, the "empty lawn chairs" perfectly convey this. In the words of Flaubert, "Human speech is like a cracked kettle on which we tap crude rhythms for bears to dance to, while we long to make music that will melt the stars."

  4. Ellen Grace Olinger Says:

    I see one meaning of "empty." Sometimes though the conversation blesses for a long time. Could be a note or phone call as well. I like the look of empty chairs, even filled with snow in the winter, a peaceful image.

    Thanks to Roger Jones for a poem with many layers. I can't know what he was thinking, of course.

  5. Barbara A. Taylor Says:

    I love Roger's haiku.

    another month gone
    moonlight shimmers
    on an empty space

    (first published on Haiku Bandit Soiety, April Moon Viewing, 2013

  6. haikuapprentice Says:

    This is why I love Tinywords so much! Showcasing wonderful poetry, combined with vigorous and "real time" commentary.

    This was how the Japanese masters used to engage in their "poetry parties", each giving a poem then everyone at the table comparing interpretations. Everyone gains, everyone wins! By sharing and engaging in this way, we all deepen our levels of appreciation of a particular work, deepen our emotional intelligence and repertoire, and deepen our understanding of the art of haiku, all while maintaining an engaged and respectful sense of community.

    Roger's poem, and the discussion today, reminds me of such a haiku party. The subject of the poem could indeed be the "morning after". I too love the ambiguity of the word "empty" – vacant, or ineffectual? Then the phrase "serious talk" – is it tongue in cheek or was it indeed in earnest at the time? The final line "last night" again contains ambiguity – obviously there is the temporal dimension, but then I read again and pick up the sense of finality, or something finished – the last night of a production. Something like the song from Les Miserables: "Empty Chairs at Empty Tables".

    Truly a wonderful poem and a wonderful experience. I am sure, though, that in this case the talk will "go on"!


  7. Peter Newton Says:

    T i n y w o r d s , an apt subtitle of this site might well be "Poetry In Real Time" where poets remain present and honest with one another.

    I love reading all the positive comments about the poem and the choices the poets have made in constructing them. But I would also encourage a poetic response–a riff, if you will, off the poem into one of your own. Sometimes, this happens. Good poems spark good poems.

    Of course, any constructive comments are always welcome. I agree, Strider, we are a community of writers. A circle of poets that always has room for one more . . . and another . . . and another . . .

  8. Marie Shimane Says:

    sunrise solitude
    the eve's pontifications

  9. dawndream1 Says:

    after the argument
    she watches rain fall
    on the flower bed

  10. Alan Summers Says:

    a mobile phone
    in the half-empty pub
    the one-sided conversation

    Alan Summers
    Publications credits: ‘in a heron’s eye’ Jack Stamm Haiku Award 1999 anthology ISBN 0 9577925 0 6 pub: Paper Wasp, Australia

  11. Margaret Dornaus Says:

    Beautiful haiku, Roger . . . especially love the image of the empty "lawn chairs."

    so many empty chairs
    touched by moonlight

    Margaret Dornaus
    A Hundred Gourds 1.1, December 2011

  12. seaviewwarrenpoint Says:

    Wonderful – I can so relate to this one!

    morning after empty bottles and chairs

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