the play of dark
Ammer Springs, in the Ettal Valley, Bavaria.
the play of dark
Ammer Springs, in the Ettal Valley, Bavaria.
clover in flower
the Holsteins come
with four stomachs
This week’s poem by Dan Schwerin (Modern Haiku 49:2, Summer 2018), discussed at The Haiku Foundation feature Re:Virals, attracted delightful responses that illuminated the poem from different and serendipitously complementary angles.
The week’s winner, Garry Eaton, provided an interesting and robust commentary seeing the poem’s environmental concerns, alluding to 19th century farming changes by
… highlighting the mindless, mower-like and digester-like efficiency of cows as in massive numbers they convert landscapes into milk and excrement in an endless search for more green.
The other commentators too, in their own way, provided fascinating inroads to the ku.
One paragraph from Julie Warther’s commentary caught my eye:
We each have our empty places looking to be filled. We hold common yearnings for love, acceptance, safety, sustenance and purpose. The natural world and those in it have much to offer. Do we come ready to receive? Do we return hungry for more? Do we have the capacity (four stomachs worth?) to take in the goodness, beauty and bounty surrounding us?
In the commentaries, desire, pleasure and insatiable hunger come together through the poem’s image of cows with multiple stomachs, mowing down environmental resources. Perfect metaphors for humans for whom – on individual and societal levels – the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, and who will employ all means necessary to consume, to obtain the next piece of land, the next oil field… The effects on nature, climate, resources are all around us to see. As Warther asks, do we have the capacity to process and digest what we receive, to ‘stomach’ it, to experience ful/fillment? To contain our desires? To create a sustainable environment, where the milk we receive is both sufficient and good enough to nourish us?
In Schwerin’s poem, c/love/r is in flower. It is not the first time, and it won’t be the last. In the optimist’s reading, the ‘clover in flower’ in this rural idyll has survived previous years, and it sounds that, with care, it is going to survive the next ones.
Refreshing to see clover — considered an invasive weed in the context of gardening — standing for ‘milk’ in its use as animal fodder, and the cows — whose milk is usually associated with nourishment — standing for ruthless, destructive urges. But that’s another poem, and another story.
You can find the full re:Virals post here.
If, like me, you enjoy thinking about these matters, make sure you receive The Haiku Foundation posts. Re:Virals, managed by Danny Blackwell, appears Fridays.
the gaze drifts
the double life of Japanese
we tell ourselves…
the vibrant warmth
100/100 #100daysnewthings #The100DayProject
Thrilled to place 1st in the 125th Caribbean Kigo Kukai on the theme ‘World Cup Final!’ Congratulations to Mark Gilbert, Martha Magenta and all participants for such a good game! Many thanks to the organiser Gillena Cox!
world cup final
the old couple holding
Many thanks to the anonymous commentators:
COMMENT 1: A warm, touching haiku
COMMENT 2: In a crowded stadium this haiku focuses in on one couple – the word ‘final’ suggests it might be their last match
COMMENT 3: A modern fairy-tale ending, with they lived ever after. The old couple has won.
COMMENT 4: Sporting tournaments bring people together and you imagine this old couple have been watching their team play for many years. Maybe this is the first time they have attended the actual final.
COMMENT 5: Though this world cup final has not yet been played, I find the poet’s imagination is very vivid. A moment of anxiety has been captured vividly.
COMMENT 6: Like #2 (lullaby) in reminding us that there is more in the world than the World Cup (Full disclosure: I’m one half of an old couple myself).
Photo from ‘Whatever you think about football‘
99/100 #The100DayProject #100daysnewthings
Last weekend, VSSA IV, the fourth international quadrennial symposium on Visual Search and Selective Attention, took place in the Bavarian School of Public administration, Holzhausen, nr. Utting, on the shores of the beautiful Lake Ammersee. I wrote a haiku sequence in honor of the symposium using themes and terms from the talks and social life of the meeting. I understand this haiku sequence was briefly projected on screen before the concluding session of the symposium.
98/100 #The100DayProject #100daysnewthings
anchored in the mud
it reaches for the skies—
97/100 #The100DayProject #100daysnewthings
Delighted to announce that my book Of This World (Red Moon Press) was awarded a merit book honorable mention in the Haibun category by the Haiku Society of America!
Heartfelt thanks to Michelle Elvy, Jim Kacian, Clare MacQueen and Johannes S. H. Bjerg for their help and support with bringing this book to life.
While waiting for the judges comments and public announcement by the Society, here is more information and praise for the book:
Stella Pierides has cultivated a terse, idiosyncratic style in her haibun that is instantly recognizable, and as a consequence is one of the shining lights of this burgeoning genre. Of This World certainly is, but it also takes us out of the world at large and into private spaces we feel privileged to witness. A unique and satisfying read.
I am grateful for the generous comments:
This is how it’s done! Stella Pierides — in a hushed voice — takes me through what it is to be human — and part of the human history from the roots of Western culture in Diogenes’ tub to the ‘modern’ human — with all the questions and doubts, the uncertainties that come from that.
— Johannes S. H. Bjerg, Writer
Of This World’s marvelous, emotionally resonant haibun are steeped in the grace of the garden, rooted in a physical reality so sensuous that you can smell the fragrance of baking bread, of olives and garlic, of lemon and magnolia blossoms — and yet they also spiral on the updraft of metaphor as poet Stella Pierides ‘put[s] our hearts in the shoes of the hummingbird.’
— Clare MacQueen, Editor-in-Chief, KYSO Flash
A treasure trove of language and image. Pierides walks through dark streets of history, through alleyways of memory – emerging in shiny, unexpected places. Compact, urgent and closely observant, these minute offerings will captivate readers of both poetry and short fiction. An enormously engaging collection.
— Michelle Elvy, Writer and Editor
Of This World
Size: 6″ x 9″
Binding: perfect softbound
unraveling the fabric
95/100 #The100DayProject #100daysnewthings
pen and paper
my entrance to another
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now the garden through
the looking glass
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what does it mean
to be human
Photo of model skeletons in the Physiotherapy Practice I visit.
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the last page missing
from the library book—
late autumn evening
Frogpond 41.2 Spring/Summer 2018, p. 27
72/100 #The100DayProject #100daysnewthings
Book Stuff: swaps, gifts, small talk is a (closed) Facebook group founded and administered by poet Gillena Cox. It is a place to highlight and share our work: whether already published or to-be-published/forthcoming.
Today, I was thrilled to see Gillena’s post, reproduced here with her permission:
❧✿❧Saturday Share # 42❧✿❧
Stella messaged me telling me she wants to send me 2 of her books, so i sent her my snail mail address. I received her gifts on 14th June 2018. Both these publications resonate well with me, since i am an ’empty-nester’. My husband left our home wanting to broaden his horizons. When they were ‘broad enough” he returned to Trinidad and opted to live in a house owned by his mother. My children left our home wanting their own space, when they thought, they were “big enough”. All of these leavings, i handled gracefully, giving each one, my blessings. What does this have to do with gifts from Stella, well…
Her haiku mirror life – the non linear journey, of evolving stations. Her themes of loneliness, absence and the capacity to be creatively alone are her flag poles. We are given insights into views from her garden, just when she opens her door, at the market place. We are treated to light bouncing off aubergines, flowers opening and coquettish butterflies. Ordinary yes. Yet peculiar to her, Stella the haiku poet. These scenes she freezes for us readers , leaving us in awe.
My favourite from the book ‘In the Garden of Absence‘
“on the clothesline
three skirts four blouses
‘Ekphrasis: Between Image and Word‘ is a collaborative work of [painting], of oils and words. Stella’s daughter [Maria Pierides] uses her oil and mixed media, Stella her words. Beautiful pictures are given to us, resulting from the creativity of these two. They paint for us the pictures of nature and her fickle heart. By her colour, sound, seasons.
My favourite is #21 ‘Colours surround me, swirls. Oil and mixed media on canvas 60 x 60cm’ To which Stella replies
the baker’s dog
THANKS AGAIN STELLA for these sweet treats.
❧✿❧Its Saturday Have a good one❧✿❧
Thank you, Gillena, for your generous comments.
A hot, humid day. I’m looking at cooling photos like this one from a visit to Wells-next-the Sea, North Norfolk.
There’s always a cooling breeze there. I can almost feel it. A sort of teleportation…
waiting for the tide
that’s not waiting for me—
70/100 #The100DayProject #100daysnewthings
of a smile or a rose…
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the plastic rose blooms
I took this photo not realising the flowers were plastic! But then I had enough time afterwards to discover the truth…
67/100 #The100DayProject #100daysnewthings
I accepted the challenge from Shrikaanth Krishnamurthy to post covers of 7 books that I have read! No explanation, no reviews, just the covers (just my own photo arrangement!). This is book cover for day 3 of the challenge.
Each time I post a cover I’m expected to ask 3 of my friends to take up the challenge as well. I know that this is a difficult request, as not every friend likes challenges, and even those who do, find it difficult to finish all challenges…so to make it easier for everyone, I’m suggesting here if a friend likes the idea to take it up, and tag me, so that I follow their book covers…
This photo is also 61/100 #The100DayProject #100daysnewthings
a measure of seeing
with the heart
2 challenges in one!
This is a #photo #haiga responding to the new book which includes a chapter on #haiku from the Haiku & the Brain project !
58/100 #100daysnewthings and #the100dayproject.
It is also my book cover for day 2 of the book cover challenge! I accepted the challenge from Shrikaanth Krishnamurthy to post covers of 7 books that I have read! No explanation, no reviews, just the covers. Each time I post a cover I’m expected to ask 3 of my friends to take up the challenge as well.
I know that this is a difficult request, as not every friend likes challenges, and even those who do, find it difficult to finish all challenges…so to make it easier for everyone, I’m suggesting here if a friend likes the idea to take it up, and tag me, so that I follow their book covers…
where the sun
57/100 #The100DayProject #100daysnewthings
even as we speak…
51/100 #The100DayProject #100daysnewthings
opening the heart—
how to burst
in the absence of wind
I am filling out the form with a trembling hand. I am gripping the pen a bit harder than usual and the letters look tense and angular. Why? I am opting out of organ donation. As simple as that. I am not donating my eyes to anyone. And when it comes to my heart, I want to have a say in who receives it.
aboard the last boat
the unmistakable fluency
44/100 #The100DayProject #100daysnewthings
the welcome at the end
of the journey
42/100 #The100DayProject #100daysnewthings
(photo: Elixirion restaurant, Augsburg)