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Books

Morning Mist   (New October 2015)


wild voices come when they will   (New October 2015)


In the Spirit of T'ao Ch'ien


Never Stop Asking for Poems - Selected Works


Twenty Days on Route 20


Sea Smoke and Sand Dollars


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Morning Mist

A Collection of Haiku

















From the Introduction:


This collection contains a few hundred of the haiku I've written in the last twenty years. There are many more that didn't find their way into this book. I continue to write haiku, finding it a wonderful practice, both literarily and spiritually.


When writing haiku, one is present in the moment. Awareness becomes more acute. The world around us also becomes the world within us. Is there anything more spiritual than that?


Contents


Introduction     


Spring     


Summer     


Autumn     


Winter     


Journeys


Far North, Far West     


Mississippi River Journey     


Maine Coast Journey     



Mid-Autumn Haiku

  a November conversation

  with Craig Czury     



From the book:


bluebird in garden

a male, then female appears

moon near full tonight



old hitchhiking route

decades later, now in car

same ancient mountains



red truck full of corn

passing by on highway 4

my car full of poems



yesterday's footprints

covered up by windblown snow

thoughts of long gone friend


Morning Mist

is a 104 page hand-sewn paperbook  with spine - $15.00.


TO ORDER:


To order through mail click here


ON-LINE                                         

    


          


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wild voices come

when they will

spontaneous poems #1


























Introduction


On August 22, 2014, I had an idea to post a Daily Spontaneous Poem on my Facebook page. Little did I know that over a year later I would still be posting those daily creations.


I call them spontaneous poems because when I write them, they come in the moment and I do no revising once they are finished. I wasn't sure if I would be able to do this every day, but somehow I have, though there have been days that one didn't appear. Sometimes I was away from the computer most of the day or wasn't able to connect on the internet while on the road. Sometimes I was just too tired. Yet, most of the time a poem did get written and then immediately posted on Facebook.


When I write the poems, I do so quickly and do not give them any titles, just numbers. A few weeks after starting, I considered collecting the better ones, revising, giving titles and then working them into a manuscript. Instead, I decided to stay with the original idea, no revisions, no titles.


The poems collected here are less than twenty percent of what I have written and posted to date. They are numbered and appear in the order they were written, with many gaps throughout. Obviously, writing spontaneously and not revising, they are not all "keepers."  The ones included here have been chosen by me. I sought no outside editor and also resisted the temptation to revise.


I continue to write and post Daily Poems. The process has become like a practice. If you are interested, feel free to friend me on FB and you'll get to see the current daily outpourings. Also, I post a Daily Photograph.


Ok, the hour is getting late. I need to wrap this up and go write my Daily Poem for today.



From the book:


56


as my bowl of soup cools

I think how if you were here

you'd love this homemade concoction

spicy shrimp noodle, no recipe followed

garlic, onion, hot pepper, sweet pepper

soy sauce, vegetarian oyster sauce

wild caught Alaskan shrimp, Asian noodles

straw mushrooms, liberal dashes of chili oil


no one here would have it with me

no one here caring for hot spicy foods

I cherish each tingly tasty spoonful

wish there weren't so many miles between us

you really would have loved it


63


this uncle who now sits in wheel chair

taken care of in assisted living quarters

memory partially here, partially gone

same uncle I used to trout fish with

wading streams a half century ago

he now ninety-two, I sixty-three

"You're still young," he tells me

and I still see us, working upstream

casting lures into shimmering water

that forever flows on


116


so many days without sun

today, when it appeared

nearly a shock, a revelation

realization that it still exists

yet later, another insight

not just sun but shadows also

have been absent in my life



wild voices come when they will

is an 80 page hand-sewn paperbook  with spine - $12.00.


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********************************

In the Spirit of T'ao Ch'ien

Charles Rossiter, Editor





















One of the poets in this book speaks of “First Breath” and “Last Breath.” Here are American poets who have “breathed in” the breath of such Chinese poets as T'ao Ch'ien, Han Shan, and Wang Wei. And here they breathe it back out again where it mingles with the breath of America.


Jonathan Chaves

Translator and Professor of Chinese



Contributors

Sam Hamill

Michael Czarnecki     

David Budbill

Charles Rossiter

Antler


From the Introduction:

T'ao Ch'ien (365-427 C.E.) is a major figure in the Chinese poetic tradition whose influence on subsequent generations cannot be overstated.  After holding several official posts he abandoned a traditional government career for the life of a reclusive gentleman farmer.  His poems, expressed in natural language, reflect on ordinary daily occurrences and express a deep connection with nature.  Despite their accessibility and seeming simplicity, they are deeply philosophical.


The poems in this collection share characteristics with T'ao Ch'ien and other poets of ancient China.  They are plain spoken, clear, generally short, and readily understandable.  These poems explore the poets' states of consciousness and relationship with the natural world as they seek a self-understanding, as well as a connectedness with all that surrounds them.  These poems document human relationships, and the comings and goings of other people in the poets' lives.  When these poets address issues in the wider world, they see through the smoke and mirrors of officialdom and are critical of social injustice.


Like T'ao Ch'ien's poems, those collected here reflect a viewpoint on life and society from outside the mainstream.  Poetry is at the center of each of these poets lives, yet, unlike many contemporary American poets, none holds an academic position.  Although the poets live in varied circumstances, all five share the lifestyle of the Chinese mountain recluse when one considers what that lifestyle entails.  As David Hinton, poet and translator of T'ao Ch'ien and other major Chinese poets describes it, the “mountain recluse” lifestyle generally included “a relatively comfortable house, a substantial library, family, friends,” as well as a political dimension, “for the wisdom cultivated in such a life was considered essential to sage governing.”



From the book:


Sam Hamill


Mountains and Rivers Without End


After making love, we are like

rivers come down from mountain summits.


We are still, we are moving,

calm in the depths of danger-


two rivers entering the sea

slowly, as if nothing matters:


quietly, but with great power

merging in deepening waters.



Michael Czarnecki


In The Spirit of T'ao Ch'ien:

a Sequence of 15 Poems


2


Hilltop covered in thick fog

nearby trees barely in view.


No sunrise over eastern ridge

only slow lightening of sky.


Cat meows, wanting food in his dish

homemade bread toasting on wood stove.


Would you understand if I said

right here, the center of the world.



David Budbill


An Old Dog Headed for the Park

or

Glad to Have Another Day

(Montreal, 3/18/07)


Two mornings now we've watched

                  an old dog

walk past the windows of our B&B,

                 out in the cold air,

out in the new snow, headed for

                 the park,

yesterday with the man,      

                 this morning with the woman.


He's old,

                 he's overweight,

he moves real slow,

                 he waddles along

     

wagging his tail

                 the whole way.



Charlie Rossiter


Cold Mountain 2000:

Han Shan In the City

                    (4 poems from a series of 51)


I'm here in the city

but there's something wild and unknowable

about where I live.

Crooked alleys and dark shadows

make the way uncertain.

If I choose to go inside

there's no way you'll ever find me.



Antler


First Breath Last Breath


When a baby boy is born

     and the midwife

            holds him up

     as he takes

            his first breath,

Place him over

     the Mother's face

             so when the baby exhales

     his first breath on Earth

             the Mother breathes it.


And when the Mother dies

     her middle-aged son

             the baby grew up to be,

     by her side

              his head next to her head,

Follows her breathing with his breath

     as it becomes shorter

             and as the dying Mother

     exhales her last breath

             her son inhales it.


In the Spirit of T'ao Ch'ien

is an 84 page hand-sewn paperbook  with spine - $16.00.


TO ORDER:


To order through mail click here


ON-LINE                                         



       

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Never Stop Asking

For Poems

Selected Works
























Click here to listen to Michael read

"Liberty Street Poetry Reading, Bath, NY"


Introduction


Sometime in 2007, at one of my readings, I mentioned that it has been forty years since writing my first poem. Dan Waber asked me if it was time to consider a “Selected Poems” book. I gave his question short shrift and didn't think much more about it.


Earlier this year, 2008, his question resurfaced in my mind. Maybe a case could be made for such a collection. A number of my chapbooks were out of print and some of the more popular poems I shared at my readings were never published in a book. Maybe those poems could form the core of a selected works collection, with a few others from throughout those decades added in to round it out a bit.


Thus, Never Stop Asking for Poems. The title is taken from a poem of mine that has never been published in a book but has been read often at readings throughout the country: “Liberty Street Poetry Reading, Bath, NY.” Chapbooks represented are the complete “Elegy for the Road, Kerouac's Ghost,” and selections from  “Making Space for Others” and “Drinking Wine, Chanting Poems.” Also included is the first poem I read in public, in 1985 for the Bath Peace Group, “For the Natural Course of Events.” I've also selected a few poems from each decade that have never been seen in print form.


This book is only a small portion of the works I have written. It is a selected compilation. A collected works would be way beyond the possibilities of a book form. Included in Never Stop Asking for Poems are representative poems from throughout these many decades of writing.


I thank Mr. Kerr, my junior year high school English teacher, who was responsible for the first poem I ever wrote. I am, and will be, eternally grateful for the encouragement he gave me to continue writing poems. And I thank Dan Waber for first suggesting the idea of a selected works collection of my poetry. Dan, you were right, it's time.


* * * * * *

Never Stop Asking for Poems

104 page paperback, hand-sewn, with flat spine.

$12.00


To order through mail click here


TO ORDER ON-LINE






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Twenty Days On Route 20   

 (Click here to go to a site devoted to US ROUTE 20)

























    In 1971, Michael Czarnecki bought a backpack, tent and sleeping bag, put out his thumb and over the next five years hitchhiked 30,000 miles through the northeastern United States and Canada. 25 years later, he again took off on the road, this time on a twenty day solo journey across America in an old, beat 1983 Honda Civic Wagon. Leaving family and friends behind, Michael set off to cross the country for the very first time.


     Twenty Days on Route 20 chronicles that first time crossing of America. The account is written in haibun, a Japanese literary form combining condensed prose and haiku. Matsuo Basho, Japan's great 17th century haiku master, wrote his classic travel  sagas in haibun. Now, more than 300 years later, Michael uses that same form to chronicle his pilgrimage across this vast continent.


     Starting from Boston, Route 20 traverses the northern third of the country, through a varied American landscape: rolling hills of New York State; mid-America farmland and villages; sprawling, bustling Chicago;  Mississippi and Missouri rivers; Nebraska sandhills; Wyoming plateau country; Yellowstone National Park; lava fields; high desert; Cascade Mountains and finally, the Pacific.


     Michael barters for motel rooms, explores small towns, cities and countryside, gives poetry readings, encounters raven and coyote and observes the country slowly unfolding as the road leads forever west.


     This second printing 10 years after the journey, contains some slight revisions of the original text and brings back into print a fascinating journey across America on the longest US Route in the country.



From the book:


As I sat eating my meal I began considering where I would sleep for the night. KC's Corner Restaurant & Motel - hmmm! This was a low budget journey and I couldn't be spending much money on places to sleep. The second night out was too early to succumb to the temptation of a soft, comfortable bed in a motel. Then one of those sudden inspirations came to me - why not barter for a room!


I hesitatingly walked up to the owner of KC's and explained my journey to him. I mentioned that I would be writing a book and that if he let me use a room for the night I would acknowledge KC's on the acknowledgement page and then give him enough books to cover the cost of the room. To my surprise he immediately accepted the offer! This spontaneous idea changed the whole character of the rest of the trip.


I had never done this before, barter writings for lodgings. Felt a little bit like Vachel Lindsay, the early 20th Century poet from Springfield, Illinois. I remember reading his work as a junior in high school and being excited to learn that he went on walking trips, exchanging rhymes for room and board. Poetry had real world value! So now, 30 years later, here I was in a comfortable room because of someone's willingness to accept written words for payment. Mr. Kerr, if only you could know how as a teacher you changed my life!


*************************


Stopped at Hot Springs State Park in Thermopolis to soak in the Bath House. A 19th century treaty between the federal government and the Arapaho and Shoshone stipulated that the waters from this mineral spring be made available to the public for free. The 104 degree water in the Bath House can be enjoyed for 20 minutes without charge, so I rented a swimsuit, 75¢, and had a great soak for the allotted time.


mineral hot springs

Arapaho, Shoshone

my body thanks you


An employee at the Bath House told me they may start charging for use of the facilities. When I mentioned the treaty she said that the treaty was between the federal government and the natives. It's a state park now and they aren't bound by the treaty. It goes on and on and on.


            *********************


Twenty Days on Route 20


76 page paperback, hand-sewn, with flat spine.

$12.00


To order through mail click here


TO ORDER ON-LINE






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Sea Smoke and Sand Dollars



















From the Introduction:


This book contains various writings of mine - poetry, prose poems, haibun, haiku - that are about Acadia or were written while living here. Some pieces are quite old, a few quite new. If fortunate, I suspect there will be many more pieces I'll write about this magical place - I hope to return many more times in the years to come, it's only been 33 and a half years since that first visit! Like I warn everyone who is thinking of coming here for the first time - nobody ever goes to Acadia just once!

November 20, 2004

Seal Harbor, Maine


From the book:


Written First Evening Upon Returning

To Mount Desert Island To Live


Full moon hangs over Champlain.

Across the way, snow covered

Cadillac, Dorr loom immense

above the frozen Tarn.


So many years away

and this first night back

feels so much like

coming home to stay.


Heading Back Home After Morning Walk To Post Office


Mid-morn, bright sun, lingering moon

crusty snow in thick-shaded woods.


Underneath spruce, fir, cedar trees

Stanley Brook sings over cold stones.


Red squirrel chatters from nearby rock

raven calls from above but can't be seen.


Contentment found in simple things

lone winter hike, not a soul in sight.


Morning Walk on Closed Park Road


Late year sun angles low over tall trees.

Road winds from shadows to sunlight to shadows.


Sudden gust shakes snow from high branch -

a million bright sparkles drift down, disappear.



Sea Smoke and Sand Dollars

68 page paperback, hand-sewn, with flat spine.

$12.00


To order through mail click here


TO ORDER ON-LINE   

     





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Morning Mist

$16.00

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wild voices come when they will

$12.00

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In the Spirit of T'ao Ch'ien

$16.00

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Never Stop Asking for Poems

$12.00

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Twenty Days on Route 20

$12.00

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Sea Smoke and Sand Dollars

$12.00