WINTER HAIKU AND TANKA

 

walking north

the wind blows

my breath behind me

 

sudden draft

the candle flickers

and drowns in itself

 

winter evening

a stray dog barks

to his echo

 

tossing breadcrumbs

out the back door

a night of snow

 

last day of the year

the incense ash

leans towards Buddha

 

morning twilight

all the different shades of gray

from sky to sea—

on a bare branch

a solitary crow

 

anticipating

your return home

from the hospital

tonight the sky

a swath of pink clouds

 

winter solstice

this bitter night

I sit alone

and listen to the clock

ticking toward light

 

raging blizzard

a young couple finds refuge

inside the hothouse

behind them, a Venus flytrap

closes its jaws

 

quiet New Year’s Eve

at a rustic sauna

drinking our first sake

under the stars—geese

honk overhead

 

 

 

 

FEATURED BOOK

Shadow Man

By Margaret Chula

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One Leaf Detaches

By Margaret Chula

MARGARET CHULA lived in Japan for twelve years where she taught English and creative writing at universities in Kyoto. Her books include Grinding my ink (Haiku Society of America Book Award); This Moment; Shadow Lines (with Rich Youmans); Always Filling, Always Full; The Smell of Rust; Just This; and most recently, Daffodils at Twilight. Her collection What Remains: Japanese Americans in Internment Camps, a seven-year collaboration with quilt artist Cathy Erickson, features poems in the voices of Japanese Americans interned during World War II. She has published poems in Prairie Schooner, Kyoto Journal, Poet Lore, America’s Review, and Runes, as well as in numerous haiku journals around the world. One of her haiku appears on Itoen tea bottles sold in stores and vending machines throughout Japan. Her one-woman performance of Japanese women poets (“Three Women Who Loved Love”), premiered in Krakow, Poland in 2003 and toured to Canada, Japan, and the U.S.

Margaret lives in Portland, Oregon, where she continues to teach and give workshops at universities, poetry societies and Zen centers.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT MARGARET CHULA’S ACTIVITIES AND PROGRAMS, VISIT HER AT:

margaretchula.blogspot.com

WRITER’S STATEMENT

A writer’s purpose is to say the unsayable.
To put into words what we feel, experience, and yearn for,
our continual search for that which is always just beyond us.

It is the courage to say what others have been unwilling
or afraid to acknowledge. It’s the voice of a child, speaking truth
through the experience of discovery.

And if we remain open to the abundance of this universe
moments of inspiration will come unbidden:
the book that falls off the shelf into our hands
the dream that calls forth the Muse at dawn
a palette of words that moves and shifts
into the kaleidoscope of creation
once we let go.

Writing is a catharsis, a way to explore the darkness within and around me. It’s what I turn to in order to make sense out of chaos. It’s also a way to preserve the joyous and transformative moments of life. I began writing as soon as I could form words with a pencil. When I nearly drowned while learning to surf in France, I recorded the experience. Years later, as I sat outside watching my house burn, I composed haiku. After our first grand-daughter was born, I celebrated the occasion with a poem. And, like Japanese poets, when I leave this world, I hope to have a death poem on my lips.