Meeting the Bar – Trimeric Poetic Form

Today at d’Verse Poetics, Mary is our pubkeeper. She has introduced us to the Trimeric Poetic form – a lovely and adaptable form. Come visit us to find out more about this form and read the poems submitted. I hope you will be inspired to try your own and link it up!

The Full Moon is the Watchdog
The full moon is the watchdog
Guarding the shadows of night –
muted leaves whisper
Secrets to the listening wind.

Guarding the shadows of night
The moon gazes as the cold wind
ripples fallen leaves on the empty road.

Muted leaves whisper
And are echoed by drowsy crickets
and a family of sleepy owls.

Secrets to the listening breeze
Are murmured by the pewter creek
Sleep walking through silver reeds.

 Andō Hiroshige 1797 – 1858 Full Moon and Reeds

Andō Hiroshige 1797 – 1858 Full Moon and Reeds

d’Verse Poetics – August 18, 1969 – haibun

Today at the d’Verse Poetics Pub, Claudia is hosting. She wants us to write poetry about our country’s National Anthem. Like many Americans, I had not paid much attention to our Anthem or the history behind it. This was the day I heard it in my soul for the first time – atop a VW microbus parked in a sea of mud and garbage – Woodstock.  Come join us at d’Verse Poetics.  And if this doesn’t interest you, starting in September, we will have a new feature:  Haibun Monday.  Please come visit, read, and join us.

August 18, 1969
“And I dreamed I saw the bombers
Riding shotgun in the sky
And they were turning into butterflies
Above our nation.” Woodstock – Joni Mitchell

“Is it tomorrow or just the end of time?”
Purple Haze – Jimi Hendrix

Cousin Billy said, let’s stay. Traffic is horrible. Let’s stay, hang out, groove, listen to the last act. So many had already left, we drove our van closer to the stage and sat on the top of the van. A few people climbed on and joined us. Mellow morning split by image of Hendrix – like a new age archangel making love to his Stratocaster. Across the field the sound soared. High as the birds in the sky I suddenly heard it – The Star Spangled Banner, heard the rockets and bombs exploding; heard the battle for our freedom – rocket’s red glare, bombs bursting in air, our flag was still there.  Billy’s brother had died a month earlier in some ugly muddy melee in Viet Nam. Billy and I held each other and wept as the meaning roared over us, waves and waves of music – raw, primal, real. No sweetly rendered song, no opera singer wailing at a baseball game – No. An African American man bringing it to us in a scream of blood and bone, love and death.

blue summer sky: clouds
finger painted white wisps – birds
wheeling touch the sky.

dVerse Poetics – Meadow Stars

Today at dVerse Poetics, we have a guest host/bartender: Wolfsrosebud aka Patti Wolf. She is asking us to get closer to nature – get on our hands and knees, get a little grubby and take a closer look at the world around us, especially the smaller world.  Come visit us and….go outside and renew your acquaintance with the natural world around us.  Cut off the cell phone, stop answering text messages, stop tweeting and Facebooking – take a few minutes and live life!!

fleabane daisies - copyright kanzensakura

fleabane daisies – copyright kanzensakura

Fleabane daisies bloom
over the meadow floor – do
the local folk, the worms and beetles,
tiny spiders and hoverflies
think the daisies are stars
blooming over their green grass world?
Do they make up names for
the daisy constellations
and stories of how they came to be?
These  meadow stars that bloom brightest
at day and only glow softly at night?
When one fades and falls
do the sister ladybugs
link together their tiny legs
and make a wish?
I need to get closer and see if I can hear
what their wishes would be –
to be more patient and discover
if their wish comes true.




dVerse Poetics (2) 02/02/ 2:00 a.m.

Another poem for dVerse Poetics 2:00 a.m. prompt, offered by Anthony. I am a night owl and write the majority of my poems at night. Many of them are titled with the date and the time of composing.

free image Wikipedia

free image Wikipedia

Black night sky:
I descry through blacker branches
The hazy moon behind clouds.

Flakes of snow falling
Like dust or wet stars.
Each dims out

dVerse Poetics – My Inspiration

T S Eliot photographed by his friend and correspondent Ottoline Morrell. public domain image

T S Eliot photographed by his friend and correspondent Ottoline Morrell. public domain image

“Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal.”  T.S.Eliot

Today, I have the happy task of being bartender at dVerse Poetics Pub. This means I get to talk with all the folk in the community who make comments. I also get to choose a prompt. We often speak of someone who inspired us to write. I am asking our community to write about the poet and their poem that inspired them to begin writing. I am also asking them to take the prompt farther and if possible, write the poem in the style of the inspiring poet. My inspiration is T.S. Eliot. I took this poem from one of my few surviving notebooks wherein I wrote my poems years ago. This is from January 1965. It is full of all the angst and alientation of a teenager at odds with the world around her. And it is a bland imitation of several of Eliot’s poems.

January – the dark month
The month of moonless nights
And stars hidden by clouds.

Smoke tasting fog – piles of grey ash
In cans on the sidewalk
And the ash men come –
Reaping what the fire has tasted and left behind –
Ash days
Grey and dry – trees cremated to warm
Those flower folk hidden behind lace curtains
And wide porches sipping tea and eating cakes
Made by those below –
Silent in their movements
And almost as invisible
As the skeleton of an oak leaf –
But visible if the flower people gaze hard enough
But who only sip their tea and eat their cakes
who only look away.

A little dog trots on the sidewalk –
He alone has someplace to go.

Two men in black coats walk
Towards him and he shies away from them.
He jumps on the steps leading up
The grey walk to the big house
And whines as the men pass by.
Black hats black coats
Twins of darkness on this empty street
The flower folks entombed behind
Long panes of glass.

In a country graveyard by a long deserted church
With dirt as red as blood
I saw neglected graves and on one was set in a stone
A photograph behind smashed glass.
I assume it was the person buried in the blood red dirt.

Buried behind a pane of glass
In the blood red dirt of January
I sit by a dead fire and sip tea and eat cake.


dVerse Poetics

Today at dVerse Poetics, Mary has given us the wonderful prompt to write about “where we are from”. Not the geographical where, but the poetic, spiritual, life where. It is a wonderful prompt. I have written a poem longer than normal but the words just flowed. I dedicate this with love to my amazing family, so much a part of where I am from.

family pics2

I am from Denmark, Ireland, England Germany
I am from Celia and Luther, Josie and George, Celia and Robert
I am from family I’ll never know who landed
on the North Carolina coast three hundred years ago

Sleeping on a pallet on the sleeping porch on a hot southern night
scented by magnolia gardenia roses newly mown lawn
ceiling fans operated by long cords pulled down to the floor
going whump whump whump slow and lazy then faster as the cords
move closer to the ceiling.

I am from a family of eccentrics, strong women
tender hearted men, the builder of the house
who made damn sure the front room was the largest and
filled floor to ceiling with books bought or rescued
and all dusted and read with love and respect.

I am from a childhood of watching my grandmother
make biscuits with no recipe, watching my father
fry chicken, watching my mother make banana pud’n.
Of peach cobblers and homemade vanilla ice cream,
bowls of potato salad and devilled eggs on an ancient
fragile egg plate decorated with a drift of paprika.
Family reunions, picnics, fish fries, church dinners.

I am from Christmases with huge trees, colored lights
a mountain of packages a table loaded with food
people excited when that special gift they bought is
opened and exclaimed over or laughing in glee
when they are the one to open that gift.
I am from Christmases of erector sets and microscopes
and a beautiful yellow crinoline with pink ribbon rosebuds.

I am from summers with endless gardens of red sassy
tomatoes, sweet corn, silky butterbeans and crisp
snap beans- sitting on the backporch rocking
rocking and helping to snap snap beans and shell
butterbeans and shuck and silk corn.
And bowls and platters of those vegetables
planted and picked by us.

I am from playtimes with the family cats and dogs
and dressing them in doll clothes, loading them
into my red wagon and taking them around the neighborhood
to visit Miss Goldie, Mrs. Keranakis, Mr. Bujold
and Jamie Pollard who taught me how to write haiku
He thought being six years old was the perfect age
for me to learn.

I am from evenings of my family sitting around
and reading aloud poems from the Brownings, Yeats,
Keats, Wordsworth, Frost and Shakespeare’s sonnets.

I am from my own world of T.S. Eliot, Ginsberg, Snyder,
Kerouac, Simon and Garfunkel, Lennon and McCartney.
I am from my own world of secretly writing poetry
and feeling too odd – too odd even for my Southern
Style Addams Family family.
Keeping the fire inside secret. Hiding my notebooks
full of words written in Peacock Blue.
Sneaking out to poetry readings of Duke students
and then standing and reading mine
and feeling….not so very odd.
From bargaining with my mother:
I’ll do the cotillion if I get the next
two summers free.
Of being escorted by my sweet redhaired
cousin who committed suicide the next
summer because his father couldn’t abide
having a queer for a son.
Summers of love, moon landings, Woodstock.
I am from tears, forgiveness, pride, love,
Loss and gain, war and peace.
I am from being told to just be me.
And being loved when I was.

copyright kanzensakura

copyright kanzensakura

dVerse Poets Pub: Galloping Groundhog

Today at dVerse Poetics, it is Open Link Night. We do not write poetry to a prompt but instead share a poetic offering. Come join us! Enough creativity to go around and share. I wrote about an unusual happening today.

Driving home from errands today,
Running full tilt through the high grass
On the shoulder of the road,
Was a woodchuck.

Like a hamster on steroids,
Galloping. Only word for it.
I slowed down and he
Passed me in.a.blur.

I wondered, where was he headed
In such a rush?
Was he hurrying to get back
To his family?
Did he have an appointment
And was late?

One doesn’t usually see woodchucks,
Groundhogs, whistle pigs, ground squirrels
Running by the side of the road.
One usually sees them on TV
Amidst a flurry of photographers
And people, all waiting for Phil
To foretell the weather –
How much longer would winter last?
Tell us Phil.
Let us take your picture Phil.
Let us roust you out of your warm, dark
Burrow and thrust you up in the air
For the crowds to see and scream
And flash lights in your confused eyes.
This year, you bit the wretched mayor
For doing that to you.
Personally, I applauded you and
Wished you had done it sooner.

But this whistle pig running
Down the side of the road…
Did he know about horses?
Was he having a fantasy
Of being a tall wild stallion
running free
Through long prairie grass?

I don’t know.
I just know it was an odd occurrence
And it made me smile…hugely.

dVerse Poetics Pub: Follow the Clouds

This is linked to dVerse Poetics. We have been asked to write octets and some have chosen to write about the theme, of the road or travel. Some have written different forms of eight line poetry and different journeys.

public domain image

public domain image

Once a wizard from another
Universe told me:  accept your
Death as a given – you will be
Freed from fear of dying, freed from
Fear of living. Pull your sword and
Step forward. Step onto the road
And don’t look back. Follow the clouds
As they race in the sky. Live free.

Confession #2 – Hanami

This is the second part to Poetic Confessions at dVerse Poetics Pub. Secret fears, life, love…what we hide inside….

hanami 2

Deep in the night
When all things cease to move
Except for the dreams
That creep in under
The laser security of our brains
And our hearts,

Sakura strung with white lights
People underneath –
Families, lovers, friends.
Music and wine flow,
laughter rises and falls,
Braiding together in a
circle dance of celebration.
Cherry blossom petals fall
And whirl in the wind
Mono no aware….
things bloom, things pass,
Things die.
This is a celebration of now –
Just before the passing.
That space between breaths.

You lift the cup of sake
To my lips and I sip.
You lean towards me and sip
From my lips.

“Wake up, wake up.”
I’m being tossed by the wind.
“Wake up, you are having a bad dream.”
I slow my breathing,
Orient to here and now.
My husband asks, “are you alright?
Are you awake?”
I nod and pat his hand.

I can’t go back to sleep
But I still see inside that dream.

A few years ago, Jeff
Visited you during hanami
And told you I had married.
He said you acted surprised
Then grieved and was cranky
For several days.
Did you really think I would
I would live entombed
And preserved in amber?

Mono no aware….
things bloom, things pass
Things die.
Things bloom again.


free public domain image

free public domain image

“I wear the chain I forged in life,” replied the Ghost. “I made it link by link, and yard by yard; I girded it on of my own free will, and of my own free will I wore it.” Jacob Marley, A Christmas Carol

*The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock – T.S. Eliot

When you are dead,
What chains will you wear?
Will they be layered around and around and around
Your body from the top of your head
To the soles of your feet?

Today, I listened to a woman
standing on a street corner
Ranting shrilly angrily about how
Those savages are brutally murdering
Those who speak for peace,
Those who are giving aid to the helpless,
Those who try to report the truth
And open our scaled eyes.
“They aren’t human. We should just bomb them.”
“bomb all of them over there
And let God sort them out.”

I turned and walked away
Dragging the chains of my silence
As I walked to my car.

I sat.
I sat.
I sat.
The echo of her anger
Beat against the windows of my
Car like a terrible storm,
Buffeting and howling
Like some kind of crazed monster.

I sat.
I sat.
I sat.
“Do I dare
Disturb the universe?”*

I opened my door and walked
In her direction.
I felt a section of my chain drop.

I spoke to her softly and reminded
Her that fighting fire with fire
Only made more fire.
That hate only fueled the fire.
That we should try to love and forgive.
That we should work together
to stop the madness and
start the healing.
Fuck you hippie bitch.
She snarled.
I said, God forgive us all
And show us a better way.
Fuck you she said.
I turned and walked away

Today in dVerse Poetics Pub, we are using our poetic voices to speak against injustice, murder, and terrorism.

The Last Cherry Blossom

This week in dVerse Poetics Pub, the whole theme and prompt is about chivalry, knights, ladies, armor, jousts, courtly love, etc. going back in time. I have gone back in time to a different type of knight – the Samurai. There was also a joust where we chose a line from Brian or Claudia’s poem.  I have carried out this prompt for this poem, along with the medieval theme. The lines from their poems are in italics. This is for Open Link Night. dVerse Poetics link is: On my About Page, I have noted I am guided equally by the Ten Commandments and Bushido – a later term for the code of the warrior. It was traditional for the Samurai, before committing seppuku or going into battle, to write a death poem. One of the greatest writers of haiku, Basho, was Samurai.

red armor

It was an omen –
He knew it.
Last year the cherry blossoms
were in full bloom.
During the night
a cold wind blew
and in the morning snow was on the ground.
Pink petals fell too early
and gleamed like blood
on the snow.
He knew – it would be the
last time he saw the cherry trees bloom.

In the summer, he had
acted as second for his brother,
dying of a wasting disease.
A brave warrior,
he wanted to die with honor.
And so, he had committed
the ritual seppuku,
freeing his soul.

The night before leaving for battle,
At evening meal he looked
at his wife and children.
The two eldest sons would join him
in battle.
The two youngest and his daughter
would stay behind.
Inside he mourned
for his two sons who
would never wear the red armor
passed to him from his father
and his grandfather.
He knew they would die
in the plain armor
of first battle –
Well made of leather
and iron scales and
lacquered black.
He would die in the red armor
and unless their enemies
had honor, the armor
would never be returned to his wife.
In the matters of life and death,
of battles and births, he said
within himself,
we’ve lost our capacity
to count

He looked at his wife,
the oldest and plainest of her sisters.
But she was graceful and had added
much to his life – intelligent,
she educated his children well
just as he taught them
the code of the warrior.
He looked at his daughter
and she smiled.
She was his sunlight
and one of her dimples
could not be bought for all
the gold in the kingdom.
Intelligent like her mother
but with the winsome beauty
of his mother.
She was brave and fierce
when she fought.
When paired with Maggi’s
son, he bested her
but she broke his nose
of which he was too proud.

His wife went into their store
room and brought forth a roll of
silk, the clear blue of an autumn sky
as a gift for her.
Her brothers clapped her on
her shoulder as if she was one
of them and praised her swordsmanship.
His heart burst with pride
at his daughter warrior.

He would be leaving his home
in the capable hands of his wife
to be maintained and defended.
The small chest in the store room
was full of coins and
there was cloth and silk
and food for them and their
servants and animals.
Should another man take her to wife,
if he were wise, he would find his
life greatly enriched and enlarged
by her wisdom and bravery.

That night, they made love
with the fire and speed
of youth.
As she slept, he touched
her cheeks to find them
wet with tears.
He realized the tears were his own.

He walked that night
in his garden.
Time stands still…
Tomorrow, he and his sons
would ride to battle.
A cold wind blew off the mountain –
he reached up to touch the
cherry buds, tightly curled.
He would never see them bloom.
He then wrote his death poem
to leave for his wife.

Death Poem of Masashi Kenata – 1538 – 1580
bitter winter winds –
in the garden the sleeping
cherry blossoms wait
for spring sun to awaken –
I can only dream.

copyright kanzensakura

copyright kanzensakura

What Lies Beneath

Today at dVerse Poetics Pub, we are having a joust of sorts. We are to choose a line (or more) from one of two poems (or both) chosen by the previous bartenders, Brian and Claudia. Here is the link: I chose a line from Claudia’s poem. it is in italics.

copyright kanzensakura

copyright kanzensakura

Branch blown by the wind –
fingers stick out from the snow
reaching out.
I threw out bread for the birds
On both  ends,
A sparrow perched,
their feathers fluffed with the cold
and bright eyes seeking
out the bits of bread closest
to their perch.
The full branch lay encased
under the snow
holding steady – an invisible bridge.
the sparrows chirp
and cock their heads
and converse about their plans.
later we will cross
tower bridge into the night”.
In the morning
I see no trace of their
tracks but the bits of bread are gone.

%d bloggers like this: