John Hawkhead

*

riding a pale horse
up the needle to a vein
slipping through shadows

*

another mottle
on the back of her hand
the slow IV drip

*

threads of dark crimson
coiling through liquid gold
sunlit catheter

 

 

John Hawkhead is a writer of haiku and other short poetry forms. He is a recent winner of the 2016 Lincoln Underground international haiku competition and a previous winner of the Haiku Foundation’s international haiku competition. His work has been published all over the world and his book of poetry and haiku Witness is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and iTunes.

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Anna Cates

*

old farmhouse

wet snow falls

on the backs of pigs

*

sun-bleached cattle bones

a dung beetle burrows

in the midden

*

shady forests

swallowed whole by fire

one charred acorn

*

waning rose

an ant bears

my burden

*

arriving

from the first world

I am an alien

*

the sun

never losing its turn—

how sweat feeds rivers

 

Anna Cates resides in Ohio and teaches in an online M.F.A. in creative writing program.  A regular contributor to literary publications, her first full length collection of haiku and other poems, The Meaning of Life, is available at Amazon.com. Anna is also in the Living Haiku Anthology.

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Nick Carding

 

 

 

in the dark

it is night now
and will be
for some
long time
because a friend
has come
to live here
and I must learn
to see him
in this light
before the dawn
can be
allowed
again

 

 

 

Nick Carding is an Englishman now living in Croatia. His poetry and short fiction have appeared in print and online in Europe, USA and Australasia.

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Pat Tompkins

 
First Practice

Welcome to Beginning Meditation. After I explain a few basic principles, we’ll start with a three-minute meditation, a sort of trial run. By the end of the course, you’ll be making a 10-minute practice part of your daily routine.

Ten minutes? Doesn’t sound like much. I really need to relax. How can 10 minutes make a difference? If it sounds too good to be true. . . . At least I can say I tried.

Let’s begin. You’re trying to calm your monkey mind. Just close your eyes and sit comfortably. Focus on your breath. I’ll let you know when three minutes are up.

Three minutes is a pop song. This will be a cinch. Oh, right. We’ve started. Empty my mind. . . .Wait till Jan hears about this. . . . OK, my breath: in, out, in, out. What did the guy next to me eat? Garlic city. . . . Whew. I’m going to sneeze. No. In, out. Don’t forget to . . . let it go. Let it be. Now there was a song—more than three minutes, though. There will be an answer, let it. . . . Why is this so hard? In, out, my mind is blank. Blink. . . . Maybe there’s a book that would help. Ask the teacher. . . . In, out. In, out. In, out . . . three, I did three seconds. Don’t think. Just be. In, out. No wonder it’s called monkey mind. Let it GO. . . . Isn’t three minutes up yet? In, out. How can anyone do this for 10 whole minutes?

one fragrant, one carved
blossoms in the buddha’s hands
worn by the wind

 

 

 

 

Pat Tompkins is an editor in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her poems have appeared in The A3 Review, Confingo, A Hundred Gourds, and other publications.

NB: This haibun was first published in Thema, 2014

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Sonam Chhoki

 

 

 

No substitute for this

Late monsoon. The tea bushes in the lowland plantation form a verdant edge to Bagdogra airport on the Indo-Bhutan border. I am on a flight to New Delhi. A young man, his hair gelled and spiked, sits next to me. He asks to look at my cell phone.

‘You have Vodafone,’ he remarks scrolling the screen.

‘The connection is good,’ I reply.

‘My cell phone has no signal,’ he says tapping the breast pocket of his black shirt. I feel obliged to ask, ‘what network do you use?’

‘Airtel,’ he says. On the road to the airport, I noticed several Airtel billboards offering low tariff and ‘superfast connection’.

‘Are you local from this area?’ he asks pointing to the heat haze of the North Bengal plains outside the plane window.

‘No, I am from Bhutan.’

‘Related to the Royal Family?’

‘No.’

‘I am in the construction business. I have offices all over India. If you want anything, here’s my number.’ He hands me a business card crammed with names of branch offices, cell phone numbers and email contacts.

‘Can I make a local call?’ He asks taking my phone with alacrity.

The pilot announces that the plane is ready for takeoff and requests all electronic devices to be switched off.  The young man continues to talk animatedly. I remind him of the announcement. He shrugs it off, ‘they say that all the time but nothing will happen.’

An air-steward approaches him and says, ‘Sir, you must switch off your cell phone now.’

‘It’s not mine,’ he says handing it back to me.

baggage claim –
my suitcase ‘to arrive’
on the next flight

 

 

 

 

Born and raised in the kingdom of Bhutan Sonam Chhoki is inspired by her father, Sonam Gyamtsho, the architect of Bhutan’s non-monastic modern education. Her Japanese short form poetry has been published in journals in several countries. She is current haibun and senryu editor of the UHTS journal, cattails.

This haibun was first published in A Hundred Gourds 5:1, December 2015

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Richard Stevenson

 

 

 

*

Departure Bay:
cumulo nimbi
won’t take a hint

(Nanaimo, BC)

*

Departure Bay –
the rooster tail trail
of a small speed boat

*

Emily Carr House –
even the bees wipe their feet
at each blossom porch

*

horse and buggy tour –
a satellite dish aimed
at your childhood home

*

Emily, your brush
dips with the grace of this bee
on each pendant bloom

*

Emily Carr House –
I scan the strawberry patch
for a ripe berry

***

 

 

 

Richard Stevenson has 30 full-length and 10 chapbook publications to his credit, counting three forthcoming volumes: Fruit Wedge Moon: Haiku, Senryu, Tanka, Kyoka, and Zappai (Hidden Brook Press), Rock, Scissors, Paper: The Clifford Olson Murders (long poem sequence, Grey Borders Press), and The Heiligen Effect: Selected Haikai Poems and Sequences (Ekstasis Editions), which should all be out ion 2015 or 2016.  He is recently retired after thirty years of teaching for Lethbridge College and six years teaching elsewhere.

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Angelee Deodhar

 
Segue

Our fast train stops just outside the station. On the abandoned weed littered railway track, smoke strands from a sadhu’s chulha drift past a sinking sun. A chorus of mynahs joins the cacophony of crows. The cantonment junction where my dad, a doctor in the Army was posted five decades ago is just half a kilometer away.

Now as the train moves forward to stop at Ambala, on the station I see stacked olive green holdalls, black trunks and crates with army numbers and names painted in white and soldiers in battle camouflage drinking tea. The A.H. Wheeler’s bookshop, a bookstore chain founded in 1887, operating from railway stations is still  there. I remember buying Somerset Maugham’s The Magician.

As we begin to move from the opposite train a child calls ‘bye bye train’ and I wave and call back’ bye bye child’.

worry stones –
blue marbles tinkle
in my pocket

 

 

 

Angelee Deodhar, an eye surgeon by profession is a haiku poet, translator, and artist. She lives and works in Chandigarh, India.  Her haiku/haibun/haiga have been published internationally in various books and journals,  and her work can be viewed on many websites.

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