Haiku 1957

This is posted for Paul’s prompt at Read Toads  http://withrealtoads.blogspot.com/2017/07/scribble-it.html and for OLN at dVerse.

Haiku 1957
It had rained for two weeks steadily
that summer of 1957 when I was six.
I played on one of the porches
or under the huge magnolia tree
in the front yard.
But I was tired of rain.
My friend next door, Jamie Pollard –
the last of his line in a long line of Pollards –
had taught me Japanese poetic forms –
But my favorite was the haiku.
I loved the brevity of them,
The use of seasons so you always knew
when the moment of now
was taking place – the culture behind them,
he taught me haibun and Basho and Issa.
Jamie was in his forties and we
truly were best buddies.
He showed me all the treasures in his
home he had gathered from his travels to Japan –
My parents did not mind the friendship
and indeed, neither did anyone else back
in those innocent times.
His birthday was coming up and we
were going to have cake and ice cream
in his honor. I wanted to do something special.
So I wrote my first haiku for him.
When he died, he left me the haiku
And a few other things.
But mostly he left me the sense of his poetic soul,
his sense of seasons and changes –
his reverence for nature –
his fierce and fearless life.
I still miss him –
especially when autumn begins.
But the haiku remains – my first:

rain rain summer rain –
ducks like rain but I do not –
rain rain summer rain


public domain image

39 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. paul scribbles
    Jul 27, 2017 @ 15:01:22

    Oh how wistful this is. There is something wonderfully warm about the telling and about the poetic nature of your friend. I like to think that such friendships are still possible.


  2. Victoria C. Slotto
    Jul 27, 2017 @ 15:24:26

    This touched me so deeply. Yes those innocent times when someone like this can really shape the direction of your creative genius. How very sweet the haiku. Just loved this telling.


  3. Charley
    Jul 27, 2017 @ 15:34:53

    I grieved for the loss of times where (we believed) we were safe. It wasn’t always so; but not as likely to be wrong as today. Life is full of trade-offs. You poem totally explains how you came to be a Southern/Japanese woman of letters.


  4. Sue Vincent
    Jul 27, 2017 @ 15:37:12

    The gift of poetry in your own soul is a great one.


  5. Jane Dougherty
    Jul 27, 2017 @ 15:38:23

    What a lovely sensitive friendship, and the result was poetry.


  6. kim881
    Jul 27, 2017 @ 16:02:32

    I love this kind of autobiographical picture painting but most of all that Jamie Pollard taught you about Japanese poetry when you were just six years old! How lovely too that he left you the first haiku you wrote – I love it!.
    ‘rain rain summer rain –
    ducks like rain but I do not –
    rain rain summer rain’ –
    I’m saying it now, while a very heavy downpour drums on the darkening window of my study!


  7. charliezero1.wordpress.com
    Jul 27, 2017 @ 16:03:54

    Friendships are a moments of family and memories. You are such a brilliant writer. 🙂


  8. Bodhirose
    Jul 27, 2017 @ 16:35:10

    Friendships between children and adults can be so rewarding, as your story illustrates, Toni. He set the tone for so much that was to follow in your life…remarkable. I love this.


  9. Sanaa Rizvi
    Jul 27, 2017 @ 16:40:45

    This is so poignant.. I can feel the special bond that you shared with him in your words here..


  10. Frank Hubeny
    Jul 27, 2017 @ 17:00:31

    Nice haiku and remembrance of your friend.


  11. Beverly Crawford
    Jul 27, 2017 @ 19:36:34

    What a nice tribute to a poetic friend. No one is truly gone so long as they live on in our memory.


  12. Ayala
    Jul 27, 2017 @ 20:33:04

    Lovely capture !


  13. Magaly Guerrero
    Jul 27, 2017 @ 21:33:50

    I love, love, love the idea of a 6-year-old learning poetry from a man of 40. It’s a wonderful thought, which brings all sort of smiles to my face. Thanks for sharing. 🙂


  14. sarahsouthwest
    Jul 28, 2017 @ 02:32:29

    How lucky for you, and him, to find a kindred spirit. What an impact he made on your life. I love your haiku, it’s perfect.


  15. kaykuala (@hankkaykuala)
    Jul 28, 2017 @ 03:39:22

    You are most privileged to have a benefactor when growing up, Toni. We are all the more privileged seeing the quality output now!



  16. Sherry Marr
    Jul 28, 2017 @ 11:47:09

    How i adore this poem, and the story of your first haiku. Wonderful to have a friend share poetry with you. How he would love to know you have written poems ever since. I loved this!


  17. MarinaSofia
    Jul 29, 2017 @ 03:37:31

    So haiku and you go back a very long way – how proud he would be of you now… A charming story of an inspirational friendship.


  18. nosaintaugustine
    Jul 29, 2017 @ 07:43:34

    A wonderfully told story. Your haiku origin-story and more importantly a story of friendship. Loved it!


  19. lillian
    Jul 29, 2017 @ 10:03:06

    This is such a beautiful story and ode to this special person in your life. Thank you so much for sharing.


  20. Susie Clevenger (@wingsobutterfly)
    Jul 29, 2017 @ 18:46:35

    What a beautiful gift he gave you. It is something that will continue to grow with just enough watering from your pen.


  21. revivedwriter
    Aug 01, 2017 @ 19:19:26

    This is wonderful! The use of the haibun form is also very fitting.


    • kanzensakura
      Aug 01, 2017 @ 19:56:31

      Thank you so much. However, this is not the haibun form, it is just free verse. The haibun form is tight paragraph(s) ending with a seasonal haiku. I only put the haiku at the end so that it would be known what the haiku was that I wrote.


  22. Nayana Nair
    Aug 14, 2017 @ 05:44:21

    that was sad and beautiful 🙂 Loved reading it 🙂


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