Sonam Chhoki

 

 

*

pressed
in my diary
the guava blossom
you picked
has lost its fragrance

*

rain-soaked
scent of pine duff
I still walk
our favourite slope to watch
paddy ripening in the fields

*

heads thrown back
a pair of black-necked cranes
fling their call to the sky
I hope they will never know
the keening cry of separation

*

stars coursing
in the statuary pines
I no longer pray
but now embrace
solitude in your absence

 

 

Sonam Chhoki finds the Japanese short form poetry resonates with her Tibetan Buddhist upbringing.  She is inspired by her father, Sonam Gyamtsho, the architect of Bhutan’s non-monastic modern education and by her mother, Chhoden Jangmu, who taught her: “Being a girl doesn’t mean you can’t do anything.” She is the principal editor and co-editor of haibun for the United Haiku and Tanka Society journal, cattails.

Read More

Tony Burfield

 

 

 

Rutted

The sabbath, I pray to the cliffs. The Button Rock Hermit chants somewhere back in the pines. There is wind over everything, even the far highway roar. Our complicity sinks heart, sinks bone. I shift from reverse to first and bounce down the rutted driveway, rufous and juncos darting.

bees on the feeder
fewer hummingbirds
than yesterday

 

 

 

 

Tony Burfield lives with his wife in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains and works at the Boulder Public Library. His chapbook, Sawhorse, won Middle Creek Publishing’s Fledge Award in 2017.

Read More

Ian Mullins

 

 

 

pollen count high –
bee on a cherry coke
splutters its wings

*

burr of phones –
the soft hooves of
the Glasgow train

*

slicing cellophane –
three a.m cab hushes
the snow

*

summer fall –
ripe blackberries
juice underfoot

*

pink frosting –
slavered gum
frozen overnight

*

flowers losing
light – white blossoms
the full moon

*

 

 

 

 

 

Ian Mullins bails out from Liverpool. The chapbook Almost Human (Original Plus) was published earlier this year. The music-themed collection Laughter In The Shape Of A Guitar (UB) was released in 2015.

Read More

Christine Taylor

 

 

*

the “bookettes”
meet to discuss
the latest gin

*

my students
strive to earn an A–
lockdown drill

*

no more
navy blue boy blazers
wildflowers

*

freshly cut chrysanthemums
another memorial
along the highway

*

sticky willow
another message
to delete

*

 

Christine Taylor, a multiracial English teacher and librarian, resides in her hometown Plainfield, New Jersey.  She is the haibun editor at OPEN:  Journal of Arts & Letters.  Her work appears in Modern Haiku, Glass:  A Journal of Poetry, Room, and The Rumpus among others.  She can be found at www.christinetayloronline.com.  Follow her on Twitter @cetaylorplfd.

Read More

John Hawkhead

 

 

*
late again
she calculates the arrival time
of his first lie
*
small white butterflies
she starts to think
it might be too late
*
origami
making a padlock
of their certificate

*

 

 

 

John Hawkhead is a writer of haiku and other short poetry forms. He is a 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.

 

Read More

Charles Tarlton

 

 

 

TAHOMA AND NIKKI

 

FADE IN:
MONTAGE OF SHOTS

 
1) Bright sun overhead in a cloudless sky.
2) Dying flowers in a dry garden bed.
3) Shimmering mirages on a desolate highway.
4) The Navajo-Nation Bank digital thermometer reads “108°F

COYOTE

a little tin house

sits in the desert of hours

only tiny tales

to tell. As we look inside

the moment becomes pregnant

 

EXT. A DESERT MOBILE HOME, PORCH AND SCREEN DOOR – DAY

NIKKI, a seven-month old wooly black poodle stands at the screen door, looking out into the yard. Her tongue hangs out and she is panting.

TAHOMA, about 16, in a tank top and undershorts, comes up behind the dog, shoves the screen open, moves past the dog, and steps down into the yard.

Nikki follows eagerly, jumping and mouthing Tahoma’s hand as he walks over to a hose with a spray nozzle.

Tahoma turns on the faucet and a fan of water rushes out, making rainbows in the sunshine.

 

COYOTE

the driest sand dunes

are in the mind (I almost

said in someone’s heart

we roamed fearlessly back then

through the long cold desert nights

 

He turns the spray on Nikki, who jumps and runs away, shaking her head.
Tahoma comes closer, trapping the dog in the corner of the porch.
At first, Nikki tries desperately to get away, but Tahoma blocks her path every time.

 

COYOTE

love is some magic!

hold the mother wracked with birth

with every action

comes the wondering. Did they

do this and the same way back then?

 

Finally, Nikki gives in and just stands there as the cold water hits her, drenches her thick black coat, and runs in rivulets to the ground.

Out of sight, Coyote watches.

Eventually, Nikki turns her face fully into the water.

 

TAHOMA

When will you learn to

trust me?

FADE OUT.

 

 

 

 

Charles Tarlton is retired from university teaching and has been writing tanka prose (and poetry more generally) full time since 2006. His wife, Ann Knickerbocker, (http://artistinanaframe.blogspot.com) is  an abstract painter and they and work in Northampton, Mass.

Read More

Anna Cates

 

 

 

Innuendo

steaming beef—
hidden in a country song
lady’s patootie

The songwriter didn’t know how best to juxtapose the image and so chose innuendo, stars and asterisks, patootie metaphors, shimmering beneath the disco ball.

The singer chuckles out the tune he thinks only whores can translate.  But the Ph.D. on vacation is no analphabetic.  She’s fine with the lady’s patootie, has one herself, and the Planned Parenthood website mentions back door porking.  Perhaps she’ll write a poem

about it for women’s history month.  She sips her sex on the beach, head ducked . . . or perhaps not.

The red-faced ranch hand tastes the tobacco smoke and peanuts.  His upside-down cowboy hat brims with twang as the beef steams, and the Bud fizzes, and the dancers twirl, and the black and white tiles blur, multiple angles converging as all succumb to the music theory.

 

 

 
Anna Cates is a graduate of Indiana State University (M.A. English and Ph.D. Curriculum & Instruction/English) and National University (M.F.A. Creative Writing).  Her first collections of poetry and fiction, The Meaning of Life and The Frog King, were published by Cyberwit.net, and her second poetry collection, The Darkroom, by Prolific Press.  She lives in Ohio with her two beautiful kitties and teaches education and English online, including graduate courses in creative writing.  Links: www.amazon.com  livinghaikuanthology.com

 

 

 

Read More