Saturday, April 4, 2020

Welcome Hong Kong and China viewers of Five Willows Literary Review

We see a surge in viewers from Hong Kong and China to the Five Willows Literary Review site.

Thank you, enjoy, and please give feedback!

Friday, March 6, 2020

Franz Kafka interviews Tao Qian by koon woon

Franz Kafka (briefly) Interviews Tao Qian

Anywhere there is water
There I dip my line
Life can reside in depths

Truth is a bad deal, my friend,
It ruptures the Bohemian night

Fuzzy Wuzzy was he
But logically he was not he

My line drifts


Neither Franz Kafka nor Tao Qian knew of each other nor cared about fame. And they lived literally worlds apart in time and space. What follows is a brief fictional interview:

F:  Are you afraid of roaches?

T:  Of the kind that moved about, only the kind that moves in high places. I smoke them out.
      They pass legislations and suddenly illegal becomes legal, etc. They eat a meal, walk then as
      far as half a block, and then eat another meal.

F:  I understand that you are a famous poet on China. Is that correct?

T:  Look at it this way, my friend, if you are a successful traveling salesman of restaurant
      cookware, then I am a poet who has drowned himself many times in wine.

F:  I understand you gave up a government post to become a rustic farmer of chrysanthemums.

T:  Yes, my friend, just as you prefer Prague coffeehouses, I prefer anonymity amongst village
      dung. Confucius said there is beauty in all, except some fail to see it.

F:  Thank you, my friend, I must go see my friend Max now.

T: Good-bye, my friend, when you come this way again, look for the house surrounded by five

Epilogue:  Friends can be as eloquent as the long Great Wall of China or as terse as a legal brief.                         
                  You can hear each murmur in a crowded courtroom or the silence of a bamboo leaf.

-          Koon Woon, March 6, 2020


Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Grant from the WA State Arts Commission

No photo description available.

We are indeed thankful for a grant of $1,200 from the WA State Arts Commission to publish the 2020 Chrysanthemum Literary Anthology and readings in the Seattle area. 

Good morning, Blues!

Friday, December 13, 2019

$1,200 Grant from the WA State Arts Commission

No photo description available.
The WA State Arts Commission has just granted the Chrysanthemum Literary Society $1,200 for its Chrysanthemum 2020 Poetry Anthology and a public reading at the C & P Coffee in West Seattle. We deeply thank the WA State Arts Commission for its clear vision in meaningful and necessary poetry for the times we are coping with. 

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Koon Woon ----------- nonfiction

TOO LONG A STORY by koon woon (draft)

Julie A.Dickson ---- four poems


Single bird perched upon snow covered tree
he huddles, head nestled out of the wind
swaying his thin frame ‘mong branches blown free,
desolate landscape, lone bird wonders when

this storm will subside, the sun to emerge.
Snow covers feathers, his beak under wing.
Lifts up his head, storm seems on the verge;
sun breaks through snow sky, he’s ready to sing.

Flies over meadow now coated with snow,
straight to a farmhouse with silos of corn,
scattered, the seeds, they call from below,
landing to feast on this cold sun-filled morn.

Recalls the chill night he spent in the tree,
rejoice the morning, when storm set him free.

Julie A. Dickson
Exeter, NH


When words escape me like so many dreams
everything changes, different it seems.
Travel upon memory buried in snow,
while drifts blow over wherever I go.

I trip over roots, hidden -- I fall
on my knees but I realize that overall
the whole point of a journey varies;
some may stumble while others tarry,

confused, might wander among the rubble,
pick through detritus that caused this trouble,
reminisce smiling past times when I knew
a trembling voice, from one of a fool.

Isolated, alone in a din,
Ignored or passed over -- turn myself in-
to the fray, if I  write about life,
will they recognize, imagine my strife?

Yes, overcome, I’ve lived onto this age,
earned the right to own all of my rage.
A pass is issued, somewhat of a badge,
a ticket, an entry to lift up this latch.

Open a new door, within my own time –
appreciate brilliance, begin to unwind,
unravel the voices beneath the snow,
whisper survival through words I now know.

Julie A. Dickson
Exeter, NH

Secret Melon

Lying on the floor in the hallway
I saw grownups in black slacks,
lace collars
a party in my parent’s house

I wanted sweet cantaloupe melon,
mother cut fruit all afternoon
fruit salad
for guests she said and only smiled
at my request
for a bite of melon, ripe and delicious
wait, she said,
the leftovers, you can have breakfast
I frowned

I crept into the dining room, under the table
reached up
quickly grabbed a piece of melon,
juicy cantaloupe
I popped it quickly into my mouth,
so delicious.
I crawled back to my bed, still tasting,
I went back to sleep now, waiting
for breakfast

Julie A. Dickson
Exeter, NH


I know just where my father’s ashes are interred,
but I wonder if I really knew him.
My mother’s ashes were buried next to his,
but while his were in a faux-granite urn,
hers had been dumped, unceremoniously
from a cardboard box directly into the ground,
by my father ten years earlier.

I thought of this atrocity, this role-reversal,
how much my mother hated dirt,
would have preferred the clean sealed urn.
It was he, who would have wanted to be dumped
into the ground or over the lake he loved,
but instead he was locked inside an urn.

Sometimes I wish I could have torn open his urn,
thrusting him to the wind, scooping up the memory
of my mother, to capture her essence
but then I realize that she is more free
than my father will ever be.

Julie A. Dickson

Exeter, NH

Heather Sager ______________________ poem

Bring the night I, the poet, did walk around that day living like I was actually alive. And the next day, I the poet lived rather like I wa...