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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Poetry Month Exercise


Poetry Month Exercise

A few weeks ago, I invited some writers to join me in a poetry month exercise.  Each day we would alternate between writing a haiku and a kwansaba.  We would have thirty poems or drafts for poems at month’s end.   Charlie R. Braxton accepted the invitation. A few writers declined, arguing that writing kwansabas demanded too much work.

The exercise would have been nonsensical had much work not been involved.  What Charlie and I have written to date reveals much about our ideologies, our remoteness from the strictures of Japanese haiku, and our willingness to observe the rules Eugene B. Redmond set forth when he created the kwansaba.

It may be the case that haiku and kwansaba pulled more out of us than we put into them.  Only the poems know for sure.  The exercise empowered; it was a welcomed surprise to have two poems emerge on April 7.

Haiku 4.7.2015

Brilliant children
Exploding dots on blue film:
Well born novas shine.

Time Apart From Time 4.7.2015

Islands. Isolate the pieces thrown from water,
The still thirsty petals of a flower
Burning to sandy ash from the flames
The sun set in the pliant East.
We are late. We yet can isolate
Notes, perhaps a song to thus recall
How once real humans played the earth.

When writers work hard at craft, they may sometimes find themselves walking in balance through chaos.

Jerry W. Ward, Jr.

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