Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Monday, May 30, 2016

Another "JIKU" book excerpt availabel on Amazon & Blurb.Com

(grateful) transcendence

          (moonlit) cherry blossoms floating

                                               "this other world"

An excerpt from "JIKU", available on iTunes, Amazon, & Blurb.Com

(An edited edition)

Gales mash root rot

autumn's needles cry       in fall

breeze      leaves      trunks prostate

on a forest floor

shrill silence  .  .  .  autumn's fall  

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Saturday, May 28, 2016

#238 from "Up the Mtn" available on iTunes, Blurb.Com, & ISSUU.Com

An exchange of commentary from myself & Nicholas Klacsanzky on "Up the Mtn #120". On the Google + "Poets" Community.


wet ferns - leaves shimmering


divine incarnations

everywhere      nature's divinity

I feel this could be a lot simpler. "shimmering" implies there is sunlight and the last two lines are implied by the third line. 

It could be:

wet ferns
and leaves shimmer

We could make "shimmering" to be "shimmer" in order for it to be more immeditate as well. 

My response:
Yes I see ur point Nicholas. Your edits would make this tanka a simpler, and briefer haiku. Although I had a lot more I was trying to communicate in this tanka. Shimmering suggests more of a present tense & implies a little more movement in the leaves than shimmer. Also "hallelujah" connotes christian spirituality is present in nature "every where", which is also momentarily binds the divinity within Christianity with the divinity of Taoism, Shinto, & the Buddhist History of Nature present in Japanese Haiku & Tanka. Also "divine incarnations" implies not just the ferns but all in nature and of the images everywhere in this haiga and those we might conjure up in our heads while reading this poem. In the rocks, dirt, trees, shimmering waters on the fern leaves, the air, etc.  These divine incarnations everywhere and especially in nature where adam & eve were banished to are not what we in the west usually associate to be occurring in nature. Nature is usually associated with being exclusively being present for the Christian "Man" to bend to his will as a resource to be molded rather than being something that is as divine in as of itself just as Christ or God, or Buddha might be. Yet being redundant I felt I could better bind these images together in the readers eye, all of which is harder to do in a haiku. I was trying to bind the plethora of religious beliefs into a unified spiritual moment. akin to a spiritual koan. 
I wrote it for three Christian, Buddhist, and Shinto (church, temple, shrine) organizations in Sapporo, Japan. It was supposed to be a poem that speaks to all in a unifying way during a community celebration. 

I did not get the conotation of being related to all religions. Maybe you could have other religious exclamations besides the Christian one.

My response:
Well I did refer to the some of the Dharmic Religions (Buddhist, Taoist, & Shinto) when I spoke of nature being divinity. But as you suggested I will play with doing some in haiku as well.

#268c from "Up the Mtn", not yet published in any of my books

bare handed

in a snowstorm . . . naked


Friday, May 27, 2016

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Commentary on one of my haiku, by Nicholas Klacsanzky Haikucommentary.wordpress.com

Bukusai Ashagawa’s Candle

by candle light

through a bedroom window

a pear blossoms

I enjoy how each step of the poem, each line being a step, reaffirms itself. The color, warmth, and comfort is unified through the eventual zooming in on the pear blossoms.

The reader is first taken to candle light, which is white and warm. Then we move onto the bedroom window, which is clear and could be said to be pure. Bedrooms are also said to be warm places in actuality and in the heart. Finally, we come to the pear blossoms, which are white and have a charming center color of light red or green. They also mark the spring season. But since it is most likely night, the blossoms are probably closed, which could either bring about the sense of melancholy or the realization of its beauty, even when closed.

So the wonder of this moment is that the poet had an insight that his reality was one in beauty and warmth. Through mundane objects, the poet has conveyed a sense of joy and comfort–a kind of bliss.

The “l” sound running through the poem gives it an eloquent tone. The “b” sound gives off a sense of comfort and maybe a sense of maternal warmth

The contrast of night and the whiteness and warmth of the objects makes the poem stark. I also think that the candle light and us transferring to the blossoms is in a sense showing the journey to enlightenment.

It is a classic haiku technique to zoom in on something from a distance. I think the poet did this wonderfully.

                                         Additional Commentary by the Poet:

Although your interpretation of what I intended to be the primary meaning of “a pear blossoming” was really my secondary, my intentionally parallel and contradictory, meaning behind what I perceived as “a pear blossoming.” We spoke about this but I think this is how miscommunication can occur when we just text, email, or message one another in today’s society.

I primarily perceived “a pear blossoming” as an off handed yet hopefully subtle play on words. For me, the primary but not the exclusive meaning behind “a pear blossoms” signified a women’s pear shaped naked silhouetted figure, silhouetted behind a translucent curtain, which was illuminated by the soft warm light of a candle. This is why I preferred the “a” before the rest of “pear blossoms” instead of “pears blossom,” otherwise I would have done it the way you suggested. It was an actual memory from my childhood that I’d struggled for decades to speak of in a respectful yet sensual manner. There of course was no way you could have known all this without speaking with me or interviewing me.

Writing of her figure as “a pear blossoming” was for me a play on words. One which allowed me to give the poem a more respectable-acceptable tone, yet still broach an undeniably sexualized memory from my youth. So your interpretation was again spot on, but missing that personalized insight. I think we all interpret haiku idioms in such a way. Sometimes we interpret one version of what the author intended and at other times the other, or both. This is part of what defines the how and why of the art forms I refer to as English Haiku Idioms (EHI), like haiku, senryu, and tanka. Others have believed that this poem was only about a figurative woman, yet missed the literal, the actual pear.

I believe this divergence, this difference in how an author and then the reader, or literary critic defines and or interprets the multiplicity of meanings in the words of some haiku poetry is what has defined and characterized Japanese poetry forms like choka, waka, renga, hokku, senryu, tanka, and haiku for over a thousand years; going all the way back to the essential and cannonical works, the choka/waka of the Man’yoshu, Kokinshu, and those other earlier Imperial Anthologies and works of poets during the Heian,Edo, & Meji Periods. The EHI as I refer to them that are derived from them act as catalysts with which the reader can then take the literary baton if you will, from the writer. In EHI there is I believe no arbitrary right or wrong way of interpreting the haiku writer’s words. For in haiku and most of it’s other EHI forms, the reader is meant to act as a co-creator in the poets writing endeavor. As a/the co-creator of the poem, the reader continues to create, to create in their minds eye from where the writer left off. Thus the reader is prompted by the writers words, their last line to continue on in their minds eye where the writer left off–as if in a virtual renga writing party. It’s as if the writer creates the first three hokku/haiku lines, while the reader picks up the writers baton and writes the last two lines in their minds eye. This means the reader must come up with their own interpretation of the meaning that the writers first three lines held for them. Some haiku or hokku are very explicit while others are open ended or have ambiguous or multiple meanings. This employing of multiple meaning is what many writers of forms like waka/renga, hokku/haiku, & tanka writers have done since the arts inception. Sometimes a haiku’s meaning is crystal clear–specific–sometimes it is vague or ambiguous.

– Bukusai Ashagawa

#165 from "Up the Mtn", available on iTunes, Blurb.Com, & ISSUU.Com

thunderous booming

piercing crackles      lightning

swollen pregnant clouds

birthed on a Mtn side

divine intuition

Friday, May 20, 2016

#133 from "Up the Mtn", available on iTunes, ISSUU.Com, & Blurb.Com

deep in the forest
my hovel      my hermitage
healing seclusion
nature's divinity
continues on and on  .  .  .  And on

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

A JIKU excerpt

cherry petals

draw a visual eulogy 

                 g    .    .    .

                                                   past their prime

Sunday, May 8, 2016

#89 from "Up the Mtn", available on iTunes, Blurb.Com, & ISSUU.Com

Nature's Lush Life

Coltrane's visceral score

pulsing   sultry   snow

ylem notes      manifestations

Divine Composition

An excerpt from my book of poetry entitled "JIKU", available on iTunes, Blurb.Com & Amazon

                                I pedal past

                   raindrops, pummeling petals

                      wrung dry,  by high winds