d’Verse Poetics: Haibun Monday – 明帆 Red Blade

Today is the start of an exciting new feature at d’Verse Poetics: Haibun Monday! This is an excellent opportunity for those of you who enjoy this form or want to learn more. Bjorn, our fearless leader, and Hamish Gunn (guest blogger) will be doing these features. Please come visit us.

I am basing my haibun today on a haiku I wrote sometime ago and the photo accompanying it. I hope you all will come to visit, join in on the conversation, read, comment, and link to us. The Mr. Linky will be up all week so this will give you plenty of time.  http://dversepoets.com/2015/09/07/haibun-monday-1/

明帆 Red Blade
In elusive ways, you could tell the seasons were changing. A few leaves had turned yellow and dropped from lush green trees, tomatoes in the garden were becoming fewer in number and smaller in size, scuppernongs were slowly turning from jade green to topaz gold – no longer bitter hard marbles but getting sweeter. They almost had a fragrance to them – rich, winey, drowsy in their sensual appeal. In a very few weeks, they will be a deep golden and full of juice; a bite into them will pop the fruit and juice from their thick skin into one’s eagerly waiting mouth. The bright green of the forsythia bush in the corner has begun to pale. Among the green fronds, one upright stem has turned bright red overnight.

Today the condensation was thick on the car – a drenching dew glazed the grass and soaked the hem of my hakama as I made my way to my place under the ancient oak in my back yard. Breathing in and out, deeply, slowly, I calmed myself and opened myself to the morning. Newly mown grass, scent of bacon from my neighbor’s kitchen, finches twittering at their feeder, an oak leaf slowly drifting down to land at my feet. I close my eyes and draw my katana slowly from its saya. I will go through all forms before returning it and then will sit on my porch to go through the ritual of cleaning and oiling. Only moderate sweat on my skin today as opposed to saturating oily sweat of last month. Autumn – I feel it inside my soul. Autumn is coming.

red blade of autumn
cuts through green summer leaves –
It is time, it says.


copyright kanzen sakura

copyright kanzen sakura


***明帆  akiho – means red blade of a plant.

61 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)
    Sep 07, 2015 @ 15:27:02

    The prose is so lyrical, the scenery and smell of your harvest sensual, and then your exercise under the oak with your katana… what a wonderful way to present your life, and the coming of autumn. The single read leaf of autumn a harbinger, a sense of change. This time of year is special.


    • kanzensakura
      Sep 07, 2015 @ 15:36:21

      Thank you. Autumn is my favorite season and then winter. My husband refuses to watch me. I’ve snipped myself a few times in the past and have the scars to prove it. Haven’t snipped in a few years though. But it is like a slow dance – ritualized.


  2. Grace
    Sep 07, 2015 @ 15:39:23

    Love the sensory details of autumn’s coming ~ I agree with Bjorn that your prose is lyrical and your haiku is just timely ~

    I actually dread this time of year but have learned to embrace the changing colors of the leaves ~ Happy Monday ~


    • kanzensakura
      Sep 07, 2015 @ 20:27:55

      Happy Monday. I love this time of year, even when the leaves have all fallen and it is cold, rainy, and beginning to look like winter. No matter the weather, I take my walks and spend my time under my oak.


  3. x
    Sep 07, 2015 @ 15:43:36

    The central moment in the prose is that of your katana because that is where you switch to present tense, which is nice because it plays up your haiku . Thank goodness for autumn. I feel it too and it feels good.


    • kanzensakura
      Sep 07, 2015 @ 20:26:39

      Yes, it feels wonderful. Tonight at a cookout, the temp was 80. Will be so glad when that nip hits at night. My husband, when it gets cooler, will head for Blacksburg to watch his Hokies on a nippy afternoon. I get to stay home and take walks!


  4. Glenn Buttkus
    Sep 07, 2015 @ 15:54:30

    What you embrace, autumn as harbinger of icy hell, car wrecks, astronomical energy bills, flus & colds, painful falls, dangerous time-
    consuming commutes–some of us nearly abhor. Your poem is wonderful, fetching, lyrical, instructive, & you make room for us in a gallery too witness
    your spiritual devotionals; fine work.


    • kanzensakura
      Sep 07, 2015 @ 20:25:05

      Thank you. I love this time of year and abhor the hot steamy summer. Too many of our elderly and impoverished and at risk ones become worse or die in this mean season of summer here. Autumn is a relief in many ways.


  5. Sherry Blue Sky
    Sep 07, 2015 @ 15:58:02

    Beautifully done! You took me right into the scene.


  6. katiemiafrederick
    Sep 07, 2015 @ 17:06:01

    Brown leaf falls through blue
    south skies.. fall tender long
    away cold skies.. HeArt warm…

    Blue Leaves
    sky heaRT


  7. Let's CUT the Crap!
    Sep 07, 2015 @ 18:26:26

    This is stunning, Kanzen. All the senses are engaged. Your paint strokes are light as feathers, but the pictures you paint are so well defined, I feel I can touch, taste and smell. ❤ ❤ ❤


  8. Suzanne
    Sep 07, 2015 @ 19:35:06

    I enjoyed the sensuality of your experience if autumn coming. Your haiku is delightful.


  9. Gabriella
    Sep 07, 2015 @ 19:51:14

    We are there right now, aren’t we? Each day brings its subtle detail of the shift from summer to autumn for those who care to look. It is indeed time!


  10. Mary
    Sep 07, 2015 @ 19:54:06

    Oh yes, one can feel autumn in one’s soul, can’t one? It is unmistakable. You have written it as it is….and yes, as much as we may like to hold back the passing of time, “it is time.”


  11. summerstommy2
    Sep 07, 2015 @ 21:29:16

    I agree with the other comments Kanzen that you write very lyrically and create many vivid images of the plants surrounding you. Very well done and lovely to meet you. Michael


  12. Linda Kruschke
    Sep 07, 2015 @ 23:57:59

    I have no idea what a scuppernong is, but I’ll be looking it up when I’m done posting this comment.

    Once again you’ve made me appreciate a season I am not a big fan of. I love your detail, especially the tomatoes being fewer and smaller. Peace, Linda


    • kanzensakura
      Sep 08, 2015 @ 00:01:28

      Scuppernongs are large round thick skinned grapes. They are meaty and the juice inside is sweet and divine. They can be a golden green or deep purple. They are related to muscadines and make lucious eating and excellent jelly and wine. My grandmothervalways made severalquarts -one to soothe troubled tummies and one to add to fruitcakes and jam cakes.


      • Linda Kruschke
        Sep 08, 2015 @ 00:04:22

        I know now, because I really did go look it up. But saying it’s related to a muscadine doesn’t help me because I’ve never heard of that before either. Thanks for teaching me something new today.


  13. Forest Pirate
    Sep 08, 2015 @ 01:18:21

    Beautiful prose, but more than that you brought and immediacy to the feeling of autumn, even with words like ‘today’ – intensely tactile. Lovely read.


  14. Sumana Roy
    Sep 08, 2015 @ 10:02:51

    beautifully sensory images and an exquisite haiku…


  15. thotpurge
    Sep 08, 2015 @ 11:07:27

    Fabulous katana and red blade of autumn reference…


  16. Mama Zen
    Sep 08, 2015 @ 11:45:05

    Now this is how it’s done! Just gorgeous.


  17. kelly
    Sep 08, 2015 @ 15:36:36

    This is just wonderful, a feast for the senses. It is the same here, autumn creeping in, sometimes in obvious ways, others just a whisper. Fabulous work using this form!


  18. lynn__
    Sep 08, 2015 @ 16:47:56

    Your skill with the red blade of autumn is a beauty to behold!


  19. Snakypoet (Rosemary Nissen-Wade)
    Sep 09, 2015 @ 04:16:52

    An enthralling read!


  20. C.C.
    Sep 10, 2015 @ 14:50:15

    Love this: “Breathing in and out, deeply, slowly, I calmed myself and opened myself to the morning. “—that idea of opening yourself up to what the morning might hold for you is such a lovely thought 🙂


  21. Bodhirose
    Sep 10, 2015 @ 20:19:41

    Gorgeous writing…you brought to life the scent, feel and visual of your morning so beautifully. I had to look up “scuppernong”…ok, it’s a type of grape…I like that name for them!


    • kanzensakura
      Sep 10, 2015 @ 20:24:54

      Thank you. They are special grapes. I hope you looked up images for them…perfectly round globes of luciousness. Most of us down south here drop that g….scuppernon….


      • Bodhirose
        Sep 11, 2015 @ 20:31:32

        I saw an image when I looked it up. I have had these globe style of grapes…they are delicious! And yet, I’ve never heard that word before. Thanks for adding to my vocabulary!


        • kanzensakura
          Sep 11, 2015 @ 21:35:33

          These globe style grapes are thicker skinned than the standard thin skinned frapes. Intense flavor, like wine.


          • Bodhirose
            Sep 11, 2015 @ 22:34:52

            I’m curious about where “down south” are you…if you don’t mind me asking? I too am in the south, in Florida, U.S., but had never heard that word for that grape…either with or without the “g.” 🙂


            • kanzensakura
              Sep 11, 2015 @ 22:45:36

              Ixm in Virginia. Scuppernongs grow in the deeper south, LA, MS, GA, SC , NC, VA, TN….i hope if you saw images of them, you saw some of the picks of them heaped baskets along with fresh figs as well. It is the season for those also, in the same areas. Lol, most of us southern folk consider most of Floriida as an extension of the north because of all yhe snow birds and such, Miami, Tampa, St Pete, the keys. I’m one of those slow moving, drawly, fried okra, collard greens and corn bread kind of southerners. Just like northern VA is considered more northerny than NJ. Odd folk we are. Scuppernongs are deep south grapes, countrified grapes, stand at the vine aand squirt in the juice and grape, spitting out the thick skin until you almost get dick kind of grape.


              • Bodhirose
                Sep 12, 2015 @ 14:12:17

                Virginia is just lovely…such a beautiful state. I’m one of the few people that live in Florida that was actually born and raised here too (Orlando). 🙂 And I so agree with you, we are overrun by snow birds in the winter…they’ll be showing up pretty soon now. I’m happy to hear about these funny-named, round grapes and may use the word next time I speak to my mother, who also is a Florida native, and see if she is familiar with it. Thanks for sharing with me!

                Gayle ~


  22. Bryan Ens
    Sep 11, 2015 @ 18:01:07

    You have captured both the slow change of season, and the “moment” that you are in. A lovely piece. I like how almost give nature a set of “rituals” that it follows, and then pare that with the ritual that goes along with your katana…both the moves and the oiling.


  23. Victoria C. Slotto
    Sep 11, 2015 @ 21:25:48

    Beautiful writing, Toni. Your poetry shows through the prose in so many good sensory details. I thought we were experiencing the beginnings of autumn (and wrote to it) but the temperature projection for tomorrow is 98. Yikes.


    • kanzensakura
      Sep 11, 2015 @ 23:43:44

      I totally understand.  98 for us today but rainy and cool this weekend.  Everytime the state fair rolls into town, so dooes rainy cool weather….hooray!  When the fair leaves, the cool weather leaves.   I keep saying, come on autumn….thank you for your kind words!

      Sent by Outlook for Android

      From: kanzen sakura

      Sent: Friday, September 11, 9:25 PM

      Subject: [kanzen sakura] Comment: “d’Verse Poetics:  Haibun Monday – 明帆 Red Blade”

      To: thspencer51@hotmail.com



  24. humbird
    Sep 12, 2015 @ 21:03:50

    Love the colors and taste images, my fave “red blade of autumn” ~ very seasoned haibun ~ autumn this year not so sudden here, in mn


  25. mishunderstood
    Sep 14, 2015 @ 00:32:00

    Well, let me say first that I had to look up “scuppernongs”. Now I know. 🙂

    Your prose awakens all the senses to autumn. I am still waiting for some of our tomatoes to ripen…as leaves start to fall. I really like the idea of the “red blade of autumn” cutting through the green of summer. You have captured the beauty of this transition.


  26. lupitatucker
    Sep 19, 2015 @ 18:12:18

    Kanzen, this was gorgeous to read. I read it out loud on the first read, and it is very, very rich. We too had scuppernong grape vines in our back yard and your description is a true one: they do herald in fall in their own unique way. That gush of sweetness at the end is almost too sweet. You last line is my favorite, though: Autumn – I feel it inside my soul. Autumn is coming.


  27. lupitatucker
    Sep 19, 2015 @ 18:14:26

    Down here in FL we call them scupperdine, along witht the muscadine that grow like weeds.


    • kanzensakura
      Sep 19, 2015 @ 18:31:51

      Sounds like a mix between the two. Muscadine and scuppernongs are similar. Muscd are usually smaller and deep purple. The scuppers can be bronze or purple but I have found no difference in taste, which is wonderful.


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