Archive for March, 2010

odyssey, a haibun by Donna Fleischer


just me and claude — big, longhair black cat dozing under the back porch. a poem or two and bird song in the air. on my second cup of dandelion tea. time out from too much work. glad to feel sunshine and rhythms different from the pre-packaged twenty-four.

neighbor’s compressor makes me jump. same feeling as when this trapdoor heart of mine drops into the past. my mother’s suffering, my pain now. yet feeling something new. compassion for myself. i’d learned as a kid that this was something people ought to have for others. but where does it start? putting both feet down on this sweet, dark earth i discover that in owning nothing, i belong to everything.

the earth knows us–
even as we turn
our backs

machine whine stops. this day resumes. the force of spring is everywhere. soundings—hammer and nail houses going up nearby; the chain-sawed trees and our dazed silences; highway pistons and gears dropping; helicopter rotors.


real work today–

doing my part

~ Donna Fleischer

in Presence, issue 35, 2007


natsu no hebi suiban no heri ni nodo o oki toki yawarakani mizu nomiteori

a summer snake rests

its throat on the water bowl’s edge

with softness of passing time

it drinks water

~ tanka by Takako Hitaka

Fay Aoyagi, translator

from “Gendai Tanka No Kansho 101

(Appreciation of Contemporary Tanka 101)

edited by Ken Kodaka, Shinshokan, 1999, Tokyo, Japan

the uncoiled, expanse of a summer day;

the safe repose of a snake drinking water

from a proffered bowl; the feeling of

peace and fullness, of balanced rhythms;

and finally, the sibilant sounds them selves. ~DF

KHyal Kouture DF: I saw this on the subway yesterday in NYC and wrote it down for you. It’s a series called SubTalk — “Train Thought”. Pretty great to see poetry on the Metro!

the way a crow

shook down on me

the dust of snow

from a hemlock tree

has given my heart

a change of mood

and saved some part

of a day I rued

~ Robert Frost

Sponsored by The Humanities Initiative at NYU

NY Public Library

Starts a smile to think of someone on a city train in March

taking down the words from a poem on a subway wall

to send to a friend . . . the world is all right, then.

and hope I said thank You.  ~ DF


Piscataqua River Sky

photograph by Stephanie Elliott

May the newest new

year of the beginning of

the spring just begun

today like the falling snow

the more heap up our blessings.

~ Yakamochi

[(4516) . . . dated on New Year’s Day 759 . . .

This is the final poem in the Manyoshu.

In the lunar calendar the first day of the year

inaugurates spring. Tanka translation &

annotation by Cid Corman, Peerless Mirror,

Firefly Press, Cambridge, MA, 1981.]

moving my head

the grasses

spring back

~ Donna Fleischer

in Ko

fish     clouds     birds

in a stream

how it goes on

~ Donna Fleischer

in CT River Coastal Conservation District 2009,

CT Environmental Headlines &

bottle rockets