Speechless . . . (a tanka)

 

 

 

the statue of David
stands so tall in the gallery,
I am speechless
in the Italian
I never learned

 

 

Published in Ekphrasis: The British Haiku Society Member’s Anthology, 2017

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The statue of David by Michelangelo is in the Accademia Gallery in Florence, Italy. It was sculpted between 1501 and 1504.

Looking back…

In Frameless Sky 4, editor Christine L. Villa paired my haiku/senryu with a another lovely photograph of Irena Iris Szewczyk. My thanks go to Irena Iris Szewczyk and to Christine L. Villa, editor of  Frameless Sky.

 

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Words by Mary Kendall
Photograph by 
Irena Iris Szewczyk
Frameless Sky 4, Summer 2016

So many I loved now gone

In Frameless Sky 4, my tanka was set to this beautiful photograph of Irena Iris Szewczyk. My warmest thanks to Irena Iris Szewczyk and to Christine L. Villa, editor of Frameless Sky. I will be posting others from this fine video publication in the next week.

A link to me reading this tanka is given below:

 

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A Few Extra Notes:

Irena Iris Szewczyk is both a distinguished photographer and haiku poet. Irina blogs at Iris Haiku where she posts her photographs and her haiku:                                           http://iris-haiku.blogspot.com

Her artwork for Frameless Sky 4 can be seen here:  http://framelesssky.weebly.com/artwork.html

Christine L. Villa is editor of Frameless Sky. She is a distinguished poet herself. Her blog is called Blossom Rain and is located here:  http://blossomrain.blogspot.com

Frameless Sky can be found here: http://framelesssky.weebly.com

Charlotte’s Story: Haiku for Wilbur by Mary Kendall (ME, IN FICTION Poetry and Prose Series)

Silver Birch Press

Charlottes-Web-Terrific-Garth-Williams1Charlotte’s Story: Haiku for Wilbur
by Mary Kendall

“My Words”

my words—
who knew what a story
we’d become?

“First Friend”

a friend—
something my kind
never knew

“The Unexpected”

new friend—
silken parachutes in spring wind
bestow surprises

“Silken Words”

silken words…
hearts woven together
in their own story

“Some Pig”

little did they know
how special you were—
some pig!

“Terrific”

a real friend
who accepted me as I am…
terrific!

“Radiant”

just knowing
you have a good friend…
this radiant heart

“I Told You”

out of nowhere
grows the best thing…
kindness of spirit

“Humble”

humble—
your kindness of heart
my friend

“The Fair”

harvest moon—
who knew how high
we’d fly?

“Templeton”

even a rat
can help a friend..
who knew?

“My Time”

time for rest
my voice a whisper
…alone now

“Good-bye”

no need to worry—
our memories will live on
in your heart

“Death”

View original post 261 more words

Winter Night Sky (a tanka)

starry night sky kayaga

Starry Sky (c) Kayaga

 

how could the moon

show its face

without light

…how could the stars

sing us songs?

 

journal and pen

 

 

 

Beauty in Broken Pieces

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New Note as of March 11, 2016: This poem has just been published on a favorite online journal called Ekphrastic: Writing and Art on Art and Writing. A link to the journal:  http://www.ekphrastic.net/ekphrastic/beauty-in-broken-pieces-by-mary-kendall

~ ~ ~

Readers of this blog don’t always notice its subtitle: One Poet’s Practice. I like to practice. I like to experiment. All poets do. Without stretching the mind, you fall into the pattern of repetition. Each poem starts sounding like the last or the next.

I have been writing a lot in short form poetry–haiku, haiga, tanka, and other small poems. Today, in an effort to go in a completely different direction, I offer you a very long, rambling poem–quite unlike me, I know. It is called “Beauty in Broken Pieces,” inspired by a lovely photograph taken in Dublin, Ireland by India Leigh Lassiter, herself a talented writer as well as photographer. Thank you, India, for allowing me to use your picture as a starting point for this poem.

 

To hear me read this poem, please click on the link below (give it a minute to load):

 

India blue spiral

Blue Spiral, Dublin, Ireland (c) 2015 photograph by India Leigh Lassiter

 

Beauty in Broken Pieces…

 

 

Perhaps it was once a deep blue vase,
holding seven pale pink peonies
freshly cut one May morning…

the silence shattered
suddenly when
she lost her balance,

grabbed
the oval table

and together
crashed down,

one in splintered pieces,
the other dazed
watching the water
slowly spread
under the petals.

Or perhaps…

it was packed away in a doctor’s study,
an old cabinet filled with bottles…
cobalt blue bottles with faded labels,
the dark blue hinting of hidden secrets,
dangers that lay in long-dried residue
of those bottles that were shattered
and thrown upon a fire
that raged for hours,
flaring up in vivid hues
of acid green
and mustard yellow,
tipped with amber,
azure and moon,
the air once heavy
with poison
and dreams.

Or…maybe

there was no story.

Do you believe the whole really is bigger
than the sum of its parts?
And please, don’t let’s forget
there is always
perspective.

Large things are large,
but small things
are also large
if seen
close
up.

 

It is lovely, this small mosaic
made of glass in shades of blue,

blue so dark,
it might still hold the sound
of the ocean from the sand
that washed up and back
over and over

dancing on the ocean floor

before it became
the glass
we see…

for what is glass
but sand
and fire,

beach
and
star?

even
a simple
spiral
mosaic
in shades
of blue, pearl and silver
might hold the deep bass song
of the darkling ocean,
the glimmering
whispers
of clouds
above,

patterns spiraling through nature
like our thoughts about beauty,
reality or memory’s truth

Fibonacci gave it his name,
the Greeks gave it meaning
with their golden ratio…
it exists everywhere
… a simple nautilus shell,
the sunflower’s seed head
that turns to the sun,
and following its cue, the pinecone,
the hurricane, even the galaxy, the cosmos

and here with this Irish glass spiral
we come full circle of woman
with camera, snapping
a photo, capturing
the balance of
silvery bits
and pearl
to blue
done
just
so
.

 

 

goniatite-fossil-pasieka

goniatite-fossil

 

Kamakura Beach 1333: Artist’s choice in Rattle’s Ekphrastic Challenge

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I am both speechless and honored by the selection of my poem, “Kamakura Beach, 1333” as the artist’s choice of the October ekphrastic challenge by Rattle, one of the finest contemporary poetry journals. The artist/photographer is Ana Prundaru. My thanks go to Ana for selecting my poem for this challenge. I am deeply touched by her very thoughtful and generous comments.

 

Artist's Comments.jpg

To read the poem or listen to the audio on Rattle, here is the link:

http://www.rattle.com/poetry/kamakura-beach-1333-by-mary-kendall/

Note: there is an audio of me reading the poem on the Rattle page but I’ll include it here as well:

~

Kamakura Beach, 1333                                          

 

The sea washed scarlet that night.

The tide rushed in—swelling and breaking—washing
all traces out to sea on the waves of Kamakura Beach.

You know nothing of this, you who long for adventure
and pleasure—youth who search desperately for meaning
in lives that are too rich, too busy, and still so poor.

Your small boats arrive in early evening, the carmine sunset
at your back, and you quickly gather driftwood, tinder, and
fallen black pine branches to burn. You light the fire.

A trail of smoke begins funneling up to the starry sky.
The fire burns hot and one by one, you feed it twigs, boughs,
pine cones bursting into streams of sparks and wild flames.

And in your wanton rambling, one girl grows silent—she alone
hears the hallowed chanting, the cries of battle, the shrieks
of arrows piercing skulls, the stench of life exiting too abruptly.

She wanders over shallow rocks, her hand touching stone,
knowing the pain hidden in the silence of eight hundred years.
The rest of you are unaware…you laugh too loudly, move

too fast, not noticing the shifting colors of the setting sun.
Listen and you will hear the shogun cries of warriors and farmers
that once shook the sacred sands of Kamakura Beach.

Can you smell the fierce fires, the burning buildings,
the blazing rafters crashing and lighting the darkening sky?
Can you hear the screams of those buried here long ago?

Time slipped by like swifts at dusk darting in the fading sky.
The fire raged on and on, and lives were ravished in a
single breath. It was our fate to die on Kamakura Beach.

With Samurai mind and clean, sharp blows, the sacred sword
was swift. One by one, we died…each of us choosing honor,
this bleak beach now strewn with bones, bodies and blood.

You who come to visit—feel the cool churning lapis blue water,
and see the late sun boldly brush red on sand, water and waves.
Remember us—we who lie buried on Kamakura Beach.

Let your fires roar, let them spark in comets to the stars.
Under the dark night skies long written in indigo and ink,
we will walk together here on Kamakura Beach.

Morning tide will come—swelling and breaking—washing
your presence out to sea— remembering our final night,
a night of fire and blood, bone and bodies on Kamakura Beach.

The sea washed scarlet that night.

 

~

Here is the broadside link:

http://www.rattle.com/ekphrasis/EAOct2015.pdf

Rattle also posted a download of a broadside that includes poem and picture side by side. It is so beautifully done with the shadows of the boat creating a subtle image under the poem. Very appropriate to this particular poem, I think.