A Year

A quadrille for Kim’s prompt using the word cycle.  What is a quadrille?  It is a poem of exactly 44 words using the prompted word.  The title is not included in the word count. Exacty a year ago today, my mother died.

A Year
The year cycles through its paces
Summer, fall, winter, spring.
A full year has passed since you died.
Today dawns as it did last year –
warm and sunny,
deceptive in its kindness.
I sit on the back porch
listening to birds singing your name.

mama as a baby

New Moon

I have done a Bussokusekika, a Japanese poetic form that follows the rules of tanka, except there are three seven syllable lines that end the poem for a 5-7-5-7-7-7. Bussokusekika is an ancient form of poetry, older than Tanka or haiku. It translates to footprints of Buddha.

New Moon
crescent thin against
the black night – overpowered
by the stars she sings
a faint song of undappled
water and hunting owls – she
is lonely in the darkness

Cherry Blossom Jisei

Today Anthony Bourdain was found dead, of suicide. Last year, a friend of mine committed suicide. I could write nothing then of Jeff’s death but found my heart opened today. I am saddened by these events.NOTES: A traditional farewell. It was a tradition for the literate Japanese (monks and Samurai for example) to write death poems shortly before their anticipated death, seppuku, or battle. With the changing of the seasons from summer to autumn, from winter to spring, we see changes as the seasons of spring and summer end. All things pass – mono no aware. The images of dying are also symbols of “farewell”. For Hedge’s 55.

Cherry Blossom Jisei
how brief the blossoms
of the cherry tree –
their lives end at sunset –
snow and rain falling at night –
melting flakes gone before sunrise –
bare branches feel them
drift through skeletal fingers –
birds sleep as snow falls,
cherry blossom moon
holds back the night sky –
the night will conquer that moon

Water Moon

For Sanaa’s prompt, “Water” at Real Toads and for Hedge’s 55.

Water Moon
She’s a water moon
hiding behind clouds.
The stars are silent.
Their lights are dimmed.
The moon sighs behind the clouds –
Her bitter tears fall
Lightly tap tap tapping
On the leaves the roofs the roads.
Faster her tears fall
jumping like grasshoppers –
high the raindrops leap –
slightly surpising
a swooping owl.

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The first fireflies

For Kim’s prompt over at Real Toads, Bugs and Insects. I love it!

shizukasa ya
iwa ni shimi-iru
semi no koe

it is so still—
singing into the stones,
the cicada’s song
My translation of Basho’s haiku.

The first fireflies
Listen to them—the children of the night. What music they make! Bram Stoker, Dracula

July –
Hot summer night.
So still, so silent.
I am waiting for the first songs of the cicada.
In the ground for seven years
until it digs itself out and finds itself a tree.
Mating time has come.
Into the silence breaks the song –
Raspy, twirly, the lone voice awakens a chorus.
The next night I sit –
The chorus of cicadas again begin.
In the blackness of the moonless night
I see it –
The first of the bits of mini-lightning.
Exploding here, there, high, low.
The fireflies have also awakened.
Randy mating bugs singing, lighting –
The song of summer from childhood as I sat
At my window – listening.
Running out to catch a few fireflies to put into a jar
Covered with screen and filled with some leaves.
Fireflies by my bed,
Cicadas outside my window.
At last I sleep.
The cicadas continue,
The fireflies shimmer until dawn.
I open the jar and they fly away home.
I return to my childhood every summer.

 

Gardenias

For Hedge’s 55.

Gardenias
You used to play the piano when you
could not sleep –
The sound filled the house.
Smell of gardenias filled the air.
Someone else lives there now.
They cut down the gardenia bushes
and planted stylish shrubs.
I dreamed I had died.
I wonder if gardenias grow
in the mountains of Japan.

The Peacock Room

The Wee Notes: Another poem in my Dorian Grey series.  I am using these poems and the study of the times to get my MFA, hopefully by the end of summer. I have written a fictional epistolary poem from Dorian to James Whistler. Oscar Wilde toured America in 1882 and 1883. He and James Whistler were constantly scoring points off each other while holding court at the Café Royal in London. Whistler had finished his famous Peacock Room at the house of Frederick Richards Leyland. Thomas Jeckyll, another British architect/artist experienced in the Anglo-Japanese style, was originally commissioned. Jeckyll fell ill and the room became the responsibility of James Whistler. It was completed in 1877. The room was originally entitled Symphony in Blue and Gold and is one of the finest examples of interior art by Whistler. The portrait which is showcased in the room is entitled the Princess from the Land of Porcelain and the model is Christina Spartali. Both Whistler and Leyland were fascinated by Spartali and it became the basis for a financial disagreement between Patron and Artist. So much for the wee notes for this quadrille.  Posted for dVerse Poets Pub Quadrille Monday and Real Toads Tuesday Platform.

public domain

The Peacock Room
“Mauve is just pink trying to be purple.” James Whistler
“Memory … is the diary we carry about with us.” Oscar Wilde

Dear James,
This new world makes me feel old. San Francisco in the rain
Is not nearly as lovely as London. The reflections of buildings are too sharp –
the colours muted. Your favorite dartboard will soon return to the Café Royal.
Eternally,
Dorian

Princess from the Land of Porcelain – James Whistler

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