Iron Poet Challenge #35 Poetic Form: Haiku
A traditional Japanese haiku is a three-line poem with seventeen syllables, written in a 5/7/5 syllable count. Often focusing on images from nature, haiku emphasizes simplicity, intensity, and directness of expression.
Writers: Nerisha Kemraj, Michael Cottle, Wes Choc, Maureen Larter, Mamie Willoughby Pound, M. Henderson
Dusky sun glowing,
Mountains await chilly night
Fire burning bright
I await for you
In the early pouring rain
Sunshine never came
Eyes cannot fathom
What a broken heart finds missed
Unless there are tears.
Sitting and waiting
Air clear, fire warm, clouds forming
Moon lighting my way
cold night–warm hands wait
where the borderline divides
the elements’ edge.
Mamie Willoughby Pound
grass-green lizard pink with love
Promising promiscuous persuasion
Personal procurement providing
Pleasure pain perversion
Tommy Tucker trembling
Thinking terror tumbling
Troubling thoughts tormenting
Fearing finding failure
Fearing faking feelings
Fulfilling final fantasy
Turning back the hands of time,
Would things work out some other way had I chose different?
Trying to step in a new direction to make things work but thoughts bring forth hindrance.
Should I stay or should I go?
Lest I should lose it all,
I’m caught between the two.
On either side mountains loom,
A raging river in between
Music in the distance,
An air of melancholy,
Adding to my blues,
The horn blows,
And a clock rings in a new hour
The road forks out,
Waiting to be tread on,
Stuck where I am,
My decision holds me back,
My fear of the unknown.
Flows into itself with the passing of things
Escapes us as we slip in the midst of things
Paths that we could or should have taken
Stretches on to leave behind the forsaken
Not for the lack of the branch we are on
Simply for the opportunities that are gone
la douleur exquise
stretched beneath the sky
and diamond lit
makes wish upon a star
half-hidden in the dark
with cresting, lotic waves
but even in her blackest depths,
he mirrors other fire
every night a war,
a Pyrrhic victory
the salt-mouthed gulf,
it swallows him
he pulls her to the sea
Artificial clouds swirl around:
Thickening the air,
Obliterating musky scents.
The round shrine
Acts as an alter
To the bronze-skinned
A bottle of spirits,
A glass of tallowed flame,
A dish of smoldering ashes.
Missing a willing sacrifice.
The cadence of my chest.
The horns draw out my
Deep dark desire.
The piano keys whisper, beckon.
The singer’s sensuous voice
Licks my ear, sending chills
To my groin.
Brown jades set in pearl
Find me looking.
Legs tremble. Don’t move
Don’t fall. Don’t go!
Feet propel forward.
Time does not pause.
Standing to be judged or
Worse yet, be dismissed.
Her full red lips
Acknowledge my want
With a slight smile.
Turn! Run! But I can’t.
Though the promise
Of her touch and the night
Will curse me forever,
I am tonight’s victim.
Shine Over Storyville
Oh, Storyville moonshine
that great blind orb shines on you
cool level even
and deadly indifferent
It just shines
all the way, all the way,
all the way down
It ain’t taking nobody’s name
and no one is giving out real names
It is just shining light
as far as it can reach
all the way
down to the deep and the dark
and the into the dirty
casting shadows on faces
who know shadows
and alleys, and ten cent cribs or better
if you’re rolling high
these faces know shadows
better than they know the light of day
This is where people make deals
or play games with the night
heat rising on the dark streets
Summertime jazz or a doorway
lit up all red and full of hum and buzz
calling card for a little queen of spades
hearts hard like diamonds
Everybody wants something and nobody wants to miss it
My favorite little red rider broke me down hard
when she wouldn’t let me take her away and
she knew I couldn’t hide my heart in the Storyville shine.
Style / Meter: Free verse
Theme / Keyword: You are a tree. Tell me what you see.
Leaving ~ Wes Choc
Sprouting lean …I boldly shouted green
But no one up-there heard a word lest such unfolding was even seen
Until once, three winters hence, shiny green grew bark …dark
…gently, intently emerging.
Oh, wind carried my song along, year after year
With naked whims beneath those first slinky darkening limbs
Until roots could don more than just sprigs or sprays
…foraging, flowering, urging.
Like adolescent beard, marking bark to attest its trunk
Amid gnarly branches dancing, bended by the breezes
As mounting freezes triggered tree-rings, counting out inside my core
…concentric circles slowly surging.
And as ages wage those brawny sinews dry
Each year paces by, with dignity as bristly limbs snap and break
To shadow little sprouts that try to grow below my children’s leaving
… overlooking a thousand seeds into the soil converging.
I am a Tree ~ Nerisha Kemraj
Standing in the open air,
birds and bees around
Sun is shining brightly,
Leaves upon the ground
My many branches hold them,
Until the wind arrives,
My trunk is rooted deep,
My fruits bring in the flies
My flowers bloom so beautifully,
An attraction to one and all,
Until they start abusing me,
And pluck them, till they fall
My fruits grow rosy and radiant
And tastes delicious, I’ve heard
I don’t mind when they pick them,
And I love feeding the birds
But then sometimes i hurt,
When they come and hack at me
To use me for production,
Until i no longer see,
Sometimes I do grow back,
To live another life,
And then it starts again,
Until I see the knife..
My Chimera ~ Violet Teagan
Mossy and mottled
keeper of secrets
my stairway to the stars
your heart beats in a wooden box
dreams and chimera
nest in your imagination
all along the length of you
or phonograph music
waiting to be read
or fevered August day
I listen for your rustle
feel your silent lines
over and over again
move with you in the wind
Recapitulations Of An Old Pine Tree ~ Matt Henderson
“Generations come and generations go, but the earth remains forever.”
If you can stand in one place long enough, you would see the connective aspects of this world in a way that you might miss if you move around. Travel accords you to look at a lot but the still point allows for seeing synergy and cycles of synchronicity—the comings and goings of things moving toward or away from each other in circular dances. You would see what little things make the balance up for later, bigger things. If you could see what I have seen…
I sink my roots in and stretch my trunk
and, as above
I stretch my limbs and offshoots of those
all with a great humming OM
a tingling stretch of the elan vital
a reaching out for life and a sinking into roots–
It is how I have stood here and witnessed 200 years come and go.
One night, when I was a sapling, swaying low to the ground
I saw several of my uncles topple over, with their heads high in the wind.
That is what remains, just over the gulch that separates us:
A young boy’s fort in the early days of summer.
At dusk, a couple of teens
I have watched them grow closer together
as they have grown
I can see both their homes across the highway
They take the fort at the first sight of evening stars and
share it as a place to discover the wonders of change
and the sweet taste of new love.
I remember when his wife first became ill.
He’d kneel and pray at a place of comfort and
something to lean on
When it became certain that she wouldn’t make another winter
he would stand against me and beat against the hardness of my bark
One day, in the heat of the summer, 1986
I watched him walk out with a straight and purposeful stride.
I stood tall and absolutely helpless and he leaned against me
said a prayer and took a long drink from the whiskey bottle
that had been drinking from him since she passed.
And then I felt every needle on my limbs shake in frustration and horror
when he pulled out a pistol and put it in his mouth
left this world with the smell of sap, skull and sulfur
on both of us.
His hand landed on the unmarked grave
where the Clason’s buried their infant daughter 75 years earlier.