Frozen

For my Sunday Muse blogspot, Wednesday Muse prompt, A non-music music prompt. “Don’t let the sun go down on me”.

Frozen
“When stars collide, like you and I, no shadow blocks the sun” — Elton John“The One”

Frozen here on the ladder of my life
I stand at the gate
watching you board the plane –
back to Japan.
You changed my way of life.
From an awkward woman –
Bookish and shy
To a tiger of a woman
wielding a wakizashi,
Writing seasonal poetry
And respecting self.
You returned to Japan.
You left me drowning in the sunset
colors of a melting sun –
You left me – frozen in time.

Haibun: Black Dragon

For dVerse Poets, a quadrille.  The word for today Is “dragon”.


黒い竜 Kuroi ryū (black dragon)

“So comes snow after fire, and even dragons have their endings.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit or There and Back Again

He reminded me of a black dragon – lethal, beautiful.  He moved with a suppleness that hypnotized me. But in the summer he returned to his mountain in Japan.  Alone in his cave he  smoldered.
deep summer night
in the darkness –
the first firefly awakens

 

Japanese dragons have four claws on each “hand”.  their colors are significant.  a black dragon is the ultimate in dangerous being and they also, possess a gentle wisdom.

Haibun: Making Udon

For Magaly’s Prose prompt at Poet’s United.

 

Haibun: Making Udon
“If we are facing in the right direction, all we have to do is to keep moving” Paul Kornfield

On one of my trips to Japan, after I had walked out on my profession as chef, my faithful guide Nikko suggested we go to the suburb in which he lived, about a 15 train ride from downtown Tokyo. Amazingly, fields of green crops rested between the clustered houses – buckwheat, wheat, and soybeans. He wanted us to have lunch at a small restaurant where the owner handmade udon noodles in the old way. He knew I would want to see and taste.

The owner and his wife went to the restaurant everyday. Outside the restaurant was his family’s farm – several acres of buckwheat or soybeans at different seasons. A small patch of cucumbers, melons, squash, corn, tomatoes – were just being planted. The owner happily let me watch him mix udonko – udon flour – with sea salt and water in a huge bowl. Carefully he pulled together every scrap and shaped into a ball which he covered with plastic wrap and then placed the bowl on the floor. Putting on clean socks, he began to knead the dough with his feet. It is a tough dough and the body weight makes it easier to knead. This was done several times with resting between the kneading. Finally he rolled it out and cut into perfect strips and cooked me a bowl of noodles, vegetables, and miso.

Soon I was using my chopsticks to convey the fresh doughy noodles into my mouth, alternately raising the bowl and sipping the rich miso broth. He saw how much I enjoyed my meal. Nikko told me he said that if what he did made others happy, then he was happy. All the holes in my heart healed in that moment. I again remembered why I loved to cook – it made other people happy. I realized that was the reason for this journey – to regain hope, happiness, joy of sharing without restraint. A bowl of noodles changed my life. Yes, it truly did. I look at the world around me – then and now – I don’t have to stay negative and angry and crazy. I can feel pain at life, but I don’t have to let it obsess me. I make udon today, as I was taught those years ago. And when I feed the noodles or any food to people and they are happy, then I am happy.
small green buckwheat plants
under pale spring sky – watching
them grow my soul grows.

Cherry Blossom Snow – sakura no yuki

For Anmol’s prompt over at dVerse – relationships and sensuality.  This is an “extreme” haibun being less that 65 words.  Actually, all haibun need to be short as in the original.  Haibun are true accountings ended with a seasonal haiku. Also posted on Real Toads Tuesday Platform.

Cherry Blossom Snow
“The heart was made to be broken.” Oscar Wilde

He was the most beautiful man I had ever seen, like an ancient Samurai. I fell in love at first sight. I was plain and short yet somehow, he fell in love with me. Long years of intense love and then, he returned to Japan. My heart broke.
cherry blossoms
fell like snow in the spring
caressing my skin goodbye

Kuroi to Suzume

Today is Tuesday Platform at Real Toads – we can post one poem of our choice. Rommy has told us of how she and her husband met and are celebrating 23 years of marriage! She is asking what interests drew us to our lovers/husbands/spouses/mates? I was 25 when I met my Black Dragon, my Japanese lover. He was 35 and a forensic pathologist and instructor in Kendo and kantana. I am of course interested in all things Japan and have been since I was six. I have visited Japan many times and at several points, followed in Basho’s footsteps. My lover taught me the culture, the history, the language of his country, honoring the changing seasons. We were together 10 years and visited several times his home in the mountains, Hakone, and then he returned to Japan. I did not go with him. I always thought of him as Black Dragon – kuroi ryu and myself as a sparrow beside him – suzume. This haibun is an old one and one I have shortened and reworked for future publication.  I follow the classic form which means it is non-fiction rather than made up. I hope you all enjoy.  The first full moon is of course the first full moon that appears in early spring – mangetsu no haru.


Black dragon and Sparrow

“Come, let me show you” – Indeed the spring moon was full and lit the yard Like a klieg. Although in jeans and tee shirt, he still looked lethal and royal and somehow the katana and wakazashi tucked into the makeshift obi around his waist did not look ridiculous. Hands arm and dry, he took my hand and pulled me outside into his yard – “such tiny hands you have” and he smiled his singularly sweet smile down at me. In the gravel place, between the pond for his nishikigoi and the karesansui, he pulled me. Always when he touched me, heat and electricity flowed from my heels to the top of my head, always drawing me closer to him. The song of steel as he pulled the katana clear – the sound to my ears like the sound the scales of a dragon would make as it moved across the earth.
Standing behind me his arms enclosed me and he placed the sword in my hands – like this and wrapped my hands around the hilt and now, hold it like this as he moved my arms into position and corrected my stance and how I held the sword. Move with me…awkward at first and then like magic it seemed, I was moving with him. Beneath that huge moon the black dragon and the sparrow began their dance. The moon drawing us together, warmed by each other, our breaths frosted in the cold of an early spring night. We could not move from that place. The earth held us captive as the moonlight pinned us in place. Who knew that gravity was heat and electricity? Who knew that gravity was choosing not to move, to stay suspended in one place?

spring night warmed
only by the first full moon –
tides and lovers rise

The Last Spring

For Fireblossom’s prompt at Real Toads – day 29 of Nannerpuddin – almost the last day. “This isn’t the end, but the end is just around the corner. That’s what I’d like us to write about. Sometimes, the moment just before something ends is as poignant as the actual ending. One could write about the Twin Towers on 9/10, with business going on as usual, never knowing what the morning would bring. Or, one could keep the focus much smaller, and write about a love affair about to end, but which hasn’t actually ended just yet.” This is also being posted on Poets United Poetry Pantry. Come join us for bittersweet.

The Last Spring
The last spring was the most beautiful
nor has there been one more beautiful since.
The cherry trees wept their petals down
to the graveled surface of our kare-sansui –
Our miniature Ryo-anji.
You were returning to Japan.
After 18 years in America you were returning home.
I was staying here.
The last night together I slept downstairs.
You slept upstairs.
I was already putting distance between us –
Most of the furniture sold along with your
baby grand piano and my Thermidor stove.
I was moving to a tiny apartment that did not smell of you,
that did not have any of our past life together
screaming at the boxes and empty spaces
I took you to the airport and walked you to your waiting area.
All words had been said but you had to have the last few.
You cupped my face in your hands
and your almond shaped eyes were filled with tears.
I’ll love you with all the madness in my soul, you said,
My eyes were desert dry.
I turned my back on you and walked away.

Battle

For Bjorn’s prompt on Real Toads – Entropy and Thermodynamics. We’ll see how I did. This is unusually long for me. It is a true story from my past and interest in all things Japanese, including a long gone lover. I’ve included a bit from The Last Samurai with the ho-hum Tom Cruise and the ever dynamic and sexy actor (and martial artist) Hiroyuki Sanada. I will also be posting this on Poets United Poetry Pantry.  Now imagine this battle with swords instead of bokken…yeppers

Battle
“Even after it all, would you dance with me again in the eye of the storm?” Dianna Hardy, Reign Of The Wolf

August…
hot stuffy steamy icky August
I am in the backyard practicing my kata…
and dripping, nay, running rivers of sweat.
“You’ll never finish if you keep stopping
to drink water and to wipe off”
I restrain myself from throwing my katana at him.
A light breeze and the strong whiff of
petrichor –
I smile…storm is coming.
A frisson of cool air brushes my skin.
I sheath my sword and run up the steps
to the back porch.
My lover puts his hand on my chest and stops me.
He was calm, I was building like the storm.
I tell him it is hot as fuckos, I was through practicing
And I.Was.Going.Inside.For.A.Shower.
He blinks slowly.
With the quickness of lightning
he pulls his sword and with a few strokes
drives me out into the now
Monsooning rain.
I pull my sword and begin fighting back,
being pushed back to the fence.
He slips on the slick fieldstones –
I put in a hard slash…And stop…horrified.
He puts his hand up to his ear,
blood running onto his white tee shirt
and dripping through his fingers.
Sonofabitch. You cut off my earlobe.
nervously I begin to laugh.
He frowns and then grabs me, begins kissing me.
There we stand in the rain
swords in our hands,
clothing and hair drenched, clinched.
The bomb has exploded –
now the rain is washing away
the sweat the blood the anger.
We sink down onto the gravel…
we don’t forget to sheath our swords.

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