Living Close to the Pacific by Terry Ann Carter

a move to the west coast
everything in transition
overcast this morning. the eye finds nothing
to see but sea and sky a colour without
colour. This island, lapping.
birds scissor the water
garry oaks in my neighbouring forest.
bark split like wasteland
only the moon nestled
in black branches
Buddhists believe in several selves.
reinvention I think they call it
how many waves carry the taste of salt
into sunlit spaces
a poet writes:
I saw my neighbor                   drown
a sack of kittens
one cold November night
that river too wide to cross
Shiki once wrote: remember that large things
are large; small things are large too
if seen up close
How to Wrap Five Eggs
first book out of the packing container
I stop to read about oak leaves covering rice cakes
edible stems of beefsteak plants
encircled by pickled plums
these techniques still practiced in rural Japan
in our new home
your arms around me
in the dark


Terry Ann Carter is a poet and paper artist who has published four books of lyric poetry and five chapbooks of haiku. She teaches Japanese literary forms at Royal Roads University in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Terry Ann is also the president of Haiku Canada. (

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