Winter 2017 Showcase

22016 has been extraordinary year, so much so that I feel as though I have been holding my breath for its final few days. I decided to tackle this first Showcase of 2017 in an extraordinary manner, inasmuch as I have left it to the very day of publication to select, assemble, typeset, and publish it. What you are seeing here and now is very much of-the-moment. I hope it works.

When the zen space started as a project in 2011, one of the possibilities was that a book – at the very least a chapbook – might eventually emerge. That idea has not gone away. What do you readers and writers think – should that aspect be pushed forward, and if so, how should it be organised and funded?

I’m going to start off this Showcase with some more words about mountains, see where that takes us, no matter how weird the journey or the destination, and then I’m going to let that theme rest for a while – unless of course a mountain presents itself to anyone. Tricky things, mountains, they have a way of sneaking up on you and tapping you on the shoulder when you least expect it. Take Buddha (left), for example, in this detail from a visual piece by Autumn Noelle Hall; there is something of a mountain about his emergence from snowfall. There is something of a mountain in some more illustrations by Kaniha this time also. Once again this is a truly international Showcase.

Have a good year.

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 like that? If so, please email the editor at thezenspace{a}

How about some ‘April Fool’ offerings for the next Showcase?


David Mitchell


called home urgently.
My mother’s wisp of white hair
– cloud on mountain.


Last night
The clouds stayed by the mountain’s side.
This morning they are gone.


flat cleared, keys returned.
Only stone frogs left
– to stare at the mountain.


Travelling home.
the mountains Grow taller.
– once they were mistaken for gods.



Eido Boru


The night sky
Southern Cross and Pointers
Dark zen energy


Meditating cat
That was zen
This is meow


Spacecraft of discovery
No cats now on Mars
(Curiosity killed the cat)
Breaking news –
Mass mouse migration to Mars
Return of the cats
(Information brought it back)


Howie Good


Light Buried Underground

Weeping woman, look up here.
It seems a beautiful day.
Ovals lay eggs. We have flowers.
Even a simple call can turn into a racket,
self-reflection in bright yellow.

You are different now.
But not bad different.
Just, you know, not like 1999.

Go die, come back, I’ll love you.
Love will save us, love will save us.
Violet hearts run crimson tides.

[Source: Part 1 is constructed from the titles of artworks by Janelle Iglesias, Pablo Picasso, Ana Marie Hernado, Elliot Green, John Newman, Constance Hockaday, and Tamara Zahaykevich, and Part 2 from entries in the Typewriter Project


Milk Without Honey

Do cows
get excited?

Their knees
don’t look
like they can

handle all
the jumping.

People also ask:
Do ants eat each other?
Do ants make a sound?

They weren’t cows
inside. They were

waiting to be, but
they forgot. Now

they see sky, and
they remember

what they are.

[Sources: Parts 1 and 3 are based on, and Part 2 is based on Google’s “People also ask” search suggestions.]



Maria Gianna Iannucci


Tree peers up, snow hole
Snowshoed foot slips cracking branch
Blocking out blue sky

Plummeting down, suspended
Enshrined, in white tomb mountain


Flexible silver
Curling around the hard stone
Wearing down rough edge
Glint of gold, super nova
Tumbled smooth, once molten heart


Winds are his whispers,
Sibilant sound of grasses
Grazing on bare legs.
Tender green leaves brush the sand,
Soft caresses of his hand.


Tendrils, mountain vine
Plumbs the depths with tenderness
Roots dissolving stone


Elizabeth McFarland



Steve Myers


une autre marée

convaincu encore
goéland le génie
joue dans la brise

another tide

convinced again
seagull the genius
plays in the breeze

[The first poem is in the French of Québec; the second is a direct translation.]


Ali Znaidi


winter sun…
the shadow of crows
not precise

crows changing positions
on the clothesline…
Morse code



Roy Guzmán


Richard Cory’s Rationale

Graceful, she gives birth
To a day and a past day
Form almost breathing

Pancake aroma
Windows with sunlight and screens
Abeyant fetus

Hollowed morning air
Chirping noises entering
Her belly button

Heightened tug of war
Between life and epilogue
Caught in spleen puddles

{If x}
Suckling Neapolitan
There is no sound proof

{Then y}
He kicks in cycles
Rotating in torpedoes
Existence juices

{If y}
Soluble absence
Urgency to depart…gone
Very green garden

{Then x}
I call and he listens
Phone calls are confession rooms
A stagnant dead sound

{Not x}
Memory and gin
Unrecognizable sins
Shaving underneath

{Not y}
The voracious twink
When I turn my head over
My bed—deep breathing

{x and y do not exist | x and y exist}
Sagged and young skin
“But age is just a number”
A shuddering smirk



Richard Vallance

Winter poetry in English and French


a burden
on the rack
– frozen corpse

sur le chevalet
cadavre gelé


with frosty nights
the moon

les yeux troublés
par les nuits givrées
la lune


the polar blues –
wolfing vodka down

à l’échappe
des blues polaires –
vodka englouti


frozen stiff
by a snowstorm
and dementia

gelé a mort
par la tempête de neige
et la démence


The latest issue of Haibun Today is currently on line. This new issue features articles by David Landis Barnhill, Anne Benjamin, Patricia Prime, Ray Rasmussen and Rich Youmans.

Writers are now invited to submit haibun, tanka prose and articles for consideration in the March 2017 issue. See their web site for submission guidelines. When contacting them, please mention that you were alerted to them by the zen space. Thank you.


It’s not too late to pick up a copy of the Haiku Calendar 2017 from Snapshot press!


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



3 thoughts on “Winter 2017 Showcase

  1. You can always rely on me for some advice about publishing, Marie, if you need it!

  2. andysmerdon says:

    Excellent. I love the diversity of topic and the snappy way words are used. Cheers and thanks for sharing.

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