Mel Takahara is a raconteur whose poems awaken the reader to the spiritually karmic, meditative, and ecstatic realms of daily life: like “A flung stone hurtling,” each poem lands firmly in a world blessed with yearning and question, where “…we are all hunters and gatherers”--and, too--“fair prey” “searching for tiny metaphors in life.” Whether through an epistle or tanka, magmatic life tribulations become enlightened shards of memory imbued with a deep reverence for life as a sacred journey. Like lava just beneath the earth’s surface, Takahara’s poems flow just under the skin where the wondrous world is a constant, relevant discovery—both “a precious gift” and“a broken place.” It’s to Takahara’s credit that he sees the light andthe dark in these poems, how we live filled with enchanting, nail-biting dichotomy through rebirth and growth, through Zoloft dreams, to disorientation and reassemblage. In Takara’s enlightened hands, we rediscover “Sweetness has a core” in this world, still, and humanity wails continually “…in the fading bastard amber light.”
A splendid piece of work. A real and very vital contribution to contemporary poetry.
Mel Takahara’s stunning poetry collection “The Waiting Child” is an authentic reflection of light and dark, of the contrasts that exist in the human soul. The poems are ecstatic, meditative, often inspired by natural elements such as creek water, bamboo, muscat grapes, mallards. Accompanying each poem is a Tanka. Because of the condensed form, these poems often capture the darker moods of a soul cut loose. A line in the poem “picking puka shells at Sunset Beach” says “the old poet picks through shards of memories.” This line sums up this beautiful collection for me.