(All poetry by Bruce Dale Wise)

Haiku

by W. “Cured Eel” Sabi

I came to the sea.
I saw mountains of water.
I conquered nothing.

***

The fisherman drops
his line with bated breath down
to a certain depth.

W. “Cured Eel” Sabi is a poet of Japan and the sea.

 

 

Eclipse, January 20, 2019

by Ibe Ware Desu, LC

In the cold, dark sky,
Earth casts its foggy shadow:
super blood wolf moon.

Ibe Ware Desu, LC, is a poet of Japan.

 

 

High Coup

by Educable Wires

I’m fixing no hole
in the cosmic bowl,
to let my mind go
wandering, and wondering…
on this rocky roll, o.

Educable Wires is a poet who sometimes plays with Beadle Crew USI.


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9 Responses

  1. James A. Tweedie

    Bruce, the first is a lovely, almost Zen-like haiku. In the others the humor is delicious! I didn’t catch the joke in the second haiku until after the fourth reading. “Bated breath” is laugh out loud funny! Thanks for the smile. The final poem has a punny title but the poem itself seems vacuous.1pm

    Reply
      • James A. Tweedie

        Sorry, Joe. Sorry, Bruce. I get the acronym. I don’t get the poem. What am I missing?

  2. Joe Tessitore

    Meant “seducible” – gotta start paying more attention to spell check.

    Reply
  3. Stephen Hagerman

    Mr. U. N. Wise What you are calling “Haiku” here, are not Haiku they are Senyru. What you might consider to be clever, or witty are nothing more than an attempt to cut down the works of other poets. These come from the ramblings of a small mind. I might normally ignore this, I usually do, but plagiarizing the works of the poets you’re trying to belittle demonstrates your lack of originality and integrity.

    (written in 2004)
    Who Is Caught?
    .
    The old man fixed his fetid bait
    To rusty brown hook’s spindle base.
    As scorching sun marked lulling gait
    Of dory’s fate in God’s embrace.

    His callused hands dropped weighted line,
    He watched it slip down through the sea.
    Then looked to sky with hopes divine,
    And sad eyes casting prayer to Thee.

    He gave his lot to thoughts sublime
    And steely days when he was young,
    As whimsy drifted back in time
    To slackened, bitter, aching tongue.

    Scant dory lurched to battle wrought;
    The line burned deep into his flesh.
    He smiled and mused, “Now who is caught?”
    As man and fish began to thrash.

    The fish was only hooked it seems,
    He had not hauled it in the boat.
    Perhaps he spoke of his lost dreams,
    The catch not caught in harsh emote.
    .
    SDH

    Reply
  4. W. "Cured Eel" Sabi

    1. I am continually amazed at the comments my poems elicit, and which poems are published on- line and elsewhere. They are all totally unpredictable to me. I do not think a single person reads my poems as I do. And I suppose, therein lies the pith of life.

    2. The senryu (river willow), like the haiku (“telescoped”, from Shiki (1867-1902)), originates from Japan; and the senryu is very much like the haiku in form, in length, and syllabic count. The haiku’s form of 5-7-5 syllable was fixed as a discrete form after the Meiji Restoration (1868). The haiku is usually about nature and human reactions to nature. Senryu have a different tone, as Mr. Hagerman suggests, and much of the time are funny or satiric. A senryu often (or usually) describes the setting in the first line, and the subject and action are placed in the last two lines. The senryu is named after Karai Senryū (1718-1790).

    3. Apparently I’ve been caught plagiarizing again! when I had nothing of the thought in mind, no matter how much Mr. Hagerman insists. And the poem in question was not meant to be a senryu, but a haiku. Now Mr. Hagerman does, albeit indirectly, bring up an important point: like Vergil and Shakespeare, I do allude to others all the time, frequently in my haiku and tanka.. Obviously, the first haiku alludes to Caesar. I suppose I also had in my mind, “Under the Wave Off Kanagawa”, one of the woodblock prints of Katsushika Hokusai. However, for the second poem I had the Chinese literary symbol of the fisherman, with Ernest Hemingway in mind, “The Old Man and the Sea”. The poem was written at the beginning of this year, January 2019, before I had ever really paid any attention to Mr. Hagerman at all.

    4, And generally speaking, I think my contemporaries are worthy of a tennos, but usually no more; after all, that is one important factor of the tennos; it dispenses with people and things, so I am not overwhelmed; the World is so huge.

    5. I would like to say that I possess those still waters of humour Mr. Paunch has referred to; but often, it seems, my very serious poems exude hilarity beyond my control, as Mr. Stone suggests in the first haiku, Mr. Tweedie suggests in the second haiku, and Mr. Salemi has suggested in the tennos entitled “Death in the Afternoon.” It is true I have always admired the humour and wit of writers, like Shakespeare, who created great comedies as well as great tragedies, and frequently combined comedy with tragedy.

    6. I do think Mr. Tweedie caught a glimpse of the first haiku; but it really is a “comparison-and-contrast” with Gaius Julius Caesar and myself. I wrote the poem as a response to “The Captive Caesar”.

    7. As to the bauble “High Coup”, Mr. Tessitore was, perhaps unintentionally correct to draw attention to Beadle Crew USI. When I was a kid I was deeply influenced by the Beatles. If one wanted to bring up plagiarism, here would be the closest place: “I’m Fixing a Hole”; but, as in the case of Caesar, what matters to me is the difference—the contrast. As to Mr. Tessitore’s comments, “Educable Wires” is an electric guitarist, while “I Warble Seduce” is a lover.

    8. Of course, the Beatles were only a little step toward poetry and music; there was much more work to do. In my early twenties I composed song after song with my guitar, under the influence of the Beatles and many others; however, by the time I turned twenty-five, I was disinterested in the Beatles’ music and lyrics. And just two years ago, I tossed most of my songs away. Still, poems, like “High Coup”, from January of this year, bubble up in my own writing every now and then. Here is a poem about “My Teenage Years” by Beadle Crew USI. I don’t claim much for this poem, and agree with Damian Robin that songs, like “Imagine” and “Give Peace a Chance” are best appreciated when one is “noddingly immersed in fluffy cumuli”.

    My teen years coincided with the Beatles “tour”.
    When I turned thirteen, they took off in Britain with
    three hits. Their Mersey beat became the sound du jour,
    recording songs in Liverpudlian English.
    In junior high, we were informed o’er intercom:
    THE BEATLES LANDED IN AMERICA. Oh, yeah!
    I purchased my first Beatles tune She Loves You. Om.
    I bought Eight Days a Week at fourteen years old now.
    It drove me wild with enthusiasm—Come on.
    I felt th’ intensity of We Can Work It Out.
    At fifteen years of age, oh, Help! was on its way.
    It was…so obviously they were getting down.
    Such poignancy. Oh, I believed in Yesterday.
    At sixteen, Eleanor Rigby’s death touched a chord.
    and they gave their last concerts, Seattle, LA,
    and San Francisco. Summer of Love. They were bored.
    How could the Nowhere Man have th’ world at his command?
    At seventeen, I wondered, What’re they going toward?
    I purchased Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
    Was Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds LSD?
    It seemed so magical and mystical and grand.
    On Penny Lane, All You Need Is Love seemed true to me.
    They sought for deeper meaning off in India.
    We were all on a Yellow Submarine at sea.
    I graduated from high school at eighteen years,
    worked summer, then went off to th’ University,
    I wasn’t ready. And then came the White Album.
    At nineteen years, there were huge protests on the War
    in Viet Nam. In Russian House, flower power
    went sour. Many were chanting Give Peace a Chance.
    Then I turned twenty, and the Beatles disband—end.

    9. T. S. Eliot once wrote:
    “Immature poets imitate, mature poets steal, bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into… something different. The good poet welds his theft into a whole feeling which is unique, utterly different from that which was torn, the bad poet throws it into something which has no cohesion.”

    10. Like T. S. Eliot, I am trying to be a good poet. Like him, I, too, often fail. But I try. He tried.

    Reply
  5. W. "Cured Eel" Sabi

    A question I have been asked before is why do you write haiku, especially if you think the haiku doesn’t work in English as it did in Japan. Despite its failure as an artform in the English-speaking world, there are still various reasons I continue to write haiku week after week..

    1. With only seventeen syllables in a haiku and thirty-one in a tanka, those two forms keep me in touch with compression. Modernists, like Pound, felt the need to cut down the brush around much poetic expression, and I admit that I too was taken in by that program. Though much of what Pound did was seriously flawed, he still remains, for me, one of those who strove to reinvigourate the language.

    2. Then, too, I like the free verse element of haiku and tanka, and this way I can practice such freedom every week of my life, achieving occasionally that kind of clarity I find in the poetry of, say, William Carlos Williams.

    3. Here too I get to count syllables, and it matters; because each vowel is thought about, each word is broken down without regard to meter, and definitely without regard to rhyme. One must say what one wants to say, and say it succinctly in a haiku. Personally, I also like the odd numbers of syllables in each poem type.

    4. It is another way of looking at reality. Though English is chock-a-block with consonant clusters in a way Japanese is not, it forces me to alter the way I observe language. Each distinct language, especially those which are culturally rich, adds to one’s own language as one studies the masters of alternate visions.

    5. Through haiku and tanka, one can be linked to the ages, when really, at times, that is all one has, as in Priest Saigyō’s (1118-1190) tanka:

    Tsu no kuni no
    Naniwa no haru wa
    Yume nare ya
    Ashi no kareba ni
    Kaze wataru nari.

    which draws from Priest Nōin’s (998-1050) tanka of a century earlier:

    Kokoro aran
    Hito ni miseba ya
    Tsu no kuni no
    Naniwa watari no
    Haru no keshiki o.

    I trust, with some research, one can find translations of the two tanka on-line; but for my purposes it does not matter, as one can see the two transliterated poems, and their similarities. This is not plagiarism; this is absorbing another’s work and using it.

    I have done this for decades, as in my twenties, when absorbing T. S. Eliot’s “The Wasteland”, I wrote the poem “Cicadas’ Voices”, which uses snippets from World literature (as he did), including Japanese haiku.

    Reply

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