Back in the Summer of Big Hair


Back in the Summer of Big Hair

“Your best days are ahead of you. The movie starts when the guy gets sober and puts his life back together; it doesn’t end there.” ― Bucky Sinister, Get Up: A 12-Step Guide to Recovery for Misfits, Freaks, and Weirdos

Many years ago,
back in the summer of big hair
I was cheffing in a small restaurant in PTown.
I was turning out 500 covers a night
and sucking down cocaine like it was Vick’s vapo-rub.
I carried my addiction with me for years
along with alcohol.
I went in and out of lovers like I went through nightly covers –
an endless production of food.
One night sitting at the edge of the ocean,
feeling the water getting higher and higher and higher
I sat until I was almost covered.
It came to me –
stupid. You are killing yourself.
I stood up and slogged myself to the shore.
I bottomed out and went the way of 12 Steps.
I picked a good sponsor. I got sober.
I learned to live not high.
I went to Japan.
I learned to honor the seasons.
I learned to love myself.
I came back home to the South.
I learned how to really live.
It is now October,
October of the season and October of my years.
I sit up in my oak tree
and enjoy the peace of the woods,
the impossibly blue sky, the sound of animals.
I love October.
I love the autumn more than I ever
loved the burning hot summer of my youth.
I draw the bow across my violin and begin to play.

La Musica Notturna Delle Strade Madrid from my personal playlist, a short version from the movie at the end of Master and Commander

Haibun: Everyday Life

For Poets United Mid-week Motif – everyday life

Haibun: Everyday Life
“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Everyday is a day of peace. Before I retired four years ago, I grasped at the beauty on weekends like a drowning person grasped at a lifesaver, like a dying person grasps for the last look at a beloved face. I hungrily snapped up the vision of leaves, the feel of rain, the silken scarf of moonlight, the smell of French toast for breakfast. I binge cooked on the weekends making meals to feed us during the week, smells of bread and red sauce, pot roast and fried chicken, quick breads and cinnamon and ginger and onions wafting through the house. Now I walk daily – in the rain, the snow, the blistering hot sun. I visit my friend the Oak every other day and sometimes take my violin and sit in its upper branches sawing away for the birds and squirrels. Peace. A commodity more important than money to me. The quotidian details are there but now they are happily supplemented with all I had starved for before.
the autumn cool
says blessed and happy –
and the name of peace

Haibun: Flowering Quince

A second haibun for Merrill’s prompt, March Madness.

copyright kanzensakura  flowering quince

Haibun:  Flowering Quince
My ancient flowering quince is blooming, always the first of my yard flowers to do so.  The weather is crazy – freezing one day, warm the next.  Rainy one day, icy the next, sunny and warm the next.  My quince blithely ignores all the weather.  It begins to bloom mid-February whatever the weather.  I love this bush as it feels like a member of the family.  It was transported by root cuttings from England when my family immigrated in the early 1700’s.  It cheers me no matter what.  No matter that my father, grandmother, and grandfather all died in the same month of March, the same year.  The pink flowers proclaim resurrection.
rosy pink flowers
sing eternal life – eternal joy –
my ancestors smile

 

This Poem is Moon, Stars, and Sun

For Sherry’s prompt at Real Toads, a boomerang metaphor poem in the manner of Hannah Goselin who created the form.  This poem is longer than I like but I have cut it down as much as I can.

This Poem is Moon, Stars, and Sun

This poem is a moon reflected on black water.
This poem is the sun rising over the ocean in an explosion of red.
This poem is the stars floating in the black night sky.

This poem is a green forest rising from the mist.
This poem is green cedars against pure white snow.
This poem is tiny white flowers hiding in spring green grass.

This poem touches us with wonder and awe,
it makes our breath catch in our throats
and look about our feet to not crush those tiny white flowers.

In our wonder and awe we look at the small animals
hiding beneath and under the cedars seeking nourishment and shelter.
The stars fall silent as dust in a dying blaze of fire.
We see the tiny white flowers beneath our feet too late
as we crush them into oblivion.
We weep in sorrow at the death of tiny flowers.
We weep in joy at the rising sun and the night stars
and the moon rippling on the water.
This poem is joy and sorrow,
silence and starry music,
this poem is about living in partnership with the earth.

THE Job

For Poets United Poetry Pantry and Real Toads Tuesday Platform. I cooked through university balancing studying on an academic scholarship. I eventually obtained my MS and became an environmental engineer. But I missed cooking. A few years ago I retired and went back to cooking volunteering at the Food Bank and at church. I began cooking with my father when I was six. This is also why I don’t keep a handwritten notebook. I kept things in my head for years and still do and arthritis in my hands due to cooking professionally.

THE Job
“It’s been an adventure. We took some casualties over the years. Things got broken. Things got lost. But I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.”Anthony Bourdain

My once dainty hands became ugly –
Scarred with burns from handling hell hot saute pans,
knife work and the vanity of not wearing
a protective chain mail glove.
I broke down my back,
my knees, my feet, my hands
from carrying heavy stock pots,
manhandling sides of beef,
emptying out bathsized mixers,
Developed arthritis from standing over hot fires
and going outside in the freezing cold to smoke a cigarette or a joint.
I sacrificed lovers on the altar
of cooking – separating them from myself with one long bloody slice.
My first love,
My best love,
My most faithful love –
Cooking.
The longest relationship I had –
Twenty years professionally.
Sixty years total from start to now.
I don’t regret one minute.

Like Humans

For Poets United, Midweek Motif – Human.

Like Humans
I love.
I weep.
I feel pain
both in my soul
and in my body.
I get cold.
I get hot.
I get thirsty.
I get hungry.
I walk among the trees
and look up at the stars.
I howl when the moon is full
just like the humans do.
It is amazing how much like us
these humans are.

Haikai Challenge #19 – Skylark

https://nam01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http://frankjtassone.com/2018/02/03/haikai-challenge-19-2-3-18-skylark-haiku-senryu-haibun-tanka-renga-haiga/&data=02|01||a6a64868f90c44d73ae708d56b20b2d7|84df9e7fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaaaaaa|1|0|636532710540013305&sdata=0z1fX9FtyYkT6uCA2kA+le5gBfltlLuB8n5FjJyUOTo=&reserved=0

song of a skylark
floats across summer pasture –
a sound of pure joy

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