Gardenias

For Hedge’s 55.

Gardenias
You used to play the piano when you
could not sleep –
The sound filled the house.
Smell of gardenias filled the air.
Someone else lives there now.
They cut down the gardenia bushes
and planted stylish shrubs.
I dreamed I had died.
I wonder if gardenias grow
in the mountains of Japan.

The Peacock Room

The Wee Notes: Another poem in my Dorian Grey series.  I am using these poems and the study of the times to get my MFA, hopefully by the end of summer. I have written a fictional epistolary poem from Dorian to James Whistler. Oscar Wilde toured America in 1882 and 1883. He and James Whistler were constantly scoring points off each other while holding court at the Café Royal in London. Whistler had finished his famous Peacock Room at the house of Frederick Richards Leyland. Thomas Jeckyll, another British architect/artist experienced in the Anglo-Japanese style, was originally commissioned. Jeckyll fell ill and the room became the responsibility of James Whistler. It was completed in 1877. The room was originally entitled Symphony in Blue and Gold and is one of the finest examples of interior art by Whistler. The portrait which is showcased in the room is entitled the Princess from the Land of Porcelain and the model is Christina Spartali. Both Whistler and Leyland were fascinated by Spartali and it became the basis for a financial disagreement between Patron and Artist. So much for the wee notes for this quadrille.  Posted for dVerse Poets Pub Quadrille Monday and Real Toads Tuesday Platform.

public domain

The Peacock Room
“Mauve is just pink trying to be purple.” James Whistler
“Memory … is the diary we carry about with us.” Oscar Wilde

Dear James,
This new world makes me feel old. San Francisco in the rain
Is not nearly as lovely as London. The reflections of buildings are too sharp –
the colours muted. Your favorite dartboard will soon return to the Café Royal.
Eternally,
Dorian

Princess from the Land of Porcelain – James Whistler

When I Grow Up

A bit of froth for Brendan’s Prompt on Real Toads:  Heroes and Heroines.  I must be honest, I own all the CD’s of the series while Diana Rigg was playing Mrs. Peel.  I stayed up late in order to watch the TV series.  I took karate, judo, fencing, and my father taught me how to shoot a revolver.  Emma Peel was bad to the bone.  I was Emma Peel-lite.

When I Grow Up
Because of you
I took judo and karate,
Fencing.
Because of you
I discovered
Women can be strong –
Damascene steel under lace,
Tigress in black leather.
The lithe lissome beauty
with a Webley in hand –
Kikazuke Geri
Tiger claw
Remise
Passata soto
Fleche
Intelligent witty elegant –
Dangerous
I still want to be Emma Peel when I grow up.

public domain

public domain

 

Night

Today at Real Toads, Fireblossom has the prompt. She discovered that she is related to the great American Impressionist artist, Edward Simmons. She has given us a few images to pick one and write about or to find another image. Being me, I did some research and found many wonderful paintings by this prolific artist. the one that spoke to me was Night.  Thank you Shay for this wonderful and meaningful prompt!

Night
As usual I can’t sleep.
I sit on the beach watching the sleeping ocean –
Listening to its susurrus…
The smell of honeysuckle mixes with the smell
of the sleeping ocean – like an artist mixes his paints.
The honeysuckle is magnificent this year
Climbing in fettered freedom on the
growth of trees and small bushes, fences.
On the drive down here today
the car in front of me hit a bird –
A small bird dipping down for a bit of something
in the middle of the road.
I looked in my rearview mirror and saw it flopping.
I pulled over to the shoulder
and ran and quickly scooped it up in my hands,
Where it immediately died.
A bit of blood on my hands
with its eyes still open.
I wonder does it have a nest of babies somewhere?
I go back to my car and put it into a paper bag.
Later that night I bury it in the sand dunes.
The sleeping ocean sings it a lullaby.
I look at the moon on the ocean. One day
I think,
I shall walk into that ocean.
The honeysuckle is magnificent this year.

public domain Night by
Edward Simmons 1889

Haiku 05152018

This is posted on Real Toads Tuesday Platform in honor and memory of my friend Peggie who died three years ago today due to complications from COPD. She was a true onnebugeisha. She rescued greyhounds, people (including me), she loved her country, and she loved to laugh.  She never called a “turd a rose” …thank you Fireblossom for this wonderful quote.

summer night is long –
dew falls but fades at morning –
grasses remember

Haibun: The Kindness of Strangers

Today Xenia Tran is hosting the haibun prompt over at dVerse Poets Pub. She has given us the prompt of compassion but not to use the word. Also today on Poets United, Sherry Marr has highlighted me and some of my poems:  http://poetryblogroll.blogspot.com/2018/05/blog-of-week-update-with-kanzen-sakura.html

Kindness of Strangers
Sometimes it is the small things that show kindness. When my mother was admitted into the skilled nursing facility, she was at first hostile and afraid. The personnel did all they could for her and to help me. I felt guilty because I could no longer care for her at home. The aides would get her up and bathed and dressed, joking with her, cajoling her into eating a bit of her breakfast, and letting us know about activities planned for the patients for the day. I would wheel her around the facility in her wheelchair, talking to the staff and patients, creating conversation to include my mother. After a couple of weeks she began to get into the routine and to eat her meals in the dining room. I began to help the workers with seating patients, bringing their food to the table, wheeling them back to the activity room for afternoon bingo, musical programs, and craft activities.

After Mother’s Day, mama had a series of seizures and strokes. The little ladies I talked to daily asked me about her, asked me to give her their best wishes and prayers for her. The key would even have their pastors come to mama’s room to talk with her, to pray over her. She was nonverbal by this time and took all of her meals in her room. The Kitchen staff would prepare special bits of food that they knew she liked. I would sit with her all day. Everyone knew my routine. Early one morning, the floor nurse called me at home to let me know my mother had died.
birds on feeder
outside her window – away
they flew – her soul is freed

 

an angel made by mama in her craft class from an oyster shell

Nap

For Hedge’s 55. For those of you who have never heard or, never listened to a cardinal, I am including the music they make.  This is also posted for Poets United Poetry Pantry.  Happy Mothers Day to you all. If your mother is still alive, let her know how much you love her. My mother died last June. I miss her every day.

Nap
Ninety-three degrees at noon.
The scent of white clover is heavy.
Sitting in the shade on my back porch –
A cardinal on top of the birdhouse –
spot of blood against the greenyellowblue
Chirpchirpchirp.
The sound follows me down into my dreams –
Chripchirpchirp
Like a tiny temple bell – but
I can’t find my way back home

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