The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016

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The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016 Journal of English Language Tanshi

The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016 The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016 Journal of Contemporary Tanshi Š 2016

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The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016 Editors notes As I type out these words it appears that spring has finally sprung. From the drab monotones of winter new colour is emerging. The earth awakens and new growth begins. A new cycle of birth and death. Change happens. Change is inevitable and if, like me, you are not a big fan of change then life can be a challenge. When I say I don't like change, I mean I don't like the forced changes that lie outside the natural order of things. When it comes to the natural cycles of nature I welcome them ( although each cycle reminds me that I am growing older). Change brings challenge and from those challenges often comes the inspiration to craft fine quality poems. In this issue you will find such poems. Short poems about the changes of nature, life, love and death. Changes that impact all our lives. Changes we must live with. Changes that shape the world, our lives and our poetry. Steve Wilkinson

Individual Tanshi Rachel Sutcliffe a robin’s song the garden frozen still the sound of butterflies in flight spring warmth the steady flick of the horses tail midday heat kite show a watching the wind shifting childhood swing I kick away the black clouds first crocus the rainbow in every dewdrop


The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016

overnight rain morning light pools in puddles flower press the scent of summers past dwindling light days the last leaf lets go deep cold the piercing wail of a newborn

Deborah White december storm in its confusion thunder and lightening clear sky a jetliner flaps its wings


The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016

Samantha Rose

Graves Huddled together, Leaning in for company Two tall crumbling graves Seek private consolation Conversations after death.

The Optimistic Sea She shares joy and hope At every dawn and sunset Speckled honey shards. Though roaring winds breaks each wave, Still she reflects the sunlight.


The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016

Lavana Kray for the first time on the seashore... this photo got several wrinkles too successful chemo... dead leaves playing with her hair in the dark ginnel

black oil slick washed up on the beachtourists taking selfies with the grounded fish

wind chugging... on a clot of dead leaves, a refugee woman breastfeeding her baby


The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016

my life as the colorless fluid of sky ... a wounded crane looks at the migrating flock

Marilyn Fleming strands of barb wire running through the oak— thoughts of dad a sob coils in my mouth pressing against my tongue black shadows spill snow from conifers— crow’s feet track corners of my eyes like trees boast growth rings her face reflected in the pond I whisper ‘mama’ my worst regrets—knowing there was no other way


The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016

snowflake by snowflake the silent wall between us stretching until it singszzzz almost about to snap ghost of a wing smudged on the glass all that remains one downy feather and you looking back butterfly wings spreading dandelion puff balls the lightness of being how we tremble in air red clover honey blossom tips— sucked between our teeth the scraping sound of spoon to the bowl


The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016

Ed Higgens spilled wine glass blood red cascading glass across the floor

agonized youth’s rapture aftertaste of lost sweetness while late summer crickets sang in June’s soft night sky.

tonight’s half-moon cows grazing pasture thick with frost the moon’s wane light


The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016

Robyn Cairns through backstreets lined with dim lit factories-sad guard dogs in the moonlight the night runs out of breath

on the cafĂŠ window ledge a small jar of pink sweet peas outside the rain writes poetry

out on the lake black swans glide on a smooth silver course and industry carves the horizon


The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016

Sergio Ortiz "diamonds and rust" rattle the vanishing face of an old man— I live and die beneath a ginkgo tree in the past I hid you in the silence of an opinion now I find you in the bustle of a verdict

where are the bees? are they ruffling dawn with their ancient songs or dying in flight before the blossoms saving me from despair— a cloud walker camouflaged with rainbows


The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016

geography of my memory— a collection of verses hijacked from the dead of night I walk on a wet street auditioning for a new tomorrow... the world is still at war


The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016

cloud gazing . . . I thought about it but wasn’t sure what I’d do with an empty mind

tanka: Tom Clausen


art: © Ed Roakes

Peter Adair autumn nasturtiums threads of sun and rain unravelling red leaves fall from the cherry tree... I light the fire after your wake brent geeze sky refugees finding sanctuary on Strangford Lough a pigeon on the branch of a birch tree dusky stillness then the belch of a car clack of wings unknown we pass his stick taps out alone alone 11

The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016

Tyler Pruett from the radio static of someone else’s fame somewhere up in the night sky tangerine blossoms somewhere hidden in my mind the scolding the leaf twister spins the beauregard grass on abandoned graves no wind the leaflet gently sways black moon shining on the tree leaves of a distant shore


The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016

Martin Willitts Jr We could wait for messages but this is all we get: a gathering of geese fly out past this page in life. I stood in the back yard Left behind. but a part of me follows that calling.

When snow became blue silence fell out of the sky covering a jay

In the lavender sky the blood red sun writes more grief


The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016

Joel Dias-Porter The last edit in red Paper cut Visiting Room phoneThe long echo of his last sentence Pine BarrensA buzzsaw cuts into the silence Cherry blossoms glisten with dewNew lipstick Morning fog Lingering on the tongue Earl Grey quivering in the front yardfrosted grass Hopscotchearthworms curl on the pavement


The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016

Anne Curran pipi shells on the driveway sparkling white ... they crackle in moonlight as lovers rendezvous a caregiver counting visits to my father's hospital.. doesn't she know he is in my heart words flow as I chat with a neighbor recently home— then a veil of mist shrouds my thoughts she picks a posy button from the box to show my father ... her careful effort to brighten our morning


The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016

his wife's photo on the mantelpiece... I meet her eyes, tell her I am trying to look after him

I enquire does her grandson have a girlfriend ... an old maid's desire to tidy loose ends the caregiver tells me of Christmas lunch with her sons ... her eyes soften when she speaks their name


The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016

Brigitte Pellat Probed by the golden eyes of the female tiger I feel what makes her different from my ginger cat a searing intensity About to photograph a chickadee already flown away a free bird flutters in my memory A white cumulus is floating with majesty in the azure sky above my head, and my thoughts wander in its wake ‌ oh Mum! White-hot and whirling a sheet of paper reaches a cloud vanishes out of sight maybe it was a poem


The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016

Steve Black our brief encounter beside the poetry at the local bookshop now replaced with prose and bitter memoir the newlyweds next door introduce themselves their night music sounding out twenty-four seven clock watching at the haiku seminar death - naturally but autumn leaves me cold high and dry these last few days sitting on the fire escape waiting for forever to come


The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016

blind sided on cheapside lying face down in the gutter looking back i should have seen it coming

she was the future back then the past now is all I've got


The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016

Archana Kapoor Nagpal in and out of a raincloud this rainfall ... one by one paper boats sink on their own nestles into the bud of roses this morning dew ... I sip each memory of our dinner date in every corner of my ancestral home ... pieces of my past here and there

rustling through the dried leaves the autumn wind ... I rearrange the flowers on his grave


The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016

holding hand in hand at the beach ... we make a wish as the star falls

Eva Joan Nameless the man with the hat gives me a smile A small teacup and a feather in the breeze silent simplicity Outside the window on the Milky Way stands the Big Dipper Battlefield noise a peace dove flies but no one sees


The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016

Morning mirror my life unvarnished Sleepless again in the dark window only my face

Barbara Horter Alone Never alone Sounds of ones own breathing Accompanies random thought, brings A crowd Today New gift In time with sweet chances To sing and practice new dances Or rest


The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016

Joyce Joslin Lorenson dust cloud disappearing road imagining myself in the distance earth's tilt arcing towards a new season meteor shower outbursts of debris stones in the path rhythmic rain drooping strings of grandfather's violin spring equinox at any given moment bird song moonset at the tree line where do we go from here


The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016

fickle breeze unfolding clouds one thought leads to another

Charles Alegria so this is goodbye as you leave this tortured world I’m not man enough to handle this great sorrow this damn pendulum of life as birds sing their song the grass flows like ocean waves and now, all is good the wind chime whispers grandma watching over me as the sun says goodbye don’t play the victim one must be strong as iron to face his demons


The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016

here, early morning. lonesome dove cries out, he longs to be cherished. for even the animals know the pain of loneliness. the sound of thunder wakes me. as the rain falls down the earth rejoices. indeed this is a gift from the heavens above. thank you. I need you tonight to hold me and to love me never leave my side


The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016

Mike Adam In the grey Consciousness Of dawn I spell the runes That shape the day

Pat Davis waterscape beckons I swim through the treetops apple tree in bloom old, bent, unbroken teacher

Purush Ravela spreading all around the dense scents of fragrance spring flowers


The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016

Dua'a Elian A sleeping bird Yellow tree The sunset The horizon line hugging the sun a smile A white cloud a baby face in the sea The full moon bright eyes in love A deer in the green fields dancing


The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016

Melissa Patterson After dinner Cash’s Gospel music quiets my wine-filled mind Summer evening Black sky merges with black sea Our first kiss Irving Berlin fills My sentimental mind Letting you go‌again Summer morning Outside, a skateboard thonks, thonks In bed with a book


The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016

Jesus Chameleon cure me!– let ghostly imprints sink deep down into tropic dirt, into nutrient rich earth, may your rich and fabled past keep the banyan's legacy the noise-maker is started up by a hired hand to cut wild grass all the while enduring noise all the while concealing words I could not forget the perfect, pure brother-child my parents bore me when changing leaves eclipsed me under perfect and pure light the ashes are for me from palm fronds I newly picked before this year of relief burned down to fine soot for me--mortal soot relief thrives on


The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016

I am purposeful and I am remorseful too; openhearted to change deep within a heart I healed daily from faithless change ghost writer I knew on things ethnic here, he taught--leaves his genius behind as did his papa and mine who both saw action and died


The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016

Bruce England Eating breakfast a breeze on the precipice leaning back finishing my milk plates to the sink From behind the running boy in a photo forever suspended in mid-air I tell her I cook plain food if she likes that, I can show off by doing Thanksgiving in July Hector Camacho had the perfect viewing his young girlfriend came and fought with his sisters and older ex-girlfriend


The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016

Somewhere inside my mind, my Chinese box, a tanka dreamt last night In the morning the raccoons are gone the koi gone In shelter under the tree the lesser rain


The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016

Anna Cates burning sky a Sugar Daddy feeding ants winding road a heifer ponders barb wire fence black ice the teen girl skates a figure eight summer poppies dancing orange tango to acapella wind petal cover over the pet cemetery gray sky

painted lady flitting above the mallow in warm haze 33

The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016

Anna Goluba Vernal equinox Waterfall frozen In half Middle of the night... From the baker's shop Operatic music Crowded In the glass box... People in the bus Yesterday I put a vase of flowers In the center of table Finally, I have My reference point Just before A final result... Unlimited sky Connected roots Of these two trees... As the years go by We understand each other Without words


The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016

Emmanuel Jessie Kalusian this mirror shows me who I am -pond reflection sunlight on grass..., my heart lit by your love dripping from cherry blossom petals -cherry blossom rain choir practise the jay's pitch higher than i thought spring day... playing on loose wire the one-foot robin


The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016

inside the airport on my japanese passport: cherry blossom outside: cherry blossom rain finishing touches on an art work: the blue heron adds a patch of blue to the red sky sunset two shadows following me: the one in front is mine; the one behind is mine


The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016

Isabelle Loverro in silence they pass our youthful dreams mid-winter blues

David Young SKY SCRAPER liquid plastic writhes with evil laughter as toxic black smoke trails out the chimney to murder birds POPCORN little golden babies clap their hands, jump for joy, fall down old men, cotton-soft and a bit moist, then disappear through rows of tombstones streaked with silver


The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016

Dave Read as silent as the house we pass remembering the family whose boy died young leaving behind a trail of shadows her footprints in the snow watching the sun sink into the ocean the waves of high tide begin to lap my feet closing the door on her just sold home mom walks grandma slowly down the steps


The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016

watching me chase a baseball down the street his rolling laughter follows close behind broken planks mark the old bridge the gaps we encounter returning to the past in like a lion the first day of spring our neighbour revving his Harley seeds spread across the yard I struggle to gather my thoughts


The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016

evening glow neighbors without names smile in passing

haiku: Tom Clausen


art: Š Ed Roakes

landing deeper in the woods my city bound imagination eye to eye with the neighbourhood coyote I back away from my wild side


The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016

Pat Geyer as wavelets ripple through calm waters... fluid thoughts of springtime in this still strange new world curiosity grabs me... black holes open i soar through young lovers' warm innocent blush... cherry blossoms swirl in a frenzy of pure passion cradle moon you rock the babes til they sleep... i hear coos and gurgles midst the moon and stars


The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016

arise on spirit wings each day.... even hawks fly from their perches for love she says i feel like a fox he says take off your glove... his heart skips a beat amaz(e)ing green corn fields... sometimes i find i may be just lost


The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016

Guliz Vural

neither the air nor the leaves cicada is here I leave at the bookstore the ink black umbrella a dance with the sun sinking moon fishermen raise their nets far from the tide crossed-leg on a sofa moonlights in the room lotus in bloom


The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016

Iliyana Stoyanova the amber of your eyes only the sea knows the taste of our kiss daffodils and snowdrops birds and demons somewhere between dusk and dawn between seasons only crows and my black dog if only a blackbird's song could cut through early morning Twitter the bitterness of coffee and your voice


The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016

David J. Kelly

a Midas dawn winter’s naked trees clothed in gold all at once spring arriving daffodils false dawn birdsong by streetlight high in a tree playing hide and seek chick-a-dee-dee-dee phosphorescence new galaxies swirl at the oars’ tips late summer fascinated by green acorns


The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016

no longer reaching where it started from ship’s wake starry night walking in the light of other days Christmas Island on top of the tree a Fairy Tern


The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016

Debbie Strange

even when you came home early blood-spattered with glass in your hair I never saw this coming

though my feet have never trod upon that fair isle they know it better than these dirty streets

the times that are the hardest give way to those that soften this, I tell myself

when, at last we turn to dust and bone my hair an eternal waterfall will still flow over you 47

The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016

rose thorns and twists of barbed wire you trace my body's deep scars until I believe

Ananya Mukherjee

fingers left the railing I flung myself in the air the ground... no longer beneath my feet I made my biggest mistake


The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016

Marilyn Fleming

a shadow of my former self cut out of darkness— you have taken my heart you have taken my soul deep in the woods my face in my hands I speak to the hollowed out tree— my red heartwood bared a kiss smudge on the windowpane all that remains— how were we to know we were so happy hounds stop at the river’s edge a sharp scent sinks low in the water— I leap into myself


The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016

to grow back becoming unborn a sky to suck on— likewise jonquils reborn in spring to bloom again blue violets pressed between pages my fragile self born of the woodland I write unrestrained roadrunner chasing it’s own nib— your words like petroglyphs formed on rock face long blue tail of the damselfly melding with sky sun bathing on the roof everything fades away


The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016

blue wheelbarrow against the naked oak through rain and sleet our limbs intertwine you sheltering me pushing through a crack in the glacier one dandelion held fast in your hand my head kowtowing


The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016

Ayaz Daryl Nielsen

a damp, cold morning she hums while moving about all’s well in this home a day of snowfall she claims my loud snoring started it these puddly muddles we so often live in nothing for it but to un-muddle the puddles through my loneliness streetlights turning on the beating heart within their silence late nights on the underside autumn sped up and I, truth-telling liar, simply fell off yet these bones, still marrow full


The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016

Christina Sng

quiet night the smashed glass loud as thunder cherry blossom suddenly forgetting the year I was born homesick the grass always greener on the other side snapshot our estrangement hidden behind smiles once best friends now an abyss between us


The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016

as many friends as grains of sand each a treasure to behold croaking frog tries to harmonize amongst the ferns pine table thinking of the tree it came from honey bees I watch safely from my window button box full of memories my children


The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016

Mary Kendall

unexpected fog… the grazing horses disappear

the curve of moon shadow— life passes, too

you whisper he has cancer… stirring milk into tea

left alone even a broken bough will mend


The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016

too many dreams cloud the sky at times‌ pulling laundry off the line peg by peg

darkness deeper than the sound of water... a sudden whoosh of a swooping owl

last to leave, the clinic door closes behind us— still waiting for an answer scaling fish my mother a silvered mermaid


The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016

Mark Gilbert

a pair of crutches propped up in the corner eyes fixed on the bobbing needle as she speaks and sews

Beaujolais Nouveau that Friday night when we were students

beneath the creep of tortoiseshell cirrus the setting sun

low orange light ferns unfurling in their own time 57

The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016

sea mist rolling in I can't remember whether I've been here before


The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016

Rajandeep Garg

valley snowthe cardinal echoes silence

shredding dawn the darkness wrapped in a leaf

prairie horizonthe sun explodes on a dandelion

sunset my shadow diverges from the path


The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016

Theresa A. Cancro

a mud dauber sealing up its nest – his dementia

ice pellets – I add another pill to the regimen

autumn twilight – on the radio, a jazz riff fades in and out

remission – a blue jay calls through fog


The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016

long johns flapping in the breeze – his deep baritone

gravestone – raindrops catch on my eyelash

sunlit fog – a river bass stirs in the creel

blue-eyed grass along the canal a night heron


The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016

Ed Bremson

a flower, color white tinged with a blush of pink‌ its perfume delicious inhaled by moonlight unfolding at night flowers colored purple lined with ivory with an odor that attracts and intoxicates before sunrise flowers brilliant golden yellow emitting flashes of light at the end of a dark night, a stand of cypress in the light of a mourning star


The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016

beneath the mild stars of morning, beside crystal waters‌ golden flowers blooming like a star and cups of joy, like the sky and words of love‌ cactus flower


The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016

first day of school a child gives the globe a twirl

senryu: Tom Clausen


art: Š Ed Roakes

Tanshi Strings & Collaborations


The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016

sometimes sometimes there is a place not quite home yet still it fills that need for a safe shelter sometimes it is a small thing there that settles into heart and soul a candle flame, firelight the old fox in the garden at night year after year watching her cubs her teats heavy with milk the smell of sweetgrass braids hanging 65

The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016

on the bedstead those fields are home the sound of waves breaking on sand dunes a flask of coffee going home again when the sky grows dark sometimes, a poem I have loved all my life the comfort of Yeats of Rumi, Neruda sometimes, a voice on the telephone familiar as the bedsheets the pillows, the blankets Joy McCall


The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016

under the floorboards he sings the fox lay sleeping 'neath the kitchen floor * and I see it there curled in the cold night small red fox hiding from the hunters and the hounds finding peace under the floorboards like the small mouse I heard scuffling there last winter making a nest from paper and rags under a kitchen floor is a good place to rest there are quiet footsteps 67

The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016

the smells of cooking the heartbeat of the house I drop the leftovers by the holes the mice have made in the skirting boards it comforts me to hear them down there circling, settling when night falls and I go to my bed it is good to share my nights with the small things the fox, the mice, the spiders the small brown dreams (*Ray Lamontagne 'Winter Birds' )


Joy McCall

The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016

half asleep pine woodsmoke and chamomile cocoa and coffee sacred incense for my parched soul I wake still clothed, the quilts wrapped around me the fire burning low the book lying on the couch the room is filled with the sound of distant violins and laughter and the tapping of many dancing feet


The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016

outside there are roses and trees and waves and voices carried on the wind I want to stay awake and listen but I am weary and my eyes are closing and tonight there is no door between waking and dreaming I am dancing back and forth in the wide doorway Joy McCall


The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016

no trace of cancer in her top drawer mom’s 80 year old doll blonde wig coming loose from the bald head knock knock no one at the door but this dead bee trying to get through closed doors is a killer lost in the dictionary his haiku nearing the end I find 'waka' therapy hour she starts off with hand sanitizer then says 'OK, dish up the dirt' December rain coming back to life in the used bookshop a precious, worn copy of Fermine's 'Snow' their own answer to Thanksgiving morning crows black feathers and flight more than enough joy Robert Epstein/Joy McCall 71

The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016

The Joy Within

thirteen years and still all her pain cannot suppress the joy within the surgeon's knife only opened his heart to more ... more mindfulness more love, more poetry the more I read the more I see her joy written between the lines of pain and sleepless nights it is life doing that balancing act high above the falls don't look down, hold fast to the pole trust your dreams let loose of the pole and stand with your ancestors tossing want and desire into a mountain spring Don Miller and Joy McCall 72

The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016

White Canvas Don Miller and Joy McCall we stand in front of a white canvas she has layered all our memories with invisible paint pick up that cleaned brush dip it in the paint: what colour shall we start with? I don't know I'm not a visual artist! I would use black and graffiti the canvas with poems I would cover it in circles in autumn colours with one small word inside each circle at the heart of a circle is the ring an endlessness etched with L O V E For: Lisa and Andy


The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016

Ever Drifting our exercises in writing have drained me I sit by a stream and visualize folding paper words caught in the reeds paper poem boat rocking a water rat nibbles '... the dying of the light' I try to imagine 'Words' running on water but get tangled. . . all the lost lines with barbed hooks I dive down hoping to find ... something the water grows murky decay bubbles rise if we sit long enough the bubbles will burst forth from the poet’s cove new word-lines will surface ‘Ever drifting, drifting, drifting. . .’

Don Miller and Joy McCall


The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016

Rendezvous a bit more sleep while the storm rages the strobe of lightening, brief glimpses, an open doorway. . . low voices on the night air rendezvous at the edge of dawn at the edge of dreams walking in shadows drawing inner strength sure-footed on the cliff path the wind on your face listen to the waves so far below us gulls meandering between shore and sea on the horizon a vanishing line always slipping from our sight over the edge a cobbled path to follow visions slicing through darkness a lamp casting faint light from a window Joy McCall and Don Miller


The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016

Atacama Desert

stone­strewn deep scored wasteland rusted tufts beaten by heat… resist, endure AD a road breaks the desert’s monotony... endless azure sky and melting mountain snow the only contrast I need TG seeds lying low await the slaking rain in a new dawn… latent energy sleeps patience poised AD no longer hidden from admiring eyes pink mallow flowers... the desert drought lasted long enough TG a lake of pink freshens earth’s curves brings its blush sweet moisture’s touch… where’s the desert now? AD


The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016

buried beneath a sumptuous blossom’s ephemeral clothes the naked sands. Waiting for her caress. TG Alexandra Davis (AD) and Tim Gardiner (TG)


The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016


all day I wept over the beached whale slow-dying its eyes watching the tide going out, away and those who longed to help impotent bringing small buckets of seawater the tide too slow to return too late the great long body too heavy for breath


The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016

somehow I longed at least to be there to rest my head and hands on the drying grey skin for nothing should die alone not the small migrants drowning at sea and not this majestic whale Joy McCall


The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016

MY MOTHER'S THINGS In the photograph, She is eighteen, swathed in lace, Clutching red roses. The marriage exploded but The picture hangs in the hall. Two China figures— Bought before her father heard The call and forbid Dancing—stand in her beech hutch, Hands joined, waiting for music. Twenty dollars stashed In a tampon box: hidden Place for secret things. Where do women hide cash once They are past childbearing? Serving knife handles Carved from walrus ivory Look like polar bears Stretched out on arctic ice floes. They rest in Florida now. A black, leather-bound King James Bible recorded Births, marriages, deaths. Tracts tucked inside claim the pope Is the whore of Babylon. 80

The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016

A wood and brass trunk, Holds a crocheted tablecloth: Heirlooms handed down Through generations until Threads break, wood decays, lines die. Jessica Ramer


The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016

10 paired tanka by Joy McCall & Larry Kimmel vigil dark ravens cawing in the treetops waning moonrise the doe shivers huddling down into dead leaves all the while we sit by candlelight honoring the ritual of our ancestors – the vigil by the open casket the clock ticks on the winter wind wakes me, howling around the house I lay awake, pondering happenstance mystics tell us there are no coincidences – the hallway clock, with a certain play in its machinery, ticks on 82

The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016

smiling he sits smiling on the edge of laughter not knowing why – life - sometimes it's sad sometimes it's laughable don’t take his irreverence for irreverence – short of great pain what can he take seriously at this late stage? what now? you take a step and the horizon takes a step but lately it seems to be getting closer – and what if the earth is flat? it is not death I fear, but the dying not the finish line but that stretch of road mined with fear and pain


The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016

November sky they arrive and arrive – how many starlings can the old oak sponge from the November sky one blackbird singing in the chestnut before dawn the nightmares slip away is that all I am? a name and a handful of memories is that who I am what I am all I am ? crumbling gravestones leaning into ivy and grass no one comes here a century gone and those names forgotten


The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016

offering unexpected guests – in haste, a milk jug stuffed with arbor vitae & dry weeds – it serves winter rose buds and oregano leaves on the pillow to welcome my daughter from far away dust and cobwebs bedtime – at the flip of a switch dust & cobwebs disappear – my mind more at ease then come the night noises the mice in the skirting the scratching at the door – cat, or burglar?


The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016

looking for my place take any job, any stance in life it’s part of the puzzle, right? still looking for my place in the big picture we are one mote of the universal dust inconsequential yet how much we matter to each other! in the cracks dry stalks of goldenrod and Queen-Ann’s lace quivering in winter wind . . . home now a derelict house the light of an old oil lamp shining through the gaps in the wall of an abandoned barn


The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016

Drifts– a tanka chain I watch mosaic pool tiles meld and part as the wind shifts the impermanence of life life in a nursing home only a life half-lived creeping back to the cradle cradle of mankind among Kenyan caves painted stories of hominids ... cycles of death and birth birth notices in our local paper alert me to the latest fashions in names for children


The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016

children sing of the rising sun I listen to their voices blending with birdsong birdsong a distant memory as I stare through the window at the nest of skyscrapers skyscrapers lost in winter fog I trudge the well-worn path back to my front door door ajar a chance to enter your world ‌ should I take it or stay safe outside outside fallen leaves drift tossed in the sparrow wind – my broken heart 88

The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016

heart to heart my little daughter explains to her teddy bear why Daddy will be home late Marilyn Humbert & Keitha Keyes


The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016

Turning the Page – a tanka chain

I wake from a nightmare and will myself back to sleep to find another ending

ending abruptly book pages missing my frustration again you walk away while I am speaking speaking as if it were only yesterday my dad tells of his first job and a fist full of money money lost in the crash of 1930 gran recalls lace trimmed frocks before unbleached cotton


The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016

cotton a thirsty crop in this land of shrinking rivers ‌ less water for other things things after drought slowly return to normal frogs croaking in gentle rain stir the muddy trickle Keitha Keyes & Marilyn Humbert


The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016

Racing the Fleet scattered face down across the table an image lost ‌ the unmade jigsaw puzzle shadows meld and blend after 40 years their youthful faces just a blur snared excited eyes speak a duet archived floorboard music serenades their perpetual waltz spindrift figures bunny hop from wave top to wave top racing the fleet leeward a storm approaches


The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016

shoal waters herald wrecking reefs sirens sing spray dashed faces laugh at the gods salt crusted hands slip from the wooden angel claimed beneath the breakers ‌ the cries of those lost Andrew Howe & Marilyn Humbert


The Bamboo Hut Spring 2016

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