Gold Day

A haibun for Real Toads – Karin Gustafson is prompting us tonight at Real Toads with A glance at narrative. So, here’s your task for the prompt.  Simply think of some story in writing your poem–it could be the story of a moment or of a lifetime–and it need not be fully detailed.  The poem may offer a bird’s eye view of the story or the small close-up of a magnifying glass, maybe just a sidelong glimpse.  (It does not have to be a story of human beings; it could be the story of a rock or a raindrop.)

金曜日 Gold Day
The afternoon he left was a golden roux of fading autumn sunlight, spicy oak leaves – bright yellow, still holding on to the tree, not yet ready to fall, and bitter salt tears – like the oak leaves – refusing to fall, refusing to join the earlier faded maple leaves on the lawn. Under the trees, quiet and still, I allow the knowledge of his leaving to permeate my being. I am still breathing. My heart is still beating. The sky is still ethereal blue with purest white autumn clouds wafting their way to the end of the horizon. Starlings lift from the telephone wires to follow the clouds. I realize, I will continue on my way – leaves will change color and fall, snow will cover the sepia winter landscape, cherry blossoms will bud, bloom, and fade, trees will leaf in explosions of green, leaves will change color and fall. Seasons and things will pass. Inside, my soul says “Oh!”  I sit as the gold day ends.

early leaf burning –
its incense drifts to heaven
autumn’s voice whispers


Notes: Japanese Days of the Week –  The first two days of the week are named after the sun and the moon. To understand the remaining five wemust look at the ancient Chinese theory of the ‘Five Elements’ 五行 (wǔ-xíng). The Five Elements started out as a primitive system for explaining the universe but gradually developed to become an all-embracing cosmological system. Each element was equated to (among others) a direction, a colour, a season, a time of day, a planet, and a musical note in the pentatonic scale.  Fire (火 huǒ) was equated to south, red, summer, midday, the planet Mars, and note 5 in numbered musical notation. Water (水 shuǐ) was equated to north, black, winter, midnight, the planet Mercury, and note 6 in numbered musical notation. Wood (木 mù) was equated to east, green, spring, dawn, the planet Jupiter, and note 3 in numbered musical notation.  Gold or Metal (金 jīn) was equated to west, white, autumn, dusk, the planet Venus, and note 2 in numbered musical notation. Earth (土 tǔ), was equated to the centre, yellow, 18 days at the end of each season, the planet Saturn, and note 1 in numbered musical notation.

19 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Victoria C. Slotto
    Jul 30, 2017 @ 15:02:34

    The prose is breath-taking, poetic as is, of course, the haibun. I’m reading a Mary Oliver collection of poetry and prose and yours is right up there with hers.


  2. ManicDdaily
    Jul 30, 2017 @ 15:13:28

    Such a beautiful and wise poem, full of very universal loss and longing but also the specifics of an autumn view. Thanks. Also, I am very sorry for your recent loss. Take care. K.


  3. Sanaa Rizvi (@rizvi_sanaa)
    Jul 30, 2017 @ 17:24:58

    This is incredibly gorgeous, Toni!❤️ The tone, the images leave the reader with mixed emotions and with a sense of awe near the end. Beautifully penned.❤️


  4. Charley
    Jul 30, 2017 @ 20:07:40

    Worthy. Breathtaking.


  5. Magaly Guerrero
    Jul 31, 2017 @ 00:20:14

    Love the prose. It’s full of living imagery and feelings that stick to heart and skin. Pure beauty. And the haiku is the perfect crown.


  6. Jae Rose
    Jul 31, 2017 @ 03:53:42

    Brilliant post i loved every word


  7. kim881
    Jul 31, 2017 @ 04:15:40

    Such beautiful colours, Toni, and trees – amazing autumn oaks. I love the phrase ‘a golden roux of fading autumn sunlight, spicy oak leaves… and bitter salt tears’. You’ve sepia-tinted the sadness so well. The haiku is stunning.


    • kanzensakura
      Jul 31, 2017 @ 15:07:32

      Thank you for reading and commenting Kim, unlike most of the poets at Real Toads. The person who left was my Japanese lover of 13 years who became homesick for Japan and decided to go back. He asked me to go but I knew I would be a liability to him, so I stayed behind.

      Sent from Mail for Windows 10


  8. paul scribbles
    Jul 31, 2017 @ 07:16:56

    All things must pass. Superb…and one I feel I have read before…so familiar.


  9. Sherry Blue Sky
    Jul 31, 2017 @ 14:55:20

    Oh, the pain of someone leaving and the stupefaction of realizing one will go on, blossoms will bloom again. Incomprehensible, in that moment. You have captured this to perfection.


  10. Marian
    Aug 01, 2017 @ 11:33:16

    So pretty… autumn right around the corner here. And loss, always is


  11. sarahrussellpoetry
    Aug 07, 2017 @ 23:41:52

    Beautiful images, Toni. Fall is the proper season for thoughts of what might have been and what will be.


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