Haibun: The Grey

Haibun Monday at dVerse.  Bjorn is our host and enjoins us to think of grey.

The Grey
I am a porch sitter from ‘way back. I sit on the steps of our back porch in all weathers and watch the night. The last full moon was bright. The light changed the world into shades from ash to argent – trees were blacker shapes against the black starry sky and the lawn was palest silver. An old photograph it looked to be. I walked around the yard clothed in grey – the dark grey shrubs, the light silver of dried grass, the middle tones of my skin. The whole world had been transformed into grey by the magic of the moonlight.

I went back to the steps and sat. The frost glittered in the moonlight like faceted hematite. Stretching out under the moon like a grey tabby cat, the lawn flexed and flowed down to the woods. As I watched this silent grey night, from the old potting shed came a small black and white cat followed by two young kittens. I held my breath and watched them go the plate where I had earlier placed food. They didn’t notice me at all, silent and still. I watched as they ate their fill and then returned to the potting shed. A bit later, a red fox crossed the yard at a trot, intent upon his own business looking neither to the right or left of him. The grey holds so many secrets. I get to watch them all unfold – like an old silent movie. When dawn began to come, the world was transformed into lighter grey – everything the same color. I stood up stiffly and went back into the house to awake my husband for work. The inside of the house was warm. The lace curtains in the bedroom changed into a solid sheet of grey, the patterns of the lace growing together. My husband’s face was still and calm, deep into sleep. I gently touched him to awaken him. In the grey pre-dawn, he pulled the quilt over his head and went back to sleep.
grey of winter night –
the moon changes all the dross
into purest silver

stock photo

Gold Day

For Rommy’s prompt at Real Toads – Love hurts

Gold Day
the afternoon you 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 your 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.

Haibun: Valentine’s Day

Haibun: Valentine’s Day

We met online – a true romance of the 1990’s. He answered an online ad I had placed along with 20,000 other folk who responded. But his stood out, mainly because he was a local and he didn’t try to wow me. Just introduced himself, some of his interests, and where he worked. Quiet. Simple. I responded. We emailed a couple of weeks and then I called him. His voice was melodious and educated and he had a dry wit. After telephoning for a week, we decided to meet at a local restaurant for lunch. He said he had taekwondo and would meet me afterwards. I had been told about his physical appearance – medium tall, medium build, balding. I had shared my physical appearance – short and round like a beach ball. We liked each other at first sight and began dating. At first cautious and then throwing the wildness into the wind.

He took me to his parent’s home on Valentine’s Day. They were staying at Myrtle Beach for the winter and he was taking care of their home. He showed me around and then very quietly, he asked me to sit on the couch. My heart went cold. “He is breaking up with me” I thought. He went over to the piano and began to chord and to talk-sing, “Never gonna give you up” chord chord chord “Never gonna let you down” chord chord chord – all the way through the Rick Astley song that spoke to us both. He then left the piano and came over to the couch and kneeled on one knee. “I love you. Will you marry me?” I threw myself on him hugging him for all I was worth. “Yes! Oh yes!”

snow falling outside –
fire on the hearth roses in a vase –
love blooming within

dVerse Haibun Monday: The Now

For Kim’s haibun prompt over at dVerse. A haibun is a real, not fictional writing of several tight paragraphs closed by a seasonal haiku.

 

public domain image Emily’s bedroom

The Now
I remember the first time I read the poetry of Emily Dickinson.  I pulled the book out and opened it up halfway through. ‘The soul selects her own society and then shuts the door”. I caught my breath. I read the poem again. I had seen the tattered book down in our library. It was one of the books my grandmother had picked up at a yard sale and brought home. It was tucked in between the Iliad and The Turn of the Screw.  I immediately began reading from the beginning: the short biography, the introduction, and poems arranged by category. I stood there that afternoon and read from the first page to the last. I was 12 years old and I had just discovered one of my favorite poets. The sun faded through the windows and then became dark. I came out of the library in a bit of a fog. “Where have you been?” asked my mother. I showed her the spine of the book. She smiled. I took the book up with me to my room and it was never replaced in the library. It traveled with me everywhere. It lives on my bedside table after all these years.

When I was a junior in University, I decided on a whim to drive to Amherst and visit the Emily Dickinson Museum. I paid for my ticket and wandered along behind the tour guide. I snuck away and stood at the doorway of her bedroom and looked and pondered. After an hour, the tour guide noticed me. She was a middle -aged lady and could sense I was totally entranced. She took me on a private tour. I even was allowed to go into her room and touch her desk where she often wrote. I saw the kitchen and the library and touched things that Emily had touched. I sat on the back steps and inhaled the summer day. I wandered around the yard and looked up at her bedroom window. The museum closed and I had to leave. I went back the next day and the next. I didn’t want to visit her grave site. I wanted to see her as she had lived. I still visit there about every three years. I am always fascinated and enthralled. I felt her presence everywhere, I heard her voice – in the words she wrote, in her home, in the samples of her handwriting. I felt that unique communication of souls in a select society.  “That it will never come again is what makes life sweet.” “Forever is composed of the nows.”

the garden is silent
except for the singing of birds –
I live in the now

public domain image Emily Dickinson museum

public domain image

haibun: A Year in the Life of a Tree

This is for Wordy Thursday over at Real Toads.  We are to write positively about trees, the Wild Woman movement, climate change, etc.  there is a movement afoot called “Tree Sisters: Seeding for Change, aim to plant a billion trees world-wide this year, and they are well on their way.”  I love trees.  This is about my best friend among the trees. I broke tradition and did not write a haiku but instead, a mini poem, not a tanka.

 

A year in the Life of a Tree

We moved into this house 20 years ago. My husband had had his eye on this house for sometime so when it became available, we snapped it up. The day after we moved in, I went on a walk through the woods that are on and adjoin our property. I grew up around trees – ancient oaks, dancing pines, lacy cherry trees, flaming maples, whispering willows. I fell in love with them all. Being a true believer in *Shinrin-yoku, I fell in love with trees all over again. The fact that these were our trees made the love sweeter, more delicious, deeper. I walked among the trees that day, touching each one of them, looking up into their leaved canopy, feeling their roots spreading beneath me. I felt the love welcoming me. Everyday I walk among them. All sadness, stress, anger – everything disappears when I walk among my friends.

My best friend in particular is one huge, ancient oak. Many times I have climbed up among its branches sitting cradled in them, my back against its bark. I have watched the woodland creatures on their daily errands, seen birds flying and nesting, watched a snake or a lizard stretching around their trunks. But this one, this particular one…he has made me most welcome. I will often climb up with a book and a bottle of water in a small pack on my back. Often, I have my violin hung on my back. I sit and play for the trees, for myself. Sometimes the songs are sad, often they lilt and dance. I have watched my life passing by in their leaves – from tender spring green to fading autumn colors. My best friend is always there – in rain, snow, winter, summer…the song I most often play for my friend is La Musica Notturna Delle Estrade di Madrid form No. 6, Opus 30 bu Boccherini. I fell in love with the song after watching the movie Master and Commander. It seemed the perfect song for my tree. The leaves all dance and the birds settle down and listen. It took me almost a year to learn the song.

a year in the life
of a tree goes by slowly –
the violin sings –
I play and the leaves dance
my friend smiles as do I

*shinrin-yoku – Japanese for forest bathing

La musica nottuna dell estrade di madrid no.6 op.30

Haibun: Snow Day


Haibun: Snow Day

Yesterday it snowed. Not a momentous occasion for you folks who live up North but it was for us who live down South. The last few winters have in fact been unusually snowy and cold for us. The past three weeks, the temperature hovered around 18F both day and night. Brutal cold. But…yesterday it snowed. The state department where my husband works was closed for the day due to the weather. After several weeks of extreme cold, frozen pipes, and a chore to go anywhere or do anything, my husband and I decided to play. We needed it.

We built a blanket fortress in the living room. This room is usually silent but today, it rang with laughter. We used heavy books to anchor the blankets. A quilt on the floor completed our fortress. Breakfast was oatmeal with fresh blueberries (on sale for some reason at the local Aldi’s). We ate sitting on the floor and looking at the snow outside our huge picture window. Board games was the order of the day. After beating him several times at Parcheesi and Dominoes, he switched us to Monopoly. Before we started, I fixed us a lunch of grilled cheese and bacon sammies and for dessert, a fruit cup. The fruit cup was divine made with grapes, blueberries, and sliced pear and drenched in a simple syrup to which I had added lime zest and juice. We took a nap. We plotted the downfall of Trump. We finished our game of Monopoly which I finally lost on purpose because to be honest, I was tired of it. I read him a story (The Three Bears) and we took another nap.

Outside it was snowing hard and cold. Inside, it was warm and laughter rang out. I had left the fort at one point to feed the birds and to put out food for the stray cats. A day without news, TV, or other stresses. We were kids again, best friends against the world and its woes. He went back to work today. I miss him.

fortress of blankets –
us against the world – snow falls –
we play at being kids

copyright kanzensakura

Haibun: Nyuk nyuk y’all

As a child of the 50’s, I spent many hours in front of the TV. When I got home from school I would plop in front of it with a snack on the floor in front of me. Often an apple or an orange, sometimes a dumdum sucker or a an oatmeal snack cake. The consistent part was always the Three Stooges. I loved them. Or at least I loved Curly. He was always being poked in the eyes, bonked on the head, or catching his suspenders in the door and being dragged backwards to his original starting point. I’d imitate his bark, the way he would twist his hips and do the Curly shuffle – he’d put his head down and pump his feet making the Curly sound: whoopwhoop! Ruff ruff! Nahhhhhh. As he once told bully Moe, don’t hit me in the head. I ain’t normal. Nope. Curly wasn’t normal and neither was I. I’m still not normal. I hated dolls and loved dogs and cats instead. I began reading Emily Dickinson and T.S. Eliot at the age of 11. I began writing haiku when I was six. I stood on a chair so I could make pancakes for the family when I was four. I hated school but loved studying. And I would bark at people I didn’t like. I still do. Not.Normal. Nyuk nyuk. Ruff ruff. Y’all.

times change – people change –
children discover strange heroes –
laughter and not tears

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