Haiku

with Kevin McLaughlin

Clarity

 

The Buddha-to-be sat beneath a banyan (Ficus/Bodhi) tree, moments away from his Awakening. The full moon shone through the tree limbs and leaves. Siddhartha, Prince of the Skakya clan, smiled. Venus rose dimly above the horizon. Obscurations vanished.

 

This is the aim of the haiku writer’s craft: to be Awake, to perceive and convey both the conventional and the essential nature of things. The gifted haiku writer perceives reality with clarity.

 

The crushed raccoon’s corpse,

Is partially decomposed:

Ants begin to feed.

 

Kevin McLaughlin

 

Jason Ringler lives in northeast Ohio. Your editor enjoyed the good-natured character of his verse.

 

came fancy sailor

orders Pisces from the chart

wooden peg and squawk

 

saltwater letter

tiny handwriting hello

in bottle return

 

Jason Ringler

 

 

Robert Beveridge makes rhythmic noise and writes poetry in Akron, Ohio. Among other journals, his poetry has been featured in New American Legends and Chiron Review.

 

foothills in the mist

at dawn

              spring breeze draws the musk

of the forest’s heart.

 

howling wind

chanting pilgrims

wailing wall

 

spark from the metal

post: wrench slips, takes along knuckle.

Wrist tingles all night.

 

oatmeal rots

nursing home sheet pulled over

my great aunt’s face

 

asphalt rippled, tumbled:

warm weather has arrived in

Medina county

 

Robert Beveridge

 

 

 

Devin Harrison makes his home in Vancouver Island, Canada. There is a pleasing philosophical and melancholy cast to his work.

 

bleak diagnosis

the passage of time

jumps the track

 

mixing them up

after souls have flown

bone piles

 

busker

turning his inside

out

 

railroad ties

from the outset of my life

a vanishing point

 

old loves

in the late Autumn sun

whorls of dead skin

 

Devin Harrison

Kenneth Cahall lived in Asia for nearly a decade. When not hiking or bicycling, he guides students toward effective self-expression in the language known as English.

 

Mother passed in June

Her essence is still present

In fluttering moths

 

Summer rain droplets

Form nebulae on asphalt

In used motor oil.

 

(Form nebulae . . . magnificent!)

 

A lonely season

Leaves the trees sparse, cold, dark

And our hearts bitter.

 

Autumn weeps farewell

To diminishing summer

Falling leaves are its teardrops

 

Infinity pool

Provides an optical trick

To resort lovers

 

Springtime commands

The warming of fields we humbly trace

Grieving winter’s death.

 

Kenneth Cahall

 

 

Angelica Cabral is a recent graduate of Arizona State University. She employs poetry as a means of connecting with others.

 

dancing, the choking

citrus on the yellow branch

your dangling arms.

 

I always wanted

to make the soil better

she picks the kind fruit

 

I thought I was an

oak that ate itself alive

taken by the wind

 

Angelica Cabral

 

 

Bob Carlton hails from Leander, Texas. His lines reveal an intense sense of perception.

 

Mockingbird

outside my window;

whose song does it sing?

 

shooting star—

frog croaking

in a swamp.

 

(What a wonderful juxtaposition of images!)

 

stuck

to sweaty skin:

dandelion fluff

 

summer storm—

insects pour out

the pitcher plant

 

sun out—

new squash leaves

stuck in mud

 

windy dusk

the hummingbird still

searching

 

Bob Carlton

 

 

 

Mark Ward lives in Dublin. He is the author of Circumference and the founding editor of Impossible Archetype, an international LGBTQ+ poetry journal.

 

tiny ponytail

pulls the rest of his hair tight—

a new bloom through snow

 

trying haiku

not knowing plants names—

a sea of green

 

insulated heat

makes airless this lambent day—

conference trundles on

 

the first time I asked

a boy to go out with me—

cherries floating in milk

 

Mark Ward

Margo Das is a young writer from Belgium. She has been published in Selah Magazine. Clearly, she has a warm love of poetry and knows the value of those fallen leaves.

 

Ink from fingertips

Forms words in intricate lines

Weaver of stories

 

Fallen leaves of gold

Nature’s precious currency

Pays for life and death

 

Quiet melodies

The burning stars sing at night

For those who wander

 

Pearls, they hold secrets

Whispered to them by the sea

Drenched into their hearts

 

At home dust settles

On the weary, beaten floors

Hushing them to sleep

 

Greatest fiction shared

Between the hearts of lovers

Whispering white lies

 

Margo Das

 

 

Cheryl Caesar has lived in Paris, Tuscany, and Sligo for 25 years. She earned her doctorate in comparative literature at the Sorbonne. She now teaches writing at Michigan State University.

 

The cool clean birdsong

sluices my brain; cool water

calls to hands and face.

 

I wake to a moan

Hungry cat behind the door?

Or my own belly?

 

Undecided wind

is making leaves flutter

like wings of small birds.

 

She doesn’t look old.

but now, from my lap, she hunts

the bug with her eyes.

 

Previously published in Ariel Chart.

 

Cheryl Caesar

 

 

 

Devon Richey celebrates a trip to Costa Rica. These are autobiographical. The best haiku are those that arise not from the imagination but from actual experience.

 

Under the dapple shade

Memories

Of her

 

Costa Rican rain

Distant thunder rumblings

At the verge of dreams

 

Childhood games on beach

Footprints disappear with sand

In receding surf.

 

On the balcony

Strays enjoy the summer breeze

Upon the guests’ laps.

 

Sailboat paradise—

An old woman with a cart

Pushing through the mud

 

Devon Richey

Occasionally BTS receives a spate of haiku bearing titles. Haiku do not carry titles. The title is really an inadvertent fourth line that explains the verse to the reader. Let the reader perform their art, the ability to read, on a profound level, a haiku. —Kevin McLaughlin

Yet once more I encourage all haiku writers to share their work, their insights into the nature of all things, with fellow poets and BTS readers.  

For those interested in haiku,

I recommend you cast back into the BTS archives and reference the September 2016 column.  It provides a pretty thorough explanation of the basic format.

Kevin Mclaughlin

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