3LIGHTS : Launch

When I began piecing Launch together for the opening of 3LIGHTS Gallery, I was conscious that it would be seen for the first time in January – the bleak mid-Winter of early 2007. Back then, of course, the Summer of 2006 was still hanging in the air. The Horse-chestnut tree outside my window was barely showing any signs of giving up those leaves – let alone dropping them all. For a writer of haiku, it’s often difficult to detach one’s self from the current season. For a curator of a haiku exhibition, the difficulty is only increased. And as the haiku, senryu and tanka started to flood in from all directions, each of them with their diverse subject matter and styles, I became confident of one thing – that Launch would be an all-encompassing, theme-less and wholly colourful exhibition of haiku and its related forms.

Rather than worry about the patchwork of poetry that I was stitching together, I decided to embrace the notion of a sweeping, all-embracing blast of haiku. This was always my intention with 3LIGHTS – to create a place where the boundaries between haiku and its related forms could be blurred. The traditions and conventions associated with haiku have, over time, become distorted, and in my opinion, themes and styles, subject matter and layout all come second to the communication of the image – something that has become known as “the haiku moment”, usually existing in a single breath of poetry. It is this moment that we celebrate.

And so I give you Launch – an exhibition of over fifty English language haiku, senryu and tanka – over fifty breaths of poetry. These “images” have arrived in emails from all over the world, and it has been a great pleasure to open every single one of them. I wish to thank each contributor for their help in making Launch what it has become.

– Liam Wilkinson, 3LIGHTS Gallery

 

 

 

in the morning light,
thin-legged shadow
upside-down-hanging spider

NILS PETERSON

 

 

 

first light
catches the ripple rings
of a thrown stone

LIAM WILKINSON

 

 

 

Rust

Rust streaks the metal
pipe, painting complex patterns
an artist could claim.

F.I. GOLDHABER

 

 

 

only the third eye
opens – wash of angels
here – quick – not. gone. Here!

NILS PETERSON

 

 

 

RAIN

Acorns crunch under
foot. Leaves turn to red and gold.
When will the rains start?

F.I. GOLDHABER

 

 

 

Rain on the window,
Then falling to earth. Silence
Becoming silence.

EVAN GUILFORD-BLAKE

 

 

 

Bird Music

Listen how a little
song of spring fills the budded
vine with breeze. Listen
to the long unwinding music
of the day’s liquidity

KATHRYN LIEBOWITZ

 

 

 

First Flight

I was born precocial
No need for mothering
or feeds.

BEN BARTON

 

 

 

light blue comforter,
gray in the morning light –
my hair is always gray

NILS PETERSON

 

 

 

Tea in Vienna

Brewed-up like a bad mood
She serves me a scowl
with yet more cake.

BEN BARTON

 

 

 

the split man rises
to his morning drink,
half takes coffee, half wormwood.

NILS PETERSON

 

 

 

Used tea leaves cling to
bottom of bone china cup
Fortune washed down sink

ELLARAINE LOCKIE

 

 

 

oh silly pebble,
you cannot be so perfect,
you make me frog-laugh

MARTIN WILLITTS JR.

 

 

 

Waterbug’s shadow
Leaps from place to place to place:
Look out! Falling leaves.

EVAN GUILFORD-BLAKE

 

 

 

Grandmother’s spoons ring
church bells in a shadow box
when neighbors climb stairs

KITTY NARD

 

 

 

Trees bend, sky turns dark:
Squirrel, how will you stay dry?
Sudden summer storm.

EVAN GUILFORD-BLAKE

 

 

 

Blue globe thistle shiver.
Hump suck red-
bottomed bee.

SALLY BELLEROSE

 

 

 

Shivah Haiku

fringed shawl draped softly
over silver-framed mirror –
what is it hiding?
~
I lift a corner
of the heavy black fabric –
your face isn’t there
~

does the mirror turn
its face to the wall in shame
or in sympathy?
~
brocaded cloth strewn
with dark blossoms – flowers
scattered on a grave
~
don’t think of lipstick
at a time like this, the glass
says, hiding its face
~
deep in the mirror
like fish swaying in water –
the souls of the dead
~
the shawl is removed
the mirror gleams silently –
how cold its blank stare

ANN LEVISON

 

 

 

Where is this breeze from
Sinking with gardenia scent
Between green mountains?

MAILAIKA KING ALBRECHT

 

 

 

this harvest:
Eve’s apple fell
on Newton ’s head

BEN BARTON

 

 

 

Apple Tree

In August, you loosed
fistfuls of gold, wormy, dog-
toothed, wasp-infested
moons aching to ripen
in the figured dusk.

KATHRYN LIEBOWITZ

 

 

 

Bradford pear
trees bear no fruit, white
tapestries.

LB SEDLACEK

 

 

 

SEASONS

1

Cold square. Steel morning.
Distant bells chime as leaves dance
over yellow grass.

2

A blackbird sweeps past
an old pine moments before
the scraping of plows.

3

Tulips inverted
from moonlight: checkered anchors
in a quiet pond.

4

The smell of king crabs
float in salt air. Caterwaul.
Hot sand. Razor shells.

MARK FITZGERALD

 

 

 

Clock wise

squirrels harvest nuts
hiding them in secret cache
deposit account

plums and blackberries daylight robbery
jam tarts with sticky juices flags up fall colours and leaves
deeply in the red nature’s gold standard

dawn arrives with mists
over dew Autumn payment
for Summer’s excess

ANN BUSBY

 

 

 

early autumn –
my hair
blown into fashion

LIAM WILKINSON

 

 

 

NY NY

Plastic figures race the concrete
cold coffee and umbrellas
WALK/DON’T WALK

BEN BARTON

 

 

 

Winter

Your hand on my breast
is old hat. My favorite
soft old knitted hat.

ALISON LUTERMAN

 

 

 

a fly doesn’t moon
over the beauty
of the web

NILS PETERSON

 

 

 

Fetish

Sweet innocents thrill
Occidental savages
My cupidity

VINCE ROGERS

 

 

 

I carried a bag of words
to plant rice
to eat on my journey

MARTIN WILLITTS JR.

 

 

 

loose change –
the busker slips a thank you
between verses

LIAM WILKINSON

 

 

 

old mole tunneling
under the wall of words
around Meaning’s castle

NILS PETERSON

 

 

 

this is the world: wheat,
tares. the kingdom of heaven
is like this knowing.

NILS PETERSON

 

 

 

Maggot mass moving
in glass jar with plastic lid
White rice disappears
My mother’s kitchen serviced
by two years of Alzheimer’s

ELLARAINE LOCKIE

 

 

 

And The Winner Is…

Mother Nature hosts
the awards show, with only
four costume changes!

JO COPSEY

 

 

 

in the bathroom mirror
pulling hair
out of the brush

LIAM WILKINSON

 

 

 

a co-worker nods off during brainstorming meeting

SHIN YU PAI

 

 

 

Factories.
Smoke billows no more.
Unemployed.

LB SEDLACEK

 

 

 

Rippled by their wings
Summer moon stirs in the pond:
Dragonflies at work.

EVAN GUILFORD-BLAKE

 

 

 

How like the cuckoo,
singing on the mountain-top –
Spring’s last moon setting.

ALEX GRANT

 

 

 

piano keys play
dirge of summers passed away
picnics in the grass

KITTY NARD

 

 

 

the dried brittle pine
cone resembling
tempura battered shrimp

SHIN YU PAI

 

 

 

NV

Weeping willow branch,
touches icy stream; no fish,
but alive with hope.

Snowdrop, pure and white,
sparkles in frosted garden,
harbinger of spring.

Squirrel’s frolicking,
enjoying outdoor pursuits.
He’s playing the field.

Washing, forgotten,
hangs on line, frozen solid.
(Think tumble dryer)

ANN BUSBY

 

 

 

A horse spoke to Basho
the language of carrots
and sparrowgrass in fall

MARTIN WILLITTS JR.

 

 

 

M26

Judas in Gethsemane
Stroked my neck
and kissed me.

BEN BARTON

 

 

 

carrying dreams,
mind crosses the Forget River
on slippery stones

NILS PETERSON

 

 

 

The archaeologies are
forgotten, like yesterday
When we last met.

BEN BARTON

 

 

 

In an arrowhead
Canada geese flying south.
In my beard: White hairs!

EVAN GUILFORD-BLAKE

 

 

 

Wood chips still sodden.
Bullet heads on tendril stalks
near the parking lot.

NICHOLAS HAYES

 

 

 

Cannabis

Blunted decisions
Do I puff it or pass it
The Hard Choice to make

VINCE ROGERS

 

 

 

Glass thermometer
beside bottle of aspirin
Perfect attendance

ELLARAINE LOCKIE

 

 

 

a man with gray hair
looks at the sea
differently

NILS PETERSON

 

 

 

wishing that girl in class
who never says anything
would say something

SHIN YU PAI

 

 

 

Nag Champa

Sensations wafting
Into the olfactory
Release comes easy

VINCE ROGERS

 

 

 

Pink House

We fought again
about the brand of our non-bio
Homo sweet homo.

BEN BARTON

 

 

 

Undertow above
traffic, wind wound round itself,
pulls a sea gull down.

NICHOLAS HAYES

 

 

 

Shadows forming as
The sunlight fades on the pier:
The cries of the gulls

EVAN GUILFORD-BLAKE

 

 

 

The evening sky deepens
Languid, floral, a red wine.
A slow song spins us.

MAILAIKA KING ALBRECHT

 

 

 

no dreams, night come
and gone. I was, I wasn’t,
now I am again

NILS PETERSON

 

 

 

orange stage smog
alerts star-gazing
in the lone star state

SHIN YU PAI

 

 

 

Tonight

Pebbles and stars
are kissing in the twilight
across a blackened sea.

BEN BARTON

 

 

 

in a forest
of hedgehogs
the lone fox

SHIN YU PAI

 

 

 

patient as the ark
before rain, all night
this body waited for me

NILS PETERSON

 

 

 

the door creaks
the spider we lost
walks into the room

LIAM WILKINSON

 

 

 

11:58pm

white plumes
brush past in the darkness
The backdoor smoker

BEN BARTON

 

 

 

One last look:
then there were other poets
studying a whirlwind of shadows

BEN BARTON

 

 

 

autumn legacy
five hundred collected spoons
can’t fill empty space

KITTY NARD

 

 

 

LAUNCH was curated by Liam Wilkinson for 3LIGHTS Gallery

Copyright © for each poem remains with the authors. Please do not reproduce any of the poems featured here. If you are the author and are wishing to remove any work from 3LIGHTS, please contact the editor.

Advertisements

%d bloggers like this: