August Poetry Challenge Writers

Thank you poets from seven countries for your imaginative responses to the challenge theme of doors, portals, and new beginnings. The haibun poems follow, in the order in which they were received. Haibuns can be philosophical poems. The second poet used the traditional zen idea of Momonkan, the riddle of the gateless gate. The poems may answer the questions, where is life going, what comes next, what is on the other side of the gate?

Gracias a los poetas de siete países por sus respuestas imaginativas al reto poético de versos acerca de puertas, portales, y nuevos comienzos. Los poemas haibun siguen en el orden en que los recibimos. Un haibun puede ser un poema filosófico. El segundo poeta usó la idea tradicional zen de Momonkan, el rompecabezas del portón no portón. Los poemas pueden contestar las preguntas, ¿Adónde va la vida, cuál es el próximo paso, qué queda al otro lado del portón?

Iron Gate Photo: R. Cuningham

Aussie in London

Beyond the gate

I wonder if I should ask him to check his bags one last time. Just to make sure he has everything. But the words stick in my throat. I know he is ready to go. The big wide world, with its adventures and heartbreak, is waiting for him. And just like that, with one final wave, he leaves his father and me to fill in our days.

Feel pain. Laugh hard. Go
through that open door. Life is
there to be made yours.

Aggie

Más allá del portón

Me pregunto si debería pedir que revisara sus maletas una vez más. Asegurarse que tenga todo. Pero las palabras están atrapadas en mi garganta. Sé que él está listo para salir. El mundo grande, con sus aventuras y corazones rotos, lo está esperando. Y así, con un saludo final, deja a su papá y a mí para llenar nuestros días.

Dolor y risa
vida con puerta abierta
vaya, hazla tuya.

–Aggie (traducción por Rebecca)

~~~

USA

MUMONKAN

The field is overgrown with weeds. What might have grown here is gone. The fence is no more than odd posts askew, fallen over, missing. You came here to find something, to find nirvana, but there is only a pair of gate posts with rusting hardware. You feel you have lost the path.

Here a gateless gate
are you inside or outside
why does it matter

Lou Faber

MUMONKAN
El sembradío está tomado por malas hierbas. Lo que pudiera haber crecido aquí, desapareció. La reja ya es sólo unos postes torcidos, derrumbados, deshechos, perdidos. Viniste aquí para encontrar alto, para encontrar la nirvana, pero sólo hay postes de portón con metal oxidado suelto sin puerta. Te sientes que has perdido el rumbo.

Portón sin puerta
estás dentro o fuera
¿por qué importa?

– Lou Faber (traducción por Rebecca)

~~~

Scotland

Maybe that’s just what I want to do

I might as well begin by saying I don’t know. I follow crumbs, consonants, these strong, stubborn columns, that keep vowels in tight cages, like wild animals. They don’t behave in predictable ways. I don’t know the ancient, the guarded, the sacred. I follow sounds and rhythms, beat and bait for hook, line and sinker simple souls that can’t help but speculate. Keen, always eager to add to the list of dawns, dusks, undeserved magic. And I forgive myself for not doing more than that.

A life in words, pearls,
wonderful coincidence,
grit turned into stars.

Britta Benson

Quizás sea lo que quiera hacer yo

Comenzaría en decir que no sé. Sigo migas, consonantes, estas columnas fuertes y testarudas, que capturan vocales en las jaulas apretadas, como animales silvestres. No se portan en maneras previstas. No sé lo anciano, lo guardado, lo sagrado. Sigo sonidos y ritmos, pulsos, cebo para el anzuelo y plomo, almas simples que no puedo evitar que especular. Entusiasta, siempre lista para añadir a la lista de albas, anocheceres, magia no merecida. Me perdono de no hacer más que eso.

palabras, perlas
vida maravillosa
arena a estrellas

Britta Benson (traducción por Rebecca)

~~~

A Front door Photo: R. Cuningham

Pakistan

Knocking on the wooden door I feel the anticipation. Apprehension too for who may open it or what it may entail. A door is a portal to an unknown, unexpected place. Bravely I push it inwards.

With a silent swish
The wooden gates glide open
Secrets are revealed

Sadje

Tocando la puerta de madera, siento anticipación. Aprehensiva también por quien la abrirá o que pasará. Una puerta es un portal a un lugar desconocido, imprevisto. Con coraje la empujo.

En silencio el
portón de madera ahora
secreto abierto
–Sadje (traducción por Rebecca)

~~~

World Poet

The scent of freshly-baked goodies coming from that way. Curious walking souls are starting to peek in. Steps moving in and out—the chime keeps on swaying. A fellow by the swinging glass is not disturbed. As if adoring the smell on that spot while he lays his head on a reflection. Perhaps he is dreaming of bread and pies!

🍞💤

Laze near that entrance,
dear cat. A whiff of heaven–
cradles you to sleep.

Tina/Blue Tamarind

La aroma de pasteles recién cocidos viene de allí. Almas curiosas caminando empiezan a mirar por la vitrina. Pasos entrando y saliendo – el timbre arriba no cesa de mover. Un hombre cerca de la puerta de vidrio se queda sin molestar, como si fuera adorando el olor en el lugar donde pone su cabeza en un reflejo. Quizás sueñe de pan y pasteles.

Cerca de entrada
el sabor celestial
gato dormido

–Tina/Blue Tamarind (traducción por Rebecca)

~~~

Cottonwood Bark Photo: Rebecca Cuningham

Canada

What is that castle, its ruins over yonder rooftop tower leaning against the sky’s staff? Its twin spires in the distance waving green flags of surrender. Clinging to rubble, its walls breathe out oxygen, and its roots drink from the moat of the deep. Its turrets sprouting new leaves shading inside its branches while the morning sky moves patiently forward upholding a blank canvas.

But lo, my eyes play with imaginative lego, building castles from silhouetted twin trees in faraway lands through pulp fiction doors —doodling with Dawn’s side hustle, moonlighting through my window. While early morning coffee cup dregs foretelling enlightenment’s new age, interpret the runes of the day.

awareness pours
collective consciousness
in spoonfuls at Dawn

Suzette

¿Cuál castillo es aquello en un lugar cuyo nombre no quiero acordarme, sus ruinas la torre arriba del techo inclinan sobre el bastón del cielo? Sus agujas gemelas en la distancia ondean banderas verdes de vencida. Pegado al escombro sus paredes exhalan oxígeno, y sus raíces beben del foso profundo. Sus torrecillas brotan hojas nuevas dando sombra a sus ramas mientras el cielo de mañana mueve con paciencia hacia adelante con un cuadro en blanco.

Mis ojos juegan con Lego imaginativo, construyendo castillos de árboles gemelos en silueta en tierras lejanas por puertas de pulp fiction – garabato con el pluriempleo del alba que trabaja por la luz de luna, ves por la ventana. Un café de madrugada predice el sedimento en las runas del día la nueva edad de renacimiento.

conocimiento
Alba por cucharadas
colectiva(mente)

–Suzette (traducción por Rebecca)

~~~

Canada

Embedded in my reliable leather chair, accepting the day’s entry, an opaque passage of radiant light swirls in lucid thought. Perspective gazing, coffee in hand, as acceptance wraps itself in a warm blanket.

Time, worth listening too – frozen, as the clocks second-hand cements itself against a blank face. Leaning in, breathing deeply as the looking-glass self begins to snicker in mere mechanical reflection. Would one recognize the blank face, the true reflection of the years lived?

White painted walls smile back, mirroring the untouched face. Pale natural complexion fades into the quietness of the coming day.

another sunrise –
coloured illusion voided
barefaced reflection

Lori Zybala

Tumbada en mi fiable sillón de cuero, aceptando la entrada del día, pasaje opaca de luz radiante gira en pensamientos lúcidos. Mirada de perspectiva, café en la mano, aceptación envuelta en una manta calentita.

El tiempo, vale la pena escucharlo, está congelado. La segunda mano del reloj se aplasta por una cara vacía. Acercando, respirando profundamente y la persona por el espejo se ríe en reflexión mecánica. ¿Reconocería en la cara vacía, el reflejo verdadero de los años?

Paredes blancas retornan la sonrisa, como espejo de la cara vacante. Complexión pálida se borra en la calma del día comenzando.

salida del sol
ilusión colorada
cierra reflexión

–Lori Zybala (traducción por Rebecca)

~~~

Evan & Rebecca, Temple of the Masks 2005 Photo: Random Tourist Photographer

England

The sea, the sea

A susurration of waves: oscillating, softly slapping and surging across crushed seashells on the sandy shingle: soothing; sibilant. Sucking, settling, restoring. Saluting the shoreline in a ceaseless cycle. A portal to distant islands and continents beyond the horizon.

Waves advance
greet the sandy shingled shore
Quite unceasingly.

–Margaret

Océano, océano

Susurro salado, oscilando, surgiendo, cacheteando suavemente, surgiendo por conchas aplastadas en los guijarros silicatos: tranquilizante; sibilante. Sorber, posarse y restaurar.
Señalando la costa en un ciclo sin suspender. Portal a islas distantes y continentes más lejos del horizonte.

Olas avanzan
saludando las orillas
sin cesar

–Margaret (traducción por Rebecca)

~~~

Ireland

The open door!

I remember when I first came into her office. I sat down and I was so nervous. I didn’t know where to start. She invited me to take my time, we could go at my pace. 10 years later, we know each other well and are in a good rhythm. Going to therapy was so worth it. I am so glad I entered her office on that warm September afternoon all those years ago.

Inviting me
To chat and process
Therapy fulfills me.
–Carol Anne

¡La puerta abierta!
Me acuerdo cuando vine a su oficina la primera vez. Me senté y estaba tan nerviosa. No sabía donde empezar. Me invitó tomar mi tiempo, ir a mi medida. Diez años después, nos conocemos bien y estamos a buen ritmo. Ir a la terapia vale la pena. Estoy tan contenta que yo hubiera entrado su oficina aquel tarde cálido de septiembre hace tantos años atrás.

Invitándome
a charlar y procesar
satisfecha estoy.

–Carol Anne (traducción por Rebecca)

~~~

Thank you very much for these fabulous poems. They are mystical and beautiful; the journey outward and the journey inward. Interesting that there were two with gate themes and two about day dawning. For more work by any of these authors, click on their name under their original poem. In the Poetry Challenge, writers always retain all their publishing rights to their work. Hope to see a poem from you in September!

Muchas gracias por estos poemas fabulosos. Son místicos y bonitos; el viaje hacia afuera y el viaje hacia adentro. Interesante que había dos sobre portones y dos sobre el comienzo del día. Para ver más escritura de l@s autores, haz un clic en su nombre bajo el poema original. En nuestros Reto poéticos, l@s escritores mantienen siempre todos sus derechos. ¡Esperamos ver un poema tuyo en septiembre!

¡Gracias! ¡Olé! –Rebecca

Antigua Door Photo: R. Cuningham
Rebecca Cuningham

41 thoughts on “August Poetry Challenge Writers

  1. I commend you Rebecca for your wonderful translations of the excellent haibuns by all the poets. Thank you for a delightful prompt this month as always.
    Y gracias por una fabulosa traducción del significado de “runas del día.” Bravo!!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you, Suzette for your commendation. I appreciate your poetry and your kind comments very much. Glad you like the translation. I snuck a little bit of Cervantes in, instead of Shakespeare, since “yonder” didn’t translate well. ; )

      Like

  2. I’m happy to see this blog. It’s magnificent. I love the contribution from various poets around the world.
    Kudos.
    .
    Also, I’m kind off upset as India was supposed to be there.
    I talked to 3 poets atleast. They even said, They will do it. But well. 🤷🏻‍♂️
    Next time I guess.
    .
    Hey, I wanted to inform you that. I was unable to read your last blog(2 days ago). It said “I don’t have access for it”.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Devang, thanks so much for your support of these wonderful international poets. It’s okay if your friends couldn’t finish their poems by the deadline this month. Perhaps they will write a poem for next month. Thanks for visiting two days ago, at that time I made an error when I mistakenly published the first paragraph of today’s post before its time! I quickly unposted it and kept working on it for today. Thanks for understanding. : )

      Like

      1. Ahhh cool!
        I thought, I’m unable to read your blog.
        Actually, I get notification of your latest blog. As soon as I get it, I tapped. It said, I can’t access. Haha.
        I’m glad to able to read it now. 🙇🏻‍♂️

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Wonderful collection of poems – such a great form of poetry. (The first one was particularly moving.)
    Now that my cousin has finished moving, I should suggest these challenges to her again.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you for your support of the poets, Rosaliene! I’m so blown away by the entries this month. As a parent, Aggie’s poem about a child maturing and stepping away to live their own life is particularly poignant.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I have only just found this! For some days I’ve been waiting for the August Poetry Collection to be announced, and finally, today I’ve gone looking. For some reason I didn’t get the usual email telling me about this post. I think this month’s selection of haibuns is without exception a great one. Everyone’s gone the extra mile in this rather challenging challenge, And I love your translations, which seem to catch the spirit of each poet. I’m thrilled with your translation of mine. Thank you so much.

    Liked by 1 person

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