Poetics Tuesday: River of Silver

Today at d’Verse Poetics, Bjorn is our Pubtender. He has given us a variety of petroglyphs, carvings found in caves in Sweden.  There was quite a variety of them.  Their primitive beauty is timeless.  Although I know this is not the story behind this, I chose to write a story of two lovers caught in hard times and longing to sail away to something better.  Come join us at d’Verse to see more of these amazing cave carvings and read the poems written by poets of today about those people of so very long ago.  Here is the link:  http://dversepoets.com/2015/10/13/dverse-poetics-carved-in-stone/

image not displayed
River of Silver
Up here in the cold north I
Looked out on the blurred black and white photograph
Of the landscape, in the pouring rain –
Ruts full of water
Bare trees shivering in bitter wind.
Sat on the edge of the bed
And watched you sleeping.
Wanting you to wake up and
Hear me say how much I loved you
And how much I hated it here in this cold land.
Let’s go south babe.
Let’s just take that river of silver south
To the land of sidewalk preachers
And yes ma’am and no ma’am
And where flowers bloom all year
and rushing out of
opening and closing screen doors
of small cafes
the low buzz of cordial conversation and
the perfumed glory of coffee
and fresh hot hushpuppies,
Where we can order a basket of them for cheap
And slather with sunshine butter
And drink with coffee black as coal
And thick as the slow voices
And lightened with sweet condensed milk –
Babe, it’s warm there.
Let’s leave this land of grey cold
Let’s take that river of silver –
Us two – where even in the rain
You can find places of warmth.
Let’s take that river of silver
To the land of gold,
Even if we can’t spend it
We can be together
And be warm.
Let’s take that river of silver.

Cicada’s Farewell

cicada’s voice – last
song of summer loud across
the brown pasture –
he sings to the clear blue sky
with newfound joy

Kitagawa Utamaro | Evening Cicada 1615

Kitagawa Utamaro | Evening Cicada 1615

posted to Poetry Pantry #273  http://poetryblogroll.blogspot.com/2015/10/poetry-pantry-273.html

Meeting the Bar – Trimeric Poetic Form

Today at d’Verse Poetics, Mary is our pubkeeper. She has introduced us to the Trimeric Poetic form – a lovely and adaptable form. Come visit us to find out more about this form and read the poems submitted. I hope you will be inspired to try your own and link it up!  http://dversepoets.com/2015/10/08/meeting-the-bar-trimeric-form/

The Full Moon is the Watchdog
The full moon is the watchdog
Guarding the shadows of night –
muted leaves whisper
Secrets to the listening wind.

Guarding the shadows of night
The moon gazes as the cold wind
ripples fallen leaves on the empty road.

Muted leaves whisper
And are echoed by drowsy crickets
and a family of sleepy owls.

Secrets to the listening breeze
Are murmured by the pewter creek
Sleep walking through silver reeds.

 Andō Hiroshige 1797 – 1858 Full Moon and Reeds

Andō Hiroshige 1797 – 1858 Full Moon and Reeds

Abrha’s Birthday – What is our gift to the world?

At d’Verse Poetics, today is not only Poetics day, it is Abhra’s birthday! Happy Birthday!!!! He has gifted us with an incredible poem by Tagore and as the Poetics Prompt, asks us to write about, what we would give to the world as our gift. Come visit to read Abhra’s post and to read the poems linked. What would your gift to the world be?

The Last Thing Left Behind
World looked at the battered box with a carefully blank expression. “Very nice? Thank you, I think?” And indeed, I regifted World a previously given gift. The box was full of nicks, stained by tears and blood, rusted hinges, covered with dust and grime. I said to World, “this was given to you long ago but I think you have forgotten it. All the other items in the box are gone, only one item was left behind. Open the box World, open and remember.”

World shook the box. Something inside rattled from side to side. Content that it would not explode, World opened the box. At the bottom was a stone. As World brought the stone out of the box, it began to glow and pulsate. A fragrance like the breath of the sea, the incense of pines, the prayerful aroma of all the flowers in the world, the sweet sniff of the smell of a newborn baby’s soft little neck. World breathed it in and began to smile. Shoulders bent with care, bruises from wars, tears from sorrow – they all began to disappear, to heal. “What is this gift? Tell me, what is this gift that has the colors of sunrise and rainbows, the light of ten thousand stars in the darkness of night? Please, tell me.”

“Hope. Simply, Hope. Years ago when the box was opened, horrible things entered the world. But as all the evil left the box and entered the world, this one thing remained and will never leave – Hope. Never forget. Open this box often and enjoy this gift. Open the box everyday. Share the gift. It grows greater the more you share it.” World smiled and cradled the beautiful stone in her hands. She took the stone and placed it in my hand. “The sharing begins.”

cold night of winter-
stars break the darkness into
bits of light so all can share.

Pandora - detail from Greek urn - public domain

Pandora – detail from Greek urn – public domain

Haibun Monday: d’Verse Poetics

Today is Haibun Monday at D’Verse Poetics Pub. Bjorn and guest, Hamish Gunn, have given us the prompt to use one of two quotes from poet Khalil Gibran.  http://dversepoets.com/2015/10/05/haibun-monday-2/


Peaceful Dragon
Friendship is always a sweet responsibility, never an opportunity. Khalil Gibran

A cold, wet day in Kyoto. I did not want to be here but since I was, I decided to go to Ryoanji, a few blocks from the hotel where I was booked. Because it was cold winter rain, I took a taxi instead of walking. The taxi driver was happy I was American. I sat in the back seat for the few moments it took. Several times I caught his eye in the rear view mirror, he always smiled. When I got out of the taxi handing him money, he waved it away. “American. Stranger. Cold.”..I could not in honor leave money after that. I bowed deeply to him as he drove off.   I hoped he would look in his mirror and see.

I was alone on the viewing platform overlooking the dry garden. I stood looking in silent awe. On top of the wall was a row of sparrows. All fluffed out, eyes bright with curiosity, they watched this Western stranger move from one end of the platform to the other until I felt “right” and sat down. A few moments later, a young man came in and sat down close by. I glanced in curiosity and he smiled,. We sat there for an hour or so breathing in the perfume of the past, breathing out the steamy breath of the present. The breaths mingled with the cold air and became absorbed. The sparrows became restless, the air turned sweet. I knew that smell – snow! Soon snow flakes joined the rain. I sensed the young man was looking at me. He pointed up and around the garden – hatsuyuki – first snow, he said and sweetly smiled at the sky. It was time to go. Stiffly I began to rise and he put out his hand to help me. We walked in silence to the parking lot where I would summon another taxi. He motioned me to follow him and without fear, I did. With gentle courtesy he opened his car and brought out a thermos. He handed me the cap and poured hot tea into it. I sipped quickly, thawing. A taxi pulled in the lot, trolling. He hailed the taxi for me and put me in speaking to the driver. I gave the driver my hotel and was taken there. I paid him and went inside. I headed for a hot shower and room service.  I blessed my new friends who gave without asking.

First snow and sparrows –
Strangers become friends beside
The peaceful dragon.

free public domain Getty Images

free public domain Getty Images

Haibun: aki fukashi – Autumn Deepens

I am posting this today at Poetry Pantry on Poets United.  Come visit and enjoy the many talented poets linked.  http://poetryblogroll.blogspot.se/2015/10/poetry-pantry-272.html

秋深し (あきふかし Autumn Deepens
Meigetsu: the harvest moon is fading. Bright gold coin in the black sky dims and wanes to a partial dish of cream. Hatsu grashi – the first storm of autumn has washed the sky clean. Aki simu – autumn is clearing – a brilliant blue with luminous white clouds drifting, silent, peace. Aki no koe – the voice of autumn whispers – a breeze across dry leaves on the grass, wind in the reeds at the creek, the little priest cricket delicately moves his legs, a small voice among the pine and bell crickets, alto to the larger cicada and their metallic thrum.

Shinryoo – a new coolness in the air. The coming of autumn is somnolent today – no rise or fall, a steady tone of almost silence. Morning glory twines lovingly around my plum tree and shows her blue face reflecting her sister the brilliant autumn sky – aki no sora. The small grey tabby across the way sits beneath an oak tree watching the occasional slow falling leaf. Her eyes stay upward and she does not move for she wants to see the leaves as they float and fall around her. An early leaf burning: smoke wanders and its incense drifts to heaven. I sit entranced in the midst of the haiku I wish I could write.

voice of cicadas
silent now in the stand of
pine trees on the hill.

painting Tani Bucho 1817

painting Tani Bucho 1817

Ashes in the Wine

free public domain image

free public domain image

Ashes in the wine
“There’s ashes in the glass of wine from the fire in Malibu canyon”.   XFiles 2nd Season Episode title “3”

The blood moon in the night sky
Shone like wine in a goblet held to a candle.
Naysayers, sidewalk prophets, crazed preachers say:
This means the end of the world. When there’s blood on the moon
the world will end.

So many centuries later
we still cower in fear during an eclipse
and huddle listening in fear to hysterical rants..

And was there blood on the moon when my father died (and my world ended)?
And was there blood on the moon when terrorists flew planes into the Twin Towers? (and worlds exploded)
And was there blood on the moon when a woman, child, man was raped and then discarded
(like that wrapper from McDonald’s)?

It was cloudy  then it rained last night
And I couldn’t see all of the eclipse of the moon –
The Super Moon
As it came so close to the earth.

You sipped your wine and sat beside me, bored beyond belief
as I patiently watched then you swallowed down the last sip of wine –
You said, It’s over. I want out.

The rain stopped and the full blood moon came out from behind the clouds.


This is being posted for d’Verse Poets Open Link Night.  OLN is an unprompted poetry activity where we post whatever poem we wish.  Come join us for all the talent linked up.  This is linked to d’Verse Poet’s.

d’Verse Poetics – Gender Bender Poetry

Kelly is our guest pubtender today. She wants us to do a poem that is a gender bender – for the women to write from the male perspective and the men to write from the female. A couple of years ago, I created a fictional character, a Samurai – Mashashi Kenata. This is a poem about the first anniversary of his marriage to Hoshiko (child of the star). Please come and join us for this very interesting and intriguing prompt.

Onnabugeisha - free wiki image

Onnabugeisha – free wiki image

One Sharp Sword
One year.
The first year.
Masashi had not wanted to marry but he had to.
It was arranged.
The youngest daughter of four,
her father the shogun of the prefecture.
His father had made an excellent bargain for his second son.
Masashi was the second son of the shogun’s number one Samurai –
a perfect merging of class and bloodline.
He remembered the first time he saw her on their wedding day
and how relieved he was at her loveliness.
Her gentle demeanor disguised her true self.
Her quick intelligence – sometimes bawdy humor and
her education, actually better than his.
In their marriage bed she was aggressive and left him
shaken to his core.
He was not surprised when she told him she was carrying
their first child.
He was frightened at first and then proud.
Her loveliness on their wedding day was nothing
to her loveliness now.
She was as glowing and beautiful as the reflection of the moon
on dark still water.
But he was never as surprised when, large with the baby inside her
she told him he would never equal his father in prowess with a sword,
that he was clumsy and flat footed and swung his sword
as if he was swinging a scythe and harvesting rice.
But then, she takes the katana from him
and begins to go through the fighting forms –
light on her feet, strong in her swing,
and quick despite her heaviness.
But when she swung his katana at him and he felt his
kimono belt drift to the floor,
he was most surprised.
She laughed and resheathed the katana in his shi.
Close your mouth husband or you will swallow a fly.

autumn robins – tanka

autumn robins on
their trip farther down south stop
for a snack at the
convenience store of my front
yard – crickets the special for
the day – free to all

"Robins" free illustration by John Burroughs, 1876

“Robins” free illustration by John Burroughs, 1876

Heart Rains – tanka

free public image

free public image

Heart rains

dry hot summer ends –
soft rain taps on leaves like sad
tears falling from the
grey sky – I lift my face and
whisper your name – can you hear
me – do you know my heart rains?

Tanka are poems with line syllables of 5-7-5-7-7. There is an extra line of 7 syllables making this form Bussoku-sekika – footprint of Buddha, a rare form of poetry, an early form of waka. It is written for my friend Peggie – Huntmode on wordpress, who died this past May.  I am linking to Poetry Pantry today for the first time:  http://poetryblogroll.blogspot.se/2015/09/poetry-pantry-271.html



Jisei – Part Two – d’Verse Poetics

Today at d’Verse Poetics Pub, Gayle has gifted us with a wonderful and informative prompt on Japanese death poems – jisei.  I submitted one but decided to pull some from my notebook to add.  I hope you all don’t mind.  I. is senryu form II & III are haiku Iv. tanka V. tanka – embedded in a previous d’Verse prompt on chivalry and knights. This is from a poem about a Samurai as he prepares to leave for battle and is the poem he left for his family. The Samurai is fictional but is based on a friend of mine – a modern Samurai of sorts.

Here is the link to come and visit us:  http://dversepoets.com/2015/09/24/jisei-japanese-death-poems

end of a long day –
frozen rain on my roof – I
dream under warm quilt.

the white peony
bright yesterday and fragrant –
today petals fall.

water of autumn
clear now summer storms are past –
winter ice beckons.

grey heron waits in
pond for fish to come – so still
they swim around his
legs not dreaming they will soon
be captives in his beak.

Death Poem of Masashi Kenata – 1538 – 1580
bitter winter winds –
in the garden the sleeping
cherry blossoms wait
for spring sun to awaken –
I can only dream.

copyright kanzensakura


d’Verse Poetics: Meeting the Bar: Jisei (Japanese Death Poem)

Thursday, for the d’Verse prompted activity, Meeting the Bar, Gayle is guest hosting. She will be discussing Jisei – Japanese death poems. These were poems written as gifts, last words or thoughts for the loved one(s) left behind. Literate Japanese including monks and Samurai wrote poems with thoughts on their passing, their lives – some of them wryly humorous!  She wants us to write, in tanka poetic form, our death poem.  I have written many – mainly for use in some fictional poems about Samurai.

The Autumn Equinox – Shubun no hi / 秋分の日 – is a national and solemn holiday in Japan. Ancestors are honored, graves are cleaned and newly decorated, special meals/foods are served. Higan (彼岸), a Buddhist term that not only refers to the river that separates the living and the dead, but is used to describe the 7-day Buddhist event of which they hold services.  So crossing the river from the land of the living to the land of the dead is a special thought for when a loved one dies.

My poem incorporates traditional haiku and tanka.  Because it is the Autumn Equinox – Shubun no hi / 秋分の日 – I am submitting a poem using kigo (seasonal words) for autumn, the river, and ancestors (my own loved ones).  Please come visit and read at:  http://dversepoets.com/2015/09/24/jisei-japanese-death-poems

autumn equinox –
hawk glides between blue sky and
flame painted maples.

still river sparkles
under the autumn sun – those
who crossed before me
wait with arms opened wide – I
cross the bridge with joy.

free wiki image

free wiki image


Previous Older Entries


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 904 other followers

%d bloggers like this: