The Artful Fish


A found poem I made a while ago and revisited and edited today.


Transformative Prospect: Found Poem

Transformative Prospect
Evolution advanced
Designing the physical
Moving into the future
Enter without permission—
Keep moving
For best results
Using minimum pressure
Cut the clear sticky type.
Handle with care.

Wonder Drawer

Wonder Drawer

Hello carefully curated space
My museum of memories.
When everything else is chaos and overflowing.
You have been my constant calm
Though you changed shape as I moved from place to place.

You used to be a jar
My expression of assemblage
From the bits and bobs of daily toil.
But it made me vulnerable
When others saw what I considered worthy of my drawer.

Once you were a box, clever
My trove of small treasure
Like the lonely earring, whose mate got lost in the somewhen.
You still keep it safe
Just in case the lost is not gone forever.

At times you were a leather casing
My mobile raven’s nest of Mnemosyne.
Sorting the memories I wanted to keep
And exactly how
I wanted to remember things.

You were always my haven
My silent partner of reflection
The place I could count on
To have and to hold
When nothing else felt fair or even.

Now you are a drawer at last,
My stash of souvenirs.
From times I went away
And for the times
I need to remind myself I went and came back.

The Adventures of Super Dango: Origins

ballad of superdango_v1w

Some Favorite Poets for Poetry Potluck

So after five days of poetry I’m asked to think about which poets inspire me or I would recommend. Below is a list of poets in order that they popped into my mind. My poetry reading goals for the moment are at the bottom. Continue reading “Some Favorite Poets for Poetry Potluck”

No Recognition but Memory

I remember the last time I saw her, it was my face
     She didn’t remember.
She told me stories of my childhood, my job, my travel
     As if I were a stranger.
I sat caught between forgotten and remembered.
     Not knowing what to say.
Because that conversation that made her happy
     Made me feel like a spy.
What if a certain question could make her reveal something
     She would never say to my face?
Recognizing the subtle shift of responsibility
     From the time
She used to scold me for picking tomatoes
     Before they were ripe.
Leaving behind the times my many mistakes made her worry,
     I joined her misted travels.
Choosing my questions carefully, I played the happy stranger
     Taking time to listen.
Hearing stories of her grand-daughter, showed she remembered
     Me. If not my face.

The Concrete Octopus Mind

octopus mind

Role Play

Before I knew there was a before
Reasoning that my reasons were really
Killing, smothering the voice
Every dreamer has to separate the dream from the real
No one could tell me so I’d hear.
Then did you really mean to play?
Reasoning that your reasons were really
Unintentional attempts at innocence because
To my dreams covered uncomfortable truths you couldn’t tell.

Limericks: The Sushi Cycle

I made this ika last year. It is I my writing muse.
I made this ika last year. It is  my writing muse.

Day 2 of Writing 201 is limericks. Most of the limericks I find funny are dirty and usually rhyme with “Nantucket” but I try to keep it clean online.

Thinking of what to write, somehow my sushi eating experience came to mind. I like the idea of a cycle of limericks that go from sushi newbie to sushi pro. These limericks are about my journey towards liking something.

It’s a first draft which I might or might not polish up later. It’s a bit fictional since I still don’t like aka-gai and ika.

Sushi Newbie
My first aka-gai in a shop
Was a large sushi, not a fine chop.
Though I chewed and I chewed
The fish was never consumed.
Lucky clean-up required no mop.

Sushi Intermediate
My first ika-sushi in years
Required I drink copious beers.
To eat tuna and negi
You don’t have to beg me
But raw ika just leaves me in tears.

Sushi Pro
Maguro, scallops and clams
Without wasabi are bland
I love the green tea
Enough ginger for three
And the best shoyu in all of Japan.

Ika= squid
Shoyu=soy sauce

Water Haiku.

I decided to try the Writing 201 Poetry at WordPress Blogging U. The first assignment is haiku and the topic is water. I love haiku. I think Ben Huberman did a good job for introducing the basics of haiku (though simile is maybe not the best device to introduce with haiku) but this simple formula is deceptively deep.

Haiku is not just about the 5-7-5 syllable structure.

Haiku is about:

  • Nature
  • the is-ness of now, NOT past tense
  • finding the perfect season word to express your idea
  • having two images that juxtapose each other but complement each other, making them richer
  • Not using metaphor or simile (or at least obvious ones)

The Haiku Society of America explains this very well if you would like more depth.

What I like about haiku is the opportunity it offers to connect to the present by intensely observing a fleeting moment then distilling the essence of that moment into words. It forces the poet to immerse herself in the fleeting now. Our observations connect us to nature but the act of observing imposes our interpretations on it. I guess this is how poetry is like physics. The act of observing influences what we see. I feel there’s a Schrodinger’s cat analogy here, but actually making it stretches just beyond me.

If you want to deal with human nature and it’s foibles and frailties then you’re really writing senryu. This is haiku’s sibling. Senryu also doesn’t need a seasonal world. Senryu is considered lower class which I think is unfair given that humanity is as richly textured as nature or even just an extension of it.

Writing 201, Day 1 Haiku
Yay!  I finally found a use for this photo

While I support looser interpretations of the structure in favor of creating mood, I still like the challenge of meeting stricter criteria. There comes a point when a piece strays too far from the structure of haiku. That doesn’t mean that it’s not a beautiful poem and it doesn’t mean that such a poem isn’t in its perfect form that was meant to be. I think it’s perfectly fine to have a poem inspired by haiku without calling it haiku. I guess it feels disrespectful to both the tradition and a unique work if you shoehorn it into a label. This idea I have isn’t meant to dissuade anyone from writing. These are simply the lofty goals of haiku. The most important point is to write and enjoy writing and not worry so much about labeling. God knows, my effort is not perfection. At any rate, here it is:

slimy dark puddles—
the splendid universes
you would never drink

I like this first effort, but I edited since I did the image. I felt micro universes didn’t work.  This edit gives it a bit more juxtaposition. Maybe not the most amazing haiku in the world. Given my intro in this post, not sure if I would label this Haiku or a poem inspired by one. Ultimately, I’m happy I wrote a poem today.

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