Haibun: Japanese Winter SolsticeTraditions

For Frank’s haikai challenge – Haikai Challenge #65 Solstice.  Yuzu is a Japanese citrus fruit similar to a grapefruit for pomelo.  Also posting on Real Toads Tuesday Platform.

Haibun: Japanese Traditions
The cold full moon is always magical especially when it sparkles off newly fallen snow. After spending several hours wrapped well against the cold watching the Geminids meteor shower, I softly creep back into my home and prepare a hot bath with yuzu floating in the water. The sharp tangy scent fills my senses. I slide into bed beside my husband and snuggle. He murmurs in his sleep. The full moon goes to sleep.
yuzu scented bath
and dinner of kabocha –
solstice traditions

taking a yuzu bath on winter solstice

Haibun: Learning to make biscuits

For Magaly’s prompt at Real Toads, Childhood memories that give us joy today.  In prose, 130 words or less. this is my new haibun style, leaner with fewer words, description,  in the spare Japanese style of Basho, the creator of haibun.  Haibun are true accountings, not flash fiction. I am also posting this on Poets United.

 Haibun: Learning to make biscuits
“What nicer thing can you do for somebody than make them breakfast?” Anthony Bourdain

My eyes level with the oak table, I watched my grandmother pulling down the big yellow bowl and getting ready to make the biscuits for breakfast. She lifted me into the chair and put the sifter into my hands and filled it with flour. I began turning the red button crank on the sifter, the same sifter I still use after all these years.
flour drifting like snow
into a sun yellow bowl –
cooking with love

my Grandmother’s yellow mixing bowl

Haibun: Cedars against snow

For Real Toads Tuesday platform.  This haibun only has 39 words, more than enough.I feed a family of ten feral cats on a daily basis. Slowly I am getting them all fixed with rabies shots.

Haibun: Cedars against snow
Against the snow on the hillside, the cedars show up almost black. The wind whistles over the snow; the occasional bark of crows wafts over the meadow.
a crow caws
across the meadow – feral cats
line up for food

feral cats

Haibun: Bitter Kisses

For Sherry’s prompt over at Real Toads, Homecoming.  We are to write about the nostalgia of lost faces, lost loves, gone places.  She offers up one of my favorite songs by the Beatles. I am using it for my haibun here.  As the new usual I am writing in the old abbreviated form of the original haibun by Basho.  this one is rather long – 98 words.

Bitter Kisses
When I was a child I pulled green blades of a daffodil still wet with rain. I wanted to see how it tasted. I placed the green blade between my lips – slowly pulling using my tongue to feel the sharp edge of the bitter green blade.  Years later after kendo, my lover and I stood in the rain and kissed. He had daffodil lips. I drank in their cool wetness and my tongue probed the sharp edges of his teeth and the slightly bitter taste of his lips.

hot kisses –
bitter daffodils –
love withered away

Haibun: The Blizzard of Hate

A habun for De’s Quadrille today at dVerse Poets Pub. A quadrille is a poem in any form of exactly 44 words using the prompted word. Today the word is “cheer”. It must be used in any form of cheer within the Quadrille. With the re-emergence of Anti-Semitism it is hard to be cheerful during this season of the Festival of Lights, Chanukah. As a Jew, I feel this deeply. This will also be posted at Real Toads Tuesday Platform.  My haibun has exactly 44 words in the fashion of the first haibun created by Basho.

 

Public lighting of the Menorah

The Blizzard of Hate
The first candle of Hanukah is lit. Light shines in the darkness. Joy and laughter for the next few days. Anti-Semitism spreads like evil snow – a blizzard of hatred blankets the innocent.
genocide shootings –
cheer in the face of miracles
seems so far away

Berlin – anti-Semitism Rally, modern day

Haibun: Light overcomes darkness

For Frank’s Haikai Challenge number 63 – Habukah or Advent. Both start on the same day. I am lighting my first candle for Chanukah tonight. I will also be driving past the Hassidic Chabad temple to see the first candle lit there as well as subsequent lights – a public lighting proclaiming love and miracles for the world. This haibun is in the abbreviated style of the original created by Basho. This haibun has 76 words, less than 100.

Light Overcomes Darkness
The shamash or the attendant candle lights the other eight candles during Chanuka. The time of the festival of lights shows us the miracle of the oil lasting in the temple for eight days. Every night I will drive past the Hassidic Chabad to see one more candle lit, blazing for the world to see. In spite of hatred, shootings, gassings, genocide, the lights shine forth.
eight candles blazing
in the winter’s cold night –
light overcomes hate

Haibun: Things die but things live

For my prompt over at Real Toads – mono no aware. Mono no aware is the Japanese concept of a wistful sadness at the passing of things. It is also based on mujo – the Japanese word for change. Haibun is written in the classic style, less than 100 words. My haibun today has 52 words.

Haibun: Things die but things live
“Maybe that’s enlightenment enough: to know that there is no final resting place of the mind, no moment of smug clarity.” Anthony Bourdain

The rain is relentlessly falling, drenching everything. A hawk sits in the oak tree across the way looking hungry and cold. Suddenly it lifts its wings dives. I hear a faint scream. A small creature has met its end.

seasons change – things die –
but another creature lives –
rain keeps falling down

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