Spring 2016 Showcase

1There’s more than a hint of randomness to this Showcase. It’s a peculiar time of year in Scotland. There are spring flowers, some blooming later in one garden than they are in the next, but the weather is still cool, so my shoulders do not un-hunch when I go outside – I still snuggle down into my upturned coat-collar. The lighter days are with us, but no sooner does that happen than they put the clocks forward, and I have to get out of bed in darkness, feeling as though I had been plunged back into winter, shivering as my feet feel for my baffies.

So I thought I would start spring-cleaning the zen space, see what I had laid in the corner, blow the dust off it, and post it here. By that I do not mean that I’m dishing out poems and haiku that are in any way remaindered or second-class, they’re more like rediscoveries. There’s some new material in here too, maybe one or two items we’ve seen before, and some neglected crow stuff with more left over for a second helping next year. I tend to lose track, one of the blessings of being a haijin.

Alongside them, to increase the randomness, I shall post details from paintings by Vincent van Gogh. They’ll have nothing to do with the words, in fact they’re irrelevant at best and often downright contradictory, and that’s probably the point…

For the future, I’m looking for another ‘guest editor’. I’m hoping to recruit Ray Sharp, but he hasn’t said yes. Yet.

Anyhow, let’s roll…

Marie Marshall
the zen space


Ray Sharp2


haiku: one spring day

sad and beautiful
the wind that shakes the cattails
shakes – don’t you know – me


Joanna M Weston


standing stone
in a field
ripe blackberries


cherry blossom falls
on grazing sheep
her last letter


white clover
in the lawn
starry sky


quiet evening –
the relics
of a saint


Roman road
to each other


Vanessa Ngam3


Tep tep tep
The dripping droplets
Hit the basin


Flying balloons –
Dancing in the sun
Death songs


The barking dog
Barking in silence
As the door shuts


E Martin Pedersen


horsefly biting
until the very end


into the chestnut grove
to enjoy wild asparagus
and yellow jackets


say the red bird’s name
at the grave it protects
with its fire


Richard Stevenson4


Emily Carr House –
even the bees wipe their feet
at each blossom porch


horse and buggy tour –
a satellite dish aimed
at your childhood home


Emily, your brush
dips with the grace of this bee
on each pendant bloom


Emily Carr House –
I scan the strawberry patch
for a ripe berry


longest trip by bike –
Japan to B.C. amid
tsunami debris


Joyce Lorenson


anticipating the return
of cherry blossoms
sparrows in burnt grass


evening lingers
in pink profusion
all the lovely faces


makes no difference 5
cherry blossoms


steady breeze
defining the path
fallen petals


paper crane
between its folds
a cherry blossom


shadow play
behind the shoji
swaying cherry


Alan Summers6


counting tadpoles
the six year old
saves the world


the rainy season
a cardboard town
begins to pack up


secret garden
the sound of crows
in their leaves


train station
the heat of the platform
in my blood


the colour rain
through my blood
of wood an iron


attic moon
probing the splinter
in a finger


Becky Spence


In the wild grass
young frog clings to tall blades
one leap and he’s gone


skipping rope turns, beats
tarmac as it falls; children’s
laughter in the air


Rebecca E Johnstone7


Shells sat on sand dunes
staring, waiting for the sea


Green stems towering –
a thin city in the grass.
No smog to speak of.


I drive the city
in the deep magnificent
of a moonless night.


The thistle is you:
strong calm spikes rising lilac,
slender wish-tips poised.


Tom Kearney8


Crow never thinks twice
about standing out – he just
Interrupts the sky


Crow’s no harbinger
Too busy with his own shit
to foreshadow yours


Crow, he tells me things
Him being so commonplace
no one else listens


Men with guns waited
certain patience brings reward
Crow just stayed away


Rachel Sutcliffe


the smell
of freshly baked bread…
expat again


stripping wallpaper
I peel away
the years


Prue Plumridge


Under Shiva’s swirling arms of white and grey bark I stand. In the breeze shimmering sunlight cascades through the leafy canopy to form flickering shadows which, moment by moment, lengthen with the setting sun. Slowly I turn, mindful of each step, mindful of each breath.  I place one bare foot in front of the other feeling the soles of my feet connect with blades of rough green grass and brown earth. As I walk in silent contemplation I wonder where my feet end and where the earth begins.

merging slowly
with the flickering light
earth, flesh and bone


The pirate ship in the park is like the Mary Celeste, abandoned and silent.  Children’s voices no longer fill the space.  In their place the rush of autumn breath through deep green leaves mingles with the slap of halyards.  A boat lies skewed on soft, grey, shimmering mud and, above, there is the faint, haunting cry of gulls riding the air.  A  brown sailed barge tacks up the estuary, waves cutting through its bows as it heads for home.

marking time
to a closing season
absent voices




Muse-Pie Press announces the latest edition of The Fib Review, the online repository of the Fibonacci poem. What’s that? Go here and find out!


Haibun Today’s March quarterly edition is also out – find out more here.


And of course A Hundred Gourds 5.2 is now also released – go here. However, along with that comes some bad news. A Hundred Gourds 5.3 will be the last edition, after which publication will cease. It will be out in June. I’m sure all readers of the zen space will share my sorrow at this news. Thank you, AHG, for what you have given us and shared with us.


When visiting these publications, please let them know you heard of them from us. Thank you.


Do you know of anyone who writes short, in-the-moment poetry? If so, please alert them to the presence of the zen space.


The next showcase at the zen space will be Summer 2016, which will be released, subject to karma, on 1st July 2016.

Please note that the copyright of all written work and images used in this Showcase and elsewhere in the zen space is held by the creating author/artist, even when not explicitly stated, and may not be used elsewhere without permission.

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