Simply Haiku: A Quarterly Journal of Japanese Short Form Poetry
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Summer 2008, vol 6 no 2
 

TANKA

Peter Yovu
 

a redwood stump
from the place where the seed fell
a whole bloody century
riding the ripples out
and back in

 

the amaryllis
a fist of wood
half buried in black earth
an unstoppable heart
breaking green

 

a whole galaxy
sunstars swept across the pond
gone like that
in such water my sweet friend
Jim Gordon drowned

 

the white stone
I wanted to give you
dropped in black water
each ripple ripping open
another empty sky

 

this night of shooting stars
clouded over
how lightly
your hair
falls across my face

 

he's not scared now
lights out we watch
glow-in-the-dark stars
growing dim
almost gone

 

a raindrop suspended
on a maple leaf
I pray to be
as pure as bright as clear
but not as brief

 


Peter Yovu fell: into his father's dictionary when he was 5; onto and off the Staten Island ferry; into a bad bus home when he was 14; into poetry when he was 17; down in the snow of Vermont; into a vast, complete emptiness when he was 20; into some arms but none as sweet as Edie's; under the spell of his children; into a huff, a tiff, a tizzy; into an enneagram, a diamond, a pearl; through the night; like a brick and like a feather. He is falling still.