dVerse Poets Pub – Haibun – What’s in a Name?

Thursday is Open Link Night at the dVerse Poets Pub. You can submit one original poem of your choice. I am submitting this haibun.  The haiku is the one I wrote for the contest ages ago.  Come join us at dVerse and find your new favorite poet!  http://dversepoets.com/2016/05/26/openlinknight-173/

public domain image

public domain image

What’s in a Name?
The image:. A beautiful woman with dark curly hair and in her arms a pretty daughter with matching hair. Toni Home Permanent. Which twin has the Toni? Toni doll:. Wash! Comb! Curl! Her magic hair! TV in the 1950’s bombarded you with images of perfection (Just like now). My pregnant mother just knew she would give birth to a daughter and because she had naturally beautiful black hair with curls, and her younger sister and her mother and grandmother, so would her daughter. I was born with a headful of black curls and so she named me Toni. I hated this name. Kids sneered. Nyah nyah! You have a boy’s name. Teachers insisted my name was Antonia or Tonia. No one was called Just Toni. I hated the name Tonia. Tonnnnnyuh. Tonia was the perfect little girl in Sunday School with straight hair the color of ripe wheat. Tonia was not the tangle curly haired snaggle toothed glasses wearing changeling – that was Toni.

In school Tonia was well behaved and used a bookmark under the words as she dutifully read – Toni was halfway through the book and always being set in a corner because she didn’t read the right words when called upon. Toni was hard to spell:. Tony, Toney, Tone, Tonie, Tonee, and the middle name…Carol. Before she could get away with not using not telling it. Vicious kids would twist and slur it…Toneeee Currrrl…hey Toneeee Currrrl. Your mother named you after a boy. Four eyed Toneeee Currrrl….nyah nyah

But Toni – when she was six wrote her first haiku. When she was 12, she won second place in the state haiku society contest for adults. She began reading Eliot, Dickinson, Whitman,. Thoreau. And by then she no longer heard the meanness, but ya know? Now? Those knife cuts from long ago still sting. Sometimes in the night when she can’t sleep, she wonders if she will ever write a first place haiku. Will she ever be good enough?  When she moves slowly and deliberately through the sword forms, she wonders if her movements will ever make music in the air. She looks down at the faded Second Place Winner certificate and opens the tattered sheet of paper and still wonders if she will ever be good enough or will she always be the four eyed changeling – always be boynamed Toneee Currrrl.

summer full moon – no
shadows in silver lit yard –
sword slashes through night


public domain image

public domain image

A Long Time Ago in a Walmart Far, Far, away…

Today on dVerse Poetics, Grace has introduced us to Canadian Poet David McFadden. He is the “darling of the avant-garde” and yet, is readable and at home with supernatural events, meaning, he finds something extraordinary in every day ordinary events – like psychic bus stops. Grace wants us to write about things outside the ordinary of our daily life but still part of our ordinary life – like waiting for a bus. I hope you all will come visit us and read about this incredible and unstuffy, unpretentious poet (see, we DO exist!). Below is my submission which personally, I think is kind of fun and really really happened just last week…http://dversepoets.com/2015/12/01/poetics-secrets-of-the-universe/

free public domain image

free public domain image


A Long Time Ago in a Walmart Far, Far, away…
Christmas was coming.
My husband said, I want an Amazon gift card
And a light saber. He gave me both last year.
Technology has come far.   For the paltry sum of $34.99 he gave me
the Luke Skywalker light saber sold at Walmart.
When turned on the saber turned a bright blue and
Went – whoosh – from the bottom to the top and
made the wonderful whumming sound and when banged against
something went crackclang just like in the movies.
When cut off, the blue whooshed down to the bottom
– Just like the REAL light sabers.
However, I was not able to slice through objects
or persons…bah.

Christmas was coming.
I fortified myself for going into the shopping universe
by playing Halo for a bit, and doing a load of laundry,
And loading the dishwasher…

At THE toy aisle of the Death Star
I found what I wanted.
I heard it a few aisles before I arrived.
The telltale whoosh, whummmmm, clang, whooshwhoosh….

Thin, blonde…10 years old swinging the light saber as if his life depended on it.
Closer, I grabbed it with my hand stopping him in mid-swing.
…It is good Padawan I have my life shimmer activated or you
Would have cut off my fingers.
He looked me almost in the eye and blinked – slowly.
…I asked him how long had he been training?
This time he grinned.
I took a another saber from the shelf, turned it on
And going into “the stance” told him most solemnly
how to better hold it, and gave a slow swing and graceful pivot.
With huge eyes, he imitated.
A few more swings and he chirps,  Jedi Knight, will you show me more?
And I did.
His harried mother came up and stopped – her son being taught a fighting form
by a too short woman with long white braid.
She watched as the woman swung the saber over her head
and then gently disarmed the young boy and bowed to him.
He saw his mother and became awkward.
…Young Padawan, you have the making of a most
Audacious and dangerous Jedi.
Practice hard and listen to your parents
And study hard. The Rebel forces need such as you
when you have completed your training.

We bowed to each other and he scampered off
babbling at a thousand parsecs per second.
I took the light saber he had carefully placed back on the shelf.
I had found the perfect one for my husband.
I would let him know he had much work to do to catch up
to the young Padawan.

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