Daily Haiku: Sept. 29, 2020

rainbow . . .
the sky
gets a new crown
by Lakshmi Iyer (India)
Under the Basho, 2020
Posted in Beginning Writers, Daily Haiku, Haiku, India, Lakshmi Iyer, Poetry, Short Poems | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Daily Haiku: Sept. 28, 2020

covid confinement
a fly on the face
of the stone buddha
by Marco Fraticelli (Canada)
Posted in birds, Daily Haiku, Donna Bauerly, Haiku, micropoetry, nature, short poems | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Special to The Daily Haiku: Sept. 27, 2020

key to ignition

cardinal

in the pines

 

reading chapters—

the thrush knows

her own varying text

 

tree shadow

flying

on wings of red-tailed hawks

 

cedar berries ripening

the masked bandits

arrive

 

geese crying

skyward

to your absence

 

winter’s blue-black sky

only the sound of wild geese

honking their way home

 

 

Born in 1934, Donna Bauerly lived for a short time in Potosi, Wisconsin, then moved with her recently widowed mother and two siblings to live in Dubuque, Iowa (hotbed of haiku), for most of her life.  She taught for 66 years in a wide variety of school assignments, the last 36 of them as a professor of literature and writing at Loras College in Dubuque.  She retired (sort of) in 2007, serving her last two years in a 13-year tenure as a member of the public school board, and finally as a volunteer teacher of Newbery Award-winning novels to 5th grade students in a nearby elementary school from 2016 to 2019.  She completed her 13-year journey of researching and writing the biography, Raymond Roseliep. Man of Art Who Loves the Rose.  Published in 2015 by The Haiku Society of America.

Posted in creative writing, Daily Haiku, Donna Bauerly, Haiku, Short Poems | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Daily Haiku: Sept. 26, 2020

snow filling

our tracks into the woods

by heart

by Tom Clausen (USA)

Snapshots, #9, 2001

Posted in Beginning Writers, Daily Haiku, Haiku, micropoetry, Short Poems, Tom Clausen, winter | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

Daily Haiku: Sept. 25, 2020

windows washed clean

still no closer to the wind

moving those trees

 

by Susan Antolin (USA), Author

Artichoke Season

Posted in Beginning Writers, creative writing, Daily Haiku, Haiku, Short Poems, Susan Antolin | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Daily Haiku: Sept. 24, 2020

mountain lupine
the colour of wild
in your eyes
by Debbie Strange (Canada), Author
A Year Unfolding
Posted in Beginning Writers, Daily Haiku, Haiku, micropoetry, Relationships, Short Poems | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Daily Haiku: Sept. 23, 2020

butterflies . . .

on the clothesline

a flowered shirt

farfalle . . .

sulla corda da bucato

camicia a fiori

by Lucia Cardillo (Italy)

Hedgerow, #131, Spring 2020

Posted in Daily Haiku, Haiku, Italy, Lucia Cardillo, Poetry, Short Poems | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Daily Haiku: Sept. 22, 2020

senryu
 
Penn station–
on the loudspeaker, a call
for my dead father’s town
 
by Stanford M. Forrester (USA), Author
the toddler’s chant
Posted in Beginning Writers, Daily Haiku, fathers, Haiku, Parents, Senryu, Short Poems, Stanford M. Forrester | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Daily Haiku: Sept. 21, 2020

Memorial Day
a butterfly opens
its wings
by Eufemia Griffo (Italy)
Seashore, (print edition), Vol. 4,  April 2020
Posted in Beginning Writers, creative writing, Daily Haiku, Eufemia Griffo, Haiku, Short Poems | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Daily Haiku: Sept. 20, 2020

worry stone
in my pocket
–furrowed fields
by Marilyn Fleming (USA)
Modern Haiku, 46:1, Winter/Spring 2015
Posted in Beginning Writers, creative writng, Daily Haiku, Haiku, Marilyn Fleming, micropoetry, Poetry | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Plan and Set Goals as a Writer

This pandemic has lasted longer than what we initially thought it would. Though solitude often goes hand-in-hand with being a writer, sometimes too much solitude makes us less effective as writers.

Now, more than ever, I find it necessary to plan and set goals by writing them down, thereby ensuring that they become a reality. When you write something down as a plan or goal you tend to accomplish the task.

Sometimes I find it hard to concentrate with the monotony of being inside so much, only to leave home for essential tasks and not so much for enjoyment through social meetings. I do meet a friend, though, each week to go walking in the park. We keep our social distance as we sit and talk on long picnic tables, too.

To not lose purpose as a writer, I try to come up with new projects to keep me motivated. It seems that within the next few months, I will start doing monthly podcasts to complement this blog, making them entertaining and informative as a learning tool. I’ll draw from my two books, Haiku and Senryu: A Simple Guide for All, and my latest title, Ripples of Air: Poems of Healing for inspiration to do podcasts.

When I get rolling with the podcasts, I’d like to do author interviews, so that all can hear the voices of authors, and not just read their written words. Now, I am still in the planning stages and listening to other podcasts to pick up techniques.

What are your goals as a writer for the rest of 2020 and for 2021? Do you have other artistic goals? Having short-term goals, such as weekly ones for both personal and professional purposes, helps immensely. But, we also need to set long-term goals to give us purpose.

For me, setting goals has always uplifted me. I believe that if you are feeling somewhat gloomy, you can set some goals for yourself, and see if they lift your mood.

All Good Wishes,

Charlotte Digregorio

Copyright 2020 by Charlotte Digregorio.

Posted in Books, Charlotte Digregorio, creative writing, Creativity, Goals, Haiku and Senryu: A Simple Guide for All, Ripples of Air: Poems of Healing, Writing | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Daily Haiku: Sept. 19, 2020

thinness
her eyelids
as I close them


by Johnette Downing (USA)
Frogpond, Vol. 31.2, 2008
Posted in creative writing, Daily Haiku, death, Haiku, Johnette Downing, micropoetry, Mothers | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

Tanka by Debbie Strange

dried curls
of gray reindeer moss
crunch softly
underneath our boots . . .
no other sound, but breath
by Debbie Strange (Canada)
First Place
San Francisco International Tanka Competition, 2016
Debbie Strange is an internationally-published short-form poet, haiga artist, and photographer whose creative passions connect her more closely to the world and to herself. She has a deep reverence for nature, and her poetry often reflects that affinity. Debbie was a winner in the 2019 Snapshot Press eChapbook Awards for her haiku manuscript, Prairie Interludes. She also received first place honours in the 2019 Sable Books Contest for Women for her forthcoming book, The Language of Loss: Haiku & Tanka Conversations. Debbie maintains an archive of publications, awards, reviews of her books, and hundreds of haiga at: https://debbiemstrange.blogspot.com/
Posted in creative writers, Debbie Strange, micropoetry, Poetry, short poems, Tanka | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Daily Haiku: Sept. 18, 2020

cover image

senryu
college world series
a melting pot
of mascots
by Mike Stinson (USA), Author
extra innings
Posted in baseball, creative writing, Daily Haiku, Haiku, micropoetry, Mike Stinson, Poems, Senryu | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

Daily Haiku: Sept. 17, 2020

dead of winter
the tree & I
leafless
 
by Robert Epstein (USA)
Frogpond, Vol. 33:2, 2010
Posted in Daily Haiku, Haiku, micropoetry, Poetry, Robert Epstein, Short Poems | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Daily Haiku: Sept. 16, 2020

all-day rain
unstrung pearls
in a velvet box
by Terri L. French (USA)
Frogpond, Vol. 36:1, 2013
Posted in creative writers, Daily Haiku, Haiku, micropoetry, Poetry, Short Poems, Terri L. French | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Daily Haiku: Sept. 15, 2020

returning as a prodigal
the outstretched arms
of the Milky Way

by J. Zimmerman (USA)

Presence, #67, 2020

J. Zimmerman invented the “Buson 100” haiku challenge in 2013 and she first presented it at the 2013 Yuki Teikei Haiku Society Annual Meeting. Her article “Gender of Poets Winning Haiku and Senryu Contests” appeared in Presence in 2019. Its companion article “Gender of Haiku Poets Published in Journals: Game-On, Ladies?” will appear in Modern Haiku in 2020. She was featured in the 2013 New Resonances haiku anthology. Her post-doc work was on the moon rocks at Washington University.

Posted in creative writers, Daily Haiku, Haiku, J. Zimmerman, micropoetry, Short Poems | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Daily Haiku: Sept. 14, 2020

romantic dinner
a moth darkens
the room

by Tomislav Sjekloća (Montenegro)

The Heron’s Nest, Vol. XXII, Issue 2, June 2020
Posted in Daily Haiku, Haiku, Relationships, Tomislav Sjekloca | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Tanka by Debbie Strange

between the spokes
of your spinning wheel
a dusty web . . .
I never thought our lives
would so quickly unwind
by Debbie Strange (Canada)
First Place
The British Haiku Society Tanka Awards, 2019
Posted in Beginning Writers, creativity writing, Debbie Strange, Poetry, Short Poems, Tanka | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

Daily Haiku: Sept. 13, 2020

hair of the dog–
in the mirror a trace
of autumn
 
 
 
by Roberta Beary, Co-Editor
dandelion clocks
Haiku Society of America Members’ Anthology, 2008
 
Posted in creative writers, creative writing, Daily Haiku, Haiku, Roberta Beary | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Sometimes a Simple Thought Carries a lot of Wisdom

Netflix 

My ex-boyfriend’s best friend
lets me use his Netflix password
And man, it is so great
At first I watched it to keep me company
during supper so I wouldn’t feel alone
because my split with my boyfriend
was kind of sudden
But then I fell in love with
some of the shows
and before I knew it
I realized that Netflix was more interesting
than my ex-boyfriend ever was.

by Robin Stratton, Author

Some Have Gone and Some Remain

 

 

Posted in Author, book, Free Verse, Poetry, Robin Stratton | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Free verse by Michael Escoubas

Afternoon Tea

by Michael Escoubas

Momma set the table

at the meadow’s edge where

the emerald grass became

a carpet for our feet. She

placed a perppermint cloth on it.

We donned our prettiest tea

dresses: her sheer beige shift

moved gracefully with the breath

whispered by the wind. I wore pink,

like my oversized Teddy Bear,

leaning over watching everything.

As I pour warm tea in tiny

cups, Momma holds the lid in place.

We each taste delicate bites

of fresh-baked sugar cookies arranged

just so on miniature plates. Summer’s

freshness captured in a moment

shared—a moment when I knew

for sure, my Momma cared.

Published in Steve Henderson in Poetry and Paint, by Michael Escoubas.

https://charlottedigregorio.wordpress.com/2020/07/04/book-review-new-poetry-collection-by-michael-escoubas/

It is available from the author. You may contact him at farside747@hotmail.com

Posted in Author, book, Free Verse, Michael Escoubas, Poetry | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Tanka by Debbie Strange

the ocean
was in a rage last night
but today,
these peace offerings
of blue mussels and kelp
by Debbie Strange (Canada)
First Place
Sanford Goldstein International Tanka Competition, 2018
Posted in Canadian Poets, creative writing, Debbie Strange, Poetry, Short Poems, Tanka | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

Daily Haiku: Sept. 12, 2020

cardinal’s song
hidden behind
the red begonia
by Donna Bauerly (USA)
Posted in creative writing, Daily Haiku, Donna Bauerly, Haiku, micropoetry, Short Poems | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

Daily Haiku: Sept. 11, 2020

midsummer sky

the frogs croak

into the blue

by Deborah Karl-Brandt (Germany)

9th Polish International Haiku Competition, 2019

Deborah B. Karl-Brandt, born in 1981, studied Pre- and Early History Archaeology, Comparative Religion and Geography at the University of Bonn. She did her doctorate in the Department of Scandinavian Languages and Literatures. In addition to scientific writing, she has devoted herself to writing poetry for several years. She has a preference for Japanese forms of poetry and writes mainly haiku, senryu and tanka, which she regularly publishes in anthologies, yearbooks, calendars and magazines. Haiku of hers have been printed in Frogpond, Under the Basho, Failed Haiku, FemkuMag, Haiku Page, Sommergras, Lotusblüte, Chrysanthemum, Gong, Mamba, and on the THF blog in Haiku Dialogue. She is a member of the German Haiku Society (DHG) and the Haiku Society of America (HSA).

Posted in Daily Haiku, Deborah Karl-Brandt, Germany, Haiku, Poetry | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Daily Haiku: Sept. 10, 2020

a piercing cry
Noh Theater actors
become their masks

by Carmen Sterba (USA)
The Heron’s Nest, XX, No. 2:  June 2018
Carmen Sterba was an international student and teacher in Japan for decades. She became enamored of haiku, and read R.H. Blyth’s translations of it.  Blyth’s grave in Tokeiji temple was a ten-minute walk from her home in Kamakura. Her first haiku conference was in London and Oxford. Back in the USA, she became the secretary of The Haiku Society of America and later the vice-president. From 2011, she started the Commencement Bay Haiku group with Judt Shrode and Jim Westenhaver. Commencement Bay Haiku meets at Tacoma’s King’s Bookstore every 4th Monday. The group shares its haiku, haibun, and tanka. Now Richard Tice is the leader, and the group meets on Zoom.
Posted in Carmen Sterba, creative writing, Daily Haiku, Haiku, Japan, Short Poems | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Daily Haiku: Sept. 9, 2020

feral cat 

the cardinal’s last song 

caught in your throat

by Donna Bauerly (USA)

Donna Bauerly is Professor Emeritus of Loras College and the author of  Raymond Roseliep: Man of Art Who Loves The Rose. This title was published by The Haiku Foundation in 2015.

Posted in creative writing, Daily Haiku, Donna Bauerly, Haiku, micropoetry, Short Poems | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

Daily Haiku: Sept. 8, 2020

winter morning —
children playing
freeze tag

by Janice Doppler (USA)

bottle rockets, #43, August 2020

Janice Doppler lives at the edge of a forest in Massachusetts in the USA. Her haiku and haibun have been published in frogpondbottle rocketsNor’easter and Drifting Sands.  She enjoys tai chi, bird watching, and bird carving.  She is a retired school teacher and administrator.

Posted in Daily Haiku, Haiku, micropoetry, Short Poems | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

Daily Haiku: Sept. 7, 2020

A day at the office:
nothing to remind me
it’s snowing
 
by Richard Tice (USA)
Dragonfly, Vol. 15, No. 3,  Summer 1989

 

Richard Tice began writing haiku in 1976, while teaching English in Japan. His haiku first appeared in Bonsai and Modern Haiku in 1978. In 1985, he assumed editorship of Dragonfly, adding translations of contemporary Japanese haiku, and published sixteen issues.  His book Station Stop was awarded 2nd prize in the 1985/86 HSA Merit Books Award. He still has some copies available for interested readers. His second poetry book Familiar & Foreign: Haiku and Linked Verse was issued in 2008 from Waking Lion Press and is available on Amazon. Richard has published numerous articles on Japanese haiku and haikai, and has translated nearly 200 Japanese haiku for different publications and presentations.  retice1950@hotmail.com

Posted in Daily Haiku, Haiku, micropoetry, Richard Tice, Short Poems | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Prose Poem by Richard Allen Taylor

Questions for a Dying Moon Flower

 by Richard Allen Taylor

On the method of your dying, I am curious and need to know

for my own sake: Do you die petal by petal, dropping languidly

to the sidewalk, or do you fall whole-flower, toppled by the weight

of your brilliance? I want to know if life leaves in an instant

of detachment, or before, or after. Or is it a slow, laggardly death,

one that seeps from the hole left by your un-stemming? Do you

die well, and without complaint, or do you clutch at life the way

you cling to brightness? Do you crave the company of moths,

or abandon all desire as quickly as the fickle moon abandons you?

Southern Poetry Anthology, Volume VII, North Carolina

Also appears in Armed and Luminous, a poetry collection, by Richard Allen Taylor

Posted in Poetry, Prose Poem, Richard Allen Taylor | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Daily Haiku: Sept. 6, 2020

dappled light

a patch of leaf litter

becomes sparrows

by Kristen Lindquist (USA)

Editor’s Choice 

The Cicada’s Cry, Summer 2020 Issue

Bio note: Kristen’s daily haiku blog, Book of Days, is at www.kristenlindquist.com/blog

Posted in creative writing, Daily Haiku, Haiku, Kristen Lindquist, Poems, Short Poems | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

Daily Haiku: Sept. 5, 2020

watering orchids
the inside
of a cat’s ear
by Olivier Schopfer (Switzerland), Author
Home After a Long Absence: Haiku, Senryu and Tanka
Cyberwit, 2020
(New title by author, available through Amazon)
Posted in Daily Haiku, Haiku, micropoetry, Olivier Schopfer, Poems, Short Poems | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

Daily Haiku: Sept. 4, 2020

just a little
depression
where you once lay
 
by Donna Bauerly (USA)
4th Place, Kukai Contest
Posted in Beginning Writers, creative writing, Daily Haiku, death, Donna Bauerly, Haiku, micropoetry, Poetry, Short Poems | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

Daily Haiku: Sept. 3, 2020

at the lawn concert
lighting one spot at a time–
fireflies
 
by Adelaide B. Shaw (USA)
bottle rockets, #8, 2007
Posted in Adelaide B. Shaw, Beginning Writers, creative writing, Daily Haiku, Haiku, Poetry, Short Poems | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Daily Haiku: Sept. 2, 2020

closed carnival
only fireflies
still flashing
 
 
 
by John J. Dunphy (USA)
Brussels Sprout, XI:1, 2007
Posted in Daily Haiku, Haiku, John J. Dunphy, micropoetry, Short Poems | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Book Announcement: Poetry Collection by Acclaimed Author Lenard D. Moore

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Don’t miss Lenard D. Moore’s book, The Geography of Jazz.

Below is just one of the great poems in the book:

Swinging Cool

by Lenard D. Moore

The bassist hugs

the bass, plunks it.

Ting, boom, ting boom

the drummer beats

and booms. Saxophonist

weaves notes, oscillates, blows

and the pianist finger-dances

on the keys: ‘Swinging

at the Haven.’ Musicians spark

the sheet music stands

and angled microphones.

Blue backdrop.

Modulating that tempo,

they work the tune.

Drumsticks knocking time,

piano plucking our ears.

Bassman still hugging

the bass, straight sets—

walls thrumming—

steady as the spring moon

inciting the indigo sky.

The Geography of Jazz is a poetry collection by internationally-acclaimed poet Lenard D. Moore. It  focuses on jazz music as an experience and as an inspiration.

In The Geography of Jazz, Moore celebrates jazz music and jazz musicians. Some of the poems address specific events. Others honor individual artists. Many do both. While the poems may not initially signal the rhythms of jazz in their presentation on the page, they convey jazz rhythms through Moore’s deft handling of the poetic line and his use of formal techniques including, but not limited to assonance, onomatopoeia, and repetition. This collection also includes a new poetic form, jazzku, an innovation that recalls Japanese haiku and tanka.

Lenard D. Moore, a poet and anthologist, is the author of A Temple Looming, Desert Storm: A Brief HistoryForever Home, and The Open Eye. He is the editor for All the Songs We Sing: Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the Carolina African-American Writers’ Collective and One Window’s Light: A Collection of Haiku. He is the founder and executive director of the Carolina African American Writers’ Collective. The executive chairman of the North Carolina Haiku Society, Moore was also the first African–American president of the Haiku Society of America. His awards include the North Carolina Award for Literature and the Haiku Museum of Tokyo Award. An army veteran, the author teaches African-American literature and creative writing at the University of Mount Olive where he is the poet-in-residence.

The book is available through Blair, the publisher, https://static1.squarespace.com/static/59f8b237c027d86223a2f45f/t/5f15e0716eaadf09ad9e17be/1595269248780/Blair+Fall+2020+Catalog.pdf.

Also available through Amazon.

Posted in Author, book, jazz, Lenard D. Moore, Poetry | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Free Verse by Maureen Weldon

MIDNIGHT ROBIN

While the sky shimmers like shot silk,

chimneypots a toothy smile,

I count the pots, 1 2 3 4 5.

 

On my kitchen table, sheets and sheets

of screwed up poems,

I will flatten them tomorrow

for shopping lists.

 

While perfumed smells of hyacinths

bring memories of my mother:

‘They make lovely Christmas presents’

she would say, as she potted and tended.

 

The evening moves along

as evenings do…

The moon a half golden bracelet.

The sky cluttered with stars.

 

All is still, no trains, no cars.

And in this stillness

the midnight robin sings.

 

by Maureen Weldon (Wales)

Title Poem of Weldon’s pamphlet, Midnight Robin,

Poetry Space Ltd, 2014

Posted in Free Verse, Maureen Weldon, Poems, Wales | Tagged , , | 11 Comments

Daily Haiku: Sept. 1, 2020

first snowflakes
the wings of a black swan
become white
by Eufemia Griffo  (Italy)
Seashore, Vol. 4, April 2020
Posted in Eufemia Griffo, Haiku, micropoetry, Nature, Short Poems | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

Daily Haiku: Aug. 31, 2020

backyard fireflies . . .
each moment
a different constellation
by Stanford M. Forrester  (USA)
White Lotus, #5, 2007
Posted in Beginning Writers, creative writing, Daily Haiku, Haiku, Language Arts, micropoetry, Poetry, Poets, Short Poems, Stanford M. Forrester | 4 Comments

Daily Haiku: Aug. 30, 2020

homeless
the warmth of
stained glass
by Carol Raisfeld (USA)
Frogpond, Vol. 42:1, Winter 2019
Posted in Beginning Writers, Carol Raisfeld, Daily Haiku, Haiku, Short Poems | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Just What We Need: Thoughtful and Humorous Poetry about Angels

Armed and Luminous Front Cover

During this pandemic, many people have probably tapped into spirituality, even if they aren’t religious. Since childhood, we’ve always been intrigued by the idea of guardian angels who walk with us and protect us when we need them. Now, we could sure use some angels, and it would be great if we were cognizant of them among us.

I first read Armed and Luminous by Richard Allen Taylor in 2017. Since then, I’ve come back to it when I’ve needed inspiration and humor in my life. This is the time for some diversion, and the need to believe that we aren’t alone. The book is thought-provoking.

Taylor’s book is a delight! The author’s poetry is accessible and engaging. He is imaginative, whimsical, and skilled. He combines insight with simple truth and wisdom, and has a rare facility with the English language to keep his readers entertained.

Armed and Luminous plays on the theme that we cross paths with angels who receive assignments from heaven. Also, we find that strangers we meet might be angels without us knowing it. Taylor’s angels can’t always achieve the desired effect. And, according to Taylor, not everyone becomes an angel when they die. His angels have human traits like feeling frustrated sometimes with their “jobs.”

In his poem, “My First Appointee,” Taylor visits his niece with her baby, Zack, whom she calls her “perfect angel,” despite his throwing tantrums. Taylor’s niece asks him if he believes in angels, and he offers his opinion of what heaven should be like:

If I were running Heaven, I’d have an angel/ for everything, not just for annunciations/ and deaths, but one for chance, one for maps, / one each for happiness, grief, melodrama, / procrastination. I’d have a management angel/ to do the hiring. Accounting angels to track expenses/ and pay the bills. At least one angel of technology.

 

And you, Zack buddy, you can be/

my first appointee. Angel of Tantrums.

 

In “Angel of Bureaucracy,” one of Taylor’s angels tells of angel recruitment and training:

Whoever said Heaven can wait misquoted me–

/the hours it takes to keep this place running, /

 

the pressure, the backlogged claims. The hordes/

of adjudicated souls presenting for indoctrination, /

 

unrelenting appeals from those tired of sitting/ around in ecstasy, applying for angel positions–/

 

at least they want to be useful. The needs are great. /

God wants to maintain a two-to-one ratio/

 

of angels to humans. And that’s just Earth./

What are the department heads in other galaxies/

In “It’s Tough Being an Angel,” we’re told about the characteristics of angels and more about their duties:

. . . Humans picture us with wings, / though we fly without them, faster than light./ We have been told to avoid stereotypes: no rings/ around our noggins, no harps, no white nighties/

 

. . .We help people see/ in all the ways humans can see. To look ahead, look behind, / foresee consequences, find solutions. We help them be/ the loaves that feed the multitudes, if they use their minds, /

 

One of my favorite poems in the book is “Angel of Chance on Special Assignment.” Here, one of Taylor’s angel “characters” poses as a mobster, coming to the aid of a cash-strapped man who needs to win a poker game, so his wife won’t leave him:

“So I’m sittin’ at a poker table in Atlantic City when/ my subject, a hippy-lookin’ guy plops down between/ me an’ Mr. Cowboy Hat an’ drops his two-bit/ pile of chips like he’s a high roller gonna break da bank/

 

. . .But hey,/ is it ever his lucky day, ‘cause the Boss mostly don’ care/ who wins or loses except this time He sends me here/ to take special care of this guy. Sumpin’ ‘bout the man’s/ unborn kid bein’ a genius an’ someday findin’/the cure for cancer. Only for this future, papa gotta win/ a few gees tonight else his wife bugs out/ an’ badda badda boom! No kid, no genius, no cure.

In “Angel of Retirement Savings,” an angel meets up with Hansel and Gretel in their old age, reduced to poverty:

. . . I find scraggly-bearded Hansel/ and gray-headed Gretel, faces smeared/ with the remains of ancient gingerbread, /dragging the body of the charred witch./

 

. . . Gretel drops her half of the witch, / sits on a fallen log, removes a stainless steel/ flask from her coat, and takes a long pull./ Gin? She offers. No thanks, I reply.

 

Besides humorous poems, there are serious poems that affect us. For example, the poem, “Where Were the Angels” questions why tragedies such as 9-11 happened, if there are angels who watch over us.

Taylor’s poetry appeals to our emotions and causes us to look deeper, contemplate God and creation, life, death, and human failures. Personally, I’ve always believed that heaven, (and hell), are constructs. Taylor’s book intrigues me, though, and gives me food for thought.

It’s interesting to note that Taylor wrote this book of 47 poems in fulfillment of his M.F.A. degree, spending substantial time researching biblical passages and folklore related to angels. The result of researching the Bible left him with fewer angel references than he’d thought he would discover, besides Michael and Gabriel. At the beginning of each of the book’s sections, he runs a short biblical citation about angels.

I highly recommend this book for poets and non-poets alike, and to gift to family and friends.

Armed and Luminous by Richard Allen Taylor

Main Street Rag Publishing Company, Charlotte, NC

Copyright 2016.

To order: https://mainstreetragbookstore.com/product-tag/richard-allen-taylor/

Copyright 2020 by Charlotte Digregorio.

Posted in angels, book, Book Review, God, Humor, Richard Allen Taylor | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Daily Haiku: Aug. 29, 2020

senryu
 
 
 
giving my hair
color again–
New Year’s confetti
 
 
 
by Susan Burch (USA)
Wishbone Moon, 2018
 
Posted in Daily Haiku, Haiku, micropoetry, Senryu, Short Poems, Susan Burch | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Book Announcement by Maria Papatzelou

 

“Inner Connections of the Liquid Sky” is the first book published by the visual artist Maria Papatzelou. It features 43 haiku and a mythical poem, a reference to the Japanese myth Kojiki, that Mr. Masashi Nakamura translated into Ancient Japanese. Included is his Preface and explanation for each haiku.

Not just another haiku book, it is a poetic dialogue between Japanese mythology and spiritual culture, the author says.

~English translations of the haiku are by Frosso Vizovitou.

~Layout cover by visual artist, Dimitris Pikros.

~Paintings by Maria Papatzelou.

~Photographs and page editing by Masashi Nakamura.

In the link below, you will find it as e-book in English/Japanese.

https://bookplt.com/viewer/cwN1mGMMMVjkp7bamE3JB4N7RwdXdHQ5WN4BtSBxM3THUNes09116?fbclid=IwAR116hYpQda2sla_UHQyHOt5JGnv6c4lB9nS8Wre1ci2UlKb7x2SymsmCsk

Soon, it will be published in the Greek/Japanese edition by Εκδόσεις Οδός.

Posted in book, Haiku, Japan, Maria Papatzelou | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Photography by RM Yager

In our waning days of summer, don’t miss the beauty outdoors. Poet RM Yager is inspired by gardening. She sends us this below:

Posted in nature, photography, Rita Yager | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Daily Haiku: Aug. 28, 2020

ripe corn in the husk
her new hoedown shoes
one size too small

by Michael H. Lester
(USA) Hedgerow, #110, Spring 2017
Posted in creative writers, Daily Haiku, Haiku, Michael H. Lester, Poetry, Short Poems | Tagged , , | 9 Comments

Check This Out From Japan Code Books!

20200827b

Familiarize yourselves with the Research Center for Japanese Culture Structural Studies:

This book describes the entire Japanese Spirituality as the foundation of haiku culture.
 

” Japan Code ” is our structural philosophy of Japanese spiritual culture, for the first time in the world, integrating 
all Japanese cultures such as Shinto, Buddhism, literature, architecture, painting and so on.
 

The Japanese version of the original book is stored as historic material in “Kyoto Institute, Library and Archives” and 
world-famous shrines and temples, etc.
 

This book was published with the world’s collaborators in commemoration of the 170th anniversary of the birth of 
Lafcadio Hearn (June 27, 1850 – Sept. 26, 1904), who translated haiku in earnest and introduced it to the West for the first time in the world.
 
 

This book puts forth a Japanese culture theory about haiku, etc. which cites  Lafcadio’s books and analyzes his insight by our Japan Code.
 
 

It includes about 50 haiku using old Japanese words about Japanese mythology, and spiritual culture, and also explains the history 
from Japanese mythology to haiku.


For information on the significance of this book, please see the book’s preface and book review on the website.
https://japancode.jimdofree.com/books/

 

Posted in History, Japanese Culture, Research Center for Japanese Culture Structural Studies | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Daily Haiku: Aug. 27, 2020

senryu
gone fifteen years
I reinvent him
for Father’s Day
by Robert Epstein (USA), Author
Haiku Days of Remembrance: In Honor of My Father
Posted in Daily Haiku, Haiku, human nature poems, micropoetry, Poetry, Robert Epstein, Senryu, Short Poems | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Daily Haiku: Aug. 26, 2020

on the border

between spring and summer

a frog

by Michael Fessler (Japan), Author

arrangements

Posted in Daily Haiku, Haiku, Japan, Michael Fessler, micropoetry, Short Poems | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Free Verse by Robin Stratton

Everyone wore sunglasses at lunch  

and the waiters brought sparkling water

and wine

and bread

and appetizers

and more wine

and our meal

and more wine

and more water

and dessert

and more wine

and coffee

and the sun shone down

and I took my sunglasses out of my purse

and put them on so that I could feel

like one of the Beautiful People.

by Robin Stratton (USA), Author 

Some Have Gone and Some Remain 

Posted in Beginning Writers, creative writing, Free Verse, Poetry, Robin Stratton | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Daily Haiku: Aug. 25, 2020

senryu
 
 
at the opera
I replace the lyrics
with my own failures
 
 
by Susan Antolin (USA), Author
Artichoke Season
Posted in Beginning Writers, Daily Haiku, Haiku, human nature poems, Senryu, Susan Antolin | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments