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Books & Poetry

Poem: Haiku & Tanka Suite

Books & Poetry

A haiku and tanka suite composed in Japan during the northern spring is this week’s Poet’s Corner contribution from Clinton Foster.

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Haiku & Tanka Suite

Hokkaido & Tokyo,
northern spring, 2019

spring sun melting snow
earth slowly gently warming
sakura buds swell

spring morning sun shines
new warmth from east arising
sakura buds swell
window glass panes expanding
join in with crackling music

spring white snow glistens
dark branches piercing blue sky
sakura buds swell

spring warms vacant earth
buds emerge cabbage-like pale
a sustaining food

March Tokyo warm
sakura blossoms dense white
leaflessly proud trees
canopies over joyous crowds
hanami is beginning

April Tokyo
streets crowded busy purposeful
blossoms once whole drift
petals once white pink now brown
sakura heralds are gone

Editor’s notes:

Sakura: Prunus serrulata, the Japanese cherry tree.
Cabbage-like pale: Petasites japonicus, the herbaceous perennial butterbur, growing wild by the roadside; its early shoots are often eaten as tempura.
Hanami: the Japanese traditional custom of ‘flower viewing’ the transient beauty of the cherry and also plum tree.

Clinton Foster was born and raised in Adelaide and lives in Canberra. He is an Honorary Professor at the Australian National University Research School of Earth Sciences, and retired as Chief Scientist of the Australian Government’s Geoscience Australia. In this year’s Australia Day Honours, he was awarded the Public Service Medal, PSM, for outstanding public service in the application of geoscientific information and data to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. He was one of Poet’s Corner’s first contributors, in its Independent Weekly print days. Clinton and his wife, recently retired GP Maureen McCluskey OAM, are regular travellers to Japan to visit their grandsons.

Readers’ original and unpublished poems of up to 40 lines can be emailed, with postal address, to Submissions should be in the body of the email, not as attachments. A poetry book will be awarded to each accepted contributor.



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