::::: Poetry :::::

Zen Conversation Poetry

 


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Zen Conversation Poetry
What are zen conversation poems? Each week, keeping in mind an overarching
theme such as "Under the Moonlight", the poets at the workshop generate a
list of eight words. The leader offers a starting word, then each poet in
turn responds to the previous word with the first word that comes to mind.
The participants then create poems that include all eight of the words. In
zen conversations, master and student employ seemingly nonsensical exchanges
to bring the student to new understandings - to a more essential life.
Analogously, zen conversation poems take the poets outside of their habitual
patterns of writing and thought. They give poets unexpected starting points
and lead them to unexpected poems. Hopefully, these zen conversation poems
are the tracings of new thought and understanding by the poets - of new
life.

Currently our theme is "Under the Moonlight"
Wednesday 9:30 - 11p.m.
Instructor : Michael Biales
Fee: $4/ meeting

These are poems coming out of our Tanabata workshop and were published as part of the "Star Festival 2006" Chapbook

Warm ... ?
Is it warm ... ?
            More than warm.
Hot ... ?
            Yes, hot.
But listen ...
            in the night ...
Listen ...
            very soft,
the voice of Muse
floating like a dream –
            or maybe it is a dream ...
The voice of Muse,
soft and sweet,
whispering in my ear.

Oh, this night of Tanabata,
so festive in the houses and the streets;
but, out here, away from everyone,
so quiet I can hear the muse
whispering love poems
            across the Silver River...
            under the deep night sky ...

            – Michael Biales

 

Star Festival

How can I tell you how much I love you?
You are a peach, delicate and soft.
Please stay sweet forever  –
I do not want to lose our love.
What if a big wind came and took you away?
I would be like a bug squished in the dust.
How can you understand that you mean the whole universe to me?
 
If you really wish, things come true
They really do
Trust me
Trust you

            –  Jessica Vohs

               * * *

The water was rapid as I swam –
Green and fragrant, washing off the sweat ...
Then, in a flash, my mind shifted, thinking,
“ I don’t know what tomorrow will bring.”

            – Sue Biales

sweating, not moving.
flash of light  –
new morning light strikes the pond.
beating beating, your small heart
is beating so rapidly.
turn right turn left –
which way to swim
in this murky green water ...?
you don’t know anything,
only fear ... only survival.
it’s your first day –
the longest day.
big fish around you
can’t see you,
but they can smell the fragrance of fear,
so they know you are close.
keep swimming.
keep hiding.
it’s your only chance,
new little fish

            – Gary Tucker

Day Before Tanabata

sweating sweating
hot so hot
green leaves are sweating, too.
let’s go for a swim.
you don’t know how great
the cool, fragrant water will feel.
in a flash, we will be revived –
ready for tomorrow
and a rapid ride across the sky.

            – Kate Finnegan