Haibun: Gifts

a haibun is a Japanese form based on prose and poetry. It is a true accounting of an event in your life. This one is brief in the manner of Basho, the “inventor” of haibun. It is closed with a seasonal haiku. This haibun is less than 100 words.  Haibun are not fiction.

Haibun: Gifts

“Breath is the finest gift of nature. Be grateful for this wonderful gift.” Amit Ray

Years ago, my mother gave me the gift of life – she gave birth to me. All through my life, she gifted me with self-discipline, toys, love, hugs, appreciation of me – she taught me to be grateful for all gifts and when possible, to share gifts with others. Every day she gave me gifts – even when she was lying non-verbal in a bed, dying slowly with Alzheimer’s. One day she died. She gave me the gift of grief and pain. On a beautiful day in June, she ceased to breathe.
June sunshine –
flowers blooming outside –
my mother dying inside

my mother on her deck

 

This Poem is Moon, Stars, and Sun

For Sherry’s prompt at Real Toads, a boomerang metaphor poem in the manner of Hannah Goselin who created the form.  This poem is longer than I like but I have cut it down as much as I can.

This Poem is Moon, Stars, and Sun

This poem is a moon reflected on black water.
This poem is the sun rising over the ocean in an explosion of red.
This poem is the stars floating in the black night sky.

This poem is a green forest rising from the mist.
This poem is green cedars against pure white snow.
This poem is tiny white flowers hiding in spring green grass.

This poem touches us with wonder and awe,
it makes our breath catch in our throats
and look about our feet to not crush those tiny white flowers.

In our wonder and awe we look at the small animals
hiding beneath and under the cedars seeking nourishment and shelter.
The stars fall silent as dust in a dying blaze of fire.
We see the tiny white flowers beneath our feet too late
as we crush them into oblivion.
We weep in sorrow at the death of tiny flowers.
We weep in joy at the rising sun and the night stars
and the moon rippling on the water.
This poem is joy and sorrow,
silence and starry music,
this poem is about living in partnership with the earth.

ko no ha no ame

Sound of leaves falling like rain is the Japanese title translated to English. Yes I know we are in the midst of hot summer *up in the northern hemisphere) but autumn is my second favorite season. I wrote this a few years ago and since it is a rainy day, I brought it from my notebook and did some work on it.

ko no ha no ame
rainy autumn day –
a burial of dead leaves
swept from branches by
bitter wind – even the crows
are silent – only the howls
of a stray dog breaks the grey
silence – I walk with the weight
of the heavens on my mind –
leaves fall – sorrow on sorrow.

 

 

Like Humans

For Poets United, Midweek Motif – Human.

Like Humans
I love.
I weep.
I feel pain
both in my soul
and in my body.
I get cold.
I get hot.
I get thirsty.
I get hungry.
I walk among the trees
and look up at the stars.
I howl when the moon is full
just like the humans do.
It is amazing how much like us
these humans are.

The Doe

For Karin’s prompt at Real Toads, What is? I don’t know if I met the bar but….here is my poem. I don’t use metaphors. I only write what I see and feel.  Also visiting dVerse Poets Pub open link night with this.


The Doe

“And to die is different from what any one supposed, and
Luckier”. Walt Whitman Leaves of Grass
Now that we speak of dying, And should I have the right to smile:” T.S. Eliot Portrait of a Lady III

I don’t know why I have been thinking of death,
sitting up here in my tree.
Maybe it is the suicide of Tony Bourdain or of a friend a year ago
or maybe it is the death of my mother,
almost a year ago.

The tree bark is warm and rough behind my back.
Green shadows dance about my head
while birds sing and fly and fluff
and squirrels chase each other,
some of them coming perilously close to my head.
I had dropped down some withered apples from
my pantry for the forest folk to forage.
I heard the faint crack of a branch and looked down
to see a doe nibbling on the apples.
She looked up and for just a moment
almost fled.
But then she resumed her eating.
Perhaps she had seen me sitting
on the back porch as she wandered through our yard.
Her eyes reminded me of my mother,
large and pansy brown
looking up with innocence,
looking up with knowledge of her dying.
looking into my eyes with sorrow
at leaving me behind.
I’ve been thinking a lot about death.
I wonder what it is.
I don’t know what death is.
I only know what it isn’t.
Today it isn’t the blue sky and green trees
and the doe eating apples
at the foot of the tree.

dVerse Poetics: Musical Muse

Mish is prompting for the dVerse Poetics today. She asks us to reach inside our musical muse and use lines from a favorite song to craft a poem. This is also being posted for Imaginary Garden with Real Toads – Bits of Inspiration ~ Keep Dancing
Susie is our host and wants us to write about dancing because everything nowadays is sooooo negative  http://withrealtoads.blogspot.com/2017/08/bits-of-inspiration-keep-dancing.html .  I have chosen the haibun form and Hall and Oates song, One on One…because long ago in a galaxy far far away…

One on One
Two a.m. – hot humid summer night. A fine drizzle of rain has coated everything with a fine sheen of wet, including me. I am sitting on my back steps unable to sleep. Sounds of insects, an occasional insomniac bird twittering – the soft whining and clacking sound as the rare car goes over the bridge across the verge of the woods. From a passing car I hear faint and haunting – one on one I want to play that game tonight…My mind blanks and supplies the internal movie: A hot summer day after we had done sword forms and were sitting on our back steps drinking lemonade and listening to the radio. A new song comes on – Hall and Oates, one of our favorites: one on one and the gold satin voice of Darryl Hall soulfully croons:
“Oh oh I can feel the magic of your touch
And when you move in close a little bit means so much”

“I like this song” , you suddenly say. “Teach me to dance to it” and we stand – I smile up at you and say, “I lead”.  I place my hand on your belly, feel you warm through your tee shirt. “Center of balance – here. Up on the balls of your feet.” I put my arm around your waist, my hand nestled in the small of your back. Taking your hand I move against you, pulling you after me; quick quick slow – quick quick slow. You are light and graceful. “Are we fighting or are we dancing?” I laugh into your chest, “Sometimes my love, it is the same thing.” One on one I want to play that game tonight….You bend and laugh softly in my ear. “Rhumba…you are teaching me the rhumba. You are a sneaky ballroom dancer girl.” I pull your hips tight against me and rotate against you. You sigh….”you are a cruel ballroom dancer girl.” The song ends and the radio on our steps blares out some song we care nothing about.  But later, we dance again, to our own music.

The movie in my mind stops. I open my eyes. Silence now except for the whisper of rain on the leaves of the trees.  The song is past, gone down a road of darkness.

dark music floats in
the summer night – lonely songs
that drench the heart like rain

Quadrille Monday: Quadrille #29

De is hosting our Quadrille Monday. A quadrille is a 44 word poem exactly, using a prompted word. De has chosen “balloon” for us today.  Come join us for these wonderful short poems.  Quadrille #29


Mama’s Balloon

Breath of God
blown into a pink balloon.
It grew larger and larger
and it soared and dipped
until one day,
My mother was told
her left ventricle had ballooned out
and it could burst at any minute.
I hope it is quick: aneurysm

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