Deborah P. Kolodji: “Haiku is part of my daily existence. Each poem is like a word snapshot, but captures far more than a mere photo—it records how I am feeling at the time, whether I am trying to walk up a hill in fierce wind at the Petroglyph National Monument near Albuquerque or standing on the beach by the Cabrillo Marine Museum during a grunion run. I can read these poems later, close my eyes, and I feel like I am there again.” (web)
Deborah P. Kolodji: “I’m a native Southern Californian, born in Long Beach, a graduate of USC and a USC football season ticket holder. With a lifetime of snowless winters, I rarely write of snow, but instead feed my muse by walking the beaches and botanical gardens of Los Angeles County.” (website)
Note: This poem has been published exclusively online as part of a project in which poets respond to current events. A poem written within the last week about an event that occurred within the last week will appear every Sunday at Rattle.com, with an occasional bonus poem on Monday. Our only criterion for selection is the quality of the poem, not its editorial position; any opinions expressed are solely those of the poet and do not necessarily reflect those of Rattle’s editors. To read poems from past weeks, visit the Poets Respond page. Interact on our Facebook group. To have a poem considered for next week’s posting, submit it here before midnight Friday PST.
Deborah P. Kolodji: “Yellow grass waves in the summer sun. Monuments to the fallen dot the battlefield as I walk alone on my first visit to Gettysburg. The words of Bashō pop into my head—translated by Lucien Stryk, ‘summer grasses/ all that remains/ of a warrior’s dreams’—and I start to cry. The sadness of the earth, the memories of the fallen, and the words of a seventeenth century poet in Japan all come together in a moment of connection. Separated by centuries and thousands of miles, Basho and I are in the same place. This is why I love haiku.” (web)
Deborah P. Kolodji: “At some point in my poetry career, I decided my poems were too wordy and discovered haiku. Writing haiku soon became a way of life, and I have learned to appreciate small moments of my day and write them into snapshot poems. Because I also enjoy speculative literature, it’s fun to imagine the landscape around an imaginary or literary event, such as the evening of Cinderella’s ball, or the moment Arthur discovers the Sword in the Stone, and wondering what Basho, the seventeenth century haiku master, would write if he was there to see it.”