The Daffodils on the Edge of the Woods

For Posery at dVerse and Earthweal: Finding Hope


Haibun: The Daffodils on the Edge of the Woods

“She turned to the sunlight And shook her yellow head, And whispered to her neighbor: “Winter is dead.”
― A.A. Milne, When We Were Very Young

We bought our house and moved in in October. We planted daffodils all around the house. In the spring they burst into bloom and trumpeted spring. I noticed across the road, a bunch of wild daffodils, growing on their own. They splayed their greenness, displayed their golden heads among the dead leaves and bare trees. They became my favorite clump of daffodils and I looked forward to them every year. This year, they are growing, blooming. I saw them as I drove past on the narrow road by our house. I stopped and admired them. I began to cry to as I looked at them – the clump of a half-dozen blooms. I looked up at the spring blue sky with mackerel clouds. As much as I missed Brad, there was hope there. The sky would be blue, the daffodils would bloom, the birds would sing in the trees. There are moments caught between heart-beats, between tears and smiles. I wiped my eyes and bent down and kissed the blooms. Hope, I whispered. Hope.
trumpets of gold
proclaim spring –
proclaim life

Haibun: Kitten Photos

For Shay’s photo prompt on Sunday Muse BlogSpot. The haibun ends with a senryu and not the typical seasonal haiku.

Kitten Photos
“Taking pictures is like tiptoeing into the kitchen late at night and stealing Oreo cookies.” – Diane Arbus

Decades ago, I was a photographer. Not a taker of pretty of pictures but a paid-for-photographs-by-a-Philadelphia-newspaper. I also took autopsy photos for extra money. The photos I took were a queasy combination of the dead and food styling. Sometimes the paper would use me as a stringer and I would travel to a small town to take pics of mourners at a funeral, an exceptionally bad car wreck, or the local gardening club. Most of the time I hated my job but it paid the rent. Like most young underpaid photographers, I ate a lot of hotdogs at the Pen and Pencil – the local press club. The hotdogs swam in hot water in a slow cooker and were free. The scotch you had to pay for. I used to drink a week’s salary in scotch during this time. This temporary career choice of three years built up in me a hatred of having my picture taken and taking snapshots. People ask, why don’t you take pics of your garden or your food? Well, read what I did to pay the rent. On our 20th anniversary, my husband and I glared at the waitress who was taking our picture as we sat and waited for our dinner.

Like being a chef, being a photographer involves smoke and mirrors. Careful and precise knife work and the right ingredients. My favorite photographers were Henri Bresson and Alfred Stieglitz. They would have made great chefs I think. But I was young, a mere kitten. I learned to combine smoke and mirrors and precise knife work when I cooked. I never really caught on when I did photography. You can only put so much finesse into an autopsy photo after all. I regret the photography phase of my life – especially the phase of intruding in people’s lives. Hold still. Let me take your picture while you sit on the commode or weep for your dead mother (who was vaguely famous) or lie naked on a table waiting for the knife.
photographs
in black and white –
life doesn’t hold still

Bulbs and Bees

A haibun on the subject of spring for dVerse Poets Pub haibun Monday.  I prefer the haibun in the manner of Basho rather than the long descriptive westernized haibun.  This is also linked to Earthweal whose subject is renewal.

 

Bulbs and Bees
“To me the meanest flower that blows can give thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears.” William Wordsworth

Bulbs and Bees
When we moved into this house, my husband and I planted a few hundred daffodil bulbs to naturalize among the trees and boundary lines. Every year, they come up among the fallen dead leaves, pushing them out of the way. Then they begin to bloom – such sweetness of fragrance that lifts my heart. The bees come awake about this time of year. I press my stethoscope against the hive listening to them buzz. I must confess to stroking the green fronds of the daffodil and weeping as I remember Brad and I planting the bulbs so happily that first autumn we lived in our home. Such joy we shared with each other and with the creatures of the woods and of course, my bees. Every year the daffodils return bringing spring on its heels.
gazing at the blue skies
the colour of his eyes –
I smile at the clouds

 

 

Keeping Calm

For Sherry’s Prompt at Real Toads, keeping calm during the crisis of climate change.

Haibun: Keeping Calm
“The mightiest power of death is not that it can make people die, but that it can make the people you left behind want to stop living.” ― Fredrik Backman, My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry

Uh oh. Another one of Toni’s let’s get real and honest posts. With topics such as Trump, BREXIT, climate change – I find it hard to take any of it seriously. My husband died Sunday, suddenly, after a brief illness. I find it hard to keep calm in the face of a personal crisis. I don’t really care about a global crisis at this point. The love of my life died Sunday – a tall tree in a forest of fakes cut down in his prime. During his brief illness, I discovered again that the only thing that lasts forever is love. True honest unpretentious real love. One day I will care about the climate again. One day. Maybe it will be too late by the time I care again. Until then, I will wander through this empty house, stare at the Ursids by myself, look at the bare trees by myself. Love. That is it. The end-all and be-all. Love.
a tree cut down in its prime –
my heart grieves
my heart weeps

Haibun: Autumn Leaves III

Haibun: Autumn Leaves III
“Autumn’s the mellow time.” William Allingham

The dead leaves drift in faded tatters. I can see their spirits rising in the rain. The green leaves are now gone. Leaves float in the river of goodbye.
trees wave in the wind
saying goodbye to their leaves
half past autumn has arrived

In Plain Sight

For the Meeting the Bar segment of Dverse Poets Pub. Bjorn gives the prompt today to write from a different perspective.

In Plain Sight
“When composing a verse let there not be a hair’s breath separating your mind from what you write; composition of a poem must be done in an instant, like a woodcutter felling a huge tree or a swordsman leaping at a dangerous enemy.” ― Bashō

well folks, here she is:
a woman who loves the ocean
and howls at the moon.
she observes the passing of the seasons
in the Japanese manner
and makes her own udon.
She has studied extensively Bartitsu
and is an expert at la canne.
She believes in brevity in poetry.
She hides in plain sight.

autumn moon –
the night is gone –
a crow awakens

toni and cat

Haibun: I am Lone Wolf

For Sherry’s Prompt on Real Toads “Answer the wolf’s call with your poems about wildness and wolves, domesticity and mothers, daughters and sons, or your own fierce love for your child. Allow the passage quoted to take you where it pleases. Bring us back whatever you find.” And for the Midweek Motif on Poets United: Authenticity

Haibun: I am Lone Wolf
“The wolves knew when it was time to stop looking for what they’d lost, to focus instead on what was yet to come.”
― Jodi Picoult, Lone Wolf

Most of the time, I prefer to be alone; not part of the crowd. I prefer to wander in the forest and sniff the smells there, feel the heat/cold/rain/snow on my back. I prefer an honesty in my words and actions. If something is shite (IMHO) I prefer to say so and not shilly-shally with polite words. This has gotten me into trouble in the past and so, I prefer to be alone, with my honesty. I am a lone wolf. I only kill to eat, to leave behind forage for the pack roaming behind me. I prefer feeding rather than being fed. I can feed myself. Sometimes I am shot at, sometimes I am smiled at, most of the time I am left alone. I prefer honesty, or authenticity if you will. I don’t put down pretty words and prefer actually, that you be authentic with me. Let’s smell each other’s butts and see where the other has been, what the other has eaten. Sometimes I put my head back and howl at the moon, even when it is hidden by clouds.
fall comes like a storm –
it can be smelled on the wind –
inhale it deeply

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