Sunday, February 17, 2008

Mount Utsu

Mount Utsu
even the old men
had lovers

steep mountain
on the road a cart
loses a wheel

late autumn
a cold wind pushes me
up the mountain

mountain wind
my clothes and my skin
become one

steep mountain
at the top perhaps
two stars

Published today at one of Gabi Greve's blogspots - . Mountains, temples and tea count as favourite haiku topics of mine, perhaps because all three have something to do with the act (art?) of contemplation.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Cuttings - 1

We hear that he still goes to work
with his jeep, his shoes
and all of his eighty-odd years.
I stopped writing him years ago,
his last card still in its envelop.
This is how I want it – no creases,
no liana vines or loose shoelaces.
Nagtatampo siya, they’ve told me,
a remark I’ve since tried to ignore.
If we meet at a party I’ll sit
at another table with five strangers.
No one will ask if we’re related,
or if I knew his wife, who managed
her own private stock exchange.
Afterwards we’ll stroll in Mabini,
I’ll play the bargirl he called me,

and ask my husband for money.

The first of several parts.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Post-Valentine's Day

soft music
as you stand near the door
I pour us some drinks and
wonder what lies you'll tell me

The 14th of February has become so commercial, everyone celebrating it has become almost predictable; and to think this had never been part of original Dutch culture. On the other hand, how else to call a day of customized romance ... Ella the Cynic

Sunday, February 10, 2008


behind the wheel
north towards the woods
... out of the way

the long familiar road
to where you once lived

A break of 3 years is quite long, and there have been reasons -- a friendship thrown away, the rediscovery of our marriage, and 45-hour-long work weeks. In between all that, two permanent employment contracts, a Master's Degree, and my first poetry collection Sorrows of the Chameleon, which I wrote more to express myself than to sell (although a little profit on the side won't hurt at all...). Enough said, except perhaps the hope that I can maintain this site a tad more faithfully.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Santoka - a response

all my mountains
tireless wind

as I walk to the sea
I fill with water

on the path
only the autumn moon
and my sandals

no hope
of finding my mother
a lie I like to tell

the house
that knew my childhood
I have burned it

on the road
talking to myself
a poplar tree listens

my bed
at the edge of moonlight
no dreams come

These were written on 01 February in response to haiku written by poet Santoka Taneda, which I read in his collection 'For All My Walking' (translations by Burton Watson). They have been published online at . Santoka's sake poems may be well-known, but his poems on loneliness reflect a sincerity and openness of feeling that is not easy to find. He wrote of his life and lived it like a poem.