Haibun: Who and why

Today I am hosting at dVerse Poets writing about why I write poetry and who inspired me.

Who and Why
I wrote my first haiku when I was six. Our next door neighbor, the last of his line, was a professor of Asian Studies at Duke University. I came and went freely in his home, looking at the antiques, the momentos from his journeys to Japan, and sipping lemonade on his generous front porch. Jamie Pollard was prissy, opinionated, and not afraid to speak his mind. Although I was six and he was 40, we became fast friends. His factotum was a Japanese man who kept the house in order, the vehicles running, and his employer looking perfect. He was also Jamie’s live in lover. At a time when such things were “not spoken of”, Jamie lived his life large. Often in the summer, as I lay on my stomach coloring in my coloring book, he would read Basho and Issa to me and we both sipped lemonade. I suspect his had some liquor added.

When I was 11 and totally bored, my grandmother stopped her preparation of dinner and went to the house library. She came back with several books – T.S. Eliot, Emily Dickinson, and H.D. Thoreau. She put them down in front of me and said, I think these will keep you busy for a couple of weeks. I was inspired by all three writers. Thus began my interest in writing about nature in the form of “snapshots”…haiku. The Viet Nam war was ramping up. I wrote of poems about peace, love, and later, about drugs. Once when I was practicing my cursive writing, my father took out a lovely fountain pen and gave it to me. He said to me, “write your heart”. And I did. I took it with me everywhere I traveled – from the Coast of North Carolina to the summit of Mt. Fuji. I loaded it up with peacock blue ink. I write my heart, my soul, my feelings, my questions about life. I write simply. Like spring rain or snow or the ancient trees in the forest. Inspired by poets and people I love, I write. I will always write about life and how I perceive it.

spring comes in slowly
scattering snow and cherry blossoms –
legacy of love in verse

March 3 – March 17

For Hedge’s 55 and Poets United

March 3 – March 17
March is the cruelest month –
I disagree with my favorite poet,
But then, he did not lose
in the same month of the same year –
From lugubrious third to sad seventeenth –
Funerals abounded
Funeral meals fed
Funeral flowers scented the house –
Funeral I’m sorry cards piled up
like spring snow
or dead cherry blossoms

7000 Pairs of Shoes

For Poets United Midweek Motif – Scream. Since Sandy Hook School shooting in 2012, 7000 children have died in gun related violence – domestic violence, gang shootings, school shootings, accidental shootings…how many more of our children need to die by a gun? I read this today in the Washington Post.  I went outside and chopped wood and screamed…The shoes will be donated to children in need after the protest is over.

news copy photo

7000 Pairs of Shoes
14000 shoes on lawn in front of the Capitol
7000 pairs of shoes on the lawn in front of the Capitol –
Each pair equals one dead child –
A child that died of gun violence
A child that will no longer wear the shoes
to play, to skip rope,
to walk home from school with friends
t run to meet a parent home from work
to have both feet planted on the floor
to listen to teacher, to watch tv
or tt read a book, to sit at table,
to wear them while fishing with a friend or dad,
to wear them playing hopscotch,
to climb trees and jump for joy,
to eat dinner and crack jokes
to take off the shoes
and crawl into bed and sleep.
One of the protesters travelled
to set out his son’s pair of shoes –
He only realized after Columbine
He and his son wore the same size shoe…
I think of these  empty shoes…
Children killed since the shooting at Sandy Hook –
7000 children dead
7000 shoes without their child,
7000 families with a hole in their lives.
I want to scream.
I can only cry…
Some of the shoes are so very small.

news copy photo

Haibun: Snow like fire

Today is Quadrille Monday at dVerse. A quadrille is a poem in any form with exactly 44 words (excluding the title) and using the prompted word. Dee (Whimzy Gizmo) is the pubtender at dVerse Poets Pub. She has given us the world “fire” to use in the quadrille. I am actually doing non-traditional in the ending haiku with not keeping to the 5-7-5 syllable count.  I am publishing on dVerse Poets Pub

Snow like Fire
It started out as rain but quickly turned into heavy snow. Daffodils show like flames against the white. My flowering quince smolders like a slow fire in the falling snow.

snow falls like freezing fire–
flowers show against white –
burns slowly in the cold

copyright kanzensakura



Haikai Challenge #24 #2 tanka

For Frank’s Haikai Challenge #24

December night sky –
snow like frozen stars silent
as dust falls to earth –
no wishes on these lost stars –
summer photo fades with time

Haikai Challenge #24 #1

Frank’s Challenge #24:  Snow

snow flowers blossom
out of season – unmindful
of pitiless storm

Night Curtains

For the Friday prompt at Real Toads: Curtains and for Hedge’s 55 and for Poets United Poetry Pantry.

Night Curtains
Draw back the curtains of the night,
show us the stars and the glowing moon –
Let in the argent light.
Dance to the rhythm of the
speckled shadows –
whisper of the music made by the stars –
pulsing as sure as the blood
in your veins, beating slowly.
Draw back the curtains of the night.

public domain photo

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