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Per Diem Archive: S. Pierides December 2014, Light & Dark

Light and Dark  

Light, together with darkness, is one of our most archetypal conceptions. Philosophy, physics, divinity, literature, culture, art, involve numerous notions of light as one of the basic “elements” of the cosmos and essential for life on earth. Humanity has evolved towards the sun, the moon, the stars; has imagined heavens as places filled with light, underworlds as places devoid of it. This fascination with the juxtaposition of light with dark, the shades in between, and the wish to emerge into the light or disappear into dark matter, is at the heart of our constitution.

Per Diem Editor Stella Pierides responds to our mysterious fascination with this gallery of haiku at this moment of the waning of the light in the northern hemisphere. She writes:

Winter is the par excellence season where this duality comes to a head. For some, the long nights come with festivals of light, religious or secular holidays. For others, winter is a season of slowing down, of depression, loneliness, low spirits, spirits… For some poets, light is the source of inspiration; for others, darkness, against light, the essential element spicing their writing. Either way, wherever poets are, whatever their experience, tradition, or culture, poetry of light flows from their pen. This month’s Per Diem draws on haiku exploring this dichotomy of light and dark, and reflects on our dependence on and appreciation of this duality.

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Author: Marilyn Appl Walker
rain all day
I carve the darkness
from a peach
Author: Billie Wilson
retreating glacier--
how long since we've heard
the black wolf's song
Author: Marion Clarke
storm on the lough
streetlamps on Seaview
lit by sunrise
Author: Marlene Mountain
the sun                                 
and the mountain
do this:
Author: Kristen Deming
dawn swim—  
making a butterfly of water 
of light
Author: Stanford M. Forrester
cold Aegean sun–    
the temple
half stone, half shadow
Author: Richard Gilbert
dedicated to the moon    
I rise
without a decent alibi
Author: Dave Russo
sun in the bones
of a darting minnow
my cell phone rings
Author: Paresh Tiwari
fading daylight—
an oarsman’s ballad
drifts ashore
Author: Don Wentworth
November cherry blossom –
what was I thinking?
Author: Jim Kacian
leaving the movies-
believing this world
is the real one
Author: Alan Summers
the moon is broken
Battersea Power Station
from a train window
Author: Melissa Allen
theater of the absurd all the roles played by the moon
Author: Tom Clausen
Bitter cold morning – 
Some of the sunrise compressed
With the trash
Author: Shloka Shankar
chiaroscuro…
my dark side a shade
darker
Author: Sheila Windsor
hoar frost
the dead spider drawn
into a star
Author: Pamela A. Babusci
Christmas songs
deepening
the loneliness
Author: Gary Hotham
          all over
what little light a star has
          for us
Author: Marcus Liljedahl
dead end the grip of miscalculated stars
Author: Ralf Bröker
tasting –
she sticks her tongue out
at the winter
Author: Stephen Bailey
winter's end
light pulls back
to the surface
Author: Alegria Imperial
first dawn alone–
the widow eats his half
of the orange
Author: Polona Oblak
dappled sunlight
the broad back of the man
picking snowdrops
Author: Alexis K. Rotella
Adding another shade
of white to winter
the gull.
Author: Roberta Beary
winter sunlight
a priest blesses
father's eyelids
Author: Susan Diridoni
Epiphany
the unsaid between us
extinguished
Author: Chase Gagnon
as if the moon
had a hundred moons . . .
lantern festival
Author: Kirsten Cliff Elliot
speckled egg 
the sunlight
on my thoughts
Author: Johannes S. H. Bjerg
where the sun is a myth
a haiku grows
in a dog's ear
Author: Sandi Pray
not quite dawn 
the milky breath of
a newborn calf
Author: Dietmar Tauchner
up to the summit up to a hawk's cry up to the sun
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