Leaf Hagaki

Today is Quadrille Monday at dVerse.  What is a Quadrille?  It is a form unique to dVerse Poets pub consisting of exactly 44 words (excluding the title) and the chosen word.  Today Victoria is in charge of the Pub and has given us the word “poem” or variants of the word.  Come join us for these lovely short poems.

public domain image

Leaf Hagaki*
I carefully prick one word poems
on fallen leaves, letting the wind
take them where it will –
Postcards of joy, love, tolerance, hope.
I don’t expect a reply
but I let them loose anyway.
The silence between the falling of the leaves
is deafening.

* hagaki – Japanese for fragments of writing or postcards


Crayola Dawn

I am posting this on dVerse Poets Pub for De’s lovely prompt on Quadrille Monday. She requests that we use the word “dream” – dreamer, dreams, dreaming, dreamed – make the noun a verb or the verb a noun – it’s all good! A quadrille is a poetic form that came about a couple of years ago when we were making changes to refresh the Poets Pub. the form has exactly 44 words not counting the title. You must include the prompted word in your poem.  Come read these wonderful humming bird tiny poems. I am also posting this to Real Toads Tuesday Platform.  Here are the links for both:  http://dversepoets.com/2017/08/14/quadrille-38/   and  http://withrealtoads.blogspot.com/2017/08/the-tuesday-platform_15.html

Crayola Dawn
I see the dawn before the rest
of the world awakens.
I came to this dawn through the moonlight
of my dreams.
I dream of the world in argent shades
and awaken to the Crayola dawn –
It is cool this morning.
I am at peace.

copyright kanzensakura

Haibun Monday: Butter Yellow Morning

I couldn’t resist this prompt from Grace.  I am still on hiatus and doing fairly well.  thank you!http://dversepoets.com/2016/10/03/haibun-monday-22-extraordinary-days/

Butter Yellow Morning
It is early in the day and I have just awakened. My husband left for work an hour ago. I lazily stretch and get out of bed and wander into the kitchen. I fill the coffee maker and switch it on. Soon my house is filled with the lovely smell of fresh coffee. I pour myself a large mug and add the dollop of cream. I then go outside and sit on my back steps, sipping and listening to the sound of the morning getting its start. The mockingbird and brown thrasher are up on the wire trilling the first six notes of the X-Files theme, over and over. The birds that will winter over are busy twitting and rooting through the bird feeders. My Swedish neighbors from next door pass by on the lane for their morning walk and wave but do not speak. They know this is my special time of day and do not intrude. My neighbor across the lane puts her two daughters on the school bus. She waves and heads back into her house. From the farm at the end of the lane, the sound of a rooster cock-a-doodle-doing and the soft lowing of cows add to the morning sounds. I sip my coffee. For right now, all is well, all is at peace.

autumn finally comes –
the morning is cool in the
butter yellow sun


dVerse Poetics: Wishful Thinking

Today Mish is in charge of the prompt for Poetics today.  She wants us to make wishes – on a star, blowing on the fluff of a dandelion, our wishes for humanity, the world,  ourselves.  It is a lovely poetics.  I hope I do it justice. Come join us for wishes! http://dversepoets.com/2016/09/06/poetics-wishful-thinking/

Twitching one’s nose
It would be nice if I could twitch my nose
like Samantha, the witch from that old sitcom Bewitched.
I’d twitch my nose and twinkletwinkle,
people would be fed,
children would always be loved and welcomed,
the air would be clear and clean,
animals would no longer be hunted to the point of extinction
and all animals and humans would be treated humanely and with kindness.
we’d all have enough money for our daily needs and some of our wants.
politicians would disappear.
we’d all be tree climbers and water worshipers
flower growers and sharers of vegetables
from our gardens.
If I could be Samantha for just one day –
what a different world we would have.
twinkletwinkle! twitch! twitch!
make it so.

Haibun Monday #14 – Relax – 2

A second submission for dVerse Poets Pub Haibun Monday. The prompt is to write a haibun about how you relax. My first submission was about boketto. This is about shinrin-yoku (森林浴). Literally, Forest Bathing. One goes into a forest with the purpose of being silent, experiencing the forest – scents, sights, details, sounds. There are supposedly many health benefits in doing this. The trees and plants emit phytoncide and amino acids which help lower blood pressure, ease depression and anxiety. I just know, when I spend time practicing shinrin-yoku, when I emerge, I am calm and soothed and the effects stay with me for several days. Come visit us at dVerse and read how others relax. You might get some new ideas!

The Woods
The small dense patch of woods near my home is always open, 24/365. There are no fees, no making of appointments, no traffic or parking hassles. A short walk across the lane, jump over a small ditch and enter anywhere I choose. Before I enter, I make a pact with myself: be willing to let go of those tight knots and tangled thoughts inside me; walk with respect; breathe deeply; now enter. Today a soft warm summer rain – slow gentle drops. I touch the first tree on my right. We are old friends, this oak and I. Further down the path of pine needles, small plants and moss, is the grouping I call the Three Cedars – Papa Cedar, Mama Cedar, and Baby Cedar. In this warmth and rain, they emanate their sharp green fragrance. I softly touch their delicate fronds and breathe in their aroma. More walking, listening to the gentle taps of rain on the tree leaves and undergrowth. Like small temple bells, the sweet tones of cardinals echo back and forth through the silence. A sudden crack and a few leaves drift down in front of me. I look up to catch a grey squirrel leaping from branch to branch, making his way through the woods.

These woods do not care about my problems, my joys. They have seen my tears and heard my laughter. They exist and have existed long before my great-grandfather’s grandfather. Deer walk here unafraid, birds nest and raise their families, small animals live and die. Owls hunt and crows observe. I stand in the middle of it all and breathe – in, out, in, out. I lie down against the damp fragrant earth and look up at the roof of leaves, the straight strong trunks, the fragile twisted trunks, the rain dripping from the leaves. I store up strength and peace and calm like a spiritual battery. I cannot stop smiling.

forest temple lures –
cedar incense – cardinal bells
take cares to heaven.

copyright kanzensakura

copyright kanzensakura

Haibun: Making Udon

Another entry for the prompt of travel/Adventure today at dVerse.

Getty Images Japanese Buckwheat field

Getty Images Japanese Buckwheat field

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

A week later during this trip to Japan, my guide sensed I was on a mission of not just “seeing” Japan. He suggested we go to the senmaida (thousand rice paddies) at Noto peninsula. The terraces were always in need of repair and frequently, urbanites would trek out to volunteer to help repair the terraces. It was a cold rainy day and to be honest, I would rather have stayed in the hotel room – but I could not let down my guide (Nikko) or, myself. We drove out to the senmaida and as I stepped outside of the van, my heart stopped. Perched precariously on a steep hillside, looking as if it would tumble off into the ocean below, was the terraced paddy. Already people in brightly colored slickers were standing in the cold water with small holes repairing holes. We went and spoke to the “Head Voluneer” and I was put to work. I’d rather have been planting rice! But knowing this work would make it possible to plant the rice gave me impetus to start moving. Hard, cold, backbreaking, wet and muddy – I can think of some other words but will not use them. But after a hot shower back at the hotel and a dinner which included that local rice, I felt satisfaction in my soul. I had helped to maintain employment, lives, customs, a culture….another piece of my soul fell into place. The smell of salt air and cold water, the chatter of families – all combined to make me warm inside.

The next week, Nikko suggested we go to the suburb in which he lived about a 15 train ride from downtown Tokyo. He assured me it was not one of the suburbs full of gaijin (foreigner) but instead, a bedroom suburb for Tokyo filled with multigenerational Japanese families. We quickly rode from the city through the Japanese style cement houses, many brightly painted. 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 stint. 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.

Christmas Miracle – not a sobby story

This is being linked to Poets United Poetry Pantry http://poetryblogroll.blogspot.com/2016/01/poetry-pantry-284.html

grey drizzly day
didn’t feel like Christmas –
77 degrees farenheit
quiet – my husband I opened our two packages
and smiled over hot homemade biscuits
and orange juice.
We have each other –
we can’t complain….
except it’s 77 degrees Farenheit
and grey drizzly day.
Inspiration hit –
Let’s treat ourselves to the new Star Wars movie
and deciding he felt up to going
out in the world
We went.
Interminable ads,
horrible previews,
theater crammed.
I was beginning to regret this.
And then…..
And then…..
The opening fanfare.
A spontaneous roar went through my fellow movie goers
and then…
and then…
everyone was standing and cheering –
my husband and I held hands and grinned
and then…
and then…
the guy next to me reached for my hand and the guy beside my husband
grabbed his hand and before one could blink,
everyone on the row was holding hands,
thirty strangers all united in one swelling laugh.
Holding our hands up in the air
and around the theater,
other groups of people holding hands.
Oh….and of course I shed some tears
because we were friends – in just that moment.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful it we could find a common
source of joy and all around the world
put down our rifles and our money and our prejudice
and just be friends?
Even for only five minutes?
and then…
and then…

This is being linked to Poets United Poetry Pantry http://poetryblogroll.blogspot.com/2016/01/poetry-pantry-284.html

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