dVerse Poetics: Oldies But Goodies

Before Lillian starts her cruise, she is again hosting Poetics over at dVerse. She is asking us to pick a song from the year we were born and to write about it. You’re going to have to look up the song to find out the year I was born! Pub opens Tuesday at 3:00 pm EST.  https://dversepoets.com/2017/04/11/oldies-but-goodies-no-matter-the-age/

How High the Moon
The young woman sat in the porch swing, pushing herself to and fro with her foot.  The full flower moon glinted off her wireframe glasses and in the darkness, her curly hair was coal black.  Inside the bedroom window facing onto the porch she had placed the radio so she could listen to music as she drifted in her thoughts.  The screen door opened and a young man came outside and joined her in the swing.  He looked at her with trouble in his eyes.  “What’s wrong?  You ate nothing at dinner and I cooked your favorites tonight”, he said softly.  The woman glanced at him, swallowed, then licked her lips.  Something was bothering her.  After a few minutes she whispered, “I’m pregnant”.  “What?,, what?”  She hung her head.  The young man gathered her into his arms.  “This is wonderful news, wonderful.  When?”  “November, mid or late.”  She snuggled in his arms and they began swinging again, gazing at the full moon.  On the radio began “How High the Moon” by Les Paul and Mary Ford.

full pink moon shines bright –
drifts of clouds across the moon –
kisses in the shadows

 

My sweet mama aged 16. copyright kanzensakura

 

Haibun Monday – The Shadow Knows

Monday I am doing the prompt for Haibun Monday over at dVerse Poets Pub. Years ago I read In Praise of Shadows (陰翳礼讃 In’ei Raisan), an essay on Japanese aesthetics by the Japanese author and novelist Jun’ichirō Tanizaki. It deeply influenced me and caused my immersion into the Japanese culture. So I am prompting people to write about shadows today in classic Haibun form – actual shadows, shadows in our lives, walking after dark in the full moon, the fireplace flickering in a dark room, shadows of clouds racing over a meadow, mountain or lake. Come visit us and find out the reason for this quote by Jun’ichirō Tanizaki: “Were it not for shadows, there would be no beauty.”  The Pub opens at 3:00 pm EST

Moonlight, kendo, and love
Midsummer. The moon was full to bursting and it lit up our bedroom like a klieg light. My lover was sleeping soundly, softly snoring. I was rolling from one half of the bed to the other – the night was hot and moist and redolent with the smells of roses, jasmine, gardenias, magnolia….the rich musk of freshly mown grass floated over the flower smells and made me sneeze. I gave one look at the sleeping man, muttered “bah” and got out of bed. I looked down into the garden in the back yard – the scene was almost surreal, flat with the look of no contrasting shadows. Every detail stood out in sharp detail. I pulled on a tee shirt and shorts and went downstairs. I decided if nothing else, I would practice some kendo forms I had learned the previous week. With my shinai in hand, I began. I started to sweat but continued. Soon I relaxed and to get into the motions. Clouds blew across the surface of the full moon and shadows drifted across the koi pond and the graveled area. A soft breeze began cooling me and I closed my eyes and drifted with the forms. Suddenly, my arms were gripped by strong hands and my lover began to improve on my motions.

I turned to look at him. Taller than the average Japanese man with a beautiful swooped nose and full lips. I loved his mouth and his nose. He smiled. “Dancing in the shadows?” I melted into him and we began the kendo dance. Shadows began to shift as the moon began to dip in the sky. The branches of trees grew longer and one of the koi broke surface, thinking the moonlight on the water was a bug. I watched the shadows from the moon slowly glide along the walkway. We became still, me wrapped in his arms. “I love the shadows on a full moon night,” he whispered. “I love you on a full moon night.” And he started to caress me. Soon we disappeared into the shadow of the dogwood tree, making love in our garden. Fully sated at last, we went to sleep on the grass each holding the other close. We woke just before grey dawn and lay there looking at the sun rise. The koi began to roil the surface of the pond clamoring for food. I fed them and watched them as they swam in and out of my reflection. Shadows shifted as the sun rose higher. I kissed him. “I love you” I said. And he smiled.
flowers scent the air –
midsummer dreams – shadows on
a pond – koi jumps high.

Haibun Monday – Taking a Bath in the Forest – say what??

Today at 3:00 PM, EST, I am hosting the Haibun Monday prompt for dVerse Poets Pub.  Come join us at this virtual pub for good conversation and good poetry.  I am asking people to write (non-fiction) a one – three paragraph haibun ending it with a classic haiku (using kigo and kireji) and to write about the last time they were immersed in nature.  The subject that prompted this was shinrin-yoku – literally forest bathing.  It is a recognized health benefit in Japan and lately other places.  So please, come join us! I was going to write about getting my vegetable garden ready for planting but decided on true shinrin-yoku. I am an old tree climber from waaaay back.

Having a tree as a BFF is a good thing!
I leaned back into the arms of the old oak tree, it’s warm bark comforting and cradling. All around me in the stillness of the woods that surrounds my home, I could hear the sounds of birds – songs, calling territory, rustling in the branches, wings occasionally flapping as one landed or took off. Every once in awhile, the bark of a crow or several sharp caws would join in. Small creatures – squirrels, chipmunks, deer, bunnies, snakes, frogs – all would make sounds as they went about their daily business. Foraging for food, scurrying from hawks gliding overhead, tunneling, eating, croaking and meditating in the sun – all the woodland sounds.

I come to these woods about once a week to nourish myself. I stand at the edge and decide what path to take today. Often I take the path to this ancient oak, an old friend of mine. I climb the tree until I find the certain conjunction of branches that hide and hold me. Winter or summer, spring or fall; snow or rain, sunshine and cold or heat – I love all the turns of the seasons I can watch from this place in the tree. Last summer, I watched a nest of cardinals hatching over in the neighboring tree. I looked down as a buck and his harem processed majestically beneath me. I have seen much and felt much in this tree. This tree is like the welcoming arms of my husband or my mother or a friend.

It is time. I rustle around a few minutes and bring forth my violin. Today in midsummer, it is time for something light and playful. I place my bow to the strings and begin Boccherini’s La Musica Notturna Delle Strade No. 6. The woods and all its creatures listen for just a space and then, they begin again, going about their business.

summer sounds drift by –
lazy creek at bottom of
hill sings its own song

copyright kanzensakura

dVerse Poets Pub: Haibun Monday – The Best Things in Life are Free

Monday I am doing the prompt for Haibun Monday over at dVerse Poets Pub after a fairly long absence. While a bit stressful, it is still good to be back in the Pub writing prompts and reading and commenting on poems. My prompt for everyone is: the best things in life are free – as in without cost – not liberated from something – one of the other meanings of “free”…Come nd join us for the prompt on 02/20/2017.  Haibun Monday – The Best Things in Life are Free

Daffodils are Free!
Daffodils. I love them. I wait for them to come up every year in the very early spring. This year with the winter being so warm, you can spot clusters of green spears springing up from the dead winter grass or they are topped with the golden flowers. The smell of daffodils – I have yet to smell anything that smells like them. A heady mix of honey, jasmine, and butter – the perfume of them has not and probably never will be duplicated. Watching them blowing in the wind or dripping with rain or sticking out of snow, one can only sigh and know we are looking at one of our Creator’s most beautiful miracles. Ever since I was a child, I have loved them and I love them still at the grand old age of 65. They still make me smile, no matter how hard, sad, grey, or difficult the day has been.

Once when I was a child I pulled green blades of a daffodil still wet with rain. I wanted to see how  it tasted. I placed the green blade between my lips – slowly pulling using my tongue to feel the sharp edge and the soft green and the cold wetness of it. Years later after kendo, my lover and I stood in the rain and kissed. He had daffodil lips and I drank in their cool wetness and my tongue probed the sharp edges of his teeth and the slightly bitter taste of his lips.

in the spring rain
daffodils bloom with hope – true
love is in the air

public domain photo

public domain photo

 

Haibun Monday: And to all a good night

I am hosting the prompt for Haibun Monday at dVerse Poets Pub, my last post for the year. I was struck by the last lines in Moore’s A Visit From Saint Nicholas: He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle. But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight, “Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!” So I am having people write of one good night they remember. Any good night! Come visit us to read about all the good nights!

Fire From Heaven
It happened 35 years ago. A friend and I had gone to the desert to watch the Geminid Meteor showers. The desert actually was all the way across the United States in the Mojave but hey, we were younger and much more foolish. I was reminded of that wonderful glorious night while watching the Big Bang Theory and seeing the crew head to the desert to watch meteor showers and by the way, unknowingly getting high off some really good cookies given to them by some teachers in their sixties. Odd how life imitates art and art imitates life. This friend and I had, gotten high as kites from marijuana and sat back to watch the show. Other people had the same idea to watch the meteor showers and you could see camp fires and lit tents all about. My friend and I talked softly and continued to watch the skies and sometimes, light up.

Suddenly, we spotted the first meteor! I cannot describe to you the wonderful raining down of fire from the heavens for about an hour. Quickly they fell. I explained to my friend that many of the meteors were no larger than a grain of sand. Whoa…he said, dude. And we collapsed into giggles. But the fires in the sky that night were totally incredible. I was reminded of this night a few nights ago when I camped out in my back yard to again watch the Geminids. I sat until the sun rose. I was all snuggled in the quilt my grandmother gave me. I watched the last flicker and whispered, Dude…

fire in the sky lights
my way to heaven – a night
of rare freedom

public domain photo

public domain photo

Haibun Monday: Free For All – Gold Day

Today, I am hosting dVerse Poets Pub, Haibun Monday: Free for All. this means the person can write a haibun on any subject they choose as long as it is nonfiction and actually happened to them and is one to two paragraphs with a nature based classic haiku at the end.  The title, Gold Day, refers to how the Japanese name their week days – Gold Day is Friday.  This day is equated with the direction west, autumn, dusk, the metal gold, and the planet Venus.  Come join us for an interesting Japanese Poetic Form.

金曜日 Gold Day

The afternoon he left was a golden roux of fading autumn sunlight, spicy oak leaves – bright yellow, still holding on to the tree, not yet ready to fall, and bitter salt tears – like the oak leaves – refusing to fall, refusing to join the earlier faded maple leaves on the lawn. Under the trees, quiet and still, I allow the knowledge of his leaving to permeate my being. I am still breathing. My heart is still beating. The sky is still ethereal blue with purest white autumn clouds wafting their way to the end of the horizon. Starlings lift from the telephone wires to follow the clouds. I realize, I will continue on my way – leaves will change color and fall, snow will cover the sepia winter landscape, cherry blossoms will bud, bloom, and fade, trees will leaf in explosions of green, leaves will change color and fall. Seasons and things will pass. Inside, my soul says “Oh!”  I sit as the gold day ends.

early leaf burning –  
its incense drifts to heaven
autumn’s voice whispers.

Haibun Monday: Free for All

Today I am repeating an early submission for one of our first Haibun Mondays. I wrote this about 25 years ago. Come join us today: https://dversepoets.com/2016/11/28/haibun-monday-free-for-all/ I am doing the prompt which is Free For All. This means a person can write about a one to two paragraph Haibun on any subject they choose as long as it is non-fiction and happened to them. Gold day is Friday – kinyobi in Japanese.

Gold Day
The afternoon he left was a golden roux of fading autumn sunlight, spicy oak leaves – bright yellow, still holding on to the tree, not yet ready to fall, and bitter salt tears – like the oak leaves – refusing to fall, refusing to join the earlier faded maple leaves on the lawn. Under the trees, quiet and still, I allow the knowledge of his leaving to permeate my being. I am still breathing. My heart is still beating. The sky is still ethereal blue with purest white autumn clouds wafting their way to the end of the horizon. Starlings lift from the telephone wires to follow the clouds. I realize, I will continue on my way – leaves will change color and fall, snow will cover the sepia winter landscape, cherry blossoms will bud, bloom, and fade, trees will leaf in explosions of green, leaves will change color and fall. Seasons and things will pass. Inside, my soul says “Oh!”  I sit as the gold day ends.
early leaf burning –
its incense drifts to heaven
autumn’s voice whispers

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