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.

Tsunami: One year anniversary March 11, 2012

This is greatly condensed down from a section of poetry based on the friendship of a Japanese engineer who was transferred by the company who owned the Fukushima power plant to a company in the US. I am posting this for Gillena’s prompt at: http://withrealtoads.blogspot.com/  “Hi toads, today i want you to stretch your imagination; ponder a natural disaster, past or recent, and tell me, what role you think, the gods might be playing, resulting in that particular natural disaster.” This is a small section of a poem I have been working on for several years – The Walk – parts I – VIII. He and I became friends while I was reviewing his application for licensure in the US as a professional engineer. He explained to me that much of the physical documentation was destroyed and people who acted as references and verifiers of his experience were dead.  He was in Tokyo at the time of the tsunami on business.  I am writing in haibun form.

free public domain photo – Japan Tsunami

Tsunami: One year later March 11, 2012. section of The Walk Part IV
Susanoo-no-Mikoto* was in a rage the day of the tsunami. He swept before him adults and children, pets, wild creatures, graves of the beloved dead, altars, homes – all washed away like so much trash into a gutter. My friend and I walked that anniversary to our place by the peaceful pond. I handed him a stick of incense. He lit the incense and wept beneath the cherry trees, far from home and dead family and friends.

the sea inhaled then
exhaled a giant wall of
water – spring was drowned

copyright kanzensakura

*Japanese god of the sea, storms, and snakes

Me, Walking

quilt block


Me, Walking

And on this dark night of tattered clouds
and snow and me walking –
trying to piece out this crazy quilt
of emotions confessions beseechings anger
and all you can do is repeat the same words –
all I can do is to not hear them
over and over and over again again again
until I have to escape outside
and walk in this sporadic snow under the shrouded moon –
my footsteps looking like a drunken tango
filling with snow.
muttering whywhywhy – the litany of an idiot
or a fool finding truth for the first time –
I’m sure those beings above the clouds
laugh at those like me as they pull the clouds
tighter about the moon creating darkness.
a deer breaks cover – a shadow against the snow –
an owl flies overhead
his wings beating against the snow
hunting for…just hunting for a mouse or the truth.
And on this dark night of tattered clouds
And me walking,

 

free public use image

For Margaret’s prompt today at Real Toads:  “The challenge is to write a poem using one of these fabric details OR if you have a special quilt (or memories of one) write about that instead.”   One of the blocks particularly brought up memories of my lover and I discussing his return to Japan, years ago.  http://withrealtoads.blogspot.com/2017/08/artistic-interpretations-with-margaret.html

 

 

 

Haibun Monday – Free For All

Today I have the prompt at dVerse Poets Pub. Come join us!  http://dversepoets.com/2017/07/24/haibun-monday-free-for-all-2/

Beautiful Spring
The spring this year was beautiful. A mild winter and lots of rain and snow had thoroughly watered the earth and flowers and trees were bursting forth. The last few months of my mother’s life, I spent with her daily. It was hard watching her slowly die, to pray for God to take her and end her suffering. One morning, they called me early from the skilled nursing facility she was in. During the night, my mother had died. I hung up the phone feeling empty, tired and sad. I stood at our living room window and looked out at the early summer green.

summer green and sun –
hummingbirds sip from the feeder –
it is cold inside

Previous Older Entries Next Newer Entries

%d bloggers like this: