august, 2016

otata 8

Lorin Ford, Jeannie Martin, vincent tripi, John Levy, Scott Watson, Cherie Hunter Day, Andrea Cecon, Hansha Teki, Scott Metz, Tom Montag, Helen Buckingham, Mike Montreuil

Ξ

selections from Haijin Italia, 41

Alberto Baroni, Angela Lombardozzi, Angiola Inglese, Anna Maria Domburg-Sancristoforo, Corrado Aiello, Cristina Zabai, Elisa Bernardinis, Ezio Infantino, Fabrizio Pecchioni, Francesco Palladino, Giovanna Gioia, Giuliana Ravaglia, Kyoko Bengala, Marco Viviani, Maria Malferrari, Nazarena Rampini, Ubaldo Busolin, Vicenzo Campobasso

Ξ

Scott Watson —Two pieces on Santoka

Ξ

otata’s bookshelf

Kim Dorman, After Sankara

Dorman cover

.

.

tokonoma

Color

       Thirty years old, he had for some time been in love with a vacant lot. A ground of moss, on it broken bricks, fragments of roof tile. but in his eyes a landscape by Cezanne.
He remembered his passions of eight years ago. That seven or eight years ago he hadn’t understood color, he realized now.

AkutagawaA Fools Life

Will Petersen, Trans.

.

.

Ξ 

 

.

 

Lorin Ford

.

.

.

sparrows in the atrium all Vivaldi

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

floodwaters rising
the bush nurse’s lamp
in her window

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

petrified forest
the long vowels
of my bones

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

backstreet shadows
a long-legged spider
climbing my spine

.

.

.

Ξ 
 

 

Jeannie Martin

.

.

.

how lonely
a life
without eggs

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

crowded subway
the space
between us

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

talk of death
we move
into the shade

.

.

.

Ξ 
 

 

vincent tripi

.

.

.

Ah! a perfect spring-summer-autumn-winter-day

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

no perfect place no perfect place no perfect place to

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

park wooden bench woodpecker knows me

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

eagle higher & higher & higher who am I?

.

.

.

Ξ 

.

 

 

John Levy

.

.

.

pretend I’m not here time says
time the ventriloquist

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

trees
dream
time

.

time
dreams
trees

.

time’s
dream
trees

.

trees’
dream
time

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

she holds his hand while he has one
finger on that (his) hand in his mouth in
public they stand under a clock

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

childhood’s faucet
led way back to the dark
and brought one bright drop

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

above his black polished shoes the professionally
lettered sign the aging man sitting on the curb
holds up reads THE END IS AT HAND while he
looks down we stream past

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

young couple leans against the railing that
separates them from the cage in the zoo, their
backs to the pacing animals they chat

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

PUSH the little girl downtown who just learned how
to read reads on a door that she stands
completely still before

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

thinking he’s alone it seems in the zoo
he finally begins talking through the bars
to the bear

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

the panhandler’s pitch
on cardboard to baseball fans outside
Chase Field DEMENTIA PLEASE HELP while within
a star delivers another at 92 miles per hour

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

one tree in the middle of the city
one city rising up through the roots
no      leaves

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

young guy holds his young girl’s hand on the
crowded city street as he studies his face in
a store’s plate glass while she studies nothing

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

unrequited
firmament

.

.

.

Ξ 
 

 

Scott Watson

.

.

.

When you can’t
be in the mountains
here’s the wine

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

A week under
heavy snow mint
fresh as daisy.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

This love now on
a dark night with
no moon and no
definition but this
dark night’s love.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Hearing a neighbor’s vacuum cleaner autumn sky

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

A universe’s
loneliness is
me too even
asking what’s
for dinner.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Cupping you
these hands
mountain stream

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Myth is where
we’re all from
a frog croaks no
fabrication.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Opening
shutters
to dawn.
A thin
snow
smiling
your song
is here.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Up in the sky radiation
from Fukushima meets
radiation from Chernobyl.
“Hi! How’s business?”

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Reading
poems
I lose
my way
finding

.

.

.

Ξ 
 

 

Cherie Hunter Day

.

.

.

twisted cedar protecting our fictions

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

blue rubs off words on the page

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

the white joinery of whorled wood asters

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

rapture—
the cicada shells
left behind

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

tidal bay the softer side of us

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

wild hive the night not dark enough

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

summer within the gears of the lily

.

.

.

Ξ 
 

 

Andrea Cecon

.

.

.

Ukrainian vodka the aftertaste of regrets

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

longest days
my brother’s
punctuation

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

zen garden
my thoughts
secured

.

.

.

Ξ 

.

 

 

Hansha Teki

.

.

.

sanctuary light
my shadow settles back
into itself

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

noumenal night . . .
a new moon obsesses
all over me

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

changeling child
true blood of my blood
full of night

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

all at sea
a wind-tossed path
laid bare

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

gathering storm
we birds keep singing
until we wake

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

each breath
left justified
in the air

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

frost-fresh
the air still to be
breathed into

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

filtered light –
yes! I can hardly bear
this world’s beauty

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

clouds there
moon-gouged into
the night

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

she died
eels slipping through
a grasp
of words

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

you are here
where light
ends

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

listening
into word-
lessness

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

dusk-light still
everything in flow
and ever-go

.

.

.

Ξ 
 

 

Scott Metz

.

.

.

could have been
a pinecone
for all i know

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

seeking rose
tinted feathers
the gull climbs

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

burning the money god a smaller one

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

yes you can open the door with a flower stem

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

—as if someone burned perfumed letters yesterday,

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

and then, at the end,
she discovers
her mother was a robot

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

now it’s the rain’s raw meat

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

shaped by the rain shaped by the sea child’s hunger

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

gulls settling around us ashes from a different fire

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

the driftwood mouths a single prayer a single cloud

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

the universe expands a little bit more cherry blossoms

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

i toss my old teeth into the sea too late words

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

flowers
among
the pulled

.

weeds
for birds
to use

.

for
nests

.

she
notes

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

i put the wind in a folder and upload it onto a cloud drive

.

.

.

Ξ 
 

 

Tom Montag

.

.

.

THIS WISDOM

.

One must
engage the stone
to understand.

.

Even water
knows what
loss is.

.

The heart
of the sun is
a hole

.

in the sky.
The hawk dives.
Something dies.

.

We all sing
the same song.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

THE MOMENT

.

is
the moment,

.

no
poet

.

in the way.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

LANDSCAPE

.

As if our walking
the landscape

.

makes a difference,
an empty wind.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

WAITING

.

is the place to
put down roots.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

THE SOUND

.

If I say my poems
the sound is nothing

.

like the wind in them.

.

.

.

Ξ 
 

 

Helen Buckingham

.

.

.

repositioning his biopsy smile

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

through the cloud a mouthless moon

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

poison garden
exits are here
here and here

.

.

.

Ξ 
 

 

Mike Montreuil

.

.

.

just like
the old days
shovelling gravel
lit cigarette
dangling

.

.

.

Ξ 
 

 

.

.

 

 

Poets from Haijin Italia, 41

.

.

.

Alberto Baroni

.

.

.

Sulla corteccia
di un mandarino in fiore —
segni d’amore

.

.

in the bark
of the flowering orange tree
scars of love

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Angela Lombardozzi

.

.

.

Solitudine —
la luce del tramonto
nella tisana

.

.

Solitude —
light of dusk
in the infusion

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Angiola Inglese

.

Notte di stelle —
sul viola dell’ibisco
la prima lucciola

.

.

Starry night —
the first firefly
in the hibiscus

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Anna Maria Domburg-Sancristoforo

.

.

.

Verde odoroso
Il piovasco sprigiona
essenze estive

.

.

Fragrant green
the rain releases
summer’s essence

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Corrado Aiello

.

.

.

Incontri estivi:
frequenti pizzicori
invisibili

.

.

summer encounters:
frequent invisible
tinglings

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Cristina Zabai

.

.

.

Calar del sole —
le cicale lasciano
il palco ai grilli

.

.

Sun’s heat —
cicadas leave the stage
to the crickets

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Elisa Bernardinis

.

.

.

Bora di luglio
i rami degli aceri
non si oppongono

.

.

July’s north wind —
the maple branches
don’t resist

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Ezio Infantino

.

.

.

Schiuma di birra
Chiaro di luna steso
su un campo di orzo

.

.

foam on the beer
the moon’s clarity spreads
over a barley field

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Fabrizio Pecchioni

.

.

Sguardo al cielo —
la tazza vuota del te
nelle mie mani.

Dove vanno a cadere
tutte quante le stelle?

.

.

I look at the sky
an empty teacup
in my hands.
Where are all those stars
going to fall?

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Francesco Palladino

.

.

.

Occhiali a specchio —
da cetonia a cetonia
nella calura

.

.

mirrored sunglasses
metallic beetle to metallic beetle
in the heat

.

* cetonia, the rose chafer

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Giovanna Gioia

.

.

.

Fiocco di neve
il canto del cuculo
sul ramo spoglio

.

.

A snowflake
the cuckoo’s song
on a bare branch

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Giuliana Ravaglia

.

.

.

Quiete sul fiume:
il profumo dei monti
sull’acqua chiara

.

.

The river’s quiet —
the mountains’ perfume
on clear waterh

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Kyoko Bengala

.

.

.

Le primi viole:
torna a profumare
vecchia teiera.
nel vapore che sale
uno spicchio di luna

.

.

The first violets —
again the old teapot
releases its perfume
a slice of moon
in the rising steam

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Marco Viviani

.

.

.

Rondini e brezza
Lascio la strada fatta
sotto le suole

.

.

Swallows and a gust
I leave the pavement
under my feet

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Maria Malferrari

.

.

.

Bosco di luna
Il canto del cuculo
lento si spegne

.

.

Lunar woods
the cuckoo’s song
fades slowly

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Nazarena Rampini

.

.

.

Nuvole scure —
il vento porta in alto
i gelsomini

.

.

Dark clouds
wind lifts up
the jasmine flowers

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Ubaldo Busolin

.

.

.

Primo mattino.
Un’estate fiorita
scende dall’auto

.

.

The first morning —
flowery summer steps
out of the car

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Vincenzo Campobasso

.

.

.

Nascoste a tutti
friniscon le cicale
sui verdi agrumi

.

.

Hidden from all
cicadas chirp in green
citrus trees

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Vincenzo Campobasso

.

.

.

Nascoste a tutti
friniscon le cicale
sui verdi agrumi

.

.

Hidden from all
cicadas chirp in green
citrus trees

.

.

.

.

Ξ 

.

.

.

Scott Watson — Two pieces on Santoka

SantokaZen

Santōka- Towards a Fuller View

 

.

Ξ 

.

~otata’s bookshelf~

Dorman cover

Kim Dorman — After Sankara

To order a print copy click here

..

Ξ 
 

..

.

Otata will come again
one day
late fall in the mountains

— Santoka as translated by Burton Watson

Otata mo aru hi wa kite kureru yama no aki fukaku

As Watson notes, “Otata was a woman who went around selling fish in the area of Santoka’s cottage in Matsuyama.”

Address submissions to otatahaiku@gmail.com

—John Martone

july, 2016

otata 7

 

 

Giselle Maya, Susan Diridoni, Stephen Toft, Elmedin Kadric, Christina Sng,
Malcolm Ritchie, Don Wentworth, Adam Rosenkranz,
Malintha Perera, John Perlman, Kim Dorman

 

tokonoma

 

What can I say about the emptiness and freedom into whose door I entered for that half-minute, which was enough for a lifetime, because it was a new life altogether? There is nothing with which to compare it. I could call it nothingness, but it is an infinitely fruitful freedom, to lack all things and to lack my self in the fresh air of that happiness that seems to be above all modes of being. Don’t let me build any more walls around it, or I will shut myself out.

 

—Thomas Merton, Dialogues with Silence

 

 

 

 

Ξ 

 

 

 

Giselle Maya

 

 

 

old window closed
with tiles and stones
a pigeon’s perch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

early morning my wish to breathe all of it

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

invisible now a step not taken

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 solstice days      the spring’s slow trickle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

stray cat’s loyal gaze      waiting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

cyclamen blossoms from winter to summer solstice

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

a white poppy lights up the talus midsummer dusk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

nowhere a straight line mountain village

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

cat lingers on window sill bird-watching

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

an eye of the earth Walden seen from a cloud

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

old gloves to pick nettles for a summer soup

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

tiger swallowtail finding the yellow iris transplanted

 

 

 

Ξ 
 

 

 

Susan Diridoni

 

 

 

 

my fingers grow
     lacy-leafed and blossoming
          Hades behind me

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

the night’s song lullaby-free simmering

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

single-file fateful losses flattening

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

filial lyrics underlie the walls empyrean deep

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

summer magnolia buds entwined with eulogies

 

 

 

Ξ 
 

 

 

Stephen Toft

 

 

 

workmen
staring into a ditch…
winter stars

 

 

 

Ξ 
 

 

 

Elmedin Kadric

 

 

 

the stars the breeze our handouts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

thistle seeds
an undisclosed
sum of money

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

because she said so persimmons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

being
a penniless
pocket

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

one foot ahead of the other ant

 

 

 

Ξ 
 

 

 

Christina Sng

 

 

 

forest cottage
a fawn wanders into
the living room

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

interconnected the snow and I

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ξ 
 

 

 

Malcolm Ritchie

 

 

 

the best graffiti
make holes in walls

 

the best poems
make holes in time

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

two old crows
working the sky
between them

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

these trout
are propelling the river
with their fins

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

on a tideless beach i found
a tsunami-size tear
containing the salt
of all the
planet’s grief

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

sound of electricity
like a dead leaf
dragging itself across the ground

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Siberia (with apologies to William Blake)

 

Tyger! Tyger! Burning bright
in the forest
of the Taiga

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

La Mer (with apologies to Stevie Smith)

 

the sea is waving
not drowning

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

the thrush in my ear
has already built her nest
in my heart

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

when the Amazonian man was asked
where is mind
he pointed to the rain forest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

the daises at my feet
will close tonight
as the stars at my head
will open

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

a small bird
like a feathered arrow
straight to the heart
of a tree

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

when the saw bites
at one end of the forest
the trees at the other
are already tense

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

pair of eagles in the glen
like two hands for
this sudden thunderclap

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

old windowpanes stained
with the memories
of vanished landscapes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

starlight keenly hones
the blade
of this
sickle moon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

air within itself
still
like empty mind

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

heron dipping her kimono
sleeves into the kimono
sleeves of the loch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

why should i care about
my reputation
when even my purse
insults me

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

hardly any light left
but still the cuckoo calls
and Venus and i
stare at one another

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

it may be that when we die
we’ll find ourselves in a field
with all the animals we’ve ever
eaten

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

when a wise man
remains silent
he can be mistaken for
a fool

 

when a fool
remains silent
he can be mistaken for
a wise man

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

could a pine needle playback
the heartbreak song
recorded in the stump
of a tree

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

animals and birds
see right through us
to our deadly human hearts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

the evening sky is
rooking over

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

my favourite old overcoat
seems to wear it coatness
like a coat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heron

 

at the shoreline
all legs and bill
the body
just a rumour of smoke

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Politicians

 

men slowly poisoned
through having to eat
their own words

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

after the storm
only sky
left standing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

British Museum

 

two Korean moon jars
each full enough
for a moon

somehow the day
has fallen into the loch
i can see it
lying there

how is it the moon
can resist
this river’s heavy flow

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

the hare is in the loch again
in her silver-white
coracle

 

 

 

Ξ 
 

 

 

Don Wentworth

 

 

 

need pulling
up one last time
his socks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

purple iris
bending as it blooms
employee handbook

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

dusting
not polishing his shoes
retirement

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

rehearsing satori mockingbird moments

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

signpost
abandoned town –
3rd star, 2nd right

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

drab winter season with curry

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

clack clack clack
after the puppet show
the old stage trunk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

hitting my shoulder
with a deepening presence
white pear petal

 

 

 

Ξ 
 

 

 

Adam Rosenkranz

 

 

 

Angkor Wat

 

Covered by tourists,
Attacked by shadows,
Sold out by mind reform,
A bird fleeing, flying out
Of the huge head,
Looking for less copious
Quarters as summer
Closes down its battles.
How many times
Have we called it a night?
I have to live
With all the books I’ve never read
And the places I’ve never been.
The summer wakes up,
Sings of too much growth!
We all make careers
Of being elsewhere.

 

 

 

Ξ 
 

 

 

Malintha Perera

 

 

 

to whom
to tell
wild blossoms

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

violets and lilies
how many more lives
together

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

not caring
       where I come from
              white blossoms

 

 

 

Ξ 
 

 

 

John Perlman

 

 

 

June deluge
flattens the tuft of
a titmouse at the feeder
a sunflower seed clinched in
its beak for the urgent flight to
feed its stormbound nestlings
squealing in a tree nearby
in the flooded yard

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

white cat trails & and stalks our
stroll thru dark up the sand
lane under pine into
an open field

 

Geminids

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

each week with a quarter turn
at the eastern window the

 

jade tree pivots slow
dancer balanced

 

on the braided
beams

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

sky darkens
with approaching
rain matrix of
bird’s songs
swells

 

each at a just remove the
clockwise soloing reaches
the singer closest
to the porch

 

who plays
a bold new riff on
the general descant  :

 

that One’s
showing
off   !

 

laugh to
hear our
words sing

 

instantaneous

 

duet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

in their long
hopeless war with
silence the crickets
feebly chant the
muted dirge of
the doomed
command

 

in the cold
old older
than

 

song

 

 

 

Ξ 
 

 

 

Kim Dorman

 

 

 

Things return,
unguided. What was
planted, even in
the dark,
grows.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[daybook]

 

Five o’clock sun
strikes the balcony, bright
on glass,

 

clothes draped
to dry on the railing,
banana leaves & their
shadows nod.

 

Blue sky.
A warbler’s voice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ξ 
 

 

 

 

 

 

Otata will come again
one day
late fall in the mountains

— Santoka as translated by Burton Watson

Otata mo aru hi wa kite kureru yama no aki fukaku

As Watson notes, “Otata was a woman who went around selling fish in the area of Santoka’s cottage in Matsuyama.”

Address submissions to otatahaiku@gmail.com

—John Martone