Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Sky-high pines; this buzzard

sky-high pines
to the ground—
are the night cries
more plaintive now?

this buzzard
statue-like atop
a dead oak . . .
nothing between us
but the country air

Atlas Poetica, #13, Nov. 2012

Pictured, the buzzard's oak.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

TSA International Tanka Contest 2013

I recently realized the deadline for this contest is fast approaching. Reminder for tanka writers: Entries are due in hand by May 22. Detailed information appears in Ribbons.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Spring wind

spring wind
through the porch railing—
I listen
in the quiet of night
to everything but words

GUSTS, #16, Fall/Winter 2012

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Couldn't touch them

couldn't touch them
with my small-child fingers—
the handkerchiefs
she once gave me
held the scent of death

—Presence, #47, Dec. 2012

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

National Haiku Poetry Day (U.S.): new journal, kernels

April is National Poetry Month in the U.S. And today, on National Haiku Poetry Day, acclaimed poet-artist-editor an'ya and her husband, peterB, along with their staff, launched kernels, a comprehensive online journal of haiku, tanka, and associated forms. 

Unfortunately, one of their hard drives recently crashed. Consequently, as of the time of this blog post, they're not completely finished building their first issue. But check it out thus far! 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Thorny vines; seven bundles

thorny vines
snaking through the hardwoods
one by one
I yank them out, serpents
from Medusa's head

—Atlas Poetica, Summer 2012

seven bundles
of branches and vines
and on my arms
these long red scratches
I'll wear till they heal

—Atlas Poetica, Autumn 2012

Can you see the vines dangling down from this tall, old oak of ours? These are ones we cut—as high as we could reach, that is—but back down at the ground they're growing fast again. Often vines, these or wild grape, coil around trunks and snake circuitously through branches. They literally zap the life out of trees. I've removed quite a few, though once I fell backwards off a ladder doing so. Hope this tree makes it, between Medusa's serpents and the droughts.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Proceed with caution *

My sister takes us to a small museum on the quiet college campus not far from her home. There, at the back of one of the artifacts, a sign:

Enter at your own risk

a wardrobe
hand-carved long ago . . .
peering inside
I catch myself
searching for Narnia

The Wade Center
assumes no responsibility
for persons who disappear
or are lost . . .

A Hundred Gourds, 2:2, March 2013

* Above, a piece of tanka prose (or "haibun" with tanka instead of haiku), a literary form that—you guessed it—consists of one or more tanka blended with prose. It's taken me a little while to get the hang of these, but now I'm almost hooked. Oh no, that could mean another obsession. 

Friday, April 5, 2013

Impulsively; I think of buying

I lop the old hibiscus
down to its base;
what need I must have
to challenge my faith

I think of buying
a lily
this week,
my deluded body
clinging to spring

Simply Haiku, Autumn 2006

Above, my first Dutch iris that actually has bloomed, though I see something's already chewed on it. The squirrels may have dug up most of the bulbs I planted a couple of years ago; a surprise to find this bloom the day before Easter.

The old hibiscus, by the way, and a couple of others, finally bit the dust this winter. They had been through a lot: droughts, freezes, a move or two, and no doubt some owner neglect.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

We Texans love our bluebonnets!

No poem right now—just a photo of wonderful bluebonnets, the state flower of Texas. It seems to be one of the best years in a long while for these and other wildflowers. They're not easy to get started; none grew from seed that I planted this year. Pictured here are a British neighbor's bluebonnets. He has massive numbers growing alongside his ditch and beyond down the road. Enjoy!

Guess I should pull out the bluebonnet tanka I tried to write last year ... In the meantime, if you want, you can revisit the wildflower poem, "on bare ground," that I posted earlier.