an uncut rock
under the banyan
One day in December, a frail man, almost eighty years of age — JK as he’s affectionately called — sits with his eyes closed under the famed banyan tree in his residence. There’s pin-drop silence as people wait for the master to speak … birds returning to their nests go in and out of song. Forty-five minutes later he looks up smilingly and says, “the birds have said everything I wanted to say today.”
breathless across the river the moon where I began
First published in Modern Haiku.
Kala Ramesh – Poet, editor, anthologist, Kala’s initiatives culminated in founding INhaiku
to bring Indian haiku poets under one umbrella in 2013. She has taught haiku and allied genres at Symbiosis International University and the Katha National Writers Workshop since 2013. To bring haiku into everyday spaces, Kala initiated HaikuWALL, haikuTRAIL, haikuTALK, haikuWORKSHOP, haikuYOUTH, haikuUTSAV, haikuDHYANA
– a weaving together of art forms. SAMVAAD :: the open sky
— a dialogue to bring writers of different poetic genres together is her latest venture. She is the editor of four haiku, tanka and haibun journals. Kala has been a speaker at several national and international literary festivals.
Kala co-edited the award winning Naad Anunaad: an Anthology of Contemporary World Haiku (Vishwakarma Publication 2016, Pune), Wishbone Moon (Jacar Press 2018, USA) and EquiVerse SPACE (Notion Press 2018, Mumbai), co-authored with Marlene Mountain the e-book one-line twos (Bones Journal 2016, Denmark), authored a tanka e-chapbook Uunseen Arc (Snapshot Press 2017, UK) and two print books: Haiku and the Companion Activity Book (Katha Books 2010, reprint 2017, New Delhi) and Beyond the Horizon Beyond Haiku & Haibun (Vishwakarma Publication 2017, Pune).
Banyan tree photograph by Kiran Gobi.
Otto paints his house again,
with his changing love of colors.
The blue and green are high with hopsack edges,
the stops of yellow clear and low.
As if something is recited and a mark made
where each mistake is swallowed by another.
No one color ever makes it
to the sky-colored end of the job.
Each daub taller, brighter than his eye or word,
his loud and undistinguished singing.
Someday, one color, one light
uniting all the eyes.
Patricia Nelson is a retired attorney who has worked with the Activist group of poets in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her most recent book is Spokes of Dream or Bird, Poetic Matrix Press.
Detail of photograph by David Yarnall, The Heidelberg Project – Penny Car.
Heidelberg Project Mission & Vision, from their website:
The Heidelberg Project (“HP”) is an outdoor art environment in the heart of an urban area and a Detroit based community organization with a mission to improve the lives of people and neighborhoods through art.
The theory of change for the Heidelberg Project begins with the belief that all citizens, from all cultures, have the right to grow and flourish in their communities. The HP believes that a community can re-develop and sustain itself, from the inside out, by embracing its diverse cultures and artistic attributes as the essential building blocks for a fulfilling and economically viable way of life.
You made it. Hell of a drive.
Now in the cabin you’re shivery, raw.
Branches pelt the roof.
Rain blows under the door.
Phone? Lamp? Radio?
All wires, dead.
Power will be out for days.
You fetch wood,
build a fire, heat water,
light lanterns named Aladdin.
Play guitar, help the neighbor start her car.
Clinging to this mountain
your cabin is a spot of warm
in a dark storm.
You are power.
Joe Cottonwood has built or repaired hundreds of houses in his day job as carpenter/contractor. Nights, he writes. His latest book is Foggy Dog: Poems of the Pacific Coast.
Photograph by Joseph.
On the Q
—to Manhattan—through the slit—between my eyelids—an almost empty car—two women dozing—one leans forward—hair cropped—ear level—mid sixties—freckles—arms crossed—head bobbing—as the train jerks—“little brown bag”—on her lap—the other woman—one leg crossed—over the other—shoulder length—glistening black hair—leaning to the side—head against rail—dozing—trading relatively quiet today—investors returning—from Thanksgiving vacation—the car quiet—climbs over—the Manhattan bridge—behind the ropes and rails—the Brooklyn Bridge—dark scattered clouds—the western sun—a golden hue—a six foot three inch—Justinian cross—over the World Trade center—young adults—brought here as children—soon sent—to places they never knew—underground we go—the conductor says—this is Canal Street—Chinatown—the older woman—stands up—head still bowed—doors open—and then she’s gone— (28 Nov 2016)
First published in The Journal of Poetics Research.
Barbara Henning is the author of several collections of poetry, her most recent A Day Like Today (Negative Capability Press 2015). Other recents include A Swift Passage (Quale Press), Cities and Memory (Chax Press) and a collection of object-sonnets, My Autobiography (United Artists). She has published three novels, Thirty Miles to Rosebud, You Me and the Insects andBlack Lace, and she is the editor of Looking Up Harryette Mullen and The Collected Prose of Bobbie Louise Hawkins. Born in Detroit, Barbara lives in Brooklyn and teaches for Long Island University, as well as writers.com. http://barbarahenning.com
Photograph by Mtattrain.
We rock twin rockers out on the porch.
The gray wind fills with rain.
“Hail predicted,” you mutter.
You have lost at lust again,
This time with a junior in college
The age of your daughter.
You fake youth with a tan
And camouflaged hair.
“Nature calls,” you announce, springing up.
You fantasize our childhood
Of an African violet
While stuck to the toilet.
Your Birkenstocks smell.
I ask you to dinner.
You nod. The spark leaves your eyes
Converting me from crush to old maid.
After minestrone soup
I serve hot lasagna with wine.
You gulp merlot and noodles.
I gulp too, killing that first bottle
And scraping foil off the second.
Purple-blue veins feed
Your muscles and brain.
The promised hail comes,
A riot on my roof.
Kirby Wright won the 2018 Redwood Empire Mensa Award for Creative Nonfiction. He’s working on a collection of poems tentatively titled Lasagna With the Professor.
in the leaf-blown breeze
Even in the homey, civilized month of June
the rougher tongue of otherness
speaks in a scrap of woodland
beside the place where the Civil War sailors
came to die
just out of hearing
of the restless city
All their branches
Robert Knox is a Boston Globe correspondent, a poet, fiction writer, and the author of a recently published novel based on the Sacco and Vanzetti case, Suosso’s Lane. As a contributing editor for the online poetry journal, Verse-Virtual, his poems appear regularly on that site. They have also appeared in other journals such as Every Day Poet, Off The Coast, Houseboat, and Yellow Chair Review. His poetry chapbook Gardeners Do It With Their Hands Dirty was published in May 2017. The chapbook Cocktails in the Wild followed this spring.
Shining are the hundreds of thousands of fish
in a sea prison, shining as one.
Margarita Serafimova was shortlisted for the Montreal International Poetry Prize 2017 and Summer Literary Seminars 2018 Poetry Contest, and long-listed for the Erbacce Press Poetry Prize 2018. Margarita has three collections in Bulgarian. Her work appears in Agenda Poetry, London Grip New Poetry, Trafika Europe, European Literature Network, The Journal, A-Minor, Waxwing, Nixes Mate Review, StepAway, Ink, Sweat and Tears, HeadStuff, Minor Literatures, The Writing Disorder, The Birds We Piled Loosely, Chronogram, Noble/ Gas Quarterly, Origins Journal, miller’s pond, Obra/ Artifact, TAYO, Shot Glass Journal, Opiate, Poetic Diversity, Novelty Magazine, Pure Slush, Harbinger Asylum, Punch, Tuck, Ginosko, etc. Visit: https://www.facebook.com/MargaritaISerafimova/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel.
Ocean fish in Moofushi Kandu, Maldives photograph by Bruno de Giusti.