MYRON LYSENKO

Myron Lysenko began writing haiku and senryu in the late 1990’s. He is the Victorian Representative for  the Australian Haiku Society. He has published seven books of poetry, the most recent two consisting of haiku. His latest, published by Flying Islands was released in January 2021 and is titled a ghost gum leans over.

Myron has run almost 50 public and private ginko since 2008. A ginko is a haiku outing in a scenic spot where a group people gather to write haiku, then share, discuss and revise them.

His poems have appeared over 600 times in journals and anthologies around the world.Myron has been writing, performing, publishing, editing and conducting poetry workshops since 1980. He was a founding editor (with Kevin Brophy) of the lively independent literary magazineGoing Down Swinging from 1980 to 1994. They then passed the magazine on to new editors.


Myron is a poetry organiser; he was director of the Montsalvat National Poetry Festival, a convenor of La Mama Poetica, and currently runs the monthly reading in Woodend, Victoria Chamber Poets.

Myron teaches creative writing at the Woodend Neighbourhood House and is the leader of the poetry and music band Black Forest Smoke who have released a  CD It’s Alright.

Books:

Coughing With Confidence          
Pets & Death & Indoor Plants      
I’m Ukrainian, Mate
Winning and Losing
Winning and Losing Again
a rosebush grabs my sleeve
a ghost gum leans over

You can see Myron reading his poetry or playing with his band here:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC93MXBvIG9T53isfUOhO8yQ/featured

Here is the opening sequence from a ghost gum leans over:

sarcoma

(for Lucy Lysenko, diagnosed with Ewings Sarcoma on Oct 2008)

winter chill
the GP can’t explain
the pain in her knee
compost heap –
she rings to say her knee
has been x-rayed
nectarine blossoms
the teenager diagnosed
with bone cancer
x-ray vision
a rare bone cancer
in her knee
Ewings Street
is just around the corner…
Ewings Sarcoma’s here
did the specialist say
she may not need surgery?
medical jargon
taxi to hospital
she tells me to stop
telling jokes
she sets up a tent
at the Falls Festival
new crutches
the surgeon
replaces  her knee...
late summer heat
ambulance to Peter Mac
to begin chemotherapy --
perfect beach weather

Bloom Haibun

The pale and bloated teenage girl is lying in a hospital bed. There are cards lined up on a shelf above her head. The smell of dinner spreading through the wards is a warning that visiting time will soon be over. There are three elderly patients and four televisions in this ward but none of them are switched on. The girl’s father is at the foot of the bed with a cryptic crossword and her mother is standing with her arms crossed at the window. The oncologist is coming through the door.
rose petals
she begins to lose
her hair
leaves falling
in the moonlight
her nightmares
a blackbird
flies towards the moon
cancer ward
winter wind
she cries on her way
to more chemo
chemo no. 9
after her constipation
diarrhoea
she flies to Sydney
to see her favourite band
infected PICC line
her port
malfunctions…
chemo postponed

on crutches at a party
she falls onto her knee
Oxycontin tablets
low platelets
her immune system
is zero

closed pink coffin
her bald teen friends
cry together
black orchids
the pain in her knee
is still there
her kneecap rubs
against her inner thigh bone
nectarine buds
last rounds
of chemotherapy
empty bed
remission
she books her tickets
for a holiday in Europe
end of chemo party
I perform a song with a sing along
cancer chorus
six years cancer free a day full of rain
her positive results
on the ten-year check...
a new tattoo
Photo by Nicholas Walton-Healey
Black Forest Smoke

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