brown sand and holdfasts

      Holdfasts (Photo – Marietta McGregor)

      Hosted by Kath Abela Wilson

      on the beach of childhood

      we dig as deep as we can
      with our yellow spades

      now treasure
      the buried sun
      made of rainbows

      ~ Kath Abela

      Ο Ο Ο

      A white feather on brown and green grass

      Feather on grass (Photo – Marietta McGregor)

      Marietta McGregor

      When I moved as a young research palynologist to Australia’s national capital Canberra I couldn’t afford to buy a place in that city. Instead, thinking to rent in the city and spend weekends at the coast, I bought a 1960s beach cottage at Broulee, a peaceful village on the south coast of New South Wales facing the Tasman Sea. That year I met my husband and, with our eventual family of three children, Broulee became our second home. Then as our children grew up their burgeoning interests in sport and music kept us all in Canberra. Finding we rarely found time to go to Broulee, we sold our little weekender, sad to say goodbye to carefree days. We never forgot our happy place. In late middle age I saw another cottage for sale two streets away from our old shack. I made an offer which was accepted. Months later I related my tale of two cottages to a friend, adding how unoriginal it must seem to buy another Broulee place 30 years after the first. My friend demurred; she reckoned I’d come full circle. Here we’re in tune with the tides, the moon, the seasons, the flowering, fruiting, hatching, fledging. The cycle of life inspires my photography and my writing.

      scribbles of sky
      a pond wrapping
      around its stories

      wind shaping
      into gulls’ cries
      cool change

      beach walk
      each dune taller
      to climb

      an osprey’s gaze
      drops into mangroves
      lazy wind

      autumn frost
      a few feathers
      under the she-oke

      late summer
      scents of soft rain
      on dry grass


      Holding on

      Uprooted kelp fronds end in a holdfast, clawed like a raptor’s foot. Some clutch a shell, others grip rock shards, or filigrees of lace coral. The wiry fingers lack the strength to resist a storm surge and come adrift. Once she swam and dived heedlessly in this ocean. Now when a wave’s wash carries her reshaped body further out, she resists with all her strength, feeling with a trace of fear this new ache to survive, for the love of her unborn child.

      calendar date
      curves on the tide chart
      heavy with fish

      Ο Ο Ο

      orange and yellow colored paper cranes

      Paper Cranes hanging in Morioka, Japan (Photo – Terry Ann Carter)

      Terry Ann Carter

      Terry Ann Carter found herself in Japan coincidentally in August 2019, in the season of Obon, honoring those we have lost. It was exactly two years after she had lost her own husband. Morioka was in the midst of a festival and she was an honored guest. She had chosen the poems celebrated at the festival. A few of her own poems took shape there, just two weeks ago.

      small iron wind bells
      in the wind
      Morioka dusk

      *Bells are made in Morioka, that is where the iron comes from

      Yamaguchi’s grave
      hillside pines
      whisper his haiku

      *Sonsei Yamaguchi is Morioka’s favourite son…a famous haiku poet in Japan…not known as much in North America.


      paper cranes hanging from the streets

      In the Sea Paper Festival in Morioka, Japan (Photo – Terry Ann Carter)

      Full Circle: Quotes and Credits

      This is the third Poets Salon featuring winners of the winners in the first International Morioka Haiku Contest in Japan. (Scroll down, past the Japanese characters to see the English.) Others will be featured in upcoming weeks.

      Marietta McGregor is a Pushcart nominee whose haiku, haibun and haiga appear in many international journals and anthologies, including “a hole in the light: The Red Moon Anthology of English-Language Haiku 2018”. Her awards include the Excellence prize in the 2015 Setouchi-Matsuyama Photo/Haiku Contest (her winning haiku appears in the Matsuyama City Guide), An (Cottage) Prize in 2018’s Genjuan International Haibun Contest and first place in the 2018 UHTS Samurai Haibun Contest. Along with her love of Japanese short forms, she is devoted to her family, travel and photography, creating haiga from images captured at favorite spots along the Australian coast.

      Terry Ann Carter was one of the judges of the First International Morioka Haiku Contest and was present to announce the awards and participate on the Festival on August 4, 2019. Canadian poet and paper artist Carter is the author of six collections of poetry and five haiku chapbooks. TOKAIDO (Red Moon Press, 2017) won a Touchstone Distinguished Book Award. She is the past President of Haiku Canada and facilitator for the Haiku Arbutus Group, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Terry Ann was invited to Morioka since Victoria, British Columbia, where she lives, is a sister city to Morioka. She was invited to judge the international haiku contest along with Michael Dylan Welch and Toru Kiuchi. Terry Ann says: “on the way to Morioka, I stopped to visit long time friend Kris Kondo in Kiyokawa. She helped me with the celebration of Obon.”


      We welcome and encourage your response, especially in the form of a short poem, by leaving a comment below.

      End of article

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        • Kathabela Wilson

          Kathabela Wilson is a local poet/writer/artist and musician. Her Poets Salon has become an international respected must read in the poetry world. She's the creator and host of the Pasadena-based group, “Poets on Site.”

          Colorado Boulevard is your place for enlightening events, informative news and social living for the greater Pasadena area.
          We strive to inform, educate, and work together to make a better world for all of us, locally and globally.

        • Latest posts by Kathabela Wilson

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      1. Marietta McGregor says:

        Thank you for the honour of appearing in Poets Salon, Kathabela. Amazingly, Terry Ann’s lovely photograph of paper cranes in Morioka at first seemed to me to be an image of sun shining through a kelp forest. After my ‘holdfasts’ reference, how apt and how synchronous! Warm thoughts, Marietta

      2. Jonathan Vos Post says:

        i…. The guy who owns
        ii…..the hotdog truck
        iii…. took student loans
        iv…..fished for sharks in a bucket
        v…..summers on Nantucket
        vi….that Nantucket trucker
        vii…..saw Milo & Miso
        viii…..in the parking lot
        ix…..with Professor Rudy Rucker
        x……in a Studebaker
        xi…..fed them liver
        xii…..fed them cream
        xiii…..down by the river
        xiv…..down by the stream
        9:09 a.m,
        19 June 2019

        Nantucket, a tiny, isolated island off Cape Cod, Massachusetts, is a summer destination with dune-backed beaches. It’s marked by unpainted cedar-shingled buildings, many surrounded by manicured privets. The wharves and cobblestoned streets of the Town of Nantucket are lined with restaurants, high-end boutiques and steepled churches. The town’s Whaling Museum recounts the island’s role as a 19th-century whaling hub.
        Area: 105.3 mi²
        ZIP codes: 02554, 02564, 02584
        Settled: 1641
        Population: 11,229 (2017)

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