December 2003, Volume 1, Number 6

John Carley & Sprite: Rengay


Nettle Soup

overgrown with weeds
the front garden defies all -
stinging nettle soup

greasing up the dresser draw
she spoons in the polenta

the cat runs away
on the terra-cotta floor
a china plate - breaks

dipping his fingers
deep in the harissa dish
- a song about thorns

gorse and broom cuttings bundled
fresh for the Queen of the May

glossy aubergines
smoke sweetly over charcoal -
rosemary and thyme

polenta: a think cornmeal porridge typical of Alpine Italy

harissa: a North African condiment based on pimentos and cardamom

Piemonteis is a language spoken in the Italian alpine province of Piedmont.


John E. Carley

John Carley is 48 years old and lives in the Pennine Hills of northern England, cradle of the British textile industry and home to the Industrial Revolution.

A polyglot and former musician John has a particular interest in the phonic properties of poetry and has written, performed and published a wide range of material in English, Italian, French and Piemoteis as well as literary translations from Urdu, Bangla and, more recently, Japanese.

His radical analogue to Japanese teikei (strict form) prosody, nicknamed the 'zip' style, has earned both consternation and support amongst those specialising in Japanese verse forms in the English language.

Claire Chatelet (SPRITE)

Claire Chatelet, aka Sprite, is 50 years old and lives in East London in the UK, an area which has, in the last two decades, grown from its Cockney and Jewish roots to embrace a motley of Bangladeshi, Somalia and Vietnamese cultural influences.

Sprite's interest in poetry stems from a compulsion with the written word, a compulsion that she once considered a disease and tried to cure on more than one occasion, without success. Bilingual in French and English, with some knowledge of German, she has a keen, almost passionate interest on the influence of language on the psyche and is fascinated by the process of translation. She views cross-cultural collaborative poetry as a most excellent tool for furthering understandings of all kinds, including that of the poetic process itself."

Copyright 2003 Simply Haiku

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