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?  🙂

 

 

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Woodland Magic: Haibun, NaPoWriMo, Day 17

In my childhood memories, when my grandpop visits, it is always a golden-glowing, long spring day with an azure sky dotted with drifting marshmallow clouds. When I am perhaps four or five, he takes me and my younger sister on a walk through a wooded area in Philadelphia. We stop to eat a snack. My grandpop shows us how to rinse our hands in a spring that flows between some rocks and rub them together until they dry. It does not take long on this pleasant day, but I think it is an amazing trick to dry our hands this way. Suddenly, three horses with riders materialize on the trail and gallop past us. The horses are huge—or so they seem to me–and it happens so quickly that it is almost like a dream, a magical moment in the woods. The magic of the woods stays. All these years later, my grandpop, the horses, and the wondrous spring live on, a warm spot in my heart.

 

light lingers, pauses

capturing spring memories—

nimbus of white blooms

Henry Ward Ranger, “Spring Woods,” [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am taking care of three prompts with this Haibun:

The prompt for Day 17 of NaPoWriMo is to write about a family anecdote. This is simply a memory I have, but close enough.

Victoria, who is retiring from hosting duty for dVerse asks us to write about lingering day for Haibun Monday.

And Frank’s Haikai Challenge, asks us to use the prompt warm.

Here is Home: Haibun, NaPoWriMo, Day 12

Here, are two, then three, then four, then two again. Here, atop a settling foundation and slightly slanting floors, are family dinners, friends, love, and tears. Here, the venerable oak tree stands tall, shading and shadowing, though the swing set that stood beside it is long gone–and here, decades-old daffodil bulbs still bloom. Generations of mockingbirds have sung through summer nights perched on the new greenery of aged trees. Here is home, where amidst clutter and dreams, cats gaze from windows–then look within.

 

blooms and snowflakes fall

drift through Earth’s revolutions–

ghosts sing to living

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s NaPoWriMo  prompt was to write a haibun “that takes in the natural landscape of the place you live.”

 

 

 

Spring is Buried–Haibun

Spring is buried now

tender buds sway in the wind—

sun hides behind clouds

Today, the vernal equinox, snow dances lightly in the air, turning to large, white flakes that cover the grass and cars. Soon, sleet pounds against the windows. The wind blows in angry gusts—winter rages at having to let spring back into the world.  I think of how tomorrow children will wake to a silent world of white. They will happily build snowmen and make snow angels, while the daffodils and tulips wait for the sun to return, and for the snow to melt to nourish their roots.

Soon, I think, soon. . .

 

Persephone comes

skipping from the underworld—

the light lingers now

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This haibun is for Frank’s haikai challenge. He asks us to write about the spring equinox. This is also for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday Challenge, using synonyms for joy and fury.

We may get a foot of snow tomorrow.

 

 

Sighing for Spring: Haibun

In between nor’easters, we take a spur-of-the-moment day trip. We look at paintings of people now gone and places that no longer exist except in memories. We see landscapes of lush verdant woods that contrast with western desert landscapes featuring windmills, swimming pools, and ranch hands. Outside the museum, we walk around the patches of snow. Suddenly I notice the glowing forsythia bushes vibrant and defiant, rising from the white blanket at their roots to greet the sun. Though it’s fighting to remain, winter will soon be gone. We only need to wait a bit longer.

 

Golden yellow sighs,

whispers of a spring time song—

flowers in the snow

 

Grounds of the Mercer Museum, Doylestown, PA

 

I wrote more about the exhibit we saw at the Michener Museum on Monday. This haibun is for Frank’s haikai challenge, using the kigo, or season word, snow. This is also for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday Challenge, where the prompt was to use synonyms for patience and green.

It has been a busy week with work and news. Now it’s time for poetry. Watch out for sharp objects today!  🙂

 

 

 

Gusts and Buds: Haibun

On the day of the nor’easter, I finish reviewing the page proofs of my book. The sun comes out. I ponder new projects, while watching birds perch and peck at the feeder hanging at our kitchen window—finches with their red feather patches demonstrate the feeder’s pecking order. A tufted titmouse, nuthatches, and even a woodpecker fly in for a snack. Robins congregate in the street, discussing the weather and current events before flying up to a tree to chatter at the squirrels. The days grow longer, and despite the wind and snow, the daffodils are rising from the ground. They are not deterred by icy gusts. Momentary setbacks. They know spring is coming. So do I. I simply have to get through the next snowstorm—it’s coming, too.

 

March’s lion roars,

frost-breath lays a filigree—

budding branches bide

 

 

We’re supposed to get another nor’easter tonight into tomorrow with several inches of snow expected.

I was writing this for

Frank’s Haikai Challenge #23—Spring Gust

But then I saw Victoria’s  prompt for Haibun Monday: tree buds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Letter to My Ancestors: Haibun

You who came before me–how I wish I could ask you about your lives. My mom tells me stories, but there is so much she doesn’t know, and now much she has forgotten. Of course, I want to know what it was like to live in what was then Russia, to be a Jew there—the terror of pogroms and the ordinary day-to-day problems you learned to live with, until you no longer could. But I also want to know what did you eat? What did your house look like? What games did you play as a child? How did you feel leaving your homeland, traveling first to England, France, Germany, or Italy before finally reaching Philadelphia or New York? You had so much drive and determination. In my mind, I see the many generations that came before me. I see practical, no-nonsense individuals, and yet, I wonder how many were also full of artistic vision or musical talent. Somewhere lost in time, you, my ancestors, must have journeyed from the Middle East to Eastern Europe, and each time you had to learn so many new things. I wonder what else you experienced? I discover my great grandfather had grey eyes. My daughters have grey eyes, too–a gift from the past, a look to the future.

 

Endless storms weathered

again winter turns to spring—

young birds fly from nests

 

I’m combining prompts again—Björn at dVerse asked us to write a poetic letter. I hope this fits.

Colleen asked us to use synonyms for energy and knowledge for her Tanka Tuesday.

We’re also in the midst of a nor’easter with rain, snow, and wind!

I’m also adding this to Frank’s Barely Spring Challenge.

 

Barely Spring–Haibun

The weather seems more unpredictable than usual–open windows one day and heat on the next. I wake listening to rain. It is dark and dreary. Then I hear the birds begin to greet the day. Each morning, the sun rises a bit earlier and sets a bit later. I know we could still have a blizzard, but hope is in the air, rising with the crocuses. Spring is coming.

February sun

hides light under grey covers—

yet mockingbird sings

 

Watching for birds in the rain.

 

This is for Frank’s latest Haikai Challenge.

Grey Changes with the Tides–Haibun

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.

 

waved-claimed sandcastles

spindrift in endless cycles

blown by summer storms

Ocean City, NJ

 

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

February Birthday Roses: Haibun

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.

 

February moon

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

 

At Longwood Gardens, February 2011.

Sunny Day; snow at night. February 17-18, 2018.

 

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.