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Tuesday, September 01, 2020


by Katherine Williams

Even in August there is now wildfire.
In spring, rains will take what remains.
Kyoto calls us from bygone times.
Hearing Kyoto, everyone stops and turns.
The fires are a small state now.
Cuckoo’s eggs roast in foreign nests.
Cry for help, cry for mercy.
I scan the river, a trickle on pavement.
Long ago we were warned.
For one hundred years we flew into the sun—
Kyoto, we did not stop and turn in time.

Author's Note: The poem is a haiku acrostic, with the words of Basho forming the first word of each line of the poem.

Katherine Williams has published four chapbooks and read at venues from the L.A. Poetry Festival to the College of Charleston. A Pushcart nominee, her poems appear in Spillway, Projector, Diagram, Measure, and elsewhere. She is a retired biomedical research technician living on James Island, SC, with her husband, poet Richard Garcia, and their dog, Max.