Autumn I

a gogyohka. An untitled Japanese form of five lines. There is no syllable count per line but each line must be a short stand alone phrase. The lines can be between one word or more, but the phrase is brief. It was invented by Enta Kusakabe in Japan and translates literally to “five-line poem.” An off-shoot of the tanka form, the gogyohka has very simple rules: The poem is comprised of five lines with one phrase per line. That’s it.

“Autumn…the year’s last, loveliest smile.”― John Howard Bryant

new born autumn
leaves still green
autumn blue sky overhead
grass is fading
hot weather still hovers

Summer Heat

For Lillian’s prompt over at dVerse – temperature.

Summer Heat
“August, the summer’s last messenger of misery, is a hollow actor.” – Henry Rollins

heat rolls over the brain
like a waterless tsunami –
drowning all in its smothering wave.
heat snakes rise from the roads,
false water shimmers in the distance
and cars roll through without a splash.
the air is close –
like a too tight hat around the brain.
a crack of thunder
that shakes the house –
windows rattle –
rain pours down suddenly stopping.
steam rises from the hot road,
funky smelling, like piss.


For dVerse Poetics. Today Lillian is hosting the prompt. Our poem can contain derivatives of the word “shade” but must include the word “shade”.

Hot summer day –
The shade lies resting on the lawn
tossing and turning
in the heat generated breeze,
growing shorter all the while
until dusk
when it calls it a day and joins
the darkness on the grass
and finally goes to sleep –
stretching out in the dew bedecked grass
ready to get up and start a new day
at dawn

Dreaming Corn

for Michael at Read Toads.    I am doing my first prompt for Real Toads using some of the words listed.

Dreaming Corn
rows of corn dream under
the peach ice cream moon.
crickets drone and birds sleep.
the sun begins to rise in shades
of raspberryorangelemon sherbet
and already at 6:00 a.m. it is 90 degrees
worth of heat. Birds begin to
sing, talking to one another
as they fling themselves to the blue sky
and back to the corn.
the stalks of corn form a cathedral
built of tall green towers
and music of rustling leaves.
birds tell each other of ants on this stalk,
crickets hiding under a fallen stalk
and flying bugs buzzing about.
ripening ears listen to the gossip.
the heat is a sweat of moist green.
until at dusk the birds discuss sleep
and slowly grow silent.
rows of corn dream under
the peach ice cream moon.

Haibun Monday: Killer Heat

Today I am the host/pub tender for dVerse Poets Pub and it is Haibun Monday. The topic for poets to write haibun about is heat: horrible heat, falling in love in the hot summer, getting married, divorced, fired. The haibun can be sad or heavy in tone or light. So come and visit us at dVerse for this Hot Hot Hot Edition. Haibun are not flash fiction or fiction but true accounts.

Killer Heat
Sunday Night: It is midnight and still the temperature is in the high 90’s. When I walk outside, the heat grabs me and sucks the air from my lungs. The air is close and hostile. I go back into the house. No gazing at the stars tonight. It’s too darn hot. In our city, four people have died from the heat. Cooling centers have been opened for those elderly or poor who do not have air conditioning. They can sit in the cool from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm. But then it is back to their hellishly hot homes. Monday at 6:00 am, the temperature is already at 95F. I shower and head to the Feedmore food kitchen to start help putting together breakfast for Meals on Wheels and for various program leaders to pick up for feeding programs for out of school children who will not be getting the meals they normally get during the school year. With the meals for the Meals on Wheels program, two extra bottles of icy water are packed so the elderly or disabled will have some necessary hydration that is cold and refreshing.

By 9:00 am, the meals for all programs have been made, distributed, and cleaned up. Now it is time to begin on lunch. Sweat rolls under my clothes in the hot kitchen. We all wear tee shirts and have bandannas to keep the sweat at bay. But none of us falter. We laugh and complain about the heat and make up jokes or songs to cheer us while we work. It’s so hot, the life span of a popsicle is 10 seconds…it is so hot, trees are looking for shade. Heat Dome the meteorologists say about the heat that covers parts of our nation. On the noon news, another death from heat: a young healthy construction worker. Hunger and heat stretch in front of us like a highway from hell.
heat has no mercy –
it murders the young and old
and does not care.

Today at Poetic Bloomings, we have prompts of Summer Language such as chilled glass of….., dog days of summer, kissed by the sun or, we can use our own forms of language. To be honest, summer is not my favorite season and most of my language about it is unprintable. I don’t go to the beach until the winter. So below is my poem using my own language about Summer. I hope it is acceptable. Note: The Japanese call the Milky Way The River of Heaven or, amanogawa. Hatsuyuki is first snow.

Dog Nights of Summer
around the cream colored summer moon
the River of Heaven flows.
If I squint my eyes, I can see Orion and his dog
wading and splashing in the night cool water.
The sounds of insects thrum and fireflies
explode in the blackness like demented Morse code –
On off on off on on on off…
cicadas begin the buzz of the summer chorus –
deep and rhythmic and then the thin
piping of the tree frog –
high pitched and sweet – like nature’s castrato.
sweat rolls under my cotton blouse
and the cooling unit cranks up
cooling my husband’s deep sleep.
I fervently pray for hatsuyuki –
The first snow.

free public domain image

free public domain image

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