Sunday, May 14, 2017

Bandings by Hikaru Kitabayashi

Bandings by Hikaru Kitabayashi

In recent years, I have been experimenting with writing haiku in English and during the first half of December 2015 came up with a new verse form that satisfies me in both the economy it forces on me as well as the added scope it gives to go more in depth than is possible with a traditional haiku. It takes the traditional English haiku of three lines, being a first line of five syllables in length combined with a second line of seven syllables and then a third line of five. Then, it reverses the order, adding three lines where the first is seven syllables, the second is five, and the third seven. Thus, I have what I call a banding of a traditional haiku with its mirror image opposite..

Because English poetry depends on the repetition of combinations of weak (=short) and strong (=long) syllables to create the rhythmic patterns which are necessary for feeling beauty of sound by the reader and because strong syllables register more strongly with the brain than weak syllables, the rhythmic pattern of my bandings is always the same (although I can envision other rhythmic patterns which would be permissible as long as they were to form a regular pattern) with one more strong syllable per line than the total number of weak syllables per line. To achieve this, the odd numbered syllables (first, third, fifth, seventh) are always strong and the even numbered ones (second, fourth, sixth) are always short. Although, in essence, this creates a form of blank verse, which is entirely dependent on rhythm for its effect, rhyme (both internal and end rhyme) are welcome when appropriate to the sense which one is trying to convey in the banding one is writing. Likewise, alliteration is welcome, though neither alliteration nor rhyme are essential components of a banding, of which the following is the first I wish to make public.


Facing life and death,
Unafraid I seee my life.
Joined by love, sweet love,
Happiness in times of pain
I have found despite
Lasting death awaiting all.

13 December 2015

The message I am trying to convey with the above poem is that my belief that life has no meaning that people are capable of understanding and that life is no better than death. However, I also believe that life is worth living for its own sake and that we should accept love wherever we find it and should try to enjoy ourselves, finding happiness as much as possible in the small things of life as well as in the large. I also believe that we should never be afraid of life, though, in fact, many people much of the time are, and, when death comes, I think we should not be afraid of death either, because I feel that neither life nor death is better than the other.

Ready words come not
When, in thought, I think of you.
Wishes, worries, hopes,
Make me want to live my life
Stronger than I am.
Energy returns again.
26 December 2015

You, to me, did come,
With me, in my arms, you stayed.
Wine and food and song
Vanished, lost in all our play.
One and one apart,
Love does bind us heart to heart.
27 December 2015

Worlds may come and go,
Hurled about by space and time.
But I think that you
Cannot change within my mind.
You will ageless be,
Aging not in aging me.
28 December 2015 

Child of mine, beloved,
Under heaven's heights above,
Sun and moon and stars
Hunger, too, with me. They do!
In their thoughts they shine
Hope for all, yet yearn for you.
27 & 31 December 2015

Dreams I hope you have,
Dreams that bring you sweetest sleep,
And in night's deep dark
May you find your sleep is deep.
Mine, my heart also
Does in thoughts of you find peace.
29 & 31 December 2015

Sitting here I gaze,
See the solitary sun
Hiding in the clouds
Holding back its warmth from me.
Wistful thoughts do wish,
Then go swim away like fish.
31 December 2015

Singing songs that day,
Drinking good cold beer with you,
I then thought life good,
Life was meant to be that way.
You, dear child of mine,
Better cheer you bring than wine
1 January 2016

Years leave, take a bow,
Out too fast for comfort now,
Since I'm sixty five.
Yet I'm glad I'm still alive.
Youth, my children near,
Means of fate I hold no fear.
1 January 2016

Tender are the sounds,
God's own angels sweetly speak,
Song-like when they meet.
How come I do more than they
Hear the better voice
Listen to a sound more choice?

Written and re-written on 2 January 2016

Sunlight strokes my hair,
Makes me see you in my mind
As I face my work,
Ready for what, hiding, lurks.
Shadows come to me,
When it's you I'd rather see.
3 January 2016

God is love they say.
But, for me, my God's unknown,
Yet is real the same,
As I pray God's will be done.
I believe in now.
Now's my All, my All for me. 
3 January 2016

History is a joke,
Laughter for the ruling class,
Seeking ass to kick,
Making all the same mistakes.
New and old repeats,
Mother fucked by father fate.
4 January 2016

Written out of despair that the human race will never learn from its own history how not to repeat the same mistakes of previous generations.

What ... hides in your smiles,
In your shining eyes and voice,
Is ... a universe,
Beauty blessed with word and deed.
Miracles I feel,
In each day you share with me.
5 January 2016 

Changing day to day
In a multitude of ways,
Truth's a flying dart,
Yearning, shooting, heart to heart.
What does truth impart?
Truth, that shaping, shifting art!
11 January 2016

Summer's truth's not you.
Unimpressive summer died. 
Autumn brought me you. 
Autumn's truth's in me alive,
Strength each day renews.
Death, for now, I'll still refuse.
11 January 2016

Held within in my eyes
In them inward lies a soul
Kissing you anew.
Aching now for you to hold,
Reaching with my hands,
Up and out, cold air I find.
15 January 2016

Better than my own
Is your heart my precious son,
Just, forgiving, bright,
As it gives off warming light.
Yesterday it glowed,
As your destiny arose.
15 January 2016

While I filled their needs,
Working hard as I could work,
Eyes, my children's eyes,
Filled with tender love, I spied.
Well rewarded, I
Shall continue till I die.
17 January 2016

Seeing moonlight not,
Underneath no shining stars,
Spending nights at work.
How you work and work and work!
I, admiring, see,
Looking, see a younger me.
17 January 2016

Tested by the times,
Answering all my many needs,
Did you know it's you,
Added to my life, makes me.
Substitutes work not.
I am me because of you.
18 January 2016

22.Warmth is what I want.
Frozen ghosts do haunt this snow
But, the work waits not,
Leaves me feeling shot, half dead.
Thoughts within my head
Weigh me down and feel like lead.

19 January 2016 

Whispering constantly,
Saying not to feel alarm,
Death has called to me
And no feelings rise or swarm.
I, with him, agree.
Life, not death, does greater harm
22 January 2016

Friends of yours, I say,
Each is fine in his own way.
But, you were not there,
Missing you I could not share.
You were in my mind,
They were you and I was kind.
23 January 2016

Whether cold or hot,  
Roaming ventures suit me not.
Home's the place whereof
Hope finds wings and flies like love.
Home is pretty good,
When I'm resting as I should.
24 January 2016 

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