Dreaming November

This is for Angie’s prompt over at Real Toads. She found a wonderful book with suggestions for and lists of words for inspiration: Sandford Lyne titled, “Writing Poetry from the Inside Out:  Finding Your Voice Through the Craft of Poetry.” It seems a most excellent book I shall check out this afternoon. Come visit us at Real Toads: http://withrealtoads.blogspot.com/2017/11/get-listed-november-edition.html She gives us several lists with four words in each. I chose the list with November, layer, stones, throat to write a poem of 100 words or less.  I am also posting this today at dVerse Poets Pub for their Open Link Night. I am also posting at Poets United Poetry Pantry.

Dreaming November
rust-colored November
settles into the stones
in layers of newly fallen leaves
old leaves rotting leaves –
a smell that catches in the back of my throat
and makes me want to put down roots.
November is the calm before the winter storms –
stones sleep
beneath the leaves
beside the creek
flowing clear over rounded stones
before settling into the
pool at the end –
sleeping leaves dreaming of summer.

copyright Kanzen Sakura

11/16 Society: Happy Birthday!

By the time we got home from Woodstock……Thank you all for showing up for the 11/16 Birthday party. Please don’t swim in the nishikigoi pond. Thank you. and still watch out for the brown acid.

Happy birthday to my dear ones:  to you who have gone one ahead, to those in Virginia, Durham, Hakone, Israel, Knightsbridge,  Noo Yawk City, and N’awlins.  May the year ahead be good to you:  “we few, we happy few”.  I raise my can of Coke to you in salute and wish I could give you all a big birthday hug and kiss. 

Songs today reminding me of you and the years  keep weaving through my head and heart:  a tapestry of light, shadows, tears, laughter, faith, redemption, wildness and peace, but especially of love.  I hear “Seven Bridges Road”, “Born to Run”, “Disco Inferno”, “Also Sprach Zarathustra” Handel’s Water Music, “Jolie Blonde”, …but especially I hear Seven Bridges Road.  

I remember the night we introduced that song to Masashi and how it captured him.  He sat at the piano and the five of us present wove that song for it seems like forever:  alto recorder, violin, guitar, tenor sax, voices.  We wove it until the stars went to sleep and the last note quivered in dying silver. 

 

 

November 6, 1987 The Braid

The night we stood on the walkway of the bridge
Looking up at the full moon.
You looked down at its reflection on the river,
And said to me, Do you want the moon?
I’ll go down, get, and bring it to you,
A double handful at a time.
I looked up into your eyes
And saw you were speaking truth.
You are all I want. You are enough.
One year ago to the day
You had looked through your men
At me and said, your hair smells of Mitsouko.
And gently touched the long braid of my hair.

Seven years later, I stand at the same place
On the walkway of the bridge, alone.
You left a year ago.

You loved my hair – thick and wavy with occasional threads of
White. Soft and fine as a silk thread you told me.
You’d bury your face in it
After you had taken off the silly
Rubber band I used to hold the end of the braid,
Or after you had pulled out one of the kanzashi
You brought me back, watching
As my hair flowed down.
“nagareochiru taki” You would whisper.
“Sono taki wa kirei desu.”

I stand now in the same place you stood.
I try to reach back to
Those years ago you offered me the moon.
I try to pull together the essence of you
Tight around me like a cocoon.
My heart seeks the smell of you:
Bee and flower sandalwood soap, surgical scrub,
The heady musk of your skin.

Only the moonless night and the green cold
Smell of the river are with me on the bridge.
I pull scissors from my bag and begin to
Cut my braid at my nape.
It still smells of Mitsouko.
I throw it down into the river.
The river swallows it and keeps
Its secrets.

The 11/16 Society

No, this is not one of those Sherlock Holmes type stories.  I began thinking about the oddity of this a few days ago and so I compiled information about this group.  The Society consists of nine people, one of whom is deceased (William V, father of William VI).  All of us were born on November 16.  All of these people are dear to me – a couple is related to me, the rest are trusted, loved, and respected friends.  This is one of those posts that will seem odd to some people, boring to others, and to others, they would just wonder why.  Read some of Cristiano Michal’s posts and you may understand.  The 11/16 Society would make a good book.

Supposedly, persons born under the sign of the Scorpion are passionate, moody, spiritual, intelligent, and a bit twisted.  I don’t believe in astrology, but I do have to say, this group is pretty true to what astrologers say.  As far as passionate, we seem to mainly be passionate about life callings, our religious beliefs, and only two of us were passionate about each.

With that being said, here are some factoids:

All of us have dark hair and dark eyes – except for Cousin Billy (William VI).  He has reddish blonde hair and blue eyes.

Four of us are Southern, two are Irish, two are Asian (Japanese and Cambodian). One is a Yankee – Cousin Billy was born in the south but moved to Jersey.

All of us are musically talented; either instrumentally and/or vocally and/or rhythmically (dance), and/or composing.  Except for Cousin Billy – he has two left feet, can’t carry a tune in a bucket, and has the rhythmic ability of an earthworm.

All of us are involved in one way or another in medicine or engineering – except for Cousin Billy; he is a comic book artist.

All of us are wicked smart and our humor ranges from desert dry to slapstick, and not always the same for the same person.

Four of us are Buddhist; four were born and raised in the Church of the Nazarene (3 still active).  Cousin Billy is Catholic.

Four are vegetarian; five are omnivores with two being especially fond of fried chicken.

All of us are male except for one.  No, not Cousin Billy – me.

We were all born between 5:00 and 8:00 am, but different years.  We range in age from 63 – 32.

None of us have any children, except for……Cousin Billy.

Four have ties to Duke University.  One has ties to M.I.T. and two to Oxford. One hopes to have ties to Duke.

We all root for the Duke Basketball team – the unofficial slogan is:  We’re Duke.  We’re hated.  We don’t care.

Five of us have clocked in over the years, 300 Bruce Springsteen concerts – some separately, some with each other or in a mix of the group.

We all prefer to go on vacations that seem to consist of good food, a good measure of solitude, interesting things to look at and learn, and lots and lots of sleep.  Cousin Billy always adds a roller coaster or two on his.  We did that wooden monster on Coney Island when we were 10.  Not since have I been on a roller coaster.

Five of us are insomniacs.

Between us, we have lived in 32 different cities and traveled to all 50 states, and parts of the Middle East, Asia, and Europe.   Three have gone surfing in Australia.

We all are interested and enjoy all things Japanese: samurai, feudal  period, language, food, culture, humor,  cinema, we seem to agree one of our favorite pieces of art is The Great Wave ofKanagawa by Hokusai…except for the Japanese.   He fell in love with the South and immersed himself in its history, culture, food, and humor.  In fact, in spite of his accented and perfect English, he could do a spot on North Carolina drawl that if your eyes were closed, you would be shocked and amazed when you opened your eyes.   Before he returned to Japan, he learned how to make fried chicken, potato salad, and banana pudding that were acceptable by any church dinner standards.

We all agree that I am the best cook in the group.

Five of us are Star Trek/Star Wars/comics/science fiction/fantasy/science geeks.  Five of us watch Big Bang Theory, get all the jokes and laugh ourselves breathless.  Age of the geek, baby!

So.  There are more similarities in this group, but I figure by now you all are bored.  Let me say however, IMHO, we are the most amazing, talented, funny, intelligent, intense, sexy, and interesting Society in the world.  This Society has been in existense, without a break since 1949 – with different members being born into the Society in different years.

 

 

 

 

Nocturne

Smell of leaves burning
Still lingers from my neighbor’s earlier fire.
Early November
The night is crisp and dry.
No frost tonight.
No moonlight.
 
I stand and breathe in the spicy fragrance
Of fallen leaves and the ashes of burned
Leaves left behind.
 
I stand and survey the woods,
Blacker than the night.
They seem to be the shadows of
Days past – bare, dormant, almost invisible.
 
I pull my cape closer around me.
An empty embrace that only brings
A bit of physical warmth.
My soul still shivers.
 
I would wander into the dark woods
But  I cannot see the path.
I stand and gaze
At the shadows of days past
Until my vision blurs
And I am blinded by bitter tears.

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