Monday, July 13, 2020

Cool Announcement: Two Freebies, Star Wheel and Eyeball Kick

                                                                   The advantage of the incomprehensible is that
                                                                    it never loses its freshness. — Paul Valéry

My Dear Readers:

NeverEnding Story contributor, Michael Dylan Welch,  invites you to read his two new poetry collections. One is a free ebook, Eyeball Kick, (Bones, June 2020), a collection of 43 sometimes surreal "hydrogen jukebox" poems, and  the other is a microchapbook, Star Wheel, (Origami Poems Project, 2020), that features 28 haiku and senryu inspired by the names of crochet patterns. 

Selected Poems from Eyeball Kick:

hydrogen jukebox
the pizza place
on speed dial

hydrogen jukebox
a noodle escapes
from each of our spoons

hydrogen jukebox
the cottage cheese
of memory

hydrogen jukebox
in the OK corral

hydrogen jukebox
the scythe of lies
you tell me in moonlight

hydrogen jukebox
latter-day rain
dashing the steeple

hydrogen jukebox
it’s the end of the word
as we know it

Selected Haiku and Senryu from Star Wheel:

late-morning quiet --
a dusting of pollen
on the wedding table

Texas diner --
the tip jar
filled with pesos

Happy Reading


Note: The following is a relevant excerpt from "Wherever They Will," a forward to Eyeball Kick:

Each short poem in this collection presents a disjunction in the manner of what Allen Ginsberg conceptualized in the phrase “hydrogen jukebox”—originally from Howl, and later an opera by Ginsberg and Philip Glass. It’s a deliberate compression of two disparate and unexpected elements—low and high, common and uncommon—in this case to the point of surrealism, designed to produce what Ginsberg called an “eyeball kick,” or a double-take. It may well relate to Basho’s aesthetic ideal of kogo kizoku, or “awakening to the high, returning to the low.” 

Sunday, July 12, 2020

A Room of My Own: Real News about This Barefaced Lie

Eighty-Ninth Entry, Coronavirus Poetry Diary

Any resemblance to current events or actual locales, or to living persons, is not coincidental.

blinking EXIT
down the hospital hallway
six feet apart
from a line of masked generals
the masked President

In a dimly lit attic room where I shelter my time and my drunken shadow, I doom-scroll for the latest update: New Coronavirus Cases in U.S. Soar Past 68,000, Shattering Record.

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Butterfly Dream: Summer Tradewinds Haiku by Jan Benson

English Original

summer tradewinds
splicing the mainbrace

2018 British Haiku Society Members' Anthology

Jan Benson

Chinese Translation (Traditional)


Chinese Translation (Simplified)


Bio Sketch

Jan Benson was a Pushcart Prize nominated haiku poet. Her haiku were published in many of the world's leading haiku journals and magazines. Jan was a member of The World Haiku Association and Poetry Society of Texas. Jan's profile can be found on The Haiku Foundation "Poet Registry" and online at The Living Haiku Anthology.

One Man's Maple Moon: Forest Fire Smoke Tanka by Joanne Morcom

English Original

forest fire smoke
drifts down from the north  ...
hoping for rain
to clear the air
and jumbled thoughts

Gusts, 26, fall/winter 2017

Joanne Morcom

Chinese Translation (Traditional)

從北方飄移下來 ...

Chinese Translation (Simplified)


Bio Sketch

Joanne Morcom is a poet and social worker who lives in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.  She has published four poetry  collections and her work appears in online and print journals and anthologies. 

Thursday, July 9, 2020

One Man's Maple Moon: Petal Tanka by Claudia Coutu Radmore

English Original

a petal falls
into my afternoon sleep
slips through that world
between his being there
and not

fish spine picked clean, 2018 

Claudia Coutu Radmore

Chinese Translation (Traditional)


Chinese Translation (Simplified)


Bio Sketch

Claudia Coutu Radmore is the author of  fish spine picked clean (2018, Éditions des petits nuages, Montreal, Canada),  and Your Hands Discover Me/ Tes mains me découvrent  (2010, Éditions du tanka francophone, Montreal). She is the  President of Haiku Canada, and has been proofreading, and selecting tanka, for Gusts.

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Butterfly Dream: Quarter Moon Haiku by Martha Magenta

English Original

quarter moon
the forgotten fragments
of her life

Stardust Haiku, 12, December 2017

Martha Magenta

Chinese Translation (Traditional)


Chinese Translation (Simplified)


Bio Sketch

Martha Magenta lived in England, UK. Her haiku and tanka had appeared in a number of journals, and anthologies. She was awarded Honourable Mentions for her haiku in The Fifth Annual Peggy Willis Lyles Haiku  Awards, 2017, and in the 71st Basho Memorial English Haiku Contest, 2017, and for her tanka in UHTS  “Fleeting Words” Tanka Contest 2017.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Poetic Musings: Town Barberpole Haiku by Nick Virgilio

town barberpole
stops turning:
autumn nightfall

Selected Haiku, 1989

Nick Virgilio

Commentary: ... in Virgilio’s poem, we get a profound sense of ending, even of death, when the barberpole is shut off—or turns off for some other reason (power failure?). The day too is ending, as night falls, and the year’s seasons are drawing to a close with autumn. The elements work together to create a feeling of sadness...

-- excerpted from To the Lighthouse: "Thirteen Ways of Reading Haiku" by Michael Dylan Welch

Note: It might be interesting to do a comparative reading of the following barberpole haiku by John W. Wisdom

the slow turn
of a barber’s pole --
afternoon heat

This poem by John W. Wisdom brings up images of old town America. We can envision a small town where a person is waiting to get a haircut. The slow turn of the pole reminds us of the cyclical nature of time: how days, weeks, and months rise in an endless parade. We can almost feel the weight of atmosphere hanging in the air making us pause to consider the world at a diminished pace.

-- excerpted from Haiku Society of America NewsLetter, 35:7, July 5 2020

Monday, July 6, 2020

One Man's Maple Moon: Cemetery Tanka by Anna Cates

English Original

drift through the cemetery
summer’s end
friends, strangers, enemies
fading into rest

Anna Cates

Chinese Translation (Traditional)


Chinese Translation (Simplified)


Bio Sketch

Anna Cates is a graduate of Indiana State University (M.A. English and Ph.D. Curriculum & Instruction / English) and National University (M.F.A. Creative Writing).  Her first collections of poetry and fiction, The Meaning of Life and The  Frog King, were published by Cyberwit Press, and her second poetry collection, The Darkroom, by Prolific Press.  She  lives in Ohio with her two beautiful kitties and teaches education and English online, including graduate courses in  creative writing. 

Sunday, July 5, 2020

One Man's Maple Moon: Headstone Tanka by LeRoy Gorman

English Original

the short dash
between birth and death
on your headstone
did you get done
all you wanted

Ribbons, 15:3, Fall 2019

LeRoy Gorman

Chinese Translation (Traditional)


Chinese Translation (Simplified)


Bio Sketch

LeRoy Gorman lives in Napanee, Ontario. His poetry, much of it minimalist and visual, has appeared in publications and exhibitions worldwide. He is the author of two dozen poetry books and chapbooks. He is also the winner of the 2017 Dwarf Stars Award

Saturday, July 4, 2020

A Room of My Own: July 4th and Jungle Dreams Tanka

inspired by Spike Lee's Da 5 Bloods and written for Black Vietnam Veterans

July 4th
crossed out on his calendar ...
jungle dreams
erupt like fireworks
through his war-torn mind

Note: Spike Lee closes Da 5 Bloods with a quote from a speech Martin Luther King made the year before he died, in which King quotes Langston Hughes: 

O, yes
I say it plain
America never was America to me
And yet I swear this oath—
America will be!

Friday, July 3, 2020

Butterfly Dream: Skeleton Haiku by Pragya Vishnoi

English Original

prairie skies ...
among the wildflowers
a horse's skeleton

Pragya Vishnoi

Chinese Translation (Traditional)

大草原的天空 ...

Chinese Translation (Simplified)

大草原的天空 ...

Bio Sketch

Pragya Vishnoi lives in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh, India and works at a bank. Her haiku have been published in Better Than Starbucks, Presence,  The Heron's Nest and Frogpond. She loves reading Japanese literature, especially short fictions written by Ryonsuke Akutagawa, Mieko Kawakami and Banana Yoshimoto.

Thursday, July 2, 2020

One Man's Maple Moon: Tideline Tanka by Neal Whitman

English Original

one always
dies too soon or too late --
below the tideline
my name drawn with a stick
has been washed out to sea
Eucalypt, April 2018

Neal Whitman 

Chinese Translation (Traditional)

死得太早或太遲 --

Chinese Translation (Simplified)

死得太早或太迟 --

Bio Sketch

Neal Whitman lives with his wife, Elaine, in Pacific Grove, California, where he is a docent at Point Pinos Lighthouse. Visitors who come there from near and far inspire him to write poetry that takes the “particular" to convey the “universal". Neal is Vice President of the United Haiku and Tanka Society.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

A Room of My Own: O Canada Tanka

written on Canada Day for new Canadians

breezy sunlight
floods the ceremony room
each new citizen
singing O Canada
in a different tone

Note: The following is a prequel to the tanka above:

for naturalized Canadians

a giant Maple Leaf
in the ceremony
I answer
to my English name
with a twinge of sadness

Atlas Poetica, 21, 2015

Chen-ou Liu

Hot News: Prune Juice Book of Senryu and TOP 5 Prune Juice Contributors of ALL TIME (2009-2019)

My Dear Friends:

Great news! The Prune Juice Book of Senryu: Celebrating 10 Years (2009 - 2019) is now available as a FREE eBook PDF And I'm honored  to be number one contributor on the list of  the TOP 5 Prune Juice Contributors of ALL TIME (2009-2019):

#1  Chen-ou Liu,  27 issues since PJ, #3 2010 (FYI: I started writing haiku and senryu in mid 2009)

#2  Bob Lucky, 22 issues since PJ, #01 2009

#3. Helen Buckingham, 21 issues since PJ, #01 2009

#4.  Julie Warther, 20 issues since PJ, #11 2013

#5.  Sondra J. Byrnes, 19 issues since PJ #07 2012

Here are my senryu selected by Prune Juice editors:

PJ, 29:

humid heat
a drunk drones on
about bad luck

PJ, 28:

chain-link fences
on both sides of the road . . .
post election

PJ, 27

first homecoming
I refashion myself
between flights


divorce talk
the burden of who
will take the dog


between street lamps
a sex worker
and my shadow


my muse blinking
in Morse Code . . .
one more glass of wine


street preacher
wisps of breath hang
around his mouth

PJ, 8

Mona Lisa smiles
at the woman in a burka . . .
art gallery

PJ, 5

arguing over costs . . .
a man of few words
in the coffin

PJ, 3

drinking at a bar —
the old man he swore
he’d never be

PJ, 7

eating a Big Mac . . .
alone in the attic
I ponder
the Chinese word for home:
a pig under the roof

PJ, 30

Victoria’s Secret
in the window
my wife’s wrinkles

black and white
photos of my school days
new patch of gray hair

behind the hearse
carrying the former mayor
a few people
. . . and the garbage truck
keeps its safe distance

Enjoy all of these authors plus 80 more top contributors in this free Prune Juice Book of Senryu: Celebrating 10 Years (2009 - 2019) ebook.