Nature’s Songs: Haibun Quadrille

This is for the dVerse Monday Quadrille. Victoria has asked us to use the word poem, or some form of the word in a poem of 44 words. Yesterday I heard a robin; today it snowed.

 

Snowy winter mornings are quiet dreamscape poems written on grey and white velvet. But the sun laughs out loud in June–warm, golden verses–and birds sing harmony from yellow-green branches.

 

Trees dusted with snow

hawk hovers, but robin sings

spring will come again

 

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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

 

In the Quietness of Everything

This is for dVerse. Björn asked us to be conscious of how we punctuate the silence in this poem. I normally do use commas and dashes and sometimes periods for full stops, but I did try to be extra aware of pauses here.

 

in the blue-white of a snowy morning

silence reigns. . .

 

winds brush all with feathered wings,

but hush the birds, who do not sing

as they huddle in their nests and wait. . .

 

and I, with cup in hand, sit still,

wonder if it ever will

get warm again. . .

 

by window side, there I bide,

I look outside on winter white,

the whipping flakes diffusing light,

I gaze, listening to the out and in,

and the quietness of everything

 

 

 

 

 

Winter Solstice: Tanka

This is a tanka for Frank Tassone’s Haiku Challenge. The prompt is winter solstice, which takes place this Thursday. Though we had snow on Friday, it’s now actually unseasonably warm here in south Jersey.

 

 

Violet skies roost

over white snow shadow-kissed–

this, the longest night

 

buries colors like secrets

rediscovered in the spring

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Candles

Monday Morning Musings:

“Look at how a single candle can both defy and define the darkness.”

—Attributed to Anne Frank all over the Internet, but without any source that I can find

 

A single candle

(for miracles)

flickers in the night

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joined by others

till eight in a row

they burn, and then they go

leaving only melted wax behind

and yet, perhaps I find

something, a sense of peace

in watching them increase

and we remember how our daughters

bet on which candle would stand last

one that burned not quite as fast—

lovely memories from the past.

 

 

A single candle

(for wishes)

flickers on a cupcake

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baked with love

and so sweet, delivered as surprise treat.

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It’s a strange birthday,

things don’t quite go my way

I lose a filling, and due to the snow

we stay and home, and don’t go

to dinner and a show,

but we eat pizza and drink some wine

and it’s fine, I say,

we’ll do something another day.

 

Everything a bit off this week,

small victories tinged with apprehension

tension over what might come, or be

a tax bill to help the rich–

oh, if only I could flip a switch

to eradicate ignorance and greed

wish on candles and stars that people would read

would help those in need

and instead of hindering, would keep freed

thought and scientific inquiry.

 

The CDC, an agency, supposed to be science-based

is not supposed to use the word

it’s not to the taste

of the current administration

who would like to see a nation

without education based on facts

but the monster simply reacts

without nuance or tact, but snaps,

just twitter taps and taps and taps

 

We fry latkes

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and when we’re through

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we eat them–and donuts, too

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because it’s a holiday of oil and sweets

and it’s a treat to share them with love

we eat the food and laugh and talk of–

oh this and that–

we watch their dog and see their cat

climb in search of treasure—food!

Yes, we’re in a holiday mood

as candles flicker and lights glow

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but soon it’s time to go.

 

I spend the next day working

(cats around me lurking)

I have too much work to do

I sit at my computer

in a bit of stupor

but as night falls

we light the candles

and watch the shadows on the walls

from the flickering glow

I think of miracles past

(wonder if our country will last)

but let those thoughts slide

subside for a more festive mood

as we eat our Chinese food

and watch the Christmas shows

I might doze. . .

 

 

In the morning, before the dawn

I yawn and look up at the sky

and know that hope like a feather flies

and though the clouds block the stars

I know exactly where they are

I close my eyes and make a wish

I hope it flies and travels far.

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The Visitor: Quadrille

 

Under the midnight moon

creatures shuffle, scurry,

slither in a flurry

from the shadowed form.

A sharp cry, silence punched

by dead leaves crunched

under booted foot

stepping through the old back door

over creaking floor,

the Visitor walks in–

smiles his malignant grin.

 

 

I used two dVerse prompts.  De Jackson (aka WhimsyGizmo) asked us to write a quadrille using the word “crunch.” Lillian asked us to write a poem using a form of the word, “visit.” Sorry, this wasn’t exactly a holiday-themed poem.  I should probably stop reading the news.

 

 

 

 

Skeleton Trees: Tanka Tuesday

This is for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge. We were supposed to use synonyms for stark and trap. We’ve had several unseasonable warm days, but now it’s getting colder, and the wind is howling.

 

Skeleton trees loom

against skies of violet

owl whistles secrets

caught in winter’s gloomy night

I will seek them in spring’s blooms

 

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Georges Daubner, “Paysage d’hiver,”  via Wikimedia Commons

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Owl: Haibun

It is my birthday. Now in the middle of December, it is cold outside, and darkness descends earlier each day. But the house is filled with light, warm and scented with the aroma of holiday baking. My husband, our two young daughters, and I are to meet my father at a restaurant north of us, in the Philadelphia suburbs to celebrate. It will be a highway trip through rush hour traffic, but the reward will be an excellent meal and the company of my family. I turn to a living room window to pull down the shade—and stop. A white owl with black and brown markings sits in the tree directly in front of me. I stare at her, and she stares at me, both unblinking. I am transfixed, knowing that this is a special moment, not knowing I will remember it in twenty years, still uncertain about its meaning.

 

The Owl dispenses

winter wisdom from oak trees–

time paused in passing

 

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Caspar David Friedrich, Owl on a Tree,” [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

This is a Haibun for dVerse, where we asked to write about owls. I’ve combined it with this week’s prompt from Colleen Chesebro , using synonyms for the words, smell and cozy.

 

 

 

I’ll Make Borscht Today: A Quadrille

I’ll make borscht today,

let it simmer in the pot

comforting and hot,

red like blood,

or flowers that might bloom

if ever spring returns,

ice now covers branches, leaves, and souls

twisted with cold,

memories of warmth faded

till ladled in a bowl

 

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This is a quadrille for dVerse. The prompt word was spring.

We got some snow yesterday, but then we got rain and sleet. Everything is coated in ice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Angel’s Voice

 

Embed from Getty Images

 

 

In the dark of winter night

speaks the angel, fierce but sweetly,

singing in a voice commanding,

crying in a voice demanding,

with caramel breath and radiant light,

shimmering and glimmering like the star

shining, pulsing, glowing bright

twinkling, twinkling from afar,

resplendent, lustrous, but not so cheery,

brilliant, dazzling, then her query–

Why do you fight and foster hate?

Why do you listen to lies, then wait

for signs and words and soothing vows?

Don’t you sense that something’s wrong,

that freedom and choice will soon be gone?

The sun will rise on empty space

where earth once was, but now no trace,

so, light the candles and ring the bells

wreathe the doors with evergreen boughs,

but call for love and fight for right,

prevent the waning of the light.

Then she vanishes, darkness returns,

we search for angels, and the candle burns.

 

This is for Secret Keeper’s Writing Challenge.

 

The prompt words were:

Sense/Fight/Free/Voice/Choose

Happy Holidays!  Wishing all of you light in the darkness and peace, and joy in the new year.