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

One thought on “july, 2016

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