ubterranean Blue Poetry
Volume II Issue V

The Cover Photo/Art:

by Rebecca Anne Banks

“sweet Kincaridean

he could heal a river”

"light goes dim

the breath of flowers,

jonquils sweet into warm

between the old burnt death smoke

that seeps in from the hallway

between the cast of the moon

full with words

written across my skin

o’ sweet moogan tanty

cloud busting the streets for rain”

Subterranean Blue Poetry
Volume II Issue V
(June 2014)

Subterranean Blue Poetry

© 2014

Her Desires

by Carmelo Militano

She touches her hair
covers the curve above her breast
a half moon in a tangled geometry
of thin branches.
Outside her window
Orion’s lips are mute
pressed flat against the hard winter night sky
solitary streets are white and cold.

She dreams a little
Byzantium peacocks walk on gravel
between low hedges
Imagines the sound of a fountain
like dropping small coins repeated over and over
hot white light in the arched courtyard
shadows thick and round on the cool palace walls.

At sunset
the heat of the day
rises off the stone paths of ancient stone
her short sleeves are wet
feels damp where the curve of her thigh folds
intimately against her.

All day desire enters her heart
as the day grows short, her longing lengthens.
Now she breathes on the window
traces with her finger two curves on the misted surface
he rests his chin on her shoulder
inhales her scent
enters the warm house she has built for him.

The Angels Look Out

by Carmelo Militano

Angels look out across the wide night sky
See stars forever alert at their post
During the day they see the same stars
Dance like droplets of rain behind a blue veil
But are blind to the man and the woman
Glued and trying to surrender and recover
A submerged continent of feeling
Realize the source of light.

They can see a bright blue ballpoint mark that is Earth
Shining on the edge of a fog of light
Spread like warm milk
On a set table that has always been silent
A vast room of unknown proportions
Where they gazed with pleasure on the random disorder of stars
Dispersed like the cities below them.

They do not know
Why a man and woman
Wish to hold each other every night
And think only they can see vast empty space
Or understand the passage of time.

The Atlas

by Carmelo Militano

Your breasts are round chapels
where my prayers rise and fall
on a hot celebrated cathedral afternoon
just before the bells on a camel caravan ring
to cross the flat desert of your belly
pause to smell the salt
near your original connection to the sea
register a promise
to your solitary prisoner on the embankment
who stiffens and waves
above the dew filled valley
urges the moon, stars, and sun to return
sends light back into the universe
in a single fitful blast
draws a new map born under your skin.

Featured Poet: Lord Byron (George Gordon)

She Walks in Beauty

by Lord Byron

She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that’s best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes;
Thus mellowed to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impaired the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
Or softly lightens o’er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express,
How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.

And on that cheek, and o’er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent!

Missed Connections

Craigslist Montreal – Missed Connections – March 5th, 2014 – Anonymous

skinny girl in white jeans, and blue flowers on the side - m4w

To that skinny girl yesterday in the white jeans, with blue flowers on the side! wow!

Book Reviews

On Watching Snow Falling, The Montreal in Winter Series.

Byline: The Book Reviewer

Title of Book: On Watching Snow Falling (2011 – 2012), (2012 – 2013), (2013 – 2014)

Author: Rebecca Anne Banks

Publisher: Tea at Tympani Lane Records

Date of Publication: 2014

Page Count: (20)

“Poetry for a winter night” On Watching Snow Falling is a spectacular series of Haiku poetry written in the winters of 2011, 2012, 2013 by Rebecca Anne Banks. Rebecca Anne Banks is an under-celebrated Poet/Singer/Songwriter/Musician/Writer/Artist/Counselor/Philosopher/Activist who is the sole CEO/Artist at Tea at Tympani Lane Records (www.tympanilanerecords.com), the Poetry Editor at Subterranean Blue Poetry (www.subterraneanbluepoetry.com) and the Book Reviewer at The Book Reviewer (www.thebookreviewer.ca).

Haiku poetry is traditional Japanese poetry made popular in the 17th century by the grandmaster of Haiku poetry, Basho, who was fully celebrated and recognized by the Imperial government and the Buddhist religious one hundred years after his death. Before Basho redefined Haiku it was a playful game, in Japanese hai means amusement and ku means verse. There are many rules of traditional Haiku; the Haiku poem is simple, yet profound – a few short sentences in a profoundly expressed truth; there is a Kigo, a word that describes the season; there is a Kiriji, a cutting word (sometimes a punctuation mark) to juxtapose, compare and contrast two events or images; Universal Themes; Haiku Eyes – careful observance of the world in detail that is profound, usually the celebration of nature as a major theme; Mask of Objectivity – indirect descriptive imagery of emotion; can be read in a breath – it is a brief moment; use of colourful contrasting images; a profound illumination or enlightenment; no rules of sentence structure, punctuation or capitalization; celebrates an uplifting moment; traditional Haiku poetry does not rhyme and does not repeat words.

A Japanese Haiku poem by Notsume Soseki (mid 1300’s) –

“Over the wintry forest,

winds howl in rage

with no leaves to blow.”

Illustrating how Haiku was formed and changed by Basho (1600’s):

“ as it falls

spilling water

the camellia”

The love of Haiku poetry traveled to the West, with English writings of Haiku sparked by the translations of R. H. Blyth, an Englishman living in Japan in the early 1900’s.

Ezra Pound an American poet is famous for this delicious Haiku,

In a Station of the Metro

“The apparition of these faces in the crowd;

Petals on a wet, black bough.”

In English Haiku poetry writing, the usual form includes 17 syllables, divided into 3 lines of poetry, 5 syllables, 7 syllables and 5 syllables. However, in the modern school, any combination of syllables in short sentences that is in the Spirit of Haiku, borrowing some elements of traditional Haiku form and is profound may be considered Haiku. In modern day Japan the defining boundaries of Haiku have become flexible.

Harold G. Henderson, an American living in Japan in the 1930’s studying Haiku and writing translations, introduced an (a – b – a) rhyme scheme to Haiku whereas the Japanese traditionalists never used rhyme. However, this Writer observes that this rhyme scheme only really works when there is also an internal rhyme in the body of the poem.

A Night-piece by Edward Shanks’:

“So far . . . so low . . .

A drowsy thrush? A waking nightingale?

Silence. We do not know."

This is profound and works as a Haiku.

And this poem by Kwaso:

“The tower high

I climb; there, on that fir-top,

sits a butterfly!

This is in the true Spirit of Haiku.

And this poem by Kikaku:

“Bright the full moon shines:

on the matting of the floor,

shadows of the pines”

Also brilliant in the Spirit of Haiku.

This is a poem by Fijiwara no Saddiye (A.D. 1235):

“A fluttering swarm

of cherry petals; - and there comes,

pursuing them, the storm!

To me this has too many words and only rhymes twice, “swarm” and “storm”, falling flat. The previous three examples rhyme in the a – b – a scheme but also have an internal word in the poem that also rhymes, in my mind making all the difference.

One of the original and exciting elements to Poet Banks Haiku is the introduction of triple rhyme schemes and multiple rhyme schemes within the body of the poem, not necessarily in an a – b – a pattern but also bringing the Haiku into fruition as the profound lightness of being.

“I close my eyes

to the marazipan sky

imagine peace

the sleep of angels

softly, softly the night.”

- On Watching Snow Falling (2011 – 2012)

“Epitaph to the winter night

and poetry by Chinese goddesses

sing to the sky

sing to the night

sing to me.”

– On Watching Snow Falling (2012 – 2013)

This Haiku rhymes the hard “i” four times, rhymes “e” three times and repeats the word “sing” three times, yet the overall effect of the poem plays with the light, has a Kigo, a Kiriji in the juxtaposition of the night and the singing of Chinese goddesses, celebrates the sky and may be considered Haiku.

“I wear you, a coat

in the sweet

of winter longing

wild the snow

in blue,

by my window.”

– On Watching Snow Falling (2012 – 2013)

This Haiku poem is sweet, has a Kigo, a Kiriji in the juxtaposition of the love interest as a winter coat with the wild snow outside. It rhymes a hard “o” three times and has a sense of the profound.

“By swirling dusk snow

the blue quiet and inside

the rabbit moon sky.”

– On Watching Snow Falling (2013 – 2014)

This is a more traditional form of 5 – 7 – 5 syllables and rhymes 4 times the hard “i”and celebrates the sky.

“cat, cat outside

by rugger snow

on moon winds

walks across the fence


into quiet.”

– On Watching Snow Falling (2013 – 2014)

This enigmatic non-traditional Haiku, is sweet and has 2 Kiriji, juxtaposes the figure of a cat with the snow winds and then reintroduces the cat walking across a fence.

The Haiku poetry of On Watching Snow Falling, is profound and uplifting, celebrates the season of winter and nature, juxtaposes contrasting images and captures the imagine of the possibility of peace in a snow filled backyard in a quiet French village in Quebec. The poetry writes into the silence of someone alone by their window observing the nature of winter life outside and winter solace. Traditional Haiku is not so many words and perhaps with more details of the natural world yet the fresh cut of the first read is spellbinding and this New Age play on the ancient Haiku tradition is entwined with the passion of the heart, blue and sky. The first 3 books in The Montreal in Winter series, On Watching Snow Falling, Haiku poetry by Rebecca Anne Banks.

Available at Amazon.

Blue, the moon and me : watching the sky clouds


Rebecca Anne Banks

(inspired by an afternoon in Toronto 1986 and an afternoon in Montreal 2014 –
the poem begins in Montreal and toggles to Toronto and back and forth, ending
where the poem began in Montreal)

i. it is afternoon

a few pennies, a few pennies more

down Notre Dame to the Salvation Army

it is sunlight and warm

ii. . . . some fresh pastries

and a China bowl

beautiful on blue wings

the sun and quiet rain

iii. a large soft sheet

an orange t-shirt

my days treasures

in a bag by the door

iv. the vague music of classical violin


down the steps

into the tunnel

walls of old cement castings

and bare pipe

the scabbard and disease

yet, the music in sunlight

dresses me

holds me

carries me to the end

iv. you take me by the hand

pull me down to St. Antoine

we sit in the sunlight

it is years since we’ve been here

“of an afternoon”

watching the sky clouds

blue to blue and dark

“see the moon” he says,

he dances,

“I am just a dream,


inside the eye of god”

and time

v. i drop a coin in his case

the violinist looks happy to see me

the angels sing,

sing into blue

into the cool and shadow

vi. je t’aime

je t’aime


quiet blue,

and the moon

and the night.


Rebecca Anne Banks is at home in Montreal. She is the CEO/Artist at Tea at Tympani Lane Records ( www.tympanilanerecords.com) and the Book Reviewer at The Book Reviewer ( www.thebookreviewer.ca).

Lord Byron (George Gordon) is a famous British Poet of the Romantic Age. He is a controversial figure, "mad, bad and dangerous to be around" is Lady Caroline Lamb's opinion and his marriage of convenience to Lady Anne Isabella Milbanke broke after which he went East to fight in the Greek War of Independence where he died a war hero. He is most famous for traveling Europe extensively, huge debts, many love affairs with both sexes (including his half-sister), living in exile and being a truthsayer outside politics and the society. His works include Prometheus, The Lament of Tasso, Beppo, Don Juan, The Prophecy of Dante, Heaven and Earth, The Age of Bronze, The Island, The Deformed Transformed amongst many others.

Carmelo Militano is a poet and writer. He is the winner of the 2004 F.G.Bressani award for poetry. His novel ‘Sebastiano’s Vine’ was short-listed for the Margaret Laurence 2014 fiction prize. His latest collection of poetry ‘Morning After You’ (Ekstasis Editions) will be released fall, 2014.