All the blame… (a tanka)

My thanks to editor and poet, Pamela A. Babusci for publishing this tanka in Moonbathing, a Journal of Women’s Tanka, Issue 14, June 2016

To listen to me read this tanka, click on the link below:

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Two new senryu

These two senryu were published in the May 2016 edition of cattails, collected works of the United Haiku and Tanka Society.

 

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squirrel 2

This inner fire …

My second tanka published this week in A Hundred Gourds:

 

1-1-A Hundred Gourds June 2016

 

A Hundred Gourds 5:3 June 2016

 

 

You departed…

One of the finest journals around for Japanese short form poetry has been A Hundred Gourds. The editors announced several months ago that the June issue would be the last issue. This is a great loss, but there is an amazing amount of work editors do to make a journal of this caliber work so well.  The tanka editor, Susan Constable, is one of the finest poets around, and her skill and advice as an editor is special. I know I have learned a great deal from her through our correspondence this past year. My thanks go to all the excellent editors of this journal. I am fortunate to have two tanka selected for this final issue of A Hundred Gourds. I will be posting them separately, one today and one tomorrow.

 

2-A Hundred Gourds 2 June 2016

A Hundred Gourds 5:3 June 2016

hospice…

The Heron’s Nest, Volume XVIII, Number 2: June 2016

 

1-hospice haiku

 

 

Two New Haiga

June has brought with it the publication of some excellent journals. I love being able to read through them and enjoy the poems. Some are haiku, haiga, senryu or haibun, and others are tanka, tanka art or tanka prose. Hours and hours of fine reading that will stretch into the whole month of June.

I’ve been fortunate to have a number of small poems published this month. I’ll post these by type and by publication over the next week. Today I will begin with two haiga that were published in the newest issues of cattails, the publication of the United Haiku and Tanka Society.

 

Lilac haiga

 

 

poet's walk

Both haiga were published in the May 2016 edition of cattails, collected works of the United Haiku and Tanka Society.

 

Poem: On Viewing a Skull Painting by Georgia O’Keefe

I love Georgia O’Keefe’s quirky paintings and perspective.  She did a lot of work using skulls, which seems quite natural. New Mexico must yield all sorts of bones in the mountains and deserts. Just as she studied and painted flowers, so she did the same with animal bones and skulls. She was very prolific in her work, painting a skull or pelvis in many views, often accompanied by a flower or other desert item. Many didn’t like her bone paintings, but that didn’t deter her in the slightest. Even her husband, photographer Alfred Stieglitz, was initially critical of them. He later relented, as did most critics. To find beauty in death and decomposition and to create art that is somehow mesmerizing and thoughtful is quite an accomplishment.

This poem is from my chapbook (Erasing the Doubt (c) 2015, Finishing Line Press). It is hidden amongst just a few of these wonderful paintings.

okeefe and skull

Georgia O’Keefe and cow skull

 

 

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Bob’s Steer Head by Georgia O’Keefe (c) 1936

Cow's Skull with Roses

Cow’s Skull with Calico Roses by Georgia O’Keefe (c) 1931

 

 

 

On Viewing a Skull Painting by Georgia O’Keeffe

 

  1. The Artist’s View of the Skull as Form

 

The sinuous curve
hollowed circle
smooth chalky bone
worn smooth, it goes
beyond the form
behind the slow dip
of the arching eye
twisting and curving
back on itself

 

2. The Skull’s Perspective

 

At first it all felt wrong,
reversed, bent forward
in a geometric embrace
of mass and space,
the brush stroke
through the hollow eye
that will never see,
beyond to the delicate shell
of the brain
that will never again think,
moving slowly
into that shadow of light
the sky insinuates itself in color
and it is there
that you alone can wander,
deep inside the form that is me

 

Georgia O'Keeffe, Ram's Skull with Hollyhock, in 1935

Georgia O’Keeffe, Ram’s Skull with Hollyhock, (c) 1935

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Deer’s Skull with Pedernal by Georgia O’Keefe (c) 1936