One of my favorite poets has written a guide to haiku! To see how it’s done, read the book. It’s worth triple the price!
Calm (after H.D.)
I flow over the ground,
healing its hidden scar–
the scar is black,
the bedrock risen,
not one stone is misplaced.
I relieve the ground’s
burden with white froth,
I fill and comply—
I have thrown a pebble
into the night,
it returns to me,
settles and rises,
a white dove.
This is an exercise, using a poem by H.D. (Storm) as the launching point. I’ve tried to emulate her diction and rhythm, with mixed success. Still, it’s fun to try these on occasion.
For one who moves in uncertainty, this
flower, the petals of which
gently fade, as if reason
is found in the decline of beauty
and its comforts.
But all you touch remains
touched. If silence reveals the body
of music, what can be said of darkness? Words
appear motionless until they blossom, a
pattern seldom seen yet carried to us in
all manner of conveyance. Listen,
for there is no purer voice.
Let the earth speak.
The Color of Water
Eyes the color of water. The tree I cut down
returns: fallen leaves, smoke, the missing
shade, memory come to reflect
emotion. Once the blue grosbeak
hid in its branches, calling but refusing
to appear, the voice our only consolation.
Now rain streaks the empty space.
Those things we touch often bruise,
but to leave them untouched may harm us
even more. Two days ago the sky cleared.
Changes, how often we see them for what
they are not. An essential falsity. Those eyes.
Words, ever-changing. Shadows of lovers
whose bodies merge but never touch.
An update on Dink Press’s publication schedule, which includes my chapbook If Your matter Could Reform.
The reconciled, the residue of one’s
virtues displayed or absorbed
that within become the basis for
talk: furtive movements, the knife’s
gentle persuasion, wine
afforded the quality of enhancement.
We must preserve the truth, and other
disingenuous phrases, as if we may
admit our tastes only at great cost
to our politics and sense of being.
And fruitful loss – the reduction
sauce, or stock evaporated – which
attaches in dissipation
the grace of subtlety. To be more
to their space
within the sphere of
movement, the patterns inscribed
as if to touch the face of every
wind: here one moment, then
gone. This quickness delights us.
How, then, do we so often forget
those things we share? Night
comes and goes to another’s
phrase, yet each note is so precisely
placed, so carefully rendered
that we hear only the voice, not its source.
Another piece from the 80s. This would likely be a much longer poem if I were to write it today.
“Apricot Wood,” which is included in my forthcoming chapbook , If Your Matter Could Reform (Dink Press, April 2015), has been reprinted on Autumn Sky Poetry Daily:
Dreams of Wheels and Lights
Bells clang in the night. The lamp post belted
by mist offers little comfort. A stone’s
toss away junipers curved like melted
spoons shudder silently. There are no phones
in this place. A thought sneaks into your mind
quietly, like a straw piercing the oak’s
armor in a bad wind. You turn and grind
the thought with your heel. A wheel rolls by, spokes
flashing like scythes. Crouching by a puddle
a man studies his face. He looks at you
and cries: “All I want is to be subtle.”
You think you know him, but you’re not sure who
he used to be. You throw a rock and shout
at him. The wheel slows and the light burns out.
Originally published in Amelia, in 1985. I remember writing it, but it still puzzles me.
This is my offering for Jeff Schwaner’s “Full Moon Social” celebration.
October 8, 1914
none harsher than your breath
dissipating into the night’s
and wind. How I
would like to have touched you
if only with words trembling from
October 8, 2014
that we might share
from mountain to the sea
a gift belonging to no one
Adelaide Crapsey’s last full moon lit the skies on October 4, 1914. She died four days later, at age 36. A poet well ahead of her time, she created the American cinquain, a five-line form of 22 syllables which I have followed in these three poems.
I discovered only after-the-fact that the Full Moon Social Jeff Schwaner hosted on October 8, 2014 fell on the 100th anniversary of Adelaide’s death. These poems were written with that particular evening still looming brightly in mind, to honor Adelaide Crapsey and the moon, whose separate but entwined lights we still share and celebrate.
In my hand is a copy of a slim volume of her poetry, titled Verse and published posthumously in 1915. The following cinquain is from this book:
On windless nights
The moon-cast shadows are,
So still will be my heart when I
Those interested in further details on Adelaide Crapsey might look here: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/adelaide-crapsey
Details on the Full Moon Social may be found on Jeff Schwaner’s blog: http://jeffschwaner.com/2015/03/01/fullmoonsocial-anyone-thursday-march-5-2015/