Hosted by Kathabela Wilson
There is quiet before the storm, and also after, as if nature knows itself and waits until it is ready. Often we learn more from silence than sound. We search out, and create small quiet places, to nurture ourselves and gain insight. There it grows, sometimes for generations, expanding awareness and our feelings. In our poetry Corner today, we highlight how quiet has a space in memory. Paul Heinowski still remembers how he and childhood friends changed the quiet, and now observes a beautiful old icon is unnoticed by busy passersby. And Mariko Kitakubo preserves her grandma’s old room in her heart.
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and lilies bloom …
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the place where
only the sun speaks
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room of grandma’s
still around me
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Robin Anna Smith
empty chapel echoes of the past
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in busy church
an empty bottle
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even for birdsong
A Quiet Place: Quotes and Credits
Hideo Zuzuki lives in Flower Town, Sanda, West Japan. He says: “Just before the typhoon came around it became strangely quiet.”
Mariela Coromoto lives in the Netherlands. She says: “A quiet place is hard to find when noise and sounds are always around us. Usually, during a sunset, the light of the sun takes over the sounds and instinctively my mind becomes quieter. Everyday, I am searching for that ‘quiet place.'”
Mariko Kitakubo is a tanka poet in Tokyo, Japan. She keeps a special quiet tatami room in her home where family scrolls and traditional objects recall ancestors. She made a stone garden on its small balcony, with round white stones in the shape of a quiet river. She says: “The small room of grandma’s prayer place was in our old family house, but now I have that in my heart and I can feel the quiet scent of my grandma…” Mariko travels internationally doing reading performances of her work and visits Pasadena poets and the Storrier Stearns Japanese Garden whenever she can. Her book of tanka, Indigo, was published by Shabda Press, Pasadena, in 2016.
Robin Anna Smith lives in Wilmington, Delaware. She tells us: “Being in an old chapel, where many generations have come and gone, is an almost haunting feeling. In the emptiness, one can imagine the sounds of congregations over the years, breathing life into the space.”
Paul Heinowski says: “In our church, there’s a big picture of Our Lady of Częstochowa hanging near the entrance. I am very fond of it but I have never seen anyone else lingering by it. I feel this is quite sad.” Then, he recalls: “There is a a small creek in Scotland near the mouth of the river Spey. As children, we would float bottles and twigs etc. on the water and throw stones at them. It was a very quiet place, except when we visited it!” He continues: “I wrote the other haiku at midnight a good few years ago. I could feel the suspense as the night hung between yesterday and tomorrow. It was very quiet, so that the silence felt like a small noise in itself.”
Belinda Broughton lives in The Adelaide Hills, South Australia. She says: “Neither birds nor people had returned after the bushfires. It was unusually quiet.”
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