short story
mossy aspen
in a puddle
apple tree
marble spread
fantasy art







this is based on an extended haiku form that such masters as basho would use to help train students. sometimes haiku masters would gather together and compete with each other to top the others' contributions. normally, one individual would start the running dragon by writing a two-line short poem, that tended to have something to do with nature or ran along a theme such as the coming winter or the emerging spring. the next person would take one word from the last line of the previous person's "haiku", and include it it the first line of his own. the form switched off - 2-line stanzas preceeded 3-line stanzas and so on. I wrote the entire running dragon and adhered to its 19 stanza form. it is difficult to otherwise adhere to the form because the japanese language has tonal qualities which the english language does not have.

snow crystals fall onto two cars
bright lights glare
the lights and snowfall glitter

lights in the teacup
only smoke leaves

leaves splatter the city
rain washes window like a smear
the bridge watches the canal while a car passes, coughing diesel

the bridge is stricture, taut
bouncing underneath the wind

wind rises off the ocean
at night, only rippling is heard
the sand stays clumped, still breathing

clumped in hands, the moss is young and wet
moss grinds green, is a caterpillar smushed under thumb

the dappled leaf, green and spotted and smirked
writes and writhes and circles slow
slides onto ground, the start of a new layer

layered rock, pink; grey outside
deep pit dug by a cannon.

water flashing lightning, digging
into pebbles and stones - logs keep no resistance
moss is sweet sweat.

sweating trees in a thunderstorm
heaving chests wheezing

bird's chest tight, pouched, bubbling
the bird needles feathers in lines

needles of the mountains
green needles people every rise

rising tide and seaweed feathers
low tide and cracks of shell, sandsnails
crab dances, returns to obsidian pier

pier of wood, scathed, splintered
moon round glow
spreading wings over stars

glowing slug, yellow
wriggling in raw soil
snow clinging to straw's bottom

clinging moss
dry, grey on a tall oak

grey stone bridge, arching back over rushing water
the ducks paddling, gliding to the edge
nabbing for soppy bread, piecemeal

nabbing shoots, fuzzy rabbit's toes
willow lends all its hair kanker, and moist and red

red teardrops hard, flowers
on tundra carpet
breaking through the green, tiny

© 1990 - 2003 Katharina Woodworth

fantasy art