All rights revert to the individuals published. These works may not be reproduced without permission of the author. These pages may not be reproduced without the express written permission of Performance Poets Association, and may not be stored in any electronic data retrieval system.

ONE MAN’S MYTHOLOGY

 

One man puts out an empty bucket

to catch the rain

believing there’s a crack

in the floor of heaven

and he want the finest water

for making tea.

 

One man gathers mud by the handful

believing he was molded of clay

and he too wants the finest

for patching his walls.

 

One man opens his door

to the bright blue dawn, and smiles,

and thinks:

this is heaven enough!

bet he keeps his bucket handy anyway,

and his immense hands are two of his finest companions.

 

Mankh (Walter E. Harris III)

Haiku poet, author of three books and three chapbooks, student of Kaballah, publisher

    Communion

 

we are dumb

before the Spirit

 

our knees wobble

at the sight of a wren

 

we know nothing

but the joy of this tiny backyard

filled with birds at dusk

 

a rabbit and squirrel

and chipmunk

 

Mankh (Walter E. Harris III)

 

Mankh

3 Birds on a Tree

Chinese Calligraphy Pictograph

by Mankh

(Tree with branches and roots)

   must be good friends

   three sparrows gathering

   on a lilac branch

 

Mankh

HOW TO LISTEN TO A POET

 

You might follow every word

the way you’d hear the play-by-play of your kid’s baseball game.

or notice every nuance of hair and freckle

along the back of the neck of a lover.

 

But more likely you will drift,

catching a phrase here, image there,

or some word you’ve never heard before like

mythopoeic the making of poetic myths or stories.

 

I suggest you tilt your head occasionally

and look away, glance at the wall

or the manner in which your shoes cover your feet,

so as to hear only the voice.

 

Because that is often all the poet hears,

a voice, from an invisible place,

perhaps inside the heart, or head, or

somehow floating about the room,

 

or a series of images that move

like the flipping through photos

in an album of someone

who has taken a trip

 

and come back to share it with you,

the way the landscape flickers

when you look out the train window

 

and some dark skinned horse in the distance

flicks her tail

and keeps on eating the grass

 

or how writing a poem

is like catching a fish

you then let free into the river.

 

Mankh (Walter E. Harris III)

AUTUMN ROUNDS

— for Yolanda —

 

To balance this chill October sunrise

and all the new found spaces

where once some leaves were found,

between my hands of morning prayer

a cup of coffee stands my ground,

 

and recognizing familiar sounds

my neck turns skyward—

to five geese, flying east—

familiar autumn rounds.

 

Five geese

flying east to lands of new beginnings,

as suredly your journey trails, blessed

with solid underpinnings.

 

Around this globe migrations spread

and yours you site for spring,

from watered island of your roots—

inland, for the solid footholds earth can sing.

 

The geese are known for swooping down

if any of their clan are hurt,

for flying’s not an ego-thing—-

not one (god-willing) should be left to dirt.

 

At least that’s how the geese proceed

on familiar autumn rounds,

and when it’s time for you to fly, don’t stop for me—

I’m happy here on the ground, and sometimes flyin’ round.

 

The geese are known for swooping down

if any of their clan are hurt,

and that seems the way you fly around

this sweet ol’, big ol’ earthen dirt.

 

Mankh (Walter E. Harris III)

Performance Poets Association®