to the small poem and the quiet voice within

stephen addiss | cloud calligraphy exhalation
of crickets—
..tap dance class

..humming softly
the bumblebee
..goes out for lunch

..inching down the street
a centipede
..of 4-year olds

..old pond paved over
into a parking lot— frog still singing

[from CLOUD CALLIGRAPHY, Red Moon Press , 2010]


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: After studying with John Cage, Stephen Addiss traveled for 16 years performing folk and traditional music in Asia, Africa, and the United States as part of the duo “Addiss & Crofut.” He then completed a PhD at the University of Michigan and began teaching a variety of subjects, focusing on Japanese and Zen arts, first at the University of Kansas and now at the University of Richmond. Addiss is the author or co-author of many books and museum catalogues on East Asian culture, serves a co-editor of South by Southeast Haiku Arts Journal, and has had his poems and paintings published and exhibited frequently.


  1. delphine and lee

    Addiss & Crofut were family favorites back in the Sixties when we attended Community Concerts in Lexington, NE. Still have some of their 33’s sitting around here somewhere.

  2. Sandra McPherson

    It’s a pleasure to see Addiss’s addition to the truth of frogs in the universe. Anyone who hasn’t encountered it yet will enjoy “Forty-one Hokku on Frogs” (the Frog Matches) in From the Country of Eight Islands (Hiroaki Sato and Burton Watson).

  3. chinh le

    I am trying to contact Mr Stephen Addiss who sang the Vietnamese folksong “the rain on the leaves” and others by Pham Duy. If you re that person, please contact me asap. I have been asked by the Corvallis Multicultural Center to sing and record some Vietnamese folk songs, and would like your permission to sing the above and/or “thuong Binh” (The Wounded Soldier). Thank you.
    Respectfully yours,

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