A free form poem: “Memento Mori”. I hope you will read and enjoy. I began the custom of keeping the seasons in the manner of the Japanese, while I was in a long-term relationship with a gentleman I call, my Samurai. The starkness of words to portray seasons and events of the seasons appealed to me and have become as much a part of me as my Southern drawl.
Silent empty country road.
Houses huddled in fields,
Small lots, down dirt roads.
The tires of my car hum
On the cold empty roads.
Quiet here, now between kareno (withered fields).
Stretches of rolling sepia
Swept clean by cold winds: kogarashi (withering winds)
Ochiba (fallen leaves) swept to the verge
Of surrounding bare woods.
Fuyu no chinmoku (winter silence) beckons.
I park my car on the side of the road
And begin to walk in this particular field.
My feet leave no mark on the frozen ground.
Only the staccato bark of a distant crow
Pierces the silence.
I step over a small stream – mizu karu (water dried up)
And head towards the line of trees.
No signs warning “Posted – No Trespassing”.
I am free to roam as I wish.
My eyes fix upon three small trees on
The edge of the field: Two taller bare and gnarled,
Tangled as if holding in their bony arms,
A small tree, in turn, in its lowest branch,
Cradling an abandoned nest.
The image of a Victorian sepia
I stop at a respectful distance.
In the samushi (cold air),
My nostrils tingle.
Soft pattering on the branches of the bare trees begins.
Mizore (sleet) falls from iron sky.
I stand in the cold.
I stand in this landscape,
At peace in this landscape –
A haiku of no words.