Going Forth–Haibun

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Today tanks roll through the nation’s capital, and jets fly over a divided country, but I remember another Fourth of July where people came together to witness a union. Outside fireworks boomed and flared, but inside, love lit up the room. No excess displays are needed to whitewash the facts. Here, we share a couple’s happiness. With the stomp of a goblet, we’re reminded of the simple truth that love. . . is love is love is love. . .and that it endures.

 

lovers stand and watch

colors streak across the sky—

shattered glass echoes

through time, a kaleidoscope,

love forms and reforms again

 

Today is my younger daughter and son’s wedding anniversary. A few years ago, we celebrated three weddings within about two years. First our older daughter married her wife, then younger daughter married her husband, and then my sister married her wife. (You can find posts about them, if you’re interested, by searching Love and Marriage.)

This is a Haibun with a tanka instead of the traditional haiku for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday. and Frank Tassone’s Haikai Challenge, “Independence.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Butterfly Effect: A Variation, NaPoWriMo

Pond beside Multiplex, Voorhees, NJ--Merril D. Smith 2019

“’Cat’s paw’ is the weather term of the day. It is a light breeze affecting a small area, such as would cause a patch of ripples on the surface of a still water surface.”

–US National Weather Service, Nashville, TN, Feb. 5, 2014

Cat’s paw breeze tickles

the water ripples,

sighs in a reflective purr.

 

The goose quivers in delight

on the water ripples

honks to her mate, in flight

 

he answers from above

the water ripples,

then settles by his love.

 

Crow hears their squawks

from the water ripples,

caws from his perch on the rocks.

 

The sound carries for miles

beyond the water ripples

to where the mockingbird smiles,

 

and from up in a tree

far beyond the water ripples

he sings of hearts soaring free

 

in cat paw tickles

water ripples trickling

sighs, caws, purrs, and cries

 

And I open the window–

on a catercorner breeze

to listen to his reprise.

 

The NaPoWriMo, Day 10 prompt is to write “a poem that starts from a regional phrase, particularly one to describe a weather phenomenon.” I don’t know what region “cat’s paw breeze” comes from, but I love it. The poem evolved because yesterday afternoon, I listened to a mockingbird put on a long concert that included the calls of other birds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Dream, A Kiss: The Stranger’s Tale

I met a man who told me tales of wand’ring

long on lonesome trails of silvered hazel wood,

where by a stream he dreamed, and his pond’ring

 

the ships he sailed, and battles fought as he could.

Then how his dream seemed more real than all of this—

of his darling’s kiss, how missed, and what he should

 

have done. Now old, I think of his dreamed kiss,

his plans altered and rued. I instead stayed,

cast wishes on waters true, finding bliss

 

with you, I thank that man, his lesson taught,

grateful my hopes granted in love long sought.

 

Another sonnet for dVerse, this time in Terza Rima, with thoughts, too, of enjambment, per Jilly’s post. I’m still reading the sonnets, and I’m so impressed with the philosophical questioning. I seem only to be able to write these narrative type sonnets. This started out as a poem based on a Yeats challenge, Jane Dougherty did a while ago. If you want to read that version, it’s here. So indirectly, this is inspired by Yeats. Feel free to comment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Spy

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“Luis Fernández García, “Susanna and the Elders,” [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D, from Wikimedia Commons

 

She shed her old life the day the soldiers came,

sloughed like a snakeskin. Perhaps

traces remain to be found someday

in a dusty archive, a notation in a book,

but she has grown, now

metamorphosed,

each day she wears a new persona—

school girl, maid, shy lover—

they think she’s eager to accept

their upright soldiers, ramparts breached

they thrust to claim her,

but she’s eager only for information–

spilled words that she can pass along, not their seeds

she does not want planted.

So, she listens, and they disregard her—

seeing only body, not mind.

She shed her old life when the soldiers came—

she lives in shadows,

hoping for a new life, a new skin

that need not be shredded and shed.

 

 

This is for Lillian’s “shed” prompt on dVerse,

 

The Books

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Why

she asks

is the sky

blue and grass green?

What does it matter,

he replies, do your chores.

Eyes downcast, she complies–but

determined to find answers—there

in those books she’s forbidden to touch–

 

only boys can learn to read, and then

only those with the right skin tones

or money or connections.

Still books call—enticing!

Secretly she learns–

quietly she

plots–and then

she runs

free.

For all who have marched, protested, and struggled for freedom–a double nonet for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday

Pause and Dream

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Claude Monet, “Waterloo Bridge, Effect of Fog,” [Public Domain], Wikipedia Commons

Pause

and dream

of what could

be. Wonder then,

if happiness comes

will you recognize it?

Or will it vanish, in mist,

the fog streaming from the cold sea

hiding the world from you, shrouding all?

Know that the sun is just beyond the clouds–

beyond the clouds, knowledge waits to be found–

assume this, and then go from there–

where else would you be? What matters

more than this? Contentment, then,

if not bliss. Maybe peace.

But there is more

in lucid dreams

of love and

laughter–

hope.

 

A double Etheree for the prompt Colleen’s left during her break—synonyms for belief and joy.

Magic is Coming

Monday Morning Musings:

The week has been busy with chores and long with anticipation. The solstice has come and gone. Full moon and winter sun are concealed behind the clouds—but they are there.

winter moon hidden,

she hums of spring a-coming

dreams bloom like flowers

Almost Full, Almost Solstice

A tsunami crashes upon a beach. Seething like volcanoes, protestors erupt, striking and burning. Children starve. Our government shuts down. Our leader is not one, and he grows increasingly erratic. When will his enablers realize he is a wannabe emperor? When will they finally realize he has no clothes? I look for the helpers. I need to be a helper. I look for the light.

long winter darkness

broken by dawn’s blushing sighs

dormant dreams awake

Solstice--Merril D. Smith, 2018

Our older daughter and her wife arrive from Boston. Our other daughter comes over to eat Wawa hoagies with us and to decorate cookies. We drink warm spiced wine, and they watch a bad movie they asked me to record. I go upstairs to watch the “In Excelsis Deo” episode of The West Wing, my own holiday tradition. I wrap presents and sing along to “Little Drummer Boy.”  My cat lifts his head, then snoozes.

caroling voices

sing in joyful harmony,

Pa rum pum pum pum

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I think about the ghosts of Christmas past–our young girls whispering on Christmas morning waiting for 6 A.M. when they can finally get up. We lie in bed, then hear them sing, “Christmas Time is Here.”  Happy memories. Over the next few days we’ll be seeing family—laughing at jokes and eating and drinking too much. I’ll be enjoying the magic that is now different–but still here.

lights and music now

break December’s silent night–

dreams of magic come

 

Wishing all of you a most wondrous holiday season! I’m linking this to Frank’s Haikai Challenge with the prompt Christmas.

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Santa riding through town in a fire engine.

 

Solstice Dreams

 

On this longest night

no trilling riffs of birdsong,

only dreams take flight,

gathering round the cold full moon

dancing home through sodden clouds

 

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Happy Solstice—Winter or Summer! It is rainy, dark, and dreary here in NJ. This is a print I own, but it was a gift, and I don’t know the artist. It’s the wrong season, but I can dream. 🙂

I’m linking this to Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday Challenge. She’s on break, but so thoughtfully left prompt words! This week, synonyms for fly and sing.