Haibun: aki fukashi

For Toads Tuesday Platform.

秋深し (あきふかし Autumn Deepens
Meigetsu: the harvest moon is fading. Bright gold coin in the black sky dims and wanes to a partial dish of cream. Hatsu grashi – the first storm of autumn has washed the sky clean. Aki simu – autumn is clearing – a brilliant blue sky with luminous white clouds drifting, silent, peace. Aki no koe – the voice of autumn whispers – a breeze across dry leaves on the grass, wind in the reeds at the creek, the little priest cricket delicately moves his legs, a small voice among the pine and bell crickets, alto to the larger cicada and their metallic thrum.

Shinryoo – a new coolness in the air. The coming of autumn is somnolent today – no rise or fall, a steady tone of almost silence. Morning glory twines lovingly around my plum tree and shows her blue face reflecting her sister the brilliant autumn sky – aki no sora. The small grey tabby across the way sits beneath an oak tree watching the occasional slow falling leaf. Her mad eyes stay upward and she does not move for she wants to see the leaves as they float and fall around her. An early leaf burning: smoke wanders and its incense drifts to heaven. I sit entranced in the midst of the haiku I wish I could write.
voice of cicadas
silent now in the stand of
pine trees on the hill.

tani bucho 1817

Growing season

For Margaret’s prompt, Artistic Impressions featuring the work of Tori Fisher.

A John Tully & Tori Fisher Collaboration

spring growing season –
beets and carrots –
large lush delicious

 

Cherry Blossom Jisei

Today Anthony Bourdain was found dead, of suicide. Last year, a friend of mine committed suicide. I could write nothing then of Jeff’s death but found my heart opened today. I am saddened by these events.NOTES: A traditional farewell. It was a tradition for the literate Japanese (monks and Samurai for example) to write death poems shortly before their anticipated death, seppuku, or battle. With the changing of the seasons from summer to autumn, from winter to spring, we see changes as the seasons of spring and summer end. All things pass – mono no aware. The images of dying are also symbols of “farewell”. For Hedge’s 55.

Cherry Blossom Jisei
how brief the blossoms
of the cherry tree –
their lives end at sunset –
snow and rain falling at night –
melting flakes gone before sunrise –
bare branches feel them
drift through skeletal fingers –
birds sleep as snow falls,
cherry blossom moon
holds back the night sky –
the night will conquer that moon

The first fireflies

For Kim’s prompt over at Real Toads, Bugs and Insects. I love it!

shizukasa ya
iwa ni shimi-iru
semi no koe

it is so still—
singing into the stones,
the cicada’s song
My translation of Basho’s haiku.

The first fireflies
Listen to them—the children of the night. What music they make! Bram Stoker, Dracula

July –
Hot summer night.
So still, so silent.
I am waiting for the first songs of the cicada.
In the ground for seven years
until it digs itself out and finds itself a tree.
Mating time has come.
Into the silence breaks the song –
Raspy, twirly, the lone voice awakens a chorus.
The next night I sit –
The chorus of cicadas again begin.
In the blackness of the moonless night
I see it –
The first of the bits of mini-lightning.
Exploding here, there, high, low.
The fireflies have also awakened.
Randy mating bugs singing, lighting –
The song of summer from childhood as I sat
At my window – listening.
Running out to catch a few fireflies to put into a jar
Covered with screen and filled with some leaves.
Fireflies by my bed,
Cicadas outside my window.
At last I sleep.
The cicadas continue,
The fireflies shimmer until dawn.
I open the jar and they fly away home.
I return to my childhood every summer.

 

Kisame

The Japanese have over 50 – FIFTY – 50 words for rain. Today I am using one of my favorites: kisame 樹雨. This is the rain that drips from the tips of tree branches. I have used the traditional haiku for this.

summer passing – tree
branches weep rain tears
lost in pond below

shutterstock image

Haibun: Who and why

Today I am hosting at dVerse Poets writing about why I write poetry and who inspired me.

Who and Why
I wrote my first haiku when I was six. Our next door neighbor, the last of his line, was a professor of Asian Studies at Duke University. I came and went freely in his home, looking at the antiques, the momentos from his journeys to Japan, and sipping lemonade on his generous front porch. Jamie Pollard was prissy, opinionated, and not afraid to speak his mind. Although I was six and he was 40, we became fast friends. His factotum was a Japanese man who kept the house in order, the vehicles running, and his employer looking perfect. He was also Jamie’s live in lover. At a time when such things were “not spoken of”, Jamie lived his life large. Often in the summer, as I lay on my stomach coloring in my coloring book, he would read Basho and Issa to me and we both sipped lemonade. I suspect his had some liquor added.

When I was 11 and totally bored, my grandmother stopped her preparation of dinner and went to the house library. She came back with several books – T.S. Eliot, Emily Dickinson, and H.D. Thoreau. She put them down in front of me and said, I think these will keep you busy for a couple of weeks. I was inspired by all three writers. Thus began my interest in writing about nature in the form of “snapshots”…haiku. The Viet Nam war was ramping up. I wrote of poems about peace, love, and later, about drugs. Once when I was practicing my cursive writing, my father took out a lovely fountain pen and gave it to me. He said to me, “write your heart”. And I did. I took it with me everywhere I traveled – from the Coast of North Carolina to the summit of Mt. Fuji. I loaded it up with peacock blue ink. I write my heart, my soul, my feelings, my questions about life. I write simply. Like spring rain or snow or the ancient trees in the forest. Inspired by poets and people I love, I write. I will always write about life and how I perceive it.

spring comes in slowly
scattering snow and cherry blossoms –
legacy of love in verse

Haibun: Snow like fire

Today is Quadrille Monday at dVerse. A quadrille is a poem in any form with exactly 44 words (excluding the title) and using the prompted word. Dee (Whimzy Gizmo) is the pubtender at dVerse Poets Pub. She has given us the world “fire” to use in the quadrille. I am actually doing non-traditional in the ending haiku with not keeping to the 5-7-5 syllable count.  I am publishing on dVerse Poets Pub

Snow like Fire
It started out as rain but quickly turned into heavy snow. Daffodils show like flames against the white. My flowering quince smolders like a slow fire in the falling snow.

snow falls like freezing fire–
flowers show against white –
burns slowly in the cold

copyright kanzensakura

 

 

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