January 2014

new year wind . . .
a cloudfront unwinds
its forecast
seeming new
a path of milestones
through tombstones
tribute to john carley
wind dance —
a blackbird parts
from its song

new moon —
emptiness tugs
at me

autumn shadows —
my image slips behind
a thousand eyes

in silence
a rose darkens
the night

a black swan
stretches into the mist
silencing heaven

windswept dunes —
what lips pare mine
of words?

dusky sound . . .
my smile enters hers

cloudless day . . .
surface ripples terraform
a stream bed

. . . . . . . . . .
. . . taiga . . .
. . virtually . .
. . . . a . . . . .
. . . haiku . . .
. . . . . . . . . .

windswept rain —
everyone I pass
a Buddha

limpid stream . . .
my eyes hold on
to nothing

mountain mist
almost to see through
not a word to say

mobile call —
the spring in her voice
in the rain

the child I was
singsongs the silence
still to come

dawn chorus . . .
a tui sounds out
the rusty gate

shadow by shadow
an eel rises to the bread —
what breaks this body?

lightning storm . . .
a mantra splits open
the heaviness

sullen rose —
the fragrance of a god's
hidden name

plopping sounds
a tennis ball wilts
over the ditch

heat wave
countless eyes shimmer
over the court

from side to side
a voyeur's eyes

tennis sounds
the increasing orbit
of interest

high noon
time itself sags
on the net

set and match
the bottom seed
fans the ball

in the racket
of steamy court battle —
a tennis elbow

a highflier
suffers two wingmen —
summer heat

tennis fever -
a third baseman asks
"who's on first?"

soft serves drip
from a thousand lips . . .
courtly love

gong fu cha —
a shadow passes between
then and now

summer breeze —
kiwi kigo hung out
to dry

river song twisting through time

southern sky —
from heaven's pointers
a wooden cross

within sight
candlelight crossmembers
an altar

under the mist
i separate land
and sky

cloudless moon —
a poet disinfecting

digitally remastered silence

heaven scent —
summer rain anoints
shaky grounds

death knell . . .
a river mouth
exacts its toll

all innocents . . .
some faces less livid
than others

twilight dusk —
the bruises of life
less livid

with the sea
the rockpool of friends
from my hands

southern cross —
these arms weighed down
with night

tui —
i hear half
its song

roadkill —
the fly-blown voice
of the unborn

breathstop . . .
a praying mantis
shifts weight

another moon —
still the otherness
of her body

her wrinkling nose becomes

never alone . . .
blanket man paces out
the southern cross

haiku moon —
a morepork recites
to its own

under the moon
her hands cup the gift
of her self

from such light caress
a peony's folds

gaping wound —
a poem
without the moon

what of it?
cherry blossoms
and the moon

wild honey —
how the clover glows
in her eyes!

keeping still
I deepen my roots
in the void

my footprint
as if it matters
I once am

rising tide
eyes awash with the moon
two by two

my footprint
soled, souled, sold
silting up

no mere
patina of grace;
well-worn aves

a bird cocks its head
at nothing — within this hush
a priest breaks the bread

farflung night
a morepork mantles
a cold egg

farflung stars
darkness mantles me
in its wings

keep watch with me
through ancient light

kite flying
I strain beyond
my words

ancient one,
your voice too sounds 
of cicadas

a patina of grace
a stain marks
the loss

night wind —
the sound of light
on the wick

waxing moon —
my shadow lingers
over hers

a haiku sequence

while doves cry i coo


a season word
cuts 'twixt my coming
and my going


human nature stages a high coup


spell casting
a hokkus pokkus
of words


the verbal hiccups of a beat movement


close reading a cross-eyed ku

park bench—
yesterday's warmth
old news

galaxies swamped
in equations


step by step
our paths merge together
as water and wine . . .
in these unplanned moments
we sip eternity

cattails Premier Edition - January 2014
Editor's Choice - Tanka

Editor's comments:

Being a hopeless romantic and given that tanka originated as court poetry, this one by Hansha Teki of New Zealand, is one of my Editor's Choices. The rhythm being approximately s, l, s, l, l, right off qualifies it as a tanka rather than just a free verse or mainstream short poem. The content is poetic yet not overly done, nor does it lack either in substance or depth. Lines 1 and 2 set up the situation, line 3 gives us a pause plus a twist instead of simply being a run-on sentence. Lines 4 and 5 bring us back to the beginning which gives us closure. Literally “we sip eternity” of unplanned moments with its author.

cattails Principal editor an'ya, USA

leaf by leaf
a lilac emerges
in birdsong . . .


trickling stream . . .
stones at rest gather

New Year's Day
the heat of the moment
all over us