USA

  • Lucas Stensland

    wet awning . . .
    much too weary
    to rise
     

    looking at my
    half-eaten sandwich
    Minnesota


    daffodils
    telling their stories . . . 
    a drunk evening


    sky
    fragmented by branches
    our loose grip


    his shadow
    falling all around —
    Suzuka Pass

     

    Lucas Stensland is an American poet and novelist. He wrote the novel Name Your Poison: A Max Mitchum Mystery and co-authored the poetry book my favroite thing (bottle rokets press, 2011). His poems have been published in journals such as FrogpondMainichi Daily NewsThe Heron's Nest and Mayfly. He currently lives in Minneapolis with his cat, Townes Van Zandt.

  • Lucas Stensland

    Lazy River

     

    Today is my nephew’s fifth birthday. I took the day off work to go with my brother, sister-in-law and Soren to The Water Park of America. I am happy to see that Soren is comfortable in the water, unlike me when I was his age. The place is flooded with what you’d expect on a weekday afternoon: families. It’s mostly married thirtysomethings with little kids.

    We all climb into the water. It’s been years since I swam. The water is warm, and I go under. I open and close my eyes, forgetting that chlorine bothers me. Grabbing inter tubes, we head down the lazy river. While drifting downstream, I see a lot of couples walking by with tattoos, youthful decisions. I look down and see my ex-wife’s name on my right arm, a tattoo that often surprises me.

    sitting on the dock
    to somebody I’m only
    a silhouette

    In front of us a man is trying to grab his wife’s tube so they can float together. It doesn’t look like he can do it. He reaches too far, his tube flips over and he goes down.

    We enter the cave. I reach out my hand to touch the stone wall to discover it’s not stone but sculpted and painted cement. Next is the waterfall. Soren lets out happy and excited shouts as he goes through the downpour. It's now my turn. The water slams down on me. I keep my eyes open.

    the ref
    calls a do-over
    the sky clears

    Lucas Stensland is an American poet and novelist. He wrote the novel Name Your Poison: A Max Mitchum Mystery and co-authored the poetry book my favroite thing (bottle rokets press, 2011). His poems have been published in journals such as FrogpondMainichi Daily NewsThe Heron's Nest and Mayfly. He currently lives in Minneapolis with his cat, Townes VanZandt. 

  • Maggie Chula

    Vicks Vapor Rub
    the smell of Mother in winter
    her hands rubbing
    my small chest back and forth
    deeper into my heart


     
    past the age
    of intrigue and longing
    I spend the day
    reading the diaries
    of Heian women

  • Margaret Chula

    Go gently into the darkness

    It is the last day of the first month and we are on a train heading north to New England to bury John’s parents. Sixty years together, and now their ashes will be laid side by side in boxes underground. It is their time to go into the darkness. But, unlike flower bulbs planted with hope, there will be no renewal of life in the spring.

    Outside the train window, landscapes of childhood:  white houses with dark-green shutters, buildings of brick, and the white birches whose bark I peeled to write poems on. I could be in Krakow, bundled in furs and riding in a horse-drawn carriage, church bells tolling the afternoon hours, passing mounds of snow banks and a newly dug grave, strains of Chopin, and the wind stinging tears down my face.

    new snow
       blowing off the rooftops
    their ashes

     

    Orphan

    All the houses on the lane have been abandoned and are covered with kudzu vines. We left our house in Kyoto years ago, but have come back to collect things that we neglected to take with us. At first we think we can fit them in our suitcases but, looking around at the pottery, the scrolls, and things that are now valuable from having been away so long, we realize that we’ll need a big box to send them back. I wander around the house reliving memories and come upon a section of the house that wasn’t there before—a small addition, the size of a closet. A cushion that looks like a dog bed, fills the entire space. It’s indented in the shape of a person curled up sleeping. I step down into an adjoining room, this one with a dirt floor—a makeshift studio with a hot plate and a few bowls. Against one wall is a wooden box filled with kimonos. I pull them out one by one, deciding whether to pack them up and take them back home. But they are all polyester, not silk, inferior in quality, and stained. There is even a wedding kimono, which is the height of insult. Making a wedding kimono out of polyester! I put them all back, feeling sad. This is someone’s shop or studio. On another wall, a rack of cards. All homemade, charming, with envelopes. Some are photos of Kyoto gardens, others watercolor illustrations. A neighbor Japanese woman pokes her head in. Asks who I am and why I’m here.

     This used to be my house,’ I say.

    ‘Yes, gaijin lived here. I remember. After you left, Yukio moved in. A squatter.
    He was an orphan. Tried to make a living from selling these things.’ She gestures to what I have already seen. “But he couldn’t, and now he is gone.’                   

                                                    knock on the door
                                                    awakens me from my dream
                                                    rumpled kimono

     

    Margaret Chula is a poet, teacher, and performance artist. She has published six collections of poetry, which can be viewed on her website http://www.margaretchula.com. Specializing in Japanese poetic forms, Margaret teaches workshops at universities, Zen centers, and at poetry conferences. One of her haiku was printed on Itoen tea cans distributed throughout Japan. She is currently Poet Laureate for Friends of Chamber Music in Portland Oregon.

  • Margaret Dornaus

    you remind me
    how it felt that night we met...
    our universe
    filled with possibilities
    and the soft hum of tree frogs


     
    searching
    for meaningful work
    between jobs
    the chef spends his time
    hand-feeding the birds

  • Margaret Tau

    late summer rain
    cicadas soften
    their song

     

    secluded stream
    stones ripple
    a zen chant

     

  • Maria Santomauro

    the Andes -
    an Incan woman
    and the sky
     

    lakeside . . .
    another village
    at the bottom
     

    altiplano -
    Indians pick potatoes
    on a frozen plain


    tai chi -
    the winged horse flying through
    heaven's river
     

    twilight zone -
    stars break into pieces
    on the rocks

    Maria Santomauro teaches Spanish and English at the Windsor School and College English and literature at the Long Island Business Institute in Flushing, NY. Her haiku have been published in the Asahi Haikuist Network.

  • Marilyn Hazelton

    what a tangle
    of trunk and branch
    this wisteria
    so like my life but
    it doesn't complain


     
    ready
    to be a fool
    for spring
    daffodils too
    begin their honking


     
    in line
    at passport control
    sneezing
    I receive blessings
    in several languages

  • Marilyn Hazelton

    early morning heat
    everyone is crazed
    black ants fight
    between meditation books
    on my patio table


     
    family photo:
    my father's father
    before the booze
    before the house was lost
    before we inherited fear


     
    my grandmother
    steps away from sadness
    to read tea leaves
    a skill she learned
    when everything changed

  • Mark Gilbert

    global warming
    too many sheets
    in the shredder

     

    Michael Smeer's 2nd Annual Haiku for Change Event Anthology (Sept-17)

  • Mathisen, Nicholas

    power lines
    two old cleats
    kick the moon

     

    the deeper we go
    the darker it gets
    kelp forest

     

    infinity of stars
    somewhere a car alarm
    starts and stops

     

    bringing home
    the bacon scraps
    raccoon

  • Matthew M. Cariello

    autumn wind
    even the dead
    tree sways

  • McDonald, Connor

    lunch reading
    a tangerine
    difficult to peel

             

    an acorn husk
         my breath
    in front of me

            

    cracked eggshells
            morning pain
    behind the eyes 

            

    the distance
    between two daffodils
    a cold spring

            

    the thought
    of thinking aloud
    spring haircut

     

  • McDonald, Connor

    to a side street
    bit of shade
    infused / taste
    of mint

     

    and women rush past
    emaciated & tanned
    torsos of old men

     

    high on Church street
    a soul stares at Christ
    on the boxing gym sign

     

  • Michael Lester


    this tug of war
    between staying safe
    and staying sane
    our Australian sheepdog
    squeezes through the doggie door

     

    bound to the earth
    by the force of gravity
    yet I dream
    of swooping over forests
    perching on mountaintops

  • Michael Morell

    Christmas in July
    fireflies
    fill up the yard

     

    family tree
    we gather around
    a fallen leaf



  • Minor, Lori A

    dementia
    I lose the lily
    petal by petal

    short list, 2017 H. Gene Murtha Senryu Contest
    short list, 2017 Touchstone Award

  • Moeller-Gaa, Ben

    noon
    the church bell
    from another time

     

    sunrise
    cream coloring
    the coffee coloring the cream

     

    sunrise
    in the kitchen . . . the scent
    of last night’s coffee

     

    twilight
    the silence at the end
    of the record

  • Moffett, Matthew J.

    not the moon the insomniac’s middle finger

     

    trampoline body weight measured in birdsong

     

    where the hummingbird was a snapshot of sky

     

    dead leaves rustling all the old cliches awake

     

    another school shooting the breeze barely sways a patch of narcissi

     

    morning moon through the looking glass of vodka

     

    leafless and ivy’s still dream of tomorrow

     

    white paint still tacky her last last cigarette

  • Narices

    painting class
    my three noses
    repositioned

    avalanche
    rescue
    poke of the dog nose

    art museum all the square noses

    snow melt
    one carrot down

    newborn baby his daddy’s nose