Cold Kiss

For Poets United Mid-week Motif – Vanity

public domain photo

Cold Kiss
Your kiss goodbye at the airport
reminded me of how years ago,
I held a narcissus up to my lips
and tasted it
kissed it –
cold and bitter from the snow.
my vanity was thinking you
would love me forever,
how you would stay with me forever.
cold bitter kisses goodbye.
the thoughts of that narcissus kiss
still makes me shiver.

Real Toads: Friday Farewell

Suzuki Harunobo 1724-1770 Wikimedia free use

Jisei of the Samurai

I.
how brief the blossoms
of the cherry tree – their
lives end at sunset

II.
snow falling at night –
melting flakes gone before day –
bare branches feel them
drift through skeletal fingers –
birds sleep as snow falls

III
cherry blossom moon
holds back the night sky – my night
will conquer that moon

NOTES:
A traditional, nontraditional farewell: It was a tradition for the literate Japanese (monks and Samurai for example) to write death poems shortly before their anticipated death, seppuku, or battle. With the changing of the seasons from summer to autumn, we see changes as the seasons of spring and summer end. All things pass – mono no aware. The images of dying are also symbols of “farewell”.  This is not a morbid subject at all. It is rather, an exercise in fiction writing for me. Although the “jisei of the Samurai”, it is “written” by a fictional Samurai character I have created, but based on a real person. I have been working on this for some time. I have chosen to buck the tradition a bit and have composed this using three Japanese poetic forms -I) haiku II) tanka III) senryu. This is posted for Real Toads Friday Farewell prompt given by Kerry.

Poets United Midweek Motif: Silence

For Poets United Midweek Motif – Silence

Afterwards
The silence after the argument between us was devastating –
like the silence after an F-5 tornado –
trailers were coming to that last roll,
electrical wires were still buzzing and popping.
We sat on opposite sides of the fireplace –
burning its warmest friendliest best
but we were not to be lured into its trap.
We were imprisoned inside my house by the snow –
I wanted you gone and you wanted to be gone.
All civility between us was shattered.
I made myself a cup of hot chocolate –
with a bit of bourbon and offered you none.
The snow fell silently
and steadily outside.
I sipped from my mug.
At last the cats came out of hiding.

Real Toads: I wrote you a book

Today at Real Toads we are to write a poem to a book – a book of poetry or a collection of poems. I have chosen one of the five most influential books to me – Basho’s Narrow Road to the Deep North.  It was a birthday gift to me from my beloved and revered friend and tutor.  This is the book which introduces us all to the haibun – prose ending with a haiku.  Basho’s haibun were originally travel sketches.  I have traveled Basho’s route several times at different times of the year.  I wrote my first haibun when I was 14.  I have a written a haibun to it, in the spirit of the book. I am also linking this to Poets United Poetry Pantry: http://poetryblogroll.blogspot.com/2017/09/poetry-pantry-370.html

The Beginning
It was November, two days before my 12th birthday. Jamie Pollard, our lifelong next door neighbor who had started my love of Japanese poetic forms and especially haiku, gave me an old ragged copy of Road to the North by Basho. He had carried the copy with him several times to Japan. He said, I want you to read this. It will introduce you to the haibun. I think you will enjoy writing them. I opened the book in awe touching the pages tenderly and then hugged Jamie. My road was opened to me. I have traveled it all my life.

snow was falling – you
were given to me – a
gift still loved today

public domain image from Road to the North

The Branch

For dVerse OLN 201 http://dversepoets.com/2017/08/10/openlinknight-201/ – one poem of our choice with any subject and the prompt at Real Toads – we are to write about things unseen.   I chose this picture I took last winter after a tremendous wind and snow storm.  The branch transfixed me then, it still does.  http://withrealtoads.blogspot.com/

The Branch
I know this branch.
When last I saw it,
several small wrens were perched
upon it, settled among the
golden autumn leaves.

A drizzle of rain made
some delicate drips
and a light wind caused it
to gently sway.
The wrens rode the branch
like small sea birds drifting
on a peaceful sea of black wood.
Torn from the tulip poplar
the skeletal branch
pokes up through the snow,
carried by wind and snow
it ends up in this place
in my yard.

Now, it lies in my yard
encased in frozen snow.
When the snow melts and
I clean my yard,
I will take this branch and
move it to the verge
of the woods that border my yard.
I will lay it down gently on
the fallen leaves and pine needles.
Through time, ants will traverse its length,
tiny frogs will sit by its hugeness
blending in with brown leaves –
Their eyes round and shiny,
their tongues reaching out to
feast on small bugs moving about
the ground and on the branch.
A small spider will spin a web
catching gnats and no-see-ems.
On his way up from the creek
a small green snake will curve its way
sliding under the branch, going
about its green snake business.
The box turtle that explores my garden
and that small patch of woods
will make its slow sure way
under the branch.
The branch will rise and fall and slide
along the turtle’s back and
settle back onto the ground,
maybe at a slightly different angle.
Dew and rain will fall,
small birds will perch on
its fragile fingers.
Beetles, slugs, worms –
all will burrow beneath
and crawl upon it.
Time will pass and the wood
inside the black bark will begin
to rot and turn to dust.
On the ground, the black bark
of the branch will lie discarded
like the skin of an ancient snake.

I will be old.
I will make my deliberate painful way
across my yard.
There I will see the
remains of the bark.
I will, with effort
bend over and touch the bark
with my finger.
I will remember the day
I put it there.
I will say
to the trees around me,
I know this branch.

copyright kanzensakura

Me, Walking

quilt block


Me, Walking

And on this dark night of tattered clouds
and snow and me walking –
trying to piece out this crazy quilt
of emotions confessions beseechings anger
and all you can do is repeat the same words –
all I can do is to not hear them
over and over and over again again again
until I have to escape outside
and walk in this sporadic snow under the shrouded moon –
my footsteps looking like a drunken tango
filling with snow.
muttering whywhywhy – the litany of an idiot
or a fool finding truth for the first time –
I’m sure those beings above the clouds
laugh at those like me as they pull the clouds
tighter about the moon creating darkness.
a deer breaks cover – a shadow against the snow –
an owl flies overhead
his wings beating against the snow
hunting for…just hunting for a mouse or the truth.
And on this dark night of tattered clouds
And me walking,

 

free public use image

For Margaret’s prompt today at Real Toads:  “The challenge is to write a poem using one of these fabric details OR if you have a special quilt (or memories of one) write about that instead.”   One of the blocks particularly brought up memories of my lover and I discussing his return to Japan, years ago.  http://withrealtoads.blogspot.com/2017/08/artistic-interpretations-with-margaret.html

 

 

 

Snow

For Real Toads https://withrealtoads.blogspot.com/2017/07/fireblossom-friday-bang-youre-dead.html Fireblossom Friday: Bang! You’re dead. Writing from beyond the grave….mwahahaaaaaaaa

Snow
drifting off
falling asleep
dreaming
opening the window
and gliding out into the snow
no footprints
no steamy breath
no weight no pain no sadness
walking into a dream
of slow falling snow
using the snowflakes
like stepping stones
walking up to the sky
walking on the tops of trees
of roofs of streetlights
covered with snow
slow falling snow
slow
falling…

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