dVerse Poetics: Wish you were here

Today De is hosting our prompt. We are to write “post card poetry” – think: micro poetry. to and from poetry, postcards from the (l)edge (thanks De!). Being the purist I am I decided to use some postcard sized index cards on to write my poetry to ensure it would actually fit on a postcard. Come by and visit! We wish you were with us! http://dversepoets.com/2017/04/18/tuesday-poetics-wish-you-were-here/ thank you De for this amazing prompt and exercise in brevity.

I.
the summer moon bursts
from behind the clouds – startled
an owl takes flight

II.
heavy blossoms pull down the branches
of trees by the river.
higher blossoms weep down their petals
upon the surface of the river
in which the submerged blossoms drown.
dead leaves cover the earth
beneath the trees.
Sharp winds blow
removing the corpses of winter.

III.
The heavens dazzle on
this warm spring night –
At the edge of the yard
an errant flicker of white on black.
A whisper of breeze touches my face.
Ghost of Nobody’s Cat
halts then moves on

dVerse Poetics: Oldies But Goodies

Before Lillian starts her cruise, she is again hosting Poetics over at dVerse. She is asking us to pick a song from the year we were born and to write about it. You’re going to have to look up the song to find out the year I was born! Pub opens Tuesday at 3:00 pm EST.  https://dversepoets.com/2017/04/11/oldies-but-goodies-no-matter-the-age/

How High the Moon
The young woman sat in the porch swing, pushing herself to and fro with her foot.  The full flower moon glinted off her wireframe glasses and in the darkness, her curly hair was coal black.  Inside the bedroom window facing onto the porch she had placed the radio so she could listen to music as she drifted in her thoughts.  The screen door opened and a young man came outside and joined her in the swing.  He looked at her with trouble in his eyes.  “What’s wrong?  You ate nothing at dinner and I cooked your favorites tonight”, he said softly.  The woman glanced at him, swallowed, then licked her lips.  Something was bothering her.  After a few minutes she whispered, “I’m pregnant”.  “What?,, what?”  She hung her head.  The young man gathered her into his arms.  “This is wonderful news, wonderful.  When?”  “November, mid or late.”  She snuggled in his arms and they began swinging again, gazing at the full moon.  On the radio began “How High the Moon” by Les Paul and Mary Ford.

full pink moon shines bright –
drifts of clouds across the moon –
kisses in the shadows

 

My sweet mama aged 16. copyright kanzensakura

 

dVerse Poetics: Anthropomorphism

Today Lillian is pubtender at dVerse and is prompting us to write anthropomorphic poetry such as…”Hey diddle diddle the cat and the fiddle, the cow jumped over the moon. The little dog laughed to see such a sight and the dish ran away with the spoon.” In other words, giving human characteristics to non-human “things”. Come join us at: https://dversepoets.com/2017/04/04/anthropomorphize-me/ I have provided two haiku and one senryu for Lillian’s prompt.
I.
haru no kumo**
chase each other across spring
sky – children playing

II.
dragon dog castle
clouds bend themselves into shapes –
water forms miracles

III.
drifting along in
the sky – floating free – formed from
vapor – blue skies smile

 

**haru no kumo – spring clouds

copyright kanzensakura

Haibun Monday – The Shadow Knows

Monday I am doing the prompt for Haibun Monday over at dVerse Poets Pub. Years ago I read In Praise of Shadows (陰翳礼讃 In’ei Raisan), an essay on Japanese aesthetics by the Japanese author and novelist Jun’ichirō Tanizaki. It deeply influenced me and caused my immersion into the Japanese culture. So I am prompting people to write about shadows today in classic Haibun form – actual shadows, shadows in our lives, walking after dark in the full moon, the fireplace flickering in a dark room, shadows of clouds racing over a meadow, mountain or lake. Come visit us and find out the reason for this quote by Jun’ichirō Tanizaki: “Were it not for shadows, there would be no beauty.”  The Pub opens at 3:00 pm EST

Moonlight, kendo, and love
Midsummer. The moon was full to bursting and it lit up our bedroom like a klieg light. My lover was sleeping soundly, softly snoring. I was rolling from one half of the bed to the other – the night was hot and moist and redolent with the smells of roses, jasmine, gardenias, magnolia….the rich musk of freshly mown grass floated over the flower smells and made me sneeze. I gave one look at the sleeping man, muttered “bah” and got out of bed. I looked down into the garden in the back yard – the scene was almost surreal, flat with the look of no contrasting shadows. Every detail stood out in sharp detail. I pulled on a tee shirt and shorts and went downstairs. I decided if nothing else, I would practice some kendo forms I had learned the previous week. With my shinai in hand, I began. I started to sweat but continued. Soon I relaxed and to get into the motions. Clouds blew across the surface of the full moon and shadows drifted across the koi pond and the graveled area. A soft breeze began cooling me and I closed my eyes and drifted with the forms. Suddenly, my arms were gripped by strong hands and my lover began to improve on my motions.

I turned to look at him. Taller than the average Japanese man with a beautiful swooped nose and full lips. I loved his mouth and his nose. He smiled. “Dancing in the shadows?” I melted into him and we began the kendo dance. Shadows began to shift as the moon began to dip in the sky. The branches of trees grew longer and one of the koi broke surface, thinking the moonlight on the water was a bug. I watched the shadows from the moon slowly glide along the walkway. We became still, me wrapped in his arms. “I love the shadows on a full moon night,” he whispered. “I love you on a full moon night.” And he started to caress me. Soon we disappeared into the shadow of the dogwood tree, making love in our garden. Fully sated at last, we went to sleep on the grass each holding the other close. We woke just before grey dawn and lay there looking at the sun rise. The koi began to roil the surface of the pond clamoring for food. I fed them and watched them as they swam in and out of my reflection. Shadows shifted as the sun rose higher. I kissed him. “I love you” I said. And he smiled.
flowers scent the air –
midsummer dreams – shadows on
a pond – koi jumps high.

Haibun Monday – Yum!

This is Haibun Monday over at the dVerse Poets Pub.  I am prompting people to write about one of the best meals they ever had.  Come join us for some good eats!
Down By the River
I remember once when I was 10, my father took me fishing. Through Durham flows the beautiful Eno river. Papa had a place picked out for fishing. It was right before one of the several cascades of white water along the river. We scrambled down rocks and jumped over streams until we came to “The Spot”. My father took several cokes out of the basket I was carrying and nestled them into the rocks at the edge of the river. I knew in the basket were also a couple of bologna sandwiches, a small bag of corn chips, and a couple of Hershey bars. We sat in companionable silence and fished. Time passed slowly and I began to nod. Suddenly my pole began to twitch and I jerked awake, just in time to pull up the large trout. It was a triumphant moment.

It was almost noon and my father decided it was time for lunch. We pulled the cokes up out of the river and I unwrapped the sandwiches. I washed my hands in the river and dried them on the back of my shorts. My father and I gobbled up the sandwiches, chips, and Hershey bars and drank our cokes, cold from the river water. I haven’t eaten bologna since then but that day, the sandwiches were sheer delights, wonders of modern cuisine. We sat there for several hours and finally decided to call it a day. The trout was swimming in his water basket and Papa decided to let him go. I was glad he did. I had been feeding it bits of leftover bread and had formed a tenuous friendship with it. It was the only fish we caught that day. My father packed up all the trash and wound the lines tight. We clambered back over the rocks to our car and then drove home. I told my mother what we had had for lunch and she smiled. “I remember a similar lunch he packed for us while we were dating and we went fishing on the Eno.”

melted butter sun
dapples river and trees – the
river runs silent

 

public domain photo Eno River Org

 

 

dVerse Poets Pub – OLN #191

Today is Open Link Night (OLN) over at dVerse Poets Pub. Gayle is our host today and sadly, this is her last go as Pubtender. She is an amazing talent and is one of the kindest people around. She will most definitely be missed. I know I will miss her. So come by the dPub and read some excellent poems. Today I am doing a haibun in order to get in on Frank’s prompt last week of writing prose poetry. https://dversepoets.com/2017/03/09/open-link-night-191/

The Samurai and the Sparrow
Hot summer in the South – a feeling of walking around in a bowl of hot oatmeal when one ventures outside. But the air was sweet with magnolia, honeysuckle, night blooming jasmine, roses…my life was obsessed with smells that year. But this Saturday there was to be an exhibition of Kendo; several Hachi-dan Hanshi sparring against each other. I had just started dating a man who was arrogant, thought his long blonde hair made him look like a Nordic badass, and he was also into Kendo, at a higher level than I. He wasn’t great but he was an amusement. One of the men in the exhibition line caught my eye immediately. He was truly one of the most beautiful men I had ever seen. The participants all bowed and when he looked up at the sparse audience, I gasped. He looked me right in the eyes. You could have walked on the bolt that shot between us. The man beside me heard me gasp and looked at me with a frown. “What’s so great about him?” he muttered. I turned and looked at him with a sniff. “Other than he is gorgeous and dressed in a black silk hakama? Other than the fact that he is obviously good?” I had to laugh. My date got up and left. Fine with me.

I watched the Japanese man avidly. He was a bit taller than most Japanese me and he had his hair pulled up into a warriors knot (not those silly “man” buns of today) and in his belt were tucked the two swords – katana and wakizashi. He was carrying daisho – literally “big little” referring to the two swords. Every once in awhile, he would slightly break his concentration and find me in the audience. I shivered. I clearly had an admirer. Why I do not know. I was plain. My long dark hair was worn in a braid down my back, I was wearing glasses. I was under five feet tall – four feet 10 inches. He was gorgeous and moved like a tiger on ball bearings. Swift, graceful, lethal, powerful, passionate. But something in me spoke to him as something in me answered. Do you believe in love at first sight? Never ever put it down. Something started that day that after 35 years still resounds. It is hidden now but it is still there. I heard when he returned to Japan, he never married.

magnolias scent the
summer air – moths come to the
flame – wings become singed

old snapshot taken in Duke U Medical Library

Haibun Monday – Taking a Bath in the Forest – say what??

Today at 3:00 PM, EST, I am hosting the Haibun Monday prompt for dVerse Poets Pub.  Come join us at this virtual pub for good conversation and good poetry.  I am asking people to write (non-fiction) a one – three paragraph haibun ending it with a classic haiku (using kigo and kireji) and to write about the last time they were immersed in nature.  The subject that prompted this was shinrin-yoku – literally forest bathing.  It is a recognized health benefit in Japan and lately other places.  So please, come join us! I was going to write about getting my vegetable garden ready for planting but decided on true shinrin-yoku. I am an old tree climber from waaaay back.

Having a tree as a BFF is a good thing!
I leaned back into the arms of the old oak tree, it’s warm bark comforting and cradling. All around me in the stillness of the woods that surrounds my home, I could hear the sounds of birds – songs, calling territory, rustling in the branches, wings occasionally flapping as one landed or took off. Every once in awhile, the bark of a crow or several sharp caws would join in. Small creatures – squirrels, chipmunks, deer, bunnies, snakes, frogs – all would make sounds as they went about their daily business. Foraging for food, scurrying from hawks gliding overhead, tunneling, eating, croaking and meditating in the sun – all the woodland sounds.

I come to these woods about once a week to nourish myself. I stand at the edge and decide what path to take today. Often I take the path to this ancient oak, an old friend of mine. I climb the tree until I find the certain conjunction of branches that hide and hold me. Winter or summer, spring or fall; snow or rain, sunshine and cold or heat – I love all the turns of the seasons I can watch from this place in the tree. Last summer, I watched a nest of cardinals hatching over in the neighboring tree. I looked down as a buck and his harem processed majestically beneath me. I have seen much and felt much in this tree. This tree is like the welcoming arms of my husband or my mother or a friend.

It is time. I rustle around a few minutes and bring forth my violin. Today in midsummer, it is time for something light and playful. I place my bow to the strings and begin Boccherini’s La Musica Notturna Delle Strade No. 6. The woods and all its creatures listen for just a space and then, they begin again, going about their business.

summer sounds drift by –
lazy creek at bottom of
hill sings its own song

copyright kanzensakura

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