Monday, March 8, 2021

Special Feature: Selected Haiku and Tanka about the Many Faces of Women for International Women's Day

My Dear Readers:

In celebration of International Women's Day, I am pleased to introduce you to the following haiku and tanka that show the many faces of women fo all ages, different classes and races.

A woman has many faces as she goes through her life. It's like we need more than one hair-do. We have many, many changes in the evolution of our lives. We have, we learn, and we grow; we view life differently, and life views us differently.

-- Sharon Stone

Selected Haiku and Tanka:

kindergartener  --
grandmother smoothing her hair
into place
Donna Fleischer

stacked stones
the steps I must climb
to my goddess self

Jackie Chou

red camellias --
the assurance
of my breasts  

Fay Aoyagi

You have yet to touch
This soft flesh,
This throbbing blood --
Are you not lonely,
Expounder of the Way?

Akiko Yosano 

in the waves
no trace, where I swam
with a woman

Seisha Yumaguchi

rain on the roof
the rhythm of our lovemaking
slower paced

Joanne Morcom

nights of rain --
lonely, I fall asleep
holding my breasts

Yoshiko Yoshino

sleepless night
I turn my nightgown
inside out
to join the scarred moon
in my dream of passion

Luminita Suse

a plastic rose
rides the old car’s antenna --
spring morning

Elizabeth Searle Lamb

street corner
unkempt panhandler shows me
her Purple Heart

John J. Dunphy

a gesture of something
pitiful to think tenderly
that it is called a child

Fumi Sait

my body
wasted by winter
if only I
like fields burned over
had hope for spring

Lady Ise

do not ask
forever of me ...
i am capable
of loving you to death
one day at a time

Pamela A. Babusci

Haitian woman,
spawn of powerful genes --
work your spell
use your voodoo fingers
to enliven this old man

John Daleiden 

vigil candlelight
flickers in a woman’s eyes
No Means No
Chen-ou Liu

My Country,
I will build you again,
If need be,
with bricks
made from my life

Simin Behbahani

Thai massage
at the women’s prison --
she works on my feet
and plans her escape;
I can feel it

Bob Lucky

this moon
watching her dance
on the shorelines
as if
the stars exist

Robert D. Wilson

Enacted on Feb. 28, 1909, the first official "'Women’s Day' was established as a day to engage in political action," and it was intended to provide time and space  for "mobiliz[ing] women, particularly working women, who were routinely subjected to inhumane working conditions, sexual harassment and poverty-level wages in sweatshops, to demand change." (Christine Sismondo, "International Women’s Day was born of a labour movement to combat inhumane work conditions. As the pandemic rages on, that challenge is more real than ever," The Toronto Star, March 6). 

To conclude today's International Women's Day" Special Feature post, the following two pandemic poems are written to address some of these pressing challenges, local and global:

One Hundred Eighty-Seventh Entry, Coronavirus Poetry Diary
written in response to the "shecession (she-recession)" 

in her eyes
the thousand-yard stare ...
once a manager
now the Commander-In-Chief
with kids fighting in quarantine

One Hundred Eighty-Eighth Entry, Coronavirus Poetry Diary
written in response to "In Myanmar Protests, Women Are on the Front Lines" (Hannah Beech, The New York Time, March 4

smoky twilight ...
between a police phalanx
and rows of men
with their three-finger salutes
a masked nun in white

Happy Reading


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