Birthday Wishes: Haibun

I think of my dad today and how he admired Tony Hillerman’s novels, mysteries involving the Navajo Tribal Police. Once he wrote Mr. Hillerman a letter and received a gracious reply. It’s been twenty years now since my father died. He’d be ninety-nine today—perhaps he’d have new favorite books and authors. He was a man filled with passion—for food, women, art, history–and for his children and grandchildren. He thought we were the best and brightest, no question. Though he expected all to wait upon him–courtiers of the court of Lee–yet—he was generous with love, presents, and hundreds of restaurant meals. He was always proud of me and assigned my first book to his history classes. (Sorry). I wish my dad was still here to read my words. I love you, Dad. I miss you.

 

yellow-green stems grow

vivid blooms in summer’s heat—

then red-gold leaves fall

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is for open link night at dVerse, where Lillian is hosting. I’ve given a nod to National Book Lovers Day in my Haibun.

 

 

Ghostwalk

We marked the spot where first we saw her walk

there the woods, and then to the meadow dark.

She seemed to drift or soar, in white, like chalk

of the cliffs, where ships below lay there stark,

old bones without life, bereft without spark.

The ghost though, from what hauntings had she fled,

did she seek love, did she know she was dead?

 

 

 

This is a septet for dVerse. In honor of dVerse’s seventh anniversary, Frank has asked us to write a poem of seven lines on any subject. I’m not sure that it’s quite rhyme royal, but it’s seven lines, and it rhymes. I’ve used Secret Keeper’s weekly writing challenge words: ghost/mark/woods/soar/meadow.

Unquiet

“I’ve spent a lifetime 
trying to learn the language of the dead”

~ Jim Harrison from “Sister” in  Songs of Unreason

 

In the graveyard they lie

cool and peaceful, undisturbed

by us walking there—so we deny,

forget they suffered, dying, the verb.

 

What is the language they speak–

they in their graves, and we strolling by

reading a headstone, what truth do we seek–

once she lived, now hear the sigh

 

of ghosts who wander just out of sight–

that shadow there behind the tree

you almost see, a dress of white–

and wonder now, memories or fantasy?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is for Day 15 of Jilly’s 28 Days of Unreason, poetry inspired by Jim Harrison’s poetry. We’re just over halfway through, but you can still join in the fun.

I’m also linking this to Open Link Night at dVerse.

Coloring Spring, Haibun, NaPoWriMo, Day 19

Today’s [optional prompt] for NaPoWriMo, Day 19: “to write a paragraph that briefly recounts a story, describes the scene outside your window, or even gives directions from your house to the grocery store. Now try erasing words from this paragraph to create a poem or, alternatively, use the words of your paragraph to build a new poem.”

Process:

So, early this morning, I wrote the paragraph below, which described what I saw while sitting in my usual kitchen spot. I didn’t change it, except to add the last line—because the sun did come out—briefly. This became the paragraph part of the haibun. Then I used Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday prompt words for the haiku. I used “accruing” for gather and “feathery” for soft. This was to give me new words, so I was not simply revising.

Finally, I took words from both parts of the haibun to create a new poem. Works in progress!

Poems:

Outside the world is grey with mist, and yet the green of evergreens and new spring growth provides color in the gloom. A red-breasted finch sits in the bird feeder at the window. The cats take their morning naps, one on my lap, the other in the basket in front of the window. Soon, children will walk out their doors to go to school. But now, I see the sun breaking from the clouds.

pale sun shines through

turning feathery clouds gold

accruing spring light

 

Grey and green

the world from my window,

feathery, the mist, drifting between trees.

But what colors does the red-breasted finch see?

Greyer greys and emerald greens,

vivid hues–

to me unseen?

I hear him sing—

such heartfelt joy–

as the pale sun caresses,

draping his shadowed shape with light,

turning his chest to fire,

to ring in the colors of spring

 

Isn’t this document box with finch exquisite?

Document Box, Philadelphia Museum of Art

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And I’m going to link this to dVerse Open link night, too, where Grace is poet bar tending. Because, why not?  🙂

 

 

Faith in Spring: Haibun, NaPoWriMo, Day 3

I walk out into the dark morning. I can’t see him, but I am serenaded by the mockingbird. Soon snow mixes with the plothering rain. But still the daffodils bloom, glowing in the gloomy day. As the rain disappears, the skies lighten, and I notice the grape hyacinths at the side of the driveway. Were they there yesterday? I smile at the sight of the perky purple flowers. I have faith that spring will soon come–and stay—until pushed aside by summer’s heat. Before long, we will stroll through the Azalea Garden at the art museum, dazzled by the pink, coral, and red flowers. Their warm fragrance will scent our memories when the cold returns.

 

birdsong and blossoms

trigger heart’s anamnesis—

dreams becoming truth

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This is for Frank’s Haikai Challenge and dVerse Haibun Monday. –maybe somewhat tangentially for both prompts. I have no associations with the white lily, azaleas don’t bloom here till late spring, and I don’t have religious faith. But for any who are interested, here are some photos of the Azalea Garden at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

napo2018button2

 

 

Humpty: Egg Quadrille

Made of fabric but alive,

he thrived with the care

of a girl and a bear.

She held him tight–

against her face each night.

He comforted her, and spoke to us–

thus, she’s grown,

but he lives in our hearts and her home.

This is for dVerse, where Kim has asked us to write a quadrille using the prompt egg.

 

 

 

Nature’s Songs: Haibun Quadrille

This is for the dVerse Monday Quadrille. Victoria has asked us to use the word poem, or some form of the word in a poem of 44 words. Yesterday I heard a robin; today it snowed.

 

Snowy winter mornings are quiet dreamscape poems written on grey and white velvet. But the sun laughs out loud in June–warm, golden verses–and birds sing harmony from yellow-green branches.

 

Trees dusted with snow

hawk hovers, but robin sings

spring will come again

 

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Let Sleeping Cats Lie: Haibun Quadrille

This is a Haibun of 44 words for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday, using synonyms for play and guess, and for dVerse’s Quadrille Monday, where De Jackson asked us to use the word bounce.

 

It’s been a stressful couple weeks. Thoughts bounce about in my brain, as I try to sleep. My cat is nestled beside me, and his soft snores echo in my dreams. Time and space now speculative.

 

ideas frolic

gamboling animals romp

visions of wonder

1024px-Franz_Marc_013

Franz Marc [Public domain ], via Wikimedia Commons

The Road Taken and Not: Tanka

This is for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday, using synonyms for destination and guide.

This is also for Mish’s dVerse prompt to write a poem based on one of Sharon Knight’s wonderful photos.

 

experts give advice–

signposts along bumpy roads

stretch to tomorrow

 

infinite unknown pathways

curve between past and future

 

unincorporated-21

“unincorporated” by Sharon Knight, used with permission from https://sunearthsky.com/

Grace in the Moon

This is for the dVerse prompt, “Grace.” Things were off for my New Year’s Eve and New Year’s, but I was struck by the brilliant moon. I felt there was a message there, if only I could hear it.

 

The moon hums with a fierce light

glowing

throwing

pale white heat

we do not hear or feel it,

the insistent beat

on rural roads or city streets,

though she hums aloud

we’re lost in darkness

lost, frozen, under this

tenebrous cloud

 

but if we stop,

listen for a space

(pause)

here in this unknown place

look upon a well-loved face

find here, see, a bit of grace

in love constant, shining like the moon

like her humming tune,

hear the whisper in the wind,

hope is coming, listen, soon