|TABLE OF CONTENTS
XVII:1 February, 2002
A Journal for Linking Poets
Tanka of Toshiko Makino translated by Eiko Yachimoto
|WHAT WE HAVE LOVED|
Debra Woolard Bender
Because the written words were mine yet unexpressed
How hydrangea is coloured by the soil from which it grows.
What then, did I love? The flower or the earth?
Because the snow collected from the sky
As evening left, trailing miles of rippled cloud,
When first I knew your kiss, I also found my emptiness.
The darkness and the fire meet only at night.
How many ways you have sealed yourself from me,
Once there was a time when we were one; now this division defines.
And like a patient artificially alive, who will be the one to pull
Winter deepens; blighted field and withered tree companion in rampant weeds.
Day before the holy day, such sadness overwhelmed me, lingering on.
How can the land be purified?
Was it too much to ask for blossoms in the dead of winter?
Tonight I feel like Rumi's "stringless harp."
Somewhere I am an incense stick unlit
Nothing is lost in the land of dreams
Remember when, together, we sang snatches of old swoon songs?
Even now, imaginings entice me toward paths I would surely take.
When we find ourselves revealed and revealing
Take my hand and talk to me as if for the first time.
Will we remember what we have loved in each other?
friends around a kitchen table
the clock in the hall strikes ten
shouting the odds Sir Alex backs a loser
dressed up in top hat and tails
the groom kisses the bride's mother
an early evening rain falls dark as sherry
towards dawn dad leaves for work
geese flying across the full moon
her fingers trace the coils of the cable
smoke rises over the rooftops
a black cat making for home
I turn the key wearily the engine coughs
. a long queue of schoolboys
waiting outside the nurse's office
scarlet jam clots the tapioca pudding
his uncle got too friendly
with the woman in the guest house
an old black dog chained up to a new kennel
somewhere in the thickening fog
an impression of mountains
the windows of Betty's Tea Shop all steamed up
a young girl stares at the change in the till
dreaming of life-boats
shamefaced I pass on the church collection-plate
beyond the hurdles past the cow shed
charcoal blights the pasture
in this hard frost fallen oak leaves catch the sun
a tramp among the litter bins
gets noticed by a pigeon
these daffodils seem to shout out come back soon!
the shrill whistle
stepping on the brakes
a wash of orange light
flying ants -
a queue of new students
through the fog
in each rain-filled footprint
above the dock
he breaks an icicle
"it's because he likes you"
over the city
parting the curtains
Las Vegas honeymoon
a quiet 'Old Faithful'
among the Indian Paintbrushes
lucky find -
stock pot -
schools' out -
a gardener's blues along with the pinks whites and yellows
not a care in the world busy hummingbird
anything to hang a hat on the male version of yin/yang august heat
bus stop pregnant lady rests on a bench
evening news the president still wrinkled over stem cells and such
well into the night a sudden thunderclap
a chance happening downtown when the royal couple take a walkabout
flora & fauna the many military & religious names i'd change
St. Christopher medal around his neck rookie long-distance trucker
was she taken for a ride the 100-day missing chandra
just fooling around can get you in trouble nine months
so many rules of grammar a bath of humidity
folk festival as the sun goes down a hot air balloon slowly rises
thoughts wander to a watermelon in the fridge
four days of 'world music' so many loving vibes good for the soul
insecurity in the middle east plenty of rocks & bombs
part of life our housecat catches a young sparrow then plays with it
sounds like mine a neighbor's talk of deer
after the flash flood trash and fence wires caught in a creek of rocks
'Moulin Rouge' Mom weeps for her lost love
the last day lily bloom melts on the line clothes pins begin to dry
husband builds a patio deck ignores the mosquitoes
a roof that leaks floors that sag walls that let in nature these 30 years
mostly for show now Indian teepees in city square
white man's liquor and religion and 'beefalo' the revenge of tobacco
awoken by a migraine sick sick sick
noncreative streak at least some of the flower patches partly weeded
free trade freer for U.S. than Canada?
someone's come up with art & someone's come up with suppression
hand embroidered quilt a gift from Grandma
all night rain this morning a large footprint drying in the sun
where to turn what to do next with no goals
before she falls asleep a silent prayer of thanksgiving . . . healing
katy and the dids scrape a bit of pain from my legs
path beside the river a young man on a motorized scooter
wild iris trapped in the park the heat to snitch a clump
august 3-23 2001
toward home the mountain on the left moves to the right
dream enigma ends with an aha!
bed now beside the computer anxious for a fresh notebook
via email Florida friends say goodnight
'all politics is local' with well-placed relatives & 5 supremes
front page: newspaper strike
Seattle Times: the usual 'drive-by,' weather report, fire, hero
mike with the new part an ancient green fridge
scrounging for dinner fixin's salami sandwich and an orange 'works'
at a scary part of the film scrape of the night plow
cold with sunshine here on the West coast no snow no snow please
i take liberties in haiku only beyond my liberties
no one claims 'responsibility' simultaneous bomb attacks in Manila
a tough life from clenched teeth to clenched fists
waiting for 01/01/01 hopes for peace in the 'real' millennium
so far so good: electricity and telephone and spring water
Victorian mansion with modern amenities $10 extra for haunted room
the squirrel resettles between ceiling & flooring
fallen branches through the wood stove then back on the land
dust to dust a child tasting dirt
too early to wonder about seeds in a cardboard box under the table
on the wedding quilt each stage of plant growth
one of the gang members a head taller than those in the lineup
'just the facts, Mam' slanted
japanese poets i sense prefer we write with american sensibilities
online two-day contest: World-wide Double Kukai
all the trees sold for a view from their double-wide set on a hill
window washers canvas the neighborhood
deputies on the prowl for the combo of moonshine and black ice
a more satisfying mix: ice cream and Kahlua
New Year's Eve Space Needle party fireworks on local TV
half a hermit's glee stuff by post & thru a wire or two
regular chores too much of a chore no one will chastise if I ignore
a longer day the snow outlasts it by a foot
to be at home and all that implies decorator pillows on the floor
almost past midnight probably
'supreme' injustice well there goes what's left of the wilderness
want a bite of a red juicy apple?
gone south or west the migrant workers without food stamps
'snowbirds' arrive in Arizona a book store in each mall
electricity bill in the mail wind rattles across the old tin roof
falling snow thirty-five days from Election Day
a concession speech brings home the finality: President-Elect Bush
still in the camp of the 'underpeople'
Mom to the rescue jumper cables on the dashboard
will mcveigh have another death wish realized
fighting with the doctors, nurses & his wife fighting for his life
stormy seattle on the line a wet blanket i need
hospital roomie jabbers in a foreign tongue or he needs new teeth
not a fat lady at all a black-robed 'unjustice' sang
at a ballgame Rosanne Barr spits out 'Oh, say can you see...'
half the errands done back to doing not much
topping today's list holiday and New Year's greeting cards to mail
my ip to her ip begins dhoward.notspam@
clinton please pardon aileen wuornos who shot only violent johns*
'...I never promised you a rose garden'**
warm winter day now that the vacuum's repaired and plugged in
stitches healed with no tell-tale signs
abrupt change of weather four brownlike socks that needn't match
designer sweater kachina dolls swinging from the hem
and disputed by the 'world's great religions' for their children
now if Moses had just turned right instead of left...
a bad dream that so many of us cannot dream past our potential
the scramble to the top a drop in stock prices
things taken away and things put in the carton of orange juice
speaking of food...his diabetic diet ignored
not a link about love getting 'kicks' from TV's erotic late-night shows
new 'presidensy' when the comedy begins
the man in the moon might hear shouts of 'we should have counted'
tomorrow the day will be longer toward spring
human-embryo cloning! pink blossoms on the flowering cherry
just think haiku about those who don't haiku
*Florida death row
bitter cold 'Demonocrats' and 'Repulsicans' on chat boards
i've switched to the rae carruth death penalty trial
all-day surveillance hearing others' thoughts in What Women Think
test to son's new pager: put in your digital message
first day of winter nothing disturbs the stillness of the lake
baby born by accident in a highway crash motherless
in georgespeak the head of a non-existing department announced
doomsayers abound the dot.com sell-off
'send your comments' as if corps care money in one's online identity
the next best thing holding hands electronically
2:00 am a yell from the porch a 911 call a car off the curve the chill
secret to softening anxiety: worry beads
a nonhaiku-content fridge dies some of the contents ok for haiku
power outage the menorah found by flashlight
whatta week but today the thermometer hovers around freezing
requested gift stick it in your ear when feeling punk
sometimes i wonder if i make sense to anyone but myself sometimes
she winks at her mirror image
sexy passages starred in the borrowed magazine 'hold me...'
left out of the updated anthology update on haiku
pinhole-in-a-box view of the solar eclipse budding astronomer
no lights no tourists in the 'prince-of-peace land'
when will it end rumors of a peace agreement travel like wildfire
my quiet life i bring a world that doesn't work into it
free screen-saver downloads offered in place of the usual polls
cobwebs swept odor of sacred wood in the stove
European grandma could gauge the temperature two mill ends worth
across the bridge pointed toward town toyota pickup
each in their own car we meet at the theater to see The Family Man
candy so good i don't dare ask for the recipe
on the garden program the mixture not dirty enough to be soil
bleach bath for the whites tinged blue
little jon benet still dead in america little elian still alive in cuba
what my life might have been no regrets
a good day nothing accomplished but unaccomplished haiku
'this message is no longer available'
THE TOUCHING OF IT
Phantom-filled night heat the tiger and the lion lay down on the feather of a window - all eyes on the incoming wave. One blue-green roll of salt waters with a fairer one flung white. Unseen, yes! but felt as fire in water. Such a room, spun from mud, moved to the sea.
It breaks upon cliffs, the first in the vast, birdsong. To a geography of motion the light of its flying song surpasses the shadow of thought. Two tongues, mapping on paper, travel nests.
Back among the hills and streams for the first time since the T’ang Dynasty. Ah, to be solid again on firm land how heavy and slow it all is. The lightest sunlight seems a coating poured a thick golden syrup that day by day oozes over people and land.
Today's more elastic inner climates are linking porcelain blue to layers of ethnic communication, like this: my neighbors boy licking a stamp to Beijing, I watch his transparent milk tees. The three year old kid wears a plastic watch showing no time.
The dial a luminescent face without hands slanting from mountain peaks with corridors of time. Echoes, the glassless mirrors recall the full moon. Hidden by the night rain, darkness talks coast to coast. Some say the Goddess listens when we pray. Some turn the other cheek to
something immobile as silence. On a ladder, the apple picker steps up a tree higher and higher without a basket, feeling her body's blood raging in conjunction with the apple-red sphere all over.
How to develop a variety of fruit in which the product itself doesn't loose its flavor, its magic smell? The gamble of growing new voices during a summer of itches and scratches and then, the cutting open, the drowning in it, the pleasure of biting, biting
gentle morning kisses catch fire, the honey flame licks each cell, next cell, a shell of hell burning, raging desire with one goal: answer! oh, please do come in,
folded, I and the names I give you, peaces instead of places. How many tears are shed making a river swell? Spread of a tide, driven from the mouth, upstream fog of spawn attracting bird-light?
The flight of fancy sets free association ignited by the finest essences rising through the nose, entering the bony cavern between the eyes as the single one engages the past
at night, striving for one mind with others. While sleepwalking, a knife cuts tree bark. Slow flow of resin- or blood? Morning, red rebirth, in a bowl of colors I gather flowering sponges for an under-water canvas
floating out to draw the dream with ink writing the morning mind re-enters the strangely lit scenes searching for clues to link the dialogue of two worlds: planets and moons
in between remembrance? Years ago, mauve was the rich ladies' choice; now it's mango, woven into black nights' starless hangers. In Tunisia, I looked back from our tourist bus: road dust dressed the long haired camels. I listened to their trumpets, step related, drummers' swirl,
circus life. The midget was paid to appear ridiculous so he thanked them profusely for the opportunity. To Knut, a flaming hand’s son, this was a readable mystery related to why the young man committed suicide.
Too early to get control over a new beginning? Is a physical body already chosen as the dancer in a mysterious choreography, determined to try out this one big almost unrelated leap, the leap into ignited air
newborn, nine months growing into her heart, seems such a stranger, yet a perfect stranger veiled in a dream history disappearing as the blood dries. Again this bright color on his hands and face.
Son of a calligrapher, playing the samisen, he joints a shame-faced monk setting up the framework for a meditation room, all bamboo, in the center: slightest touch, the fibers shaking, hours with the gong
carried off on the waves of sound, a ship’s hull and echo chamber, the mind enters the temple-cave glowing with the stored light of other voices and the electric ages of memory.
August a vision-quest to Zechariahs, my experienced guide leads me up the wide stairs, where we usually meet, to a high place. There sits a wizen old man, amused at my stumbling, laughing at my questions, but serious about the straightness of my spine.
Johann Sebastian Bach talked about sitting balanced on the organ bench so the spirits of music can operate both the feet and ten fingers at the same time; the bellows pumping his breath back into the pipes, their lips articulating b a c h
lines of musical score leap and lunge at the dyslexic child so eager to please, yet unseen, untested, a physical limitation draws a mark at the end of her nose, saying, "Cross it." and she does with memory.
North of San Francisco, where horses still like to rest on grassy hills, it is 3.1.1992, 4 pm. I listen to the BBC News on head phones, they announce there in London it is 3.2.1992, 11 am, Greenwich-time. News of tomorrow, and the weather? March noon
moves into her territory/terror story. Who owns the water? Whose eyes have the right to look? Where can I sit? How much sky is allowed for a lifetime? Davina Kosh says she has only a cupful and too soon it will be filled with earth.
Buena Vista, next exit. No return for eyes from fur-red coated foothills. We're pulled over toward a dust devil elevating flower pollen. Coast line, deepening in low light, faults and wrinkles.
Hidden by candlelight, her years less by ten alone in the dining room just one sleepy waiter, dishes with traces, the unspoken words already shared, agreed upon, written in stone wary, yet willingly the knife lay across the fork under the mountain of the crumpled napkin
of whom is it in trance? Whose imagination does stop in the dark or doesn't appear as best friend in the morning? Leap year, between my fingers, one more day. Sudden April rain, one step sideways, no rain
no man in his right mind would be knocked out with smackers. Breast size isn’t like getting a haircut it is surgery. It is all you need to sew up the winners. There is something awfully convenient you couldn’t fit into a bra. "Sure," says Tom, "and I am sick and tired of it."
"Waltz', she says, feeling the z on her tongue touching three of her teeth at once. "Waltz, the leaning back, the moving forward, exchanging breath, the air between us pregnant."
"I want her to be my partner every night." Thus charity hounds feasted on him right up to the very end, sealing out damaging environmental elements worn with pearls and lipstick. The shirt wakes you without the trouble with men. News about yeast infections keeps you in touch with nature.
"I'll do the rising, in bread. Honey, are you sweetening the dough?" "See the spume of waves on beaches? Foam-fungus, on the bubbles' dome, fish-eyed pictures."
Later, my hand shapes a white V reaching out for the ceramic cup. Milk drops are sliding down into the coffee, stopping twice or three times. First they swim like a question mark, then they disappear.
Shadows frozen to the branch of our lives waiting to see the fin in the sea Virginia Woolf saw finished without fear following her even when wind is fastened to the bottom of the page.
"Reindeer-miles, each step the hoofs imprint their letters. Time of a sheltered animal, feeding shutters, look at the dusty side open to a flock of sparrows."
"Rites of snow drifts: guilt shall shrink, measured on greater distance."
A curse of "cork and plaster"! The spider webs of two hundred year old figurines still dressed in Italian splendor to kneel before the naked child in the crèche.
As the violin maker knows, his hands are preparing a playground for the mystics. In the night of a wooden body lust is giving in, stringed.
In spring, passing vacation houses shuttered against the glare of dreams we return to our own wondering what we are thinking when we flowered walls out of the opalescence of our love.
February 15, 1992
UNDER A STAR:
By Maria Steyn (Africa)
Karma Tenzing Wangchuk (Mexico)
akaki densha chijoo ni isshun ideshi nochi sakura wa miteri honoakari shite
the arch of roses
bara no aach sakashimani utsuru mizutamari watashi no kao ga yugamite itari
off the mailbox
kokuhaku no tegami mo aran posuto yori kaben no yona ame ga shitataru
not a row of
kareinaru kaiga narabishi ichiguni kuraki umi no e ware wo hanatazu
shishite nochi shin no taiwa ga hajimaruto soo no kotoba ni ubenaiitari
in the pitch darkness
yami narishi waga kokoronizo uta ariki omoeba momiji saetaru aka no
Deadline for the next issue is: May 1, 2002
|Poems Copyright © Designated Authors
Page Copyright© Jane Reichhold 2002.
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