Paperclips

Michael Dylan Welch, Carol Purington, and Larry Kimmel, editors. Karen Klein, ink brush drawings. Press Here, Foster City, California, 2001, 40 pages, 101 poets (one poem each) plus five poems from a children’s haiku contest, ISBN 1-878798-24-3.

In 2001, the Haiku North America conference was held at the Boston Conservatory in Boston, Massachusetts. In the introduction, we wrote the following: “A sheaf of haiku may be held together by a paperclip until the clip grows rusty and stains the paper. But age stains do not accumulate on words containing the images and energy of a well-lived moment, nor does age touch the poet who can consistently find words to illuminate the unseen or the overlooked.” See the Press Here page for this book. Here are twenty-four sample poems, including two translations, from the book.

spring sun—

the carriage horse shakes off

a cloud of dust

A. C. Missias

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

under and over

the creaking pier

a pair of swallows

Angelee Deodhar

Chandigarh, India

mall about to close—

from each store the clatter

of clerks counting coins

Carlos W. Colón

Shreveport, Louisiana

Good Friday service

A branch of pussywillows

throws spiky shadows

Carol Purington

Colrain, Massachusetts

mammogram waiting room

she rips a page

from a magazine

Carolyn Hall

San Francisco, California

autumn equinox—

child of my child racing past

without training wheels

Claire Gallagher

Sunnyvale, California

the rusted paperclip

has stained my old poem

wind in the eaves

Cor van den Heuvel

New York, New York

the puddles they run thru—

the part of the sky

that shakes

Gary Hotham

Laurel, Maryland

furuike no kawazu oiyuku ochiba kana

Buson

the frog of the ancient pond

grows old—

fallen leaves

Haruo Shirane, translator

New York, New York

Sezannu / iro nusumarete / shiro ajisai

Himeyo Kamiyama

Koyama, Tochigi, Japan

Its color stolen

by Cézanne

white hydrangea

Hiroaki Sato, translator

New York, New York

peeling paint

she sorts the letters

from her youth

Ion Codrescu

Constanta, Romania

first warm day—

two old women bring daisies

to a gravesite

Jim Kacian

Winchester, Virginia

July swelter

in a paint store

rumba of the mixers

Judson Evans

Holbrook, Massachusetts

evening shower

a lightly clothed woman

holding her breasts

Kaji Aso

Boston, Massachusetts

heat lightning

the dampness

along her hairline

Karen Klein

Cambridge, Massachusetts

away from the party din

Jupiter’s bold shine

among black boughs

Larry Kimmel

Colrain, Massachusetts

wild cherry blossoms

the ritual adjustment

of her short skirt

Lee Gurga

Lincoln, Illinois

sidewalk sale—

a corner bent over

in the used paperback

Michael Dylan Welch

Foster City, California

the NASDAQ plunges—

a dark shadow

between her breasts

Paul David Mena

Cochituate, Massachusetts

narrow path

a streak of pollen

on one sleeve

Peggy Willis Lyles

Tucker, Georgia

that path again

snow over

last night’s footprints

Raffael de Gruttola

Natick, Massachusetts

the rice-planting girl

raises her head

like the heron

Shokan (Tadashi) Kondō

Nakano, Japan

the cat’s eyes

so wide

for a gnat

Tom Clausen

Ithaca, New York

fire in the treetops

the truck races down the street

trailing its hose

William J. Higginson

Santa Fe, New Mexico