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Thursday, April 16, 2009

The weekly waka, waka, waka, waka . . . . Waka fest continues!

Welcome once again to Waka Fest. While we're waiting for more readers to join the poetic conversation here, let's take a look at the waka submitted so far, as well as an article on waka, the hara, and the sword. Waka Fest will continue officially until May 13, but even after that we will be happy to see new waka added.

The first reader to add a waka was Colin Powell:

I have written several Reiki Waka on my website (click My Reiki Waka button)

Here is an example:


Reiki energy:
Atmosphere of the Divine.
How I wish I could
Experience its Great Light
In all aspects of my life.

Janet, you are welcome to use any of these if you like, as long as you keep me attributed as the author.

Thanks, Colin! 

Beth Lowell has done a yeoman's job of writing this past week:

drifting in the bay
I got a call long distance
a clear connection
my dog told me a story
happily ever after

on my way to work
one stormy April morning
walking through the snow
of fallen blossom petals
I remembered winter’s chill

under weeping trees
the river kept on running
carving into stone
the differences between us
and what drew us to its banks

tumbling on the trackbed
and singing rails
the wind, it blew them home

full moon
an empty sky
I stir my coffee
and hope for waka

and chilly breezes
and I'm contemplating:
ashes...or dust?

a weedy lawn
and a sink full of dishes
my life
what better way to spend it
than with poetry and dogs?

another day
another waka
life's too short
to worry about perfection
won't you join the party?

smudge on the doorjamb
where the cat rubbed against it
and when the light hits
just right in the afternoon
you can almost see her there

a neglected patch -
its fruit, fallen and rotten
throw it on the heap
choking on bitter nettles
the argument, unresolved

hurrying Spring
I bought a flat of pansies
their cheerful faces
were promising better days -
the deer enjoyed them too

crazy mutterings
hackneyed phrases and cliches
a one woman show
I want to be a poet
I'll never be a poet

Thanks, Beth! We used one of these waka for our meditations at The Reiki Dojo last night. Please keep going: you'll have a book's worth before long. And we share your hope that more readers will join in.

In the dark it sleeps
a fire, bright as the sun,
settled down, like snow
or a Mountain Cat's paw prints.
It is the fire of my heart.

Lilia V. Marquez quoted one of her favorite waka:

Hi Janet :-)

One of my favorite waka written by Emperor Meiji himself

My Heart
Asamidori sumiwataritaru ohzorano
Hiroki onoga kokoro to mogana

As a great sky in clear light green
I wish my heart would be as vast.

- Reverential composition by the
Emperor Meiji

Thanks, Lilia!

And Michael Dagley has these waka to offer this week:

The flower’s sweet sap
Lures the eager fly to death
In its graceful bowl,
As the timid friend's false praise
Poisons both truth and friendship.

Master of the tides,
Illusion, madmen, poets,
Even woman’s womb,
The moon is ever changing,
A trick of reflected light.

A single seedling
Boldly breaks the frost-bound earth
Seeking the sun’s light –
Fragile sprout of unknown fate,
Fearlessly demanding warmth.

Golden chains adorn
Slaves captured by the devil,
All of whom could free
Themselves by sacrificing
Guilt, hatred and jealousy.

Anger points backwards,
The mind blindly nursing ire –
Worry points forwards
The fearful heart lacking faith –
Flowers bloom in the present.

Arigato gozaimasu, Michael-san!

To contribute your waka to Waka Fest, add it as a comment to this post on our web site or email it to Or call our 24-hour waka hotline by clicking on the "call me" button on our web site to read your waka directly into our voicemail.


Anonymous beth lowell said...

3 a.m.
the dogs are barking
I can’t fall back
a thousand nagging worries
death, at the top of the list

a thousand birds are singing
hot coffee or warm bed
sleep... not on the table

at the feeder,
starlings, mourning doves, grackles
all shooed away
I didn’t speak up but...
are they not birds?

5:47 AM  
Anonymous beth lowell said...

in my mailbox
that dreaded white envelope
I’ve been waiting so long
for a red letter day

6:54 AM  
Anonymous beth lowell said...

forgetting my keys-
exactly what I needed
right at this moment
avoiding the accident
only two blocks up the road

9:27 AM  
Anonymous beth said...

I felt let down when
I finally reached the end
but I turned around
and was pleasantly surprised
to find my perspective changed

6:54 AM  

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