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Linked Sijo

Linked Sijo by Larry Gross and Elizabeth St Jacques


I pick up that tattered broom to sweep leaves off autumns patio;
When I was a boy I straddled its handle for my horse.
Now that no one is looking, what the hell. . . .Hi-Yo, Silver! (lcg)

At sweet sixteen, she had outgrown her precious bicycle;
Young women (sniff) earned luxuries of leather and four wheels.
Now sixty-three, what does she buy to roll away her girth? Yes! (esj)

The plane silenced our goodbyes, froze her leaving in steel and glass;
it shrank her away, a nestling leaving home for bluer sky.
Behind my sigh, the greedy terminal welcomed travelers. (lcg)

Excitement drew me from the road to the ancient canyon's call.
From the cliff, my spirit soared: an eagle flowing through silence.
Yet, soft chants filled up empty space and low drumbeats from distant days. (esj)

Silent now those vibrant drums beneath the tent of the mountain;
gone to their fathers the bronze painted braves grown weak in the hunt.
Thundering out of the tunnel, we stop at the post for beads. (lcg)

One year of convent nighttime hours and long unnerving sounds:
through corridors, black rosaries clicked with muffled hymns, and padding feet.
Now moonlit winds hum lullabies -- the convent is a parking lot. (esj)

. . . published first in Sijo West #1, April 1995


A lone stallion stands fetlock high in the hilltop's green meadow;
He tosses a quick forelock when diesels blare on the highway;
I lower my head knowing I'll soon be going where they go. (lcg)

I dive into the place of dreams where friendly light awaits:
My friendly fish with its curved smile invites me into moonlit waves.
When I awake, my eyes are sheathed with sparkling silver scales. (esj)

When I touched her hand she drew back, tho her eyes had brought me there;
the words our bodies whispered -- flushed our faces white then red --
Two cold rocks rubbed together send sparks flying from fire inside. (lcg)

That moment when the moon explodes, when stars flash mauve and emerald green;
words escape and rush on through, and every one is bright and new.
Oh, when a poem writes itself: pure bliss, pure joy, heavenly! (esj)

Astronomers call it conjunction: Venus approaching Mars,
the illusion of closeness a matter of relative space.
Just so, orbiting man and woman seem sometimes to agree. (lcg)

The awe of soft and glowing light draws me into it each time --
the doe's smooth eye, the dawnlit pond, and evening sun in creamy cloud.
To flickering stars -- a net flung wide, my ancient waiting home. (esj)

. . . published first in Sijo West #1, April 1995

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Created 041122
Updated 071218