Haibun Monday – Free For All

Today I have the prompt at dVerse Poets Pub. Come join us!  http://dversepoets.com/2017/07/24/haibun-monday-free-for-all-2/

Beautiful Spring
The spring this year was beautiful. A mild winter and lots of rain and snow had thoroughly watered the earth and flowers and trees were bursting forth. The last few months of my mother’s life, I spent with her daily. It was hard watching her slowly die, to pray for God to take her and end her suffering. One morning, they called me early from the skilled nursing facility she was in. During the night, my mother had died. I hung up the phone feeling empty, tired and sad. I stood at our living room window and looked out at the early summer green.

summer green and sun –
hummingbirds sip from the feeder –
it is cold inside

A Tale of Heat and Cold: Summer’s Coming

This is for the Weekend prompt at Real Toads – global warming – Imagining a Changing Earth. Brendan’s Scriptorium asks us to write a poem of any length or style to describe a grieving heart, our place in the changing world, etc. You can find the prompt at: http://withrealtoads.blogspot.com/2017/07/weekend-challenge-imagining-changing.html I chose the form of haibun for this which is an ancient Japanese poetic style using prose (bun) and haiku (hai). One to three tight paragraphs with a classic haiku at the end to bring attention to the prose is the standard format. Being a bit of a pragmatist, I look at things with a sometimes Japanese outlook and sometimes, a skewed outlook. I don’t see the world changing as we know it as necessarily a bad thing just as change.  Mujo is  part of the Japanese mentality – change.

A Tale of Heat and Cold: Summer’s Coming
Heat, cold, fire, ice, cooling, melting…We are going through a natural cycle. People talk of a Sixth Extinction and quiver in fear or righteous indignation. Species will die out. Well, species have died out before this. We ponder over old bones and fossils. We put oil in our cars and diamonds on our fingers or in our ears – all of these the remains of species who lived zillions of years ago and died out with whatever climate change was going on at the time. Siberian Elk, Smilodon, Wooly Mammoth – 10,000 BCE, 5,200 BCE, 5,000 BCE died and became extinct and rotted. The earth heated up or cooled down. The Thunder Lizards are a few bones displayed in museums and the Neanderthal is part of a diorama.

Perhaps we will end up devolving. Perhaps a Smildon or Triceratops will again be grazing on tree sized weeds. Perhaps a Wooly Mammoth will again be slogging through the 1,000 year winter. This ending is our fault though. No volcanos erupted, nothing happened to tilt the Earth a degree – we did this ourselves. This may be an unnatural cycle in which we die along with other species and flora. Perhaps we will become the stuff of study by a new race or a bright stone in someone’s ear. Hopefully, they will learn from our mistakes.

summer’s coming – heat
destroys life as we know it –
brave new world ahead

 

free public domain image

Haibun Monday #2 The Rest of the Story

I rarely post more than one poem.  But today calls for a rest of the story post!

The Rest of the Story
Years went past. Even though I survived, it seemed just when I was moving on, some slurpy teary love song would come on the radio and I would begin to cry. The biggest offender was Same Old Lang Syne by Dan Fogelberg. I’d turn off the radio and then flip it back on and…cry. One day while at a Tai Kwan Do exhibition, I met this man: short, balding, beautiful blue eyes and a wicked one on the sparring floor. Somehow we began to talk and before I knew it, he had charmed me into going out for coffee with him. He was a true Southern boy – soft voice, those eyes, lovely mouth, and like a cat on stainless steel ball bearings on the sparring floor. I remember when he got his black belt. We had been dating awhile and truth be told, I was smitten. But I held back. One day in February – Valentine’s Day to be exact he asked me to come with him to his parents’ home to check on it as they were out of town for a couple of months. He sat me down in the family room and ran upstairs. When he returned, he told me he had something to say to me. I went cold inside. This was the breakup. He went over to the piano and began to chord and to sing. Heaven only knows how long it took him to learn to do this!
“We’re no strangers to love.
You know the rules and so do I…
(chord chord chord).

Heavens! It was Rick Astley’s Never Gonna Give You Up. I loved that song! And then he asked me to marry him. It was the first song we danced to at our wedding. I still love that song,  Seventeen years later and I still love him.

icy winds blow – sleet
falls – warmth of fireplace and love
inside the home.

Haibun Monday: Tramps Like us Were Born to Survive

It is Haibun Monday over at dVerse. I am hosting the prompt for this. I want us to write about music – singing along with the radio, driving and singing, working and singing…a fun prompt after all the heavy prompts. Come join us!

I Love This Song
I sit in the car in the parking lot of the airport. I had been sitting there for a couple of hours, remembering. You were on your way back to Japan. I was returning to a new apartment without any memories of you. We sold our house, split the money; divided the stuff. My heart felt like it was being pulled apart by rats, ravaged over, leaving it bloody and in pieces. Finally I turned the key in the ignition and headed back to town. I pulled up in front of the apartment. Now I was sitting in the car, on the street, under the fully leaved trees of summer. I made myself go into the apartment but I sat down on the couch. “Damn you” I whispered. “Damn you” I shouted. “Damn damn damn you!”. I smoked a joint and felt soothed, the rough edges smoothed out. I looked around the bare no-personality apartment. I walked over to my stereo deck and popped in the cassette and cranked it up to full blast. Gloria Gaynor belted out, I will survive. I played it again and again and again. I will survive. I began to dance around the room.

green leaves of summer
rustle in the breeze – birds sing
outside my window

Haibun Monday – the only thing we have to fear…

Today I am hosting the Haibun Monday prompt. It is on fear – fear of things, fear of being out of control, fear of losing loved ones, fear – primal and raw. Come join us today.

My Mother’s Daughter
Several years ago my mother began displaying erratic and irresponsible behavior. She was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Since then it has been a downhill road – she has forgotten how to walk, often forgets she has not eaten, has become incontinent. It is heartbreaking. Especially as my mother varies between paranoid, hostile towards me, and loving mother. My husband and I have no children. We did not get married until I was 49 and he was 39. It is just us and his mother who is starting to go somewhat erratic herself.

I am afraid when I look at my mother that one day, I will be sitting in a wheelchair, in her place. I will have no one to know or to care about me except maybe a nursing home. I kept her at home as long as I could but then one day, it became evident I could no longer care for my mother. Then I was afraid of the nursing home in which to place her. But praise God, she was sent from being in the hospital to a small nursing home with only 90 beds and ten minutes from our home. I can visit her often and have formed, during her stay there since January, friendships among the staff and caring relationships with some of the residents. But I am still afraid. My past fears of clowns, losing loved ones, spiders – pales in comparison to this new fear of Alzheimers. Alzheimer’s – one of the scariest words in the human vocabulary.

spring sky turns black – storm
begins and wind blows strong – hawk
flies against the wind

dVerse Poetics: Oldies But Goodies

Before Lillian starts her cruise, she is again hosting Poetics over at dVerse. She is asking us to pick a song from the year we were born and to write about it. You’re going to have to look up the song to find out the year I was born! Pub opens Tuesday at 3:00 pm EST.  https://dversepoets.com/2017/04/11/oldies-but-goodies-no-matter-the-age/

How High the Moon
The young woman sat in the porch swing, pushing herself to and fro with her foot.  The full flower moon glinted off her wireframe glasses and in the darkness, her curly hair was coal black.  Inside the bedroom window facing onto the porch she had placed the radio so she could listen to music as she drifted in her thoughts.  The screen door opened and a young man came outside and joined her in the swing.  He looked at her with trouble in his eyes.  “What’s wrong?  You ate nothing at dinner and I cooked your favorites tonight”, he said softly.  The woman glanced at him, swallowed, then licked her lips.  Something was bothering her.  After a few minutes she whispered, “I’m pregnant”.  “What?,, what?”  She hung her head.  The young man gathered her into his arms.  “This is wonderful news, wonderful.  When?”  “November, mid or late.”  She snuggled in his arms and they began swinging again, gazing at the full moon.  On the radio began “How High the Moon” by Les Paul and Mary Ford.

full pink moon shines bright –
drifts of clouds across the moon –
kisses in the shadows

 

My sweet mama aged 16. copyright kanzensakura

 

Haibun Monday – The Shadow Knows

Monday I am doing the prompt for Haibun Monday over at dVerse Poets Pub. Years ago I read In Praise of Shadows (陰翳礼讃 In’ei Raisan), an essay on Japanese aesthetics by the Japanese author and novelist Jun’ichirō Tanizaki. It deeply influenced me and caused my immersion into the Japanese culture. So I am prompting people to write about shadows today in classic Haibun form – actual shadows, shadows in our lives, walking after dark in the full moon, the fireplace flickering in a dark room, shadows of clouds racing over a meadow, mountain or lake. Come visit us and find out the reason for this quote by Jun’ichirō Tanizaki: “Were it not for shadows, there would be no beauty.”  The Pub opens at 3:00 pm EST

Moonlight, kendo, and love
Midsummer. The moon was full to bursting and it lit up our bedroom like a klieg light. My lover was sleeping soundly, softly snoring. I was rolling from one half of the bed to the other – the night was hot and moist and redolent with the smells of roses, jasmine, gardenias, magnolia….the rich musk of freshly mown grass floated over the flower smells and made me sneeze. I gave one look at the sleeping man, muttered “bah” and got out of bed. I looked down into the garden in the back yard – the scene was almost surreal, flat with the look of no contrasting shadows. Every detail stood out in sharp detail. I pulled on a tee shirt and shorts and went downstairs. I decided if nothing else, I would practice some kendo forms I had learned the previous week. With my shinai in hand, I began. I started to sweat but continued. Soon I relaxed and to get into the motions. Clouds blew across the surface of the full moon and shadows drifted across the koi pond and the graveled area. A soft breeze began cooling me and I closed my eyes and drifted with the forms. Suddenly, my arms were gripped by strong hands and my lover began to improve on my motions.

I turned to look at him. Taller than the average Japanese man with a beautiful swooped nose and full lips. I loved his mouth and his nose. He smiled. “Dancing in the shadows?” I melted into him and we began the kendo dance. Shadows began to shift as the moon began to dip in the sky. The branches of trees grew longer and one of the koi broke surface, thinking the moonlight on the water was a bug. I watched the shadows from the moon slowly glide along the walkway. We became still, me wrapped in his arms. “I love the shadows on a full moon night,” he whispered. “I love you on a full moon night.” And he started to caress me. Soon we disappeared into the shadow of the dogwood tree, making love in our garden. Fully sated at last, we went to sleep on the grass each holding the other close. We woke just before grey dawn and lay there looking at the sun rise. The koi began to roil the surface of the pond clamoring for food. I fed them and watched them as they swam in and out of my reflection. Shadows shifted as the sun rose higher. I kissed him. “I love you” I said. And he smiled.
flowers scent the air –
midsummer dreams – shadows on
a pond – koi jumps high.

Previous Older Entries

%d bloggers like this: