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.

 

 

 

 

 

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Odysseus Under the Moon: Ghazal

This is my attempt at a Ghazal for dVerse. 

 

Over star-glimmered waves, we journeyed and sailed under the moon.

There we bemoaned our fate, still sailing—railed under the moon.

 

We see the fork-tongued serpent, slither-scaled under the moon,

she, no siren, silver-voiced with hair unveiled under the moon.

 

From the towering giant, one-eyed, we quailed under the moon,

but scurried we, when blinded he was thus curtailed under the moon.

 

On blood-wine seas, the winds caught and prevailed under the moon

And what of the gods, we flattered, yet failed, under the moon?

 

What lands should we conquer? If heroes, we’re hailed, under the moon.

And what tales of those places to you we’d regale under the moon.

 

Do we return to love, or to marriages failed, under the moon?

My own wife, unconsidered, what of her travails under the moon?

 

Too far, too soon, the poet sleeps unassailed under the moon

to the gentle rhythm of the waves, inhales, exhales, under the moon

 

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Carl Gustav Carus [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The Moon’s Smile: Haibun

Another moon poem. This time for dVerse, where Victoria writes, “For our Haibun prompt today, I have chosen the Japanese Kigo, Fuyu No Tsuki—winter moon.”

 

On New Year’s Eve, I’m feeling stressed, tired, and soul-weary. From my kitchen window, I see the moon rising in the east. It’s almost as brilliant as the pale winter sun, and the sky around it also glows, sapphire blue. I stop to gaze at her–and spellbound, there’s a pause between worlds. For a brief moment, it’s just the moon and me.

In the glimmer of Christmas lights, we eat homemade pizza, drink ruby-red wine, and binge watch a Netflix show. When I wake on New Year’s Day, the day is bitterly cold and diamond-hard, but there is the moon, now lighting the western sky. She smiles at me, and I understand her presence is a New Year’s gift.

 

Ensorcelling moon–

glowing winter light is grace

smiling in the dark

 

Traveling Under the Moon

Monday Morning Musings:

“Certain thoughts, it seemed had minds of their own; they wandered away from their thinkers and lived wild unchained lives.”

–Victor Lodato, Edgar & Lucy

“Laughter is sunshine; it chases winter from the human face.”

–Victor Hugo

 

the year travels, a winding road

marked with gates,

some for love, some for sorrow, some for hate

the road curves, wanders, and splits,

it doesn’t quit,

but rambles round from season to season–

now winter winds blow

over the quiet that is the snow,

and in the chill, we sit and wait–

await our fate–

the moon shines above, and quietly she hums

as the year travels through love and hate, and what is yet to come

 

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Watching the snow fall

 

I wonder if truth lies buried under layers of ice—

there’s no true wisdom or advice

so, in the cold, we watch movies about love*,

perhaps impossible, or perhaps only kind of

a Cold War fairy tale–

Is she a princess?

Is he a god?

Without speaking, they talk

and dance, and together walk

or do they swim

in this magical world they live within?

And afterward we walk and talk

caught in the magic, forgetting

(it’s cold)

watch the pale sun setting,

sparkling the snow and making the buildings glow,

then at night. . .

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Philadelphia, Old City, 3rd and Chestnut

the moon shines above, and quietly she hums

as the year travels through love and hate, and what is yet to come

 

my thoughts wander on their own

only sometimes making themselves known,

I dream and look lovingly at words

hear them sing like birds

flying high in the sky

and wonder why the bad news won’t stop

wishing and wanting the swamp creatures to go,

to be flushed away, to be buried in the snow,

but still it’s so–

there’s love and laughter, chasing away the blues

and yesterday’s, today’s, tomorrow’s news

while at night. . .

 

the moon shines above, and quietly she hums

as the year travels through love and hate, and what is yet to come

 

We visit my mother and sit,

visit when the day is brightly lit–or grey–

either way, we stay,

repeating comments and stories,

(perhaps they really are allegories)

like the silent princess and the god,

that vanish or rise like sun and moon

too soon to tell

(too soon the doctors say)

one day, she’s fine at noon

then lost, she sings another tune

but still–

the sun rises and sets

and we wait

yet watch the road wandering, never straight

 

and the moon shines above, and quietly she hums

as the year travels through love and hate, and what is yet to come

 

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*We actually saw The Shape of Water a couple of weeks ago. I loved it so much, I told my husband that I would have stayed and watched the whole movie again. You can see the trailer here.

New Year’s Doorways: Haibun Quadrille

This 44-word Haibun is for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge, where the challenge was to use synonyms for ambition and change, and it is also a quadrille for dVerse, where Grace asked us to use the word leap.

 

In the past, I leaped into the new year with aspirations. Now I glide on the slipstream of ghosts. Past, future merge in star songs. I wonder if doorways are opening or closing?

 

Pirouetting stars–

old year leaps into the new

embraced by moonlight  

 

 

Embed from Getty Images

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

Song of Midnight Light

It’s still a bit of vacation week. I was going to take a nap, but I wrote this pantoum instead. This is  for Secret Keeper’s Weekly Writing Prompt. The prompt words are:

Circle/Dream/Time/Arm/Phase

 

From birth to death and round again

through time and space, water and air

seeds to flowers, mice and men

cycles of love and those of despair

 

Through time and space, water and air

the moon journeys through the night

cycles of love and those of despair

she hums the song of midnight light

 

The moon journeys through the night

drifting, shimmering on a star-crossed slope

she hums the song of midnight light

dreamtime messages of floating hope

 

Drifting, shimmering on a star-crossed slope

beyond outstretched arms in shadowed phases

dreamtime messages of floating hope

rising high these prayerful phrases

 

until perhaps we cease to be

seeds to flowers, mice and men

human creatures, such as we

(circling) from birth to death and round again

 

Johan_Barthold_Jongkind_-_View_on_Overschie_in_Moonlight_-_Google_Art_Project

Johan Jongkind, “View on Overschie in Moonlight,” [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

 

 

Night-Tide: Yeats Challenge, Day 10

For Jane Dougherty’s A Month with Yeats Challenge, Day 10.

Today’s quotation:

“And he saw how the reeds grew dark
At the coming of night-tide,”

—  W.B. Yeats.

 

From the cottage window

he watches the winds blow,

scurrying and hurrying

for the day to be through

to turn evening’s dusky violet hue

into the starry indigo of night.

 

How she had loved that sight,

the clouds dancing in the air

the wispy bits of angel hair

white against the darkening sky.

And still he cried

remembering how she’d died

drifting away at the coming of night-tide.

 

He’d been there, sitting at her side.

Now weary, burdened with a heavy heart,

wondering what to do or what to start

Then softly he hears her gentle sigh,

and though it waits for no reply,

as the moon hums and the reeds grow dark

he knows she’s there somehow, a spark

in every fox’s bark and singing lark

her spirit roams by house and glen

somewhere, sometime, he’ll see her again.

 

'Starry_Night'_by_Edvard_Munch,_1893,_Getty_Center

Edvard Munch, “Starry Night,” [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Swan Prince: Yeats Challenge, Day 4

This is for Jane’s A Month with Yeats Challenge—Day 4

Today’s quotation:

“…till the morning break
And the white hush end all but the loud beat
Of their long wings, the flash of their white feet.” W.B. Yeats

 

Under the bright moon’s glimmering gleam

she went to meet her love.

The world was hushed, so much unseen,

yet the moon hummed above.

 

She hurried forth in shadowed light,

the journey was so far

and then she saw a wondrous sight

under the shining stars.

 

She saw a swan of snowy white

beside a silvered spring.

Somehow, she knew it was all right

to rest there in his wings.

 

His long wings flashed and loudly beat,

her arms around him tight.

It was her love she did here meet

under the moon’s sweet light

 

He took her far till morning broke

in rosy pink and red

though he’d been silent, now he spoke

I feared that you were dead.

 

For it was you, the king desired

so tried to murder me

but before I thus expired

to a swan, she turned me

 

The goddess of love, for to our plight

wept and took pity so

and now, look here in morning light–

my form returns, a human knight,

and we to a new kingdom go.

 

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