Shinrin-yoku

for day 12 of Nannernanner. At Real Toads prompt – Costa Rica.   A micro-poem. I couldn’t get the image Margaret provided to copy so I found one that is similar. Shinrin-yoku is the Japanese practice of “forest bathing” or forest meditation.

Shinrin-yoku
The trees welcome
They exude peace calm cool
The cares of world slip away
Breathing in the goodness of trees
Walking among them
Listening to them
Touching them
Smelling the green

fair trade

Holy Roots

For dVerse “Holy Places” prompt and for Real Toads #30 in 30, day three. I have done this now for three days.  Five is usually my limit.

Holy Roots
My roots burrow deep into
the red stony iron rich soil
from which my parents coaxed almost
year round vegetables and tomatoes so
full of acid a slice on your plate would
jump up and slap your face before
you could cut it with a fork.

My roots burrow through golden sand
and sensuously lap at salt water –
my roots drift through foreign soils
and drink the icy torrents or
slow moving warm rivers or
sky blue lakes or water colored
a rich cedar red from the tannins
in the earth or wander lazily
through meadows and forests.

My roots sleep beneath the low ground cover
and silently sip from streams and dew
and stay buried beneath years of pine needles
and rotted foliage and rocks
holding trees straight and tall or
sometimes slumped or even supine.
Small things dig beneath my roots for food
and worms and bugs live their tiny lives
and creatures sleep among the roots
and build their daily homes.

My roots spread far and wide on
This earth – they have nurtured
loved grew danced buried –
They have listened to the steady
vibrations of the earth, sung
along with the rain, stretched beneath
the sun, wandered beside paths
made by animals and humans.
My roots have prayed
at all of these holy places.
Wherever my roots touch is a holy place.
I carry my holiness within.
I am my holy place.
I am my cathedral.

 

roots – fair use

 

 

haibun: A Year in the Life of a Tree

This is for Wordy Thursday over at Real Toads.  We are to write positively about trees, the Wild Woman movement, climate change, etc.  there is a movement afoot called “Tree Sisters: Seeding for Change, aim to plant a billion trees world-wide this year, and they are well on their way.”  I love trees.  This is about my best friend among the trees. I broke tradition and did not write a haiku but instead, a mini poem, not a tanka.

 

A year in the Life of a Tree

We moved into this house 20 years ago. My husband had had his eye on this house for sometime so when it became available, we snapped it up. The day after we moved in, I went on a walk through the woods that are on and adjoin our property. I grew up around trees – ancient oaks, dancing pines, lacy cherry trees, flaming maples, whispering willows. I fell in love with them all. Being a true believer in *Shinrin-yoku, I fell in love with trees all over again. The fact that these were our trees made the love sweeter, more delicious, deeper. I walked among the trees that day, touching each one of them, looking up into their leaved canopy, feeling their roots spreading beneath me. I felt the love welcoming me. Everyday I walk among them. All sadness, stress, anger – everything disappears when I walk among my friends.

My best friend in particular is one huge, ancient oak. Many times I have climbed up among its branches sitting cradled in them, my back against its bark. I have watched the woodland creatures on their daily errands, seen birds flying and nesting, watched a snake or a lizard stretching around their trunks. But this one, this particular one…he has made me most welcome. I will often climb up with a book and a bottle of water in a small pack on my back. Often, I have my violin hung on my back. I sit and play for the trees, for myself. Sometimes the songs are sad, often they lilt and dance. I have watched my life passing by in their leaves – from tender spring green to fading autumn colors. My best friend is always there – in rain, snow, winter, summer…the song I most often play for my friend is La Musica Notturna Delle Estrade di Madrid form No. 6, Opus 30 bu Boccherini. I fell in love with the song after watching the movie Master and Commander. It seemed the perfect song for my tree. The leaves all dance and the birds settle down and listen. It took me almost a year to learn the song.

a year in the life
of a tree goes by slowly –
the violin sings –
I play and the leaves dance
my friend smiles as do I

*shinrin-yoku – Japanese for forest bathing

La musica nottuna dell estrade di madrid no.6 op.30

Haibun Monday #14 – Relax

I am hosting today and for the next couple of times, the Haibun Monday prompt sessions over at dVerse Poets Pub. Today the prompt is “relax” and how do you relax? I am excited about this and have several prompts already going in my head.  I hope you will join us.  The haibun is a wonderful form – a nonfiction prose/poetry form summed up by a haiku at the end.  For my haibun today, I have chosen to write about “boketto”.  Boketto is taken from 「ぼけとする – to be daydreaming. One gazes into the horizon or sky and does it without thinking, by the mind being still and empty. One is aware of what is going on and absorbs scents, sounds, sensations (such as heat from sun or rain). No thinking about anything – no recipes, work, schedules – nothing. Relax!

Boketto 「ぼけとする」
It is the time of morning after the birds have awakened and their busy work completed. Nestlings have been fed and are still for a time. Quietly resting in the branches hidden by full green leaves, the birds are mostly silent now. Sometimes a trill or chirp from a wren, the soft whoowhoowhoo from a dove or the sweet bell song of a cardinal. Rush hour traffic has ended and only an occasional car passes. The sweet smell of honeysuckle in the summer heat is sweet incense. I lie in the hammock gazing up at the green tree tops against the blue sky watching the hawk as it hunts, floating on the wind currents high above me. No thoughts inside my head. A wispy white cloud drifts away into the blue boundary of the horizon. My mind is empty and my eyes simply observe. 「ぼけとする」This daydreaming is as automatic as my heartbeats. I no longer have to say, no thoughts, and work to empty myself. Just as I stopped years ago saying, breathe, breathe…Emptier than the blue sky above me, I simply am.

green tree canopy
blue summer sky – little cloud
fades in the horizon

copyright kanzensakura

copyright kanzensakura

Haibun Monday – Walk

Bjorn is our host today, giving us our prompt for our haibun today. He wants us to share a walk we have taken – a daily walk, pilgrimage, tour…a walk! Share details, feelings – all involved with the walk. This is like a mini-travelogue. Come join us at dVerse today, walk with us, talk with us.

copyright kanzensakura

copyright kanzensakura

Daily Ramble

Every day, regardless of the weather, I walk.  Mostly I walk down our lane to finish at the creek at the bottom of the hill.  Muddy from spring storms, clear and rimmed with ice, sleepy in the early morning – this place is a refuge.  In the summer, the lane is shaded with thick ancient oaks and maple and in the green light of the woods, you can breathe in the cool breathe of the trees and undergrowth. During a rain, the raindrops tap on the leaves and make them dance. Squirrels jump from tree to tree, birds chirp and flutter in the safety of their private cathedral.  Autumn the smell is spicy with fallen leaves and the light filtering through the trees is golden and calm.  Snow sticks to the bare limbs and covers the ground beneath the trees in winter.  Sepia, white, and the dark green of cedar are the colors of winter.  Tracks of deer and raccoons break the smooth white of the snow.

Tender green bursts forth in the spring.  The cycle begins anew.  Daffodils gone wild rise beneath the trees, survivors of a long gone farm.  A cabin in ruins is part of the landscape of this walk.  Wild white roses and white blooms of blackberry vines are thick and fragrant.  Sometimes I take this walk at night.  The muscular sound of an owl rising to hunt breaks the silence.  Peepers who live at the creek stop their night music until the threat passes.  Summer smells of night blooming jasmine and honeysuckle entice me on my night ramble to walk farther, to walk to the creek.  In the winter, snow coats my hair and coat.  At times I will walk through snow and others, I walk before the snow begins to stick.  Sometimes I startle deer in their walk to the creek.

Moonlight sparkles on the black water – all the seasons.  The creek will whisper slow lullabies, sing a bluesy burble, or sing double time, a laughing aria.  I know these woods and the creek through all the seasons, all the times of day and night.  Sometimes in my dreams I walk this walk and often, leave the ground to walk among the watching stars, trying to catch meteors or wade in the River of Heaven** as it swirls in the black sky.  To the creek, to the River of Heaven – my walk.

cedars and jasmine
cool water and spicy leaves –
stars and trees true friends.

copyright kanzensakura

copyright kanzensakura

**River of Heaven – Amanogawa, Japanese name for the Milky Way

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