Haibun from Days Gone By

Looking back from this vantage point, from who I am now and how we raised our children, I’m surprised at my calm, unquestioning “okay” to one man during my lifetime. Wally Rucks, high school football coach and my guidance counselor.

I only had one meeting with this overweight, jowly faced man. In 1964, at the beginning of my senior year.
“Are you filling out your college applications?”
“Yes.”
“What career are you aiming for?”
As the only female on our award-winning debate team, I was ready with the answer. “A lawyer.”
“Girls don’t do that. Study to be a Speech and English teacher.”
The meeting was over. I walked out the door and that’s what I did. I became a high school Speech and English teacher, albeit a very good one.

And then years later, I earned a second Master’s Degree and a PhD. Became a university dean and traveled the world solo, meeting corporate executives, establishing internships for our Global MBAs. Go suck an egg, Mr. Rucks.

smallest acorn
trampled in mud by hiking galoots
tall now in forest green

It’s Haibun Monday at dVerse and today we’re supposed to write about something that surprises us. Come join us at the virtual pub for poets — bar opens at 3 PM Boston time. Haibun: short, precise prose (cannot be fiction) followed by a haiku.

Sunken Desire

Spirits beneath the blue
assuaged by filtered sun
and undulating sea grass.

Marauding masked visitors
disturb your sleep,
seek riches beyond the pale.

Wherein lies the treasure?
Corroded trinkets, ancient coins
or peace for lost immortal souls.

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Delighted to host Tuesday Poetics today at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Many folks across the globe celebrate holidays during the month of November and December and with that comes visitors to our homes and, perhaps, travel for us. Today, I’m asking folks to write a poem that includes the word “visit” or a form of the word. Photo is from last February’s visit to Bermuda. There are more than 300 sunken ships around the coast of Bermuda – a haven for adventurous divers. Pub opens at 3 PM Boston time — come join us!

Best Wishes and Thank You, Toni

I rejuvenated (never say “retired”) exactly five years ago this Friday. From a stress-filled dean’s job at a university including solo global travel to doing . . . what? Talk about transition! I decided to reverse roles and became a student in an online poetry class. The pen hit the paper every morning as if a dam had been breached. Then I found WordPress and this untechie created a website. I was thrilled when I reached ten followers – all relatives. And then I found dVerse.

For me, writing is a space in and of itself, unlike any physical space. There’s a part of my mind that seems to have a conversation with my pen. dVerse introduced me to new forms and meters, and forced me to sometimes include that bug-a-boo-for-me, rhyme. I write for myself. Because of dVerse, I also edit and rewrite for my readers. Rejuvenatement brought a huge change to my biorhythms and my frequent-flyer status. dVerse made me a Samurai of words – gave me the courage to “put-it-out-there.” It’s introduced me to folks around the world who, like me, enjoy the power and creativity of words. Today, for the very first time, my computer’s auto-correct didn’t automatically change haibun to habit. How fitting is that???  Aren’t you proud of me, Toni? 🙂

migrating geese
arrow formation in cold crisp air
transition flies forward

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Post is “double-duty” for dVerse, the online pub for poets. Today, Paul hosts Tuesday Poetics and asks us to write about a change in our lives. Yesterday was Haibun Monday where, for the last time, Toni hosted and asked us to write about how we write/our plans for our writing. She is retiring from the dVerse board, although we’ll continue to see her poetry posts. For me, Toni is inspirational….she’s patiently taught me how to write a haibun (tight, nonfiction prose followed by a haiku).  She personifies the haibun’s Japanese spirit. Thank you, Toni. This one’s for you! 🙂

Cairn

I am with you still.

My spirit
embued within the sky
floating midst the clouds
cool mist above rushing waters.

I walked this earth
stacked small rocks
in special places.
I cared.

Grieve not for me,
stand quietly.
Between your steps
feel me still.

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It’s Quadrille Monday at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. And we begin anew. Week 1 with 43 more to come. Today, Quadrille Week 1, the word to use within our poem is “rock” – or a form of the word. Come join us! A quadrille is a poem of exactly 44 words…sans title.

Street Muse

Her name was Passion.
Artist’s muse
she lived on the palette.
Primary colors
nostalgic pastels
essence of blended oils.
Brushed with arrogance
sometimes haphazardly,
a thin veneer.
Other times,
piled thick with exacto knife
layer upon layer
covering pain.
Stared at by street lovers
dog catchers
and people pissers,
sometimes the canvas bled
as her tears disrupted the guise.

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Created for Tuesday Poetics at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets where today I’m hosting and asking folks to use one of five pieces of street art (illustrated in the prompt) as motivation for a poem. All five images are in public domain at Pixabay.com  This is my second post for the prompt. See also Magic Awaits You .

Magic Awaits You

Feeling weary?
Kind of dreary?

Dial R-Oh-6  Oh-31
for fanciful fantastical fun.

Never let your troubles steep
just take a liberating leap.

We absolutely guarantee
balloon-high spectacular glee.

Exchange your world of hullabaloo.
Drive to zabba-dabba fabulah-new.

Come on and make some whoopee,
risin’ up in the jazzy jaloopy!

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Having fun today 🙂  hosting Tuesday Poetics at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. I’ve posted five examples of street art for folks and ask them to pick one and somehow write about it. Images in public domain at Pixabay.com. Only requirement is that folks post the accompanying image.  Click here for second street art poem with different image. I couldn’t resist doing two — the second has quite a different tone!

We’ll be visiting Valparaiso, Chile in January and look forward to seeing the street art there — which is what motivated this idea for a prompt.

Pub opens at 3 PM Boston time. Come walk the streets with us!

 

Iowa Scene

Thirty acres of Iowa farmland surrounded our country house ~ the first home we ever owned. We tended a huge garden, had six apple trees, and rented out the rest of the land to a nearby farmer.

It was a magical place in all seasons. Spring time brought apple blossoms and the sound of tractors moving up and down the fields. Our summer garden overflowed with zucchini while wind-blown sheets flapped on the clothesline. Fall harvest coincided with our consolidated high school’s homecoming parade around town square. Winter storms left corn stalk stubs peeking out from a blanket of white snow. And if we were lucky, we might spy a migrating snowy owl, perched atop the fence post next to our old wooden barn.

blizzard blows in night
red barn awakens to white landscape
snowy owl hoots in delight

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Victoria is hosting Haibun Monday at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. A Haibun is a Japanese form of poetry that includes one or two paragraphs of tight nonfiction prose followed by a haiku that must include a seasonal reference. Today, Victoria tells us how the Japanese associate the Kigo, Fukuroo with the season of winter (Kigo is owl; Fukuroo means the snowy owl). We are to write a haibun about owls. Photo in public domain from pixabay.com

 

Ode To My High School Gym

 

Home to . . .

blue onesied teenage girls
delicately batting badmintons,
and pimpled boys man-upping
in raucous dodge-ball games.

Crew cuts and ratted Aqua Net dos.

School assemblies.
Seats assigned by homeroom,
alphabetical misery.

Six-foot hoopsters.
Full-skirted
ball gown under-frames
and the tall gangly ball-shooting kind.

Hand-wringing game-ending cacophony,
and teenage clutching
Johnny-Mathis-crooning
sock-hop last chance
he-has-to-be-the-one dance.

Crepe paper.
Gathered in strips,
duct tape hand grips
bouncing in pompom cheers.
Stretched————————–
transformed to ceiling
with hanging mirrored ball
above parading bouffant heads.

Embarrassed girls
side-lined on folding chairs
watching nervous girls
lined up in pretended calm,
waiting to learn
if they would be the one
adorned in prom queen crown.

Fifty years later,
we stand on your creaking boards.
Is it possible? Is this the space?
Old age does not become you,
our once hallowed place.

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Frank hosts dVerse today, the virtual pub for poets, asking us to write an ode (poem of praise). No required form, meter or content. Photo: from my 1965 senior year high school annual, Waukegan Township High School in Waukegan, Illinois. Prom court….I was on a folding chair 🙂 And yes, there’s a metal hoop skirt under that second gown. You had to be really careful when you sat down! In the actual photo, you can see the basketball court lines on the gym floor. Pub opens at 3 PM Boston time.