d’Verse Poetics: Go Set a Watchman

•September 1, 2015 • 23 Comments

Lynn is our guest pubtender today for d’Verse Poetics. Her prompt is taken from Harper Lee’s newly found book, Go Set a Watchman. She wants us to write about who or what is our social watchman, if we have a message to proclaim, to write a dialogue between a watchman and those he watches…the title of the book is from Isaiah 21:6 (KJV). She also uses a quote from the book where Atticus talks to Scout – “Every man’s island, Jean Louise, every man’s watchman is his conscience.

I chose to use a Japanese poetic form dodoitsu (都々逸) for this prompt and the lonely job of the watchman. The Japanese word for watchman is yomawari – both poetry form and word for watchman come from the Edo period. The Dodoitsu is a 26 syllable, non-rhyming poem of 5-7-7-7 syllable line counts. It can be about work or love and is usually humorous. However, the subject and tone is not required; there are many poems about nature and life and are sometimes wistful, bittersweet, or melancholy depending on the subject and theme. Unlike haiku, the first line does not have to contain a season word nor, unlike the similar senryu, it is not a 5-7-5 syllable count.

I hope you all will come visit us today for all the different takes on this most interesting and thoughtful prompt. Not only visit to read the Pubtalk but also to read and comment on the poems. I hope you will also link one of your poems. COMING SOON!!!! HAIBUN MONDAY!!   http://dversepoets.com/2015/09/01/poetics-what-does-the-watchman-see

nder winter stars
the watchman plods sleeping streets –
from his flask he sips sake’ –
and longs for his cozy hut.


Night Watchmen Under Maple Tree - Hokusai

Night Watchmen Under Maple Tree – Hokusai





•August 26, 2015 • 12 Comments



Please excuse the mess while I am redecorating and revamping.  The same old stuff is here, just under a lot of covers and behind boards and such.  All will be back to normal (yeah, like anything on this blog is normal)

You may have noticed I have also gone to an almost all poetry content.  I have gone back to my first love – poetry – and it is such a hot reuniting, it is hard to back off.  Please don’t desert me.  Old Kanzen is still here, I promise.  But you all know how it is to be in full tilt, head over heels, stupid in love.

You all take care.  Hugs and love to you all.

d’Verse Poetics – August 18, 1969 – haibun

•August 25, 2015 • 38 Comments

Today at the d’Verse Poetics Pub, Claudia is hosting. She wants us to write poetry about our country’s National Anthem. Like many Americans, I had not paid much attention to our Anthem or the history behind it. This was the day I heard it in my soul for the first time – atop a VW microbus parked in a sea of mud and garbage – Woodstock.  Come join us at d’Verse Poetics.  And if this doesn’t interest you, starting in September, we will have a new feature:  Haibun Monday.  Please come visit, read, and join us.

August 18, 1969
“And I dreamed I saw the bombers
Riding shotgun in the sky
And they were turning into butterflies
Above our nation.” Woodstock – Joni Mitchell

“Is it tomorrow or just the end of time?”
Purple Haze – Jimi Hendrix

Cousin Billy said, let’s stay. Traffic is horrible. Let’s stay, hang out, groove, listen to the last act. So many had already left, we drove our van closer to the stage and sat on the top of the van. A few people climbed on and joined us. Mellow morning split by image of Hendrix – like a new age archangel making love to his Stratocaster. Across the field the sound soared. High as the birds in the sky I suddenly heard it – The Star Spangled Banner, heard the rockets and bombs exploding; heard the battle for our freedom – rocket’s red glare, bombs bursting in air, our flag was still there.  Billy’s brother had died a month earlier in some ugly muddy melee in Viet Nam. Billy and I held each other and wept as the meaning roared over us, waves and waves of music – raw, primal, real. No sweetly rendered song, no opera singer wailing at a baseball game – No. An African American man bringing it to us in a scream of blood and bone, love and death.

blue summer sky: clouds
finger painted white wisps – birds
wheeling touch the sky.

d’Verse Poetics – Open Link Night 153 – 金曜日 Gold Day

•August 19, 2015 • 57 Comments

Bjorn is hosting today’s Open Link Night.  This is when we submit poems that are not to a specific prompt.  This is always an exciting time to read the poems linked that are so varied and exciting.  Bjorn adds to the excitement today by discussing adding the spoken word to your poems – reading and recording your poems.  If you have wondered about this, please join us.  http://dversepoets.com/2015/08/20/open-link-night-153

I am submitting a compact haibun today – which means fewer than 180 words with only one haiku to add to the prose portion.  The title, Gold Day, refers to how the Japanese name their week days – Gold Day is Friday.  This day is equated with the direction west, autumn, dusk, the metal gold, and the planet Venus.

金曜日 Gold Day

The afternoon he left was a golden roux of fading autumn sunlight, spicy oak leaves – bright yellow, still holding on to the tree, not yet ready to fall, and bitter salt tears – like the oak leaves – refusing to fall, refusing to join the earlier faded maple leaves on the lawn. Under the trees, quiet and still, I allow the knowledge of his leaving to permeate my being. I am still breathing. My heart is still beating. The sky is still ethereal blue with purest white autumn clouds wafting their way to the end of the horizon. Starlings lift from the telephone wires to follow the clouds. I realize, I will continue on my way – leaves will change color and fall, snow will cover the sepia winter landscape, cherry blossoms will bud, bloom, and fade, trees will leaf in explosions of green, leaves will change color and fall. Seasons and things will pass. Inside, my soul says “Oh!”  I sit as the gold day ends.

early leaf burning –  
its incense drifts to heaven
autumn’s voice whispers.

d’Verse Poetics: First Day of School

•August 18, 2015 • 47 Comments

Today, our bartender. Her prompt for us is: the first day of school. Not only the “first” day but when it begins for the new school year. Many of us are long out of school but we have children or grandchildren beginning the school ordeal. I hated school – truly. To me, there was nothing exciting or enjoyable about that first – or any – day of school. The only day I liked was the last day!!!! Come join us at the Pub today to share tales and hear about school from others. Please tell your friends! I think most of us will definitely identify with the offerings posted. And better yet, add your own poem about the first day of school. We are a friendly and diverse poetic community. The Mr. Linky to add your poem is good for 36 hours. So please, come and join us and get in on the conversation as well.

Black Skull Day
on the date on the calendar
marked with a black crayon skull,
freedom ends
boredom begins.
on the seasonal path
summer and autumn meet –
summer going and autumn coming,
warm morning sun
chilly morning dew.
freedom ends,
boredom begins.
school begins –
individuality ends.



d’Verse Poetics – Echo Verse

•August 13, 2015 • 29 Comments

Mary is our bartender today at d’Verse Poetics.  She has given us an interesting prompt today:  echo poetry.  The line below echoes the last word in the line above. We have some interesting and varied responses to this prompt. Come visit us to read the creativity of the linked poets and as always, please feel free to submit your own and comment on the poems. And please, tell your friends!    http://dversepoets.com/2015/08/13/meeting-the-bar-echo-verse

Being heartily sick of the summer heat, I have delved into my second favorite poetry form – tanka – but with the echo twist and…..icy trees!

copyright kanzensakura

copyright kanzensakura

 Tree Bones
snow covered tree bones
rattle tangle in cold wind
Icy plum tree shivers

huddled birds are silent – no
sound except the bones

d’Verse Poetics: Muses from History

•August 11, 2015 • 24 Comments
Grandmother's Star patter, public domain image

Grandmother’s Star patter, public domain image

Today, Abrha is our bartender. For his poetics, he wants us to look at art – the ancient art or old art and how it inspires us. He wants us to write about art in other parts of the world or local art – to write about how it was inspired, created and lives still.

I have chosen to write, not about grand monuments or works of stone or painted ceilings; my main focus is the works of art created by women – often overlooked. In my part of the country, there are many folk museums with examples of quilts, lace, hand loomed cloth as well as carved wooden utensils or handforged metal items. Many of these items were born of necessity and frugality but still, the colors and spirits of those who made them come through.

My mother, before she became crippled by arthritis and Parkinson’s, was quite a hand quilter – taught by her grandmother. My grandmother made beautiful tatted lace. I was never able to learn not being talented in that way. So my poem is about the folk art, the things of every day made beautiful with the patina of age or looking forward to the future with hope.

The Forgotten Artist
1 The heavens proclaim the glory of God.The skies display his craftsmanship…Psalm 19:1

she was born into a family of ordinary people –
ordinary people who created simple things that lasted for generations:
the quilt she slept under as a baby made by her grandmother,
the stone wall made with no mortar
standing strong, the raw colors of the stones
softening with the tones of earth, rain, lichens moss.
the garden of flowers and herbs, brought to the new world
in the form of slips, roots seeds –
they bloomed year after year after year.
a living changing canvas of color.

on a shady side porch, when she was a wee thing
her grandmother placed blocks of colored cloth in her hands
and taught her how to sew them together.
she liked the flower garden and arranged the blocks to look like the garden.
and later she was taught how to sew designs on the blocks,
one small stitch at a time.

and later still, her grandmother with cheeks soft as
delicate rose petals put a needle in her hand and taught her
how to draw the thread and knot and weave –

she looked at the stars in the night sky
wondering and dreaming and with the thread
copied them and the stars were sewn in later years
On the linen handkerchief she carried as a bride.

solid blocks of color became patterns – stars:
Southern star, lone star, shooting star –
her first child slept under a quilt of autumn colored stars –
pieced and stitched as he slept inside her.

and many many years later
she sat on the shady porch painfully moving the needle
and gathering the string – tiny lace stars for the
christening gown of her first great grandchild – a girl.

one more inch.
the last star finished and tied off.
and then, with a deep sigh
she fell asleep, smiling.

public domain image

public domain image


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