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Per Diem for December 2014: Light & 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.

Do you have a poem that fits our theme of Light and Dark? Feel free to share it with us here below.

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  1. Bilingual in English and Kannada- I have also given the english transliteration. Thanks

    long shadows
    the rustle of leaves
    behind me

    ಎಲೆಯ ಸರಸರ

    niḍu neḷalu
    eleya sarasara

    – Ardea, Issue #4, 2014

  2. dusting of dew –
    a road-sweeper scrapes
    the night away

    – Blithe Spirit, Issue 24.3, August 2014

  3. our dream hut
    the thatched roof leaks

    – Shiki Kukai, July 2014, 3rd place

  4. Since it’s solstice eve:

    longest night
    the strains of carolers
    come and gone

    Heron’s Nest 2006

  5. Ya just loose yourself
    Like summer hides in winter
    Light in the darkness

    From winter darkness
    Slowly the spring bud appears
    My soul finds itself

    Hid there all along
    Revealed by God’s redemption
    Christ in man in God

  6. summer storm –
    bursts of lightning though
    the blind slats

    flash of lightning –
    the islands silhouetted
    in the sound of rain

    street lamp –
    each snowflake falls
    into its own shadow

  7. moon shadow
    she slips in

    2nd Prize – FreeXpresSion Literary Competition Haiku section 2014

  8. .

    low over the hill
    a red moon waxes …
    the empty road ahead

    Alan Summers
    Publications credits: HI #22 (Japan, 1996); Moonlighting, Intimations Pamphlet Series (British Haiku Society, 1996); Azami Special Edition, Japan, ed. Alan Summers (1997); sundog haiku journal: an australian year (sunfast press 1997 reprinted 1998); 3Lights Gallery ‘Nocturne’ (2008)

    पहाड़ी के नज़दीक
एक लाल चंद्रमा बढ़ रहा –
खाली मार्ग है आगे

    Dr. Jagdish Vyom (Hindi version)

    sky shift   
    a Chinese lantern 空の変化 中国のランタン 月を打つ
    hits the moon

    haiku by Alan Summers
    Japanese translation Hidenori Hiruta

    Publications credits: International Haiku New Year’s Festival 2011 (Akita, Japan); a little help from my friends (Red Dragonfly ePamphlet 2011)

    cool morning
    light on a distant cloud

    ठंडी प्रात:काल
पक्षियों का गाना
दूरस्थ बादल पर प्रकाश

    Haiku by Alan Summers translated into hindi: Dr. Jagdish Vyom (Hindi)

    Publications credits:
    Modern Haiku, (1999); Azami Haiku in English Commemorative Issue (2000); Birmingham Words Magazine Issue 3 (Autumn 2004); Birdsong – a haiku sequence Together They Stood, (Poetry Now 2004); Haiku Friends Vol. 3 ed. Masaharu Hirata (Japan 2009); Haiku Sansaar (October, 2013

  9. footfalls
    darkness creeps up
    twig by twig

    kaḍḍi kaḍḍige
    beḷeva tama

    ಕಡ್ಡಿ ಕಡ್ಡಿಗೆ
    ಬೆಳೆವ ತಮ

    Publication Credit- Cattails, May 2014

  10. gust of wind
    i wrap my hands round
    the oil lamp

    Shrikaanth Krishnamurthy
    Publication Credit- Creatrix #25 Haiku, June 2014

  11. the diya
    lights up her face
    Diwali night

    diya is an oil lamp, still very much used in India

  12. lough sunlight
    this desire to walk
    on water

    First Prize, Carousel Summer Haiku Competition, 2014

  13. a flight of egrets
    in the chill of dawn
    faded Venus

    – Paul MacNeil

    Snapshots 10, 2004; Montage The Book, 2013; Haiku at 73 mph, 2013

  14. I look forward to this month’s unfolding.

    Some of mine:

    northern lights
    a boy makes a ladder
    out of his telescope

    Alan Summers
    Publication Credit: Blithe Spirit 24.3 (August 2014)

    a flink of cows
    the blue before a night
    of falling snow

    n.b. Twelve cows are a flink)

    Alan Summers
    Publication Credit: Blithe Spirit 2014


    the rook takes back
its moon

    Alan Summers
    Publication Credits: Acorn #31 2013; The Moon is Broken: Juxtaposition in haiku article Scope vol. 60 no. 3 (FAWQ magazine April 2014)

    heat lightning
    the rain on the grass
    reflects each strike

    Alan Summers
    Award Credit: 1st Prize The Liverpool Virtual Book Fair Twitter Haiku Contest 2014
    (part of the city’s International Festival of Business)

    Additional Publication Credit: tinywords 14.2 November 2014

    the grass grows dark
    a lamentation of swans
    shape my world

    Alan Summers
    Publication Credits: Blithe Spirit 24.1 (2014); brass bell: a haiku journal (July 2014)

    in-betweenness the grey heron seals the leaks of light

    Alan Summers
    Lakeview International Journal of Literature and Arts Vol.1, No.2 August 2013

    breaking up–
    the winter landscape
    of sunlit horses

    Alan Summers
    Award Credits: Best of Mainichi 2013

    twilight on snow shadows deepen the grip of stars

    Alan Summers
    Publication Credit: Frogpond 37:2, the spring/summer issue (2014)

    the hunched heron
    all these blue shadows
    out of slow sunshine

    Alan Summers
    Publication Credit: hedgerow: a journal of small poems (Issue 1, September 2014)

    Gare du Nord shifting art deco snow

    Alan Summers
    Publication Credit: brass bell: a haiku journal
    One-Line Haiku curated by Zee Zahava (Monday, September 1, 2014)

    mist and dark I hold onto Little Bear

    Alan Summers
    Publication Credits: Modern Haiku issue 44:3 (2013)

    electrical storms
    the Methuselah star finds
    its birth certificate

    Alan Summers
    Publication Credit: Scope vol. 60 no. 3 (FAWQ magazine April 2014)

    all those
    former constellations…
    light on the water

    Alan Summers
    Publication Credit: Scope vol. 60 no. 3 (FAWQ magazine April 2014)

    bomber moon–
    all those hiding places
    within you

    From White Dust Ghosts

    Publication Credit: Tribe issue 22 (October 2013)

  15. lighting the
    Christmas candle
    tiny flame
    the night

    * * *

    A favorite old poem of mine, healing from grief. Published in Hermitage, 2005, by Ion Codrescu, Editor.

    Wonderful idea for Per Diem this month. Thank you to Stella Pierides and all the poets!

    Blessings, Ellen

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