from the Icebox inbox – 19

acorn season
a hollow sound comes
from the Buddha’s head

.. Michael Henry Lee

Pillars of sparks
from the shrine’s courtyard
give birth to stars

.. Ted Taylor

for the New Year
taking a day at a time…
a calendar

.. Keith A. Simmonds

Interdicted zone –
Smackheads pelt the bardic dunce
With pointed pebbles.

.. Kamome

7 Responses to “from the Icebox inbox – 19”

  1. John Dougill Says:

    Thank you to these diverse contributors for some fine fare. I love the hollow sound from Buddha’s head… so suggestive. Emptiness, nirvana, escape from material existence? and the acorn too… being and becoming. The haiku seems to encapsulate the mix of profundity with brevity we all strive for. It’s my favourite of the four.
    Pillars of sparks is a striking image. Giving birth to stars is sublime. Could we say there’s a seasonal reference in the burning of old shrine amulets etc after the New Year? Which brings us to taking it easy at New Year and the calendar… I like the atmosphere of relaxation and sense of looking forward to the new calendar year. And finally, on a different note, the interdicted zone…. it’s the most challenging of the group because of the unorthodox subject matter and puzzling meaning… what is the interdicted zone… why should it matter what the smackheads do? I’d love to get the feedback of others about this one….

    • Go and look at it in the context of the sequence in which it appears (Submissions, February 16th, 2011). I am currently mooting the merits and attributes of a ‘surrealistic senryu’. You may be witnessing the birth of a new genre. Hopefully Tito will get back to me on this one!

      • We already have SF-ku (science fiction haiku, or skifaiku), so why not surryu, though the term itself may not prove very catchy! I am not tuned into contemporary Japanese senryu, and thus cannot say whether or not a similar genre already exists over here (I will ask around this year), but in contemporary Japanese haiku, we have things like:

        Just for my baby
        a duck has got stuck in the sky! (Masami Masuda)

        Mankind is sad
        but lovely –
        tomatoes rushing to their death (Shimpei Asai)

        She perspires in pursuit
        of the coffin of the man
        who died in sexual intercourse
        with her! (Kazuya Matsumoto)

        That last one was published as a haiku, but was longer than 5-7-5. Good luck!

  2. A good selection, Gerald. The acorn, bringing with it the realization that the head of the Buddha is empty – almost wicked! And the delinquents, in some forbidden area, picking on the self-depracating poet himself perhaps? And, oh, the assonance and alliteration of HOW they said it! Kamome’s is a peach of a senryu.

    • Thank you for your examples of more ‘way out’ senryu. I am glad to see there are others who (de)reason as I do. The third one is both blackly funny and poignant. Sweating for her fella, one last time: bittersweet indeed. I look forward to further results of Tito’s enquiries.

  3. I loved “Acorn Season” For some reason it has stayed with me….which is the mark of a good Haiku. I would love to use your haiku in a haibun….with your permission and of course giving you credit. Would that be ok?

    • Stephen, if you wish to use Michael Henry Lee’s haiku, you should go to our Submissions page, and you ‘ll find the poem as submitted by scrolling down almost to the very bottom. Click the ‘reply’ link beneath his submission and ask there. He should get a notification by email automatically of the new comment you leave and can follow it up directly or in that stream.
      Your comments are greatly appreciated, but as the real first name of the Icebox’ admin. ed. is also ‘Stephen’, we would appreciate you commenting with your fuller name in future, as you have done in one place elsewhere: Stephen Leslie. Otherwise, it will be very confusing for members of our haiku circle. Thanks in advance for your kind cooperation on that one.
      Hope this helps, and that you can get to Michael as suggested. If not, tell us in another comment, and we’ll try something else.

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