Harbingers

For Sarah’s prompt at dVerse: Harbingers.  During the olden days in Japan and today actually, cherry blossoms are important.  They are signs of beauty in the spring but they are also part of death.  A tree will be full of the blooms and a week later, all the blooms will have fallen to their death – cherry blossom rain.

Harbingers

“As you move through this life and this world, you change things slightly; you leave marks behind, however small. And in return, life …-leaves marks on you. Most of the time, those marks–on your body or on your heart–are beautiful. Often, though, they hurt.” Anthony Bourdain

An owl ghosting through the darkness,
A hawk sailing on the thermals.
A small cat giving birth for the first time
In the freezing rain,
My mother holding up her hand,
Reaching for her long dead mother
That only she can see.
Harbingers of death –
It comes for us all
Sure as the cherry blossoms in spring.

It doesn’t matter

For Kerry’s prompt at Real Toads. We are to write a micro poem in any form, 1 – 12 lines with the line “It doesn’t matter” from a poem by Rumi to be used in the poem. I have written a jisei – a Japanese death poem.  These were written before an anticipated death in battle or by suicide, of course they are sad; these people are getting ready to leave behind all they hold dear.  The Japanese have a saying:  Kyō wa shinu no ni yoi hidesu, just as the First People have.  They are untitled but today I am giving this a title. I have included a haiku at the end.  This is also being posted on Poets United Poetry Pantry.

It doesn’t matter
bitter winter winds –
in the garden the sleeping
cherry blossoms wait
for spring sun to awaken –
it doesn’t matter if I do not awaken

longest day ends –
it doesn’t matter says the moon –
rain begins to weep

Onnabugeisha

For Paul’s Prompt at dVerse – soul searching

Onnabugeisha
Katsumoto: The perfect blossom is a rare thing. You could spend your life looking for one, and it would not be a wasted life.  The Last Samurai

Trees blooming in the spring –
cherry, pear, plum –
their blossoms last for a day and then die.
Petals drift and fall to the ground –
pink and white snow of petals.
My lover called me “*onnabugeisha”
And so I am.
I fought my way through grief
through rape, through death
and even through ovarian cancer.
I swung my katana
and cut through them all.
And the timeless prayers
to an Ancient Hebrew God
I know healed me.
I learned that I did not need to fight.
All I needed was to bloom –
To soak up the rain and sun
and gaze at the blue sky.
I should have died I know.
But my petals hung on.
I continue to gaze at the sky
and to allow my soul to bloom.

*Japanese for female samurai or warrior*

 

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March 3 – March 17

For Hedge’s 55 and Poets United

March 3 – March 17
March is the cruelest month –
I disagree with my favorite poet,
But then, he did not lose
Grandmotherfathergrandfather
in the same month of the same year –
From lugubrious third to sad seventeenth –
Funerals abounded
Funeral meals fed
Funeral flowers scented the house –
Funeral I’m sorry cards piled up
like spring snow
or dead cherry blossoms

Play It Again, Toads!

This is for the prompt over at Real Toads….Play It Again, Toads! in which several archived prompts are served up to choose from. Or you can choose the “Flash 55 Prompt which occurs the first weekend of every month…”  I chose the Flash 55 prompt.  Come stroll through the garden with the Toads at:  http://withrealtoads.blogspot.com/2017/09/play-it-again-toads.html I am also posting this on Poets United, Poetry Pantry: http://poetryblogroll.blogspot.com/2017/09/poetry-pantry-369.html

The Samurai and the Lady
He parted the silk,
traced her skin with clusters of
pink sakura. His lips
followed their trail. He
pulled flowers from the clusters,
scattering on her skin.
Teasingly he blew
them away. Here, now there, and
there. He smiled and
pulled her to him. Soft
as petals against him, he
touched her in wonder.

Hosukai wood block print

dVerse Poets Pub: Meet the Bar with Expressionism

Bjorn is hosting the Pub today and prompting us to write poems based upon Expressionism.  Whew.  I hope this one comes close.  Come join us at:  Meet the Bar with Expressionism

Cuts like a Knife
The sky is so blue overhead
And the clouds so white.
Yet the wind cuts through you like…
a hot knife through warm butter
scissors through paper
a katana through silk…

And you. You.
You go through me like a
hot knife through cream cheese or…
like a katana through that thin branch
On my cherry tree –
you slash and slice and
and the blossoms fall
to the ground.
the birds peck now among them
finding the worms that burrow
underneath.

a lone crow circles overhead
in that blue winter sky.
he cuts through the sky
like a katana slices through fog.

still from Last Samurai

still from Last Samurai

Tanka: Yaekumo

The tanka refers to clouds called by the Japanese – yaekumo – eight fold clouds or, double blooming cherry trees.

many layered clouds –
double blooming cherry tree –
cherry blossoms are
missed but always there are trees
blooming in the summer sky

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