Tender winds above the snow

Tender winds above the snow
Strip layer upon layer
Bare—a winter’s worth
Of shit and suffering shown
Ground readied for this year’s crop

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Depth Charge: The first line of this poem is lifted from Kyutaro’s death poem: Tender winds above the snow/melt many kinds/of suffering (Japanese Death Poems, Hoffman, pp 97-98) in which the poet compares his dying to the gradual process of melting snow and the release that represents. For us who continue living, the melting snows represent the start of another cycle of shit and suffering.

 

To read Songs about Sex, Death & Cicadas by Andrew Grimes Griffin, just click on the link. To download a pdf, right click on the link and select “Save link as…”

To read  as close as the clouds by Andrew Grimes Griffin, just click on the link. To download a pdf, right click on the linke and select “Save link as…”

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Awakening to a storm

The backup beeping
Of the snow plough—the constant
Rustling of the wind
The cry of a gull—muffled
Storm sounds through my closed window

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To read Songs about Sex, Death & Cicadas by Andrew Grimes Griffin, just click on the link. To download a pdf, right click on the link and select “Save link as…”

To read  as close as the clouds by Andrew Grimes Griffin, just click on the link. To download a pdf, right click on the linke and select “Save link as…”

To read the chapbook Happy Birthday Hanafuda by Andrew Grimes Griffin just click on the link. To download a pdf, right click on the link and select “Save link as…”

It will take some time

It will take some time
Rains have already begun
To melt this winter’s
Deep snow and the stained grey ice
Clinging ragged to her life

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To read Songs about Sex, Death & Cicadas by Andrew Grimes Griffin, just click on the link. To download a pdf, right click on the link and select “Save link as…”

To read  as close as the clouds by Andrew Grimes Griffin, just click on the link. To download a pdf, right click on the linke and select “Save link as…”

To read the chapbook Happy Birthday Hanafuda by Andrew Grimes Griffin just click on the link. To download a pdf, right click on the link and select “Save link as…”

What eyes will be here to see?

When Andromeda
And the Milky Way do their
Intergalactic
Tango in three billion years
What eyes will be here to see?
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Depth Charge:  This tanka was sparked by the broadcast of  Cosmos: A Space Time Odyssey. For more on the possible collision of Andromeda and the Milky Way, click here.

To read Songs about Sex, Death & Cicadas by Andrew Grimes Griffin, just click on the link. To download a pdf, right click on the link and select “Save link as…”

To read  as close as the clouds by Andrew Grimes Griffin, just click on the link. To download a pdf, right click on the linke and select “Save link as…”

To read the chapbook Happy Birthday Hanafuda by Andrew Grimes Griffin just click on the link. To download a pdf, right click on the link and select “Save link as…”

International Fucking Treasure: Panti Bliss

Panti Bliss, l, brought her "glamour rooted in despair" to Concordia University last night. Thanks for taking the picture, Richard Burnett.

Panti Bliss, r, brought her “glamour rooted in despair” to Concordia University last night. Thanks for taking the picture, Richard Burnett.

Last Night the self-described “national fucking treasure” of Ireland, Panti Bliss, aka Rory O’Neill, gave a funny, articulate and moving speech about the state of gay rights in Ireland and the nature of homophobia the world over. Given the past few months, she should consider changing her self-appellation to “international fucking treasure.”

Describing what she does as “glamour rooted in despair,” Panti Bliss briefly summarized her long history of “accidental activism” and the reaction to her now famous address from the Abbey Theatre. Among the many insightful comments she made was that not all people opposed to gay rights are of the virulent, mouth frothing type; many are the love-the-sinner-hate-the-sin type who claim to want what’s best for gays and lesbians. She said that what they are afraid of is gays and lesbians being free and equal.

“Being afraid of gay people’s freedom is the same as being afraid of gay people,” she summed up.

Panti Bliss recently caused quite a stir in Ireland after she called out some prominent homophobes on Irish national television, RTE. In what she describes as an Orwellian twist, the homophobes threatened to sue RTE for being called homophobes and the RTE caved and paid out over $100,000 to them. The public quickly sided with Panti Bliss and, after an impassioned speech from the stage of the Abbey Theatre, this momentum grew. All of this is taking place in the context of a build-up to an Irish national referendum on same-sex marriage scheduled to take place next year.

An audience member pointed out that Quebec too recently saw an example of this tactic of denying the oppressed the right to use the words to describe their oppression when Bernard Drainville rejected the use of the word “racist” in the hearings on the Parti Quebecois’ Charter of [Racist and Xenophobic] Values, saying it was rude to call someone a racist.

Panti Bliss appeared under the sponsorship of Concordia University’s School for Canadian Irish Studies.

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I don’t blame winter

I don’t blame winter
So many invectives hurled
In its direction
I too would hunker right down
Blast haters with icy winds

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To read Songs about Sex, Death & Cicadas by Andrew Grimes Griffin, just click on the link. To download a pdf, right click on the link and select “Save link as…”

To read  as close as the clouds by Andrew Grimes Griffin, just click on the link. To download a pdf, right click on the linke and select “Save link as…”

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If we now can disturb them

Late March snow flurries
The seasons are not a switch
We can simply flip
These clocks we don’t set—even
If we now can disturb them

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To read Songs about Sex, Death & Cicadas by Andrew Grimes Griffin, just click on the link. To download a pdf, right click on the link and select “Save link as…”

To read  as close as the clouds by Andrew Grimes Griffin, just click on the link. To download a pdf, right click on the linke and select “Save link as…”

To read the chapbook Happy Birthday Hanafuda by Andrew Grimes Griffin just click on the link. To download a pdf, right click on the link and select “Save link as…”

Sunrise in these human eyes

Cotton candy pink
Clouds in the blue morning sky
Within ten minutes
Collapse to a band of red
Sunrise in these human eyes

AGG20140322

To read Songs about Sex, Death & Cicadas by Andrew Grimes Griffin, just click on the link. To download a pdf, right click on the link and select “Save link as…”

To read  as close as the clouds by Andrew Grimes Griffin, just click on the link. To download a pdf, right click on the linke and select “Save link as…”

To read the chapbook Happy Birthday Hanafuda by Andrew Grimes Griffin just click on the link. To download a pdf, right click on the link and select “Save link as…”

First Day of Spring 2014

Wet snow coats the ground
Soft rains fall from a grey sky
The first day of spring

x     Two black crows squabble
x     Over mysteries revealed
x     By a changing world

Of so many absences
False promises of return

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Depth Charge: This is a hydra-headed tanka—two haikus share the same closing 7-7 couplet—that may be read in any order or combination.

To read Songs about Sex, Death & Cicadas by Andrew Grimes Griffin, just click on the link. To download a pdf, right click on the link and select “Save link as…”

To read  as close as the clouds by Andrew Grimes Griffin, just click on the link. To download a pdf, right click on the linke and select “Save link as…”

To read the chapbook Happy Birthday Hanafuda by Andrew Grimes Griffin just click on the link. To download a pdf, right click on the link and select “Save link as…”

if there are notes I might add

Words only add frost to snow,
my hands are not a sculptor’s,
their caresses can’t improve
on the smoothness of your skin.

Your warm heart was beating long
before we met, I heard it
in your full song, I wonder
if there are notes I might add.

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Depth Charge: The first line of a love poem, springs from the last line of a death poem:

Life is an ever-rolling wheel
And every day is the right one.
He who recites poems at his death
Adds frost to snow.

Mumon Gensen, Japanese Death Poems, p. 109