Magnolias

Today the form at dVerse is to write a ghazal – pronounced guzzle, which is fitting because it is a poem about drunkenness and/or romance.  Of course the drunkenness can symbollize the rapture of God.  I prefer my poetry brief, to the point and in the style of the Japanese. I don’t believe in using 500 words when I can use 50. I will do my best with this form and also with the prompt at Toads – Summer’s End.  Celia was the name of my mother and great-grandmother. A guzzle (ghazal) is made up of non-connected couplets using a repeating line or phrase in the last line of each couplet.  Which is actually, a pretty neat poetic device.

Magnolias
“Summer in the deep South is not only a season, a climate, it’s a dimension. Floating in it, one must be either proud or submerged.”  ― Eugene Walter, The Untidy Pilgrim

the southern summer night is like an obscene phone call
lowly whispered in tones of moist hot tones here at the beginning of summer.

the full moon floated on the clouds last night
and magnolias opened their blooms here at the beginning of summer.

magnolias perfumes the air and gifts us with its incense,
and I think this is all the beauty we need here at the beginning of summer.

blooms like fragrant plates at a feast, petals spreading wide
and showing their golden hearts here at the beginning of summer.

but the feast soon ends and petals turn brown and scent fades
as their hearts fall like solid tears here at the beginning of summer.

we had dreams once when we were young and beautiful
and we lived our dreams here at the beginning of summer.

the night closes fast Celia, and fragrance dissipates into dew
at the end of summer, here at the beginning of summer.

 

 

Anniversary

For my Wednesday Muse prompt at Sunday Muse Blogspot. The topic today is “anniversary”. There are all kinds of anniversaries: wedding, enagagement, the death of a loved one, adoption of a child or pet, buying a house…one for every day of the year and to spare.

Anniversary
“Maybe that’s enlightenment enough: to know that there is no final resting place of the mind, no moment of smug clarity. Perhaps wisdom … is realizing how small I am, and unwise, and how far I have yet to go.” Anthony Bourdain

the days run fast
as a shooting star,
dropping through the blackness
of time.
You put the noose around your neck
and jumped –
falling through the blackness
of time.
I watched my mother dying,
her light dimming as a star
falling in the black ocean.
I remember these times
with tears in my brain.
I remember these times as I remember
the scent of faded gardenias
turning brown in the summer sun.

A Little Drama

For Margaret’s Photo prompt on Real Toads for day 28 of NAPOWRIMO. Two pictures in the several given appealed to me.


Desperation

“The mass of [men] live lives of quiet desperation.” Henry David Thoreau

The cat is desperate.
the woman holds on tightly –
she found the cat in the street
and rescued it, thinking she was doing it a favor.
The cat wants to go to her kittens
hidden under a basket in the back
of the abandoned store but the woman keeps hold,
never realizing she is condemning
the tiny blind kittens to death,
staring out at the street
into herself and not the cat.
anyone can see the cat is desperate.
anyone but the woman.

Unidentified Woman ca. 1950’s – Walter Silver Photographs

She stares out at the city sky –
staring at the almost invisible clouds
eaten alive by the pigeons
who perch on buildings
storming the air with their inevitable
cooings.
she remembers the country
from which she escaped years ago,
the house filled with too many people,
the ragged wash hung out to dry.
all she wanted was to be alone.
now she is alone –
except for this cat she picked up off the street.
the cat doesn’t like her.
but still she clings.
A sad little cat is better than nothing.

House with trees and clothesline – Walter Silver Photographs

 

 

 

 

 

Death Comes For Us All

For dVerse Poets Pub, MTB where the theme is repetition.  I have closed this poem with a classic haiku written for my cousin Billy who lost his battle with lung cancer yesterday.

Death Comes For Us All
“Maybe that’s enlightenment enough: to know that there is no final resting place of the mind, no moment of smug clarity. Perhaps wisdom … is realizing how small I am, and unwise, and how far I have yet to go.” Anthony Bourdain

Seasons change – green leaves touched by frost
change color and fall from the trees.
Flowers fade, tomato plants wilt and die.
Death comes for us all.
my mother died two years ago,
my best friend committed suicide two years ago,
my dear friend died last June from suicide,
My cat died –
My cousin Billy died from lung cancer yesterday –
A litany of death.
Death comes for us all.
One after one after one.
The woods are filled with layers of dead leaves,
rotten branches, dried moss,
the carcass of a squirrel.
Death comes for us all.
One day…
Death comes for us all.
fall’s chill breezes blow
making the leaves shiver –
stars fall from the sky

 

If you or someone you know is struggling with depression or has had thoughts of harming themselves or taking their own life, get help. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255) provides 24/7, free, confidential support for people in distress, as well as best practices for professionals and resources to aid in prevention and crisis situations.

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 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.

Haiku: White Wisteria.

Today Frank hosts the dVerse Poets Pub. He is asking for brevity as in Japanese poetic forms of haiku and tanka. All haiku must have a seasonal reference (kigo) but not necessarily a syllable count of 5-7-5. Haiku and tanka are not given titles. If it does not have a seasonal reference, it is a senryu.

 

white wisteria –
ghosts in the trees weeping with
the misty spring rain

 

woodblock by Kono Bairei 1844-1895

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