Leigh Faulkner

Education changes everything...

I'll be posting poems from my book REPATRIATION, which is available only online.
I'm including the table of contents so you can email me and request a poem if you are interested. I'm starting with Part 3 Conversations in Memory.

Part 3 Conversations in Memory

June, now, and blossom time is past

June, now, and blossom time is past with the carp kites;
now, there's the serious business of gathering power
in the long hours of intense light toward consummation
of the ancient prayers and rites of Koshogatsu.

Each year is a repeat and a variation,
yet it can't last forever. I realized, too late,
I should not have pressed my religious friends.
Religion is such a fragile thing.

Asami Shrine is no common place. For eight hundred years,
it's done everything required, even in earthquake and fire,
when its words went unceremoniously to heaven.
And you can trust the oracle. For a hundred yen, it will riddle all riddles most intricately.

When you're young, you know just enough--
anything more is dangerous. It takes age to make
all the mistakes necessary
to shape love.


Part 1 Celebration of Free Ghazals

Ghazal: I've got a lovely bit of sunshine!
Ghazal: In my left hand
Ghazal: The worlds mystify me
Ghazal: What am I doing here
Ghazal: A year ago I set out
Ghazal: If all the blood and bloated bodies
Ghazal: If I could not work in words
Ghazal: The hollow of my hand
Ghazal: The mountain grass does wonders
Ghazal: I'll come back after the typhoon season
Ghazal: Cult of the pointed stick
Ghazal: Like other children, I kept track
Ghazal: Wolfe was right
Ghazal: The children are amused
Ghazal: Years ago, my Catholic friend warned
Ghazal: When I was five, I buried Monty
Ghazal: My mother and I had so much in common
Ghazal: I keep longing to recover the wisdom
Ghazal: After days of mist
Ghazal: Again, it's the onset of winter
Ghazal: They were there
Ghazal: I've hung a lifetime of disguises
Ghazal: There are people who wire-bind willows
Ghazal: This is the time of year my grandfather feared
Ghazal: The dark woods were always there
Ghazal: My grandfather went blind when just a boy
Ghazal: No strangers these
Ghazal: So many of my young friends have left
Ghazal: Yesterday's sunset across the Chao Praya left me homesick
Ghazal: I thought I was a hunter
Ghazal: The evening sun lays bare

Part 2 In Homage

Ghazal: My daughter was born in November
Ghazal: When I was a child
Ghazal: Conversation with Blake
Ghazal: Winter is surely one of the forms of hell
Ghazal: Each spring my old neighbour whittled me stories
Ghazal: Keats, Cortez was a killer
Ghazal: Each night I have to push aside the winter air
Ghazal: The silence is unshakable in the snow-heavy underbrush
Ghazal: It's differences we see first
Ghazal: There is an old picture of a child
Ghazal: There's no need older than this desire
Ghazal: I remember what the farm was like when you were a child
Ghazal: The names have changed
Ghazal: Tangled ferns are just part of the picture
Ghazal: Carp belly up to the sewage plant outflow
Ghazal: Roethke, I'm overwhelmed by your fields
Ghazal: The words "yes" and "no" are too small to hold onto
Ghazal: We expect that our mothers will always take us back
Ghazal: There's little that marks who we are
Ghazal: On the day I was born, the village doctor was drunk
Ghazal: Pablo, sometimes I'm sick of being a man, too
Ghazal: The singer knows melodies impossible to sing
Ghazal: Those good people can't abide the passing of a cherished dream
Ghazal: This is a poem I must write
Ghazal: It's incredible, but there are prayer flags on the South Col

Part 3 Conversations in Memory

Maybe the wind
I think our friend is still out there
It takes a steady mind
Perhaps water is the secret of the universe
With no ice in the gulf
The Buddha's feet
The setting February sun
The Brunei royal family
With south to southwest gales
Nothing new
In Harukigawa Flower Park
The old men took me in
The aurora heaves across the polar darkness
The old man and I sat hours
A logjam of years
Whether it's the wind or the silence
It was a raven that tore at my dreams
Nothing prepared me for death
No warning is ever enough
June, now, and blossom time is past
What did you know
These few words