Haibun: The Balloon

For Merrill’s prompt at dVerse – a quadrille.  A quadrille is a poem in any form with exactly 44 words using the prompted word, sans title.  The word today is “rise”.  A haibun in the manner of Basho.


Haibun: The Balloon
“Perhaps wisdom… is realizing how small I am, and unwise, and how far I have yet to go.” Anthony Bourdain

The day I buried my mother’s ashes was a hot summer day. I untied the balloon from my wrist and let it go. I watched it rise quickly to the sky.
balloon rises to heaven
and clears the trees –
my heart goes with it

Flower poems

For Magaly’s prompt at Real Toads: three line poems about flowers!  I am a day behind on posting this for NAPOWRIMO

white wisteria –
ghosts in the trees weeping in
the misty spring rain


sign of spring
blooming in spite of snow
flowering quince


zinnias – fireworks
explode in green sky dimming
the bright summer sun

The Takasago Pines

For Kim’s prompt on Day 21 of NAPOWRIMO, tree mythology.  She asks us to write a poem based on the mythology of trees. Based on a tale of pines from Japan. The Japanese revere pines and consider them a symbol of long life and fidelity as pine seeds often sprout two trees – “wedded” trees.  Pines are often planted outside of Shinto temples.  The backs of Noh theaters ae often decorated with pictures of pine trees. Gokinboshu (sacred pines) are decorated with ropes, tassels and paper lightning at Shinto temples.

at Kifune shrine

The Takasago Pines

“the pine tree of Shiogoshi
trickles all night long
shiny drops of moonlight” Matsuo Basho

the tide goes out taking the moon
with it – the tide comes in
bringing the sun with it.
winds softly blow through the branches
of the twin pines –
soft words drawing lovers to the trees.
a temple bell sounds.
two old people come to sweep the ground
beneath the sacred pines.
an old man and an old woman –
they are the spirits of the pines
visiting the trees that guard the temple.
jo and uba – old man old woman.
grow old together until they fell asleep.
together they grew into pines.
together always.
decorated with fresh ropes and tassels,
lightning bolts –
tied together by wind and sun,
rain and snow.
everlasting love.



For Susie’s prompt at Real Toads, day 18 of NAPOWRIMO: Bells and flowers

The bee collects honey from flowers in such a way as to do the least damage or destruction to them, and he leaves them whole, undamaged and fresh, just as he found them. Saint Francis de Sales

Flower bells silently ring in the
soft spring breeze.
Bees busily climb in and out
emerging yellow with pollen.
Lily of the vally,
Campanula in shades of
Sky, rose, cloud –
Late blooming narcissus with
their tiny tea cup blooms
and honey sweet fragrance.
Across the yard floats
The sound of cardinals,
their bell-like tones
filling the air with music –
calling the creatures to come,
Worship spring.


I ask you

I have always been into the Beats. I used to write “beat” style poetry to copy them. then in 1980 I said fuck it. I am going to write as I would write it, not some guy in San Francisco. This is a poem from 1969 which I revised in 1980.

I ask you
“The best writing is what’s right in front of you. Sometimes I’d walk down the street with poets and they wouldn’t see anything. I’d have to shake their arm and say, ‘Look! Look!” Lawrence Ferlinghetti

so I ask you
What is poetry?
you give some long winded pretentious ass answer
which I promptly forget and move
on to my own answer.
What is a poet I ask you.
You ramble and natter on
saying this that and the other.
When I say a poet is a terrorist
and that a poet sometimes speaks truth
but mostly they write what they think
the world wants to read
and say, this is so evocative
this is so powerful
this is raw.
this is so beautiful.
I turn my back on you and laugh at you.
And I ask you if all the cathedrals burn down
and all the temples churches mosques
cathedrals burn down
will there still be a god and prayers?
You weep and mourn for the burned down
cathedrals mosques temples churches.
better weep for those these
churches cathedrals mosques temples


Aces and Eights

For De’s quadrille prompt at dVerse. The word prompt is ace. A quadrille is a poem of exactly 44 words. A haibun in the manner of Basho.

Aces and Eights
“Some things are more precious because they don’t last long.” Oscar Wilde

The last hand of poker my father played was Aces and Eights. We played while he was in hospital. He died the next day while being operated on for a septuple heart bypass.
aces and eights –
my father’s brave heart stopped –
sad March rained

Stargazing Rabbit

For Day Six of NAPOWRIMO = Kerry’s Prompt

Stargazing Rabbit
Jason Limberg

>Stargazing Rabbit
“My heart has joined the Thousand, for my friend stopped running today.”
Richard Adams, Watership Down

Under the moon in the argent lighit,
a rabbit slowly hops into view
as I sit on my back steps
breathing in the scents of gardenia and honeysuckle.
The sky is a perfectly clear June night.
Gazing upwards, I look at the stars –
pinpoints of light against the black sky.
the rabbit grazes quietly in the bed of clover
on my lawn. I forbid my husband to cut it down
for visitors such as this.
I watch as it twitches its ears
and it too looks upward, toward the stars.
We both of us together gaze at the stars –
an owl drifts overhead but ignores the rabbit and me.
the dew falls and the air becomes steamy.
The rabbit goes back to munching.
I look up at the stars again and when I look back
at the rabbit, it is gone.
I begin to cry. A friend of mine committed suicide today.

THE AFTER BITS This rabbit brought to mind how I sat at night pondering the why of a friend’s suicide last June.



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