“Essential” Featured in Poets United: Poems of the Week!

Thrilled to have my haibun Essential featured in Poems of the Week from Poets United! Thank you, Sherry, for the invitation and conversation!  A special shout-out to Robin Kimber and Julian Clarke, whose poems are also featured!




“In the beginning was the word…”

Logos. The essence of consciousness, the embodied will of creative Love, from which the universe began with a Big Bang. An utterance of voice so tender and loving that potential gave birth to actual. A voice so awesomely heartbreaking, and heard now only in the heart of silence.


and the rain’s rattle …

frog croaks

Who would the Logos call to share the presence? Who would point the finger at the moon, steal the fire that would light the way of humanity, salve the wound festering from ancestors’ egoistic mistakes?

Who else? Call us Bards, for the verses we craft bare true stories. Call us Troubadours, for our songs shatter hearts. Call us Warrior-poets, for through our art we eviscerate the lies that ensnarl all. Call us Pathfinders, for we show the way. What else would you call teachers?

“Taoing …

the way you can go

isn’t the real way”

Sherry: I love the whole idea of Warrior-poets and Pathfinders. Indeed, I believe we are! A wonderful write, Frank!

Frank: I am honored to offer you my permission to republish “Essential”.

This haibun evolved out of two prompts: a bridge prompt from  dVerse Poets’ MTB–Bridging the Gap and Real Toads’ Job Title. I felt inspired by the opening verse of both John’s Gospel and Ursula K. Le Guin’s rendition of Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching, so I used them. Logos, the Greek word for word, and Tao, the chinese word for Way, share a similar connotation. I have always been fascinated by the symmetry, so that informed the poetic prose of the first stanza.

I wanted to complement that with an ordinary haiku grounded in my experience at the moment of writing. Next, I wanted to do justice to my own profession. I have used the titles in a previous haibun, and they resonate as a part of my own vision statement. I rewrote them in this stanza, adding new contextual descriptors that tied in with the heights I introduced in the first prose stanza. I then ground the haibun again in that final haiku.

Sherry: This poem is wonderful on so many levels. I have been enjoying the format of your poems lately, Frank.

Frank: I’m not sure what you mean by a new format. I’ve written haibun in single prose-haiku or multiple prose-haiku “Stanzas” before. I’ve also written tanka-prose, often sandwiching a prose portion between two tanka. As for voice, I let the subject inspire me, and I write in response to that inspiration. I chose to personify water in Aqua, for example, because that’s what felt right when I reflected on water. I thought of its importance in our lives, and how every culture has Gods of different aspects of water, and the poem called for water as the narrator.


Sherry: I loved “Aqua”. It was a tossup which poem I wanted to feature. But the warrior-poets won out! Smiles.

Frank: Thank you for your invitation to feature “Essential”. I’ve enjoyed discussing it with you.

Sherry: And we are enjoying the conversation, Frank. Thankyou.


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