Saturday, April 20, 2013

The Tattooed Poets Project: Michael Henry Lee

Our next tattooed poet is Michael Henry Lee.

We have been fortunate to be able to share Michael's work in two previous years, so this post makes him our first three-time contributor. This is the photo he sent:

Photo by Chris Bodor
Michael sent along this explanation of the tattoo:
"...[This] latest addition to a thirty plus year work in progress is in Hebrew and translates: Jehovah Jireh or the Lord sees, also translated, the Lord is my provider. Jehovah Jireh is the first personal name of God that appears in the Torah and the Old Testament. Flames representing God’s first appearance to Moses in a burning bush, and Romans 6:23 a key verse from the New Testament ties the whole piece together.
The most compelling element of the story is the artist who has done all Mr. Lee’s work since he moved to Florida nine years ago. Tattoo Mike; sole owner and operator of The Tattoo Garden in St. Augustine Beach Fl., was involved in a bad motorcycle accident in Sept. 2012 just a few months after completing Michael’s tattoo. As a result of the accident he lost his left leg from the knee down and required resuscitation three separate times that night. He miraculously survived, is back to work and will [have] most likely completed an awesome three piece koi design for Michael Henry Lee about the time this is posted on Tattoosday."
Personally, I always look forward to seeing what Michael will send, and this year, he did not disappoint, sending along the following haiku:

Leonid showers-
the sky continues to fall
on star at a time

night fall-
in my dreams
there’s still time

winter solstice
snowy egrets
knee deep in the moon

so so moon
the right moment
passes between two stones

climate change
another sweater
goes to good will

The preceding poems in order of appearance: 1st place in the 2012 Haiku Foundation’s Haiku Now Contest in the traditional category, and runner up in the modern category, first appeared in The Mainichi Daily News, Mu Haiku Journal IV, and Haiku News respectively.

Michael lives with his wife Sarah of over thirty years, two cats, and numerous bonsai trees in the nation's oldest city. His work has appeared in The Heron's Nest, Frogpond, Haiku News, Icebox, Berry Blue Haiku, One Hundred Gourds, Mainichi Daily News, Haiku Ramblings, and the anthology, Dreams Wander On: Contemporary Poems of Death Awareness [edited by Robert Epstein] (Modern English Tanka Press, 2011).

Thanks to Michael for his continuing contributions to and support of the Tattooed Poets Project on Tattoosday. You can see his previous entries here: 2012 and 2011.

This entry is ©2013 Tattoosday. The poems and tattoo are reprinted with the poet's permission.

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