june, 2016

otata 6



vincent tripi, Hansha Teki, John Levy,
Alegria Imperial, Ivan Randall, Ken Sawitri, Helen Buckingham,
Kim Dorman, Johannes S.H. Bjerg




As I was desirous to recover the long lost bottom of Walden Pond, I surveyed it carefully, before the ice broke up, early in ’46, with compass and chain and sounding line. There have been many stories told about the bottom, or rather no bottom, of this pond, which certainly had no foundation for themselves. It is remarkable how long men will believe in the bottomlessness of a pond without taking the trouble to sound it. I have visited two such Bottomless Ponds in one walk in this neighborhood. Many have believed that Walden reached quite through to the other side of the globe. Some who have lain flat on the ice for a long time, looking down through the illusive medium, perchance with watery eyes into the bargain, and driven to hasty conclusions by the fear of catching cold in their breasts, have seen vast holes “into which a load of hay might be driven,” if there were anybody to drive it, the undoubted source of the Styx and entrance to the Infernal Regions from these parts. Others have gone down from the village with a “fifty-six” and a wagon load of inch rope, but yet have failed to find any bottom; for while the “fifty-six” was resting by the way, they were paying out the rope in the vain attempt to fathom their truly immeasurable capacity for marvellousness. But I can assure my readers that Walden has a reasonably tight bottom at a not unreasonable, though at an unusual, depth. I fathomed it easily with a cod-line and a stone weighing about a pound and a half, and could tell accurately when the stone left the bottom, by having to pull so much harder before the water got underneath to help me. The greatest depth was exactly one hundred and two feet; to which may be added the five feet which it has risen since, making one hundred and seven. This is a remarkable depth for so small an area; yet not an inch of it can be spared by the imagination. What if all ponds were shallow? Would it not react on the minds of men? I am thankful that this pond was made deep and pure for a symbol. While men believe in the infinite some ponds will be thought to be bottomless.


— Thoreau






vincent tripi




old stone wall each in our place













forgiveness —
the compost
close as i can get














between windmills
between butterflies
between breaths













eagle     no last names      sky







Hansha Teki




darkness clings moving into it













overwhelmed with
more of it













in the flesh













     low water laps
     old terrors













without light alone lingers













autumn leaves
            each day adazzle
      in doubt













by candle-light
words fall further than
                  where we end










John Levy




rubber bands close their claws, they
could use blindfolds too, these lobsters
near the Red Lobster’s cash register













at dusk, quivering above the working frog voice
boxes a black bird rides the swaying
female cattail’s cylindrical spike of white wisp













in the cemetery with
tall evergreens
between which ravens










Alegria Imperial




cross legged

her bare knees attract

a flock of gulls













shortened hem
 a spillover of stargazers













through her eyelet wrap his sins for a year







Ivan Randall




sickle moon sharpens time soon for harvest













winter moon’s up
new room
tin cup













windowbox orchid orphan’s burgeoning pain













o winter beach her wit beacon













the pain
of a red sunset
blood under my toenail







Ken Sawitri




afternoon tea sipping a twisting world













the dawn peeled
at a canned city













boiled cabbage
I put today’s time on my diary













orphanage room
the iced glass window
mimics the dew







Helen Buckingham




remove   last resort
  insert   addiction







Kim Dorman




After Issa




one rice plot
all our house
can afford













silent, aloof
he ignores
the flowers


Buddha’s Death Day













those moonlit
plum flowers tempt
me to steal!













in shade


the shrine gathers
coins & a few
scattered petals













just a warbler
singing to this
suffering world













swept the garden
just to welcome
a warbler













when it rains the
innkeeper also
shelters a horse













a willow beckons
at the entrance to
a whorehouse













tea houses &
cherry trees bloom













must be a
holiday even
for rain













only a drop
or two—I guess
it’s over













summer’s first
melon —the boy sleeps
holding it close













come, flies!
share in the year’s
first harvest













mosquitoes gone
now it’s time
for the old folks













that mosquito knows
I’m old & slow—
buzzes in my ear













the mosquito bites
a second time
& is silent







Johannes S.H. Bjerg








neither up
or down


            go to the lake
            watch the lake
            leave the lake













it was there
it disappeared
it was ploughed
it is there again


       and from the graveyard above
              the dead wash
               into the lake













by non-action


the lake













now it has water
now it has wind
the lake’s there there













at the foot of the holy hill
a body
of water


to stick a finger into













it will float a leaf
      a duck
      a reflection













the lake
that went away
and came back













without water
the lake













an eye beneath heaven
full of clouds
of fish













before it had a name the lake was













not all the way around the foot path













at night
the lake is probably













on a poster













in spring
a coating
of hypothetical
and you sigh













there’s a bench
on a tongue of earth


is that closer
to the water















that tongue of soil grass and trees pointing to where the geese feed













by a tongue
of land


the wet half
of the lake













on 3 sides cultured













close to the lake
furrows enlarge
its shape















the furrows













the old ruin













if my navel
was an eye


it would see
only bricks















the foot path
for people













the sun
‘s smaller


the lake













throw a stone
into the lake
where the sun is













on the far side
your shadow will lie
on the lake















look at them
they’re light-proof
the coots













the wooden remains
of a house
up through it













under the clouds
a lakeful
of waves













a tooth more or less
that which makes up
a lake
doesn’t care













unleaving your mark
the bench by the reeds
sees you













perhaps you’re a cloud
you think of buying
new shoes













in a dream
there’s water
and then
there’s water













cleaning ink pens
you listen
to the drain













lake I could draw you with water













a drop of ink in the water
the opposite
works too

















the lake













no matter how hard you look
no place
for a straight line













leave it as it is
is action













it’s everything




the missing













that blue pill an echo of the lake?













take that
the pill not
the lake













between the ruin and the holy hill a lake again













you put your tongue out
not the earthen one
and stand upright


the lake greets you













the man with the dog
you without one
under trees













warm enough to wear Ozaki’s hat













varmt nok til at bære Ozaki’s hat








appears at the end of the month.
Address correspondence to —

may, 2016

otata 5

Quindici haijin italiani

Fifteen Italian Haiku poets

Andrea Cecon,  Angiola Inglese, Antonio Mangiameli, Francesco De Sabata, Gabriele Stella, Giacomo Vit, Leonardo Lazzari, Luca Cenisi, Marco Riccardi, Maria Teresa Piras, Marina Bellini, Maurizio Arena, Nazarena Rampini, Pasquale Asprea, Pietro Tartamella


IL MISTERO C’È, è in noi. Basta non dimenticarcene. Il mistero c’è, e col mistero, di pari passo, las misure; ma non la misura del mistero, cosa umanamente insensata; ma di qualche cosa che in un certo senso al mistero s’opponga, pure essendone per noi la manifestazione più alta: questo mondo terreno considerato come continua invenzione dell’uomo. Il punto d’appoggio sarà il mistero, e mistero è il soffio che circola in noi e ci anima; ma noi siamo portati a preoccuparci di quegli sviluppi che dànno situazione magari a un albero in un paesaggio; di quella trama di rapporti che non tollera spostamenti se non subendo un cambiamento di carattere. Perciò per noi l’arte avrà sempre un fondamento di predestinazione e di naturalezza; ma insieme avrà un carattere razionale, ammesse tutte le probabiltà e le complicazioni del calcolo: se avessi quattro invece di tre elementi, se capovolgessi l’ordine, se soffiasse un gran vento, ecc. … e se avessi un quinto fattore, succederebbe… in finimondo, forse; ma resteremmo sempre in un campo di precisioni inesorabili.



THERE’S THE MYSTERY — it’s in us. It’s enough not to forget this. There is the mystery, and with the mystery, together, the measure; but not the measure of mystery, a humanly insensible thing; but such a thing that in a certain sense opposes itself to the mystery, for us the highest manifestation: this earthy world considered as a continuous fiction of human being. Our foothold will be this mystery, and this mystery the breath that circulates in us and animates us; but we are inclined to worry about those developments that place a tree in a landscape; of that web of relations that can’t be changed without undergoing a change of character. Therefore art for us will always have an element of predestination and naturalness; but also a rational character, admitting all the probabilities and complexities of calculus: if I have four instead of three elements, if I invert the order, if a great wind blows, etc, … and if I have a fifth factor, such would happen… pandemonium, perhaps, but we would always reside in a field of inexorable precision.

Giuseppe Ungaretti, Ragioni d’una poesia
Translation, JM






Andrea Cecon


un rintocco striscia nella nebbia l’orizzonte di Kiev
fine autunno nel silenzio in giardino l’altalena

a ringing crawls through the fog on Kiev’s horizon
autumns end in the garden swing’s silence






Angiola Inglese




carta increspata –
s’illumina di luna
un papavero


corrugated paper —
a poppy lit up
by the moon













nuvole scure –
una viola e la luna
nella pozzanghera


dark clouds
a violet and the moon
in the puddle













la ragnatela –
sull’intrico di rovi
vento d’inverno

a web
in a tangle of thorns
winter wind






Antonio Mangiameli




un temporale –
il canto dell’assiolo
si sente appena


a storm —
one scarcely hears
the horned owl













un cerchio d’ombra –
i rami intrecciati


a circle of shade —
the tangled branches
of oleander













il vento forte –
assieme alle foglie
una farfalla


the strong wind —
a butterfly together
with the leaves









Francesco De Sabata




lattina vuota
solo una vespa ronza


empty beer can –
a wasp’s buzzing
trapped inside













orme – la neve
ricorda il nostro incontro
scende la sera


footprints —
the snow remembers our meeting
evening falls






Gabriele Stella




neve sui monti –
si nasconde alla vista
il biancospino


clouds on the mountains —
the hawthorn
hidden from view













lunghe radici
ondeggiano nel guado –
a piedi nudi


long roots
rippling in the ford
bare feet













iris negli occhi –
nubi s’accavallano
sul primo sole


iris of the eyes
clouds crossing
the first sun






Giacomo Vit




Bianca ferita
nell’inverno indugiante
la margherita.


wounded whiteness
indulgent in winter













Cicala spiega
sul verde meridiano
crotalo d’aria.


cicada explains
the green meridian —
air’s rattlesnake













Cani randagi-
per chi cerca carezze
alta è la neve.


stray dogs
for those seeking caresses
deep snow






Leonardo Lazzari




Soffio di vento –
sull’asfalto due foglie
si rincorrono


a breeze —
two leaves chase each other
on the asphalt













Stelle cadenti
o fuochi d’artificio? –
Notte d’agosto


falling stars
or human fires?—
august night













Quadro di giugno –
la luna incorniciata
dalla finestra


a painting of June —
the moon framed
in a window













Gatto randagio –
tutta la sua attenzione
su una farfalla


stray cat
all your attention
on a butterfly













Salici in fila –
una foglia sull’acqua
non fa rumore


a row of willows
a leaf on the water













Pioggia autunnale –
le gocce gareggiano
sulla finestra


autumn rain
the drops compete
on the window













Melodia nota –
sul fuoco lo scoppiettio
di caldarroste


a well-known melody —
crackling on the fire






Luca Cenisi




Stagno notturno —
un’anatra attraversa
la luna piena


night pond
a duck crosses
the full moon













Aggrovigliato tra i denti del pettine sole di maggio


tangled in the teeth of a comb may sun













Neve tardiva –
un bambino impara i fiori
dal suo tablet


late snow —
a boy learns the flowers
from his tablet






Marco Riccardi




Asfalto grigio –
blu non ti scordar di me
tingono il ciglio


Grey asphalt –
blue forget-me-nots
dye the edge













Riparte il treno –
anche questo diventa
flusso del vento


the train departs
this too becomes
a movement of wind













Ora di punta –
la folla di eremiti
con gli occhi altrove


rush hour —
a crowd of hermits
with their eyes elsewhere













Il vento fischia
e fa cadere gli alberi
dentro il mio sogno


Wind whistle –
trees are falling
into my dream













Il tuo russare
mentre veglio il tuo sonno –
il tempo scorre


Your snoring
while I watch your sleep –
time flows






Maria Teresa Piras




primo dell’anno –
profuma di limoni
la neve fresca


first of the year
the perfume of lemons
new snow













refolo estivo –
si sfogliano i gerani
sul davanzale


summer gust —
the geraniums drop their leaves
on the sill













il lume acceso –
fuori dalla finestra
scorre l’autunno


the lamp lit —
outside the window
autumn’s flow






Marina Bellini




(poems in English)


Easter Mass –
the clop clop of a horse
along the canal













forest bathing –
a weightless feather falls
before me













the grass is tall –
villagers forage for nettles
and wild asparagus






Maurizio Arena




(durante la festa di Hanami in Giappone)
(during the Hanami festival in Japan)

a primavera
i fiori di ciliegio
volano via!

the cherry blossoms
take flight













soffia il vento
i giovani sakura
cadono lievi


a breath of wind
the young cherry blossoms
fall lightly













giorno di festa
tra i ciliegi in fiore
a bere sakè


festival day
to drink sake below
flowering cherry trees






Nazarena Rampini




Pioggia di maggio –
il suono del torrente
riempie il greto


May rain —
the torrent’s sound
fills the pebbly shore













Già primavera –
vola via una farfalla
dai panni stesi


Already spring —
a butterfly flies from the clothes
hung out to dry













Schiarisce il cielo –
riflesso di un airone
nella risaia


the sky clears —
a heron’s reflection
in the paddy






Pasquale Asprea




Piccoli insetti nell’erba sovraccarica una speranza

(ispirato dal 5° anniversario del disastro di Fukushima)


tiny insects in the grass a hope overloaded

(inspired by the fifth anniversary of the Fukushima disaster)













Bruma serale –
il canto di uccelli


evening mist —
the bird songs













Piccoli mondi
chiusi nella corolla
di un crisantemo


little worlds
shut in a mum’s






Pietro Tartamella




(traduzioni Antonella Filippi)
(translations by Antonella Filippi)


fa freddo ormai
e ancora cammino
con scarpe estive


it’s cold, now
and still I walk
with summer shoes













rondine in cielo
il suono dei bicchieri
che si toccano


a swallow in the sky
the sound of glasses








appears at the end of the month.
Address correspondence to —