The Rice Papers

First published in Woodnotes #15, Winter 1992, page 35.

The Rice Papers by Pat Shelley. Saratoga Trunk, 1992, 74 pages, perfect-bound paperback, 7 by 844 inches. Illustrated by the author (with a color cover). $12.00 postpaid from Pat Shelley, 19223 Shubert Drive, Saratoga, California, 95070 [address no longer correct]. A collection of tanka, haibun, haiku, and Zen poems, divided into six sections. While the many haibun are the soul of this book, these two favorite tanka show the flavor of this accessible and well-crafted book:

When I passed the other day

Mrs. Holden stared at me

as if she knew

I once stole a scarlet poppy

from her yard

The rose branch

tapped the window to attract me

But I did not hear

occupied with thinking-my love

does not yet know I exist