Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Cool Announcement: New Release, Journeys: Getting Lost

My Dear Friends:

I'm happy to share with you this exciting news: NeverEnding Story contributor Carole Johnston just published a collection of short poems,  titled Journeys: Getting Lost (Finishing Line Press 2015).

About the Author:

Carole Johnston has been writing Japanese short form poetry for five years and has published  haiku and tanka in various print and online journals. Retired from teaching, she drives around writing poems about landscape. Visit her on Twitter (@morganabag) to read more of her poetry.

The short poems presented in Journeys: Getting Lost are beautifully crafted with haiku/tanka sensitivities. These are poems of mountains, rivers, clouds, grassy fields, deserts and highways that take readers on a series of journeys across the gendered, rural, urban, and spiritual spaces. In the poems, Carole Johnston shows a flair for tying emotions to arresting images and invites readers to become a fellow  traveler.

time traveler                                       
on the road with Basho
watching stars spin
fireflies disappearing
I fill my brush with ink

The thematic motifs explored in Journeys: Getting Lost remind me of the opening passage of Basho’s The Narrow Road to the Deep North, which is considered one of the most famous travelogues ever:

The moon and sun are eternal travelers. Even the years wander on. A lifetime adrift in a boat, or in old age leading a tired horse into the years, every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home. From the earliest times there have always been some who perished along the road. Still I have always been drawn by wind-blown clouds into dreams of a lifetime of wandering…

Selected Haiku and Tanka:

turn off radio
deep inhale-exhale-drive
focus on -- rain

I drive                          
into a eucharist
of rain    

two days alone
driving the desert
road on the map
thin gray line to nowhere
I'm fasting on dust

that night                               
I wandered to the top
of a mesa
beneath a billion stars
alone and exploding

I charge
down the highway
into butterflies
rushing toward birth

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