d’Verse Poetics – Dog Days!

Tuesday at d’Verse Poetics, I am the bartender!  I always enjoy this – not only posting an article and giving ideas for a poetic prompt, but the interaction with the other d’Team members and the friends who drop by to talk and/or submit one of their poems.

Today, I am writing about Dog Days – the hot days in which we are in the midst.  With heat indexes ranging from 103F to 108F, it has been hot!  How hot is it?  Trees are running around looking for shade – the lifespan of a popsicle is 10 seconds – so hot a fire hydrant was chasing dogs – you get my drift.

Come visit us at d’Verse today and read some cool poetry about a hot season.  Pop in and say hi or leave a poem behind.  I am submitting a haibun today and because it is a seasonal prompt, traditional haiku with seasonal words (kigo) are used rather than the 5-7-5 tercets or American sentences so-called haiku…Anyway – please come visit.  We’ve lots of ice cold lemonade and stuff on tap and great conversation!

  Haibun (俳文
Dog Days – days of harsh, merciless white sun and heat. Trees cast anemic shadows and birds hide deep within the foliage, seeking refuge from the heat. Other trees and plants seem listless in the heat – except for the thick tall crepe myrtle in my front yard. It is heavy with deep pink clusters of blooms – it seems to thrive in the torrid warmth. I have seen and heard several cicadas on and under the tree.

under the crepe myrtle
dried shells of cicadas lie –
emptied of songs.

In the dead of the hot summer night, the whir of cicadas fill my head with their droning sounds. It has come to this – we are silent, not daring to speak. I feel you staring down at me, waiting. Waiting for me to speak or make a move so you can respond. I put my hand lightly against your chest as if to push you away. You lean against my hand. I feel your heart beating. You feel warmer than the night against my hand.

August moon dissolves
Into clouds – fragmented light
dapples your skin.

I dare not look up at you, if I do, I will be lost. We’ve danced around this moment – carefully measured steps, always avoiding the embrace. Mirrored steps, forward and then back. But never the rocking in each other’s arms – a tango without satisfaction, a tango with no heat. Here in the night alone, you pull me close and stroke my cheek, lifting my face to look into your eyes.

the huge orange moon
hangs in the starry sky – it
sees all, tells nothing.

47 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mary
    Aug 03, 2015 @ 22:21:17

    You have really captured the heat of ‘dog days’ in this haibun. I like the description of the ‘listless heat.” I like the human interplay you worked in, and I also particularly like your final haiku, and I can picture so vividly the orange moon – the likes of those I have observed here recently. Nicely penned, Toni.


  2. kanzensakura
    Aug 03, 2015 @ 22:48:08

    The blue moon of July was truly like a huge wheel of June cheese. Thank you for liking this. I think I am still a bit wary of it and it will probably go into the “more work” file, so I truly do thank you for your comments.


  3. Mustang.Koji
    Aug 03, 2015 @ 23:10:44

    The one about the cicadas… You did that well! Are they as loud as in Japan? I just left there eight days ago and man, they were LOUD. 🙂


  4. billgncs
    Aug 03, 2015 @ 23:15:30

    so often the dog-days are the solstice of summer, harbinger of winter to come


    • kanzensakura
      Aug 03, 2015 @ 23:22:52

      I have heard people say they are melancholy during dog days because summer is winding down.


      • billgncs
        Aug 03, 2015 @ 23:38:46

        today we rode through some farmland, and yes, the summer is beginning to wane. Each day is precious.


        • kanzensakura
          Aug 03, 2015 @ 23:54:55

          Yes they are. It will be warm here until nov. – Indian summer. What is precious now are the tomatoes, getting smaller and fewer in numbers. Some of the riny ones will not ripen before first ftost. But I am looking forward to fall. I love those spicy crisp days.


  5. MarinaSofia
    Aug 04, 2015 @ 02:49:52

    Romantic in spite of the heat… well done. Have to admit, the heat just makes me feel irritable and the thought of touching another body – eugh – all sticky! Yuck! But that’s old prosaic me…
    As usual, your haikus summing up each ‘paragraph’ are stunning – the cicada shells, the orange moon being discreet. This has all the feel of Genji Monogatari…


    • kanzensakura
      Aug 04, 2015 @ 13:41:06

      Wow. I am deeply honored by your words. All I can say is, thank goodness for air conditioning. This kind of weather, to use a local idiom, makes me cranky enough to chew rocks and spit out gravel.


  6. claudia
    Aug 04, 2015 @ 13:29:16

    it’s wonderful that the moon can keep a secret, isn’t it?
    love how you weave the story here, balancing the emotion… a cool & hot piece..


  7. Abhra
    Aug 04, 2015 @ 14:40:49

    I feel each imagery is more beautiful than the previous – I loved the poetic journey you write in here. And thank you for such a nice prompt.


  8. Gabriella
    Aug 04, 2015 @ 15:06:33

    I like the almost suspenseful tone of your poem and the haiku, especially the last one and the vivid picture of the orange moon set against the starry sky.


  9. Glenn Buttkus
    Aug 04, 2015 @ 15:15:12

    I had not tried a haibun with haiku following each prose stanza, & that is cool. I have tried many other combinations; habit is becoming one of my favorite forms. Yours was impeccable; the last was the one I liked the most–but of course your poem perfectly illustrates your prompt. I did not respect the 25 line limit with my piece, but then I rarely do.


    • kanzensakura
      Aug 04, 2015 @ 15:43:29

      I am not being picky about those 25 lines Glenn so not to worry! I have seen different patterns for the haibun – prose, haiku, prose, haiku or, prose prose haiku, prose prose haiku….or prose haiku. It is an interesting form and is fast becoming a favorite.


  10. Grace
    Aug 04, 2015 @ 15:22:55

    Love the haibun specially the last one ~ That is some heat in the summer heat, smiles ~

    The haiku of cicadas and August moon are divine ~ Love the prompt ~


  11. billgncs
    Aug 04, 2015 @ 16:21:57

    the poem in the prompt about the moon flowering – was truly greatness – I really think that was one of the best I have ever come across.

    your poem today made me think that in summer’s heat perhaps we are more honest – less encumbered by layers and layers about us.


    • kanzensakura
      Aug 06, 2015 @ 20:16:44

      That haiku was one if Basho’s.. My haiku role model. He was truly a great writer and….Samurai. His death poem is equally compelling. The sweat just washes away those layers of pretense. This haibun is taken from a free verse I wrote about a long gone lover and modern day Samurai. He used to read my early haiku and frown. At the end, he would smile. Irony.


  12. Madeleine Begun Kane
    Aug 04, 2015 @ 22:47:46

    I especially like this:
    “under the crepe myrtle
    dried shells of cicadas lie –
    emptied of songs.”


  13. http://vivinfrance.wordpress.com
    Aug 05, 2015 @ 01:39:34

    A lovely haibun, which really catches the season. Too hot for loving….


  14. kaykuala h
    Aug 05, 2015 @ 04:23:37

    under the crepe myrtle
    dried shells of cicadas lie –
    emptied of songs.

    Reality of life. When it gets too hot the delicate little creatures don’t survive. Just as much as the weak and poor in society! Good observation kanzen!



    • kanzensakura
      Aug 05, 2015 @ 12:19:57

      Noing delicate about these critters – either grew bigger and shed its exoskeleton or, indeed, died in its time. But it is reality. We all shed our skins at the appointed time. We have “cooling” stations around town but the ones who need them, the elderly, disabled – have a hard time getting to them and getting back to their hot abodes. So far though, no heat fatalities for which I am grateful. Last year, we had several – elderly. Heartbreaking.


  15. insidetheclock
    Aug 05, 2015 @ 08:26:51

    I love how you ended this piece, ‘sees all, tells nothing’ – the moon just hanging there – quite the imagery. Thanks for the read!


  16. katiemiafrederick
    Aug 05, 2015 @ 10:35:26

    Ah.. in greaTEST Summer
    Heat.. often flowers most
    Beautiful colors of ALL..
    Nature’s Truth..
    And Bountiful
    Harvest in
    Colors of LIFE..:)


  17. Charlotte Hamrick
    Aug 05, 2015 @ 10:52:53

    Beautiful work!


  18. Linda Kruschke
    Aug 05, 2015 @ 12:32:05

    I enjoyed this haibun. I’ve never lived where there are cicadas and I liked your description. Peace, Linda


    • kanzensakura
      Aug 05, 2015 @ 12:47:42

      Thank you! I put a very short YouTube on the pub page taken by a person I follow on WP, of two cicadas while he was in Osaka. Very short video but you can see how big they are and hear the racket they make!


  19. Victoria C. Slotto
    Aug 05, 2015 @ 17:36:32

    Such a beautiful glimpse into a few moments that tesll so much about those hot days and the romance they engender. Stunning haibun. I love that form.


  20. mishunderstood
    Aug 05, 2015 @ 23:53:28

    Captivating. The prose has a definite crescendo and I especially love the first haiku.
    Thanks for a wonderful prompt. 🙂


  21. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)
    Aug 06, 2015 @ 08:18:48

    I love how you interweave the heat of nature with the love that thrive in the night.. the tango under the moon.. sounds so dreamy


  22. Raivenne
    Aug 06, 2015 @ 11:59:01

    “under the crepe myrtle
    dried shells of cicadas lie –
    emptied of songs.”

    Excellent haibun, perfect haiku. I enjoyed how this all comes together.


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