winter solstice haiku

well, I write to escape…

a hawk glides over
skeletal trees – winter blue
sky shows no mercy

silent neighborhood –
distant crows break the silence –
cold and still today

the grass is brittle and
frost covers everything –
at noon no melting

dVerse Poetics: Time

Today, Tuesday Poetics, Lillian wishes us to write about time – I had the time of my life, it’s about time to go! As long as we write about time and use the word time, we should be fine.  Sorry for the sad poem.  My mother is with me now and is slowly dying of Alzheimer’s and complications.  Tomorrow we discuss hospice.  It is a grey day in December.  Rain slowly drips.

Trees and Time
death knows no seasons –
death cares not about Christmas lights
or spring flowers or summer tomatoes.
death watches the first snow falling
and looks at the trees,
bare of leaves and rising like bones
in shades of grey and sepia.
death only knows when it is time…
and moves on.

copyright kanzensakura

copyright kanzensakura

dVerse Poets Pub – Old and New

Today Victoria is our pubtender and prompt giver. She asks us to take an old poem and rework it and to include both the old and the new poems.  I have taken one written in 1996 and reworked it.  It is now a Bussokusekika – older than tanka which is older than haiku – a couple of thousand years older and more deeply steeped in tradition.  The bussokusekika was discovered on an old stone in front of an ancient Buddhist temple and means – Footprint of Buddha.  It is like the tanka but has an extra seven syllable line added.  The form for this and tanka is strict – 5-7-5-7-7+7.  It is an obscure form and rarely used. For more information on tanka, please go to:  The link to dVerse:  Let’s Kick It Up a NotchLet’s Kick It Up a Notch

New Poem
Age of Incense
The futility
Of burning incense – prayers
Unanswered ignored
Seem to be my fate in this
Time of rainy days –
The smoke cannot reach you and
Sadness remains – ashes fall
Dry tears upon the table….


free stock photo

free stock photo

Old Poem
Incense Days
you are gone
my ritual is this:
the burning of incense –
holy and fragrant.
the smoke travels in the wind
and I wish for it to reach you
to reach your mind to reach your heart
to say to you
come back. come back. come back.
the rain beats the smoke back down to earth
and only the wet grass hears.
I weep and light another stick.
more rain.
more sadness.
come back.



Haibun Monday: 50 Shades of Rain

Hello. I am the Pubtender over at dVerse Poets Pub today, Monday. I am using as my prompt for the haibun, one of the more than 50 words the Japanese have for rain. That’s right, 50 words for rain – at least. They are seasonal, regard intensity, night or day rain, drizzle – you name it. Rain in all its many forms. I have chosen the word “kisame” which means the rain that drips down from tree branches. It is one of my favorite of the Japanese words. Come join us at dVerse to read more about the haibun and this haibun in particular. Or at least come and learn the words!

Summer was turning to fall. It was still hot but one could see the difference in the angle of the light. You had been gone for several months and I was learning to live on my own. It was raining and had been raining for several days. I stood under the old oak tree with my eyes closed, breathing deeply – listening to the rain falling around me. The sound as the soft rain tapped on the tree leaves and branches, the grass, the roof of the house – all was a steady soft shush of sound. Sometimes a bird called, lonely and distant. I pulled my katana to begin my forms. I swung the sword in the first form and noticed droplets of rain scattering from its edge as it sliced through the rain. Plop! On my forehead. I looked up and saw the droplets dripping from the leaves, sliding to the edge of the branch and drip drip driping down. I noticed then that around me, the trees and bushes were weeping. Drops of rain fell from them to the earth – tears I could not shed. I sheathed my katana and silently bowed to the weeping trees. They wept for me. I closed my eyes and felt the hot tears sliding down my cheeks. Like the trees, I wept silently. “Anata ga okonatte imasu” You are gone.

rain drips silently
from branches – trees weep for
the ones left behind

getty images

getty images

Ashes in the Wine

free public domain image

free public domain image

Ashes in the wine
“There’s ashes in the glass of wine from the fire in Malibu canyon”.   XFiles 2nd Season Episode title “3”

The blood moon in the night sky
Shone like wine in a goblet held to a candle.
Naysayers, sidewalk prophets, crazed preachers say:
This means the end of the world. When there’s blood on the moon
the world will end.

So many centuries later
we still cower in fear during an eclipse
and huddle listening in fear to hysterical rants..

And was there blood on the moon when my father died (and my world ended)?
And was there blood on the moon when terrorists flew planes into the Twin Towers? (and worlds exploded)
And was there blood on the moon when a woman, child, man was raped and then discarded
(like that wrapper from McDonald’s)?

It was cloudy  then it rained last night
And I couldn’t see all of the eclipse of the moon –
The Super Moon
As it came so close to the earth.

You sipped your wine and sat beside me, bored beyond belief
as I patiently watched then you swallowed down the last sip of wine –
You said, It’s over. I want out.

The rain stopped and the full blood moon came out from behind the clouds.


This is being posted for d’Verse Poets Open Link Night.  OLN is an unprompted poetry activity where we post whatever poem we wish.  Come join us for all the talent linked up.  This is linked to d’Verse Poet’s.

A hole in the world – Rest in peace, my friend Peggie

Peggie Duggan passed away suddenly May 15. Many of you knew her as the brilliant and compassionate blogger at Chasing Rabbitholes.

Always fearless, always loving, always with a kind word. My heart is broken and I can only sit and weep at the light which has left our world. She leaves behind her rescued greyhound, Ella, her cat Elby, and friends who deeply love her and will miss her sweetness. The death of her brother Sean last year was so hard for her and I can only say that now the two are together and her heart is satisfied at being with those who have gone before.

Sleep well my friend. Rest. It was a hard battle for you. I love you.

dVerse Poets Pub and NaPoWriMo 2

Today at dVerse Poets Pub, Grace is challenging us with the poetry form, villanelle. which I am now calling “Villain Nell”…this is also for Day 2 of NaPoWriMo…..This is my first villanelle. It may even be my last. But this is written about the day the first love of my life left and returned to Japan. It’s spring, it’s cherry blossom time, there is mention of stars for the NaPoWriMo Day 2 prompt. Whew!I’ve linked to dVerse.

The Day You Left

The day you left sakura wept,
Pink and white petals swirled in the wind.
The song in my heart forever slept.

Frozen stars in the night sky crept
To bloody dawn and empty day
The day you left sakura wept.

Over pink and white petals I stepped
Tiny grave stones marking the place where
The song in my heart forever slept.

To the past of our life my dreams leapt,
where we danced under the trees,
The day you left sakura wept.

That last kiss you took and kept
Folded in paper placed next your heart where
The song in my heart forever slept.

And you, alone now you slept
Did you dream of me as I of you?
The song in my heart forever slept.
The day you left sakura wept.

Japan cherry blossom guide - Osaka

Japan cherry blossom guide – Osaka



Kanashimi 悲しみ – Sorrow

 Bare maple. Cold wind.

Bare cherry. Cold wind. Branches

twine but do not touch.

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