dVerse Poets: Groovy like dirty snow

Lillian is hosting the bar today and asks us, how are we feeling? and to use the word groovy in the poem.  Well…

 

Groovy Like Dirty Snow
How do I feel today?
I feel like doing murder.
I feel like skinning the man alive who lives behind us.
He shot the two cats who were the sons of Nobody’s Cat.
I had been feeding them.
He shot a raccoon as well.
So much vermin.
I found them stiff in the snow with blood about them.
A casual violence on his part.
Two stray cats.
A raccoon.
Shoot them for target practice.
Ginger is dead.
Tuxedo is dead.
Ask me a year from now how I am feeling.
Hopefully,
I’ll be feeling a bit groovy.
But not today.
Not today.

frozen stiff bodies
in the snow – I weep at the
unthinking violence

 

Real Toads: Strange Fish

This is for Real Toads weekend challenge – a photo by Hedgewitch which she asks us to write to. I am also posting for Poets United Poetry Pantry. Toads:  http://withrealtoads.blogspot.com/2017/10/camera-flash.htmlp Poets United link: http://poetryblogroll.blogspot.com/2017/10/poetry-pantry-374.html

Strange Fish
He jumped from the Putney bridge in the winter of 1890.
He drowned. Within a few days his body filled with gas
And rose to the top of the water,
Bumping and bobbing its way along,
caught in the current of the Thames.
It went through the city
past pastures, villages –
After a few days it was finally spotted
by a small child who ran to her mum.
Her mum ran to the local bailiff
Who in turn called out the able bodied men
who formed a line on the shore of the river
and dragged him ashore.
Not a pretty picture by this time.
They shook their heads over the
poor young lad come to no good
and wondered if he was pushed,
If he was drunk and fell in,
oa if it was suicide.
They decided on the lesser of the causes
And buried him an unknown drunk in the church yard.
If it had been suicide, he would not have been
buried in the church yard.
As a murder victim he would have to be investigated
by somebody or other.
They put a small stone on his grave
and the date they pulled him from the river.
The local stonemason carved
“The Lord giveth and taketh away”
In his pockets was a washed away picture,
a few shillings and pennies
and a sodden handkerchief
with the initials TLB embroidered upon it.

Poets United: Midweek Motif

I have been out of the poetry rounds for several weeks due to problems with my eyes.  The MD has cleared me and I am back on the circuits again.  This is about a stray tuxedo tom who I began feeding a couple of autumns ago.  I didn’t want to love him, I just wanted to feed him.  But I fell in love of course.  I called him Nobody’s Cat.  I am posting this for Poets United Mid-week Motif on animals.  http://poetryblogroll.blogspot.com/2017/10/poets-united-midweek-motif-animals.html

The Potting Shed

The old potting shed is slowly returning to the earth
settling down on its crumbling stone foundations,
roof slates cracked or missing,
paint fading and flaking.
The fact remains that underneath
Nobody’s Cat burrowed in during the last snow
And died.
Daffodils’ green spears are thick and lush
around the perimeter of the old building.
the flowers stand like mourners
around a grave
as the sun slowly sets
in an explosion of
saffron ginger turmeric curry –
spiced winter day
ends in a flurry of last
waves of goodbye

 

 

Real Toads: I wrote you a book

Today at Real Toads we are to write a poem to a book – a book of poetry or a collection of poems. I have chosen one of the five most influential books to me – Basho’s Narrow Road to the Deep North.  It was a birthday gift to me from my beloved and revered friend and tutor.  This is the book which introduces us all to the haibun – prose ending with a haiku.  Basho’s haibun were originally travel sketches.  I have traveled Basho’s route several times at different times of the year.  I wrote my first haibun when I was 14.  I have a written a haibun to it, in the spirit of the book. I am also linking this to Poets United Poetry Pantry: http://poetryblogroll.blogspot.com/2017/09/poetry-pantry-370.html

The Beginning
It was November, two days before my 12th birthday. Jamie Pollard, our lifelong next door neighbor who had started my love of Japanese poetic forms and especially haiku, gave me an old ragged copy of Road to the North by Basho. He had carried the copy with him several times to Japan. He said, I want you to read this. It will introduce you to the haibun. I think you will enjoy writing them. I opened the book in awe touching the pages tenderly and then hugged Jamie. My road was opened to me. I have traveled it all my life.

snow was falling – you
were given to me – a
gift still loved today

public domain image from Road to the North

Memento Mori

I began the custom of keeping the seasons in the manner of the Japanese, while I was in a long-term relationship with a gentleman I called, my Samurai. The starkness of words to portray seasons and events of the seasons appealed to me and have become as much a part of me as my Southern drawl.

public domain photo

Memento Mori
Silent empty country road.
Houses huddled in fields,
small lots down dirt roads.
The tires of my car hum
on the cold empty roads.
Quiet here now between kareno (withered fields).
Stretches of rolling sepia
swept clean by cold winds: kogarashi (withering winds) –
ochiba (fallen leaves) swept to the verge
of surrounding bare woods.
Fuyu no chinmoku (winter silence) beckons.
I park my car on the side of the road
and begin to walk in this particular field.
My feet leave no mark on the frozen ground.
Only the staccato bark of a distant crow
pierces the silence.
I step over a small stream – mizu karu (water dried up)
and head towards the line of trees.
No signs warning “Posted – No Trespassing”.
I am free to roam as I wish.
My eyes fix upon three small trees on
The edge of the field:  Two taller, bare and gnarled,
tangled as if holding in their bony arms
a small tree in turn its lowest branch
cradling an abandoned nest –
the image of a Victorian sepia
memento mori.
I stop at a respectful distance,
my hands folded, my head bowed.
The samushi (cold air) makes my nostrils tingle.
Soft pattering on the branches of the bare trees begins.
Mizore (sleet) falls from iron sky.
I stand in the cold.
I stand in this landscape,
at peace in this landscape –
I stand – still – in this landscape –
a haiku of no words.

public domain photo

The Branch

For dVerse OLN 201 http://dversepoets.com/2017/08/10/openlinknight-201/ – one poem of our choice with any subject and the prompt at Real Toads – we are to write about things unseen.   I chose this picture I took last winter after a tremendous wind and snow storm.  The branch transfixed me then, it still does.  http://withrealtoads.blogspot.com/

The Branch
I know this branch.
When last I saw it,
several small wrens were perched
upon it, settled among the
golden autumn leaves.

A drizzle of rain made
some delicate drips
and a light wind caused it
to gently sway.
The wrens rode the branch
like small sea birds drifting
on a peaceful sea of black wood.
Torn from the tulip poplar
the skeletal branch
pokes up through the snow,
carried by wind and snow
it ends up in this place
in my yard.

Now, it lies in my yard
encased in frozen snow.
When the snow melts and
I clean my yard,
I will take this branch and
move it to the verge
of the woods that border my yard.
I will lay it down gently on
the fallen leaves and pine needles.
Through time, ants will traverse its length,
tiny frogs will sit by its hugeness
blending in with brown leaves –
Their eyes round and shiny,
their tongues reaching out to
feast on small bugs moving about
the ground and on the branch.
A small spider will spin a web
catching gnats and no-see-ems.
On his way up from the creek
a small green snake will curve its way
sliding under the branch, going
about its green snake business.
The box turtle that explores my garden
and that small patch of woods
will make its slow sure way
under the branch.
The branch will rise and fall and slide
along the turtle’s back and
settle back onto the ground,
maybe at a slightly different angle.
Dew and rain will fall,
small birds will perch on
its fragile fingers.
Beetles, slugs, worms –
all will burrow beneath
and crawl upon it.
Time will pass and the wood
inside the black bark will begin
to rot and turn to dust.
On the ground, the black bark
of the branch will lie discarded
like the skin of an ancient snake.

I will be old.
I will make my deliberate painful way
across my yard.
There I will see the
remains of the bark.
I will, with effort
bend over and touch the bark
with my finger.
I will remember the day
I put it there.
I will say
to the trees around me,
I know this branch.

copyright kanzensakura

Snow

For Real Toads https://withrealtoads.blogspot.com/2017/07/fireblossom-friday-bang-youre-dead.html Fireblossom Friday: Bang! You’re dead. Writing from beyond the grave….mwahahaaaaaaaa

Snow
drifting off
falling asleep
dreaming
opening the window
and gliding out into the snow
no footprints
no steamy breath
no weight no pain no sadness
walking into a dream
of slow falling snow
using the snowflakes
like stepping stones
walking up to the sky
walking on the tops of trees
of roofs of streetlights
covered with snow
slow falling snow
slow
falling…

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