Saturday, April 5, 2014

Selected Poems, First Quarter, 2014

Dear Friends, Here are the Selected Poems of the First Quarter of 2014. We had many fine poems submitted this quarter, and we have selected eleven of them. We begin with the very shortest - haiku, or haiku-like in their brevity. Thank you so much to everyone who submitted!

Mindfulness of Tea

For water to boil
I must
turn on the kettle.

--Teri Sivilli

Warm midnight
A winter with no rain
Sleep as well proves elusive

--David Clark

Haiku # 30

I have watched my life
pass with interest -- not quite
believing it's real

--Wulf Losee

Haiku #41

my guest has departed
my little house is smaller
without her

--Wulf Losee

Three More for the First Quarter

Here are three more short poems, Selected for 2014's First Quarter. If you don't want to look up "Tanka," you may translate it as "short poem!"

Bede's Tanka

in the coffee shop
I had the memory
of all the futures
that just fly on like sparrows
without you without me

--Wulf Losee

Walking in Santa Rosa warming daylight,
                   many petals of white plum
                               one   -   by  -    one
                                            touch pavement
--Robert Flannery

I climbed to the top
Of a crow-crowned hill
And the wind was briskly flowing,
In the bright clear light
The world stood still
And all I knew was knowing.

--David Clark

Ninth Selected Poem, First Quarter, 2014

This Selection is melancholy and romantic, with a glimpse of ultimate unity, perfect for Buddhists having Valentine's Day blues.


the plum trees are flowering even as we listen

the plum trees on the

rose-and-red brick street at the edge of the woods

rose-and-pink blossoms are falling even as we listen on the rose -and-red     brick street

we do not see them for we are not there, not there together

and there even as we listen

the buds are opening claret

the wind is lifting the pale-pink petals into the soft sweet air

they are drifting onto the rose-red bricks where we are not where we are not together

and there even as we listen

we are flowering together (with them) falling together (with them)

on the rose-and-red brick street

at the edge of the woods

 - - Robert R Rahl

10th Selected Poem, First Quarter, 2014

In An Instant

When the clouds parted
we drove on rain slicks of sun
smooth as molten gold
                                     and the cars
before us trailed their tire sprays
releasing little rainbows on the road
then up the shoreline again into rain
we carried our sunspots
into the storm's edge, and
                                    released them.
That our bodies of flesh can trap that light
if only for the length of a breath!
memories released
                                     (like quicksilver droplets)
and we were as brief as the salmon
that leap fully into the air
that hang for a moment on arcs
                                     (the water falling slowly)
that if we are not immortal now
we were immortal then
                                    (if only for the flash of that instant.)

--Wulf Losee

Selected Poem #11, First Quater, 2014

This is the eleventh and final poem Selected for 2014's First Quarter. We are so pleased to have this piece  from our old friend Patrick. To all our poets and friends, thank you!

Hymn to the Buddhas

Things in between, such as they are,
names trying on forms for a season,
ice dreaming of steam, birth crawling,
toddling, striding, hobbling towards death,
breath and the tides changing direction,
twilight to night, dawn to day,
the blue scrim deception hiding dark and the stars
that the sun repeatedly conjures to faintest applause,
bacteria teeming, molecules whirling, and light waves
(or particles) streaming. O where
am I gone when I'm sleeping?

(Remember the Future? The jet packs,
the monorails,
day trips to Mars,
the self-cleaning houses?)

We crumble when touched,
each a locus of fancy and countless projections,
confections of history now and when we've departed,
gone, gone, where the sun and the earth do not dance
making the clock tick
tock: the heart beat, beaten, beating sutra

(Sweet, pretty bird, your broken wing
seems such a little thing, yet
even as the cats watch waiting
and the other birds take flying for granted,
the sky reaches down to you.)

Hear: Only kindness remains.

--Patrick Mizelle