Message in a Bottle

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I read the news—an Alaska man finds a bottle with a fifty-year-old message inside. The Russian sailor’s note conveys friendly greetings. They drift through Cold War seas, through glasnost and perestroika to shores not yet submerged by the rising seawater of melted glaciers. The man shows the message to his sons.

Past meets the future

carried on time’s tumbling waves

ebbing and flowing

lives tide-lifted and lowered

as moon-silvered sea rolls on

 

This is a Haibun tanka (because sometimes you have to break the rules) for Colleen’s tanka Tuesday photo challenge, using the photo above.

Here is the story that was in the news.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dreams and Wishes

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More than cake—

remember magic

lives long. Let

it always

surround you, a breathing cloud,

a dance in kisses

 

and so, this—ask if,

but explore the secret stars

in a universe

time ghost-laughs a fevered breeze

and a heart blushes, flowers

 

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The Oracle knows everything, so she knows it is birthday month at my house. Both daughters and my husband (and mother-in-law) have birthdays in February. When the girls were little, we often had a combined Valentine’s-birthday party. So here is birthday love and wishes in a shadorma tanka combo for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday challenge.  But there will also be a lot of cake and celebrations this month.

Echoes

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Vincent van Gogh, “Wheatfield with Crows,” [Public Domain] Wikipedia Commons

crow calls, beckoning,

rosy-robed sun arises,

new day awakens

with murdered conversation,

echoes in black-winged flutter

 

I’m still waiting for the sun to rise. This tanka is for Frank’s Hakai challenge (crow) and Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday.  And another van Gogh–because you can feel the movement and hear the echoes in this one.

Impressions

Monday Morning Musings:

“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language
And next year’s words await another voice.”

–T.S. Eliot, “Little Gidding”

In the last week of the year, in the dark of December, we gather with family. We eat and eat some more. We drink and drink some more. We exchange gifts. We laugh at our goofiness, and we laugh to keep from crying. Laugh for joy, laugh to keep the ghosts at bay.

winter dark lingers

pale sun hides behind grey clouds–

winter birds still sing

 

 

There are endless lists—the best movies of the year, the best books, and the famous people who have died. This has been a year of horror for many, and a year of fear for my country. Guns, fires, protests, children abused and dying–and those nonstop tweets. We bury our heads in pillows, blanket our thoughts to pretend this is not happening. I listen to ghost stories because they are less frightening than thinking about what could really happen in this world.

ghosts replay stories

winter always, never spring–

still, sapling sprouts, grows

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Theresienstadt Tree

 

The rain comes again and again. Finally, we walk in sunshine. We walk through city streets decorated for Christmas. We see a movie about Vincent Van Gogh, a tortured soul who created beauty with a ferocious passion. His impressions have lasted longer than he did. He taught us how to see the starry night, to see all the shades of yellow in a sunflower, to see the light and color.

red and green doors call

holiday cheer to neighbors–

winter warmed with smiles

Tonight, we’ll gather with our friends. The friends of decades–from before we had children, and they had grandchildren. We’ll eat Chinese food, and find our fortunes in a cookie. We’ll wish each other Happy New Year, though we will all most likely be in bed long before the bells peal, the ball drops, and the fireworks light up the sky. My impression of the old year—tortured souls and broken lives, missing pieces, like van Gogh’s ear. Yet, there is still beauty. Like van Gogh, we need to find light, and paint it quickly with our souls before it fades away. Remember it in our hearts. My heart swells as the dawn rises on a new day, a new year—awaiting new words.

 

old words tucked away,

come new year in harmony–

bird on snowy branch

bravely sings in hope of love

soon cherry blossoms will fall

 

Greeting Dawn    Merril D. Smith 2018

 

Wishing all hearts filled with joy and peace in the new year.

I’m linking this to Frank’s Haikai Challenge for the New Year prompt. We saw the movie, At Eternity’s Gate. Trailer here.  Husband and I agreed it was not a great movie. I think the parts were greater than the sum, but William Dafoe is wonderful as van Gogh, and van Gogh and his brother Theo’s relationship is depicted with great tenderness.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

Gatherings

Count the place settings,

fifteen gather for dinner

on Thanksgiving night,

ghosts sit amongst us—hear them?

They are welcome, too.

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stormy Weather–Tanka

Charcoal clouds gather

together they roil, blow

with stormy fervor

the winds of change, so ruthless

I fear, yet watch for rainbows

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A tanka for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday, using synonyms for passion and congregate.

This seems appropriate for today. It’s the one-year anniversary of the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, and we are expecting thunderstorms here in New Jersey.