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), Yanni, Iannis, Yannakis; and the rare “Yannos”, usually found in the Peloponnese and Cyprus.’
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.
a blush spreads over the edge
of the precipice
In KYSO Flash, May 2015
the outpouring of
In Blithe Spirit (Journal of the British Haiku Society) 25:2, 2015
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.
the lifelong practice of
learning to love
KYSO Flash 3, May 2015
the dull ache of
In Blithe Spirit (Journal of the British Haiku Society) 25.2, 2015.
the running argument
My haiku in Tinywords May 14, 2015
For the link please click here
My longer poem Seferis’ Houses, republished in Little Eagle’s RE / VERSE, April 9, 2015. To read the poem, please click here
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.
re: falling leaves
he says he still
In Frogpond, 2015, Vol. 38:1, p. 10
walking on ice …
my full attention
to the moment
A Hundred Gourds 4:2 March 2015, p. 15
pinpricks of icy rain…
how damp wood spits
In Blithe Spirit, 25:1, p. 4.
Blithe Spirit is the Journal of the British Haiku Society
for the fire
in hedgerow: journal of small poems #12
Well, the Munich Buecherschau 2014 is now closed. I am very happy I took part and would like to thank the readers who visited, wrote, commented on the books, and wished me well. Not forgetting those who bought my books! A big thank you!
Did you miss this year’s Buecherschau? Don’t worry. It is on again next year. Same time, same place; same procedure!
Several people have commented on the lovely painting on the cover of my new book of short stories, The Heart and Its Reasons. It is from a painting by Maria Pierides: “Port Isaac: Golden Light.” Maria is a great artist. I am really greatful to her for allowing me to use this painting for my cover. You can make out the heart arteries in the image, as well as the blues of the Aegean sea.
For more details about The Heart and Its Reasons, where to get a copy, and for reviews and articles, please see here
If you like the book please consider leaving a review on Goodreads, or Amazon. Or even if you don’t like it, say so. Please say so on Goodreads, Amazon.co.uk, or Amazon.de. It will be very much appreciated.
Thank you for your interest in my work.
winding road to nowhere rituals
Originally published in Blithe Spirit 23:2, 2013 is now included in
Haiku 2014. Edited by Scott Metz & Lee Gurga, Modern Haiku Press, 2014.
100 notable haiku from 2013 selected by the editors of the award-winning Haiku 21. With an introduction by the editors.
swollen river —
a handbag mirror
on the garden bench
In Frogpond, the Journal of the Haiku Society of America, 37 : 2, summer 2014
“VerSuch … das projekt gendai haiku“, the German-language journal aiming to showcase the state and development of modern haiku, edited by Dietmar Tauchner and Ralf Broeker, is now online. Pleased to see it includes two of my haiku. Translated by Ralf Broeker, they can be found by scrolling down the July 2014 issue. They can also be read here:
Nationen im Krieg
die Mathematik des Glaubens
immer Wildrosen in ihren geheimen Tiefen
1.07.2014 Wartende wir
Pleased to have seven of my tanka appear in Bright Stars, vol. 3, 2014, the organic tanka anthology produced by M. Kei of Atlas Poetica. This is what this anthology is about:
“Bright Stars is devoted to five line poetry—tanka, waka, kyoka, gogyoshi, shaped tanka, tanka sequence, tanka prose, collaborative tanka—any form based on the short, lyrical, five part poem originally from Japan.”
“Bright Stars focuses on the Japanese aesthetic of ‘akarui’ – bright, loud, energetic, urban, exciting, and experimental.”
Here is the Press Release with more information, sample poems, and how to buy this book. I’ve ordered mine!
taste of summer
in the fruit bowl
Blithe Spirit Vol 23 No. 4, p. 41
Over at the The Haiku foundation site, there is talk of naked haiku! Haiku, that is, taken away from a haibun, standing out on its own without the prose it was meant to accompany.
I shared one of my own as a comment on the THF November Per Diem blog post. Here it is:
the snowflakes taste
(This haiku was originally part of the haibun “Parcels”, published this year in Frogpond, 2013, 36:2)
on home turf-
feeding watermelon seeds
to the hens
“On Home Turf,” Haiga, in “A Baker’s Dozen,” issue 4, 15 December 2012
a fig is not a fig without your mouth
a pyromaniac’s dream on top of the world
In “Bones: Journal for Contemporary Haiku,” No 1, 15 December 2012
at the bottom of the sea the bottom of the sea
how the begging tin
in “Presence” #47, December 2012
past her nails
a truth worth
holding on to
in Notes From The Gean, #14, p. 28, December 2012
shooting star –
a baby slithers out
of the womb
the winter bares its teeth
In “A Blackbird Sings: a small stone anthology”
edited by Fiona Robyn & Kaspalita Thompson, 2012
ants in and out
of the cavities
In Shamrock No 23, September 2012 (Haiku Journal of the Irish Haiku Society)