we fill the blank page
full of words with meaning
yet the blank means more
we fill the blank page
full of words with meaning
yet the blank means more
HAIKU ON GEN-X VISION
FEBRUARY 15, 2017 LEAVE A COMMENT EDIT
By: E. R. Smith
Haiku on Gen-X Vision
Gained Gen-X vision
eye strain on optic axon
mutant lens fade hue
Many of the haiku and other poems in Short Verses & Other Curses were written as a therapeutic balm in response to my cancer. I don’t know why or how I survived all that nonsense but I suspect writing the poems helped at least a little.
Recent events make it seem to me that my country is suffering such a life-threatening and cancerous disease so I was naturally drawn to some of the poems I wrote for the collection. To some degree they helped again, if only as a temporary distraction from present reality.
I doubt if these poems have any healing power potent enough for all the ills sickening my nation; however, it is out of love and desperation that I shall share them with you now.
For the next day or so, please feel free to download the collection. If any of the poems move you in any way, I ask that you share your thoughts here in the comment section. If you have any other poetry that you believe will help relieve a troubled soul, I ask that you also share those with us as well.
You may download the collection by clicking on its book cover.
Somehow I managed not to share this (age is a possible factor) very kind recommendation for Poems from the River that was posted by our good friend at Chronicles of a Blogaholic, who, with her daily musings and photography, brings us all a little bit of sunshine and happiness.
“Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought
and the thought has found words.”
There’s a blogger I’ve been following since I began my blog. He’s one of the first bloggers that found my blog and liked one of my posts.
Ever since that day, I’ve been following him daily. His stories and photographs are an inspiration.
Last week I ordered his book of poetry, Poems from the River, which arrived yesterday. His collection of poems are tender and beautifully written.
If you’re interested in visiting Kurt’s blog and buying his book, please check him out at: Kurt Brindley. I believe Kurt Brindley is and will become quite a prolific poet.
As you may be aware, Paul’s work is not unfamiliar to this site, as his THE WILD HORSES OF HIROSHIMA is reviewed here and is my favorite Indie Author read to date.
I strongly encourage you – it’s for your own good, believe me – to visit with Paul at both his literary review site and at his author site paulxylinides.com to check out the intellectually intriguing work he does. Make sure you follow his sites so you don’t miss out in the future.
To read my review of THE WILD HORSES OF HIROSHIMA, click here.
To read more of Paul’s writing found on this site, enter “paul xylinides” in the search box.
Short Verses & Other Curses
(Haiku, Senryū, & Other Poetic, Artistic, & Photographic Miscellany)
A Warrior Poet’s Hard-Won Epiphanies
Self-made and/or naturally insight-endowed, Kurt Brindley has the soul of a poet; further, he has the soul of a warrior poet. He makes passing reference to the martial tradition that has also been a part of his life in the poem “If I Were A Samurai:”
I would know
when to bow
and when to ignore
when to speak
and when to be silent
when to eat
and when to fast
when to think
and when to meditate
when to advance
and when to hold
when to strike
and when to parry
when to kill
and when to die
All writers — the serious and the not-so-much — inevitably find themselves in a battle, as often as not Biblical in proportions, for the human…
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If I had a bit more courage and a lot more scholarship, I would have discussed the similarities and differences between a haiku poem and a senryū poem in the introduction of my newly released book of poetry Short Verses & Other Curses: Haiku, Senryū, Tanka & Other Poetic, Artistic, & Photographic Miscellany. However, seeing that I am woefully deficient in both, I will have to enlist someone adequately courageous and scholarly to discuss these subtleties for me.
What little I do think I know about these two popular Japanese poetical forms is that both are diminutive in structure yet powerful in purpose and meaning, with haiku typically involving nature settings and the zen-like moments often evoked by them and senryū typically involving the vagaries – and vulgarities – of the lives that we lead, often by employing humor and sarcasm. But then, what do I really know about it…
I have no answers
I know just that grass will grow
and that leaves will fall
For those of you who appreciate a little more scholarship and authority, here is what Richard Hass, former U.S. Poet Laureate, has to say about haiku in his beautifully edited and translated book The Essential Haiku: Versions of Basho, Buson, & Issa (Essential Poets). (I find no direct mention of senryū in the book; though it seems to me much of his discussion of haiku can also be applied to senryū as well.)
The insistence on time and place was crucial for writers of haiku. The seasonal reference was called kigo and a haiku was thought to be incomplete without it.
If the first level of a haiku is its location in nature, its second is almost always some implicit Buddhist reflection on nature.
When the hokku [what haiku were originally called] became detached from linked verse, it also cast off the room the tanka provided for drawing a moral (thought not all tanka do moralize, of course) and what was left was the irreducible mysteriousness of the images themselves.
There is so much to consider about these two subtle yet so often at the same time plain-spoken Japanese poetic forms. Considerations such as:
– Zen and its influence
– the influence of China and its poetry
– various poetic techniques found in much of traditional Japanese poetry, to include haiku and senryū, such as kake-kotoba (pivot words) and kireji (cutting words)
– the 5/7/5 structure and its relevance to the Western haiku poet
Hass’ book covers much of the list; however, instead of continuing to discuss about these poetic forms, let’s just experience some of the best of their kind and enjoy them as they are.
A petal shower
of mountain roses,
and the sound of the rapids
to see lightning and not think
life is fleeting
leaking through the roof,
dripping from a wasps’ nest
Taking a nap,
against a cool wall
Winter solitude —
in a world of one color
the sound of wind
He’s on the porch,
to escape wife and kids —
how hot it is!
Cover my head
or my feet?
the winter quilt
Flowers offered to the Buddha
down the winter river
The man pulling radishes
pointed my way
with a radish
A dry riverbed
All the time I pray to Buddha
I keep on
the old dog
leads the way
and so no sin,
a winter day
From the website HUBPAGES
speaks the sober truth
only when drunk
looking for fleas
The face of her husband
looking for a job —
she is tired of it
An empty sickbed
an indented pillow
in weak winter sun
A falling petal
strikes one floating on the pond
and they both sink
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FROM THE INTRODUCTION:
I began focusing much of my poetry writing on the Japanese poetic forms of haiku, senryū, and tanka at the beginning of 2012 as a therapeutic effort when finding myself in the midst of an illness. And I continue to write them even as I find myself, at the end of 2015, in the midst of wellness – their therapy for me being more calmative now than curative.
The Short Versesin this collection are all either haiku, senryū, or tanka, with those in the latter half of the section being accompanied by a titled photograph or drawing…
The Other Curses in this collection are poems and sayings following no particular form or convention – in other words, they are quite informal and unconventional. Some in this section are accompanied with a photograph or drawing; many are not.
I discover truth and meaning in the concepts of no mind, living in the now, non-attachment, and the angst of existence as found in the practices and philosophies and Zazen, Stoicism, and Existentialism. Additionally, I admire greatly the concepts taught by the late Dr. Wayne Dyer.
You may notice these conceptual influences laced throughout this collection…