e a m harris

Roaming the byways of literature

Archive for the category “Poetry”

A day of silence and its poetry

The last day of March was Nyepi Day for the Balinese. This means a day of silence – traffic stops, people stay at home and contemplate, all is quiet. I wish we had such a day here.

I couldn’t find poems about Nyepi, not in English anyway, but the website Bali for the World has what seems to be a translation of one, as well as a good write up of the deeper meanings of the day.

With flowers make yadnya,
Melasti with going to the beach.

It is the sort of ceremony that ought to have a rich literature. Perhaps some of my readers know of it, if so I’d be grateful if you could let me know.

The mighty bear – Rondeau for dVerse

E A M Harris:

I love this story and the picture that goes with it.

Originally posted on Björn Rudbergs writings:


The mighty bear that walk her home
a girl should never lonely roam
as little hands caress his fur
the vicious beast will gently purr
they slowly walk in twilight’s gloam

she’s talking ‘bout her dreams of Rome
her chatter fills the air like foam
and see him silently concur
the mighty bear

in smell of honeysuckle bloom
the beast will leave her to her room
he walks alone among the firs
but in her dreams will always stir
she’ll never find another groom
as mighty bear


The Bear by Michael Sowa

The Bear by Michael Sowa


Today at dVerse poetics, Marina Sofia will make her premier appearance doing poetics. We should write about animals, and since Björn means bear, the animal choice was easy.

April 1, 2014

View original

Haiku challenge

Today the challenge from Carpe Diem is about raking sand or stones to form a Japanese dry landscape garden.

I would love to see one of these gardens ‘in the flesh’. So far I’ve only seen photos.

My poem is:

One rake arranges
a million pebbles as
a sea of calm.

Haiku for a Chinese garden

Chinese pond and pavilions

Pavilions circle
a tranquil pond; beyond them
lies a storm-tossed world.

Cities

Cities coverYesterday I picked up my copy of Cities: A Book of Poems, an anthology compiled by S Philip. It has one of my poems in it, and it’s nice to see my work in print on a freshly opened page.

But I didn’t buy it just for that; as an ex-Londoner and urbophile, I was keen to see what other poets had made of the subject. The answer is – lots. The pages of the book are crowded with lovers, haters and indifferenters of cities. They work, play, run, stroll, take photos and do a lot of remembering.

Leah Angstman describes the fine detail of a season in memory (Autumn on Oak Street), while Barbara Wiedemann introduces us to the homeless (Urban Homesteading) and Pearse Murray has a city full of noise and ghosts (Timbral City). Others give us stories covering years or records of moments in time. I’ll enjoy dipping into this book for some time to come.

All One Breath

All one breath cover artYesterday I received the current book from the Poetry Book Society. It is All One Breath by John Burnside – elegant and enticing in its smart Cape Poetry off-white cover.

According to the magazine that came with it, this is the Spring 14 book. Yesterday spring was a bit of a joke, but today the sun is shining and it’s approach is a bit more believable.

The title of the book comes from a verse in Ecclesiastes (a book in the Christian bible):

For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast.

As someone concerned with animal rights, I find this verse a banner to campaign under and a comfort when I read about the dangers animals face today. I wonder why I’ve never heard of it before.

Back to the poetry. I haven’t read much of the book yet, but I can see that it isn’t all about animals. The ‘all one breath’ applies to humans too.

Found poetry and huskies

List of husky namesRecently I attended a meeting at the British Antarctic Survey building in Cambridge. Outside the main entrance is a memorial to the dogs that worked for the Survey from 1945 to 1993.

For me the list of names is found poetry. I can imagine them being recited with the sounds of barking dogs and hissing antarctic winds in the background.

The names are so evocative: Hairybreeks and Hobbits are friendly, but would I want to meet Terrors or Gangsters? I’d love to shake paws with a dog called Moomin, even though I don’t know what his name means.

There’s quite a bit of poetry about huskies on the web. One called My Husky Team about a race to the Pole has a ballad-like start and an amusing ending.

I met a man who mushed
with Peary to the Pole.
Said I, ‘In all that land so hushed
what most inspired your soul?’

Another that I like is on a site called Dogster. It starts with a statement of the achievement of the Siberian huskies.

You conquered the toughest country
Ever created on earth.
Where you led, man followed your footsteps,
And the North was given birth.

I don’t have the names of either of these poets, but I admire their work and their praise, amusing and serious, for the husky.

Haiku challenge number 396 – Fujiidera

Today’s prompt from Carpe Diem is actually three words: rhododendron, chrysanthemum and kingfisher. I have only managed to use one of them; all my attempts to include all sounded ridiculous or very false.

On the window-sill,
a crystal vase holds water
and chrysanthemums.

I have to admit chrysanths are not one of my favourite flowers. They’re nice among other flowers in a border and they look good in a vase, but I don’t understand the importance they seem to have in Japanese culture.

I think the perfume is important to some people, but I have a very poor sense of smell so can’t get excited about scent unless it’s very strong.

Rhododendrons are different. I really admire their flowers and when I was a kid I used to love running under the green bushes in a park and looking at the shapes made by the branches.

But the kingfisher’s beauty outshines both.

Haiku challenge 389

Today’s prompt has many possibilities and the original post and the haiku contributions make great reading.

Between the temples
of Shikoku – paths worn smooth
by pilgrim’s journeys.

Traces of an urban fox

pawprints in snowIn the towns and cities around where I live we have a lot of urban foxes. They’re not tame, but are used to humans, and I’ve often seen them trotting down the street. They move with a special grace and elegance.

I never saw the fox that made these prints. He/she visited our street several times but always while we were asleep – it if weren’t for the snow we wouldn’t have known.

The simplicity of the prints and the ephemeralness of the creature made me think of haiku.

A dozen pawprints
in new snow: the only trace
of our neighbourhood fox.

Post Navigation

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 388 other followers

%d bloggers like this: