Paperclips

Michael Dylan Welch, Carol Purington, and Larry Kimmel, editors. Karen Klein, ink brush drawings. Press Here, Foster City, California, 2001, 40 pages, 101 poets (one poem each) plus five poems from a children’s haiku contest, ISBN 1-878798-24-3.

 

In 2001, the Haiku North America conference was held at the Boston Conservatory in Boston, Massachusetts. In the introduction, we wrote the following: “A sheaf of haiku may be held together by a paperclip until the clip grows rusty and stains the paper. But age stains do not accumulate on words containing the images and energy of a well-lived moment, nor does age touch the poet who can consistently find words to illuminate the unseen or the overlooked.” Here are twenty-four sample poems, including two translations, from the book.

 

 

spring sun—

the carriage horse shakes off

a cloud of dust

 

                A. C. Missias

                Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

 

 

under and over

the creaking pier

a pair of swallows

 

                Angelee Deodhar

                Chandigarh, India

 

 

mall about to close—

from each store the clatter

of clerks counting coins

 

                Carlos W. Colón

                Shreveport, Louisiana

 

 

Good Friday service

A branch of pussywillows

throws spiky shadows

 

                Carol Purington

                Colrain, Massachusetts

 

 

mammogram waiting room

she rips a page

from a magazine

 

                Carolyn Hall

                San Francisco, California

 

 

autumn equinox—

child of my child racing past

without training wheels

 

                Claire Gallagher

                Sunnyvale, California

 

 

the rusted paperclip

has stained my old poem

wind in the eaves

 

                Cor van den Heuvel

                New York, New York

 

 

the puddles they run thru—

the part of the sky

that shakes

 

                Gary Hotham

                Laurel, Maryland

 

 

furuike no kawazu oiyuku ochiba kana

 

                Buson

 

     the frog of the ancient pond

grows old—

     fallen leaves

 

                Haruo Shirane, translator

                New York, New York

 

 

Sezannu / iro nusumarete / shiro ajisai

 

                Himeyo Kamiyama

                Koyama, Tochigi, Japan

 

Its color stolen

                        by Cézanne

                                           white hydrangea

 

                Hiroaki Sato, translator

                New York, New York

 

 

peeling paint

she sorts the letters

from her youth

 

                Ion Codrescu

                Constanta, Romania

 

 

first warm day—

two old women bring daisies

to a gravesite

 

                Jim Kacian

                Winchester, Virginia

 

 

July swelter

in a paint store

rumba of the mixers

 

                Judson Evans

                Holbrook, Massachusetts

 

 

evening shower

a lightly clothed woman

holding her breasts

 

                Kaji Aso

                Boston, Massachusetts

 

 

heat lightning

the dampness

along her hairline

 

                Karen Klein

                Cambridge, Massachusetts

 

 

away from the party din

Jupiter’s bold shine

among black boughs

 

                Larry Kimmel

                Colrain, Massachusetts

 

 

wild cherry blossoms

the ritual adjustment

of her short skirt

 

                Lee Gurga

                Lincoln, Illinois

 

 

sidewalk sale—

a corner bent over

in the used paperback

 

                Michael Dylan Welch

                Foster City, California

 

 

the NASDAQ plunges—

a dark shadow

between her breasts

 

                Paul David Mena

                Cochituate, Massachusetts

 

 

narrow path

a streak of pollen

on one sleeve

 

                Peggy Willis Lyles

                Tucker, Georgia

 

 

that path again

snow over

last night’s footprints

 

                Raffael de Gruttola

                Natick Massachusetts

 

 

the rice-planting girl

raises her head

like the heron

 

                Shokan (Tadashi) Kondō

                Nakano, Japan

 

 

the cat’s eyes

     so wide

          for a gnat

 

                Tom Clausen

                Ithaca, New York

 

 

fire in the treetops

the truck races down the street

trailing its hose

 

                William J. Higginson

                Santa Fe, New Mexico