A Year

A quadrille for Kim’s prompt using the word cycle.  What is a quadrille?  It is a poem of exactly 44 words using the prompted word.  The title is not included in the word count. Exacty a year ago today, my mother died.

A Year
The year cycles through its paces
Summer, fall, winter, spring.
A full year has passed since you died.
Today dawns as it did last year –
warm and sunny,
deceptive in its kindness.
I sit on the back porch
listening to birds singing your name.

mama as a baby

Haibun: Yuudachi

Today at Real Toads, I am doing the prompt for Thursday. I have given different Japanese words for rain – all of them seasonal. The Japanese have at least fifty words for rain. I have chosen yuudachi – sudden evening rain. I am asking people to choose one or several and write about the rain. If writing haibun I am asking for the classic form which is non-fiction and if writing haiku, the classic form which uses a seasonal word.

Haibun: Yuudachi
It was a long hot dry summer. Plants withered, animals died. I added another birdbath to the one already in use. Every day squirrels would line the thing, sipping and vying for places to drink. Several shallow birdbaths watered bunnies and the occasional cat or dog. The koi pond was down a foot, the koi clustered at the deep end in the shadow of plants. The night after you left, I sat on the back porch listening to the cicadas doing their raspy singing. I sniffed petrichor and suddenly rain began to pour down – a loud roar pounding plants into the ground, drumming on the roofs, and washing trash down the street gutters. The koi swam to the surface of the pond opening their mouths acting as if they were eating the drops of rain. I stood holding on the porch post and getting thoroughly soaked. I whispered – yuudachi, sudden evening rain. After the heat of the day the rain was cold. I wondered if it was raining where you were.  I bowed my head and wept hot tears of sorrow.

long hot dry summer –
cicadas cease their songs –
rain mutes all sound

 

Haiku 05152018

This is posted on Real Toads Tuesday Platform in honor and memory of my friend Peggie who died three years ago today due to complications from COPD. She was a true onnebugeisha. She rescued greyhounds, people (including me), she loved her country, and she loved to laugh.  She never called a “turd a rose” …thank you Fireblossom for this wonderful quote.

summer night is long –
dew falls but fades at morning –
grasses remember

The Last Spring

For Fireblossom’s prompt at Real Toads – day 29 of Nannerpuddin – almost the last day. “This isn’t the end, but the end is just around the corner. That’s what I’d like us to write about. Sometimes, the moment just before something ends is as poignant as the actual ending. One could write about the Twin Towers on 9/10, with business going on as usual, never knowing what the morning would bring. Or, one could keep the focus much smaller, and write about a love affair about to end, but which hasn’t actually ended just yet.” This is also being posted on Poets United Poetry Pantry. Come join us for bittersweet.

The Last Spring
The last spring was the most beautiful
nor has there been one more beautiful since.
The cherry trees wept their petals down
to the graveled surface of our kare-sansui –
Our miniature Ryo-anji.
You were returning to Japan.
After 18 years in America you were returning home.
I was staying here.
The last night together I slept downstairs.
You slept upstairs.
I was already putting distance between us –
Most of the furniture sold along with your
baby grand piano and my Thermidor stove.
I was moving to a tiny apartment that did not smell of you,
that did not have any of our past life together
screaming at the boxes and empty spaces
I took you to the airport and walked you to your waiting area.
All words had been said but you had to have the last few.
You cupped my face in your hands
and your almond shaped eyes were filled with tears.
I’ll love you with all the madness in my soul, you said,
My eyes were desert dry.
I turned my back on you and walked away.

Haibun – At Rest

Today is day 27 of OMIRWOPAN.  Only three more days to go.  Today Margaret is our prompter over at Real Toads.  She attended an art exhibit of works by children and obtained permission to photograph some of the art for use with this prompt.  No names of the kids are given but the ages and grades are listed under the pictures.  The ages range from elementary to high school.  I picked one called The Bones. This is a haibun with a nonstandard haiku ending it.

10th grade 15 yrs.

At Rest
You died June 18. Every day I watched you dying – slowly and painfully. Every day I prayed for you to die while feeling sadness at losing you forever. You were silent by March. The vampire that sucked out your memories took away your life, your love – all except your knowing of me. Me you never forgot. In July I received your ashes. I sat in the car with the box holding your ashes cradled in my arms and wept. Then in the heat of summer I made the pilgrimage farther south – to the country cemetery where our ancestors lay under the big oaks and magnolia trees.

When we arrived at our hometown I rode you around the streets of your memories – past our old home place, past the high school from which you graduated. past the hospital where you gave birth to me. Then onward until we reached the country. At the cemetery I walked with you and took a trowel and in your mother’s grave I dug. I dug a deep hole in the brick hard red soil. sweat dripping down onto the earth like tears. At last I had the hole deep enough.
I poured your ashes into the hole and placed a red carnation on top – your favorite flower. I replaced the earth and tamped it down. I tucked the earth around your ashes as I used to tuck you in for sleep. I built a small stone cairn over your resting place. Be at peace mama. I love you. And then the long drive alone back up north.
sweltering heat – I
buried your ashes in the red soil –
a lone cardinal sang

copyright kanzensakura

 

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

Real Toads Tuesday Platform: Country Burial

This is posted for Real Toads Tuesday Platform.

Country Burial
A Cairn –
Placing a few rocks one on top of the other,
dug from the hard red clay.
My mother’s ashes reside here,
in the country cemetery
nestled in her mother’s grave.
I drove the several hours down to Bahama
(buh-hay-muh)
to the Mount Moriah Church –
where most of our ancestors lay.
The first one laid to rest was my
great-times-many grandmother –
buried with her infant son on her breast.
Since 1790. A long time.
My mother is the most recent.
I dug the hole,
wrestling with the drought hard ground
rusty red…the blood of the soil
makes good tomatoes, my great-grandfather said.
I poured her ashes into the hole
and filled it back with the chunks of dirt.
then all the rocks that I dug out
I placed in a pile.
I left my mother’s ashes there.
But I brought some of the soil back with me –
in a shoebox along with some rocks.
And the tomatoes grown in that red soil!
So tangy they jump off the plate and slap you
across the face before you can stick a fork in ‘em –
no passive sweet tomatoes grown in this dirt.
Mama would be pleased.

Previous Older Entries

%d bloggers like this: