Tuesday Poetics: Doors

Today at the dVerse Poets Pub, Lillian is giving us our prompt/inspiration for our poems.  “Doors” – what does the word bring to your mind?  I made a list of words associated with doors, concepts, feelings…my list ended with over 100 entries!  Come join us today and see if anyone wrote about your idea(s) about doors.  I must confess, being a child of the 1960’s, my brain grabbed and held onto….The Doors.  A haibun for today.

One Way to Different Things
“There are things known and things unknown and in between are the doors.” Jim Morrison

Years ago, I walked out our front door to the great unknown – first day of school. I opened the door at school and passed into a strange world full of strange people and strange concepts – having to sit still and be quiet, to color inside the lines, to answer a question with only one correct answer. Doors at my childhood home – going through the back door of our home into the backyard to our kitchen and flower gardens, closing the door of my room which could only be entered with my permission. Sitting on the sill of my window and smoking my first joint with my cousin Billy – opening the door to a different perception of the world. And again later, having sex for the first time, allowing that sweet fellow anthropology student to open a different kind of door to a different inner me. And coming home to open the front door and stepping into a home without my father. With my mother, my arm around her, closing the door to that home for the last time until it was opened again by its new family.

The transition of the seasons – spring stepping forward and closing the door to winter behind her and then, after the passage of a few moons, opening the door to summer. Summer in a brief fling of heat and passion, mellowing out to step into autumn, falling through that door and getting ready for winter’s sleep. Quietly closing the door and resting until awakened by the first robin. Jumping up and springing into a time of new growth. A wreath of fresh cedar and oranges on my front door for Winter, silk pink cherry blossoms for spring, a plain homemade wreath of dried vines for that persistent little wren who builds her nest there. We don’t use the front door so she and her family are safe. We always us the back door which leads into the kitchen and where most people seem to stay – ignoring the door into the living room. People who enter for the first time almost always say – look at all the doors! you have a zillion cabinets and, are they really truly real maple? No false doors in my kitchen!

The final door – others can wait with us outside but we can only open and step inside to the other side. Going from the life we know into the space of the unknown on the other side. A plain door that swings only one way and with no windows for those outside to see inside.

seasons doors open
and close – flowers bloom and fade –
always a mystery


corridor at Duke Chapel, Duke University

corridor at Duke Chapel, Duke University

31 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. lillian
    May 10, 2016 @ 15:50:53

    Oh this is so wonderful! So many doors within your lifetime shared here — and wonderfully so. I found myself smiling, sighing, chuckling….and then moving within your words. I love the photo you’ve chosen…it’s similar to our path through life, right? Although there are many doors, they all lead to the one, crescendo there, and we are the soloist with no chorus accompaniement..


    • kanzensakura
      May 10, 2016 @ 16:03:39

      I love this corridor. I have always loved the Gothic arches and they way they lead you. I grew up three blocks from the Duke East Campus and we attended the Chapel there. When you look under your feet at the stone floor, you see the “tombstones” of those entombed below. The whole east campus is this wonderful architecture and there are over 150 different gargoyles perched about 100 of them useful waterspouts. Besides Jim Morrison, your prompt made me think of this corridor and similar that I grew up with and played in and ran through.


  2. Victoria C. Slotto
    May 10, 2016 @ 16:08:15

    This gave me the chills–a biography in a unique perspective. This makes me want to take a few moments and consider the doors of my lifetime–really too many to count. What a great idea for developing a memoir…a really, really long one for some of us. I just wonder (eagerly, I suppose) what that last door will be like. I’ve watched so many go through it…many gently, others struggling. Beautiful meditation.


    • kanzensakura
      May 10, 2016 @ 16:32:50

      My grandmother did not go gently. I am going to, when I have about 50 years, count up all those doors and write them down in a list….Chapter one – The Nursery Door… Chapter 5000 Beyond – 64 yearly doors at this count. I can see you doing something beautiful with this concept.


  3. therisa
    May 10, 2016 @ 16:29:54

    Life is, the process of opening and shutting doors, behind us. Some, we wish that we could go back, and left it, forever opened, but we aren’t allowed to do so. Others, we can’t wait to shut them, toot sweet. Inbetween this, it’s how we embrace these doors, that colour our lives and those, around us.


    • kanzensakura
      May 10, 2016 @ 16:37:08

      very true, very wise. Some I wish I had never opened but then again, they have worked to make me – me. You had said you couldn’t do haibun because of your style. However, based on the flow of your words, I can see it. When I do prompts for haibun and read them, I don’t look at the grammar or spelling, only what is there and how it feels. Your wonderful chopped sentences carry much in them. Good job on flexing your gothic muscles! I often feel I am too wordy, that I need to chop more. Why I love haiku and tanka so much – nice bits of truth and hopefully, peace.


  4. Glenn Buttkus
    May 10, 2016 @ 16:59:15

    I did my own version of haibun for this one; always fun. For you, this piece is both epic & personal (or seems to be). I concentrated on death’s door for mine today, but yours with rich with every kind of door, & the experiences within & without; quite the achievement’ very impressive.


    • kanzensakura
      May 10, 2016 @ 17:36:16

      I may do another one on doors (what knockers!) if I have time. Because haibun in their original form were non-fiction, I hold to that now. They also were rather brief (alas, mine lately have been way too long). So my haibun are always non-fiction. I get more personal in some than others. Haibun are like my own free verse. Yeah, another one on doors. but different.


  5. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)
    May 10, 2016 @ 17:10:44

    Love the way you show life as a series of doors… those transitions are exquisite…and so great.


  6. Sanaa Rizvi
    May 10, 2016 @ 17:33:40

    Absolutely speechless after this stunning share ❤ ❤
    Beautifully executed.

    Lots of love,


  7. whimsygizmo
    May 10, 2016 @ 18:24:32

    Such beauty here, opened and spilled. Love the Morrison quote. I thought of the Doors today, too. 😉


  8. Grace
    May 10, 2016 @ 18:56:29

    I love all the doors opening and closing, from families to season to your own home ~ You created an inviting and welcoming space in your home too ~ That final door can wait…though we all know we have to walk alone into the unknown ~

    A lovely haibun Toni ~


  9. ihatepoetry
    May 10, 2016 @ 19:22:10

    yes, this is profound. Thanks.


  10. georgeplace2013
    May 10, 2016 @ 19:34:22

    All those doors and experiences… what a wonderful way to look back.


  11. Let's CUT the Crap!
    May 10, 2016 @ 23:35:26

    Sorry I have been absent. Your intro is written so well. Not only are you a poet, you are a writer. Your concept is wonderful.
    In recent years, I realize I pass through a room / situation and shut the door once I’ve ‘looked around and moved forward’. Gone. Filed. NEXT. 😦


  12. kim881
    May 11, 2016 @ 03:46:53

    A delightful whistle-stop journey through your life!


  13. Bryan Ens
    May 11, 2016 @ 08:39:24

    What a wonderful haibun and autobiography. You have opened a door… at least a crack… into who you are


  14. annell4
    May 11, 2016 @ 09:27:08

    Each door an opportunity….you are blessed to have so many doors.


  15. maria
    May 11, 2016 @ 10:17:47

    You’ve left no doors unopened, it seems. I like how you took us to a journey with your words, entering from one door after the other, reading pieces of you in this haibun. Nicely done, Toni! And that’s a gorgeous hallway by the way. 🙂


  16. Misky
    May 11, 2016 @ 11:48:59

    This is an exceptional take on Lillian’s prompt, and I loved reading every line and door and turning every imaginary knob.


  17. petrujviljoen
    May 11, 2016 @ 15:27:09

    I like what Bryan Ens had said about the work here. Can’t think of anything better to add.


  18. PSC
    May 11, 2016 @ 19:39:06

    Wonderful trip traveling through life’s doorways with you. The haibun was lovely, and the Jim Morrison quote — perfect!


  19. lynn__
    May 12, 2016 @ 12:42:41

    A great concept for telling a life story…as passages through multiple doors! Excellent photo to illustrate your haibun…all of us looking toward that mysterious door.


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