Saturday, 30 June 2012

Koan poems: Sepia sky and faded lace



the red silk embroidered robe
bereft of buttons, wide sleeves edged of gold. 
a white swan walks in salty mud-stained shore,   
her graceful neck arched to the sepia sky.    


~0~0


she was simple farmer's daughter,
living on goat's milk, eggs and sweet purple yams. 
a black swan glided with bright red bill, crooning softly, 
the buttons of her dress fell into cornfield and sun.  


~0~0


she keeps a jar of odd buttons, fabric squares and 
torn lace from old dresses, along with faded ribbons.     
a man in the street plays a violin by an empty cup.      
she knits a quilt, one square a day, till she is whole.        






Posted for:   D'verse Poets Pub:  Poetics : Button, Button 
and Imaginary Garden with Real Toads:   Chinese Koan poetry form - In four lines

Line 1: The first part makes a statement about one's subject.
Line 2: Continue to describe the subject of the poem with a new image:
Line 3: Start a new subject. The third line of traditional Koan poetry leads the reader away from the subject of the first two lines into a completely unrelated topic.
Line 4: Relate the lines. The fourth line unites the themes of the first three lines. Think of it as a circle that comes back.


46 comments:

  1. Heaven, this is definitely a wonderful set of "Koan" poems. I'm impressed with how you worked buttons into each of them so artisically.

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  2. Oh this is simply stunning writing. I love the imagery all through this. 'One square a day til she is whole' Awww.... the picture is beautiful too... a beautiful porcelain doll, cracked by life. Awwww
    Lovely write!

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  3. Not a poet, be
    Not an 'intellectual' he
    But THIS man, this violinist
    Absolutely LOVED all three!

    ...and I mean it, babe!
    PEACE!
    Steve

    BTW, I have played on street corners with hat sitting open to the skies. First time was at age 14, 6th and Vine Sts, Cincinnati OH, first time I ever was 'paid to play'--grin!

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  4. I love how you guided or glided us into the next Koan!
    Beautifully Done :D

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  5. nice...these are really good...i esp love the last one...between her collection and the man with the cup, it just hit all the right spots for me grace....

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  6. Wow now those are some buttons, imagery just sprang out with this shout and sure she will be whole.

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  7. Wow, how delicately woven... I seriously didn't know about Chinese koan poems and was a little surprised at first, so thanks for stating the rules ;) I love how you reuse the same images as like knitting a quilt... or sewing buttons. I'll share it ;)

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  8. this were like little vignettes - very nice

    the code won't work on the free WordPress :( that's why the buttons won't work

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  9. I've never heard of this type of poetry before...thank you for introducing it to me, Heaven.

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  10. An interesting form, not one I was familiar with. Nicely done.

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  11. I'm intrigued by the form (should be a dVerse prompt I think)
    and found it very well worked here.

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  12. your take is right on the button! I loved the third koan most.especially the last line.but is the juxtaposition of 'knits' and 'was' deliberate?
    excuse the queries of an English teacher ;)

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  13. The Koan moved smoothly. A new form effortlessly. It was cleverly done taking the buttons into each one of them. Wonderful, Heaven!

    Hank

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  14. A sensual and evocative piece, my favourite is the buttons from her dress falling into the cornfield, nicely done.

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  15. You have a wonderful knack for the oriental forms, and each of these is perfect. I liked how you used Brian's button theme to unite all three, but the second was my favourite.

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  16. very interesting form G...well done

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  17. nice! enjoyed all three of them but esp. the second with the buttons falling into the cornfield and sun and the third with the quilting and violin..works really well

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  18. A wonderful write, Heaven! The one reminded me of how grandma used to save cloth and lace and such for mending other garments.

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  19. This is stunning - and reminded me of an old mythology, the story of Leda and the swan. And the need for one to become whole again. Well done - and the form is beautiful.

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  20. These poems are so adorable. Pleasure to read.

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  21. These are very good! I especially like the first one, but they are all a little different, and delightful.

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  22. These are wonderful -- you handle the form very well--insightful, subtle, very nice. (I was thinking of trying, but honestly, reading these --a bit intimidated! ) Very good. k.

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  23. Very interesting form. This form gives an effect of being made of several layers, each one a dimension. The last one is my favorite -- quilting a square at a time, using the things collected, in a way making something new from old pieces. Great write.

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  24. Your words are richly wisely spread here, Heaven!! This form suits you very well!! Loved every one!!

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  25. Very beautifully written! I especially loved the last line of the third poem.

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  26. she knits a quilt, one square a day, till she is whole.

    Even so do Bloggers with their poetry... :)

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  27. Very lovely koans, and the buttons are a bonus!

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  28. I love these. There is a "turn" (kiji) in everyone and it is like a sheet of photographic paper processing in a darkroom - dazzling in the solution. I have one little objection (well not as a poet but as a seamstress of sorts). "Knit" doesn't quite work as a square quilt is sewn not knitted which is done with yarn and knitting needles producing an afghan rather than a quilt. However old fashioned quilts were "tied" with bits of yarn to pull through the quilt, the batting in the center, and the cover on the back. That word has the correct syllables and sew does sewn although you may not like that mundane word. Either would work better I think...unless you mean it to be a sort of afghan.

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  29. Oops thinking "sew" that should read "sew" does so although you...

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  30. I love the thought of the white swan's neck bending gracefully towards a sepia sky. Gorgeous imagery, there!

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  31. This woman is a riddle indeed. First, what a great and creative idea to use koans with a woman, a first I think, at least traditionally. Second, what lovely imagery, mysterious and tantalizing. Is the riddle her sensuality, innocence, or something that cannot be said? Lovely.

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  32. These are terrific, the last my fave!

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  33. These are beautiful. I especially love the last one.

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  34. Beautiful images here. I find I envy her despite the sadness and pain--the grace, the healing, and the living on goat's milk--if it features cheese...

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  35. She knits herself whole as legendary Penelope wove to keep her sanity intact while Ulysses was off adventuring! Love how these Koans seem to be like a layered narrative of transparencies!

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  36. Oh, what can I say? So beautiful and satisfying to read, commentary seems superfluous.

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  37. learned something new, and!!!
    read a profound piece. lovely!

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  38. Beautifully written! I also love the third one, just gorgeous writing!

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  39. Beautifully done. A great joy to read. The form not familiar to me, but very intriguing.

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  40. I always enjoy poetry blogs were I can learn something new about poetry as well as being entertained, thanks!

    Nice work on the experimenting and I enjoyed the poems and button references haha!

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  41. This is mind blowing. You knitted the lines so well :)

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  42. i like the last one, so real. and the buttons fastening them all together.

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  43. oooOOOOOOOO! Goddess, these minutes are so evocative I can only hold them close like small feather pillows!

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  44. So lyrical, Heaven. Exquisite! You're really honing your craft. Well done!

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