Thursday, November 1, 2012


Greetings, friend, from here, beside bear creek, as it flows through the Front Range mountain slopes of beloved Colorado  

    Creating the first bear creek haiku anthology presents unique and unexpected nuances.  Instances - among the 35 to 40 poets chosen for the anthology (final number dependent on responses, one-fourth do not use the internet), my assumption had been non-internet poets would respond slower to requests for bios due to the nature of postal interactions, personal preferences and generational differences than would those who communicate largely via internet.  
    The postal response has been remarkable - I received requested bios in less than two weeks, with the exception of two, which have since arrived.  Foolish me.  Furthermore, as I read the bios, I realized ‘bios’ had not been defined (I expected 'briefs' consisting of a few past publishing credits and such)...
    What I have received has been (maybe this sounds trite, but, is true) earnest and of the  heart and often extensive.  And it's all good.
    So!  Bios, however defined in terms of length and content, have become as important to this anthology as the poems themselves (and bio's may have even a greater space presence than the poetry has).
    Makes me wonder if an anthology of only bios by themselves (but not this time) might be a fascinating future endeavor.

    And all of us who have BA degrees in English or Literature! - no matter where our lives have taken us, factories, martial art instructors, housewives, house painters, custodians, you name it, there is a healthy, necessary presence of BA degrees!  A friend of mine stated the true gentleman or gentle woman, the genuine knight's errant and earth goddess's of our species, if they are to have a degree, have but a BA.  (ok, I am not dissing advanced degrees - someone has to teach, perhaps even in a formal classroom setting, the heart and soul of the BA) (and perhaps the finest poetry comes from heart and soul without any need of no stinkin' degree(s))(yet!!  I am proud of mine, and soon will blog about how my alma mater, after putting up with me for nine lively - perhaps rowdy? - years slapped me alongside the head with a degree in English Lit and threw me out of their hallowed doors to be rid of me) (and I still love 'em).

    Enough.  No, not quite - a few poems for you - 

Three Wooden Trunks

Wooden trunks in the shed 
decades of mice owl and
pigeon droppings decades 
of spiderwebs thick with dry 
insect husks dirt and small
feathers, of sleepy feral cats 
we’ve always fed lying on 
old blankets...the uncle 
who never came home
from one of those wars

(dedicated to the Nebraska Sand Hills uncle I never met)

November’s first ice
the catfish and bass
deeper and slower

removing the carpet
from the homestead’s oak floor
great-grandfather’s footsteps

first snow of winter
my thoughts
dodging flakes

among the many 
thousand doing just as
grandfather did

You’d think since
enough of us have 
experienced death 
that death would 
just give it up

One of these poems appeared in Lynx and one in Shamrock and perhaps one was accepted by Yellow Mama - doggone it, gotta remember to bring publishing credits with me to the library - (gotta love libraries) - so I can accurately list the worthy print and online publications who chose to adopt a poem or so of mine.  Perhaps I should list them in my computer!  Naw.  (It's the day after Halloween, and have just learned that in some cultures 'naw' is a less than happy ghost.  Here, it simply is a crude form of 'no').

    Speaking of which, my rejection list must be - is - well over 2,000.  The crudest rejection was from a well-known editor who stated 'your poetry wouldn't work on a bathroom wall', so I wrote that poem on not one, but two, bathroom walls (men's rooms, of course), and someone even wrote a nice response - that'll learn 'em.  (Just learned 'em' is a unit of measurement.  Here, it is simply a crude form of 'him' or 'them').

One last poem, a favorite -

So different
our faces

the shape
the words
beliefs and
the longing

so it is

yet all
are given
this blessing

see you in a moment - ayaz daryl nielsen


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