August 21, 2014
"I like poems where you don’t really know whether to laugh or cry when you read them."

—   X.J. Kennedy

August 20, 2014
"It is difficult to get the news from poems, yet men die miserably every day for lack of what is found there."

—    William Carlos Williams

(Source: feellng, via iamcharliesangel)

August 7, 2014
Fresh Cut

Poetry repairs. Lines cracked with the strain

of too much meaning, brittle with age.

New words, brightly-colored ideas, cutting away decay,

fresh-cut stanzas smelling of the pine air

over my head. A sky full of stars.

pine sky

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August 1, 2014
Waves That Rhyme

Weekends in Paradelle: Waves That Rhyme

I can stare at waves for a long time without being bored.

Surfers study waves – not like scientists – but they study them for sure. I don’t study them. I let them hypnotize me. Or maybe it’s a form of meditation.

Years ago, when I went for a weekend sesshinat a Zen monastery, my wife asked what it was that I was supposed to learn…

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Filed under: ocean poetry rhythm waves 
July 18, 2014
When you read my poem

When you read my poem

you thought that the I was me,

that you was you, we was us,

then was now, the home was ours.

If you assume that the poem’s future

is our present, there is no future.


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July 12, 2014
"Tonight I can write the saddest lines
I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too."

Pablo Neruda

The Essential Neruda: Selected Poems

Today is the birthday of this Chilean poet, born July 12, 1904 as Neftali Ricardo Reyes Basoalto. He chose his pen name after the Czech poet Jan Neruda. In 1971, Neruda won the Nobel Prize for Literature.

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July 12, 2014
Guest Post on ‘The Music In It’

Guest Post on ‘The Music In It’

I wrote a guest post for Adele Kenny’s poetry blog, The Music In It, about my daily writing practice this year and the ronka poems.

It is a good exercise to get “meta” about your writing once in awhile and think about what you write and why. Treat yourself as an assignment from that poetry class and look at the themes that run through your poems, the language etc.  (I didn’t realize how many…

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July 10, 2014
What dogs are thinking about?

Two poems by dogs, channeled by Billy Collins

July 7, 2014
"Not that I want to be a god or a hero. Just to change into a tree, grow for ages, not hurt anyone."

Czesaw Milosz

New and Collected Poems, 1931-2001 (Penguin Modern Classics)

Prolific poet, essayist, and historian Czesław Miłosz (born June 30, 1911) was also a diplomat, who served as Poland’s cultural attaché to France and the United States.

July 6, 2014
The Tenth Muse

Insomnia can sometimes be the tenth muse,

but not after this day working outside.

Muscle ache and sweat makes cold water

taste better than anything mixed or brewed,

and turns off the mind to poems.

writer's block II

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Filed under: Poetry sleep work 
July 3, 2014
"(let’s go said he not too far said she what’s too far said he where you are said she.)"

  E. E. Cummings ("May I Feel Said He" )

He wants you to pause and think about it.

Erotic Poems by E.E. Cummings

(Source: violentwavesofemotion, via iamcharliesangel)

July 3, 2014
Firefly Revision

Basho considered a Kikaku haiku as cruel:

A red firefly / tear off its wings -

a pepper.  A pepper / give it wings –

a red firefly, was Basho’s simple change.

Revision as a Buddhist act of kindness.


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June 21, 2014

A summer river being crossed
how pleasing
with sandals in my hands!

Evening breeze -
water is slapping against the legs
of a blue heron.

Short summer night.
A dewdrop
On the back of a hairy caterpillar

In the summer rain
The path
Has disappeared.


4 haiku by Yosa Buson  (1716 ~ 1783)

Collected Haiku of Yosa Buson

more online

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Filed under: Buson haiku poetry summer 
June 15, 2014
On Issa’s Birthday

On Issa’s Birthday


if my father were here–
dawn colors
over green fields

Today is the birthday of Japanese poet Kobayashi Issa, born in Kashiwabara, Japan in 1763. He was a lay Buddhist priest of the Jōdo Shinshū sect known for his haiku poems and journals. He is better known as simply Issa (一茶?), a pen name meaning Cup-of-tea[2] (lit. “one [cup of] tea”).

He is regarded as one of the four haiku masters in Japan,…

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June 14, 2014
"Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance."

Carl Sandburg

(Source: rabbitinthemoon, via iamcharliesangel)

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