Standing Nowhereby Rosie Pemberton from Huddersfield
Four haiku: one poem by Lilian Calder from Newcastle
The moon reclining
Friendship by Vanessa
Aircraft vapour trails
Divide the blue summer sky.
White lines cross the void.
Samphire and Sealsby Penny Poyzer from Nottingham
Salty samphire, bending unbroken underfoot
springs back, loaded with the energy of sea and sky.
Seals smile serenely, bobbing in the arms of waves,
buoyed up and buoyant in the tangy domain.
The warm wind bearing North Sea strength of purpose
whispers promises of sun and summer.
The strand, long, lean and golden,
stretches the margin of the lacy shore -
a trillion, trillion grains bound through time into a single band.
Filtered into distant grey,
heat haze shifts the layers.
Ships, anonymous as stones,
blink their weight on the liquid substance of the sea
and bear their bulk to infinity.
Belongingby Tony Weedon
Beyond is far away and yet is near:
In silent voice it lifts us far above
The foibles of disquietude and brings
Us home to rest awhile where no pain moves.
Belonging is beyond and yet is here:
With sightless eyes it sees us safely through
The pulsing trammels of desire until
We reach the fullness of our emptiness.
Such emptiness masks everything but truth:
Its soundless sound belies its pregnant form,
Which holds the all in thrall to mindfulness
Until we, freed, belong beyond recall.
* = a black pig silhouette
the lotus of the lakeby Hamish Anderson from Newcastle
Ghosts walk that can't be exorcised until their night is done;
Hauntings past won't stand aside, the Night has just begun.
Water's darkness, deep and wide, feel the undertow.
Sow the seed, the Lotus grow, to meet the turning tide.
Sleep of replayed scenes in sequence stretched on Night's dark loom;
Live connections linked in series spark in gathering gloom;
Tapestries of time and place reveal the grand design:
Features from the human face, malevolent, benign.
Finding the right line, the tangles disentwine
Setting mind and body free.
Mists can now disperse like the lifting of a curse
From eyes that now can see.
Visions carved in high relief etched vivid, clear with pain,
Face the grief, for fear's the thief to steal your sight again.
Silence sits amidst the flow, the circle made complete;
Stem and petals upright grow, the Sun and Moon to meet.
Stillness reigns, and round about an endless, waveless sea
Blinding light draws inward sight where no mere eye can see.
Radiant face and warm embrace, infinite and vast,
Countless share this space where Heart is welcomed Home at last.
Ithacaby Constantine P. Cavafy (1911)
When you set out on your journey to Ithaca,
pray that the road is long,
full of adventure, full of knowledge.
The Lestrygonians and the Cyclops,
the angry Poseidon - do not fear them:
You will never find such as these on your path,
if your thoughts remain lofty, if a fine
emotion touches your spirit and your body.
The Lestrygonians and the Cyclops,
the fierce Poseidon you will never encounter,
if you do not carry them within your soul,
if your soul does not set them up before you.
Pray that the road is long.
That the summer mornings are many, when,
with such pleasure, with such joy
you will enter ports seen for the first time;
stop at Phoenician markets,
and purchase fine merchandise,
mother-of-pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
and sensual perfumes of all kinds,
as many sensual perfumes as you can;
visit many Egyptian cities,
to learn and learn from scholars.
Always keep Ithaca in your mind.
To arrive there is your ultimate goal.
But do not hurry the voyage at all.
It is better to let it last for many years;
and to anchor at the island when you are old,
rich with all you have gained on the way,
not expecting that Ithaca will offer you riches.
Ithaca has given you the beautiful voyage.
Without her you would never set out on the road.
She has nothing more to give you.
And if you find her poor, Ithaca has not deceived you.
Wise as you have become, with so much experience,
you must already have understood what Ithacas mean.
This poem was sent in by John Friend of the Hull Group
Try writing a waka and send your efforts into NOW & ZEN. Except for minor corrections, such as spelling mistakes, poems are published as composed by the author, who will always be consulted in case of doubt. However, if you feel you need help or advice concerning the composition of your poem as distinct from its content, please feel free to ask and the editorship will do its best to help. Poems in any style are always welcome, especially those reflecting everyday experiences relating to our pilgrimage along the WAY. An important aid to training can often be expressed to greater effect in a short poem than in a much longer piece of prose writing. Style is always a matter of taste and different styles suit different experiences.
from Now And Zen - August 2000