Kuroi to Suzume

Today is Tuesday Platform at Real Toads – we can post one poem of our choice. Rommy has told us of how she and her husband met and are celebrating 23 years of marriage! She is asking what interests drew us to our lovers/husbands/spouses/mates? I was 25 when I met my Black Dragon, my Japanese lover. He was 35 and a forensic pathologist and instructor in Kendo and kantana. I am of course interested in all things Japan and have been since I was six. I have visited Japan many times and at several points, followed in Basho’s footsteps. My lover taught me the culture, the history, the language of his country, honoring the changing seasons. We were together 10 years and visited several times his home in the mountains, Hakone, and then he returned to Japan. I did not go with him. I always thought of him as Black Dragon – kuroi ryu and myself as a sparrow beside him – suzume. This haibun is an old one and one I have shortened and reworked for future publication.  I follow the classic form which means it is non-fiction rather than made up. I hope you all enjoy.  The first full moon is of course the first full moon that appears in early spring – mangetsu no haru.

Black dragon and Sparrow

“Come, let me show you” – Indeed the spring moon was full and lit the yard Like a klieg. Although in jeans and tee shirt, he still looked lethal and royal and somehow the katana and wakazashi tucked into the makeshift obi around his waist did not look ridiculous. Hands arm and dry, he took my hand and pulled me outside into his yard – “such tiny hands you have” and he smiled his singularly sweet smile down at me. In the gravel place, between the pond for his nishikigoi and the karesansui, he pulled me. Always when he touched me, heat and electricity flowed from my heels to the top of my head, always drawing me closer to him. The song of steel as he pulled the katana clear – the sound to my ears like the sound the scales of a dragon would make as it moved across the earth.
Standing behind me his arms enclosed me and he placed the sword in my hands – like this and wrapped my hands around the hilt and now, hold it like this as he moved my arms into position and corrected my stance and how I held the sword. Move with me…awkward at first and then like magic it seemed, I was moving with him. Beneath that huge moon the black dragon and the sparrow began their dance. The moon drawing us together, warmed by each other, our breaths frosted in the cold of an early spring night. We could not move from that place. The earth held us captive as the moonlight pinned us in place. Who knew that gravity was heat and electricity? Who knew that gravity was choosing not to move, to stay suspended in one place?

spring night warmed
only by the first full moon –
tides and lovers rise

23 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)
    May 29, 2018 @ 16:22:53

    What a wonderful magic… love the sound of steel and the dragon’s scale. I wonder what our neighbors would do if I went out at night with a katana… but of course I might walk our garden with a scythe on my shoulder instead.


    • kanzensakura
      May 29, 2018 @ 16:24:46

      LOL…that might give them pause! My neighbors are used to seeing me using my katana (sheathed) as a walking stick. The copperhead snakes are thick this spring so…discretion is the better part of valor when walking in the country.


  2. sanaarizvi
    May 29, 2018 @ 17:02:52

    My goodness this is such a passion filled haibun Toni! 💜💜


  3. The Transcanada Poet
    May 29, 2018 @ 17:36:41

    loved this a few words with passion and thought


  4. erbiage
    May 29, 2018 @ 17:46:41

    My god, all I could think of, is why, why, why did you not go with him. Poignant, haunting, very Japanese.


    • kanzensakura
      May 29, 2018 @ 18:15:03

      Get Outlook for Android



      • kanzensakura
        May 29, 2018 @ 18:25:53

        Well Eric, a Japanese woman with a white man is no big deal, no loss of face. A Japanese man with a white woman is a great loss of face. I would have been thought of as a hostess, a prostitute. He would not have had the medical status there that he had here. We talked about this every day for a year. I finally said, enough. Return home and leave me behind. So….


  5. Frank J. Tassone
    May 29, 2018 @ 19:00:26

    Reblogged this on Frank J. Tassone and commented:
    #Haiku Happenings #8: Toni Spencer’s latest #haibun!


  6. Sherry Blue sky
    May 30, 2018 @ 00:15:39

    I think perhaps you have a Japanese soul. Maybe in a former lufe, you were Japanese, and together. You will carry the beauty and grief of this all your life, i imagine, that once in a lifetime, magical time. This was so beautiful to read and envision. I especially loved when you were moving together as one.


    • kanzensakura
      May 30, 2018 @ 00:23:41

      Thank you Sherry. I’ve had a few people tell me this. I believe it as well. Lol…I actually think I was Samurai because of how natural the katana feels in my hand, my sense of honor, not to be stuffy about it. Thank you again for these words Sherry.


  7. Jim
    May 30, 2018 @ 00:43:46

    Toni, thanks for your brief history. I too.think you might have a Japanese soul. Also the way you carry your me. I shows where part of your soul might be happy. BTW, Mrs. Jim is 10 years my younger. She keeps me young, we have been married 45 years.


  8. thotpurge
    May 30, 2018 @ 01:17:22

    A beautiful memory…time and earth do stop for moments like this.


  9. kim881
    May 30, 2018 @ 02:04:11

    An amazing memory, Toni. You haven’t forgotten a thing: ‘Always when he touched me, heat and electricity flowed from my heels to the top of my head’. I love the way you describe ‘the sound to my ears like the sound the scales of a dragon would make as it moved across the earth’ and the passion and romance in:.’Beneath that huge moon the black dragon and the sparrow began their dance. The moon drawing us together, warmed by each other, our breaths frosted in the cold of an early spring night’.


  10. Rommy
    May 30, 2018 @ 05:44:06

    A passionate moment in time so lovingly preserved.


  11. Vivian Zems
    May 30, 2018 @ 08:06:34

    This is so magical…what a moment. I love this bit “…. the black dragon and the sparrow began their dance the black dragon and the sparrow began their dance…”
    I envy you this memory…it can’t be replicated.
    Do you still practice? It must take a lot of discipline.


  12. annell4
    May 30, 2018 @ 09:53:51

    You ask, “Who knew?” I would say, no one knows, what is between lovers, it is magic! People come into our lives, and no matter that they are wonderful, they are not meant to stay. The story of one lover left behind, seems sad indeed.


  13. Victoria C. Slotto
    May 30, 2018 @ 17:05:35

    Intensely beautiful, passionate. The merging of lovers with nature. Once we have encountered someone in such a deep way, I think they are always a part of us.


  14. hypercryptical
    May 31, 2018 @ 08:49:42

    A beautiful magical write Toni – it held me entranced, so passionate, so descriptive its words.
    To love and be loved like that must have been wonderful, no wonder you remember it so vividly.
    Anna :o]


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