Lights and Life: Quadrille Haibun

First Night of Hanukkah, December 2018

Candles burn, in winter darkness, a miracle of light. The ancient hatred is rising again. Six million and more, but we survive. We clink our glasses lightly, saying not, “Cheers,” but “L’chaim.”

twilight comes early

shadows blanket ground and trees—

light glows in windows

 

De, aka Whimsy Gizmo, has asked us to write a quadrille using some form of the word cheer for dVerse.  I’m also linking to Frank’s Haikai Challenge to write a poem that alludes to Advent or Hanukkah.

I know I wrote about Hanukkah yesterday, and there will probably be more—but you know, it lasts for eight nights. Tonight will be the third night of Hanukkah.  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looking at Fire, Exploring the Cold

 

Leaves crunch underfoot,

above red planet rises–

owl hunts unconcerned

 

Thrusters fire, and a ship lands securely in a sandy crater. Passion burned in the heart of the war god; his namesake is rust-hued, barren, and frigid. But–once water flowed here, and perhaps life flourished, too.

 

We look up, wonder

see fiery stars, and ponder–

elsewhere, sun sets blue

 

117989main_image_feature_347_ys_full  Sunset on Mars

Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Texas A&M/Cornell
On May 19, 2005, NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Spirit captured this stunning view as the Sun sank below the rim of Gusev crater on Mars. This Panoramic Camera mosaic was taken around 6:07 in the evening of the rover’s 489th Martian day, or sol.

My poem was inspired by the Mars Insight probe that landed this week. This Haibun is for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday using synonyms for cold and safe.  And for dVerse, where Victoria asked us to write any type of poem using fire.

 

 

 

 

Gatherings

Count the place settings,

fifteen gather for dinner

on Thanksgiving night,

ghosts sit amongst us—hear them?

They are welcome, too.

Marc_-_Hirsche

Franz Marc, “Deer,” {Public Domain], Wikipedia Commons

 

This is an untraditional tanka for Frank’s Haikai challenge, using the prompt Thanksgiving, and Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday challenge using synonyms for celebrate and number. I’ve been busy with work and Thanksgiving prep, and I’m behind on reading posts. I’ll catch-up over the weekend. Happy Thanksgiving to all who celebrate the holiday, and happy Thursday to everyone else.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dreams of Flying

“Just beyond the bruised lips of consciousness.”

–Jim Harrison, “Birds Again”

 

I linger

for moment

just on the edge of consciousness–

why can’t we remember that moment

when we free fall

into another orbit–

that split second

we escape the mundane

to fly–

in dreams,

a secret world revealed,

opened,

I taste the stars on my lips

and wake to find the world glittering.

 

This is for Day 10 of Jilly’s 28 Days of Unreason—poems inspired by Jim Harrison’s Poetry.

 

 

The World Awakens Anew

“I’m hoping to be astonished tomorrow

by I don’t know what

–Jim Harrison, “Tomorrow,” In Search of Small Gods

 

Every day the world awakens anew. I wake to the sound of birdsong–twitters, chirps, the laugh of the woodpecker. I laugh, too. It’s a beautiful June morning. I drink coffee while a cat purrs on my lap. I stand in sunshine, and later I smell petrichor rising from the damp grass as the world—or my little part of it—is washed clean. I’m hoping to be astonished tomorrow by what I don’t know—more people who appreciate the earth, who believe in truth and value what is good.  Our cups can never be too full. There is always room in this world for more beauty, more love.

 

peonies open,

a fleeting gift of beauty

given to the world

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m catching up on prompts! This Haibun is for Jilly’s Day 9 of 28 Days of Unreason, inspired by the poetry of Jim Harrison. I’m also linking to Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday, using synonyms for care and share. Frank’s Haikai challenge this week the 2018 FIFA World Cup. I have zero interest in sports, and I know nothing about the FIFA world cup. So, totally cheating here, but I did get world and cup into this, along with a nod to last week’s prompt on peonies, which I missed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the Edge of the Abyss

“So I sit on the edge, wagging my feet above the abyss”

–Jim Harrison, “Bridge,” Dead Man’s Float

 

The sun doesn’t have to shine

nor the moon to glow and hum

her shimmery tunes

at night when all the world

seems dark and full of despair–

and there

on the edge of the abyss,

he, she, they—perhaps I—

sit

wondering is this it?

Yet,

do not the stars twinkle

and the rivers flow to the sea

where life emerges to be

part of an endless cycle—

like despair from wishes

caught like fishes—

unable to be freed.

So, sometimes unperceived

a life not filled with joy,

but strife,

tragic when it ends

in midnight pain,

a sudden downpour,

a heavy rain.

Still, the stars twinkle

and sprinkle

hope

with sparkling light

what may be or might

like the sun

once again come

 

This is another poem for Jilly’s 28 Days of Unreason, where we are writing poetry based on Jim Harrison’s poetry. This is Day 8.

I’ve also linked this to Björn’s prompt at dVerse. He asked us to write using negation. I’m not sure if this is it. . .

There are have been two recent celebrity suicides—Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain—but we all know of more–people who are not so famous.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Red Teeth of Death

“Her nights are full of the red teeth of death”

–Jim Harrison, “Life,” Dead Men’s Float

 

Blue is the color of sky and sea,

green are the blades of grass in spring

when the world is born again, and new

shoots raise their heads to the golden sun

whose chariot flies till day is done.

But no less vital is the color red

that drips at birth and stops when we’re dead.

The color that men fear to see

afraid of its power—or destiny.

For though Death may arrive gentle and pale,

her teeth are like spikes, or the sharpest nails.

When she comes for you in the dark of night

she’ll smile–as if to say it’s all right,

but her teeth are scarlet within her grin,

and life is soon gone—after she slowly leans in.

 

 

Apparently, Death is a vampire. Who knew? Mysterious messages and some truths come from Jilly’s 28 Days of Unreason, based on the poetry of Jim Harrison. This is Day 6.

It is also the anniversary of D Day, June 6, 1944, and the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy on June 6, 1968. I suppose blood and death is on my mind.

 

 

Tithonus

“It is the burden of life to be many ages

without seeing the end of time.”

–Jim Harrison, From “Seven in the Woods,” in Dead Man’s Float

 

Dawn pursues him–

Play me a song on your lyre.

Look at me! Over here,

I’m a goddess,

be with me, my dear.

I’ll be your wife

and you’ll be granted eternal life.

It will be grand–

we’ll promenade upon the strands

of space and time–

always in our prime,

oh, it’s wonderful to be a god.

Oh, no.

Oops.

Sorry, my mistake.

I was so taken by your beauty–

(remember that time at the lake?)

I forgot to ask that you

be given eternal youth.

A sad truth, I’m afraid,

you’ll have to be brave

to see many ages

without seeing the end of time.

I’m not sure I can bear it—

but I’ll see that you have some care

when I have to lock you up away somewhere. . .

Ah, how we gods suffer

the curse of the divine.

 

A bit of fun this time for Jilly’s 28 Days of Unreason based on Jim Harrison’s poetry. Today is Day 5.

 

 

We Laughed Till We Cried: Haibun

My sisters and I help my mother try on new clothes on Mother’s Day. She has trouble getting up and sitting down, and she can no longer see very well. All of us, including my mom, laugh so hard at the maneuvering and manipulation of her body parts in and out of sleeves that we cry. Our tears fall lightly like the spring rain dampening this day. Our giggles create a euphonious sound, a rainbow of multi-colored tones that arc across the small room. I tuck this moment into the folder in my mind labeled “Mom Memories.”

 

fledglings cry for food

spring to summer, then they fly–

stormy skies soon clear

Carroll Sargent Tyson, Jr.
Kingfisher
From the portfolio Twenty Birds of Mt. Desert Island
Philadelphia Museum of Art

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Xenia Tran who is the guest host for Haibun Monday at dVerse asks us to write about compassion or self-sacrifice without using the words.

I’m also linking to Frank’s Haikai challenge, Spring Rain

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.