Category Archives: Journals

A Walk Through the Cypress Grove

We die alone. We disembark on the Isle of the Dead with our heads filled with illusions. Vague memories of loves and hurts, envy and resentments. Perhaps holding hands with those who still can bear us, but alone with our regrets. Turning around for a last look, our eyes, swimming with sadness, rest on the ramshackle boats we leave behind.

white light beyond the crucible

*

In Modern Haiku, 49:1, 2018

snow,haibun,

‘Intertextuality’ in Sonic Boom 4

Pleased to see my ‘Intertextuality,’ a haibun diptych, in issue 4 of Sonic Boom, published under ‘Fiction.’

Issue 4, is an anniversary issue. Happy Birthday to Sonic Boom, many happy returns!

Intertexuality
(a diptych)
I
A reader asks for help with a patch of garlic plants forgotten and left to overgrow in their garden. Well, I say, dear reader, we are caught between a rock and a hard place. Garlic doesn’t like to be transplanted. And this text is not the right place to ask, or answer such a question. But I can’t resist. It is spring, after all, and I am stuck for ideas. So, to your garlic clump: Let it be. Let it grow, and when it is ripe and ready, when the tips of the green shoots start to brown, dig the plants out. They will be pungent, crisp, and juicy, the plant oils moistening your tongue. Then plant a few individual cloves for next year’s crop. Enjoy the rest.

writer’s block
the school of life
full of lessons

II

Spelt flour, baking powder, butter, milk, and salt. Mix, pat down, shape into rolls, and bake. Serve with olive oil, and garlic from another haibun to dip the bread into. Enjoy!

a frog jumps in—
intertextuality
for beginners

diptych, haibun,

Afterlife

Do you sometimes wonder what happens after the gravediggers return to their workstations and the grieving relatives go home? boat, lake view, resting in peaceWhat is it of the self or soul that’s left inside the box or urn, or floating in the air?  Do you think there may be life after death, a life after this life, an afterlife? Do you fret over reincarnation, heaven, or hell? Poets do.

resting in peace
her mobile phone
keeps ringing

Robert Epstein, a licensed psychologist, and haiku poet, has just edited Beyond The Grave: Contemporary Afterlife Haiku (Middle Island Press, 2015), an anthology of poets’ haiku on the life beyond. Thoughtful, sensitive, measured and moving, as well as studded with moments of humour, and brilliance, the anthology proves an invaluable companion for thinking about the limits (and beyond) of existence.

lilies the meaning of life after death

Leafing through poems on life after death, I let myself be led along lines of uncertainty, of hope, as well as humour, of the ineffable, of mysteries, without the certainties that dispose of thought.

afterlife
that turn of phrase
in her haiku
.
(Poems included in the anthology)

“Time” receives Hon. Mention in the “Best of Haibun and Tanka Forms” 2015, for the KF Anthology

I must be on a roll! Delighted to learn that my haibun “Time” received third honourable mention in the “Best of Haibun and Tanka Forms” 2015, for the KYSO Flash Anthology due out in December 2015.

Roberta Beary, award-winning poet and haibun editor of Modern Haiku, the judge of this contest, wrote:

Stella Pierides’ haibun shows how time, which is also the title, turned the narrator’s expectations of her life’s autumn upside-down. The haiku at the haibun’s end effectively juxtaposes the images and original word choice in lines 1 and 2, lulling the reader along until the surprise of line 3. At first glance the haiku does not seem relevant to the prose. A deeper reading shows that the haiku echoes and expands the feelings of surprise and mortality elicited by the prose, which is exactly what is supposed to happen in haibun.

You can findTimehere

Light on a dark poem

Thrilled to have had a poem of mine discussed at re: Virals, The Haiku Foundation’s poem commentary feature. The poem is from my book In the Garden of Absence (Fruit Dove Press, 2012):

granny’s cushion
pulling the darkness out
pin by pin

It was chosen by Irish poet Marion Clarke, the previous week’s commentary winner. And right on Halloween, All Saints Day… which added extra layers of depth to my haiku. Thank you, Marion! And thank you too, to Garry Eaton and Beth McFarland for their insightful comments.

I love the re:Virals series, and look forward to reading the poems chosen and the commentaries written on them.

Would you like to take part? Anyone can participate. There is a new poem each Friday on the site (chosen by the previous week’s winning commentator) for you to comment on. Simply put your take in the Contact box by the following Tuesday midnight. . .and there you have it, good luck! The best commentary will be reproduced in its entirety on the site and kept permanently in the THF Archives.

‘Dear Yannnis’

Delighted that my epistolary poem ‘Dear Yannis’ (Ritsos) is given another airing on RE  /  VERSE, the online journal.

‘Little Eagle Press presents poems previously published. Well worth another look, we think,’ they say. Thank you to Ralph Murre for giving my poem a second chance, and for the photo art image he created that accompanies the poem. Take a look by clicking here

‘Nothing’ haibun at the ‘other bunny’

Nothing

Please don’t read beyond the title. This is not a poem, nor is it a haibun, short story, or flash.
It has no beginning, middle or end. No development of any sort. It is here as a no thing, and by reading it you gain nothing. Unless you make it into something.

petals or thorns
a scratch on the surface
of infinity

Published at ‘the other bunny‘  August 3, 2015

‘Wave after Wave’

. . . endolymph. . . endo . . . interior . . . dreams . . . inner voice . . . nymph . . . Rilke’s “a girl . . . made herself a bed inside my ear” . . . my ear . . . labyrinth . . . cochlea . . . conch . . . shell . . . sea . . . Aegean . . . crashing waves . . . stop! . . . waves lapping the shore . . . sails . . . seagulls . . . shrieks . . . my tinnitus . . . rushing water . . . endolymph . . .

wherever you go
the ship follows you . . .
siren song
.
In The other bunny 

‘Dear Yannis’ in poetsonline.org

Dear Yannis

In our hands, you said, we hold
the shadow of our hands. I know
the cold absence of the marbles,
olives sprouting from the cracks.

The coffee grinder turns
slowly, gently. The moon
still kind, bathes our wrinkled
hearts in light. In silver. In sorrow.

Old souls sitting by the river
listening to the boat engine
starting, coughing, spitting,
dying. Starting again.

(to Yiannis Ritsos, in response to his poem “Absence”)
.
Poem written to the poetsonline prompt: Dear Poet: Epistles to the Poets. For the other poems on the poetsonline.org blog, please see Archive, ‘Dear Poet’ on their site.

Please note English spelling of the original Greek name varies (Yiannis [e.g. Wikipedia], Yannis [e.g. Poetry Foundation]). Wikipedia lists a number of variants: ‘Yannis or Yiannis or Giannis (Γιάννης) is a common Greek name, a variant of John (Hebrew) meaning “God is generous.” Variants include Ioannis (Ιωάννης), YanniIannisYannakis; and the rare “Yannos”, usually found in the Peloponnese and Cyprus.’

‘Time’ in KYSO Flash

Whenever I thought of the ravages time would inflict on me, I thought of wrinkles. I imagined myself slightly plump, with a few strategically placed wrinkles and a very respectable grey sheen in my hair. I also considered liver spots, imagining myself smiling benevolently behind a seemingly sun-blessed veil of freckles. Now that I’ve reached a point when time weighs on me… let’s say, there have been surprises, indiscretions, indignities. Take the slight pearl that sometimes appears and glistens on the side of my mouth.

honeydew
a blush spreads over the edge
of the precipice
.
In KYSO Flash, May 2015

‘Loving’ in KYSO Flash

In her long life she owned six cats, each living at least ten years. As a child, she was afraid of her first cat, a street-wise tabby. Then she loved chasing her around the house, transferring her fear to the cat. As a teen, she helped a boyfriend taunt the poor thing. She ignored, tripped over, kicked, or spoiled subsequent cats, depending on her phase of life and her mood. Now resting in her recliner, she caresses and speaks to her latest, and only, companion, an ageing, placid ginger, with a gentleness she hasn’t known before.

pear blossom
the lifelong practice of
learning to love

.

KYSO Flash 3, May 2015

‘Seferis’ Houses’

My longer poem Seferis’ Houses, republished in Little Eagle’s RE / VERSE, April 9, 2015. To read the poem, please click here

Little Eagle RE / VERSE

 

 

 

 

 

Artwork by Ralph Murre, after a photo by (or of?) Giorgos Seferis

Little Eagle Press presents poems previously published. Well worth another look, we think

Paying homage to Seferis, the poem directly refers to Seferis’ ‘Thrush’, a poem he wrote in 1946. You can read the poem on the Poetry Foundation site.

For information about Giorgos Seferis, see the Wikipedia entry.
You may also want to take a look at this longer, Princeton Uni. entry with photos, or at Edmund Keeley’s interview with Seferis in the Paris Review.