A time will come in your life when you too will feel like a prisoner. It may be love keeping you boxed in or hate sucking out the air around you. It may be illness clipping your wings, or simply the weight of years … no matter.
unpicking stitches from
The Luitpold Bridge in Munich is closed. Climate activists have glued themselves to the road disrupting traffic. They are not afraid of a jail sentence, they say. Part of me yearns to be there with them. Making statements, taking action. Instead, I follow signs for an alternative route, like so many ahead of me, and so many behind. Our long, slow-moving queue snakes around our principles.
on the radio… instructions for instant gratification
Play if you must. Laugh till you cry. But life is serious. The road is hard, paved with hunger, illness, war. Greed and envy. They will haunt you. Pick apples if you must. Oranges, figs. It won’t make any difference.
Filled with excellent work by fellow poets, it makes for a great read! I am particularly chuffed to have 3 of my micro-haibun included from “Censored Poems,” a series in progress. My heartfelt thanks to Clare MacQueen for giving them a home.
Pleased to see Robert Epstein’s anthology is out! “The Haiku Way to Healing: Illness, Injury and Pain” is a significant contribution to haiku literature, a testament to the power of this very short form of poetry to express and share even the most painful of moments.
Honored that my work is included in this collection.
Here is one of my poems from page 207, initially part of a haibun published in “Contemporary Haibun Online” 17.1, and recently included in my juxtaEIGHT article ‘Parkinson’s Toolbox: The Case for Haiku’ (pp.37-61)
Sixty years ago, she swallowed her grandmother’s most valuable possession: a ring, the only object to have survived the forced expulsion from their ancestral lands. The very ring that her grandmother, every night before bed, kissed and raised to the sky as if God needed the daily reminder that he had let her down.
Since that day of the half-accidental ingestion, and for two years afterward, the child was forced to use a potty, so that her grandmother could search its contents for the ring. To no avail.
In the summer of 2021, however, the ring exited the girl—now a grandmother herself—as if of its own volition. Effortlessly. The symbol of her family’s pain that her muscles had smothered, had been released. She heard the sound and to her astonishment, saw the ring lying at the bottom of the toilet bowl. Feeling nauseous, and while trying to steady herself, she accidentally pulled the chain that flushed away her long-held secret. She caught a glimpse of the ring before it disappeared in the swirling water to join the big, open sea.
Happy to see 2 of my stories from Feeding the Doves (Dream Island and Written) included (pp. 61-62) in issue 6 of the Romanian Journal Revista Kibo Titan! Grateful thanks to Clelia Ifrim and Dani Dumitrache!
Collateral Damage After four or five years, the miracle pill—the “gold standard” of Parkinson’s treatment—loses its sparkle. The drug wears off several times a day, allowing symptoms to reappear or worsen. Unless you increase the dosage, you’ll be staring into the abyss: muscle stiffness, imbalance, weakness, lethargy… And if you increase it?
My heartfelt thanks to editor Clare MacQueen for publishing this haibun in issue 7 of MacQueen’s Quinterly. It had originally appeared in the Wales Haiku Journal.
It’s at its loudest in the early morning hours. Before light dissolves darkness, before the neighbour leaves for work, before the birds start singing, his laboured breathing comes over the baby monitor whispering, gurgling, rattling, spluttering….
I lie awake listening to the crack of thunder, the roaring waterfall, the sounds of the sea emitted from his chest. A car starting, the exhaust backfiring, the train leaving station. The boat reversing in the harbour. Light rain. A soft meow. His breathing renders a whole world. In this soundscape, I make out the stories he told me when years ago he put me to bed.
Soon, light dispels the apparitions, and his breath comes over the monitor soft, steady, regular, lulling me to sleep.
A Happy New Year 2021 to all my friends! A year filled with Health, Love, Creativity, Happiness, and Peace!
Meanwhile, still in 2020, JuxtaSix: The Journal of Haiku Research and Scholarship, the print issue, is available! I just received my print copy from Amazon. It is a very interesting and well-presented issue. I am happy to say it includes an article on Haiku and the Brain that I co-authored. Many thanks to the editors, and reviewers, and well-done to my fellow authors!
What a wonderful project! The brainchild of Krzysztof Kokot, the International Picture Postcard Project “Haiku Connects Us” brings together poets and poetry from around the world. Beautiful pictures, coupled with haiku…what a treat! So pleased to see my contribution included here!Thank you, Krzysztof!
Robert Epstein describes a signature poem as “a unique and authentic expression of one’s haiku spirit or sensibility,” a poem by which the poet would wish to be remembered.
Now Gregory Pico, noting in one of his posts that “Some writers selected their most awarded and anthologized poem, while others chose a poem that best captured their poetic style, or portrayed a place or event of deep personal importance,” selected a few of these poems to feature on his website. Mine was included! Thank you so much, Gregory Pico!