Haibun: Snow Day


Haibun: Snow Day

Yesterday it snowed. Not a momentous occasion for you folks who live up North but it was for us who live down South. The last few winters have in fact been unusually snowy and cold for us. The past three weeks, the temperature hovered around 18F both day and night. Brutal cold. But…yesterday it snowed. The state department where my husband works was closed for the day due to the weather. After several weeks of extreme cold, frozen pipes, and a chore to go anywhere or do anything, my husband and I decided to play. We needed it.

We built a blanket fortress in the living room. This room is usually silent but today, it rang with laughter. We used heavy books to anchor the blankets. A quilt on the floor completed our fortress. Breakfast was oatmeal with fresh blueberries (on sale for some reason at the local Aldi’s). We ate sitting on the floor and looking at the snow outside our huge picture window. Board games was the order of the day. After beating him several times at Parcheesi and Dominoes, he switched us to Monopoly. Before we started, I fixed us a lunch of grilled cheese and bacon sammies and for dessert, a fruit cup. The fruit cup was divine made with grapes, blueberries, and sliced pear and drenched in a simple syrup to which I had added lime zest and juice. We took a nap. We plotted the downfall of Trump. We finished our game of Monopoly which I finally lost on purpose because to be honest, I was tired of it. I read him a story (The Three Bears) and we took another nap.

Outside it was snowing hard and cold. Inside, it was warm and laughter rang out. I had left the fort at one point to feed the birds and to put out food for the stray cats. A day without news, TV, or other stresses. We were kids again, best friends against the world and its woes. He went back to work today. I miss him.

fortress of blankets –
us against the world – snow falls –
we play at being kids

copyright kanzensakura

Haiku and Bussokusekika: New year’s Eve

We all know haiku – 5-7-5 (roughly) with seasonal word. The Bussokusekika is even more ancient Japanese form. It was supposedly found etched upon a stone at a ruined Buddhist temple. The name means “footprints of Buddha” and has a 5-7-5-7-7-7 (strict) syllable count. the weather is bitter – the temp for the days to come this week is to be in the mid-20’s. In spite of the cold, I wish you all warmth and joy in the New Year. This is written in response to Frank Tassone’s Haikai Challenge: #Haikai Challenge #14 (12/30/17): New Year #haiku #senryu #haibun #tanka #renga #haiga

bitter New Year’s Eve –
stray cats come out of hiding
to eat their fill

the futility
of burning incense – prayers
unanswered ignored
seem to be my fate in this
time of freezing days –
the smoke cannot reach you and
sadness remains – ashes fall
dry tears upon the table

haiku: 122817

frost forms on window –
moon stays warm among the stars –
quiet night sleeps

Haiku: Snowy Owls

Today at Real Toads, Karin Gustafson of ManicDaily, is prompting us to write – what to write and how to write when we are stymied or blocked. She gives several excellent suggestions. The one I liked best was to pick a letter and to let the words flow. As a member of the Audubon Society, I picked the letter “S” and the subject of snowy owls. I love owls and these owls are so wonderful! It seems every four years they do a massive southern migration or even northern migration based on the lemming population in Canada or for whatever reason down south. I keep my eyes open for them and have spotted two in the last few months. They learn to hunt mice around factories, for example! So…my inspiration is Snowy Owls. Because the size of their wings is large in proportion to their body size, they have an almost silent flight. Three haiku (Shay, don’t run screaming!).

owl flies South –
looks down from pines – settles
in for the winter

a blizzard of owls
storms the South – mice hide
to no avail

silent glide through trees
surprises small human – eyes
widen in wonder

public domain image

Winter Solstice Haiku II

For Frank Tassone’s Haiku prompt – Solstice: https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/117675961/posts/4104. Thank you Frank for this festive, solemn, and timely prompt.

longest night of the year –
winter solstice – star gazing
perfection – stars gleam

geminids – blazing
stars light up the night sky – fires
warm hearts everywhere

dVerse: Haibun Monday

Today is Haibun Monday over at dVerse. Frank is asking us to write about Pleasant Surprises. We are being inundated with #Me Too stories. Good! I published my #Me Too story for Real Toads last week. This week headlines caused me to write this haibun. Coming along in the 70’s was rough for women in the food business, unless you were wrote about society dinners, recipes, and that sort of thing. Working towards chefdom was hard and sexually grueling. It has gotten a lot better now. We will see how the culinary world reacts towards older women going after their chef recertification. I think the world is changing for the better in that respect. I’m going for my recertification in the spring. I am 66 years old and can still lug huge pots and weild sharp knives with the best of them!

Old School Chefs
Today I was perusing USA Today online. I was pleasantly surprised to see that chef Mario Batali was “stepping down” and stepping away from various functions as owner, CEO, host, and Food Network star due to allegations of sexual misconduct. Of course he apologized for all his badness. He will be back in a few months with his dignity intact and his money still flowing. The women he groped and made sexual innuendos towards will not be as lucky. Many of them lost jobs or quit due to his “misconduct”.  My first food related job (https://kanzensakura.wordpress.com/2017/12/07/me-too/) I walked away from due to the extreme misconduct of one of the owners.

As a woman, coming up in the kitchen business was hard, tough, and often times sexually insulting. I was groped, pushed into corners, comments made…the whole gamut while I was working for my culinary degree and ultimately, my reign as head chef in various restaurants. Eventually I walked away from all of it to finish my engineering degrees. I had comments made towards me then but not as badly as the male dominated food scene. While working on my engineering degrees, I did food styling work and food photography for one of the greatest newspapers in this country to pay for my education. I was not harassed or groped while working for that paper. I was treated with respect. A first pleasant surprise! But women still have to work three times as hard as men to prove themselves.

my knife chops quickly –
outside snow falls – another
man has fallen – I smile

Cherry trees blooming in December

Today Victoria is hosting the dVerse Poets Pub for their Meeting the Bar series. She is asking that we use symbolism. See if you can guess to what I am referring. and it is true. At the office park where my husband works, cherry trees are sporadically blooming. I have ended a free verse poem with a classic haiku.  I don’t know if this is symbolism or metaphor but it hit me this morning as I took my husband to work.

 

Shizuoka – December 2015 – public domain image

Cherry Trees Blooming in December
December –
bleak and freezing –
But cherry trees are blooming.
Cherry trees are bursting forth into bloom –
a few scattered blooms along the bare branches.
One blooms
and another
then another
Until the tree is covered in sporadic bits.
The blooms are holding on longer,
it seems.
The cold preserves them.
The cold encourages them.
In a few days
the blossoms will drop their petals
and float onto the snow.
But I will remember in January
the cherry trees blooming in December.

cherry trees blooming –
snow is falling – winter palls –
brave blossoms tell all

s

Haibun Monday: Owls

Today the theme for Haibun Monday is owls. Victoria is hosting the Pub with this lovely winter kigo for haiku. A haibun is brief true prose ending with a haiku – haiku must have a seasonal word to be a haiku. Come visit us to read these haibun about owls. the Japanese word for snowy owl is fukaroo. This is also being posted at Real Toads Tuesday Platform.

Owls at night
I sit on the steps of our back porch. The night is cold and still and a light snow is falling. I pull the quilt tighter around me and gaze out at the snow slowly covering the lawn. From the woods I hear a sound that is like a woman screaming – a tiny screech owl. For something so small it can emit a scream from that sounds like it comes from the pits of despair. The owl screams again. I look up at the dark sky, the stars blacked out by clouds. As I look up, a deeper black slowly glides across the sky – an owl. Probably the screech owl or the saw whet owl I found earlier in autumn living in the woods. There are several owls around here – you can spot them at night or their nesting places during the day if you are observant and very quiet. There is even a ghostly barn owl taking advantage of an old deserted barn. Owls. I love owls. I can sit all night and watch them hunt – hearing their clucking or wild cries as they find and capture prey. The screech owl screams again. The snow continues to fall.

in the cold night owls
split the darkness with their
ghostly glide – snow falls

public domain photo

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

 

Previous Older Entries Next Newer Entries

%d bloggers like this: