dVerse Poets Pub – Haibun – What’s in a Name?

Thursday is Open Link Night at the dVerse Poets Pub. You can submit one original poem of your choice. I am submitting this haibun.  The haiku is the one I wrote for the contest ages ago.  Come join us at dVerse and find your new favorite poet!  http://dversepoets.com/2016/05/26/openlinknight-173/

public domain image

public domain image

What’s in a Name?
The image:. A beautiful woman with dark curly hair and in her arms a pretty daughter with matching hair. Toni Home Permanent. Which twin has the Toni? Toni doll:. Wash! Comb! Curl! Her magic hair! TV in the 1950’s bombarded you with images of perfection (Just like now). My pregnant mother just knew she would give birth to a daughter and because she had naturally beautiful black hair with curls, and her younger sister and her mother and grandmother, so would her daughter. I was born with a headful of black curls and so she named me Toni. I hated this name. Kids sneered. Nyah nyah! You have a boy’s name. Teachers insisted my name was Antonia or Tonia. No one was called Just Toni. I hated the name Tonia. Tonnnnnyuh. Tonia was the perfect little girl in Sunday School with straight hair the color of ripe wheat. Tonia was not the tangle curly haired snaggle toothed glasses wearing changeling – that was Toni.

In school Tonia was well behaved and used a bookmark under the words as she dutifully read – Toni was halfway through the book and always being set in a corner because she didn’t read the right words when called upon. Toni was hard to spell:. Tony, Toney, Tone, Tonie, Tonee, and the middle name…Carol. Before she could get away with not using not telling it. Vicious kids would twist and slur it…Toneeee Currrrl…hey Toneeee Currrrl. Your mother named you after a boy. Four eyed Toneeee Currrrl….nyah nyah

But Toni – when she was six wrote her first haiku. When she was 12, she won second place in the state haiku society contest for adults. She began reading Eliot, Dickinson, Whitman,. Thoreau. And by then she no longer heard the meanness, but ya know? Now? Those knife cuts from long ago still sting. Sometimes in the night when she can’t sleep, she wonders if she will ever write a first place haiku. Will she ever be good enough?  When she moves slowly and deliberately through the sword forms, she wonders if her movements will ever make music in the air. She looks down at the faded Second Place Winner certificate and opens the tattered sheet of paper and still wonders if she will ever be good enough or will she always be the four eyed changeling – always be boynamed Toneee Currrrl.

summer full moon – no
shadows in silver lit yard –
sword slashes through night

 

public domain image

public domain image

dVerse Poetics – Goodbye too soon – harunoshimo

Abhra is the host for todays’s prompt which is saying goodbye too soon or saying goodbye when you didn’t/don’t mean it. Interesting prompt. Last year, I said goodbye to winter too soon and then BAM!!!! Major frost. So here is the tanka I wrote at that time because I said it too soon. Come join us over at dVerse for some what I know will be interesting and different takes on this prompt. Have you ever said goodbye and didn’t mean it?


Tanka for Spring Frost (春の霜 harunoshimo)
warm spring day – cherry
blossoms – clouds of pink and white
under bright blue skies –
in the night frost silently
covers and kills all
winter is not yet gone – too
soon goodbye said to winter

free public domain image frost damage

free public domain image frost damage

 

 

Haibun Monday #14 – Relax – 2

A second submission for dVerse Poets Pub Haibun Monday. The prompt is to write a haibun about how you relax. My first submission was about boketto. This is about shinrin-yoku (森林浴). Literally, Forest Bathing. One goes into a forest with the purpose of being silent, experiencing the forest – scents, sights, details, sounds. There are supposedly many health benefits in doing this. The trees and plants emit phytoncide and amino acids which help lower blood pressure, ease depression and anxiety. I just know, when I spend time practicing shinrin-yoku, when I emerge, I am calm and soothed and the effects stay with me for several days. Come visit us at dVerse and read how others relax. You might get some new ideas!

The Woods
The small dense patch of woods near my home is always open, 24/365. There are no fees, no making of appointments, no traffic or parking hassles. A short walk across the lane, jump over a small ditch and enter anywhere I choose. Before I enter, I make a pact with myself: be willing to let go of those tight knots and tangled thoughts inside me; walk with respect; breathe deeply; now enter. Today a soft warm summer rain – slow gentle drops. I touch the first tree on my right. We are old friends, this oak and I. Further down the path of pine needles, small plants and moss, is the grouping I call the Three Cedars – Papa Cedar, Mama Cedar, and Baby Cedar. In this warmth and rain, they emanate their sharp green fragrance. I softly touch their delicate fronds and breathe in their aroma. More walking, listening to the gentle taps of rain on the tree leaves and undergrowth. Like small temple bells, the sweet tones of cardinals echo back and forth through the silence. A sudden crack and a few leaves drift down in front of me. I look up to catch a grey squirrel leaping from branch to branch, making his way through the woods.

These woods do not care about my problems, my joys. They have seen my tears and heard my laughter. They exist and have existed long before my great-grandfather’s grandfather. Deer walk here unafraid, birds nest and raise their families, small animals live and die. Owls hunt and crows observe. I stand in the middle of it all and breathe – in, out, in, out. I lie down against the damp fragrant earth and look up at the roof of leaves, the straight strong trunks, the fragile twisted trunks, the rain dripping from the leaves. I store up strength and peace and calm like a spiritual battery. I cannot stop smiling.

forest temple lures –
cedar incense – cardinal bells
take cares to heaven.

copyright kanzensakura

copyright kanzensakura

Haibun Monday #14 – Relax

I am hosting today and for the next couple of times, the Haibun Monday prompt sessions over at dVerse Poets Pub. Today the prompt is “relax” and how do you relax? I am excited about this and have several prompts already going in my head.  I hope you will join us.  The haibun is a wonderful form – a nonfiction prose/poetry form summed up by a haiku at the end.  For my haibun today, I have chosen to write about “boketto”.  Boketto is taken from 「ぼけとする – to be daydreaming. One gazes into the horizon or sky and does it without thinking, by the mind being still and empty. One is aware of what is going on and absorbs scents, sounds, sensations (such as heat from sun or rain). No thinking about anything – no recipes, work, schedules – nothing. Relax!

Boketto 「ぼけとする」
It is the time of morning after the birds have awakened and their busy work completed. Nestlings have been fed and are still for a time. Quietly resting in the branches hidden by full green leaves, the birds are mostly silent now. Sometimes a trill or chirp from a wren, the soft whoowhoowhoo from a dove or the sweet bell song of a cardinal. Rush hour traffic has ended and only an occasional car passes. The sweet smell of honeysuckle in the summer heat is sweet incense. I lie in the hammock gazing up at the green tree tops against the blue sky watching the hawk as it hunts, floating on the wind currents high above me. No thoughts inside my head. A wispy white cloud drifts away into the blue boundary of the horizon. My mind is empty and my eyes simply observe. 「ぼけとする」This daydreaming is as automatic as my heartbeats. I no longer have to say, no thoughts, and work to empty myself. Just as I stopped years ago saying, breathe, breathe…Emptier than the blue sky above me, I simply am.

green tree canopy
blue summer sky – little cloud
fades in the horizon

copyright kanzensakura

copyright kanzensakura

dVerse Poets Pub – Quadrille Monday #2

Another submission for Grace’s Quadrille Prompt – green.  Come visit us!  44 word poems – won’t take you long to read and in this case, it is easy being green.

copyright kanzensakura

copyright kanzensakura

Pleasures of green
emerald, peridot, jade –
jewels of summer –
largesse of fields freed for us
to scoop up and enjoy –
a green lover that touches and teases
all our senses –
taste, smell, sight, touch.
smooth skins, hard lengths,
pleasures of green.
Warm, inviting – waiting for our use.

copyright kansensakura

copyright kanzensakura

copyright kanzensakura

Quadrille Monday dVerse Poets Pub

Today at dVerse Poets Pub, Grace has given us the word “green” for the Quadrille word prompt “.  What a lovely word for the blending of late spring and early summer.  Poems must use the prompt word (title doesn’t count) in a poem of exactly 44 words – no more, no less.  I am writing this poem in memory of my friend Peggie Duggan who died a year ago May 15.  Her memory is ever green among those of us who were gifted by her light.

Tender Green
when love was green
and tenderly grew through the still
frozen ground of winter –
when green memories bloomed
in early spring frost –
I reach back to draw them near again
but they dissolve in my weeping hands
and return to sleep in frozen earth

grass shoots Public Domain Image

grass shoots Public Domain Image

 

dVerse OLN 172 – spring stars – haru no hoshi

For dVerse Poets Pub #172. Poets submit one poem of their choice for this. All kinds of poems will be linked by talented poets. Come find your new favorite poet. My poem, a daring (for me) break of Japanese poetic form – a tanka and haiku together. Come join us at: http://dversepoets.com/2016/05/12/open-link-night-171/

haru no hoshi
spring night sky – wet stars
falling silent as dust. lights
dim out one by one
glowing moon breathes – blackberry
blooms are born – earthbound stars.

blackberry blooms in
dark night – dreams of summer wine
entice sleeping birds

 

copyright kanzensakura

copyright kanzensakura

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