Haibun Monday #10 Cherry Blossoms

Monday, over at dVerse Poet’s Pub, I am behind the Bar pouring out the prompt.  Cherry blossom time is a special time in Japan.  Hanami, or cherry blossom viewing, is all about family, fesitival, food, fun…from dawn to dawn, people will be out and about admiring the cherry blossoms.  At night, the trees will be strung with lights so they can be viewed at night as well as providing light for dancing, drinking…lovers!  I am using several cherry blossom haiku by Issa and Basho for the prompt.  Writers are to choose one of the haiku to begin their haibun and then end their haibun with their own nature/cherry blossom based haiku.  Come on over and read and view all the cherry blossoms provided by the various talented poets.  Bar opens at 3:00 pm EST.  Join us here all week:  http://dversepoets.com/2016/03/28/haibun-monday-hanami/

copyright kanzensakura

copyright kanzensakura

“How many many things
they call to mind –
these cherry blossoms”

As is my annual habit, I checked the cherry blossom blooming forecast for Japan.  This year, they are blooming early – both in Japan and here in the United States.  Sakura Matsuri (cherry blossom festival) is always a bittersweet time for me.  Many memories tied to cherry blossoms:  dancing at night beneath lighted trees, hearing the laughter of other dancers and lovers, wandering beneath their beauty during the day – my breath taken away by their beauty, sakura ice cream, stealing kisses in the midst of a cherry blossom snow, the first blooming of sakura after he went away, standing in the rain and seeing the petals driven into the earth around the trees – like tiny headstones for the graves of tears.

I still feel some of that sadness but remember when I began again to feel anticipation of and joy in their blooming.  The sadness is the mono no aware felt during this season for their quickly passing beauty – deep pink blooms against an azure sky or pure white blooms like earthbound clouds.  Yesterday I strolled under the cherry trees and smiled at lovers and danced to music of Japanese style bands, introduced my husband to a typical hanami picnic lunch.  His eyes as blue as the sky took in all the sights, sounds, and smells of his first sakura matsuri.  Joy and peace at being again in love with the cherry blossoms in spite of their beautiful brevity.  Hand holding and stealing kisses under the cherry trees seems to be eternal as Fuji – it is comforting to know some things do not change with time.  And that which was thought lost is found again.

cherry blossoms dance
in spring breeze – song of birds
like temple bells.

copyright kanzensakura

copyright kanzensakura


38 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. cindy knoke
    Mar 27, 2016 @ 13:05:13



  2. Mary
    Mar 27, 2016 @ 19:45:43

    Ah, cherry blossom season passes so quickly; but while it lasted there is such beauty to appreciate and enjoy! And yes, I can see them dancing!


  3. kaykuala (@hankkaykuala)
    Mar 27, 2016 @ 20:39:44

    cherry blossoms dance
    in spring breeze – song of birds
    like temple bells.

    Can very well imagine the delightful movements and the accompanying chirpings, kanzen! The prose a welcome respite from the normal verses of others. Great!



  4. MarinaSofia
    Mar 28, 2016 @ 04:17:04

    We’re just getting the very first cherry blossoms here – not quite as spectacular as in Japan, but a much loved sign of spring nevertheless!


  5. Bryan Ens
    Mar 28, 2016 @ 14:00:21

    Amazing how the brevity of cherry blossoms can ellicit so many emotions and memories. Beautiful piece.


  6. whimsygizmo
    Mar 28, 2016 @ 15:06:18

    Gorgeous, gorgeous haiku, and vividly expressive prose, Toni.


  7. Bodhirose
    Mar 28, 2016 @ 16:52:29

    Your love for cherry blossoms is so apparent in your writing, Toni; you can feel your joy! Love your eloquent haiku!


  8. petrujviljoen
    Mar 28, 2016 @ 17:49:17

    Temple Bells and birds’ song – how fitting.


    • kanzensakura
      Mar 28, 2016 @ 21:24:26

      I am not sure what birds they have in South Africa. We have tiny goldfinches and their call sounds much like the tinkling of glass chimes…the cardinals sound like bells. They remind me of time spent at Ryoanji in the spring. And thank you for posting to this prompt!


      • petrujviljoen
        Mar 29, 2016 @ 03:52:06

        I listened closer to the bird song this morning and compared your haibun. Wonderful inspiration. Thanks for providing the opportunity and the learning curve.


        • kanzensakura
          Mar 29, 2016 @ 13:00:40

          Thank you for your kind words. So many times, the birds’ songs lift me up to happiness and hope. I thank you so much for responding to the prompt and linking up. Honestly, I think you would have begun listening to the birds on your own. We poets seem to come to things in our own time and way and usually, I think, when we need to learn – especially those things that resnew our hope.


  9. Grace
    Mar 28, 2016 @ 18:14:51

    I am eagerly waiting for the trees here to bloom and cherry bloom watching is a big deal here in my part of the world ~ The parks are packed with people, eating and taking pictures ~ Enjoyed your memories of cherry bloom festival, both happy and sad ones ~ I also love: song of birds
    like temple bells.


    • kanzensakura
      Mar 28, 2016 @ 21:22:27

      The cardinals here are beginning their mating season and they sweet calls sound like – “here!right here right here right here!” the goldfinches have returned and their tiny voices sound like the tinkling of glass chimes. I am spending much of the day in our botanical garden in the Japanese garden portion strolling, taking pics, feeding the koi with bits of lettuce and cooked rice. It is a fun and peaceful time.


  10. summerstommy2
    Mar 28, 2016 @ 18:59:52

    I thought this was beautiful your haibun and haiku. The brevity of the season only enhances the wonder I think and being able to experience is spectacular. I had the pleasure a few years ago to be in Japan during the autumn when the colours were amazing and you never stopped marveling at them. My next trip must be in the spring.


  11. Victoria C. Slotto
    Mar 28, 2016 @ 19:18:45

    Hmmm–I also picked up on the possible melancholy of the event in much the same way you did–this is such a wonderful prompt, Toni. Just saw that Reno got 8 inches of snow which means, no doubt, our cherry blossoms didn’t make it again. I’m sure they already bloomed because of the early spring up there. Sad.


    • kanzensakura
      Mar 28, 2016 @ 21:17:44

      But that is all what the cherry blossoms are about – that sadness. That snow and the petals of the blossoms mixing with the snow. I was going to set out my tomatoes and squash today but stopped. We are having heavy frost and temp in the 30’s later this week. I have sewn my radishes and lettuces in containers and they are in our garage – I’ll wait until middle of next month to set out my replacement herbs and veggies…besides, the oak trees aren’t the size of a squirrel’s ear yet!


  12. kim881
    Mar 29, 2016 @ 02:11:18

    Yes, cherry blossom is over too quickly. I love the idea of a hanami picnic. At the moment we only have buds as our cherry tree is a late bloomer. Even the honeysuckle below the tree gets its first flowers before the cherry, and then has another burst in the summer!


    • kanzensakura
      Mar 29, 2016 @ 13:03:05

      Our ornamental cherries bloom early but it seems the fruit bearing ones, bloom a little later – at least in this part of the world. Our honeysuckle even blooms sporadically on into the fall, into first frost. These blooms always mean so much to and oh, how we eagerly await them.


  13. Kathy
    Mar 29, 2016 @ 02:56:04

    What a tribute to the cherry blossoms and the festivals held each year. I felt a tweek of sadness but the ending haiku says it all so well. Lovely.


  14. georgeplace2013
    Mar 29, 2016 @ 06:39:23

    “some things do not change with time. And that which was thought lost is found again.” Your haibun is beautiful and the ending full of truth.


  15. Walt Wojtanik
    Mar 29, 2016 @ 08:44:12

    Exceptional! And your closing haiku completes this so well!


  16. Hannah Gosselin
    Mar 30, 2016 @ 15:42:30

    This is so poignant and I love this:

    “petals driven into the earth around the trees – like tiny headstones for the graves of tears.” and the topic of lost and found again…heart-stirring haibun. Thank you, for the prompt!


  17. mishunderstood
    Apr 03, 2016 @ 19:40:04

    A sweet story full of timeless memories and reflections. There is such an easy flow to your prose. I still have much to learn from you. This is beautiful.


    • kanzensakura
      Apr 03, 2016 @ 19:44:24

      Thank you. And I still have so much to learn from you and others. I like that we can read and learn and appreciate. I hope you will guest post again. That was most enjoyable!


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