• POETS SALON

      9/11/19

      Hosted by Kath Abela Wilson

      At the foot of the stairs
      the stones lay in wait…
      Later, she began to carry them home.
      They gradually took over her house—
      from all the ledges and shelves
      they stared down at her,
      with their indecipherable markings…
      Her third wish came true
      when she began to eat them…
      she began to hear them speak.*

      ~ Kath Abela

      *Excerpt from my book Figures of Humor and Strange Beauty, Glass Lyre Press, 2019

      Ο Ο Ο

      A small stome placed on top of a thin stone

      Found stone face (Photo – Nikolay Grankin)

      Nikolay Grankin

      Long Journey

      I grew up on the seashore among cliffs and stones. Maybe for this reason I have a special attitude to stones. Walking along the shore, I pick up a stone and imagine which the way it had to go before it got here. I imagine how the hot lava erupts to the surface of the earth and slowly cooling turns into a cliff. Then frost and heat, piercing wind, rain and snow destroy this cliff dividing it into the separate stones. And one of them, having made a long journey through rivers and seas, finally falls into my hands…

      lines on the stone
      the poor thing
      survived so much

      overcast day
      a little girl on the beach
      paints the stones

      clear morning
      a monk puts aside
      the smooth stone

      seashore
      a boy throws a stone
      towards the sunset

      Ο Ο Ο

      haiku etched on a stone

      Haiku Stone by Jeff Hoagland

      Jeff Hoagland

      back and forth
      akitsu
      carries the sun

      summer breeze
      the scent of juniper
      in my tumbler

      small poem
      every dog
      a critic

      summer brook
      perfect skipping stone
      on the other side

      birdsong
      my currency
      not good here

      I harvest my stones with care, on writing excursions to a nearby stream, where I live in Hopewell, New Jersey. I love haiku – the practice of haiku – but also love sharing haiku with others not necessarily seeking them. I have placed stones at businesses since it makes it more likely that the haiku will be seen. I don’t ask permission, they are simply a gift. At first they were all signed but now I like using “Stonefly” as my name, reserving some anonymity.

      Ο Ο Ο

      faces drwn on stones

      Jizo stones made by kris moon

      kris moon

      Jizo represent “supreme spiritual optimism compassion, and universal salvation” writes Mark Shumacher. I had been sketching and painting Jizo statues and stones since I came to Japan in 1972.

      In 1999, when my life was rapidly unraveling, I had some lovely white beach garden stones that gave me an idea. Maybe I could paint jizo on them and sell them. I showed them to my son and he said, “Mom you should give them away, not sell them.” So I started carrying some with me wherever I went, giving them to my students, friends, people on the train, cashiers, people at conferences, and always getting smiles in return. Then after 3/11 (2011), I started painting more to overcome my feeling of helplessness and to give peace to all those lost during, and because of, those disasters. I gave them to friends volunteering to give to survivors, and when I could go to Tohoku myself, I brought more.

      I continue painting and giving them away as there is still so much suffering, and each stone represents something to hold onto, someone who remembers and cares.

      as much a comfort
      to release each face
      from its pebble
      as to see thanks on faces
      of those who chose one

      Ο

      may our burdens
      be lighter pebble
      by pebble

      Ο

      a small stone sits on top of a bigger stone with a groove inside it

      Found Stones (Photo – Nikolay Grankin)

      The Beauty of Stones: Quotes and Credits

      Nikolay Grankin collects his stones from the Black Sea near his home in Krasnodar, Russia, with his wife, two children, daughter and son, and grandson. He has been writing haiku for about ten years, two of them in English. His haiku have appeared in some online and print journals in both Russian and English.

      Jeff Hoagland is the Education Director and Naturalist at the Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association in New Jersey. He enjoys his very public love affair with all things wild and is happiest stream walking, calling owls, or exploring new habitats with his family and others. A lover of the printed and spoken word, Jeff began his haiku journey as an attempt to embrace and harvest those countless moments of awe and revelation in nature. Some of the haiku on his haiku stones first appeared in Modern Haiku, Frogpond, Acorn, The Heron’s Nest, and Akitsu Quarterly.

      kris moon (Kris Kondo) is a mother, new grandmother, artist, poet, and teacher living by a mountain river in Kyokawa Village in Kanagawa, Japan. She moved there from the USA and Canada in 1972 and has been studying and painting jizo stones since then. Her small painted pebbles have traveled internationally and give comfort to many worldwide. See her Mapping the Artist interview on ColoradoBoulevard.net.

      Ο

      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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      Contributor

        • 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.

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      Comments

      1. diannemoritz says:

        beautiful! I must mention that in Moss Beach, CA there is a sign stating to NOT take the beach stones…they are so different than any beach stones I have seen with their curving shapes and holes worn away by the currents. I confess, I did not obey this rule and have several in my collection (after almost 40 years and several moves across the country). I also collect heart shaped rocks found here in the Hamptons.

      2. Alex Nodopaka says:

        Skipping Stones

        I don’t like walking stones.
        I want them to bounce from
        the tip of the San Clemente

        Pier all the way to Vladivostok
        where I was born. It’s too far
        for me to see if they ever reach

        destination. A swig of Vodka
        from my hip flask helps
        my next throw.

      3. priscampbell says:

        This feature is wonderful! Of special interest to me was the image of Kris Moon’s faces. She gave several to Geoff Sanderson, an English friend, when he visited Japan. He gifted one to me here in the U.S. they were so special. And so the stone makes its circle.

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