Has clutched its beloved dead

All winter the oak
Has clutched its beloved dead
Leaves—now warm spring winds
Peel them away—one-by-one—
Forsaken—then forgotten

AGG20140423

 

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…”

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Hanafuda Frost and Moonlight Sonnet by John Mackenzie

Maple Leave 3c Maple Leave 4c Maple Leave 2c Maple Leave 1c

August Silver Grass_04c Chrysanthemum 4c Sake Cup

Hanafuda Frost and Moonlight Sonnet
by John Mackenzie

From June into October
the nine-pound hammers of wind
and sun and rain beat and beat
down on maple leaves until
they glow from red through gold
in the forge of autumn days.

And then the sun is set aside
as the night is broken open
for trace elements of frost
and moonlight to fold into
leaves before they fall white
and hissing, serrated blades
sharp around feet slipping in
and out of ice-rimmed puddles.

Depth Charge: To access John Mackenzie’s poetry blog, click on any of the maple leaf cards above. To find out why moonlight on the water is dangerous, click on the full moon card above.  To read an enjoyable article on the symbols of hanafuda, click on the sake cup card beside the full moon card above.

This year for my birthday we are having fun with Hanafuda and Tarot cards. John Mackenzie contributed this sonnet. To see the tanka I wrote for John, click here.
Tarot_14_Temperance_reversed

To see all the Hanafuda/Tarot tanka posted to date, click here.

If we were to sing

Always Water II by Christine Trainor

Always Water II by Christine Trainor

If we were to sing
my blood red would flow,
first from my wide eyes,
iron, salt and sorrow.

My blood red would flow
into rivers of you,
iron, salt and sorrow
illuvium of life.

Into rivers of you
tiny creatures creeping,
illuvium of life,
I hear them when you’re sleeping.

Tiny creatures creeping,
First from my wide eyes,
I hear them when your’re sleeping:
If we were to sing…

AGG20140305
(for Cutty)

Depth Charge: For those interested in the writing process, the impetus for this poem came from reading the death poem of Bokukei: Cuckoo, I too/Sing, spitting blood/My welling thoughts on page 145 of Japanese Death Poems.

First, I wrote a tanka: If I were to sing/Blood would flow from my eyes/In a final song/A cicada in the heat/ Or some small thing in the trees, but decided instead to expand it to a pantoum, a form recently introduced to me by John Mackenzie.

As I am currently also reading The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes, The Negro Speaks of Rivers wound its way in there as well.

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…”

Maple leaves and Temperance Reversed: John

Maple Leave 3c Maple Leave 4c Maple Leave 2c Maple Leave 1c

August Silver Grass_04c Chrysanthemum 4c Sake Cup

Ten thousand falling
Leaves red and gold–these your words
Flowing through this world
Beware the seductive sight
The moonlight on the water

AGG20140226
(for John)

Depth Charge: To access John Mackenzie’s poetry blog, click on any of the maple leaf cards above. To find out why moonlight on the water is dangerous, click on the full moon card above.  To read an enjoyable article on the symbols of hanafuda, click on the sake cup card beside the full moon card above.

This year for my birthday we are having fun with Hanafuda and Tarot cards.
Tarot_14_Temperance_reversed

To see all the Hanafuda/Tarot tanka posted to date, click here.

A Pantoum Lullaby

A pantoum lullaby by AGG

Even the sea now suffers a change,
In the dark depths sightless monsters stir,
Roused by shifting currents strange and warm,
Acid on their tongues, gasping for breath.

In the dark depths sightless, monsters stir,
Father endless lies as waters rise,
Acid on their tongues, gasping for breath,
Scraping the final pearl from its shell.

Father, endless lies as waters rise
Grow in coral confusion, as we—
Scraping the final pearl from its shell—
Sing our extinguishing lullabies.

Growing choral confusion as we—
Roused by shifting currents strange and warm—
Sing our extinguishing lullabies:
Even the sea now suffers a change.

AGG20140209

Depth Charge: Inspired by the always inspiring John Mackenzie, I have tried my hand at a pantoum, albeit a gloomy one motivated by the predicted mass extinction of ocean life caused by overfishing, acidification caused by global warming, and anoxic dead zones as a result of climate change and pollution. Literary inspirations include Walt Whitman, and Shakespeare’s The Tempest, as quoted at 2:28 in the Laurie Anderson song, Blue Lagoon

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…”