Haibun: Things die but things live

For my prompt over at Real Toads – mono no aware. Mono no aware is the Japanese concept of a wistful sadness at the passing of things. It is also based on mujo – the Japanese word for change. Haibun is written in the classic style, less than 100 words. My haibun today has 52 words.

Haibun: Things die but things live
“Maybe that’s enlightenment enough: to know that there is no final resting place of the mind, no moment of smug clarity.” Anthony Bourdain

The rain is relentlessly falling, drenching everything. A hawk sits in the oak tree across the way looking hungry and cold. Suddenly it lifts its wings dives. I hear a faint scream. A small creature has met its end.

seasons change – things die –
but another creature lives –
rain keeps falling down

Haiku – 10-24-2018

My cousin Billy died after a long battle with lung cancer. His gentleness will be missed.

fall’s chill breezes blow
making the leaves shiver –
stars fall from the sky


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


For Paul’s Poetics. We are to write about change. Mujo is the Japanese word for change. A couple of years ago I did a haibun prompt for dVerse about Ch-ch-ch-changes, mujo. Now we have it in poetry form. Change is good! I outlined my plans for changes in my haibun Monday. Mono no aware is the term for sadness of at the passing of things.

Bare plum tree – skeleton
sleeping upright in deep snow –
shivers in wind dreams –
Plum tree awakes – buds
sprout tiny and vulnerable
awaiting spring warmth.
the first plum blossom –
sweet star shines under blue sky –
birds make their wishes –
plum tree blossoms – pink
constellations now earthbound –
heavenly river.
Pink stars laugh for a day –
rains rush overnight –
stars fade, fall onto grass.
all things grow faint – weary – die away –
wind blows the petals
across the grass –
beauty is brief –
mono no aware

copyright kanzensakura

dVerse Poetics: Open Link Night

Today at dVerse, Grace is Pubtender. It is Open Link Night which means we submit any one poem of our choice, any form, any subject. Come and read and find your new favorite poet. http://dversepoets.com/2016/08/11/open-link-night-177/

Sands and the River
I read the news today, oh boy…
monks are visiting Richmond
and creating a mandala at the Holocaust Museum
and then will dismantle the colored sands
and take them to the James to throw them
into the river to represent impermanence.
at first I thought, cool.
and then…..
impermanence, change, transience of things
Mujō 無常
mono no aware 物の哀れ
I don’t need visiting monks from Tibet
dressed in saffron robes to tell me of…impermanence.
The river certainly does not need them
with its water that rises and falls,
freezes and thaws and evaporates
nor does the fish in its depths being plucked
from the water and grasped in eagle’s claws
soon to be food for hungry babies
high in the tree in their one ton nest
as they squabble for breakfast.
I do not need them
as I see mujo woven in my life
and feel the clutch at my heart that
all things…change.
we all live a life of impermanence
feel the wistfulness at the passing of…things.
friends and family who die
the now empty grass under a crepe myrtle tree
the melting of snow
the garden growing from seed and sprouting
and bearing fruit and dying and being spread for composte.
the cicadas singing at night
and dying in the dawn – shells empty and bereft
under the dying pine.
we only need to live
to know…impermanence.
we need to live to feel
life moving through us
life moving on.

SamCat last year under crepe myrtle

SamCat last year under crepe myrtle

Quadrille: Bubble Lives

free public domain image

free public domain image

I missed the Monday Quadrille De Jackson (WhimsyGizmo) had for us.  Poems have to use the prompt word and be exactly 44 words in length.  The prompt word was “Bubble”. So I am submitting this for dVerse’s Open Link Night – in which poets can submit one of any of their original poems on any subject in any form. Come join us for a wonderful time of reading creative poets!

Bubble Lives
cherry blossoms bloom at dawn –
fade, fall before noon
scattering in the wind.
dew evaporates with the sun –
the song of a bird breaks the silence
then fades again into the silence.
our lives are but bubbles on the surface
of a pond.

Mujō – Change: Tanka set

Tuesday, I am privileged to be the Pubtender and Prompter for the Tuesday Poetics at d’Verse Poetics Pub.  It is getting to be (in spite of the heat!) autumn.  Subtle signs but there if you take the time to notice.  My prompt for today for our community and those who want to join us, is to, in 24 lines or fewer, write about change.  The Japanese word Mujō 無常 means “impermanence”.  It is one of the major aesthetics of the Japanese culture that all things change, nothing is permanent, and to embrace that idea.

I think this quote from Alan Watts says it all – about the culture of change, embracing it, and joining in the dance of change in our world:  “The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.”  Please come and visit us to read the discussion about changes, to join in, to enjoy the poems that will be linked with all the different takes on the prompt and to please, add your own if you feel inspired.  A video from my favorite group World Order is included on the post.  The slideshow illustrates changes in the lane and woods by my home – summer and autumn.  My poem is linked to d’Verse:  http://dversepoets.com/2015/09/15/poetics-ch-ch-changes

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Three Autumn Tanka
autumn knocks softly –
a long absent friend unsure
of being welcomed –
gold leaf against green back drop
summer smiling beckons in.

red carp scale clouds hang
in cool morning sky – heavy
dew pearls on thin web –
garden spider curled dead in
corner of its final web.

chill of soundless night –
faint light of crescent moon – time
has no meaning as
one gold leaf drifts down to the
edge of sleeping country road


NaPoWriMo4 – Mono aware 物の哀れ

Prompt for NaPoWriMo is love – in love or lost love or breaking up.


Cherry blossom petals
floated onto his open
hands reminding him of all
he had thrown away.

Warm spring sun stood at
zenith in an azure sky,
pink against blue – cherry blossoms
wept tears on his cheeks.

copyright kanzensakura

copyright kanzensakura

Cherry Blossom Forecast and World Order Videos


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The cherry blossoms are not showing yet where I am located. Some early plum, wild pear, and peach blossoms are beginning. My flowering quince, usually the earliest to bloom, is lagging. The buds are nice and fat and look ready to pop…The Japanese plum buds are much larger and a petal here and there can be seen. This cherry blossom forecast is for Japan. I am a little late posting it due to various life events, pneumonia, etc. The slide show is from photos from the past couple of years. I used to work in an office park where there were sixty-five cherry trees – my own private festival! Also, there are some short videos of my favorite guys, World Older. JATA – Japanese Association of Travel Agents – produced these videos showing parts of Japan. The music is hypnotic and the guys are showing more of their surroundings rather than the videos being about their choreography.

While there are all kinds of festivals and fun events going on, the time of cherry blossoms is always a solemn time for me. Even though I am excited to see their beauty after a long cold snowy winter, I still feel ..mono no aware…物の哀れ – the pathos of things; impermanence – 無常, mujō. These are feelings of a gentle sadness, wistfulness. The Samurai were also associated with sakura as their lives were so transient.

I hope you enjoy this mini-trip to Japan!

Updated February 19th, 2015 as Sakura Map has updated their cherry blossom forecast for 2015 sakura season. Just a reminder that these dates are the estimated opening date for cherry blossoms and full bloom should be around a week or so after.
Fukuoka | March 22
Matsuyama | March 25
Hiroshima | March 27
Miyajima | March 27
Kyoto | March 28
Osaka | March 27
Nara | March 29
Nagoya | March 25
Tokyo | March 26
Yokohama | March 26
Kanazawa | April 4
Sendai | April 10

Confession #2 – Hanami

This is the second part to Poetic Confessions at dVerse Poetics Pub. Secret fears, life, love…what we hide inside….

hanami 2

Deep in the night
When all things cease to move
Except for the dreams
That creep in under
The laser security of our brains
And our hearts,

Sakura strung with white lights
People underneath –
Families, lovers, friends.
Music and wine flow,
laughter rises and falls,
Braiding together in a
circle dance of celebration.
Cherry blossom petals fall
And whirl in the wind
Mono no aware….
things bloom, things pass,
Things die.
This is a celebration of now –
Just before the passing.
That space between breaths.

You lift the cup of sake
To my lips and I sip.
You lean towards me and sip
From my lips.

“Wake up, wake up.”
I’m being tossed by the wind.
“Wake up, you are having a bad dream.”
I slow my breathing,
Orient to here and now.
My husband asks, “are you alright?
Are you awake?”
I nod and pat his hand.

I can’t go back to sleep
But I still see inside that dream.

A few years ago, Jeff
Visited you during hanami
And told you I had married.
He said you acted surprised
Then grieved and was cranky
For several days.
Did you really think I would
I would live entombed
And preserved in amber?

Mono no aware….
things bloom, things pass
Things die.
Things bloom again.

Confession: Hanakotoba 花言葉

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This is done for today’s prompt at dVerse Poetics Pub – confession.

Hanakotoba 花言葉 – Language of flowers
You handed me the bouquet.
“I have a confession”
I looked at the flowers
in the bouquet
and heard the words
but as you wanted me to hear them:
水仙) daffodil – respect
椿 camellias – yellow, white, red –
longing and love, eternity
赤い薔薇 red rose, passion

We stood in the gentle spring rain
I searched my mind for the words:
“春雨 しゅんう shun u”
you whispered.

I smiled.
“Already the rain smells differently.
A smell of growing things
instead of the sharp tang
of bareness.”
春雨 しゅんう shun u
gentle spring rain.

I held the bouquet close
to my face.
I kissed each flower
with the softness
of shy kisses on your face.

I have a confession to make.
And I handed the bouquet
back to you.
You smiled and reached for me
the bouquet between us.

Those days long ago,
long gone.
How could I ever
confess that day
to another?
bless me,
it has been a lifetime
since my last confession.

初雪(はつゆき First Snow – haiku

midnight: snow flowers
spiral down and quickly die
on my outstretched hand.

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