Silent Road

This is posted for Poets United Midweek Motif – Meteor showers.  It is also posted at dVerse Poets Pub Open Link Night.  This happened years ago.  It is an extended haibun.

Silent Road
Delta Aquarids –
escape from city lights – the
veiled stars will unveil

Hot night in July –needing to be out of the city, rolling down a smooth country two lane blacktop, soft roar of the tires – tack…..tack…..tack…..Rock in the tire tread – front passenger, I think. Black countryside, no lights showing in the few houses. Folks have to get up early go to work in town, go to work in surrounding tobacco fields. Rolling past rows of tobacco and corn row after row after row, broken only by the dark houses. The blooms on the green plants show up white in the headlights.

Past another small house, dark. Ahead off to the right a dirt road. I pull off and go down it slowly. Dust invisible but I can smell it, thick whiffs of sharp iron and sweeter lime.  In the headlights ahead. Washboard shadows in the hard dirt where constant tires have cleared away the gravel. In the headlight the road is pale pink but in the daylight, it will be red as blood. To the left, a small drive leading to an empty space by the tobacco field. I pull in and park, cut the engine – the cooling motor goes ting ting ting…

insect sounds rise in
the darkness – chackachacka
hypnotic hum..

Except for the insects, dead silence.  A dog barks some distance away then another closer by answers. In front of me as my eyes adjust I see several empty tobacco slides waiting for morning. Time of year to prime the thick leaves, snap by hand the thick stalks, heavy leaves of the plants, to be loaded in layers in the slides, then hitched to the back of a tractor to be taken to be to ancient tobacco barns and tied by hand to tobacco sticks, loaded by hand into the barn to dry for sale in the fall. I can tell by the snapped stalks on the plants, this is the third priming.

fireflies flicker – an
insect meteor shower
among the dark plants

One comes in my car window and settles on the steering wheel, White dark white dark – flashing its signals to an alien being who doesn’t understand the language. Smells of dust, acrid tang of tobacco sap, smell of cows from a field close by. Tipping the seat back  I lean my head against the headrest And look at the stars through my windshield. The firefly continues its signals. Suddenly, several quick bursts in the dark sky and the stars begin to fall – trails of white falling towards the horizon, silent as dust. Some shimmer, some burst, they all burn in the summer night, streak after streak, fast, slow, dark and again they explode and fall.  In the cool grey dawn, the stars have gone to sleep. The firefly has flown away. I drive slowly down the dirt road back to the two lane black top back to the city.   Tack…..tack…..tack…..

July stars burst streak –
trails of fire in the black night
fade and disappear

 

Haibun Monday: Owls

Today the theme for Haibun Monday is owls. Victoria is hosting the Pub with this lovely winter kigo for haiku. A haibun is brief true prose ending with a haiku – haiku must have a seasonal word to be a haiku. Come visit us to read these haibun about owls. the Japanese word for snowy owl is fukaroo. This is also being posted at Real Toads Tuesday Platform.

Owls at night
I sit on the steps of our back porch. The night is cold and still and a light snow is falling. I pull the quilt tighter around me and gaze out at the snow slowly covering the lawn. From the woods I hear a sound that is like a woman screaming – a tiny screech owl. For something so small it can emit a scream from that sounds like it comes from the pits of despair. The owl screams again. I look up at the dark sky, the stars blacked out by clouds. As I look up, a deeper black slowly glides across the sky – an owl. Probably the screech owl or the saw whet owl I found earlier in autumn living in the woods. There are several owls around here – you can spot them at night or their nesting places during the day if you are observant and very quiet. There is even a ghostly barn owl taking advantage of an old deserted barn. Owls. I love owls. I can sit all night and watch them hunt – hearing their clucking or wild cries as they find and capture prey. The screech owl screams again. The snow continues to fall.

in the cold night owls
split the darkness with their
ghostly glide – snow falls

public domain photo

Ode to Dying Autumn

An ode in the style of Neruda.  Posted in Real Toads Tuesday Platform and dVerse Poets Pub: Meeting the Bar.

Nocturne in Black and Gold 1875 – Whistler

ode to dying autumn
here on this final day
before the first heavy frost,
the sun blazes through the trees
like a roaring wildfire
burning away the leaves –
sky and clouds,
turning into pitch-black night
before this final night
when heavy frost falls –
the *river of heaven flows –
the tiny lights of the stars
reflect off the wings
of the ghost owl
gliding through the night.
The night is an explosion of black and gold –
a painting by Whistler.
The day dawns grey
and cold with frost covering all –
a veil of hoarfrost –
The year’s dying bride walks down the aisle
of the church of trees –
The cloud mother weeps at her child
going down that long aisle to the end –
her raintears wash away the colors
of the leaves like so much paint,
disappearing down the ditches –
the trees reflect off the street
like an Impressionist painting,
I stand and watch the leaves make their way
to the creek at the foot of the hill –
little dinghies floating on the water.
And now it is day.
the frost is gone.
the bride is gone.
Autumn has left the building –
Winter is waiting its cue to enter.
cold and rainy day –
leaves fall like rain – colors fade –
silence descends like snow

*river of heaven – amanogawa – Japanese for the Milky Way – it is a seasonal kigo for haiku

Quadrille Monday: Kick

Monday it is Quadrille Monday. De is the pubtender. what is a quadrille? It is a poem of exactly 44 words, excluding the title. The quadrille must include a prompted word. today it is “kick” – kicked, kicking, kicks, kickle, a form of the word kick. Come join us for these fun and short poems.  The Pub opens at 3:00 pm EST Monday.

Kicking Leaves
I like my morning walks
especially in autumn –
leaves have fallen –
they lie stacked up on the sides of our lane.
I kick a group of them up in the air.
A snake goes flying.
Now, ain’t that a kick in the head?

copyright kanzen sakura

Dreaming November

This is for Angie’s prompt over at Real Toads. She found a wonderful book with suggestions for and lists of words for inspiration: Sandford Lyne titled, “Writing Poetry from the Inside Out:  Finding Your Voice Through the Craft of Poetry.” It seems a most excellent book I shall check out this afternoon. Come visit us at Real Toads: http://withrealtoads.blogspot.com/2017/11/get-listed-november-edition.html She gives us several lists with four words in each. I chose the list with November, layer, stones, throat to write a poem of 100 words or less.  I am also posting this today at dVerse Poets Pub for their Open Link Night. I am also posting at Poets United Poetry Pantry.

Dreaming November
rust-colored November
settles into the stones
in layers of newly fallen leaves
old leaves rotting leaves –
a smell that catches in the back of my throat
and makes me want to put down roots.
November is the calm before the winter storms –
stones sleep
beneath the leaves
beside the creek
flowing clear over rounded stones
before settling into the
pool at the end –
sleeping leaves dreaming of summer.

copyright Kanzen Sakura

dVerse Poets Pub – Poetics

Today Bjorn is prompting us at dVerse Poets Pub for Tuesday Poetics. He is asking us to write something “Halloweeny”, so here is my contribution. I have always been fascinated with late Victorian life and especially the people who used to hang about the extremely fashionable Café Royale in Soho. It’s denizens have always had an “alternate” story for me. This poem in no way implies anything about Wilde or Whistler. It is after all, just a poem. And the Café Royale is still in existence serving their incomparable cafe mochas. Posted for dVerse Poets Pub and Real Toads in Imaginary Gardens: http://withrealtoads.blogspot.com/2017/10/the-tuesday-platform_31.html

public domain photo James Whistler

The Salon at the Café Royale
Because of his story about Dorian Gray
everyone thought Oscar Wilde was a vampire.
Everyone thought he based it on himself.
Well, he didn’t –
He based in on a young man of whom he was enamored.
However he was a vampire.
His friend Whistler was a werewolf.
I know. I often stood in my window
when I was a child and watched the
two of them leaving the house next door.
I saw how they gleamed in the moonlight.
I watched how they leapt over the garden wall
with the effortless grace of deer.
I watched when they returned and
I saw them splattered with blood
and heard Oscar’s high laughter
and Whistler’s lower chuckles.
I saw them. Yes I saw them.
I was not dreaming when I saw
the vampire and the werewolf
leap down from the wall
and settle weightlessly as dead leaves
upon the lawn.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lh0w01S7Jnk&w=560&h=

dVerse Poets Pub: Quadrille

Today Mish is prompting for Quadrille Monday at dVerse Poets Pub.  A quadrille is a poem of exactly 44 words using a prompted word (or variant of the word).  Today the word is creak – creaking, creaks, creaked. Come join us for these excellent short poems! it was rather obvious to use the Halloweenish creepy type of narration. Of course, I didn’t do didn’t do the obvious.

The House
At night the house is silent.
No creaks, no groans, no settling.
Low and brick –
Cool in the summer,
warm in the winter.
Much laughter in this house –
it welcomes all.
Home says this house.
Safe says this house.
Love lives here.

 

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