Simply Haiku: A Quarterly Journal of Japanese Short Form Poetry
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Winter 2009, vol 7 no 4


Assemblage 3: its whisper


cave drawing
tides change
its whisper
  Washington Monument
    still there on its southern wall
the panhandler's shadow
Bird-of-Paradise –
on a spider's web
  spring marathon walk on stilts walkman on still
mardi gras greed in fox mask for flax seed dumplings
  this morning I am longer than the sunrise
birth spot on my back
my mother stole a carrot
with me in her womb     (*)
  into a steel pail wetness whitely jet
        ting out of pink teats
the hidden history in the wrinkles of my father's face  
  the sunshine ends here
or begins here —
old man dreaming
with one hard bite
of the apple's color,
waiting for autumn
  moon jellies
shimmering in the bay
twilit waves
heat lightning –
the soft sounds
of a mosquito
in the circle of fireflies my father adds new moons  
with a face
ready for it,
the medicine
  the voice of the reeds,
when the old man is quieted,
rambles on
hospital visit —
seeing my fear
in her eyes
choosing the white kimono
for her burial
in a nest  on a branch  in a pine  above  her tombstone  nothing  
  leaving my room
smoke of the blown-out candle
in winter sunlight
winter solstice
slowly my father's fingers trace
the wood grain
  deep midst the mountains
a disappearing sutra
visiting a grave


Authors (from the top): "cave drawing" Francis Attard; "Washington Monument" Ed Markowski; "Bird-of-Paradise" Francis Masat; "spring marathon...," "mardi gras..." Francis Attard; "this morning..." Jacob Kobina Ayiah Mensah; "birth spot..." (*) A Bulgarian superstition has it, a pregnant woman who steals a fruit or a vegetable from neighbor will beget a child with a birth spot in the form of the stolen item. Kalina Trendafilova; "into a steel pail" Peter Yovu; "the hidden history..." Dietmar Tauchner; "the sunshine ends here" Tyrone McDonald; "with one hard bite" Jeffrey Woodward; "moon jellies" Susan Constable; "heat lightning" Francis Masat; "in the circle..." Jacob Kobina Ayiah Mensah; "with a face," "the voice of the reeds" Jeffrey Woodward; "hospital visit" Susan Constable; "silkworm" Nora Wood; "in a nest..." Ed Markowski; "leaving my room" Michael Lindenhofer; "winter solstice" Wende DuFlon; "deep midst" Danny Blackwell (original in Japanese)