Poetry / August 2009 (Issue 8)

Two Haiku Sequences

by Belle Ling Hoi Ching

Adventure in the countryside

Soles rasp mud, stench
flinches, bubbles subdivided—
footprints are carved.

Stunk curds, caked in milk jars,
tempt no one; flies discuss—
poo here.

Red berries—bread-pressed, blush
leaks, starry stains in the starless
night—shy in my palm.

Two unlidded bottles, slanted,
necks-clung: liquids linger,
exchanging secrets.

Crooked fingers on crossed
legs convulse in chill—
I, as Lotus, bloom on futon.

Catch the dark with sparks—
fireflies—outspread a sparkling net—
are the most artistic hunters.

A Sketch of Nihon
Ginkaku-ji [1] perches under the moon.
Lanterns, tracking spirits,
ruminate in mantra’s croon.

Dense bamboo woods,
black heads subside,
breath deposits.

Matcha [2], thick,
muddles incense. Temple bell strikes,
matcha ripples, pushes incense up.

Sakura's [3] minor which Koto
plucks burdens history
with no melancholy.

pressed lumps, gapless,
A neat craft.

Fuji refines snow in smoke
Hot springs, under Fuji, remind
us of being nude in water.

Geishas' snow-white cosmetic
cannot cover their blood-red lips.
Their time is man’s.

Pink blossoms scatter—
Nihon, a petalled mosaic,
is too beautiful to complete. 

[1] Ginkaku-ji is the "Temple of the Silver Pavilion," a Buddhist temple in the Sakyo ward of Kyoto, Japan. 
[2] Matcha is a fine, powdered green tea used in the Japanese tea ceremony.
[3] Sakura is the name of a traditional Japanese folk song depicting Spring.

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