Peace Cranes

This image from Gail Rieke helps usher in the new year with a hopeful feeling.

http://ridetheflyingcarpet.blogspot.com/

It brought to mind a visit to Hiroshima four years ago:

Hiroshima
today it’s just a station
on the bullet train

Or, more than that, it’s a lovely city with great food and shopping. I don’t know why I expected it to be frozen in the past, a smoking ruin. That’s as foolish as expecting to be met by Puritans in black hats at Boston’s Logan Airport. Still, it is a pilgrimage, different than a Tokyo neighborhood of food stalls or the earthly delights of Hakata Station in Fukuoka. We get an AirBnB near the Peace Park.
Everything is an adventure. This is Japan, after all, and I’m traveling with my daughter and son-in-law. I adore them, but they are millennials, and different than me. Three futons are laid out, and we all sleep in one room. I could never have done that with my own mother.

Peace Park
a twig broom sweeps
the wind

One of the more upsetting pieces for me is a memorial to the girls’ school where the students died. Because Japan was still under occupied forces when it was built, the U.S. said that the sculptor could not reference the atom bomb by name in this plea for peace. So “atom bomb” is replaced with “E=mc squared.”

no sleeping
on park benches, pigeons,
the funeral mound

tailless black cat
on its own
mysterious errand

tourists weeping
and snapping
cell phone photos

A giant tortoise, memorializing Koreans, is surrounded by Japanese sparrows.

We’re from New Mexico. An hour from Los Alamos where the A-bomb was birthed, monstrous, into this world. And somehow I feel more implicated by this more than by being an American. Even though these events happened before I was born. But we talk about Robert Oppenheimer and Los Alamos as we enter the museum. And there are shocked to find not one mention of either name. No New Mexico. No father of the bomb. A great deal of accurate and interesting history, and from the Japanese perspective. Melted roof tiles. Photographs of disastrous ruin. But not our own guilt terrain.
I feel I need to apologize to someone but nothing here demands apology. Instead, the greatest focus is on peace.
At the neighborhood shrine after I bow and drop my coins in the box I’m surprised to have a Shinto priest appear and shake a branch tied with white cloth over my head. But I feel better. I can’t just leave the Peace Park and go looking for lunch without a transition.

the word for “gods”
and “paper”
sounds just the same

I buy
origami sheets to fold
cranes for a friend.

Butterfly, flower, and haiku by Ursula Moeller

New Year’s surprise
cabbage white butterfly
flies through our house   whence?

The amazing story is that several years ago, when I examined a full-in-bloom amaryllis, I discovered a cabbage white butterfly in its center.
Today we have a blooming amaryllis, and at the same time, the same species butterfly (female).
Whence and how and why are the questions.

Haibun by John Macker

Dreams

I’m immersed in dreams. Years ago, when dissatisfied with them, I used to add a drone of menace. Now, they auger the sublime and the senseless. They sometimes whisper, “stop making sense” right before dawn. Good dreams beg to differ with the dystopia, never boring, they never run out of color, they teach that beyond the weathered and the liminal is the horizon. They help to internalize the far reaches of dusk and love, and when foul weather ends, there are dustings of clarity, sometimes all the blood of the earth dries in the snow. My mother dances with William Holden in heaven, a rose between her teeth. Johnny Cash sings Trent Reznor in my shower. I’ve camped in a side canyon, serenaded by barn swallows on the far side of Mars. An anarchy of denizens : ghost dancers, rucksack poets, desert rats, Basho, compañeros for the journey. Dream senses of place are replaced at dawn, I wonder. A milagro. The world reimagines itself as unpolluted vistas and the warm coals of sunrise

the last things I hear
rivers bend away from rock
long distance deep sleep

###

John Macker copyright 2021

Haiku by Tina Carlson

Haiku from Randall Davey Audubon Center & Sanctuary

(on the ground just above the pollinators garden)

I wander among
small continents of pale green:
Lichen maps on stone.

Sunflower husks nod
Towards purple suns of aster.
Late bees ravenous.

On shards of granite
mica shines mirrors, a glint.
Mornings, cooler now.

Prickly pear small as
my pinky, loosens its spines:
sharp sting in my palm.

(in orchard, on stone bench in front of teepee)

Dry grasses bent as
if a bed. I cannot smell
who may have slept here.

Jays raucous in a
fall breeze. My daughter sleeps far
away in the fog.

Dragonflies dive in
Chamisa’s gold. Few birds sing
near enough to see.

Blue spruce cone laden
from drought. Two men talk non-stop.
I yearn for quiet.

Teepee like a pyre.
Grasses, a dry bed. Stone bench:
momentary home.

***

These were written in a workshop last Saturday. I like them so much–blogged all of Tina’s.

New Haiku from brass bell

New issue of brass bell! A few of my favorites…

Read it all: http://brassbellhaiku.blogspot.com/

fairy tale
stuck in the castle
my niece’s imagination
    Hifsa Ashraf

fresh laundry
forgotten in the pocket
dyer’s madder
    Marta Chocilowska

unwrinkling my wrinkles
your hand on
my face
    Zee Zahava

empty beach
the wet track of a tortoise
filled with moonlight
    Adjei Agyei-Baah