WINTER HAIKU AND TANKA

AUTUMN HAIKU AND TANKA

hibachi embers—

red berries

dusted with snow

 

winter morning—

the red eye

of the towhee

 

long illness

my weight’s finally the same

as on my license

 

four-hundred-year-old wood

from a torn-down temple

keeps us warm tonight

 

winter evening

a stray dog

barks to his echo

 

New Year’s Eve

my ninety-year-old mother

puts rollers in her hair

first red camellia

unfurls in the snow

 

first dream of the year

snow-capped Mt. Fuji

suddenly

this world of black and white

is a blush of sunrise

 

anticipating

your return home

from the hospital

tonight the sky

a swath of pink clouds

 

anniversary

of Mother’s death day

look how hopefully

chickadees flit and flutter

to the empty feeder

 

a crow cries at dawn

as my foot slides to your side

of the empty bed

snow

tumbles from the branches

 

 

 

 

FEATURED BOOK

Daffodils at Twilight

By Margaret Chula

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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; and The Smell of Rust. Her newest collection, What Remains: Japanese Americans in Internment Camps, a seven-year collaboration with quilt artist Cathy Erickson, includes 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 work- shops at universities, poetry societies and Zen centers. Grants from Oregon Literary Arts and the Regional Arts & Culture Council have supported collaborations with artists, musicians, photographers and dancers.

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.