Christine Richardson, poet and co-host of the Willow Glen Poetry Project, introduced our featured readers thus:
Tonight we feature a double header from 2 local poets who have long committed themselves to the Yuki Tekei Society and to the lyrical Japanese verse of haiku and the oldest form of Japanese poetry, tanka.
Roger Abe and Betty Arnold exemplify poets whose career choices intrinsically link to their poetry. Roger has been a San Jose Park ranger, as he says, for more years than syllables in a haiku poem, ample time for him to observe and write about nature and its seasons. As he wrote:
All night winter rain
pitterpatters in my sleep
I awake, fluent
Betty Arnold, whom some of you may have heard at our 1st Poetry Festival this past April, was a pediatrician and grief counselor, attuning her ear, eye and heart to the essences of both life and death. Betty wrote:
islands of duckweed
drift on the autumn pond
We are very pleased to present these two fine poets. Please welcome Roger Abe and Betty Arnold.
ROGER ABE has been active with Yuki Teikei Haiku Society, YTHS, for the better part of twenty years. With YTHS he has hosted an annual Spring reading in San Jose Parks (usually at the Japanese Friendship Garden in Kelley Park) since 1992. He likes the outdoors and parks, and has served as a San Jose Park Ranger, also, for more years than there are syllables in a haiku.
BETTY ARNOLD has been a pediatrician in private practice and academia,a children’s grief counselor and a facilitator of the Healer’s Art Course for medical students at UCSF in her other life. She was drawn to haiku some 15 years ago and became a member of Yuki Teikei Haiku Society in 2002. She also has been active with Haiku Poets of Northern California during the last 3-4 years. The art of writing haiku is her daily practice. Patricia Machmiller has been her cherished dojin. The Yuki Teikei Society has been the fountainhead of some of her dearest friends. Her haiku and tanka have been published in the Geppo, the yearly YTHS Anthology since 2005, Mariposa and Red Lights.