Real Toads – Natsu no Yoake

For Real Toads Tuesday Platform.  http://withrealtoads.blogspot.com/2017/09/the-tuesday-platform_12.html

summer dawn begins
fire glows, dark hills sleep – silence
then awakening

Image Japan Board of Tourism

Quadrille Monday: Free

I have written a haibun for dVerse Poets Pub Monday’s  quadrille. A quadrille is a poem of exactly 44 words (excluding the title) which uses the prompted word. In this case the word is “free”.  Come and join in the fun.

Everywhere Blue – (for De)
Oh! To be a cloud in the sky floating lazily or waves in a cerulean lake washing upon the shore . High mountains topped with snow standing guard and smiling.

clouds in autumn blue
sky drifting free – waves below
laughing like children

Lake Tahoe – public domain photo.

Real Toads: I wrote you a book

Today at Real Toads we are to write a poem to a book – a book of poetry or a collection of poems. I have chosen one of the five most influential books to me – Basho’s Narrow Road to the Deep North.  It was a birthday gift to me from my beloved and revered friend and tutor.  This is the book which introduces us all to the haibun – prose ending with a haiku.  Basho’s haibun were originally travel sketches.  I have traveled Basho’s route several times at different times of the year.  I wrote my first haibun when I was 14.  I have a written a haibun to it, in the spirit of the book. I am also linking this to Poets United Poetry Pantry: http://poetryblogroll.blogspot.com/2017/09/poetry-pantry-370.html

The Beginning
It was November, two days before my 12th birthday. Jamie Pollard, our lifelong next door neighbor who had started my love of Japanese poetic forms and especially haiku, gave me an old ragged copy of Road to the North by Basho. He had carried the copy with him several times to Japan. He said, I want you to read this. It will introduce you to the haibun. I think you will enjoy writing them. I opened the book in awe touching the pages tenderly and then hugged Jamie. My road was opened to me. I have traveled it all my life.

snow was falling – you
were given to me – a
gift still loved today

public domain image from Road to the North

Poets United: Memories

This is posted for the Mid-Week prompt at Poets United – Memories. I am posting three haiku for this. The third was writing in loving memory of my friend Peggie who died two years ago.  They are written in the Japanese spirit of mono no aware (sadness at the passing of things) and aware cho (the deep sigh at the end of something)  Link at Poets United:  http://poetryblogroll.blogspot.com/2017/09/poets-united-midweek-motif-memories.html I am also linking this up to my favorite poetry site, dVerse.

copyright Kanzensakura

I.
memories falling
as autumn leaves – dying in
flames blown by the wind

II.
sleepy woodland pool –
leaves drift on surface dreaming
of past summer sun

III.
summer night is long –
dew falls but fades at morning –
grasses remember

 

 

Quadrille Monday – Crepe Myrtle

Today Bjorn is hosting at the dVerse Pub and the word he has chosen for the quadrille prompt is “bliss” A quadrille is a poem of exactly 44 words not including the title. I have achieved my goad and written a haibun of 44 words!!! A haibun is an ancient Japanese poetic form that combines haiku (hai) and prose (bun). It must be factual and have actually happened to you and it must close with a haiku – another ancient Japanese poetic form consisting of 5-7-5 syllables and includes a kigo (season word as in autumn, not salt) and a kireji – a cutting word.  I am also linking this to Real Toads Tuesday Platform  http://withrealtoads.blogspot.com/2017/08/the-tuesday-platform_29.html


Crepe Myrtle

The crepe myrtle this year was spectacular, full of blissful pink flower clusters. Now at the end of summer, there are only a few bits of bloom left.

crepe myrtle blooms fall
on the lawn like faded pink
snow – summer’s ending

copyright kanzensakura

 

Tsunami: One year anniversary March 11, 2012

This is greatly condensed down from a section of poetry based on the friendship of a Japanese engineer who was transferred by the company who owned the Fukushima power plant to a company in the US. I am posting this for Gillena’s prompt at: http://withrealtoads.blogspot.com/  “Hi toads, today i want you to stretch your imagination; ponder a natural disaster, past or recent, and tell me, what role you think, the gods might be playing, resulting in that particular natural disaster.” This is a small section of a poem I have been working on for several years – The Walk – parts I – VIII. He and I became friends while I was reviewing his application for licensure in the US as a professional engineer. He explained to me that much of the physical documentation was destroyed and people who acted as references and verifiers of his experience were dead.  He was in Tokyo at the time of the tsunami on business.  I am writing in haibun form.

free public domain photo – Japan Tsunami

Tsunami: One year later March 11, 2012. section of The Walk Part IV
Susanoo-no-Mikoto* was in a rage the day of the tsunami. He swept before him adults and children, pets, wild creatures, graves of the beloved dead, altars, homes – all washed away like so much trash into a gutter. My friend and I walked that anniversary to our place by the peaceful pond. I handed him a stick of incense. He lit the incense and wept beneath the cherry trees, far from home and dead family and friends.

the sea inhaled then
exhaled a giant wall of
water – spring was drowned

copyright kanzensakura

*Japanese god of the sea, storms, and snakes

Memento Mori

I began the custom of keeping the seasons in the manner of the Japanese, while I was in a long-term relationship with a gentleman I called, my Samurai. The starkness of words to portray seasons and events of the seasons appealed to me and have become as much a part of me as my Southern drawl.

public domain photo

Memento Mori
Silent empty country road.
Houses huddled in fields,
small lots down dirt roads.
The tires of my car hum
on the cold empty roads.
Quiet here now between kareno (withered fields).
Stretches of rolling sepia
swept clean by cold winds: kogarashi (withering winds) –
ochiba (fallen leaves) swept to the verge
of surrounding bare woods.
Fuyu no chinmoku (winter silence) beckons.
I park my car on the side of the road
and begin to walk in this particular field.
My feet leave no mark on the frozen ground.
Only the staccato bark of a distant crow
pierces the silence.
I step over a small stream – mizu karu (water dried up)
and head towards the line of trees.
No signs warning “Posted – No Trespassing”.
I am free to roam as I wish.
My eyes fix upon three small trees on
The edge of the field:  Two taller, bare and gnarled,
tangled as if holding in their bony arms
a small tree in turn its lowest branch
cradling an abandoned nest –
the image of a Victorian sepia
memento mori.
I stop at a respectful distance,
my hands folded, my head bowed.
The samushi (cold air) makes my nostrils tingle.
Soft pattering on the branches of the bare trees begins.
Mizore (sleet) falls from iron sky.
I stand in the cold.
I stand in this landscape,
at peace in this landscape –
I stand – still – in this landscape –
a haiku of no words.

public domain photo

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