Hatsu yuki – First Snow: Ryoanji

I am posting on Real Toads Tuesday Platform.

 

Hatsuyuki – First Snow
Midnight.  I walk to the trees at the verge of the woods. I can see against the rough black bark where bits of snow have settled into the crevices of the bark – like exotic plants on the steep side of the cliff. I touch the snow with my lips – soft cold against rough and then melting. I bow my head against the tree – I murmur 侘寂 wabi-sabi.

The stillness, the snow, the silence.   I am no longer here but there – years past on the viewing platform at *Ryoanji. On the wall sit hundreds of suzume – sparrows.  Like me, they are watching the rocks in the 枯山水, karesansui. Feathers fluffed against the cold, tiny bright eyes seeing all. The air becomes sweet and before the suzume begin to flutter, I know…snow. I feel them on my face before I see the flakes and soon, they stick to the gravel, to the moss around the base of the rocks. The birds flutter off to more sheltered spaces but a few stay for the crumbs the humans leave behind.

Ryoanji and hatsuyuki. I stay until the moss is white and the ***suzume have all left. Straight down and fast, the snow falls. I stand and bow the long, deep bow of deepest respect. As I leave, it comes together for me – mujo – impermance, wabi sabi – the beauty of imperfection, mono no aware – the deep sadness at the passing of things – the snow that falls, the snow that melts, the birds that fly away…and the rocks that stay behind.

snow falls – white **sho-ru –
silence drifts to cover rocks –
peaceful dragon sleeps

* Peaceful Dragon
**shawl
***sparrows

dVerse Poets: Water

Today at dVerse Poets Pub, Bjorn is prompting for Haibun Monday. He is asking that we write about water – rain, snow, frost, sleet, ocean, spring, bath water – any water that is from a true experience from our past. Come visit us at:http://dversepoets.com/2017/10/16/16428/

Sea Glass
The colors of the ocean that washes up on the North Carolina coast is all the colors of sea glass on any given day, or month, or time of the year or even, the time of day. The colors shift like an ever revolving kaleidoscope – blue then green, grey, dark green, light turquoise, and white. Some days the wind will whip up little wavelets of white on the water.

But tonight the ocean is black. The wind smells of salt with sweet undertones. Lights from the pier and the full golden moon dapple the ocean. It is 2 a.m. on New Year’s Eve. I’m standing on the balcony at the hotel, my husband’s Christmas present to me this year was this trip, by myself, to the ocean in winter. I breathe in the air deeply. A bit of wet touches my cheek. I look up -the first flakes of snow for the year has begun – first snow! New Year’s eve! Oh the magic of the ocean at night!

black winter ocean
sleeps silently as snow falls –
first of the new year

sea glass, public domain image

http://dversepoets.com/2017/10/16/16428/

White Roses

Today at dVerse Poets Pub, Victoria is handling the prompt to Meet the Bar.  We are to write a poem in the style of the Imagists – namely, William Carlos Williams.  A wonderful poetic style where less is truly more.  For more about Williams and the Imagist movement, here is a link:  http://www.poemhunter.com/william-carlos-williams/  My favorite poem by him is the wonderful and whimsical Plum.  Read it and find out why it has been on my refrigerator door for years.   Visit us at dVerse for different takes on Imagist poems in this style.  Below is mine.  I hope I did this amazing poet justice and met the bar.  http://dversepoets.com/2016/01/28/image-ine-dverse-meeting-the-bar/

White Roses
The bouquet of white roses from my husband
has begun to fade,
petals dropping on the table.
Outside,
The first snow begins.

White Roses in a Vase - Henri Fantin-Latour

White Roses in a Vase – Henri Fantin-Latour

Iteboshi: haibun

c. Mary Kling used by permission

c. Mary Kling used by permission

 

Every day it was his ritual.  A bit before sunset, regardless of the weather, he would sit and gaze in the direction of the ocean, looking east.  His mind travelled over the ocean until it came to the west coast of America and then would travel all the way to a certain city on the east coast.  He often wondered if she ever thought of him.  After all, he had been the one to decide to leave, to return to his home in Japan.  They had discussed moving there together but for several reasons, it would not have worked for them.  And so he wondered.  Does she ever think of me?  A mutual friend told him she had married.  “I will not wait for you forever.”  She had waited nine years – not forever but a lifetime.  She had married a good man and loved him deeply.  A deep sigh came from his chest.

It snowed last night – first snow, hatsuyuki.  A light dusting but still the weather was cold and promised more snow here in this mountainous area.  He thought of how she loved snow.  It always amazed him how she knew when snow would come or in the middle of the night, if snow would begin.  He would become aware in his sleep of her absence beside him.  He would go to the window and look out and there she would be – outside in the garden in the snow.  Holding her hands to the sky trying to catch snowflakes or dancing slowly as the flakes swirled around her.  Sometimes he would join her and like children, they would chase each other and laugh and dance.  On her black hair, in a long braid down her back, the flakes would settle and before they melted, they looked like stars in the night sky, and then the stars would blink out.  One night, he held her braid up for her to see the snow and told her it was stars caught in her hair.  He told her the name for these frozen winter stars – iteboshi.  He could tell by the look in her eyes how she loved that word and the meaning.  He closed his eyes and whispered, “Iteboshi.  Do you ever think of me in your snowy nights?”

silent as dust
snow falls – swirling frozen stars
dance in the wind.

 

For dVerse Poets Pub, Mary is the prompter for Haibun Monday and provided several photos she took for us to choose and follow our muse in writing our haibun.  I chose the photo above for my haibun.  It spoke to me as soon as I saw it and reminded me of a part of Hakone, Japan.  I am also linking to Poets United Poetry Pantry #281 http://poetryblogroll.blogspot.com/2015/12/poetry-pantry-281.html

dVerse Haibun Monday link:  http://dversepoets.com/2015/12/07/haibun-monday-4-for-december-7/

Haibun Monday: d’Verse Poetics

Today is Haibun Monday at D’Verse Poetics Pub. Bjorn and guest, Hamish Gunn, have given us the prompt to use one of two quotes from poet Khalil Gibran.  http://dversepoets.com/2015/10/05/haibun-monday-2/

 

Peaceful Dragon
Friendship is always a sweet responsibility, never an opportunity. Khalil Gibran

A cold, wet day in Kyoto. I did not want to be here but since I was, I decided to go to Ryoanji, a few blocks from the hotel where I was booked. Because it was cold winter rain, I took a taxi instead of walking. The taxi driver was happy I was American. I sat in the back seat for the few moments it took. Several times I caught his eye in the rear view mirror, he always smiled. When I got out of the taxi handing him money, he waved it away. “American. Stranger. Cold.”..I could not in honor leave money after that. I bowed deeply to him as he drove off.   I hoped he would look in his mirror and see.

I was alone on the viewing platform overlooking the dry garden. I stood looking in silent awe. On top of the wall was a row of sparrows. All fluffed out, eyes bright with curiosity, they watched this Western stranger move from one end of the platform to the other until I felt “right” and sat down. A few moments later, a young man came in and sat down close by. I glanced in curiosity and he smiled,. We sat there for an hour or so breathing in the perfume of the past, breathing out the steamy breath of the present. The breaths mingled with the cold air and became absorbed. The sparrows became restless, the air turned sweet. I knew that smell – snow! Soon snow flakes joined the rain. I sensed the young man was looking at me. He pointed up and around the garden – hatsuyuki – first snow, he said and sweetly smiled at the sky. It was time to go. Stiffly I began to rise and he put out his hand to help me. We walked in silence to the parking lot where I would summon another taxi. He motioned me to follow him and without fear, I did. With gentle courtesy he opened his car and brought out a thermos. He handed me the cap and poured hot tea into it. I sipped quickly, thawing. A taxi pulled in the lot, trolling. He hailed the taxi for me and put me in speaking to the driver. I gave the driver my hotel and was taken there. I paid him and went inside. I headed for a hot shower and room service.  I blessed my new friends who gave without asking.

First snow and sparrows –
Strangers become friends beside
The peaceful dragon.

free public domain Getty Images

free public domain Getty Images

dVerse Poetics – Open Link Night 150- 俳文 初雪

Today is Open Link Night at dVerse Poetics and it is #150!!!!!  We do not submit to a prompt but rather, submit a poem of our choice.  I have done a haibun – 俳文 – for first snow – 初雪   Please come join us.  Submit your own poetry and read the offerings of very differently talented writers.
http://dversepoets.com/2015/06/04/open-link-150 

初雪 Hatsuyuki
Deep winter and total blackness of the night. The stillness of the night awakens me as if it had been a deafening clap of thunder.

I lie under the quilt, warm and cozy but….something in the atmosphere beckons. I change into jeans and heavy sweater, socks and shoes and open the front door. Since going to bed, it has begun to snow.

Ignoring the cold, I step out onto our front porch. Miraculous transformation! Smooth glowing white covering the yard. Against the blacker than the black night trees, silvery white snow has clumped into vees of little branches – night blooming winter magnolias they seem to be.

I carefully go down the steps and into the yard, turning slowly to see all around. The air is cold and sweet with the perfume of snow and it is so silent…so very silent I can hear the snow falling – a slight hissing sound as tiny flakes strike against each other, slough off from each other, group together and fall.straight.down.

I look up at the sky and can see the snow clouds against the black of the sky. I lift my face – bit of instant fire touching my cheeks, lips, eyelids….I hold out my hands.
It is the first snow of the season:  初雪 Hatsuyuki

midnight: snow flowers
spiral down and quickly die
on my outstretched hand.

I walk to the trees at the verge of the woods. I can see against the rough black bark where bits of snow have settled into the crevices of the bark – like exotic plants on the steep side of the cliff. I touch the snow with my lips – soft cold against rough and then melting. I bow my head against the tree – I murmur 侘寂 wabi-sabi

The stillness, the snow, the silence. I am no longer here but there – years past on the viewing platform at Ryoanji. On the wall sit hundreds of suzume – sparrows. Like me, they are watching the rocks in the 枯山水, karesansui. Feathers fluffed against the cold, tiny bright eyes seeing all. I watch the rocks, silent, down jacket pulled close against the cold. The air becomes sweet and before the suzume begin to flutter, I know…snow. I feel them on my face before I see the flakes and soon, they stick to the gravel, to the moss around the base of the rocks. The birds flutter off to more sheltered spaces but a few stay for the crumbs the humans leave behind.

Ryoanji and hatsuyuki. I stay until the moss is white and the suzume have all left. Straight down and fast, the snow falls. I stand and bow the long, deep bow of deepest respect. As I leave, it comes together for me – impermance, the beauty of imperfection, the deep sadness at the passing of things – the snow that melts, the birds that fly away…and the rocks that stay behind.

Snow falls. White *sho-ru.
Silence drifts to cover rocks.
Peaceful dragon sleeps.

*shawl

The Walk – Part ll – First Snow 初雪 Hatsuyuki

Last year
they walked during a heavy snow
to the place, their place.
It was snowing heavily
but it was not the first snow – hatsu yuki.

She looked out her office window.
Walk day.
she turned from the window
her back to the dark
cold day. Her reflection
was a ghost against the glass.

When next she turned,
it had begun to snow –
Small tight pellets bouncing
against the glass.
She smiled. First snow.

When she left her office
the snow was like the
falling petals of white sakura.
Light, then heavy as the wind swirled.
Already the ground was white
and drifts of snow getting
deeper on the parked cars.

A car pulled beside her.
Down came the window.
“It is too cold. Let’s just drive around.”
She shook her head.
“It is the first snow. I need
to be in it. I need to go to my heart home.”

He parked and joined her.
She spoke softly.
“Years ago, I sat in the hatsu yuki
at Ryoanji. Snow settled around the
rocks like a white shawl.
The empty space became filled
with such peace. I sat
until I could no longer endure the cold.
It is my heart home.
And this snow reminds me
of another karesansui.”

He looked down without asking.
She was silent.
They walked slowly
the snow petals falling on them.
She looked at the snow.
“Iteboshi.”
He looked at the snow on her hair.
He nodded. “Frozen stars.”
Then he understood.
In silence they finished the walk.
At the door to the building,
he touched her cheek.
“He was a fool to leave.”
She smiled, a small and wry smile.

Previous Older Entries

%d bloggers like this: