Five poems in Quadrant
March 2023 issue of Quadrant contains five poems by Andrew. They are: “Getting Light”, “Hole”, “Pictures of Plants”, “The Calming Clams”, and “Locations of Red”. “Pictures of Plants” is a gunsaku, a set of six haiku on (as the set title indicates) the subject of plants.
“Holes” was written after a visit to a small graveyard in Kyoto, Japan, where women had left offerings before an idol of Jizo, a Buddhist Bodhisattva to whom women appeal to save their deceased children from a hell-like place called Sai no Kawar. The poem is reproduced below.
Japan: Jizō Bosatsu, guardian of the souls
of miscarried, aborted and stillborn children (mizuko)
left as an offering to
has been holed by birds, just like
a mother’s heart, holed by grief.
a centre, a five-yen coin
offered to Jizo
by a mother aching to save
her mizuko from limbo.
© Andrew Lansdown