valerie rosenfeld

June 23, 2015 Comments Off on valerie rosenfeld

Down the Reach

I knew Margy my whole life. She took me to the lab to be her young assistant when I was 14 to help her measure calcium and albumin. I always felt guilty for not going into science. But I was never interested in science, only being with Margy. She was always so kind to me and my family and provided a generous ear and thoughtful, head square on her shoulders, and ever compassionate advice.

When I was in my 30s I visited her in Maine and we went to a jazz concert. I never liked jazz, only being with Margy. A man sitting next to us asked if Margy was my grandmother. She and I looked at each other. She said “no, I’m her godmother.” He laughed and said “maybe you’re her fairy godmother!” We laughed too. Yes, that was it. Margy was my fairy godmother.

She will ever be a part of me and I will think of her always when I smell the sea breeze or take my calcium supplement before bed. I will think of her when I look within and am in need of a fairy godmother. I see her there now, her salty smile and eyes like the ocean, reflecting the mid-day sun.

sea breeze
has changed direction
sailing down the reach
its your turn she says
handing me the rudder

writing to awaken

December 21, 2014 Comments Off on writing to awaken

I am pleased to announce that our new book, Writing to Awaken: Tanka Prose as Spiritual Self-Inquiry is finished.  The ebook form is already available.  The paper version will be available in a few days.   I wrote Writing to Awaken to share and demonstrate our use of tanka prose as a mindfulness practice.  Inspired by Basho’s Journey to the Deep North, in Writing to Awaken we explore our inner landscape.  You will find some wonderful pieces by our own Esra Sarioglu and Nelima Gaokar as well as work by Valerie Rosenfeld, Allison Miller, Monika Furch, Jennifer Werner, Ellen Pratt and myself.  Please enjoy.  If you purchase a copy, we will be grateful if you take the time to write a review for us.


February, 2014

February 26, 2014 Comments Off on February, 2014

Please enjoy our winter issue of Inner Art Journal. Several new poets have joined us while those that you may have come to know continue to share their jewels. The poems will be posted over the next several days.

Leslie, Nelima and Esra

February 2014 submissions request

February 7, 2014 Comments Off on February 2014 submissions request

Our February issue of Inner Art Journal will be published at the end of February. Although it is a dark and cold time here in the northern hemisphere, inner art offers the light of perception. If you haven’t already done so, please submit your work at your earliest convenience. Click on “submissions” on the lefthand side of this page.

Inner Art 10.15.13

October 15, 2013 Comments Off on Inner Art 10.15.13

Over the next few days we will share the poetry that we’ve chosen for our October 2013 issue. You are invited to review the work as it appears under the heading to your left. We continue to accept tanka and tanka prose for our upcoming print publication on houses and home.

Leslie, Esra and Nelima

On Houses and Homes

June 28, 2013 Comments Off on On Houses and Homes

We would like to invite you to submit tanka, tanka prose and other short form poetry of any style on the theme of houses and home. If we are happy with the selections we receive, we plan on creating a print publication. What is home to you? Have you found home, or lost it? You are welcome to interpret the theme liberally. Please submit your work by October 1st and specify if you would like it to be considered for our print publication.

Best Regards,

Leslie, Nelima and Esra

Tanka Prose

May 31, 2012 Comments Off on Tanka Prose

We are beginning to explore haibun and tanka prose.  As we understand it, haibun combines prose and haiku while tanka prose combines prose and tanka.  Our research reveals various definitions of theses forms.  The relationship between the prose and the poem or poems are significant.  Perhaps the poem clarifies the insight of the writer, bringing home the revelation.   Or the poem shifts in a meaningful and mysterious way leading the reader to participate and reflect.  One thing is certain.  Like other short forms, no word is wasted.  As we practice, we will share our discoveries.  We invite your efforts and would be grateful for submissions from experienced poets who might care to show us how it’s done.

The Girl Who Sings

In my thirties I worked at a university counseling center.  Most of my patients were undergraduate students.  Tales of leaving home, making friends, finding love and choosing a path were spun out hour by hour in my pretty, windowed office.  One girl’s struggle in particular was memorable to me.  She had the soft, freckled face of a child just beginning to emerge into womanhood.  Her slight figure had the skittish aspect of a deer pursued by some danger.

Her mother had died several years earlier.  She had a younger brother of about twelve.  The father didn’t sound like much of a prize.  According to her he drank and had periodic fits of bad temper.  Often she slept on the couch to place herself between her brother’s bedroom and the door through which her father would enter.  Remarkably, her mother’s grave lay just behind their house and was visible from the girl’s window.

within view
of their mother’s stone
two children grow

The problem the young lady came in to discuss was the tension between her desire to transfer to a music college and her worry for her brother who she would have to leave in order to do so.  She told me about the musicians she admired, shifting in her seat to demonstrate the lively movements of a singer on her piano bench.  Dancing in her chair, her face was animated, her eyes bright.  In just a beat her face darkened but without resentment.  She said only, “but really, I can’t go.”

she wants to sing
her own words on stage
how can I tell her
that she
already does?

Leslie Ihde

edited from the published version appearing in LYNX, June 2012

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