house clearance
room by room by room
my mother disappears

Alan Summers
Publication Credit: Blithe Spirit 26.1 (March 2016) Journal of the British Haiku Society

Touchstone Award Winner, 2016
The Haiku Foundation

Touchstone Award judges:
Gary Hotham, Ron Moss, Renee Owen, Michele Root-Bernstein, Dietmar Tauchner and Diane Wakoski.

Judges commentary:

“When I read haiku, I’m looking for an unexpected view on the well-known. I’m curious to learn about an open secret (after Robert Spiess). I’m looking for a simple (but not banal) and lucid language that expresses something extraordinary within the ordinary, something which I never read before in that way as well as something that is of beauty beyond time. ‘house clearance’ represents the pure power of haiku. Layers of meaning ascending from deeper layers of the mind (‘room by room by room’) in relation to existential truth (‘my mother disappears’). Perhaps one finds a human contradiction: memories can only get preserved vividly after “clearance.”

“An emotional and vivid image that brings sadness at first reading while effectively pointing out that taking away the physical doesn’t remove the memory.”

Charlotte Digregorio's Writer's Blog

house clearance
room by room by room
my mother disappears

by Alan Summers
Touchstone Award Winner, 2016
The Haiku Foundation

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