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Per Diem Archive: D. Wentworth April 2014, Transcendence

Transcendence — Haiku as the in-spira-tion of the moment

Haiku, as a form, is poetry of the moment, in the moment. Often in traditional haiku with the coming together of two disparate elements a moment of clarity or instant connection, a moment of understanding, is evoked. Transcendence is that moment of clarity, an almost pre-linguistic, pre-cognitive state of revelation. Capturing such a revelation in words so it evokes a moment akin to revelation, for both the poet and the reader, is, for some, the haiku poets ultimate goal.

My instruction to poets in soliciting this month’s Per Diem selections, however, reflected none of this after-the-fact rationalization. What I wrote simply was: “The topic for the month I've chosen is 'Transcendence.' I won't be defining it; we all do that for ourselves.”

We do, indeed, and so I would never dream of holding either the poets herein chosen or their poems to the standard I describe. What I would like to think is that each of these poems, in their own way, refract the essence of what I was seeking when I put out the original call.

Author: Michael Dylan Welch
meteor shower...
a gentle wave
wets our sandals
Author: Roberta Beary
on the church steps   
a mourning dove
with mother's eyes
Author: Margaret Chula
end of summer         
my garden
in one wheelbarrow   
Author: David Giannini
His wristwatch        
still ticking 
in the casket
Author: Miriam Sagan
fossil fern                  
all that I've tried
to hold on to
Author: John Phillips
Author: Alan Segal
how sweet the grass!           
how calm a place
to lay skin and bone
Author: Cherie Hunter Day
a skull no bigger                 
than my thumbnail
jasmine in bloom                   
Author: Robert Epstein
as Thoreau said
one world at a time
Author: M. S. Rooney
protean chapel                     
sequoia sempervirens
touching : touched
Author: Alan Summers
through the blizzard
particles of me
Author: Patricia Prime
in the curve                        
of your armchair
your absence
Author: Susan Constable
away from it all ...             
listening for something
to listen to
Author: William Hart
ancient headstones          
the names and numbers
worn to mutters
Author: Ayaz Daryl Nielsen
the wind shifts                 
a coyote's raised leg
Author: Patrick Sweeney
Houdini's handcuffs          
and no
Author: Gary LeBel
yet how much more distant
a memory
Author: Constance Campbell
the bird under my ribs    
its wings
the way they flutter
Author: miriam chaikin
the past sits here             
shuffling a deck of cards
--  dealing
Author: Elizabeth Howard
icy creek                        
a barn owl rises
out of the rime
Author: George Swede
by gravity to
4.54 billion years
Author: an'ya
starlit lake                
a stray bobber afloat
in the galaxy
Author: Chen-ou Liu
wrapping my head       
around her word of God
the smell of snowflakes
Author: Ronald Baatz
The soul of a cloud-      
capturing it in
a butter knife
Author: Lisa Espenmiller
in the pale winter sun
everything breathing  
Author: Margaret Beverland
glacial blue                
Author: dan smith
Rubik's Cube,
Author: aditya bahl
mountain behind mountain behind mountain    
   petals of a rose
Author: Kala Ramesh
holding the note                      
the way a cuckoo does . . .
first light
Author: Michael Newell
ally ally in come free     
down the street
my past calls
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