dVerse Poets Pub – voice of first frost

This is for dVerse’s Poets Pub, Haibun Monday.  Victoria is using the words “shimi no koe” – the voice of first frost to prompt us in our haibun.  First frost is a precursor to hatsu yuki, the first snow.  These two firsts are almost like sacred times to the Japanese and their observance of the seasons.  Victoria has done a beautiful job in this prompt.  Come visit us and read the various haibun at:  http://dversepoets.com/2017/10/02/haibun-monday-shimo-no-koe-  I’ve been awy due to eye problems.  I am slowly working my way back. Today I am posting this at Real Toads.   http://withrealtoads.blogspot.com/2017/10/the-tuesday-platform.html

Beautiful October
The October after you left in June was one of the most beautiful autumns I have known. I remember the smell of freshly fallen leaves mixing with the mast of those fallen the year before and slowly returning to the earth. I remember the colors all swirled together in a psychedelic tee shirt of warm colors. Most of all, I remember the night frost descended – the first of the season.

I remember sitting on the steps and blowing out the smoke from the joint I was smoking – doubly rich smoke both from the herb and the cold. The smoke was pure white in the moonlight. I shivered in the cold and pulled my frayed denim jacket closer. Across the full moon, a bat? An owl? A night bird? Flew blacking out the sparkling stars in the cold black sky. I could feel the change in the air; I could feel the temperature drop and feel the frost forming on my face, on the sleeves of the jacket. I walked across the lawn, slowly. Turning I could see where my boots had melted the frost that was glimmering on the grass. I thought to myself, trying to get over you was like trying to sew with gloves on or trying to turn a long rusted bolt.

autumn night – silent
stars look down on the frost and
shiver in the cold

public domain image

dVerse OLN 172 – spring stars – haru no hoshi

For dVerse Poets Pub #172. Poets submit one poem of their choice for this. All kinds of poems will be linked by talented poets. Come find your new favorite poet. My poem, a daring (for me) break of Japanese poetic form – a tanka and haiku together. Come join us at: http://dversepoets.com/2016/05/12/open-link-night-171/

haru no hoshi
spring night sky – wet stars
falling silent as dust. lights
dim out one by one
glowing moon breathes – blackberry
blooms are born – earthbound stars.

blackberry blooms in
dark night – dreams of summer wine
entice sleeping birds

 

copyright kanzensakura

copyright kanzensakura

dVerse Poets Pub – Meeting the Bar #2

Another entry for the wonderful Golden Shovel poetic form prompt De has given us to use for our poems.  Come and read!  I am linking to:  http://dversepoets.com/2016/05/05/dverse-meeting-the-bar-the-golden-shovel-form/  I seem to have a theme going here:  stars and the night.  I have taken my lines (two lines out of sequence but in order) from Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s  Maud, an extract, section viii

Winter Stars at Night
In spite of the leaving of day and love my heart continues to beat
and to throb in rhythm with the watching stars and to
carry me onward through the night and the
coldness of snow as it falls – noiseless.
I remember the lights and the music
your arms around me and the warmth of
your kiss on my neck – tasting the pearls, the
salt of my skin. Before you left the Night
was bright with chandelier stars and warm and my heart beat
f
ast with the waltz and the oh so happy
music and the lift of the music and the smiling stars.
Now here in the lonely night the stars pulse, timing
their silent heartbeats with
lost and broken things
stumbling in the falling snow, here on the earth below

free non-commercial use image

free non-commercial use image

Meeting the Bar: Golden Shovel

Today at the dVerse Poets Pub, De (WwhimsyGizmo) has given us the poetic form prompt of Golden Shovel. A most interesting form. You take a line or lines from a favorite poem. Each word becomes the last word of a line of the poem. Come visit us to read this distinct reforming of a poem. I have chosen a favorite haiku by Kobayashi Issa. The italicized words at the end of each line are the words of the haiku. I am linking to: http://dversepoets.com/2016/05/05/dverse-meeting-the-bar-the-golden-shovel-form/

Night Stars
The hot dense time of summer
Wraps my garden in slumberous night
so hot the frogs are silent and even
the cicadas sleep – the
distant black horizon explodes with showers of stars.
alone together, the night and I are
gazing in adoration at the crescent moon – the whispering
footsteps of passing covert deer on their way to
the dreaming creek. A lone mockinbird names each
 in their passing, intimately known to the other.

haiku by Issa written in his own hand

haiku by Issa written in his own hand

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

 

KFC and City Stars

Our first Christmas together we spent in your home of Hakone. I was transfixed by the beauty of where you grew up with Mt. Komagatake as a backdrop to Mt. Fuji and the lapping clarity of Lake Ashi. To my vast amusement, I discovered Colonel Sanders was Father Christmas’ main man and that Christmas dinners were KFC – the commercials on TV with Japanese “Victorian” skaters and builders of snow men, green wreaths, reindeer – I watched hypnotized and wanting to laugh aloud at the incongruous but cheerful visions dancing outside of my head, but I didn’t want to be insulting. It was a great relief to see your full lips twisted in a wry grin and your eyes sparkling with impish delight. “I’ll have to use some connections”, you said, “it is too late to order now. Most people would have ordered their dinners by the end of October.” Yes, KFC is a big deal dinner! Specially decorated buckets, meals with elaborate cakes and bottles of wine or sake – and when we went to pick up our dinner on Christmas eve, we stood in line for an hour waiting our turn.

Families and groups of single friends happy and laughing, anticipating. Inside the KFC – a bar with red and green flashing lights and a bartender in a Santa cap! A lifesize Colonel Sanders figure with a Santa cap and a wreath of silk holly around his neck! I stood gaping at the tables of families digging into the buckets pulling out special plates with the date and under that, layers of chicken, cole slaw, tossed salad, mashed potatoes, Christmas cake, bottle of sake – like an endless treasure box. I hadn’t had that sense of delight since the first time I walked into Studio 54. It was just as surreal too.

We snagged our bucket and walked home in the crisp evening. In heavy coats we sat in your garden and wolfed our way through the chicken – you going for the dark meat, me going for the light. And it tasted exactly the same! We passed the bottle of surprisingly good sake between the two of us as we ate. Totally sated with food and wine, we lay in the gravel of your karesansui and made “snow” angels, laughing at each other, our laughter carrying through the clear mountain air. I lay there looking up into the stars twinkling over Japan. You leaned over to touch my face and then kissed me, both of our faces greasy and salty. “Come and look at the city stars, beloved.” You pulled me up and we walked to the edge of your property looking down over the city. I was silenced by the beauty of the lights below me – the colors, the shapes, glittering like a huge gaudy brooch for earth. And then I looked back up at the night sky, Mt. Fuji in the distance blocking out a space of black. I fell in love with stars, yet again. Several meteors streaked to earth – I wept for such beauty that would never again be seen, in that same way.

flaming stars outshine
earthly stars and fall from
the sky – meteor snow

 

public domain photo - Tokyo from Mt. Dodairi

public domain photo – Tokyo from Mt. Dodairi

Another submission, a haibun, for dVerse Poets Pub prompt on Stars.  Come visit us and read these lovely seasonal poems – from the Star that led the Magi to the Stars to which we now boldly go.  http://dversepoets.com/2015/12/15/tonis-title-pending/

 

Beneath the Faithful Stars

Tuesday of this coming week, I will be Pubtender for the dVerse Poets Pub Poetics. My prompt will be Stars. I will be posting this poem for that prompt as well as for Poets United Poetry Pantry on Sunday Poetry Pantry #282

Ursid meteor showers public domain photo

Ursid meteor showers public domain photo

Beneath the Faithful Stars
During the deep night
and only the distant hoot of an owl
breaks the silence.
I lean on a tree and gaze up
at the stars.
Windows around me dark
But above me the windows
of heaven shine.

I only ask of  the stars that they continue
to shine just as they have for millennia.
In this silent night
their heat cooled by unfathomable distance
and their music just the faintest whisper
of glass chimes –
I wrap myself in my grandmother’s quilt
for warmth in the December night.
The faithless world changes from day to day
but the heartbreaking beauty of the stars
ever faithful shines.

Previous Older Entries

%d bloggers like this: