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Darlene Montonaro

Jisei (Death Haiku)
The Chinese poet Li Po (c 700-762)
a ‘lighthearted winebibber’ fell out of a boat
and was drowned when he tried to kiss and embrace the moon’s reflection in the water.
                        Robert Hendrickson,
Literary Life and Other Curiosities

Let it be like this:
Moon drunk sky.  Stone-slip silent –
water’s warm embrace.


The wise one’s advice is:
First of all, do nothing.
Be speechless as the moon –
alert, expectant.

Be as calm as possible.
Abandon all attempts at reason
and know when to be a rock,
stable, silent.

Let shadow clouds fall
like whispers.  Speak only
if you are asked a question.

The rain is worth everything.

Darlene Montonaro was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. For most of her professional career she has worked in arts administration, including serving as the past Executive Director of The Poets’ & Writers’ League of Greater Cleveland. Her poetry has appeared in a variety of literary magazines including Calyx, Slipstream, Visions International, Earth’s Daughters, Blueline, Poetry Motel, The Comstock Review, and several poems in an upcoming issue of Abraxas. Four of her poems were also anthologized in the book Illness & Grace: Terror & Transformation, published by Wising Up Press (Decatur, GA).