Wednesday, June 23, 2021

A Room of My Own: We'reAll In This T o g e t h e r

Two Hundred and Twenty-Fourth Entry, Coronavirus Poetry Diary

the drive-thru speaker 
with a note taped over it:
We are closed
because I just quit this job
this thankless low-paying job

with his fist raised high
the manager shouting out 
to masked workers
one dollar an hour
pandemic pay hike

AddedTwo Hundred and Twenty-Fifth Entry

this speed racing
between Covid variants
and second shots --
UN aid workers stare
at one rickshaw of rice

AddedTwo Hundred and Twenty-Sixth Entry, inspired by The New Yorker June 21 article, "What Will Become of the Pandemic Pets?'

one pet fad
after another ...
in TV's light
my robo-dog and I 
sink into the loveseat

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Butterfly Dream: Mammography Haiku by Carmela Marino

English Original

mammography ...
the blackened core
of an apple

Chrysanthemum, 27, 2020 

Carmela Marino

Chinese Translation (Traditional)

乳房攝影術 ...

Chinese Translation (Simplified)

乳房摄影术 ...

Bio Sketch

Carmela Marino was born in 1980 in Sacco Salerno, and has been living in Rome since 2005. She is married and a full-time mother. She started writing during frequent hospitalizations of her second-child Daniele with Down's syndrome. Writing haiku is a therapy for her. Her haiku have been published in Akita International Haiku Network,  Bones, Chrysanthemum, Failed haiku, and many other online journals and blogs.

Monday, June 21, 2021

Special Feature: Selected Poems for National Indigenous Peoples Day

June was already a sociopolitically significant month for Indigenous Peoples in Canada. It's this month when Shannen Koostachin, the Attawapiskat campaigner of "Shannen’s Dream" for safe and equitable schools for First Nations kids, died tragically in a car crash 11 years ago. So is the sixth anniversary of the release of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s summary report and 94 Calls to Action. Most importantly,  June 21st is National Indigenous Peoples Day, a day recognizing and celebrating the cultures and contributions of the First Nations, Inuit and Métis Indigenous peoples of Canada. As most celebrations for National Indigenous Peoples Day have primarily moved online, I believe it is still “a day of reckoning” for Canadians to grapple with:"

We still have systemic problems, systemic denials of rights, so it’s a day to celebrate, but it’s also a day of reckoning where we need to recognize that we’ve come a long way, but we aren’t nearly where we need to be... 

-- Charlie Angus, NDP MP, Timmins-James Bay

The following is my poetic reckoning: 

yesterday's newspaper
dancing with the wind
First Nations elder

Haiku Canada Review, 8:2, October 2014

FYI: Story by Story, Canada’s News Media Built Indigenous Oppression: How relentlessly racist framing helped ‘write’ the Indian Act — and persists today, The Tyee, June 21, 2021 

Nothing New under the Sun

Sunlight slants in through the study window, reaching the front page of today's newspaper on my coffee-stained  desk.  The headline story details the latest Auditor General's report. His report states that the socio-economic  gap on  reserves hasn't improved in the last two decades, and the gap in high-school graduation rates has actually  widened.According to the reporter, things got a little nasty Monday afternoon at the Indigenous Affairs meeting as  MPs grilled civil servants over the gap. One MP even warned, "heads need to roll if bureaucrats don't shape up on  First Nations education." His warning becomes today's eye-catching headline.

sixth graders
in the windowless classroom
on the reserve
a new teacher talks about
thinking outside the box

Atlas Poetica, 36, 2019

An Indigenous Mother of Seven

Tied to a gurney, she pleads for someone to get her out. Her cellphone video is live- streamed on Facebook as dusk gathers outside the hospital. Nurses dismiss her worries that the medication she's receiving could aggravate her heart condition.

“You’re dumb as hell,” one nurse yells at her, then mutters, “You’re better off dead. Better to f*ck than for anything else.” Another nurse scolds her for making poor choices and getting sick, adding, "and we’re the ones paying for it.”

She dies alone that same night. Silence shrouds the room until an orderly finds her the next morning. She was 37.

candlelight vigil ...
another hardcover report
on racism

Cattails, April, 2021

indigenous girl missing ...
the minister’s response
with a twist to his mouth
I'm working on it

PoemHunter, May 6 2021

bulky reports
on indigenous peoples
gather dust ...
we just lower flags for the kids
in an unmarked mass grave

NeverEnding Story, June 1 2021

To conclude to today's post, I would like to dedicate the following haiku to Kashechewan First Nation children: 

the end of a playground tunnel
dappled sunlight on their warpaint faces

Happy Reading 


FYI: To the best of my knowledge, I'm the only poet who has been written about Indigenous peoples in North America (Turtle Island, a name used by some Indigenous peoples as well as some Indigenous rights activists) [maybe with one following exception, a LGBT2S tanka whose L1, a term coined by Elder Myra Laramie at the 1990 indigenous lesbian and gay gathering in Manitoba, refers to the gender and diversity of indigenous peoples across Turtle Island (What is Two-Spirit Identity?)

this (wo)man revered
by one culture
how could (s)he be
so reviled by another

ATPO Special Feature, Ying, Yang, and Beyond, 2015

Debbie Strange 

Sunday, June 20, 2021

One Man's Maple Moon: Father's Tomb Tanka by Shuji Terayama

English Original

the sunflowers still
in offering
at my father’s tomb --
it’s shorter than I

Kaleidoscope, 2007 

Shuji Terayama

Chinese Translation (Traditional)

放在我父親的墳墓上 --

Chinese Translation (Simplified)

放在我父亲的坟墓上 --
Bio Sketch

The avant-garde stage and film director, poet, critic, author and founder of the experimental theater group Tenjo Sajiki, Shuji Terayama was born in 1935 in Aomori, Japan. He started writing tanka in his late teens and received the Tanka Kenkyu Award for Emerging Poets. He published several tanka collections before he stopped writing at the age of 30. Many of his tanka read more like scenes from a movie scene or short story. He died in 1983. The first English language collection of his tanka, Kaleidoscope, was published by The Hokuseido Press in 2008 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of  his death.

Saturday, June 19, 2021

One Man's Maple Moon: Bollard Light Tanka by Christopher Costabile

English Original

tense gymnastics
of the moth
under the bollard light
your father grills me
about my career plans

Christopher Costabile

Chinese Translation (Traditional)


Chinese Translation (Simplified)


Bio Sketch

Christopher Costabile is a writer and musician who lives in Valrico, Florida. His poems have appeared in Nimrod, bottle rockets, Skylark, Ribbons and other journals. He studies film at the University of South Florida in Tampa.

Friday, June 18, 2021

Butterfly Dream: Small Umbrellas Haiku by Barry George

English Original

off to school --
a father and two
small umbrellas

Sirens and Rain, 2020  

Barry George 

Chinese Translation (Traditional)

去學校上課 --

Chinese Translation (Simplified)

去学校上课 --

Bio Sketch

Barry George is the author of Wrecking Ball and Other Urban Haiku and The One That Flies Back, a tanka collection. A regular contributor to haiku and tanka journals, he has won numerous short-form competitions, including First Prize in the Gerald R. Brady Contest. He lives and teaches in Philadelphia.    

Thursday, June 17, 2021

One Man's Maple Moon: Pine Needles Tanka by Sanford Goldstein

English Original

at pine needles
on the walk home,
I find they too
turn brown

This Short Life: Minimalist Tanka, 2014

Sanford Goldstein 

Chinese Translation (Traditional)


Chinese Translation (Simplified)


Bio Sketch

Sanford Goldstein has been publishing tanka for more than fifty years.  He was born in 1925 and is now 96 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.

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

A Room of My Own: Sundowning Haiku

Two Hundred and Twenty-Third Entry, Coronavirus Poetry Diary

her masked face pressed against
the nursing home window

FYI: The term "sundowning" refers to a state of confusion occurring in the late afternoon and spanning into the night. Sundowning can cause a variety of behaviors, such as confusion, anxiety, aggression or ignoring directions. Sundowning can also lead to pacing or wandering.


Here and There, the Separation

charred dumpsters
block the roads to Peace Square ...
a mosque
a synagogue and a church
clustered at the intersection

scribble of missile trails ...
on his blood-stained note
my voice will be
louder than it ever was 
while I fought on Gaza streets

FYI: Israel Launches Air Strikes on Gaza, a Month After the 11-Day War, The Quint, June 16


East Jerusalem, A NeverEnding Story?

a burst of crows
across the twilight sky
rumors of war

Go back to Gaza!
bits of this sultry night 
                                       breaking off

Death to Jews
sprayed over with Death to Arabs ...
predawn darkness

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Butterfly Dream: Sand Fiddlers Haiku by Jennifer Hambrick

English Original

sand fiddlers
the lengthening arc
of the sun

Shamrock,  40, October 2018

Jennifer Hambrick

Chinese Translation (Traditional)


Chinese Translation (Simplified)


Bio Sketch

A Pushcart Prize nominee, Jennifer Hambrick was the First Place winner of the Haiku Society of America’s 2018  Haibun Awards Competition and has received numerous honors for her free verse and Japanese short-form poetry,  including in the Jane Reichhold Memorial Haiga Competition, in the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival Haiku  Invitational, from NHK World TV’s Haiku Masters series, from the Ohio Poetry Association, and others. The author of  the poetry collection Unscathed, Jennifer Hambrick recently served as the inaugural artist-in-residence of historic  Bryn Du Mansion, Granville, Ohio.

Monday, June 14, 2021

One Man's Maple Moon: Autograph Book Tanka by Keitha Keyes

English Original

roses are red
violets are blue ...

your words
in my autograph book
as hollow then as now

Cattails, April 2018

Keitha Keyes 

Chinese Translation (Traditional)

紫羅蘭是藍色的 ...

Chinese Translation (Simplified)

紫罗兰是蓝色的 ...

Bio Sketch

Keitha Keyes lives in Sydney, surrounded by antique irons and ship models. She enjoys writing tanka, haiku, senryu, cherita and related genres. Her work is published in many journals and anthologies in Australia and overseas.

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Butterfly Dream: Preacher Haiku by David Oates

English Original

the preacher says
the End is nigh
passes the plate

Prune Juice, 28, July 2019

David Oates

Chinese Translation (Traditional)


Chinese Translation (Simplified)


Bio Sketch

David Oates is a teacher and the host of Wordland, a radio show of stories, poems, comedy, and the occasional song on WUGA FM. He wrote the haiku collections, Shifting with My Sandwich Hand, Drunken Robins, and the just-released The Deer’s Bandanna, and the poetry-and-fiction collection, Night of the Potato

Saturday, June 12, 2021

Butterfly Dream: Whiteboard Haiku by Roberta Beary

English Original

the time of death

Pulse Voices from the Heart of Medicine, August 30, 2019

Roberta Beary

Chinese Translation (Traditional)


Chinese Translation (Simplified)


Bio Sketch

Roberta Beary writes to connect with the disenfranchised, to let them know they are not alone. She coedited the  women’s anthology, Wishbone Moon (Jacar Press, 2018.) Her latest collection, The Unworn Necklace (Snapshot Press, 2007).  

Friday, June 11, 2021

One Man's Maple Moon: Female Body Tanka by Jane Reichhold

English Original

a string quartet
pulls up so slowly
a heaviness
tied deep in a female body
feelings buried by the years

ATPO Special Feature: Chiaroscuro, 2012

Jane Reichhold

Chinese Translation (Traditional)


Chinese Translation (Simplified)


Bio Sketch

Jane Reichhold was born as Janet Styer in 1937 in Lima , Ohio , USA . She had published over thirty books of haiku, renga, tanka, and translations. Her latest tanka book, Taking Tanka Home was translated into Japanese by Aya Yuhki. Her most popular book is Basho The Complete Haiku by Kodansha International. As founder and editor of AHA Books, Jane also published Mirrors: International Haiku ForumGeppo, for the Yuki Teikei Haiku Society, and she had co-edited with Werner Reichhold, Lynx for Linking Poets since 1992. Lynx went online in 2000 in the web site Jane started in 1995. Since 2006 she had maintained an online forum – AHAforum

Thursday, June 10, 2021

A Room of My Own: Windy Twilight Haiku

Two Hundred and Nineteenth Entry, Coronavirus Poetry Diary

in windy twilight
a blackbird rising, falling ..
this pandemic life

AddedTwo Hundred and Twentieth Entry

pink-streaked sky
fades from her bouncy castle
shelter in place

AddedTwo Hundred and Twenty-First Entry

stranded whales
seen from my quarantine room
cumulus clouds

AddedTwo Hundred and Twenty-Second Entry

no strings attached
to vaccine donations ...
a spiderweb hangs
in the ceiling corner
of a UN-sponsored food bank

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Butterfly Dream: Lawyer's Assistant Haiku by Vera Constantineau

English Original

reading the will
the lawyer's assistant
yawns behind her hand 

Vera Constantineau 

Chinese Translation (Traditional)


Chinese Translation (Simplified)


Bio Sketch

Vera Constantineau lives in Copper Cliff, Ontario. She loves to write human haiku that point out the foibles of fellow citizens of the planet.