Real Toads – Natsu no Yoake

For Real Toads Tuesday Platform.  http://withrealtoads.blogspot.com/2017/09/the-tuesday-platform_12.html

summer dawn begins
fire glows, dark hills sleep – silence
then awakening

Image Japan Board of Tourism

Quadrille Monday: Free

I have written a haibun for dVerse Poets Pub Monday’s  quadrille. A quadrille is a poem of exactly 44 words (excluding the title) which uses the prompted word. In this case the word is “free”.  Come and join in the fun.

Everywhere Blue – (for De)
Oh! To be a cloud in the sky floating lazily or waves in a cerulean lake washing upon the shore . High mountains topped with snow standing guard and smiling.

clouds in autumn blue
sky drifting free – waves below
laughing like children

Lake Tahoe – public domain photo.

Real Toads: I wrote you a book

Today at Real Toads we are to write a poem to a book – a book of poetry or a collection of poems. I have chosen one of the five most influential books to me – Basho’s Narrow Road to the Deep North.  It was a birthday gift to me from my beloved and revered friend and tutor.  This is the book which introduces us all to the haibun – prose ending with a haiku.  Basho’s haibun were originally travel sketches.  I have traveled Basho’s route several times at different times of the year.  I wrote my first haibun when I was 14.  I have a written a haibun to it, in the spirit of the book. I am also linking this to Poets United Poetry Pantry: http://poetryblogroll.blogspot.com/2017/09/poetry-pantry-370.html

The Beginning
It was November, two days before my 12th birthday. Jamie Pollard, our lifelong next door neighbor who had started my love of Japanese poetic forms and especially haiku, gave me an old ragged copy of Road to the North by Basho. He had carried the copy with him several times to Japan. He said, I want you to read this. It will introduce you to the haibun. I think you will enjoy writing them. I opened the book in awe touching the pages tenderly and then hugged Jamie. My road was opened to me. I have traveled it all my life.

snow was falling – you
were given to me – a
gift still loved today

public domain image from Road to the North

Quadrille Monday – Crepe Myrtle

Today Bjorn is hosting at the dVerse Pub and the word he has chosen for the quadrille prompt is “bliss” A quadrille is a poem of exactly 44 words not including the title. I have achieved my goad and written a haibun of 44 words!!! A haibun is an ancient Japanese poetic form that combines haiku (hai) and prose (bun). It must be factual and have actually happened to you and it must close with a haiku – another ancient Japanese poetic form consisting of 5-7-5 syllables and includes a kigo (season word as in autumn, not salt) and a kireji – a cutting word.  I am also linking this to Real Toads Tuesday Platform  http://withrealtoads.blogspot.com/2017/08/the-tuesday-platform_29.html


Crepe Myrtle

The crepe myrtle this year was spectacular, full of blissful pink flower clusters. Now at the end of summer, there are only a few bits of bloom left.

crepe myrtle blooms fall
on the lawn like faded pink
snow – summer’s ending

copyright kanzensakura

 

OLN: Rice Planting

Today is Open Link Night at dVerse, meaning, we can submit ONE poem of our choice of subject and form. I am also linking this to  Real Toads Thursday Meme   “The one where you grab a nearby book and flip to a specific page to find a quote that represents your love life. You have the choice of going to either page 13 and picking the 7th sentence or page 7 and picking out the 13th sentence to use as your inspiration for your poem. For bonus points, make it a love poem. As always, this should be a new poem created just for this prompt. ”   So I went to the 13th page, seventh line of Basho’s The Narrow Road to the Deep North”.  It is in this book the haibun is created.  I am writing a haibun. and of course, the haibun must be factual and actually have happened to you, followed by a classic haiku. this is my feeble attempt to write the end of the love story in Japanese poetic form.

Rice Planting
“…a song for planting rice”

The day after you left, it rained. There would be no beach trips this September Labor Day holiday. My mind and my heart were with you in Japan. I knew by now you would be at your home in Hakone. I began to cry, at last. the house still smelled of you – of sea air and sandalwood and oddly, soy sauce. Your skin had that liquid salty taste. I know for you I tasted you enough times! But here I sit – alone. I ate some steamed rice and drank some lemonade for lunch. It took me back years ago to my first trip to Japan, a few years before I met you here in America. I remembered the cold day I joined village women in helping to plant rice. The tour guide had asked them if I could. Some conversation finally to – “sure. Let the white woman try to keep up. She’ll be gone in an hour”.  Somewhat roughly translated. But I kept up with them standing in the cold water, delicately planting the rice plants as I had been shown by the lead woman. I stayed all day – using the stick to make a hole and then putting the plant down into the hole and pulling mud around it to anchor it. It was cold, backbreaking, and mind numbing; I was determined to follow the road of Basho and this was one of the stops along the way – Sharakawa. Where Basho was led to write:

“hands planting seedlings
were hands once rubbing patterns
with ferns long ago”

The end of the day I went back to my hotel room and showered. Looking at the rain outside today made me cold – knowing you were gone froze my heart.

cold rain falling hard
cherry trees will soon lose their
leaves – rice is planted

Shiro Kasamatsu – 1789

The Moon at 5 a.m.

At Real Toads we are giving the prompt to use a line from one of our poems – “Out of your own words” and provide a link to the poem. The first line is from a haiku I wrote several years ago https://kanzensakura.wordpress.com/2015/05/25/%e5%8d%8a%e6%9c%88-hantsuki-half-moon-haiku/
here is the link for Real Toads: http://withrealtoads.blogspot.com/  I am also linking this to Poets United, Poetry Pantry:  http://poetryblogroll.blogspot.com/

The Moon at 5 a.m.
summer half moon drifts in a sea of blue –
the moon sits close to the horizon
getting ready to go to sleep.
the coming of day –
the smell of a new morning
just stirring and getting ready to rise.
the moon at 5 a.m. is a mysterious thing.
summer is winding down –
the moon Is a mystery –
at 5 a.m. the world is still asleep.
I sit on my back steps and watch
the world awakening.
the moon at 7 a.m. is a baroque pearl
Misshapen and beautiful.
but I love the mystery of the moon at 5 a.m.
in the cool of grey dusk
when it is just a floating sliver of silver
in the cobalt sky.
the moon is a mysterious thing at 5 a.m.

morning moon1

copyright kanzensakura

First Snow: Hatsuyuki

This is for Victoria’s beautiful prompt for Haibun Monday – Wabi sabi – the beauty of imperfection.  Come visit us and read the haibun inspired by this.

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

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