SUMMER HAIKU AND TANKA

 

reflecting

on the pond’s reflections

dragonfly and I

 

summer solstice

skinny dipping in the river

jingle of bracelets

 

twilight

the blur of hydrangeas

deepens

 

closing her fan

the cool fragrance

of a kimono sleeve

 

settling on gravestones

with forgotten names

milkweed fluff

 

stargazer lilies

remembering

the poem you wrote

about musk—

that was me

 

never daring

to carve my initials

into tree bark—

my favorite birch, pocked

with woodpecker holes

 

in my dream

Mother is still alive

I fall back to sleep

to finish our stroll

in the summer garden

 

evening twilight

Antonio Vivaldi’s

Spring Concerto

the herky-jerky joy

of bushtits at the feeder

 

the bearded lady

how she terrified me

under the big top

and now, in my garden

the yellow iris

 

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Shadow Man

By Margaret Chula

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One Leaf Detaches

By Margaret Chula

One Last Scherzo

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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; 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.