Freya at Pure Haiku has chosen one of my haiku for her Ocean series. You can read it here.
Freya at Pure Haiku has chosen one of my haiku for her Ocean series. You can read it here.
We’re driving to the shore. Charcoal clouds drift and grow, and the day grows darker. All the rough lines and divisions between sea and sky are feather-brushed into one scene of blended grey. We circle the blocks, looking for a place to park, then sit in the car, listening to thunder, and watching the rain fall in silver sheets around us, filling the air with the scent of petrichor. The steady stream of water becomes drops that tip-tap-taper off, and the dark clouds blow away, leaving a blue sky with an egg yolk yellow sun. We walk to the beach. The sea is calmer now, but I hear it call–it is ever changing and never mute.
spindrift in endless cycles
blown by summer storms
This is for dVerse, Haibun Monday, where Björn asked us to write about grey.
I’ve also used this week’s words from Secret Keeper: Calm/rough/storm /ease /mute
“Some questions remain long after their owners have died. Lingering like ghosts. Looking for the answers they never found in life.”
–Michael Frayn, Copenhagen
Bohr: “A curious sort of diary memory is.”
Heisenberg: “You open the pages, and all the neat headings and tidy jottings dissolve around you.”
Bohr: “You step through the pages into the months and days themselves.”
Margrethe: “The past becomes the present inside your head.”
—Michael Frayn, Copenhagen
We go to bed with snow on the ground and wake to spring. We step through the door, and into the day.
Winter’s ghostly forms
banished by the golden light—
one bloom has opened
We walk down city streets. Here, as we approach Chinatown, sound travels faster than sight, if not light.
We hear the drums and firecrackers, long before we see the lion. We step into the crowd. The lion dance, a centuries-old tradition. The noise of the firecrackers, the constant beating of the drum, and the lion itself will scare away evil spirits. Perhaps the ancestors smile.
Lion’s head and tail
sweeps away year’s bad fortune
We stop for coffee, and walk and talk, passing nineteenth-century buildings that co-exist with their newer neighbors. I feel the ghosts around us.
We step into the theater. We step into time and space. We are in Copenhagen. No, we are sharing the memories of these three: German physicist Werner Heisenberg, his Danish mentor Niels Bohr, and Bohr’s wife, Margrethe with whom he shares everything. We are in some sort of limbo.
They are ghosts, perhaps–
well, no longer living–
in this place,
where they try to remember
what was said
and by whom,
recreating a meeting
when Heisenberg, who worked in Nazi Germany
visited Bohrs in occupied Denmark.
Late September, Copenhagen, 1941.
We learn about quantum mechanics,
Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle,
calculations made and not made,
the Jewish scientists who flee the Nazis,
taking their knowledge to England and the U.S.
(those who are not murdered.
The characters move around the stage,
but who is the nucleus?
That depends on who is telling the story.
Are we each the center of our universe?
But then why can’t we see what others see?
Going through several “drafts” trying to remember
realizing that every moment becomes the past,
looking for answers
to questions that they never asked when they were alive.
It is a play about science.
It is a play about morality.
It is a play that asks what is truth?
It is a play that I wish the abomination in the White House
could actually understand.
Like Bohrs and Heisenberg, we step outside,
walk and talk,
try to make some sense of the play,
if not the world around us–
We drink wine and beer—
celebrate my husband’s birthday—
We discuss the play
We’ve been together a long time.
Sometimes our memories are different.
“I’m afraid you’re wrong, dear.”
“The seasons, they go round and round”
But are we captives of time,
or did we create it?
Winter turns to spring,
time travels with light and sound
Do ghosts know the answers?
Perhaps. Perhaps not.
Maybe they reframe their stories.
living them over,
trying to find the right questions to ask,
but as for us,
we live now–
seeing the beauty in a single bloom,
even as it becomes the past,
and our diaries pages jumble and fade,
it lives on in our memories—somewhere—
perhaps twisting and turning like a Lion Dance–
in time and space.
I played around with this, and I suppose it is a sort of Merril Musings Extended Haibun. 🙂 We saw the Lantern Theater Company’s production of Copenhagen. I highly recommend it, but since it was the last performance, you won’t be able to see it.
A memory. His birthday falls over the long Presidents Day weekend. We wander through greenhouses where orchids and roses bloom, scenting the air with summer perfume. We stroll about the gardens without jackets, enjoying the taste of spring. The next day it snows.
hovers with uncertainty–
mist turns to snowflakes
This year, the morning sun gleams on the bare and budding branches. Birds flock, seeking sustenance, as the skies grow cloudy, and in the evening white flakes drift down to cover the emerging green sprouts. We wrap ourselves in blankets, eat birthday cake, and laugh.
Hands together grasp
wine and roses, youth and age
following the heart
I’ve combined challenges for this Haibun: Frank’s hazy moon challenge from last week, his current rose/Presidents’ Day challenge, and Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday challenge. The words we’re supposed to use synonyms for are character and affection. I don’t know if it’s correct to use both a haiku and senryu in one piece, but I did.
Thanks to Brian Geiger and the Vita Brevis team for publishing my poem, “Gravitational Waves–Again.”
Say their names slowly–
remember each life lost, now
tolled in hopes and prayers
by those who have forgotten
love, embracing greed instead
This is a tanka for dVerse. Frank asked us for brevity.
She dreamt of flowers in her head
instead of winter’s gloomy tune
she heard brightness, gently tread
on blossoms silver, underneath the moon,
of a bird in hand, to him, she crooned
She started when the sun arose–
happiest with a starry sky
when she could then repose
after eating—feeling time fleeting–
every second, she felt her heart beating–
(questioning what was seen)
if this was life, or a dream?
Murmur me, the stars and moon,
glissando whispers, humming croons–
purring from a kitten’s throat,
murmurs, old men’s anecdotes–
murmuration, birds in flight,
sighted in the morning light,
murmur me, an old oak tree
murmur me, what lovers sing–
murmuring life in everything.
This is for Quadrille Monday at dVerse. De Jackson has asked us to use the word murmur.
Yesterday morning while I was drinking coffee and writing my Monday post, I suddenly heard so many birds. They just kept coming and swooping around. I thought murmuration. These photos are not very good, since I took them quickly with my phone through the kitchen door, but it was magical.
“That you are here—that life exists, and identity;
That the powerful play goes on, and you will contribute a verse.”
–Walt Whitman, “Oh Me! Oh Life!”
“There is regret, almost remorse,
For Time long past.”
–Percy Bysshe Shelley, “Time Long Past”
Months ago, in summer weather,
when temperatures were up,
I walked down,
and saw a watch
left on the stairway
of the parking garage,
(digital, no hands)
encircling the red railing, like a wrist.
Was it an object lost, then found?
Or a statement perhaps—we are time bound?
A metaphor, let me expound–
the passing of time
or of us passing while time stands still—
make of this what you will,
but I think of it still.
This has been a strange week
of ups and downs
in life and weather,
one day snow and one day spring
not knowing what the next will bring
the stock market rises and falls
the calls hidden behind the White House walls
(well, what isn’t Twittered
from a president who needs a babysitter!)
life seems so unstable
things I once took for granted,
now it’s arguments and views slanted.
On a cold morning,
I take the train into Philadelphia
the day after The Big Game
and though to me, sports are all the same
still, it’s good to see people happy
instead of being mean and snappy.
Walking in the cold
looking at the new and old
I’m anxious about a meeting,
but I feel joy in my heart,
as I suddenly notice, then stop—
to take photos of public art.
During this week of ups and downs
we look for papers to document my mother
(to prove she is not some other)
her existence in black and white upon a page
to prove—at this stage—
she is who she is.
She needs them for government services,
and we are filled with anxiety, nervousness
that we will not be able to prove she is who she is—
till we find them in a box
events dated, time stopped
on this day born
on this date married
documents of a life lived and varied,
while time is carried
through ninety-five years
of laughter and tears–
the ups and downs of joy and fears.
We go to a movie about verbal abuse and life,
men insulted, but they’ve lived in strife
and though one claims he does what he does
not for himself, but for his child and wife,
it is all about him
(as it always is,
women learn to live with this
the catcalls, the taunts, even physical abuse
now suddenly, in the news).
We learn that both men are more than who they seem
(as are we all)
both have nursed
fears and sorrows,
have wanted better tomorrows,
and though the film takes place in Lebanon
there are universal feelings and issues that we understand
and may or may not agree upon–
house repairs, urban renewal, and immigrants—
the costs of war—
there is more,
as up and down,
the movie becomes a courtroom drama—
with family issues—and if not karma,
then resolution, of a sort.
From there we go to taste wine
paired with chocolate
we sip, and smile, and feel fine
(understand, it’s not just the wine).
All who pour
smile, as if it’s not a chore,
a woman says her mother knows my husband
her brother is at the other table,
We leave them tips
because we’re able
and life goes up and down, unstable.
Then we buy chocolate and wine to have later,
perhaps we’ll debate, which is greater—
but only after taken, do I see the watch in the photo—
time’s message of then or when,
And I wonder again. . .
In the night, I dream
of finding blue glass and paintings,
in a post-apocalyptic world,
beauty and art–
the message there,
time passes on
through ups and downs–
I take them to share–
contributing my verse.
We saw the movie, The Insult, which is nominated for best foreign film.
We went to William Heritage Winery.
I’m having an issue with WP. It won’t save unless I use the old format editing, so everything seems a bit off. Sigh.
Kristen Williamson and the team at Streetlight Press have published my poem “Survivor” in the February issue. You can read it here.