Saturday, July 30, 2016

Richard Wright (and) Stanley Greaves - two heroic haiku poets (re)discovered (by us)

assistant editor tama, stating "a most heroic haiku poet, mr. Richard Wright, and we need a post about him!"
"also!" insists assistant ed. frosty, "we'll include Caribbean poet Stanley Greaves!"                              

noble suggestions,
worthy assistants,
here we go. . .

The last months of African-American Richard Wright's life, writing thousands of haiku in Paris and the French countryside. . . decades ago, having read his Native Son and Black Boy while in lit. classes with my favorite (activist) professors. . .

HAIKU  The last Poems of an American Icon
Arcade Publishing             ISBN  978-1-61145-349-2

'reading through these poems," tama tells me, "i cried"
tama, you know, so did I. . .

110           I laid down my book
          A tendril of wisteria
               Encircling my leg.

                           255           The shore slips away
                                     From the melancholy ship
                                          In an autumn mist.

                499          Just one lonely road
                          Stretching into the shadows
                              Of a summer night.


haiku  Stanley Greaves
Peepal Tree Press            ISBN:  9781845232979

140 haiku and eight original pieces of artwork from a gentleman
whose endeavors lead from Guyana, to Barbados, to the US
"lucky us!" states frosty. . .

from #21   . . . 
             'For poets, empty pages'

                                           #59   . . . 
                                             'a filled glass waits'

see you in a moment

ayaz daryl nielsen
"and frosty!"  "and tama!"


Thursday, July 28, 2016

Richard M. Grove: "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Toti"

This poem is dedicated to Wallace Stevens for his poem 
“Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird”
Among the many swaying palms                                       

The only living thing
Was the flutter of dozens of Toti

I was of one mind
Like a Royal Palm
In which there are thirty Toti

A flock of Toti whirled in the winter winds
A small part of the Cuban revolution

The sky and the Cuban flag
Are one.
The sky and the Cuban flag and a Toti
Are one.

I do not know which I long for most
The silent beauty of a clear Cuban sky
Or the cacophony of a Cuban orchestra,
Thirty Toti perched, chattering,
Or the fluttered painting of a black sky as they scatter.

Laundry filled the long lines
In sun-backed heat.                                                              

The shadow of Toti
Cross the wafting sheets
The joy of freedom.
Toti, shadow and laundry
An incomprehensible union.

O dear friends of Cuba
Can you imagine freedom
The way you see your Toti
Flocking from tree to tree.

I listen and see the black flutterings
The inescapable chatter
And I know only too well
That the Toti is a measure
Of my existence.

And when the Toti fly out of my sight,
They are still part of my being,
My ever expanding circle.

At the sight of Toti
Flying in a Cuban blue morning
I cry out the ecstasy
That Cuba is in the air.

I bicycled hundreds of miles
Through emerald cane fields
Dripping with sweat.
Never in fear of being lost
Always with the chatter of my
Toti friends telling me I am home.

The outstretched arms of the mythic Ceibo tree
Are filled with the black cackles of Toti.

It was hot, a hot humid afternoon
There was hardly a breeze to ruffle
The frowns of the stately Royal Palms
A single, silent Toti sat,
In the outstretched limbs of the Bayam tree

Richard 'Tai' Grove 

ass't. ed's Frosty 
and Tama insist, 
"Richard's 'Toti' 
poem deserves 
a post of its own!" 

so it does
and, here it is.  Enjoy.

                   see you in a moment

                   ayaz daryl nielsen


Sunday, July 24, 2016

mary jo balistreri, carl mayfield, karen o'leary, teresinka periera, donna snow, cristina sng, t kilgore splake, and, paula yup!

poets of soon-to-exist bear creek haiku, print issue #136:

Blank Look #811  

         dim grow 
         the eyes 
         of joy
         yet nothing
         is diminished

carl mayfield  
rio rancho  new mexico


Like a falling tree

That rushes to a rootless earth,

Somehow the ground

Is no longer there.

donna snow
lakeland  tennessee


As the storm comes
the bent-limbed oaks
offer shelter
to fluttering finches,
yellow-slick feathers
curled into
golden balls
of hope
in a deep-rumble sky

mary jo balistreri
genesee depot   wisconsin

phone marketers hangups             final grand prix
  encouraging old poet    
secret admirer still alive             mg top down
                                          red-line max
                                          daring white line fevers
                                          poet's mad odyssey
     t kilgore splake                   outrunning himself
                   calumet  michigan


       my tears drip into

       a poem

       Arlington. . .
       silent cries

       for peace

       karen o'leary
       west fargo  north dakota

       summer break
       the cat's hotel
       nicer than ours

       funeral morning
       the cacophony 
       of crows

       christina sng    singapore

                               THE NETHERLANDS

Bicyclists, the Rijksmuseum, rain, the Van Gogh Museum,
canals, Anne Frank's house, Central Station, feeding
birds in Haarlem, a ginger cat outside a restaurant. . .

                               paula yup  spokane washington


For a mother                                      
sons and daughters
are children forever
because love
does not change with time.
Full of dreams
for their successful future
the answer each mother
has in mind for her persistence
in waiting to happen
is the infinite hope.

teresinka pereira
toledo  ohio

frosty and tama,
"such lovely poetics" whispers tama
"treats for all of them" states frosty "and catnip!"


see you in a moment

ayaz daryl nielsen


Friday, July 22, 2016

Alan Catlin: Hokusai's Views of Mt. Fuji

                    Hokusai's Views of Mt. Fuji

Tsunami wave,                                               
        the view everyone knows;
Mt. Fuji most of all.

Cask maker at his work
        kneels inside round circle
of wood; Mt. Fuji's snow tipped
        peak barely visible.

Indifference to primal beauty,
        a rich woman's choice.
Well beyond an empty window,
        an imposing view of Mt. Fuji.

Road warriors, merchants
        on horseback, porters,
bearers, all walking or resting on
        beaten path; beyond lean,
crooked pines: Mt. Fuji.

Boat man navigates calm waters
        on shore, workman leads
a burdened ass: wood for cook
        fires, heat, on its back;
Mt. Fuji amid a reef of clouds.

Rainbow bridge over well-
        traveled river: fishermen on
rocks near shore, trawling lines;
        Mt. Fuji and blue fade of
late afternoon.

Endeavoring to defeat roiling
       pulse of sea, a lone
fisherman casts; a flat sky
       with Mt. Fuji in it.

Dormant no more,
       the volcano inside
Mt. Fuji seethes; the red
       heart beats.

By the shore near base
       of Mt. Fuji, deep sea
fishermen fight the tides,
       what the waves embrace.

High tide flood plains
       where Shinto shrine
once stood; supplicants
       dig for clams in soft
sift of sand; Mt. Fuji
       framed by what remains.

ass't. ed. Tama tells us 
"Alan needs a post of his own for 'Hokusai' 
'cause it's worth it's weight in catnip!"
"and treats!" says Frosty

yes, and here it is
best to our friend Alan Catlin. . .

see you in a moment

ayaz daryl nielsen


Thursday, July 21, 2016

mary jo balistreri, richard bruns, normal, karen o'leary, raamesh gowri raghavan, christina sng, t kilgore splake, and! david he zhuanglang. . .

poetry from 
bear creek haiku #135,

removing the dust
from the stars -
evening rain
   david he zhuanglang
   gansu province   china   

the long drive home,
  Buddha laughing
  on my dashboard

   richard bruns   
   napa  california

off the mountain -
morning prayers                           
four candles
stay lit                   mary jo balistreri (and) karen o'leary
                           genesee park   wi (and)  west fargo  nd                                                                       

         waiting                             dreams of escape

 frequent wilderness visits             lost in yooper blizzard
listening for passing ghosts            riding greyhound ghost        
    shadowy old spirits                  orizaba cafe breakfast
    quietly going again                     chatting with jack

                t kilgore splake   calumet  michigan


rainy season                             cold drizzle
comfortable at home                    an afternoon curled up 
with dry paws                            with my cat

                      christina sng  singapore

"our dear friend Christina!" (ass't. ed's Tama and Frosty)

i talk to myself when i walk
i talk to the one i do not want to hear
the one who knows when i am wrong
the one who smiles when i grimace
the one who will keep walking
when i am gone
                      normal   saugerties  new york

rope trick. . .                          petal-less flower
the kids reinvent                      browning in my diary                   an old swing                           a forty-year old no                                             
           raamesh gowri raghavan   maharashtra  india

see you in a moment 

ayaz daryl nielsen


Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Ajša Ajša Džemila Zahirović haiku iz sarajeva haiku is sarajevo

ass't. ed. Frosty, insisting
"we must review an                               
excellent collection of
haiku sent to us
over a month ago!"
"two months!" states other
ass't. ed. Tama "and it's 
extra special because it's 
from Bosnia and Herzegovina!"
and, there are joyous illustrations by artist
Dževad Hozo!!"

The deserted well. . .
A leaf on a tree breaks
Its dreamy silence

                                      Two birch-trees in the sunshine
                                      Stretch out their arms. . .
                                      The artist and the poem.

Ajša, an internationally prominent (and honored) haiku poet: her poetry has a permanent home among our favorite books
"more of Ajśa's poetry!" (from bear creek's ass't. ed.'s). . .

On the mountain
The sound of the pine's growth
Disturbs the solemn silence

                                  The voices of the day and the night
                                  In a forest:
                                  The sweet scent of heaven.

               Hey, my love!
               Wake up, wake up -
               Let us revive the embers.

136 pages of haiku, with English translations, composed in the beautiful mountains of Bosnia and Herzegovina,
"another triumph of poetic word and a personal triumph of our esteemed poet Ajša Zahirović" (Dr. Ivo Šoljan)

ISBN 9958-21-363-x   Sarajevo Publishing

Oh, lindens!  You remember
The lovers
Under your flowering crowns.

                                      I say, a poem!
                                      Beauty penetrates
                                      And the sun-dial starts moving.

Tama and Frosty: 'this post was just plain ol' good fun". . .

see you in a moment

ayaz daryl nielsen