From the Fallen Leaves

Vol 4-1, 2004

FEATURE: From the Fallen Leaves (Shu-i-shu)

Susumu Takiguchi, December 2004

When leaves change colour, we pick from among the carpet of fallen leaves the ones we love. Likewise, I pick haiku from among many. Some may live as pressed leaves. Others may go on decaying. But they are all beautiful fallen leaves. ‘Shu-i-shu’ is a Japanese literary term. Meaning gleanings, it used to be chosen for the title of anthologies which collected poems which escaped a first anthology.Poets featured in this issue:
  • GEERT VERBEKE ( BELGIUM )
  • JOHN STEVENSON ( USA )
  • FRANCINE PORAD ( USA )
  • WILLIAM HART ( USA )
  • DOMINIQUE CHIPOT ( FRANCE )

GEERT VERBEKE ( BELGIUM )

From: ADA, photos + haiku & senryu, Jenny Ovaere & Geert Verbeke, pub. Empty Sky, 2004

the mendicants
singing in the rain
so many puddles

begging
a long way to go
so many mantras

catching up
about this and that
the smell of tea

little secrets
and a contagious laugh
the fellow-villagers

the toddler plays
with horse-dung
everyone’s a winner

in the sanctuary
he lights a candle
a free sample

on the lingam
rain composes
hymns

with goat’s blood
he writes words of power
a sacrificial stone

your window
overlooks the fields
and yourself

a hymn of thanks
for a bowl of rice
the old sadhu

           JOHN STEVENSONFrom: quiet enough, John Stevenson, Red Moon Press, 2004

May morning
the door opens
before I knock

first warm day
the ground
gives a little

Main shore
bits of clam
xxbetween my teeth

a deep bruise
I don’t remember getting
autumn evening

summer night
the sound of a car
about to go by

snowy night
sometimes you can’t be
quiet enough

curling tighter
a leaf
catches fire

since you moved
just a road
I don’t go down

June
and the leaves
so green
I almost
tell the truth

seeing it her way
it must have been lonely
living with me

autumn wind
the leaves are going
where I’m going

the ring itself
I don’t remember
as much as
the mark it left
when it came off

Father’s Day
she tells me
I’m not the father

a bit of birdsong
before we start
our engines

all new clothes
waiting for
the school bus

shopping alone
the doors
part for me

after the nightmare
moonlight
in the kitchen

fireflies…
could i still
catch one

FRANCINE PORAD (USA)

From: Sunlight Comes and Goes: haiku, Francine Porad, Vandina Press, 2004

dampened weeds
weaving them over and under
spokes of the basket

windstorm warning
shore birds scurry through
the waves’ froth

hail warning –
a snake of headlights
on highway curves

‘…I awoke,
and behold it was a dream.’
fifty-three year marriage

(*The first two lines: John Bunyan Pilgrim’s Progress, Part I)

trying to get past
the trying years
to the good memories

sparrow in the mist
fluffed to a fat ball
winter deepens

every day is endless
viewed alone
the full moon

blank calendar
not only a new year
a new life

home alone –
I straighten paintings
on the wall

eye surgery
the shimmer
of moonlight

sixty-ninth birthday
youthful dreams realized
and more

WILLIAM HART ( USA )

From On Cat Time, Timberline Press , USA , 2004

whirling in tandem
a pair of butterflies
follow the wind

summer’s first fly
wanders through
the house

breezy –
a spider’s thread
warps a sunbeam

an acorn knocks
the patio deck
wife away

the tom asleep
on the window’s porch
is losing his sun

fall dusk –
in the house on the hill
all the lights are on

sharing an umbrella
and one wet sleeve
each

rainy day’s end –
sun breaks through
throwing long shadows

summit trail
cloudward
we trudge

           DOMINIQUE CHIPOTFrom: Lever de rideau, or raising the curtain, Photo-haiku, a photo haiku booklet in French (the following are English translations of a selection of poems)

carnival evening
confetti
even in bed

a young swallow
continues its first flight
the cat back to sleep

new year
beside my parents
new graves

his small posy
so big
for his mummy

end of august –
the grasshoppers take off
in front of the lawnmower

no wind
clouds
hooked to branches

raising the curtain –
tits fly off
not too far from seed

faded peonies –
my parents’ garden
just a souvenir

snowy morning –
single trace of a cat
gone to sleep

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