Haibun – Tarheel

Day 20 of Nano. Sherry is giving the prompt for today at Real Toads. My favorite prompt yet. It is based on the free verse poetry of Al Purdy, poet laureate of Canada. She has gifted us his wonderful poem, Say the Names. It is a true gift. The saying of names of places we loved, people we loved. I am doing a haibun – a true prose accounting of something in our past and ended with a seasonal haiku. Haibun are always in first person and always non-fiction. I truly loved this prompt. I didn’t do it credit but I tried. Wee notes about the pronunciation: Bahama (buh HAY muh) and Moriah (mo-RYE-uh).


I am a North Carolina girl. Born and raised there. Some nights when I can’t sleep, I sit on my back steps and say the names like a litany: Tobacco Road, Research Triangle, Duke University. I go back in my mind and remember: the air smelling like cured tobacco and honeysuckle, the hamburgers at Fint’s Place where my father would sometimes go to play pool. He’d take me along and set me on one of the barstools where I would spin around and around and cadge nickels for the jukebox. The street where we lived in the house built by my great-grandfather’s grandfather – Holloway Street. Trips to the beach through small towns and all of them smelling of pit cooked barbecue and banana pudding and closer the salt of the ocean – Kinston, Wilson, Smithfield, Piney Green, Pumpkin Center all the way to Atlantic Beach and Fort Macon. In the summer the roads would be lined with fields of tobacco, soy beans, corn. Through it all like a silver ribbon, Eno River graces the land through which it flows.

And then the church cemetery where my family is buried – up through Roxboro and turning onto the Moriah Road winding across Lake Michie. Through roads again lined with tobacco and corn, small houses and large houses, newly built and long time ago built. My mother would point out that Aunt Rose lived there and Aunt Blanche raised her boys and Rose’s when Aunt Rose died of cancer too young. Through Stem, Oxford and at last at Bethany Church in Moriah. Both sides of the cemetery flanking the road. My great-grandfather’s great-great grandfather gave the land for use by the church. My family is buried there, the old stones grey and covered by lichen; Elizabeth and Baby Boy, Pearl, George, Celia, Josie and the newer stones, my grandparents Leo and Josie, my father and mother James Robert and Celia. The two huge magnolia trees give shelter in snow and sun. The soil is red as blood and filled with rocks – it took the backhoe crew two days to dig my father’s grave. These names and more sews my soul to this red soiled, kudzu laden land. From Ashville to White Lake, my heart holds too many names to count.  Though I no longer at there, it is still my home – Tarheel born and raised.

honeysuckle drifts
over the land at night –
scents lay us to rest


Climb a tree

At Real Toad’s 30 poems in 30 days…” today’s prompt, I’d like you to write a poem that incorporates the idea of a child’s game – board game or a physical game (tag, hide and seek, etc.). “ I am still a great one for climbing trees. Come and play with us!

Climb a tree
Come climb a tree with me –
Up up up
To the sky!
Find foot and hand holds,
Scramble up to the top –
bounce up and down on a limb,
find a good place to perch
and listen to the wind and the birds
Settle in against the sun warmed trunk
under a canopy of green
and read.
Come climb a tree with me!

Point A to Point A

Today at Real Toads, Gillena is prompting us with Francois Villon’s poetry.  We are to read a poem and pick a line from it with a quote and use the quote to construct a poem.  Day 15 of NANONUCLEARMELTDOWN.  I am going short and sweet today.

“so, round the world he goes, but return he will,” The Ballad Of The Proverbs – Poem by François Villon

Point A to Point A

she started at Point A and went directly west.
she continued on until
she wound up back at Point A again.
She shook her fist at the sky
and laughed grandly:
Thus to the flat earthers!

public domain

Eres Tu

Today is day 14 of Nannerwomo. Marian has given us our prompt today in the form of a music video about a happy gay wedding – Eres Tu. I was totally unfamiliar with the artist and music video prompts annoy me. so I cut off the sound and loved the video! This reminded me of my wedding day. My husband invited his aunts and uncles, I invited my friend, most of whom come from the LBGT community. Unlike the happy video, his family did not speak to my friends. They had a good time anyway and we all danced and disco’d down. His family left early. My best friend who is a lesbian was actually my husband’s “best man”. Come to Real Toads to read poetry for this poetry month. #30 in 30

Eres Tu
He looked at the picture and realized –
he looked like his father.
His father who disowned him.
He shaved off his beard and looked –
like himself.
Today of all days
he looked like himself –
Happy and at peace
and totally in love.
He stood with his partner
surrounded by friends and grandparents,
by those who truly loved them and wished them well.
The two figures on the wedding cake,
Two grooms –
will be placed in their china closet
to remind them of this happy day.
And that thankfully,
he isn’t his father.

public domain

The end of the World as We Know It

Day 9 of Nannernoopoo over at Real Toads, #30 in 30.  today the prompt is Waiting. I am also posting to Poets United midweek motif – vision

The end of the World as We Know it
The Celestial Zookeeper
took us from the sky – She laid
us here until her final return –
We sank into this earth until
only our outlines remain –
until the Celestial Zookeeper returns.
When she returns we will again
walk the heavens
until we turn off every star
and the universe sleeps in darkness

fair trade – Nazca lines

diagram of geoglyphs

The Moon in my Yard

Today at ReaL Toads, #30 in 30, Sanaa is giving us the The A L’ Arora, a form created by Laura Lamarca consists of eight lined stanzas. The rhyme scheme is a, b, c, d, e, f, g, f with no syllable count per line and the minimum length for the poem is 4 stanzas with no maximum length stipulation. You can also opt to write one or two stanzas in case you find the length a bit overwhelming. I chose two stanzas hoping to keep this short.

The Moon in my Yard

My yard is bathed in cold silver light,
the moon looks down at me, I look back.
Sitting on my steps I watch ragged clouds ghost
across its cold face.
In daylight, clusters of wisteria hang in
fragrant fountains of lavender.
Tonight in moonlight, they are white shrouds
hanging limp and torn.

No full moon madness here.
Only melancholy sighs and empty musings.
What was is vanished.
Whited out by moonlight, colored dreams
morph into pale wraiths
of what was and is no more,
what is and nothing more.
Truth and cold light.

fair use

The Flowering Quince

For day 4 in NanooNanoo for Brendan’s Challenge at Real Toads.

copyright kanzensakura

The Flowering Quince
I am the flowering quince in my yard
Lovingly cut in an Englishman’s yard
and nurtured through the long trip
aboard a ship and then planted in Carolina soil.
Putting out roots and shoots and shared
among close friends to plant in their yards.
Moved about from place to place
still holding on to my roots
I am the flowering quince in my yard
Surviving through drought and snow
sheltering birds and small animals
drinking deeply of the wild submerged springs
and always looking up at the greyblueblack sky
Standing still in storms and sun
I am the flowering quince in my yard
dreaming beneath cold winter stars
watching them whirl in their majestic progress
praying to them and singing a silent song
that no one listens to
I am the flowering quince in my yard
displaying tiny red buds
hidden among the branches
Full of rose pink flowers
Full of spikey bitey thorns
Never bearing any fruit
Faithful in my cycles of bloom
and deep green leaves
I am the flowering quince in my yard

copyright kanzensakura

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