What shall I tell you–
of time and seasons–
the repeating loops—
war, the gods, of seeds and ceded
lands and women, blooded, growing.

Past is future, future past—
the corn grows, the flowers never last,
but rise again from mud and ash.

On that day the robins trilled,
I watched a heron dip his wings into the wind,
and feather-touch the sea and sand,
I reached for the narcissus–and was pinned
beneath a demon, a monster, my husband, a king.

It’s said I ate and consented,
but what is consent, and what would you do?
I was the victim, a prisoner,
the seeds were red and tart, but sweeter
than his heart.

Hear me,
and don’t talk of wanton spring–
my womb is barren in the cold,
above the ground, I open,
and with my joy, the trees grow buds,
the crocus pops, and dawn-birds sing
as I remove his ring.

When I leave again, as I must,
my mother cries—and so do I.
Our salted tears sway the green
to withered grey,
while I, like dried husk, fall to the ground,
the bargain made, and ever thus,

the fragrant rose fades,
all too soon when placed at tombs—
in the sanctuary of time
past is future, future past,
circling round through many rooms.

Look now to the dead stars’ light,
think long about its glimmer trace,
a shimmer left within your blood,
and in your soul–
recall, I told you all.

For dVerse, where Sarah has asked us to write about Persephone.

The Cruelest Month: Tanka, NaPoWriMo, Day 4

To Persephone

daffodils pay bright homage,

echoing the sun,

the golden rays breed passion,

love and hate rise up


white buds burst open,

spring no longer a maiden

swells with fruitfulness

till her petals wilt and fall

covering the blood-soaked ground.


IMG_8456 2


napo2018button2.pngThis double tanka is for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday, using synonyms for grow and honor. This is also for NaNoWriMo. This may or may not fit the prompt.




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.



The Echo of Mothers’ Cries: #Haibun



Walter Crane [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons, from The Story of Greece Told to Boys and Girls by Mary MacGregor (1914)


I bid farewell to my husband and our cold, dark home. I walk uphill, placing six pomegranate seeds in my mouth. The burst of tartness on my tongue staves my hunger as I travel from the gloomy shadow world. I exit and taste the honeyed sweetness of the air. Freedom. Gazing at the horizon, I watch the Sun God’s golden steeds pull his chariot above the horizon, trailing coral flames. The day glows with promise.  A robin looks at me quizzically, then lets out a delighted trill.  I am no longer a matron; I am reborn, young, virginal. I answer the robin with a girlish giggle. As I laugh, the grass begins to grow, flowers bloom, and buds appear on the trees. I savor my brief time here. Mother, I am home.


Captured, bound, and wed

tethered by hunger and seeds,

Persephone’s fate

ancient Greece, Nigeria

mothers’ cries echo through time


My daughter is here. Alive! Her belly is swollen with the seed of her abductor. Her eyes haunted, she gives me a tremulous smile. I open my arms and embrace her–once again.


This Haibun is for Colleen Chesebro’s Weekly Poetry Challenge. The prompt words were light and dark.