Autumn 2012 Showcase

It seems that Basho’s frog won’t lie down. He is reluctant to stay in the pond but rather, like a child who has the water-chute to himself, he keeps wanting to haul himself back onto his flat, warm stone and take another leap into the unknown. Perhaps he is inspired by the London Olympics. Perhaps he is conducting his own unfathomable exploration of the word ‘meniscus’. Either way you will probably find him insinuating his way into this Showcase in a show of obstinate inscrutability. Maybe into the next one too, as Basho’s improbable batman. Amphibians, eh!

It has been a confusing year for British haijin. The seasons just don’t seem to have been developing as they ought. The usual kigo have seemed to sit uneasily on the desk like a look-up table, bearing no relevance to what is actually going on outside. Friends tell me about orchard trees devoid of fruit. What has been happening where you are? What startles you when you look outside your window? What is there of the banal and commonplace that suddenly becomes a poem? Something to think about.

Illustrations in this Showcase, by the way, are all mandalas by Marie Taylor. The contributors of words include some regulars as well as writers new to the zen space. There are many poetic voices, differing registers, discrete aesthetics. And there are the readers – Hello! Pass the word around, please. It has been more than a year since we pushed the boat into the stream. Look where we’ve got to.

I hope you enjoy this season’s offering. Looking forward to seeing you for the Winter Showcase after a four month break to bring us back into phase.

Marie Marshall
the zen space.


Peter Butler


above the cloud
that star
pretending it’s not there

an old memory

in a cobweb
this young sunbeam

on the plain
I see only
the wind


          Taking the Air

a windswept beach
sand in my eyes

a good night out
I head home by the moon
to the wrong address




a policeman
at the door
curtains twitch –
I hug
my grandson.


Geoffrey Winch

we clean the pond
frogs around the sides
impatient to jump

along our new-laid path
the moss creeps

freshening breeze
sad but sweet  –
our summer ends

distant autumnal smoke –
no! –
native horses raising dust

mind open to haiku
but nothing today –
so much I’ve missed

on my desk
flowers in a vase –
one watches me

 grasshopper leaps
is carried on the breeze
clean across the pond


Noragh Jones


She turns aside from the waymarked trail, tempted by a sunken lane arched in hawthorn and hazel, rowan and sycamore.

dead lovers’ names
their arrowed hearts still growing
with the living tree

Caged in birdsong, the holloway follows a line of field gates long locked by briars. Intricate curlicues wrought by a blacksmith from one of the ruined smallholdings the way once served.

Glimpsing in the gaps low ruckles of stones, their sheltering groves still shadowing lives that have gone. Roof timbers tumbled in a slide of slates. Uncoiled bedsprings snagged in sheep’s wool. A broken backed lady’s shoe.

from unquiet  stones
the silent ones gather
along the ghost road


a cage of green bones
blackbirds lining their nest
with her windblown wool

bridge no longer there
between black bones of hawthorn
the way goes nowhere

his needle footprint
fading from my palm
whiff of yellow whin


Footprints in the Sand

teardrop in the spiderweb

in wings of butterfly
heart cardiogram

time in the bottle

­­­­­­__________  ­

Angie Werren

joyful moon –
I sing with the voice
of a crow

I imagine the birth
of my daughters’ daughters
this women’s moon

heavy heads
of white hydrangea
I remember her hands

wheat cut moon
I imagine writing your name
in the sand


Johannes S H Bjerg



Christina Johnson


Has seen the darkness and
There’s no-one there.


Crocheting lace
About my life
I sew in and out
In a circle
Ultimately entering
The beginning.


Trees moving their limbs
Like nymphs,
Washing their hair
In the clear water.

A few notes

It’s easier to coax birds
With seed than dew.

& yet a dewdrop reflects life
In its lustrous depths.

Hands, fingers
Dirty with ink & songs.


Managua Gunn

she rakes around pebbles
zen garden in sand
-one wave comes

-patter of leaves
words drop onto paper
or is it only rain?

tights slide
-she crosses her legs

yellow umbrella under rain
suddenly lifted
a kiss under a small sun

desert dunes
in what there isn’t


Richard Vallance

roe in a bound
over rustling leaves —
startled by the moon

chevreuil d’un saut
fait frémir les feuilles-
affolé de la lune

cold rain pouring
on the window sill —
a far off train

froide averse
sur le rebord de la fenêtre
un train lointain

on leaves in the eaves
overflowing a bucket

averse sur les feuilles
sur l’avant-toit, sceau
plein à déborder


Philippa Timewell

words can never say
what my heart knows in silence
below the stammer

life is all a dance
a poem inscribed in sand
a song in the sea

I am an outline
a shadowed shape in the sand
sundown removes me


Lane A Smith and Joe King

A Woman, A Man

lying next to her
he smells yesterdays leaves –
the bed is too big

striking a steep pose
ordering chaos in line
holding oh so firm

the sugar bowl spills
on his Sunday newspaper –
sex rocks a table

all lips and legs
accentuated sexy
love sautés my name

muddy river boots
on a well-swept floor –
he orders pizza

capturing wholly
imagination’s fragrance
dirty double-dare’

two books forgotten
by a fire slowly dying –
laughter in a tub

exuding wonder
and vulnerability
dancing full-throttle


Tyler Pruett

the butterfly
still has her
caterpillar face

summer rain –
the seagull remembers
her father

dandelion –
or not



A Hundred Gourds also celebrates its anniversary today. Please visit, and mention that you heard of it here. Thanks.



The next Showcase at the zen space will be Winter 2013 which will be released, subject to karma, on 1st January 2013. Please note the copyright of all written work and images used in this showcase and elsewhere in the zen space is held by the creating artist/author or by the zen space, even where not explicitly stated, and may not be used elsewhere without permission.


9 thoughts on “Autumn 2012 Showcase

  1. angie werren says:

    beautiful post; will take several days to savor…
    thank you.

  2. Marie Taylor says:

    thanks for using my mandalas. Seeing them in a new environment is like meeting them for the first time.

  3. […] season for some of them are showcased in the online haiku journal “The Zen Space” – Created by Scottish poet, Marie Marshall, the quarterly journal offers a delightful selection of […]

  4. […] AUTUMN 2012 SHOWCASE from THE ZEN SPACE Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. This entry was posted in Thoughts. Memories. Impressions and tagged Haiku, Zen. Bookmark the permalink. […]

  5. yepirategunn says:

    What a beautiful publication you have made.

  6. A beautiful reflective collection

  7. a wonderful showcase of poetry 🙂

  8. Ray Sharp says:

    thank you for inviting me, M

    grateful I follow
    you down this narrow road
    to the interior

  9. peter butler says:

    Such a lively, varied and well-planned issue. Thank you Marie. Glad to be a part of it.
    Peter Butler

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