Peach Cobbler

Today for the Quadrille over at dVerse Poets. De has given us the word “cobble”.  Note about cobblestones.  As a retired engineer, I amass all sorts of useless information.  Most of the “cobblestones” after the 1860’s are actually limestone setts cut into the shape of a brickbat and set into place on sand. Cobbles are round flat stones brought here millenia ago by the glaciers.  They are no primarily used  to construct buildings.


Peach Cobbler

Making peach cobbler
with icecream on the side
always reminds me of my long dead
Father – the ripe peaches, the spices.
Hello Papa I say to it
when I pull it from the oven.
Such a sunny fruit cobbler always
makes my eyes rain.

copyright kanzensakura peaches at the farmer’s market

 

Termites

For Kerry’s Camera Flash prompt over at Real Toads.

clock-of-the-acad-mie-fran-aise-paris-1932

Termites

“Indifference is the revenge the world takes on mediocrities.” Oscar Wilde

Figures swarm the bridge over
the rushing spring river –
figures looking like ants or termites swarming.
So intent on their business
looking neither to the left or right
or up or down only straight ahead
The termites swarm
never seeing the splayed bloated naked body
tumbling in the rushing river,
going past them, underneath them
looking like a starfish or
a blowup doll.
It finally wedges itself on the bank
into a nest of branches
finding its way home.
The termites swarm
over the bridge.

Water Moon

For Sanaa’s prompt, “Water” at Real Toads and for Hedge’s 55.

Water Moon
She’s a water moon
hiding behind clouds.
The stars are silent.
Their lights are dimmed.
The moon sighs behind the clouds –
Her bitter tears fall
Lightly tap tap tapping
On the leaves the roofs the roads.
Faster her tears fall
jumping like grasshoppers –
high the raindrops leap –
slightly surpising
a swooping owl.

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Kuroi to Suzume

Today is Tuesday Platform at Real Toads – we can post one poem of our choice. Rommy has told us of how she and her husband met and are celebrating 23 years of marriage! She is asking what interests drew us to our lovers/husbands/spouses/mates? I was 25 when I met my Black Dragon, my Japanese lover. He was 35 and a forensic pathologist and instructor in Kendo and kantana. I am of course interested in all things Japan and have been since I was six. I have visited Japan many times and at several points, followed in Basho’s footsteps. My lover taught me the culture, the history, the language of his country, honoring the changing seasons. We were together 10 years and visited several times his home in the mountains, Hakone, and then he returned to Japan. I did not go with him. I always thought of him as Black Dragon – kuroi ryu and myself as a sparrow beside him – suzume. This haibun is an old one and one I have shortened and reworked for future publication.  I follow the classic form which means it is non-fiction rather than made up. I hope you all enjoy.  The first full moon is of course the first full moon that appears in early spring – mangetsu no haru.


Black dragon and Sparrow

“Come, let me show you” – Indeed the spring moon was full and lit the yard Like a klieg. Although in jeans and tee shirt, he still looked lethal and royal and somehow the katana and wakazashi tucked into the makeshift obi around his waist did not look ridiculous. Hands arm and dry, he took my hand and pulled me outside into his yard – “such tiny hands you have” and he smiled his singularly sweet smile down at me. In the gravel place, between the pond for his nishikigoi and the karesansui, he pulled me. Always when he touched me, heat and electricity flowed from my heels to the top of my head, always drawing me closer to him. The song of steel as he pulled the katana clear – the sound to my ears like the sound the scales of a dragon would make as it moved across the earth.
Standing behind me his arms enclosed me and he placed the sword in my hands – like this and wrapped my hands around the hilt and now, hold it like this as he moved my arms into position and corrected my stance and how I held the sword. Move with me…awkward at first and then like magic it seemed, I was moving with him. Beneath that huge moon the black dragon and the sparrow began their dance. The moon drawing us together, warmed by each other, our breaths frosted in the cold of an early spring night. We could not move from that place. The earth held us captive as the moonlight pinned us in place. Who knew that gravity was heat and electricity? Who knew that gravity was choosing not to move, to stay suspended in one place?

spring night warmed
only by the first full moon –
tides and lovers rise

The first fireflies

For Kim’s prompt over at Real Toads, Bugs and Insects. I love it!

shizukasa ya
iwa ni shimi-iru
semi no koe

it is so still—
singing into the stones,
the cicada’s song
My translation of Basho’s haiku.

The first fireflies
Listen to them—the children of the night. What music they make! Bram Stoker, Dracula

July –
Hot summer night.
So still, so silent.
I am waiting for the first songs of the cicada.
In the ground for seven years
until it digs itself out and finds itself a tree.
Mating time has come.
Into the silence breaks the song –
Raspy, twirly, the lone voice awakens a chorus.
The next night I sit –
The chorus of cicadas again begin.
In the blackness of the moonless night
I see it –
The first of the bits of mini-lightning.
Exploding here, there, high, low.
The fireflies have also awakened.
Randy mating bugs singing, lighting –
The song of summer from childhood as I sat
At my window – listening.
Running out to catch a few fireflies to put into a jar
Covered with screen and filled with some leaves.
Fireflies by my bed,
Cicadas outside my window.
At last I sleep.
The cicadas continue,
The fireflies shimmer until dawn.
I open the jar and they fly away home.
I return to my childhood every summer.

 

Gardenias

For Hedge’s 55.

Gardenias
You used to play the piano when you
could not sleep –
The sound filled the house.
Smell of gardenias filled the air.
Someone else lives there now.
They cut down the gardenia bushes
and planted stylish shrubs.
I dreamed I had died.
I wonder if gardenias grow
in the mountains of Japan.

The Peacock Room

The Wee Notes: Another poem in my Dorian Grey series.  I am using these poems and the study of the times to get my MFA, hopefully by the end of summer. I have written a fictional epistolary poem from Dorian to James Whistler. Oscar Wilde toured America in 1882 and 1883. He and James Whistler were constantly scoring points off each other while holding court at the Café Royal in London. Whistler had finished his famous Peacock Room at the house of Frederick Richards Leyland. Thomas Jeckyll, another British architect/artist experienced in the Anglo-Japanese style, was originally commissioned. Jeckyll fell ill and the room became the responsibility of James Whistler. It was completed in 1877. The room was originally entitled Symphony in Blue and Gold and is one of the finest examples of interior art by Whistler. The portrait which is showcased in the room is entitled the Princess from the Land of Porcelain and the model is Christina Spartali. Both Whistler and Leyland were fascinated by Spartali and it became the basis for a financial disagreement between Patron and Artist. So much for the wee notes for this quadrille.  Posted for dVerse Poets Pub Quadrille Monday and Real Toads Tuesday Platform.

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The Peacock Room
“Mauve is just pink trying to be purple.” James Whistler
“Memory … is the diary we carry about with us.” Oscar Wilde

Dear James,
This new world makes me feel old. San Francisco in the rain
Is not nearly as lovely as London. The reflections of buildings are too sharp –
the colours muted. Your favorite dartboard will soon return to the Café Royal.
Eternally,
Dorian

Princess from the Land of Porcelain – James Whistler

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