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The Bamboo Hut a journal of tanshi

Spring 2017

The Bamboo Hut Spring 2017 Journal of Contemporary Tanshi Š 2017

All rights reserved. No part of this journal may be reproduced in any form without the permission of the publisher.

The Bamboo Hut

Spring 2017

Edited by S Wilkinson

Pat Geyer

narrowly passing through whittled outlines... i draw myself as a stick figure to channel a path

she looks at the follies of youth her steely blue eyes ask was that me?

in my twilight buried 'neath a rotting log a snake... crawling out it steals my life

autumn is gone... as the season dies snow buries me

my brown eyes watch the beauty of nature brown hair blows in the wind as life and seasons come and go this gift from my parents


Theophilus Femi Alawonde homecoming... father still smokes his pipe under the old oak

waxing gibbous... i say my resolutions to my shadow

Pat Davis garden center the hummingbird and I make our choices grandchildren practice card tricks grandma is young again walking out of the cinema taller homeless man eats a Christmas cookie his eyes close


Brenden Kent shaking myself out of this world ... snowglobe

winter solstice mybreathandyours

even after all snow melt and I

all we couldn't say the hills are repeating -snowscape

an old winter's dream ... cool night air filling with woodsmoke and whiskey between seasons, a star is still a star


Radhamani Sarma Between East and West hot Sun and cool Moon life veers round its own pathway you like or dislike.

pen a poem of prosaic living a sad metaphor serendipity is God’s dictum.

in sea’s roar a drowning fear runs me down


Robert Beveridge Kierstin I would run fire for you the fire of your hair thrown into morning

The Next Day Your smell, lilac, jasmine, tobacco, is everywhere on the bathroom towel, in the rugs, rubbed into my chest like liniment. I lie back, breathe deep and fill my lungs with you.

Rachel Sutcliffe blossom clouds we head deeper into spring still snowing I smell the memories in your scarf trying to hold on outside my window forget me nots fade spring dusk flooding the stream with stars

walking further into the flames autumn woods


John Grey deer at water's edge nibbles lush green pasture one ear pricked for danger one hoof marking time until dark

palm of my golden hands last drop of fair-haired sunset blown like a thistle into dark's waiting embrace or wind's ceaseless motion

rain drums on roof to announce the tympani of drops from caves to rose petals


Shloka Shankar cleaning out the medicine cabinet nobody tells me we are past expiration, too

staring at a wall the universe darkens

forgetting to open quotes fingernail moon

making me choose my battles New Year's resolutions


Pere Risteski

the wind discovers trees to stir them up and retires again

above the small pear tree buzz bees from distant orchards

a bee buzzed and the leaves hang still not moving at all


Anna Goluba

Already crucified (So with nothing else to lose) He asked: "Eli, Eli, lamma sabachthani?" But still the silence Was the only answer

Was it all Worth it? Empty shell

Working late All these gods Stuck behind desks Are transformed Into devils

Just to have Something to hold on to... Pocket stone


Debbie Strange

Night Terrors we don't go downtown anymore it's not safe for women and girls of any age, every colour shots fired another child dies for a debt her chalk outline macabre street art

the songs of an eldritch choir lure me to the precipice but I do not look down

arts and crafts glitter sparkles throughout the galaxies

thundersnow a shattering of ice bones


Bob Carlton

Distant storm clouds-too hot, too humid to write.

Garden wall: red brick painted with haiku.

Last rose one year, first rose the next-ice storm.

our sweat blends on your belly a salty kiss

Winter sky, perching mockingbird: same color.


Ernesto P Santiago

birds are returning to the place they'd visited and the best thing is I'll be there as always to welcome you home

the defined edges of unspoken message of such "I love you!" warms a heart in stone I am saving for life

oh, Mother Earth, still fresh and green the high land and the forest and my marriage with you are no different

rushing river simply a lure to own my inner self your thirst awakens this breath within

chalk moon . . . our bedroom talks evolving what we believe, guide us to love


Paul Chambers

the turn of a pike clouds the shallows departing spring

last of the light… an oystercatcher’s tracks fill with snow

darkening cold a yellow leaf falls after the crow

slow spring breeze… rippling the dark side of the bed sheet

plover’s cry – a strand of wool caught in the fence wire


James P. Roberts SOSTENUTO A long sustained note Will it rise or will it fall ends in shattered heart MOVIE SCENE MOON Wispy clouds skim past Full round orb glows spectral white A distant low howl SA BAI DII Rose garden path winds Petals drop in dragon scales Tiny pink hand waves *Sa Bai Dii is Laotian for "Hello". NYIN DII THII PHOHP JAO Night held flowers bloom Soft breeze masks scented perfume Dress slips, tumbles free *Nyin Dii Thii Phohp Jao is Laotian for "Pleased to meet you." LIPSTICK To get herself ready to write a poem she puts on lipstick and nothing else


Anna Cates weaving through a chain length fence white thyme the simple things that surprise me

full moon a marshmallow melting on a stick on nights such as this my thoughts turn to witches

the lucky few— Japanese macaques bask in steaming waters

rosy sky puffed up with clouds ripe melons

spring luncheon violets on an antique cup


Paul Fauteux Briefly, in cool, moonlit spaces behind strong walls— a man in right thought.

Michael O'Brien

low sun the sound of a bird among fallen leaves

sun dog a world once loved

sharing recipes on social media winter rain

tenement constellation the neighbour’s menorah

new year’s sun a deflated balloon caught in a tree


Gabriel Bates

snowstorm my bootprints fade into a stranger's

crackling ice I spend the day with an old friend

North Star sleeping on her side of the bed tonight

withdrawal I hold her as she used to

Aleppo these houses as their graves


Matsukaze into city darkness, our car moving rapidly down the highway, dad enjoys the local rnb station

red ochre sun sets: getting dressed quickly, there's an event at the bookstore i desire to attend

i drank yesterday, held up in my room---i drink today and enjoy the way it leaves me feeling

completing another work-shift, took a cab home; its cold and silent i make my way in the house

he calls—two hours spent chatting in baritonal whispers, a sputtering candle perfumes my room


Anna Maris spring rain i upload poetry to the cloud

sacred ground in the pale landscape bulldozers

murky water on the bridge railings rusted love locks

dried leaves the truths i entomb

family grave on the stone covered path shadow patterns


Matsukaze Answering Mokichi (tan)ka rensaku on the funeral road, sorrel blossoms, bemused, on the funeral road, were they not falling?

where i am, the leaves have turned brittle, and brown --- there's laughter here

along the road through the field where windflowers with red mouths bloomed, light flowed as we went

i live in the city, along the highway; nothing but deadened grass and the wind of passing traffic

i hold the fire with which i must cremate my mother. In the skies here is nothing to look at

Mokichi-san, may i for many years, not experiece the grief of a mother being gathered to her ancestors

under the night sky where the stars are, red and red, mulberry mother went on burning i am certain no one can gage the grief you had mingled with red mulberries and fire


deep into the night, i looked at the funeral fire of my mother, simply red, it went on burning

barely into the morning, i stare at sunspill on the brick drive-thru, simply golden, burning, spreading

we guard the fire, the night is old; my younger brother sadly sings a song of life

guardians of life. the days gather age; inside of me my brothers and sister must become closer

single-minded, i will keep watch over the faintly red rising smoke, the smoke

working hard to pull in my double-mind, in the distance the smoke of passing traffic

in sour hot water, body sadly immersed, i saw light blaze in the sky

a slow day, i think of bathing, of immersing myself in light, in sunlight coming back to my birthplace, the village where my house is, i pickle the flowers of white wisteria and eat them


home of my birthplace, no longer there, pickled-anything i do not enjoy... well, i've never really had

near the mountain where faint flowers fall, mists, flowing, have gone away

another cool but balmy morning, no mists, no flowers --- at least none i can readily name

a fire burning far off on a mountain beyond the valley—its scarlet, and my mother, saddening

no morning fires, no mountains, or valleys—i purpose in my heart to call mother, its long overdue

it touched me---the way the rain was falling. The earth near the mounain was red---how pitiful it was

no no Mokichi-san, no falling rain, or mountains---just myself behind mulberry mother!

it is January. there are no mountains here, or bamboo shoots, and mother, is where she is--alive.


Margaret Mahony

on the kitchen table a biennial orchid in bloom my granddaughter and I share breakfast

magpies in season I duck for cover heading home a kookaburra on my street sign


Bruce England One moving spot on the sheen of the pond dragonfly shadow

Not Tetris, a flock of crows landing in cul-de-sac

Suddenly one butterfly becomes two


Ben Moeller-Gaa freezing rain at the pub door the tips of lit cigarettes

from me to you moonlight in the puddle

after the party the stillness of dirty dishes

evening chill the emptiness of the mousetrap

humming an old hobo tune i double knot my shoes


Bryan Rickert

returning to the berry patch full ripe moon

winter rain– blackbirds rise against it

the length of autumn– corn stubble

puddles become Kandinskys– city rain

island time– between my toes sand slips


Elin Bell

full moon in the eyes of the tiger iron bars

sleepless again in my window the universe

in still water the shadow of my shadow darkness and light


Precious Oboh

falling pearls of dewa night crawler still snores by the side of the cape

migrating geese she left on the tenth month of the harmattan season

the tour guide discussing Adolf Hitler -the portrait of a survivor wearing a "purple triangle"

new moon the sweet scent of roasted corn brightens grandma's face out front evening breeze rocking the swings the silence between us


Elizabeth Spencer Spragins

blueberry branches draped with beads of unripe fruit— clusters of white pearls that glow in summer twilight hold no tender promises a mourning dove calls as the fog burns to cinders willows loose their veils and sway to unknown rhythms that my feet cannot follow silhouettes embrace as breezes stir the plume grass— a dance of shadows draws my eyes to flattened grays beneath the arc of rainbows sailboats rock gently as a breeze tugs braided lines tethered to the pier my rod strains against a trout that tacks toward open water wild roses tumble over roadside rocks and weeds— fickle waterfalls blossom over barren earth and color pools at daybreak


Todd Saukkot

Two distant lovers They have one thing in common The first two raindrops

The explorer peeks Above the stars Rose clusters


Robert Witmer

water breaks over rock blinking in the sun a frog croaks

night swallows my shadow a single moth circles a bare bulb

flowers in a vase the unmistakable scent of her hospital room

wind in the trees howling at the silent stars

scented music a symmetry of pine trees swaying to the clouds


Dave Read

falling leaves ... the canopy fills with starlight

winter bells a puck rings off the crossbar

soaking in the birdbath moonlight

a child chases a plastic bag right to the end of the wind

floating on the lake's surface the boy who could not swim


Joy McCall The Bay Horse the man at the reins says ' are we good to go?' the boy smiles loading the creatures onto the hay so many trips back and forth over hump-back bridges to the old barn on the northern moor the old cart heavy with sweet grass and hay the tiny field mice the big-eyed tawny spiders on the moor the ruined abbey the risen moon casting long shadows across the stones long dead monks quiet as the mice and the spiders as the cart tips and the creatures run the mice into long grasses and gaps in the stones the spiders climbing the cracked timbers and the man and the woman weary travels done sleep in the cart under the setting moon


Andrew Howe & Marilyn Humbert Forgotten Folk

evening addicts dose on reality TV watching one-day hero’s march flower sprawled pavements ah

one by one street lights flick on shadowy figures mark nightly rituals behind painted masks


locked door fibre optic cruising dark-side chatroom friendship spark inner secrets shared


waiting at garden’s end faerie folk redundant in the clutter of pixel enthralled minds



Andrew Howe & Marilyn Humbert Chasing Ripples

footsteps the morning bell calls time interrupted a forced face smiles under downcast eyes


bare feet shiver on worn tiles in the shrine through tree canopy wind moans in alien tongues

ripples chase across the pail tears fall orderly rituals cold finger peccadillo’s


hooves beat a path beyond the grove pools of blood gleam in the light




torn rags draped in red scent adrift the woven reed basket cradles discarded souls


Frances Black & Marilyn Humbert Rhythm of Love

gold shimmers as the brush strokes untangle her hair her heart unseen lies coiled in knots


on the canvas he daubs shades of blue – an outline of the distant shore waves washing her toes

promenading her new blue dress she checks her appearance in every window 36



wind ripples across the still pond distorting my reflection I wonder which me do people see


sleepless I toss in bed destroying my memories of you


in my garden watching blue wrens hop between branches my thoughts flitting so much unexplained


as I swing over perfumed flowers inhaling petals of perfect love my senses return



my silk chute billows into a curve I am a leaf drifting in the rising breeze


the wind of life blows change as baby explores grandparents relearn simple pleasures


Frances Carleton & Marilyn Humbert Is It Worth It ?

outside dining earl grey tea and scones affluence spread like jam and cream this cafĂŠ life fc

biting chunks from shore foundations churning ocean undermines sandcastles and mansions 38


working hard with little play children in the care of a stranger love thrown outward


on the stoop in deepening dusk a kiddie waits key lost, mum and dad in peak hour gridlock


dog barks car slowly cruises by the boy waves hoping it's his parents another innocent taken


a product of the me generation she stamps and pouts still the rain falls and chill wind blows



skilled thumbs tap the keypad during dinner across the table an image is mirrored



Matsukaze and Larry Kimmel a haiku sequence Citrus Trail flowering primrose your hands against my skin a dark melody / m where crabapples bloom along the avenue, we say goodbye raspberry sherbet / lk handful of orange rinds in every room leaving a citrus trail / m on our quest for piping hot soup a few dozen snowflakes / lk enjoying a croissant watching guest's depart for the Cowboy’s game / m putting out kibble for the feral cat snow on every branch / lk the age of the world tasted in cappuccino writing 100 ku / m one bite of sugar pie and I’m back in that oilcloth kitchen / lk


Ramona Linke and Helga Stania a lotus seed old and silent… her thought’s strong momentum /HS deep inside me the calligraphy of straying stars /RL centuries of darkness ── a lotus seed /HS harvest moonlight passes through the apsis rose /RL

far dreams side by side the coloring of our shadows /RL forgotten legends ── flotsam /HS day moon the honest blue of far dreams /RL the sound of walnuts during meditation /HS


Tom Sexton & Joy McCall home from the sea a bitter cold wind I'm watching a diver slip beneath the choppy water to harvest scallops waves reach up to catch the wind I light a candle for the Chinese oystermen drowned off our coast in the great surging sea that swept by like a banshee the stars are candles for those who are lost at sea I've read your sad lines your Chinese oyster diver's spirit is rising sea smoke the moon is a lamplight for old sailors finding their slow way home from the sea


Jonathan Day (prose) & Joy McCall (tanka)

The mid-winter solstice has passed and the mad busyness of the last few months. Christmas has come and gone and the old year has ended and the new one has just begun. Now it's the time to slow down. If we were horses in the fields, we would move from a gallop to a canter to a trot and at last a slow ambling walk. Like the land, we would rest, dormant, not doing much on the surface; just taking stock, musing, but deep below, gathering strength, preparing for the new season.

like the land we are gathering deep down strength for the spring for the new growing we are waiting in the quiet place calm and silent turning, shifting in winter peace my friend stay close, as the season stretches to its end this lovely cold slow moving winter


Tom Sexton & Joy McCall following Basho house sparrow singing on this very cold morning a small bird brought here long ago from where you live do they visit you at dawn? small brown birds of house and hedge come by my place morning, noon and night flitting from tree to tree the moon has its own song open your windows wide and listen for it they say Basho always left his hut at dusk - follow him a night bird calls from the edge of the dark path I recite poems aloud, willing myself to walk on deer tracks in new ice did they pass this way last night under a full moon leaving a constellation of hoof-stars for me to find?


Profile for Steve Wilkinson

The Bamboo Hut Spring 2017  

The Bamboo Hut is a small journal of tanshi poetry including but not limited to haiku, senryu, gogyoshi, gogyohka, tanka, dodoitsu, ryuka an...

The Bamboo Hut Spring 2017  

The Bamboo Hut is a small journal of tanshi poetry including but not limited to haiku, senryu, gogyoshi, gogyohka, tanka, dodoitsu, ryuka an...