Signs of Spring

Today is Quadrille Monday at dVerse Poets Pub. A quadrille is a form unique to dVerse – exactly 44 words excluding the title and including a word at the choice of the Pub Host. Today the word is “murmur”. Come join us as De Jackson (Whimsy Gizmo) is our host today.

Sign of Spring
The sky looks sad today –
spits of rain
clouds over all.
wandering about the yard
I look at the sodden lawn.
I walk over to the flowering quince
and see tiny tight red buds
all over the black branches.
Behold! A murmur of spring.

copyright kanzensakura

Haibun Monday – Free For All

Today I have the prompt at dVerse Poets Pub. Come join us!  http://dversepoets.com/2017/07/24/haibun-monday-free-for-all-2/

Beautiful Spring
The spring this year was beautiful. A mild winter and lots of rain and snow had thoroughly watered the earth and flowers and trees were bursting forth. The last few months of my mother’s life, I spent with her daily. It was hard watching her slowly die, to pray for God to take her and end her suffering. One morning, they called me early from the skilled nursing facility she was in. During the night, my mother had died. I hung up the phone feeling empty, tired and sad. I stood at our living room window and looked out at the early summer green.

summer green and sun –
hummingbirds sip from the feeder –
it is cold inside

dVerse Poetics: Wish you were here

Today De is hosting our prompt. We are to write “post card poetry” – think: micro poetry. to and from poetry, postcards from the (l)edge (thanks De!). Being the purist I am I decided to use some postcard sized index cards on to write my poetry to ensure it would actually fit on a postcard. Come by and visit! We wish you were with us! http://dversepoets.com/2017/04/18/tuesday-poetics-wish-you-were-here/ thank you De for this amazing prompt and exercise in brevity.

I.
the summer moon bursts
from behind the clouds – startled
an owl takes flight

II.
heavy blossoms pull down the branches
of trees by the river.
higher blossoms weep down their petals
upon the surface of the river
in which the submerged blossoms drown.
dead leaves cover the earth
beneath the trees.
Sharp winds blow
removing the corpses of winter.

III.
The heavens dazzle on
this warm spring night –
At the edge of the yard
an errant flicker of white on black.
A whisper of breeze touches my face.
Ghost of Nobody’s Cat
halts then moves on

Haibun Monday – the only thing we have to fear…

Today I am hosting the Haibun Monday prompt. It is on fear – fear of things, fear of being out of control, fear of losing loved ones, fear – primal and raw. Come join us today.

My Mother’s Daughter
Several years ago my mother began displaying erratic and irresponsible behavior. She was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Since then it has been a downhill road – she has forgotten how to walk, often forgets she has not eaten, has become incontinent. It is heartbreaking. Especially as my mother varies between paranoid, hostile towards me, and loving mother. My husband and I have no children. We did not get married until I was 49 and he was 39. It is just us and his mother who is starting to go somewhat erratic herself.

I am afraid when I look at my mother that one day, I will be sitting in a wheelchair, in her place. I will have no one to know or to care about me except maybe a nursing home. I kept her at home as long as I could but then one day, it became evident I could no longer care for my mother. Then I was afraid of the nursing home in which to place her. But praise God, she was sent from being in the hospital to a small nursing home with only 90 beds and ten minutes from our home. I can visit her often and have formed, during her stay there since January, friendships among the staff and caring relationships with some of the residents. But I am still afraid. My past fears of clowns, losing loved ones, spiders – pales in comparison to this new fear of Alzheimers. Alzheimer’s – one of the scariest words in the human vocabulary.

spring sky turns black – storm
begins and wind blows strong – hawk
flies against the wind

Poetics: From Natures Point of View

Today Mish is doing the Poetics prompt at dVerse Poets Pub.  She wants us to write about life from the perspective of nature:  a tree, frog, flower, whatever!  I used the quote form The Last Samurai as my inspiration and …the cherry blossoms.  Come join us for some excellent poetry.  Poetics: From Nature’s Point of View 

kanzen sakura
through the long winter
I sleep – curled tight within the
wood – I dream of spring
and bursting forth in shades
of pink and white –
just for a day in the sun
just for a day in the rain
just for a day in early spring snow –
just for one glorious day to look
at the beauty around me –
to listen to the birds –
to watch my friends opening –
to the sun around me –
to one day hear a man beneath my perch saying:
“The perfect blossom is a rare thing.
You could spend your life looking for one,
and it would not be a wasted life”***
and to smile and let my petals
slowly fall to earth.

***quote from The Last Samurai by Katsumoto

copyright kanzensakura

Quadrille Monday #28

Today is Quadrille Monday and Kim Russell is our Pubtender!  Write your poem of exactly 44 words using the prompt word “spring”. http://dversepoets.com/2017/03/13/quadrille-28/ The poems are super short – so come visit and get your monthly dose of poetry!

Spring

the calendar says spring is
just a kite flight away –
although the nights are freezing cold,
days are chilly but growing longer.
trees are blooming scattering their petals
in the harsh wind.
the full Worm Moon glistens on frost
In the night –
plum blossoms shiver

public domain photo

dVerse Poets Pub – Haibun Monday #2

Another entry for Haibun Monday: The best things in life are free.

The snow melted from the ground. Underneath were thousands of tiny blue flowers blooming. I am sure they must be kin to the forget-me-not but these are so very tiny and perfect. There were even a few violas mixed in with them. The grass had that curious flat appearance from being crushed under the snow which made these little flowers stand up even more so. The Japanese have a word – sumire- voice of jewels. Imagine! If jewels could sing, it would be with the soft sure voice of these tiny flowers. Blue as the sky above them they shine in the grass as if they were in a jewel box of new grass and old leaves.  Free for the taking, free for their sharing of beauty, free little flowers singing with joy at this gorgeous day.

the small shining things
of spring sing with the voices
of hidden jewels

copyright Kanzensakura

copyright Kanzensakura

 

dVerse Poets Pub: Haibun Monday – The Best Things in Life are Free

Monday I am doing the prompt for Haibun Monday over at dVerse Poets Pub after a fairly long absence. While a bit stressful, it is still good to be back in the Pub writing prompts and reading and commenting on poems. My prompt for everyone is: the best things in life are free – as in without cost – not liberated from something – one of the other meanings of “free”…Come nd join us for the prompt on 02/20/2017.  Haibun Monday – The Best Things in Life are Free

Daffodils are Free!
Daffodils. I love them. I wait for them to come up every year in the very early spring. This year with the winter being so warm, you can spot clusters of green spears springing up from the dead winter grass or they are topped with the golden flowers. The smell of daffodils – I have yet to smell anything that smells like them. A heady mix of honey, jasmine, and butter – the perfume of them has not and probably never will be duplicated. Watching them blowing in the wind or dripping with rain or sticking out of snow, one can only sigh and know we are looking at one of our Creator’s most beautiful miracles. Ever since I was a child, I have loved them and I love them still at the grand old age of 65. They still make me smile, no matter how hard, sad, grey, or difficult the day has been.

Once when I was a child I pulled green blades of a daffodil still wet with rain. I wanted to see how  it tasted. I placed the green blade between my lips – slowly pulling using my tongue to feel the sharp edge and the soft green and the cold wetness of it. Years later after kendo, my lover and I stood in the rain and kissed. He had daffodil lips and I drank in their cool wetness and my tongue probed the sharp edges of his teeth and the slightly bitter taste of his lips.

in the spring rain
daffodils bloom with hope – true
love is in the air

public domain photo

public domain photo

 

Quadrille Monday – Shimmer

Today Victoria is giving us the prompt word for Quadrille Monday.  We are to write a poem of exactly 44 words (not including the title).  Our word is “shimmer”.  Isn’t that a wonderful word?  Come visit us at dVerse Poets Pub and read the Quadrilles for “shimmer”.  Because the poems are only 44 words, it won’t take you long to read and enjoy.  I am using one of my favorite Japanese season words (kigo) – Amanogawa – the Japanese word for the Milky Way  – the River of Heaven. dVerse Link for Quadrille #6 http://dversepoets.com/2016/04/04/quadrille-6/

The Eternal River
The river of heaven shimmers in the night sky.
its shape seems to be asking eternal questions
or flowing to the answers.
when I look up at night,
seeking or finding –
I am the impermanence,
the one who changes.
The river flows – eternal.

free public domain image

free public domain image Milky Way

 

dVerse Poets: Open Link Night #169

Today is Open Link Night at dVerse Poets Pub  Come join us and submit a poem in your choice of form and subject or –
come and read the work of some amazing poets!

copyright kanzensakura

copyright kanzensakura

Spring Haiku

I.
my new kimono –
shamed by the tender green of
willows fresh foliage

!!.
unable to sleep – the
stars and I listen to the
frogs singing at night

III.
Night haze softens bare
trees – plum blossoms secretly
begin to unfold

IV.
spring wind comes blowing
tossing sparrows to the sky –
wind chimes clang loudly

dVerse Poetics Tuesday: Summit in Sight

Lynn is visiting at dVerse today and is the guest prompter. She has given as a prompt, mountains – whether the mountains in nature or a personal climbing of some kind of emotional mountain. I hope you will visit us and read some of what I know will be incredible poems. I am doing a longer, travelogue form of Haibun for this. The title of the post is “Summit in Sight”. http://dversepoets.com/2016/03/29/poetics-summit-in-sight/

 

free public domain image - New River Gorge

free public domain image – New River Gorge

o snail
climb Mount Fuji
but slowly – slowly
” Issa

Crayola Mountains
At the tail end of winter, I had to take a journey across the Cumberland Mountains to be with my mom who was not doing well. I began the long drive with trepidation and grief. The greys, sepias, and black-green of the bare foliage and pine trees of the mountains told the tale of winter. Several mountains were locked in with fog – warning lights blinking, cars moving at just below 10 MPH for safety. Drizzles intermittently were an inconvenient annoyance; not enough wet for full blown wiper usage but too much not to sometimes use the wipers to clear my view. Stops and a brief lunch at a rest stop caused shivers and fast walking to the rest building and back to the car. Several times I grew drowsy and had to use those wintry winds to awaken me and push the tiredness from my body and soul. The looming mountains through which the highway was carved overwhelmed me and I felt so very small inching my way across them, like Issa’s snail.

The journey home was with a lighter heart because of the time spent with my mother and being hugged and held by her, remembered by her, being told how loved I was. As I climbed higher into the mountains I noticed the colors. Why, spring has come! On the mountainsides, scattered among the dull winter colors I noticed bits of tender green and the white of blooming white pear trees. In a few spots, the orchid colored blooms of the redbud tree jumped out and shouted Spring! At the bottom of the mountains, in low lying damp areas, bright yellow green willows were beginning to put forth leaves. Amazingly, on the steep, sharply inclined sides, sheep and lambs, cattle and calves precariously grazed on young grass. I wondered how they grazed without rolling down the mountainsides. Between the mountains in one pasture, I smiled to see sheep, cattle, horses all grazing with democratic amiability. I was also able to glimpse in passing, surviving old farm plantings or animal-sown clumps of daffodils sprouting bright sunny yellow between the dark green leaves.

Crossing several times over the broad New River, I could see the sides of the mountains – rounded boulders of peach, gold, white rock molded by time and the river. I remembered the New River hasn’t been new since its formation in the Paleozoic era as part of the Pottsville group. Like the rocks through which the highway had been cut – by dynamite and man – the river color was layerings of black, deep grey, slate…striations from when the earth moved and the veins of rock pushed upward. Blue skies – periwinkle, cornflower, baby blue – stretched around me and I could see in every direction – the cloudless skies unmarred by buildings or clouds. In some places, winter dead kudzu stretched over the rocks – ragged and dirty colored as Miss Havisham’s bridal veil. In some of the green pastures, outcroppings of white rocks, like jagged white teeth, gleamed in the yellow sun. A few days after I returned home, I sat at my desk and dumped out my deluxe box of crayons and began lifting from the pile, the colors of my journey back home. Pondering over the colors, there was one color I could not find. Thinking of my mother, the only crayon missing was the one labelled Love.

spring comes suddenly
in the mountains – the fog lifts –
colors are now growing

copyright kanzensakura

copyright kanzensakura

Haibun Monday #10 Cherry Blossoms

Monday, over at dVerse Poet’s Pub, I am behind the Bar pouring out the prompt.  Cherry blossom time is a special time in Japan.  Hanami, or cherry blossom viewing, is all about family, fesitival, food, fun…from dawn to dawn, people will be out and about admiring the cherry blossoms.  At night, the trees will be strung with lights so they can be viewed at night as well as providing light for dancing, drinking…lovers!  I am using several cherry blossom haiku by Issa and Basho for the prompt.  Writers are to choose one of the haiku to begin their haibun and then end their haibun with their own nature/cherry blossom based haiku.  Come on over and read and view all the cherry blossoms provided by the various talented poets.  Bar opens at 3:00 pm EST.  Join us here all week:  http://dversepoets.com/2016/03/28/haibun-monday-hanami/

copyright kanzensakura

copyright kanzensakura

“How many many things
they call to mind –
these cherry blossoms”
Basho

As is my annual habit, I checked the cherry blossom blooming forecast for Japan.  This year, they are blooming early – both in Japan and here in the United States.  Sakura Matsuri (cherry blossom festival) is always a bittersweet time for me.  Many memories tied to cherry blossoms:  dancing at night beneath lighted trees, hearing the laughter of other dancers and lovers, wandering beneath their beauty during the day – my breath taken away by their beauty, sakura ice cream, stealing kisses in the midst of a cherry blossom snow, the first blooming of sakura after he went away, standing in the rain and seeing the petals driven into the earth around the trees – like tiny headstones for the graves of tears.

I still feel some of that sadness but remember when I began again to feel anticipation of and joy in their blooming.  The sadness is the mono no aware felt during this season for their quickly passing beauty – deep pink blooms against an azure sky or pure white blooms like earthbound clouds.  Yesterday I strolled under the cherry trees and smiled at lovers and danced to music of Japanese style bands, introduced my husband to a typical hanami picnic lunch.  His eyes as blue as the sky took in all the sights, sounds, and smells of his first sakura matsuri.  Joy and peace at being again in love with the cherry blossoms in spite of their beautiful brevity.  Hand holding and stealing kisses under the cherry trees seems to be eternal as Fuji – it is comforting to know some things do not change with time.  And that which was thought lost is found again.

cherry blossoms dance
in spring breeze – song of birds
like temple bells.

copyright kanzensakura

copyright kanzensakura

 


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