Yuki no Hana: Snow Flowers

Monday, January 11, I will be privileged to host the first Haibun Monday of 2016 at dVerse Poets Pub.  I am using a photo I took a couple of years ago as the prompt for the haibun.  I hope you all will come visit and read some of the documents that will be posted.  The prompt is open for a week so if you are inspired, you will have plenty of time to submit your haibun.  Haibun is an ancient Japanese poetic form attributed to Matsuo Basho, when he kept a travelogue of his observations interspersed with haiku among the prose.  A unique and interesting poetic form to be sure.  There are many “how to’s” on the internet.  Some find it a very relatable form of poetry because of the prose that accompanies the haiku.  It is often a personal and intimate form.  I hope you will come and visit.  I will be updating this post with the link when it posts on the dVerse site Monday.  Yuki no hana is Japanese for snow flowers – a quality of snowflake or flowers that bloom out of season in the snow.  The photo is of my generations old flowering quince – blooming early in winter instead of spring.

copyright kanzensakura

copyright kanzensakura

The day was ice. Bare tree branches against the iron sky were a frieze of unreadable runes. Only the distant sweet call of a cardinal broke the almost silent hissing sound of the falling snow. I stood and watched the snow fall, listening – like a single stone in an ancient Zen garden. Snow – white. Tree trunks, branches – dead black. All around – black against white – a sharply contrasted photograph of a deep winter landscape – except for a small bit of rosy pink. A single explanation point in the ancient tangled branches of the flowering quince. I could not resist.  The stone moved to gently touch the blossoms, to press loving lips against brave petals in the storm.

snow flowers blossom
out of season – unmindful
of pitiless storm.

47 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. cindy knoke
    Jan 10, 2016 @ 01:47:31



  2. writersdream9
    Jan 10, 2016 @ 06:56:12

    So amazing!


  3. robert okaji
    Jan 10, 2016 @ 09:07:41

    Wonderful image. Beautiful writing.


  4. Mary
    Jan 10, 2016 @ 09:27:14

    Sometimes just a little bit of color in one’s life can brighten one’s day! Especially when it takes a person by surprise!


  5. The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap
    Jan 10, 2016 @ 13:05:25



  6. Victoria C. Slotto
    Jan 10, 2016 @ 14:36:45

    You brought me right there, I saw and experienced it with you. Just so beautiful, Toni. Contrast is definitely a theme of this photo.


    • kanzensakura
      Jan 10, 2016 @ 15:50:08

      Contrast definitely is. I’ve thought of making this photo black and white as I did another photo of tangled branches and snow. But then, I can’t bear to gray that pink bloom. We need contrast and we need that color.


  7. Grace
    Jan 10, 2016 @ 18:41:45

    Black against white….I also love the blossoming haiku despite the pitiless storm ~

    Beautiful haibun Toni ~ Have a good week ~


  8. Trackback: Snow on the Heartbreak Hills | Art and Life
    • kanzensakura
      Jan 10, 2016 @ 23:43:19

      I don’t know how to link poems linked to my poem – I’m not always talented that way. The prompt and more about it will post on dVerse Poets Pub tomorrow at 3pm EST. I hope you will visit and read my prompt post – I think you will like it and especially as there is a photo attached to the prompt. I so enjoyed this and was just intrigued by the title. I will be updating my post tomorrow with the the link to dVerse and also, you can google dVerse Poets Pub and pull up the site. After 3, the current posting should show up on google or you can visit this post again and grab the link to visit. I hope you will visit! Thank you so much for responding to this prompt. Japanese poetic forms are dear to me.


  9. Suzanne
    Jan 10, 2016 @ 23:08:40

    This is beautiful. I was swept up in the poetic imagery. I have written a haibun in response to the prompt but don’t where to link it. I linked it to this post. I hope that is ok. Please let me know if I should link somewhere else. http://artifactsandfictions.com/2016/01/11/snow-on-the-heartbreak-hills/


  10. Trackback: Haibun Monday | petrujviljoen
  11. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)
    Jan 11, 2016 @ 05:38:15

    How beautiful… that moment, the fleeting pink.. to me so much more than just a flower in a snow. It could be a moment, a kind word… you took me right there.


  12. Linda Kruschke
    Jan 11, 2016 @ 16:09:01

    Beautiful, as always. Peace, Linda


  13. Gay Reiser Cannon
    Jan 11, 2016 @ 17:53:15

    Beautiful and instructive. You captured the essence here and gave me an outline for trying mine. Thanks so much. Sorry I haven’t been around much. I’ll try harder.


  14. ayala
    Jan 11, 2016 @ 18:03:12



  15. Glenn Buttkus
    Jan 11, 2016 @ 19:55:03

    Gorgeous haibun & lovely haiku that put me in the perfect place mentally & emotionally to write my own. Sorry about being inadvertently confused early on.


    • kanzensakura
      Jan 11, 2016 @ 20:09:47

      Glenn honey, I have reached the point that between taking care of my husband and worry over my mother, I have become a permanent resident in the state of Confusion. Poetry and study are my places of rest. No problem.


  16. Bodhirose
    Jan 11, 2016 @ 20:09:53

    Your photo illustrates very well the black and white contrast and then that striking pink flower…such beauty. I love your gentle reverence in this to the flower’s resilience and to David Bowie’s passing. May he rest in peace. Thanks again, Toni, for sharing your knowledge with a lovely presentation today.


  17. The Literary Doc
    Jan 11, 2016 @ 22:03:07

    I love that image of a silent stone standing forever upright in a Zen garden. Powerful, and evocative.


  18. MarinaSofia
    Jan 12, 2016 @ 02:14:55

    A spot of colour and comfort (and bravery) in a desolate winter world. Very windy and stormy and wet here today, just what I needed.


  19. http://vivinfrance.wordpress.com
    Jan 12, 2016 @ 02:21:45

    Evokes the wonder of nature perfectly, in the true tradition of Japanese poetry.


  20. georgeplace2013
    Jan 12, 2016 @ 11:01:10

    I’m in love with your second sentence. The haiku is perfection. I am going to have to study this form more. So beautiful.


  21. whimsygizmo
    Jan 12, 2016 @ 21:25:23

    This is just breathtaking:
    “Bare tree branches against the iron sky were a frieze of unreadable runes.”


  22. sreejaharikrishnan
    Jan 12, 2016 @ 23:15:45



  23. wholeproduction
    Jan 17, 2016 @ 23:06:07

    very beautiful 🙂


  24. Snakypoet (Rosemary Nissen-Wade)
    Jan 19, 2016 @ 07:44:33

    I love the musicality of your prose in this piece!


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