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 Table of Contents 
XV-2 June, 2000

LYNX 
A Journal for Linking Poets 

 
   
  TANKA

John Barlow

ejb

Tom Clausen

David Clink

Carmela Cohen

Gerard J. Conforti

Mrinalini Gadkari

Sanford Goldstein

Deirdre Grimes

Nicholas A. Hayes

Momi Kam Holifield

Elizabeth Howard

Jean Jorgensen

Larry Kimmel

Joann Klontz

Edith Mize Lewis

M. L. Harrison Mackie

Thelma Mariano

Barbara MacKay

Robert Henry Poulin

Jane Reichhold

David Rice

Jeff Swan

Doris H Thurston

Sherain Veale

Aya Yuhki

     TANKA

just five minutes
pressed against a stranger
on a crowded train
so why do I spend my day
dreaming of a life with her

30 years
and still I cannot find
a baseball glove
big enough to catch hold
of this relentless world

now I'm at the trough
of my life's pendulum swing
I've long stopped hoping
someone will hold out their hand
and judder it to a halt

without you
the ragged mountain slopes
so still
I can hear the wing beats
of the passing swifts

John Barlow

 

on and on
the trill of an unseen loon
soft and tremulous
you ask why I love you-
if only my heart could speak

autumn:
ushering out summer
a moist coolness
at the last moment
let it be your eyes I see

finally
no leaves left on the maple
only memories-
not wanting her to leave
but she did anyway

what space between us-
reaching for that spot where
something meets nothing
still, the musky scent
of your memory...

ejb

 

autumn rain
at each window i stand
considering my life -
the overflow of feelings
and possibilities

if you pulled up
out front to visit
what could i show you
of my life
plainly as it ...

the rise and fall
of the cicada's song,
my own heart quietly
recording
what it can

in the midst
of the children's raucous play
i notice my son a moment
staring as if aware
of something fleeting past

no longer me
it proves a mystery who it is
i've become, walking around
this house with my family
there inside

at sleep's border
the encounter is brief,
yet oh so magical and soft
caught where this life
merges into there...

Tom Clausen

 

RAVEN
David Clink

Your shadow touches
me - an intimation
as I watch you
ride an avalanche of snow
tumbling toward a cold lake.

Cold water accepts
the company of lily-white
snow, trees and skiers
falling down a mountain
into its ice-blue crypt.

A raven swiftly
leaves the oncoming tumult -
stark against the snow:
wings lift up a fragile soul
from under a wintry grave.

~*~

The nurse is smiling
'cause the surgery has worked
now you carry child.
A stork leaves your harrowed heart
and rises like a whitecap.

Did a double take
today of a coral tree
mistook it for dead.
From leafless greenless branches
red hemorrhages for spring.

We face each other
hands clasped, bodies leaning back
spin till hair flings free.
Our laughter is lost outward
and there goes centrifuged love.

Open the shutters
onto the absence of light
Midnight's inky sky.
How I covet your thick lens
that preserves the light of time.

Carmela Cohen

 

TO VICTOR AND ELSA
Gerard J. Conforti

the buttercups
along the path in the meadows
dream of life
awakening to the spring rain
when the earth absorbs the snow

the dandelions
blaze in the spring grass
like deadly weeds
choking the roots of grass
the grass out-chokes the weeds

the violets
growing in the green grass
caught my view
along the lone path I walked
I passed on with joy in my heart

~*~

the bamboo trees
bend down
to support my
curved old spine
in the rocking chair

Mrinalini Gadkari

 

FLASHBACKS
Sanford Goldstein

a Niigata evening
when the streets
Brueghel swarm,
the multitudinous young
swinging bags, legs, hats

outside
in the early fall air
I remember
football leaves
when tackle-touch was sweet

they fed me,
those friends of mine,
their Italiano,
they fed me their griefs,
their non-splendid dreams

last night
and my kid's daughter
recites
a favorite Stevenson, one my son
recited to me four decades ago

I light
my wife's memorial candle
in tonight's
quiet kitchen
and watch the steady

at Wendy's
my two grandchildren
sang and sang:
I devoured
the nuggets offered me

Japanese breakfast
after a long long while
why did I forget
the purity of chopsticks,
the purity of white rice?

Maria Callas
on the car tape
in these mountains,
the Japanese pampas grass
white in the October light

the tidbit
in the tea ceremony hut
flooded my mouth:
yes, the sweet and sour
all these years of Japanese life

~*~

embers dying
wrapped in a blanket
l listen to your footsteps
on the floor above
as l arrange my hair

lying in the bath
only breasts and some belly
show above the water
nipples hardened in the
cold february air

each night
we fall asleep
wrapped in each other
the scent and your body heat
are my lullaby

Deirdre Grimes

 

Black lines twist around
your arm forming a dog
copied from the Book
of Kells. Revelations you
pale body has also held.

socks, shirts and underwear
Still ferment under your bed,
Your dishes fester
In the stainless steel sink.
I won't touch you by proxy.

Finishing a book
trying not to rip one more
brittle yellow page
in age all books seem
sacred because they survived

Nicholas A. Hayes

 

millennial leap
Chinese year of the dragon
at century's end
ornamental and sinuous
it is mine

Momi Kam Holifield

 

A WHITE BIRD
Elizabeth Howard

a white bird
flies over the sedgy pool
to autumn woods -
what this wondrous sight,
a white bird flying?

Andean hillside -
iridescent butterflies,
blue and yellow,
hover over brilliant
red flowers

at dawn
a cuckoo chanting
under the caul of moon
still forecasts rain
from forest shadows

~*~

back
to the cold winds of Alberta -
left behind
the wild flowers of Texas
. . . a certain girl

such a dazed look
as you attend your sister's wedding
just a few days ago
the love of your life
said he didn't love you anymore

romantic weekend
spent at a secluded farm
at the ferry
same old twinge as her husband
chats away with a strange woman

slowly
the retarded girl's daily walk
this evening
she stands and gazes
at a late April sunset

I was delivered 
by my father's mother
my one memory
of her is a pale woman
asleep in a pine box

Jean Jorgensen

~*~

as we throw bread
upon the water, three swans,
smooth and majestic
as Viking ships, come
to discover us

a pepper of starlings
season a field of cornstubble
it seems
they were here only yesterday
the split-rail fences

the sun is so hot
it could shrink-wrap
the town -
but those kids got it made,
lemonade, in the shade

Larry Kimmel

 

on the tarmac
we wait out the storm
our fears contained
in the voice of a ninety year old
first time flyer

watching gnats
slide up and down
in the warmth of the sun
I'm sure the first juggler
got started this way

pre-pasted, washable
easy to hang -
in a volume of Neruda
this found swatch of wallpaper
reads like poetry

I search for the meaning
in my empty chocolate cookie
as he reads
his two fortunes
in standard vanilla

Joann Klontz

 

THE DANCE IS OVER
Edith Mize Lewis

We meet for lunch
smiling at me
he said, "How are you?"
just like before but
something is missing

I look outside
butterflies in my stomach
we can't begin again
the clouds reach out hiding the sun
I leave early hurting.

Love remembers threads of gold
he danced a fluid waltz
into my heart my cup of happiness
turned sour Cinderella lost
her prince shutting out the light.

~*~

two sheets
to the wind
we fly
from a bed
love unmade

deciding to
sell the ranch
forces us to
measure our loss
by another one's gain

when will I
learn to surf love's
higher arc
above the sound
and fury inside?

M. L. Harrison Mackie

 

seagulls soar
over melting snow banks
sharp cry of spring
as we step farther apart
we leave puddles behind

an idling car -
vapor rises and takes shape
drifting in the air
a spirit seeking answers
this cold, windless night

defying this chill
tiny mauve flowers nod
as I walk by
I too will not be ruled
by the seasons of my life

Thelma Mariano

 

yesterday
I heard nothing but the buzz
of others
and the chatter in my head
last night I dreamt in whispers

the crescendo chortle
of a large snow geese flock
delights our ears
yet we drive away
the pleasure too pure for us

gray whales surface
their backs barnacled and broad
at ease in the sea
as we once were
millenniums ago

day and night the rain
slants against my roof and door
tattooing your name
what did you think, that longing
was some silent thing

Barbara MacKay

HAVE A CUP OF TEA, CARLA DEAR
Robert Henry Poulin

my moon in the sky
spreading large the blossoms -
have a cup of tea
before the wind steals them
in a burst of energy

a tree is just tree
when the petals blow away -
have a cup of tea
birds will soon sing again
to refresh the saddest day

notice how seasons
make those little petals -
have a cup of tea
clutching then letting go,
daring to fall away

moon gives way
sun rises from darkest night -
have a cup of tea
this too shall pass I say
as I step into the light

I hold a rose again
in the vessel of my heart -
have a cup of tea
to sip and sup her lips,
refreshing tranquilitea

~*~

TANKA FOR YOU
Jane Reichhold

from the flying rock
much is blurred and sad due
to night vision
half of the sky plows the dream
on black stones set in Aztec gold

swing one night
or sit quietly on the front porch
very satisfying
the birds fly out of  the lace
fields of yellowing soy beans

lined up on the wall
all women want to be beautiful
but feet are wiser
perhaps the mountain you are
like crows circling an Italian

she wishes I were
more birdlike in my feelings
handed me a rose
a chiffon robe drifts over my
caves that take a deep breath

we put on
our warmest faces of moon
light knew exactly
the impending importance to
balance the same affection

lemon cake on
your tongue photographing
low bushes creep
on carpet and plucked sparks
for a bundle between her breasts

with dreams of glory
she spends the days of her year
that really dance
knowing breeze is in the breath
of bananas ripening inside of us

sexual excitement
in a bottomless well I find
exposed to fears
the power of beauty overwhelms
then there is sudden aloneness

she makes her face up
lonely she recites to her cat
hand vanishing
a slower way to learn secrets
of might have been grace

~*~

yesterday
I heard nothing but the buzz
of others
and the chatter in my head
last night I dreamt in whispers

the crescendo chortle
of a large snow geese flock
delights our ears
yet we drive away
the pleasure too pure for us

David Rice

~*~

Studying
an unknown blossom
that touched my face,
with the softness of your touch
when needed the most

Jeff Swan

 

WATER SOUNDS
Doris H Thurston

this afternoon
the ocean sings two songs
waves, and Haendel
seaweed floating on the crest
waves tumble it over

ocean ballet
one pelican dives in
three come up
three gulls squawk loudly
skimming the water surge

the tide runs in
through long sculpted sandstone
a crab scuttles
sand in sur-fline rises
one seal turns over, one slithers.

tumbling stones
shining like polished gems
some translucent
wafted in fresh rain
the fragrances of seaweed.

~*~

He watches twilight
Lost in a far away thought
Wind whips at his hair
I wrap my arms around him
Knowing that I meant my "Yes"

Gentle butterfly
Flutters from leaf to flower
Searching for nectar
That has never been tasted -
Guided only by instinct

Bubbles in the tub
Champagne glasses sit close by
A roaring log fire
Warms our love nest
While you ask me to be your wife

Sherain Veale

 

BARREN LAND
Aya Yuhki

a long time passing
returning to a barren place
at dusk
like the mast of a wrecked ship
the big tree fallen

did it fall by itself?
or for another reason?
the acacia bloomed
in early summer
clusters of white flowers

gray trunk,
blown down by wind;
heart of the field
dusk is enveloping
merging even me

slanting tree
in the barren place
when the wind calms
trees and bushes
sleep

with bees and birds
those happy days
are long gone
leaving only the fallen
tree trunk

where once the tree
lifted its head
like king of the field,
three stars of Orion
shine

is a man
doomed?
the one dearer
than father
is gone

sa-sa-sa-sa-sa
rustling in the bushes;
as if freed
from a spell
I am going home

frosty ground
my dog sniffing
his breath like Psyche
white

orange lights
shine
lights of houses
where people live
so warm

 

   
   
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  Poems Copyright (c) by Designated Authors 2000.
Page Copyright (c) Jane Reichhold 2000.