dVerse Poetics Tuesday: Summit in Sight

Lynn is visiting at dVerse today and is the guest prompter. She has given as a prompt, mountains – whether the mountains in nature or a personal climbing of some kind of emotional mountain. I hope you will visit us and read some of what I know will be incredible poems. I am doing a longer, travelogue form of Haibun for this. The title of the post is “Summit in Sight”. http://dversepoets.com/2016/03/29/poetics-summit-in-sight/


free public domain image - New River Gorge

free public domain image – New River Gorge

o snail
climb Mount Fuji
but slowly – slowly
” Issa

Crayola Mountains
At the tail end of winter, I had to take a journey across the Cumberland Mountains to be with my mom who was not doing well. I began the long drive with trepidation and grief. The greys, sepias, and black-green of the bare foliage and pine trees of the mountains told the tale of winter. Several mountains were locked in with fog – warning lights blinking, cars moving at just below 10 MPH for safety. Drizzles intermittently were an inconvenient annoyance; not enough wet for full blown wiper usage but too much not to sometimes use the wipers to clear my view. Stops and a brief lunch at a rest stop caused shivers and fast walking to the rest building and back to the car. Several times I grew drowsy and had to use those wintry winds to awaken me and push the tiredness from my body and soul. The looming mountains through which the highway was carved overwhelmed me and I felt so very small inching my way across them, like Issa’s snail.

The journey home was with a lighter heart because of the time spent with my mother and being hugged and held by her, remembered by her, being told how loved I was. As I climbed higher into the mountains I noticed the colors. Why, spring has come! On the mountainsides, scattered among the dull winter colors I noticed bits of tender green and the white of blooming white pear trees. In a few spots, the orchid colored blooms of the redbud tree jumped out and shouted Spring! At the bottom of the mountains, in low lying damp areas, bright yellow green willows were beginning to put forth leaves. Amazingly, on the steep, sharply inclined sides, sheep and lambs, cattle and calves precariously grazed on young grass. I wondered how they grazed without rolling down the mountainsides. Between the mountains in one pasture, I smiled to see sheep, cattle, horses all grazing with democratic amiability. I was also able to glimpse in passing, surviving old farm plantings or animal-sown clumps of daffodils sprouting bright sunny yellow between the dark green leaves.

Crossing several times over the broad New River, I could see the sides of the mountains – rounded boulders of peach, gold, white rock molded by time and the river. I remembered the New River hasn’t been new since its formation in the Paleozoic era as part of the Pottsville group. Like the rocks through which the highway had been cut – by dynamite and man – the river color was layerings of black, deep grey, slate…striations from when the earth moved and the veins of rock pushed upward. Blue skies – periwinkle, cornflower, baby blue – stretched around me and I could see in every direction – the cloudless skies unmarred by buildings or clouds. In some places, winter dead kudzu stretched over the rocks – ragged and dirty colored as Miss Havisham’s bridal veil. In some of the green pastures, outcroppings of white rocks, like jagged white teeth, gleamed in the yellow sun. A few days after I returned home, I sat at my desk and dumped out my deluxe box of crayons and began lifting from the pile, the colors of my journey back home. Pondering over the colors, there was one color I could not find. Thinking of my mother, the only crayon missing was the one labelled Love.

spring comes suddenly
in the mountains – the fog lifts –
colors are now growing

copyright kanzensakura

copyright kanzensakura

18 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Sanaa Rizvi
    Mar 29, 2016 @ 21:31:11

    Beautifully poignant ❤ ❤


  2. lynn__
    Mar 29, 2016 @ 21:50:54

    I enjoyed this emotive travelogue, Toni. A colorful write but I especially LOVE how you pictured the “winter dead kudzu stretched over the rocks – ragged and dirty colored as Miss Havisham’s wedding veil” – wow!


  3. Bodhirose
    Mar 29, 2016 @ 22:50:39

    Such contrast between you going and returning home…in many different ways. I enjoyed your reflections while on your journey and I too like your description of the dead kudzu…genius! And just why isn’t there a crayon named love???


  4. moon child
    Mar 30, 2016 @ 00:05:11

    I love everything about this! 🙂


  5. kim881
    Mar 30, 2016 @ 03:24:58

    I love these personal stories. I can’t imagine what it must be like to live and travel in mountains – and you have shown me. I especially love the lines:
    Blue skies – periwinkle, cornflower, baby blue – stretched around me and I could see in every direction – the cloudless skies unmarred by buildings or clouds. In some places, winter dead kudzu stretched over the rocks – ragged and dirty colored as Miss Havisham’s wedding veil. In some of the green pastures, outcropping of white rocks, like jagged white teeth, gleamed in the yellow sun. 🙂


  6. Grace
    Mar 30, 2016 @ 12:51:06

    Love the personal journey & details of your drive, to your mom and coming home Toni ~ You are lucky at spring has already arrived in your part of the world ~

    Love your haiku – indeed the colors are growing ~


  7. Victoria C. Slotto
    Mar 30, 2016 @ 14:25:41

    Toni, this gave me the shivers. It reminds me so much of my journey along the Eastern Sierra when we return to Reno in May. It’s so often I am able to relate so closely to what you write on so many levels (though I have never even visited Japan).


  8. Hannah Gosselin
    Mar 30, 2016 @ 14:57:42

    The portion that stands out to me most is that of mother’s love…there’s nothing like it. Beautiful writing, Toni.


  9. Let's CUT the Crap!
    Mar 30, 2016 @ 20:40:09

    I believe I’m late arriving. Wow. This writing is stunning, Kanzen. I don’t like to say you’ve outdone yourself as that might sound as if earlier descriptions were of less quality. You HAVE outdone yourself. I have enjoyed your descriptions and have read them again and again. Sigh. Breathtaking. Love the difference between going and coming back.
    Glad to hear you’re back. ❤ ❤ ❤


  10. Anna
    Mar 31, 2016 @ 05:47:41

    There’s something about the journey and our reflections that lead us back to love. I wish pear trees would bloom here but we don’t get flowers until July.


  11. Walt Wojtanik
    Mar 31, 2016 @ 11:26:54

    The spread of colors becomes addicting and quite contagious, Kanzen I believe our own growth depends on it!


  12. Glenn Buttkus
    Mar 31, 2016 @ 14:37:26

    Incredible haibun, loaded with color & metaphor; perfectly blended travelogue & emotional journey; one of your best. I agree that the transitions, seasonal & personal are perfection, each thatched to the other.


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