Tuesday, January 19, 2021

A Room of My Own: Inauguration Eve Haiku

we heard it, we saw it, and we failed it.

the Capitol 
slightly higher than the fence
Inauguration Eve

FYI: See my "To the Lighthouse" post, Joshi (Prefatory Note) as a Poetic Device. And this haiku is a sequel to my haiku sequence, Inciter-In-Chief, published on the day of Donald Trump's second impeachment:

Inciter-In-Chief

We will never give up, we will never concede. You'll never take back our country with weakness! You have to show strength! -- "twice-impeached president," Donald Trump

From inflammatory words come violent actions -- on the steps of the Reichstag and now in the Capitol. -- Germany’s Foreign Minister, Heiko Maas

morning chill
a river of floating
MAGA hats

noonday sun
Do the right thing, a twist
to the President's mouth

a smiling white man
waves the Confederate flag
Capitol hallway 

her bloody handprint
on Nothing Can Stop Us
gathering dusk

FBI most wanted 
a silhouette in the window
of the Oval Office

Trump Impeachment
the border wall higher 
than the setting sun

Monday, January 18, 2021

Special Feature: Selected Poems for Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Martin Luther King’s Birthday, a federal holiday observed on the third Monday in January, is a perfect time to reflect on his legacy of the civil rights struggle. Below are two poems published on NeverEnding Story to show personal commitments to continue this struggle for racial, socio-politic an economic justice. 

A Tanka for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

I sleepwalk
on the way to Jericho
a man singing
Ain't gonna let nobody
turn me around

Sergio A. Ortiz 


When the looting starts

the shooting starts. Thank you! The President ends his tweet just after midnight. Pop, pop, pop, .. piercing the morning sky tinged with shades of gray.

blindfolded Justice
holding her scales and sword
in the square
the banner, #BlackLivesMatter
stained with mud and blood

Alone on the edge of the square, an old man yells out, A riot is the language of the unheard. He begins to chant, Black Lives Matter ... In the corner of my mind, his husky voice mingles with that of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: And what is it that America has failed to hear?

Chen-ou Liu


While Dr. King is primarily remembered as a civil rights leader, he also championed the cause of the poor and organized the Poor People’s Campaign to address issues of economic justice. Dr. King was also a fierce critic of U.S. foreign policy and the Vietnam War. 

Listen to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in His Own Words (“Beyond Vietnam” Speech delivered at New York City’s Riverside Church on April 4, 1967, and his last speech, “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop,”given on April 3, 1968, the night before he was assassinated) -- excerpted from Democracy Now, Jan. 18

Cool Announcement: Moving Forward Edited by Ignatius Fay

My Dear Friends: 

NeverEnding Story contributor, Ignatius Fay, edited and published a collection of haiku written by the members of the Ontario Region of Haiku Canada, titled moving forward: The Trillium Haiku Group Anthology 2020." And Dr. Fay feels confident to claim that "[t]his volume contains a lot of exceptional poetry, solid proof that the Ontario Region is a haiku force with which to contend." (p.5)

Selected Haiku:

another gray day
a desire to fly south
with the geese

Ignatius Fay

sleepless night
the forest's silhouette
slowly emerges

Ian Kenney

unspoken thoughts
the tongs jam
the cutlery drawer

Dorothy Mahoney

the glass shards
of a fallen angel
black ice

Roland Packer

To conclude this book promotion post, share with you two of my haiku included in this anthology:

backyard quarrel
deep into the night
wildfires 

a red leaf
drifts between light and shade
high school dropout

Happy Reading

Chen-ou

Sunday, January 17, 2021

One Man's Maple Moon: Lonely Maneuver Tanka by Sanford Goldstein

English Original

I spit
on tonight’s lonely
maneuver,
I floss,
I scribble poems

This Short Life: Minimalist Tanka, 2014

Sanford Goldstein 


Chinese Translation (Traditional)

我唾棄
今晚的寂寞
表演,
我用牙線剔牙
我塗寫幾首詩

Chinese Translation (Simplified)

我唾弃
今晚的寂寞
表演,
我用牙线剔牙
我涂写几首诗


Bio Sketch

Sanford Goldstein has been publishing tanka for more than fifty years.  He was born in 1925 and is now 95 years old.  Long ago, he wrote haiku, but decided to focus on tanka. His latest books, three in the last two years, have each said this would be his last.

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Butterfly Dream: Bodhi Tree Haiku by Salil Chaturvedi

English Original

bodhi tree
not a single leaf
is still ...

The Heron’s Nest, 18:3, September 2016

Salil Chaturvedi 


Chinese Translation (Traditional)

菩提樹
沒有一片葉子
是靜止不動 ...

Chinese Translation (Simplified)

菩提树
没有一片叶子
是静止不动 ...


Bio Sketch

Salil Chaturvedi lives on an island along the Mandovi River in Goa, India. He writes short fiction and poetry, and loves spending long hours in the mangroves or in the valleys of the Western Ghats. His debut collection of poetry, In the sanctuary of a poem, was released in 2017.

Friday, January 15, 2021

Butterfly Dream: First Snow Haiku by Agus Maulana Sunjaya

English Original

first snow ...
the old katana
glistens

Wales Haiku Journal, Winter 2019

Agus Maulana Sunjaya


Chinese Translation (Traditional)

初雪 ...
一把老武士刀
閃閃發光

Chinese Translation (Simplified)

初雪 ...
一把老武士刀
闪闪发光


Bio Sketch

Agus Maulana Sunjaya lives in Indonesia, teaching physics and mathematics at university. He has been writing English Language haiku for 3 years. Agus' works has appeared in Wales Haiku Journal, Akitsu Quarterly, NHK Masters, Under the Basho, etc. Agus also have won several comnendations in some haiku contests. Twitter: @agusmsunjaya

Poetic Musings: Summer Storm Haiku by Jo McInerney

summer storm
the windscreen wipers
slice our silence

2009 Jack Stamm Award

Jo McInerney

Commentary: As in mise-en-scène, three shots are very carefully selected and placed before the reader. As in montage, we see unconnected images (like film shots) cut and pasted to form a whole. This is also a lovely example of how the “cut” is used in haiku to show the juxtaposition of two parallel images. These nuanced techniques organically strengthen and layer the storytelling aspect of the poem.

summer storm: The reader is given a picture of a summer storm, which brings to mind the onset of the rainy season. As a reader, I can see myself out there in the open, viewing the sky. Is there a hint of a storm brewing in the minds of the people in the car, too?

the windscreen wipers: The second line actually puts me behind the steering wheel, or I might be a passenger. I hear the rapid movement of the windscreen wipers as they swish from left to right.

These first two lines create the scène in which the action will occur.

slice our silence: This is an amazing leap that takes us into the interior worlds of these two people – who might they be? A couple? A parent and a child? Perhaps people with some sharp difference of opinion? We are all familiar with such silences. The story is left unfinished for the reader to fill in the details. In haiku this technique is called the semi-circle, where some space is left for the reader to step in... 

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

A Room of My Own: Inciter-In-Chief

(Authorial Note: I re-organized two haiku sequence, Just Another Day in the Land of the Free and To the Reality Show That Will Indeed End in a Week into this new sequence whose title was taken from a The New Yorker, Jan. 9 article, written by David Remnick


We will never give up, we will never concede. You'll never take back our country with weakness! You have to show strength! -- "twice-impeached president," Donald Trump

From inflammatory words come violent actions -- on the steps of the Reichstag and now in the Capitol. -- Germany’s Foreign Minister, Heiko Maas

morning chill
a river of floating
MAGA hats

noonday sun
Do the right thing, a twist
to the President's mouth

a smiling white man
waves the Confederate flag
Capitol hallway 

her bloody handprint
on Nothing Can Stop Us
gathering dusk

FBI most wanted 
a silhouette in the window
of the Oval Office

Trump Impeachment
the border wall higher 
than the setting sun


Note: The following haiku sequence was originally published on Jan. 11

To the Reality Show That Will Indeed End in a Week

chill gray dawn
Trump etched into the back 
of a manatee

FBI most wanted 
a silhouette in the window
of the Oval Office

Trump Impeachment
the border wall higher 
than the setting sun

FYI: "US Fish and Wildlife opens investigation after Florida manatee found defaced with 'Trump' scratched into its back," Elinor Aspegren, USA Today, Jan. 11; "Donald Trump is the accelerant: A comprehensive timeline of Trump encouraging hate groups and political violence," Fabiola Cineas, Vox, Jan. 9; "Trump to visit border wall in Texas — his 1st appearance since U.S. Capitol riots," Steve Holland,  Reuters, Jan. 12.

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Butterfly Dream: Winter Night Haiku by Olivier Schopfer

English Original

winter night
the bitter taste
of over-steeped tea 

Blithe Spirit, 28:1, February 2018

Olivier Schopfer


Chinese Translation (Traditional)

冬天的夜晚
浸泡過久的茶
的苦味

Chinese Translation (Simplified)

冬天的夜晚
浸泡过久的茶
的苦味


Bio Sketch

Born in 1966 in Geneva, Olivier Schopfer is a Swiss poet and photographer and member of the Haiku Society of America.  He finds inspiration in nature and in his travels around the world. His work regularly appears in anthologies, as  well as in numerous online and print journals. He is the author of four books: In the Mirror: Concrete Haiku (Scars  Publications, 2018), So Many Miles: Fifty Senryu (Alien Buddha Press, 2019), Half in Light, Half in the Shade: Haiku and Senryu (Cyberwit, 2019) and Home After a Long Absence: Haiku, Senryu and Tanka (Cyberwit, 2020)

Monday, January 11, 2021

One Man's Maple Moon: Petit Point Purse Tanka by Kathryn J. Stevens

English Original

mother gave me
her petit point purse
years ago
it began coming apart
like the two of us

Ribbons, 13:2, Spring/Summer 2017

Kathryn J. Stevens 


Chinese Translation (Traditional)

媽媽給了我
她的零錢腰包
幾年前
它開始破裂
就像我們之間的關係

Chinese Translation (Simplified)

妈妈给了我
她的零钱腰包
几年前
它开始破裂
就像我们之间的关系


Bio Sketch

Kathryn J. Stevens worked in marketing communications with IBM and before that with one of the divisions of The State University of New York at Albany. Her poems have appeared in a variety of online and print journals. She currently lives with her husband in Cary, North Carolina, USA.

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Butterfly Dream: Wall-to-Wall Bookshelves Haiku by Marion Clarke

English Original

wall-to-wall bookshelves ...
I put away 
the old year

Marion Clarke 


Chinese Translation (Traditional)

從牆壁連接到牆壁的書架 ...
我收起
舊的一年

Chinese Translation (Simplified)

从墙壁连接到墙壁的书架 ...
我收起
旧的一年


Bio Sketch

Marion Clarke is from the east coast of Northern Ireland. Growing up surrounded by the scenic shores of Carlingford Lough, the Mourne Mountains and Kilbroney Forest Park,  she was destined to write haiku.

Saturday, January 9, 2021

A Room of My Own: Calls for Removal Tanka

the White House
enveloped in a cloud
of ravens
the calls for removal
grow more intense and louder

FYI: NBC News, Jan. 7: Over 200 lawmakers are calling for President Trump's removal. 

Friday, January 8, 2021

A Room of My Own: Just Another Day in the Land of the Free

From inflammatory words come violent actions -- on the steps of the Reichstag and now in the Capitol.

morning chill
a river of floating
MAGA hats

noonday sun
Do the right thing, a twist
to the President's mouth

a smiling white man
waves the Confederate flag
Capitol hallway 

her bloody handprint
on Nothing Can Stop Us
gathering dusk

Added: One Hundred Seventieth Entry

barefaced mob
chanting, U-S-A! U-S-A! ...
politicians
cower under their desks
donning gas masks

FYI: "Nothing can stop us": Slain Trump supporter tweeted conspiracy theories and her devotion to Trump in days before her death. Business Insider, Jan. 7 And America's Shame: Trumpism Distilled to Its Purest Form, A Commentary by Marc Pitzke, Spiegel International, Jan. 7:

These are scenes known from other countries – from "failed states" and repressive regimes. But not from the United States, which has for so long vaunted itself as the cradle of Western democracy and its foremost defender.

This is Trumpism, distilled to its purest form.

"He's now president for life," Trump said of Chinese President Xi Jinping. "Maybe we'll have to give that a shot someday." ...

"We will never give up, we will never concede," he crowed. "You'll never take back our country with weakness! You have to show strength!"

Butterfly Dream: Prayer Beads Haiku by Lucy Whitehead

English Original

the click
of crystal prayer beads
winter rain

Otata, 38, February, 2019

Lucy Whitehead
 
 
Chinese Translation (Traditional)

水晶念珠
的咔嗒聲
冬雨

Chinese Translation (Simplified)

水晶念珠
的咔嗒声
冬雨
 
 
Bio Sketch

Lucy Whitehead's haiku have been published in Acorn, Autumn Moon Haiku, bones, Frogpond, hedgerow, Modern Haiku, Otata, Presence, Prune Juice, The Heron's Nest, and tinywords among other journals and in various anthologies including a hole in the light: The Red Moon Anthology of English-Language Haiku 2018. Twitter @blueirispoetry.

Thursday, January 7, 2021

One Man's Maple Moon: Deep Forest Tanka by Aya Yuhki

English Original

absence and yearning
nowhere to be reached --
white veils of waterfall
in the deep forest
begin to hide myself

Ribbons, 16:1,  Winter 2020

Aya Yuhki 


Chinese Translation (Traditional) 

缺席與想望
無處可尋 --
在森林深處
瀑布的白色面紗
開始隱藏我自己

Chinese Translation (Simplified) 

缺席与想望
无处可寻 --
在森林深处
瀑布的白色面纱
开始隐藏我自己


Bio Sketch

Aya Yuhki was born and now lives in Tokyo. She started writing tanka more than thirty years ago and has expanded her interests to include free verse poetry, essay writing, and literary criticism. Aya Yuhki is Editor-in-Chief of The Tanka Journal published by the Japan Poets’ Society. Her works are featured on the homepage of the Japan Pen Club’s Electronic Library.