Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Special Feature: Haiku and Tanka Selected for International Women's Day against War and for Peace

My Dear Readers:

With war raging in Europe after 77 years of peace, this International Women’s Day is a time to acknowledge the courage, intellect and grit of extraordinary women in key roles every aspect of this conflict. In commemoration of International Women’s Day 2022, I would like to encourage each of you to take time to rethink the geo/sociopolitics of war and peace through the haiku and tanka selected below:

Selected Haiku and Tanka:

drum roll
rifles at the ready 
at the march out
she can't distinguish 
her son from the others

Ribbons,  13:1, Winter 2017

Hazel Hall

fireflies --
a Kamikaze mother whispers
her son's name

Chrysanthemum Love, 2003

Fay Aoyagi

a soldier
in a foreign land
my son
is too far away to hold
yesterday ... I bathed him

NeverEnding Story, July 12, 2018

Giddy Nielsen-Sweep

crows spiral
in a double helix --
battlefield smoke

Windfall, 4, 2016

Marilyn Humbert

one child
sits alone weeping
for a mother
the falling bombs
will kill twice

NeverEnding Story,  May 17, 2019

Giddy Nielsen-Sweep 

sun dogs
on the winter horizon ...
another body count

First Prize, 2007 Porad Award Winners

Francine Banwarth

more peace talks …
a monal hen startled
by our approach

Shamrock, 32,  2015

Sonam Chhoki

ceasefire --
a soldier comes home
wrapped in moonlight

Honorable Mention, 2015 Mainichi Haiku Contest

Arvinder Kaur

a soldier's headstone  
from one date to another
so short a line

First Prize, 2008 Ukiah Festival

Sylvia Forges-Ryan

in attic webs
I find letters
from father
lost to the dark side
after his tour of duty

Eucalypt, 20, 2016

Marilyn Humbert

training corps
marking time with style
blue mink stockings
bomber jacket, skirt
we made love not war

The Bamboo Hut, Autumn 2016

Martha Magenta

To conclude today's International Women's Day Special Feature post, I would like to share with you the following poems and remarks:

written for Ukrainian girls

bomb shelter wall
the girl draws a dove flying
to a field of sunflowers

Lviv Art Center
turned into a refugee shelter
the sunflowers
in a pink-haired girl's painting
change into soaring white doves

Added: written one day after International Women's Day against War and for Peace

the silhouette
of a soaring white dove
girl at the border

Poetry acts as a witness in, to, and most importantly, through troubled times.

-- Chen-ou Liu, An Interview with Dimitar Anakiev

This is our response to war: to make haiku/tanka more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before. Changing the world one haiku/tanka at a time.

-- Chen-ou Liu paraphrasing Leonard Bernstein

Happy International Women's Day for Peace


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