dVerse Poets Pub – OLN #191

Today is Open Link Night (OLN) over at dVerse Poets Pub. Gayle is our host today and sadly, this is her last go as Pubtender. She is an amazing talent and is one of the kindest people around. She will most definitely be missed. I know I will miss her. So come by the dPub and read some excellent poems. Today I am doing a haibun in order to get in on Frank’s prompt last week of writing prose poetry. https://dversepoets.com/2017/03/09/open-link-night-191/

The Samurai and the Sparrow
Hot summer in the South – a feeling of walking around in a bowl of hot oatmeal when one ventures outside. But the air was sweet with magnolia, honeysuckle, night blooming jasmine, roses…my life was obsessed with smells that year. But this Saturday there was to be an exhibition of Kendo; several Hachi-dan Hanshi sparring against each other. I had just started dating a man who was arrogant, thought his long blonde hair made him look like a Nordic badass, and he was also into Kendo, at a higher level than I. He wasn’t great but he was an amusement. One of the men in the exhibition line caught my eye immediately. He was truly one of the most beautiful men I had ever seen. The participants all bowed and when he looked up at the sparse audience, I gasped. He looked me right in the eyes. You could have walked on the bolt that shot between us. The man beside me heard me gasp and looked at me with a frown. “What’s so great about him?” he muttered. I turned and looked at him with a sniff. “Other than he is gorgeous and dressed in a black silk hakama? Other than the fact that he is obviously good?” I had to laugh. My date got up and left. Fine with me.

I watched the Japanese man avidly. He was a bit taller than most Japanese me and he had his hair pulled up into a warriors knot (not those silly “man” buns of today) and in his belt were tucked the two swords – katana and wakizashi. He was carrying daisho – literally “big little” referring to the two swords. Every once in awhile, he would slightly break his concentration and find me in the audience. I shivered. I clearly had an admirer. Why I do not know. I was plain. My long dark hair was worn in a braid down my back, I was wearing glasses. I was under five feet tall – four feet 10 inches. He was gorgeous and moved like a tiger on ball bearings. Swift, graceful, lethal, powerful, passionate. But something in me spoke to him as something in me answered. Do you believe in love at first sight? Never ever put it down. Something started that day that after 35 years still resounds. It is hidden now but it is still there. I heard when he returned to Japan, he never married.

magnolias scent the
summer air – moths come to the
flame – wings become singed

old snapshot taken in Duke U Medical Library

33 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)
    Mar 09, 2017 @ 16:07:56

    Oh what a story… love at first sight can happen, and that parting. Ha,. that date of yours was really a fun addition.


  2. MarinaSofia
    Mar 09, 2017 @ 16:08:41

    What a lovely story, and a very unusual choice of final verse – those line breaks…


  3. Jane Dougherty
    Mar 09, 2017 @ 16:12:34

    I love those love at first sight but nothing happened stories, and the closing haiku is lovely.


  4. Sanaa Rizvi (@rizvi_sanaa)
    Mar 09, 2017 @ 16:20:10

    Such a beautiful and touching story ❤️


  5. Beverly Crawford
    Mar 09, 2017 @ 16:22:03

    Oh my, outside was not the only place steamy! I was captured from the very beginning and enrapted to the very end. Bravo!


  6. Bodhirose
    Mar 09, 2017 @ 16:31:30

    Yowza, Toni! Oh yes, I believe in instant connections between people. I know this man lives on in your life still. Good riddance to sulky date who got up and left!


  7. Bodhirose
    Mar 09, 2017 @ 16:32:37

    Oh, and thank you immensely for your very kind words for me, Toni! Love and hugs!


  8. kim881
    Mar 09, 2017 @ 17:00:18

    I love the way you’ve set the scene, Toni, with heat and scents, and the picture you painted of the ;Nordic badass’ and the japanese gut who ‘moved like a tiger on ball bearings’ A sensuous story – and what a haiku!


  9. scotthastiepoet
    Mar 09, 2017 @ 18:08:05

    We’ve all been there – Altogether charming and terrific haiku to finish – very strong and worth developing further, I think… Regards Scott


  10. frankhubeny
    Mar 09, 2017 @ 19:53:37

    Nice description of a transition leaving one boyfriend for another.


  11. Grace
    Mar 09, 2017 @ 20:22:23

    Enjoyed the scents and details of your story…such electricity and synchonicity into the first encounter ~ It can either turn into a good one or a sad goodbye ~


  12. Singledust
    Mar 10, 2017 @ 08:47:54

    what a story to read! Love at first sight in this case his compelling gaze must have been hard not to be drawn to, thank you for sharing a beautiful love story. I think he never got over you!


  13. Bryan Ens
    Mar 13, 2017 @ 08:35:55

    A beautiful recounting of how you first met.


  14. paul scribbles
    Mar 13, 2017 @ 08:37:32

    Oh my…this one plucks at the strings of the heart..such beautiful, descriptive and emotive prose…the Haiku is stunning…as I read I have Eric Clapton playing George Harrison’s ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’ on speaker…seems remarkably apt.


  15. kaykuala h
    Mar 13, 2017 @ 09:09:23

    moths come to the
    flame – wings become singed

    An attraction can turn into a disaster when one lets caution to be thrown to the winds!



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