Summer 2017 Showcase

1Summer – to me – means sport. The Tour de France, Wimbledon, Test Match Cricket. I just thought you ought to know that. All these things I can’t do but love to watch.

Ah, I suppose that’s why I’m an editor as well!

In this (late – yes I know it’s late, and I’m so sorry) Summer Showcase here at the zen space, we have an array of words, images, and forms. There are haiku for you to read, and haibun, and ‘five-line poems’, and ‘tanka stones’, and senryu, and just plain poetry! As well as that, there are some more beautiful mandalas by Marie Taylor, whom I am glad to welcome back.

Do I sound frivolous to you, this time? Maybe I am. But it’s a brittle frivolity. You could say I’m whistling in the dark, trying to put behind me all the dreadful things that have been happening in the world. Perhaps I’m trying to forget how angry I am. Time to read some poetry.

Marie Marshall
the zen space

I am always on the look out for new talent. Can you compose haiku, senryu, short-burst-in-the-moment poetry, imageist poetry, or anything of the such-as-which? Or do you know someone who can? If so, please email me at thezenspace{a}


John Raffetto

Mayan turquoise by
a coastal desert at dawn
while a  rooster crows.


Sagebrush and pale winds
in silent Pawnee ghost-dance
endures upon worn plateaus.


The Pinyon pine air
descends from desert mountains,
as I leave the train.


A scarlet sunset
drifts over soft prairie snow-
while a robin flies.



Angelee Deodhar

Kindergarten –
the new teacher’s
unwashed sneakers


skimming stones
after the summer reading of
Huck Finn

four a.m. –
all the late nighters watch
the Eta Aquarids


floating world –
in a windshorn dandelion
one haiku


Haibun: The Dark 

The smoky sky, the noisy fireworks bursting over lighted Ferris wheels, neon throbbing streets and laser searchlights have taken over the cities. Even the fountains are lit and droplets of fire spin up to land in a graffiti of light, which plunges the earth into a chasm of luminescence.

Night is lost except that  within me which is pitch, cloying, tar like, reminding me of the place we had been taken to – Dialogue in the Dark, a concept from Germany, where in total darkness, blind people lead you into the world of non- visual  senses… taste, touch, smell, feeling, fear and cold in absolute darkness. There is nothing to guide you except a disembodied voice which leads you through a garden, a waterfall, bird song while you touch tree bark, stone walls ,and a carved wooden frieze, smell saffron, coffee, spices and hold trustingly to the shoulder of the person in front of you. The tour itself lasts for only an hour but the effects last a lifetime.

Today my heart is heavy, bogged down with the darkness of betrayal, an Amavasya of the soul, perhaps tomorrow, I will find a tiny glow of trust…

Munch’s Scream –
inside neon swift rivers
a death of stars



Bruce England

up in the air
landing spots few
and far between
crashes are expected


Fans didn’t know
where to mail their letters
so they addressed them:
Margaret Mitchell
Gone With The Wind


On headstones
I look for shortest,
longest dates
between birth
and death


You want sexy?
let me tell you
wear a simple dress
over tight jeans
with boots or heels


People see
from a distance
keeps all the kites
from flying away


Debbie Strange

1. these stones framed

2. ocean waves framed

3. river stones framed

4. inscriptions framed


Kelly Sauvage Angel

raindrops’ patter
the page before me
fading to a blur


summer’s breeze
against the curb, drifts
of dandelion fluff


a little something learned
about myself


last year’s garden
amid chipped terracotta
a fledgling sprig of mint


snapping asparagus
even the most tender stalks
know tough ends


commuter path
among the dandelions
so many wild violets



Stephen Page

in a vacant lot
among broken red bricks
shaded sparrows sing


mocking bird calls
from a thick evergreen bush –
a sparrow steers clear


the car almost empty –
the boy slouched across from me
spitting out rap tunes


sunday evening –
so long
between trains


sitting on a train
wishing I could smoke –
the horrendous smells



Miriam Sagan

to see the lit house
from outside –
that moment
turning back
from the faded blue mailbox
when I might be
two places
at once…


every poem
should have some fireflies

some tequila

dark pines
by heat lighting

and both of us

still talking
about the past


five nights alone
and what have I accomplished?
dreams of other lovers
cool mornings
where mourning doves coo…


two earrings in one lobe
emerald green one
cut from glass,
my best friend tells me
please –
don’t believe
you tell yourself


trash in the tree
fly at the window
I sit
by the old woman dying –
spring wind



Dottie Piet

morning meditation
a singing bowl hums
my favorite tune


drumming hands
my head and heart return
to the islands


glacial melt
reading at poolside while
sipping iced tea


enigmatic smile
she wonders what happened
to her eyebrows


warm summer night
the café alive with music
and laughter
in the shadows a strange man
paints and talks to the stars



Martha Magenta

the tower
of Babel
our conversation severed
by a cell phone


a galaxy somewhere
in my mind


old railway
a buddleia rusts
on the track


dandelion fluff . . .
hot air balloons
over the city


half moon
I see the light
in my dark side




Whenever you get in touch with any of the people or publications in the news, please mention that you were alerted to them by the zen space. Thank you.

the cherita

We have heard from ai li and Larry Kimmel that the second issue of the cherita is now published. Go to their web page and click on the ‘Flipbook’ tab to find the first two editions.

Contemporary Haibun Online

The July issue of Contemporary Haibun Online, vol.13 No.2, is now published. Check it out here.

Haibun Today

As ever, we’re out-of-phase with Haibun Today. Nevertheless their June 2017 release is still current. Go here to find out more. We notice that they have put out a very interesting invitation; they want to hear from writers of the haibun and tanka prose genres, and they ask why you choose to write in them, as opposed to memoirs, travel journals, etc.

Muse-pie Press

And here’s another poetry site we’re always out-of-phase with – Muse Pie Press, home of Shot Glass Journal. Always worth a visit.

Hot Cross Haiku…

is officially 11 years old (email just in!).


The next Showcase at the zen space will be Autumn 2017 which will be released, subject to karma, on 1st October 2017.

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.


15 thoughts on “Summer 2017 Showcase

  1. Ray Sharp says:

    Happy sixth birthday! Another lovely and inspiring showcase… I love all the pieces, and the amazing mandalas, and — I am human, I have favorites — I especially felt something while reading Miriam Sagan’s lines.
    It seems to me that nearly all the poems have a touch, or more, of an uncertain feeling, perhaps about These Times, or maybe just the normal existential angst, that slightly off-balance feeling as you shift from one step to the next.
    My own bit of frivolity, as a devotee of Athletics, I’ll be cheering for your lass Laura Muir in the IAAF meet in London.

  2. Nice blog. I love the mandalas. Thank you for publishing my work!

  3. […] Have a look at the 2017 Summer Showcase over at the zen space. […]

  4. Happy birthday to the lovely zen space! Thank you for including my work with that of so many fine poets and artists – another beautiful issue!

    shine on, Debbie

  5. Angelee Deodhar, emailed me and asked me to pass on this message:

    “Dear Marie,Congratulations on your sixth birthday! Thank you for honouring me by publishing my haiku and haibun. I enjoyed all the work showcased here esp the photo-haiga by Debbie Strange and the bejeweled mandalas! love and light, Angelee”

  6. I loved this immensely. Sorry I was late for submissions, but to be fair I always arrive at the station as the train is pulling out.

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