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all the candles
on her grave
since I held your hand
in the branches
the child’s paper boat
handful of shells
can you hear
first shafts of sunlight
pierce the darkness
the sparrow’s song
the old trellis creaks
with the weight of roses
the rippled shadows
of willows weeping
the old porch swing
in an icicle
Rachel Sutcliffe, from Yorkshire, UK, has suffered from a serious immune disorder for the past 15 years, throughout this time writing has been her therapy, it’s what keeps her from going insane!
retelling the story
this time grander
Autumn term . . .
just past the ink clot
in his fountain pen
geometry class —
a v of geese
glides past the window
my reflection in the picture of me smiling
the hayloft —
slats of sunshine
between banks the river’s song repeating
after . . .
we still pause
where the tree used to be
funeral flowers . . .
each year at this time
in bloom again
swallowing the blue moon a serpentine cloud
and loneliness . . .
Julie Warther (@JulieWarther) serves as Midwest Regional Coordinator for the Haiku Society of America. (www.hsa-haiku.org) Her most recent venture involves the installation of 30 haiku stones as part of the Holmes County Open Air Art Museum in Millersburg, Ohio. (http://www.innathoneyrun.com/successful-grand-opening-ceremony/)
Your beauty is within, as a 88-key
piano with a twelve tone equal temperament.
Do you realize how your commonness
is noteworthy to everything outside yourself?
It too has highs and lows, curving your pitch
due to atmospheric changes,swelling
and stretching over life itself.
Causing a sense of being misread, misplaced
and misplayed, falling flat or keenly sharp
as a razors edge.
Rest awhile, away from the chaos that is not
yours to claim and never will be.
Adjust your vibrations to be efficient and concise.
No it is not selfish. Yes there are more than one.
You will draw and be drawn to the precise key
of where you aught to be.
Poetry Paula Lietz ©
Photo Dave Ferguson ©
Paula Dawn Lietz ( Pd Lietz ) is an accomplished multi-genre artist, photographer and poet. http://www.pdlietzphotography.com
I sit on the front steps waiting for my ride. I have to be careful not to get into the wrong car. Strangers pull up in front of my house all the time and I jump up and greet them like long-lost friends. Sometimes this scares them and sometimes it scares me. I’m always having to explain about being nearsighted.
Once in a restaurant I waved to myself in the mirror because I looked so familiar. I was critical of my haircut but other than that I looked like someone I might like to know. I gave myself a friendly smile, along with the wave. This could have been embarrassing but luckily nobody else noticed.
In the dream my friend tells me she is studying “Berlitz” and I get all excited, thinking she said “burlesque.”
The cable guy came this morning to hook me up to more channels than I really want but it’s a package deal and I don’t get to choose. It only took a minute to get me connected. Then he showed me how to use the remote control. It’s not as easy as you might think. We sat on the couch together and first he flipped channels, then I did. Eventually we found a movie we both liked so we watched it for a while. “This is why I’m always behind schedule,” he said. “Shhhhhh,” I whispered, “here comes the good part.”
As she approached her house one summer evening my friend wondered why there were Christmas lights strung on the porch. She never hangs Christmas lights but even if she did she would have taken them down by July. Then she realized it wasn’t her porch. It wasn’t even her next-door neighbor’s porch. It was the porch four houses down from hers. She’s lived in her house for more than thirty years, but some days everything looks new to her.
On the Road
Like me, my friend is an adult who never learned how to drive, but unlike me she is doing something about it. At her first lesson her driving instructor gave her a sucking candy to calm her nerves. It tasted like fish, but she didn’t run over anything. At her next lesson there was no candy and she ran over a curb. Her instructor was soothing and supportive. “Where did that curb come from?” he asked. “It looks to me like it came out of nowhere.” She finds his attitude unsettling.
My grandmother used to put avocado pits in old jelly jars. She stuck fancy toothpicks in their sides so they wouldn’t fall into the water; then she placed the jars on her window sills. Most of the pits remained bald all their lives but a few sprouted wispy bits of greenery. None ever grew up to be an avocado tree. I never saw my grandmother eat an avocado. Not one single time. I wonder where all the pits came from. And the fancy toothpicks, where in the world did she get them?
The Green Ring Dream
In the dream I am trying to persuade you to try on a ring with a large square green stone. I am insistent and unrelenting. I say things like: “It’s perfect for you. You’ll love it. This ring was made for you. This is the ring you’ve been looking for your whole life.” You resist. You tell me you don’t like the ring, you don’t need the ring, you don’t want the ring. And furthermore, you say, you have not been looking for a ring your whole life. I don’t give up. I nag at you until you finally try it on. When you put the ring on your finger even I can see that it looks awful on you. I always want to be right, but I admit it when I’m wrong. Dreams can be so humbling.
Zee Zahava lives in Ithaca, New York (USA) and is the editor of the online haiku journal “brass bell.”
Poet/Digital Artist Alexis Rotella’s latest haiku collection was just released by RedMoonPress.com. You can read more about her journey at Living Haiku Anthology: http://livinghaikuanthology.com/alexis-rotella.html. In April Poet/Critic Grace Cavalieri featured Alexis’ haiga at danmurano.com
that bruise blue crayon
thunder sky on the page
while we grumbled
in our sleep
faith is glass
a cobalt blue crayon
in the moonlit window
melting before dawn
twirling swirling siennas
mixed with burnt umber
I will call it “song sparrow”
in my sea blue crayon
when will I
live by the shore again
Buddha eyes on horizon
you can’t get enough
all the crayons in the world
can’t light up this rain
confetti of crayons
by a hopscotch child
inside my motley head
called “Vincent at Arles”
sunflowers stars and wheat fields
touching it I feel the heat
Carole Johnston wrote a “crayon tanka” each day in April, and will continue to write one every day through June. She lives in Lexington, Kentucky where the landscape inspires her.
Silence of Abandonment
running to her
on the path of my dream —
her black cat
wanders back and forth
along the white fence
The last time we communicated with each other was her parting words printed in a bold, black type on the A4 paper under her wedding ring: feed the cat.
A Short Story about Love
at her window
two shadows entwine
in one embrace …
like vampires sucking blood
from my memories
Sitting at my desk, swathed in darkness, I use the new telescope to zoom in on them – watch her rise and fall as the man guides her slow circular movements. His hands slide up from her hips to her breasts, continue to her shoulders, altering her rhythm, pulling her down onto him…
I open the drawer, take out a pocket knife, rush down to the basement parking lot, and find his piercing red Jaguar. Crouching, I plunge the tip of the knife into one of his tires with climactic fierceness; then I stab and I stab…the second, third, and fourth.
I rip out
each page of our life
this sultry night
the dream soaks my bed
with her moaning
Confession of a Photography Addict
Mary invites me over to her place for an interview. She has her strands dyed every color of the rainbow, and looks much younger than she is. On the wall facing the window, she tacks up a giant photo of herself, composed of many smaller pictures. After taking a sip of iced tea, she start talking in an unusually deep, husky voice, “I’ve spent ten years on a shrink’s couch, but I still hear him through the wall whispering to me. Every day when I get up and look in the bedroom mirror, I see that man staring back at me. I want him carved off my face…”
crossed out on her calendar
My First Canada Day
Sitting in my ESL teacher’s living room with its wall-to-wall Persian rugs, I am enveloped by family stories and jokes. Although half the time I can only guess what’s going on, I put a smile on my face and keep saying Yes, No, and I see in the right places. All of a sudden, a shriek breaks our laughter. My teacher’s sons rush to the door. Slowly, we file out of the house toward the manicured front yard.
blooming in the night sky
my immigrant dream
(Note: ESL stands for English as a Second Language)
Often, I yearn for things not lost; I go to sleep in Taipei, but wake up at midnight in Ajax. Like a black widow, loneliness wraps itself around my mind, spins a cocoon, and then squeezes until it stops moving.
early morning stillness …
my heart wandering about
as in a haze
At daybreak, I wake up from a recurring dream: I ride the Mongol horse through the snowy fields deeper into the unknown world of one color.
a bowl of congee
next to a cup of coffee…
exile and after
Can I find out now what A thought of me? Why did L stand before I, blocking the sky on Canada Day? And what did E want to be added to? At last…will my being mean anything for N and the rest of the word?
Chen-ou Liu is currently the editor and translator of NeverEnding Story, http://neverendingstoryhaikutanka.blogspot.ca/, and the author of five books, including Following the Moon to the Maple Land (First Prize, 2011 Haiku Pix Chapbook Contest) and A Life in Transition and Translation (Honorable Mention, 2014 Turtle Light Press Biennial Haiku Chapbook Com)