e a m harris

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Archive for the category “Poetry”

Those little things we love to jump in

Today’s haiku challenge from Carpe Diem is ‘puddles’.

Puddles are friendly little things; didn’t you love to jump in them when you were a bit younger than you are now? I did, and I also loved their mirrorness when they reflected the surroundings, particularly me as I leaned over them to look (I was a vain child and always enjoyed my reflection).

But puddles are junior members of a big family and may be practising to grow up like their big brothers – floods. After all the rain we’ve had, floods are on a lot of minds in southern England, so I find puddles a very apt prompt.

Carpe Diem gives, as usual, some wonderful examples of haiku to inspire us. Here is my result:

Falling rain all day,
uneven pathway – puddles
reflecting moonlight.

A new online magazine with 100 haiku

Kigo mag cover artFor all you haiku fans, here’s a link to a new online magazine Kigo: Seasonal Words – available to download free.

It contains four of my haiku, which, of course, makes me really happy, but that’s not why I recommend it. It has 96 other haiku and they are a wonderful collection.

This first issue is a Winter/Spring one, but having a restricted subject matter has not restricted the poets. There are so many ways of looking at a season; many of them I wouldn’t have been able to think of ever. A formal poetry style, a restricted subject, but so much variety.

The human brain has so many manifestations – if all the 8 billion people in the world sat down and wrote a haiku about winter no two of them would be the same. And yet in all that difference almost all those 8 billion people respond to poetry. Behind the diversity is an underlying sharing.

Those who write haiku, tanka or haiga may be interested to know that the publishers, Chuffed Buff Books, are now taking submissions for the summer issue.

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

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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.

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