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open sky :: SAMVAAD| 14th August

hosts: Sanjuktaa Asopa & Vandana Parashar

rising tide is it possible to love them both

---- Matthew Ryan Defibaugh

(Whiptail Journal, Issue 4, July 2022)


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Vandana Parashar
Vandana Parashar
Aug 21, 2022

My apologies for posting this late.

Matthew has kindly shared his backstory which i’m quoting below-

“I look forward to seeing how others interpret the poem and don't know if I want to sully their judgments with too much context, but I think it questions our ability to love two people or two things to the same degree simultaneously, the rising tide referring to a time of day and whatever feeling it represents to the reader.

It turns out there once was someone who claimed to love me and someone else, equally, with all their being. Here, that someone is near the ocean pondering just that.”


Rupa Anand
Rupa Anand
Aug 14, 2022

This monoku opens up ... dream space. The reader makes his/her interpretation, opening up a plethora of possibilities.

Two lovers?/spouse & off-spring?/custody battle?/choice between two outfits?/difficult decisions?/lack of time? ...hmm, wonderful monoku


How cleverly the writer has chosen the 1st image. It brings a time dimension into the 2nd image and the whole haiku becomes a palpable love drama. He/she has to make a decision soon before they are overwhelmed and nothing good will come out of it.

Another interpretation I see is that of a very young child's perspective whose parents are about to separate soon, possibly they are nearing the end of the battle for the child's custody. This, from the kid's innocent POV, looks as if he has to choose either to love the father or the mother, not both. Again, the 'rising tide' brings so much urgency to the indecision.

Wonderful haiku! Thanks for sharing this :)

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