Haiku and Tanka Garden Travels

i
Provincetown summers.
Tasty salty upper lip,
mango tinted dawns.
Blue hydrangeas, hollyhocks,
honeysuckle and moss rose.

ii.
Color profusion.
Blarney Castle garden walk,
nature’s floral art.
Ireland is so much more
than the luck of shamrock green.

iii.
Singapore orchids,
pride of National Garden.
Soft delicate blooms,
violet to deepest shades,
azure-veined whites and more.


iv.
I sense Japan’s calm,
forest bathing in deep greens.
Celebrate her spring
strolling by cherry blossoms.
Petals rain gently in breeze.

Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. Today is the second day of our dVerse 10 year anniversary! Our prompt is to think about the word “garden” and see where it takes us. I took that literally. Pub opens at 3 PM Boston time. Come join us!
Photos from our travels.

In the midst of rain

I sit in the early morning
near rain dappled leaves,
contemplating . . .

Even in the midst of showers
or thunder storms,
the sun shines.

It is simply obscured by clouds . . .
but it will reappear.

Video taken last week at our family reunion in Warrenton, VA …. from the porch of our rented farmhouse.

Bermuda Beautiful

Seascape rhythmic swells,
sonata in blue.
Harmonic melody
carried by balmy breeze.
Percussion added
as sea foamed waves lap shore.
Time signature ever changing,
sand grains shift and ripple too.
I sit mesmerized,
all this balm to my soul.
Smile serenely, softly,
as unconscious movement of tongue
reveals salty upper lip.
Apt coda to this masterpiece ~
nature’s wondrous symphony.

Written for Tuesday Poetics at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. Today Sarah asks us to consider “blue” in our poetry. Photo is from our time in Bermuda a number of years ago.

Winding River *

Sun melted snow trickles down,
enlivens creek, soon to expand
to winding river’s width.
Once a harbinger of spring,
displaced cherry blossoms
float downward in breeze.
I grieve the season’s loss
and the loss of you,
as pink petaled rain gently falls.
Blossoms cling to gurgling stream,
like sweet rosé lingering
upon nature’s savoring lips.
Kingfishers nest in branches
looking down upon headstones,
all ornate save one.
Your simply etched name
and the grandiose sculptures,
all indiscriminately covered.
What more wealth do you or I
or any of these dead souls need
than nature’s unconditional kindness?
This reminder of her accepting love.
This exquisitely serene pink rain.
  

Written for last Tuesday’s Poetics at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. Laura is hosting and reminds us that today is UN Chinese Language Day.

She asked us to choose one of four poems she provided, and with as many re-reads as we needed, to imagine what the poet painted and what impressions were conveyed…and then reinterpret the poem in our own style. We must use the title of the poem we choose and of course, credit the author. We may only use a few words from the poem itself. The poem I chose to reinterpret is below:

Winding River ~ Du Fu
Each piece of flying blossom leaves spring the less,
I grieve as myriad points float in the wind.
I watch the last ones move before my eyes,
And cannot have enough wine pass my lips.
Kingfishers nest by the little hall on the river,
Unicorns lie at the high tomb’s enclosure.
Having studied the world, one must seek joy,
For what use is the trap of passing h
onour?

Just Beyond Tobacco Bay

Wade with me
through windswept grasses.
Stand tall against the gale
gazing at nature’s palette,
ocean’s waters.
Myriad shades of blue
blending, rippling from
azure to ultramarine,
royal blue to sapphire,
turquoise to navy.
Calcarenites protrude,
their dark rough surface
rocky, uneven. Each a sentinel
of this island called Bermuda.

Posted for NaPoWriMo day 12. Photo taken a number of years ago in Bermuda. This scene is just a short walk from Tobacco Bay. Staying in St. George’s for five different years in the months of January and February, we often hiked out to this beautiful spot. And yes, the ocean truly looks like this! No photoshopping here.

The Stars Declare

Night sky’s scrim beams on us.
Heads tipped, eyes heavenward,
cold crisp air embraces.
Hope gleams bright, if we believe.

Heads tipped, eyes heavenward,
stars shine, diminish doubt.
Hope gleams bright, if we believe,
this truth shall live through pain.

Stars shine, diminish doubt
hearts must open willingly.
This truth shall live through pain,
our love shall bloom again.

Hearts must open willingly,
words must tumble free.
Our love shall bloom again,
night sky’s scrim beams on us.

Late to post to Peter’s prompt for Thursday’s Meet the Bar night at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. He asks us to write a pantoum.
Pantoum: comprised of 4 line stanzas the follow this pattern: 1,2,3,4; 2,5,4,6; 5,7,6,8; 7,9,8,1
In other words:
* the second stanza repeats the second and fourth lines of the first stanza, in its first and third line.
* The third stanza repeats the second and fourth line of the second stanza, in its first and third line.
* This pattern continues until the final stanza which repeats the second line of the stanza preceding it, as its first line; and the first line of the entire poem as its final line.

Quite tricky to write in the pantoum form and still have sense to the poem, without the form “sticking out” to the reader’s sensibility!

Willow’s Tale

“I am the bud and the blossom, I am the late-falling leaf.”
from Paul Dunbar’s The Paradox

Led down the primrose path
they succumbed to The Flatterer’s guile,
followed him to their death.
All but her,
the youngest one.

Willow, he assumed, was gullible too.
Small in stature, she wisely hung back.
Saw angry rolling brine ahead
slipped into a shrub and hid,
covering herself with leafy fronds.

Her sisters sang as they followed him,
not seeing Willow’s gesticulations.
She waved desperately to alert them,
but they walked on under his spell
eyes only on him.

Surely his scepter, his magical skills,
would keep them afloat they thought.
They danced o’er waves. Waded deeper still.
Alas, only a devastating result,
one by one they disappeared.

He counted each beautiful head
swallowed by guzzling salty foam.
“One is missing!” he screamed.
Looking backward toward land
he saw nothing, heard nothing.

Diving deep, he swam to his maidens
now ashen, sinking dead weight.
Tying their hair together, he took the eldest’s hand,
pulled them to his kingdom,
far from shore.

Willow wept silently,
her small feet cold in tear stained soil.
Long curls hung wet round her cheeks.
“Help me oh Lord,” she pleaded.
“I am but the last alive of them.”

She cried in torrents
until a rogue cold breeze
whipped round her face.
Tears suspended in air,
her lean lithe body, solid froze.

Now something she was not before,
Yet she prospered over many years.
Pure happiness, mythologists would say.
Yet still she wept and weeps today,
especially amongst her kind.

Children play hide and seek,
joyfully tug those leafy fronds.
Sisters long gone, yet she has borne many.
Weeping Willow trees o’er the land,
her legacy to all.

Written for dVerse where today we’re asked to consider the element of paradox within our poetry and be inspired by one of several lines provided for the prompt. Line I’ve used is at the top of the poem as an epigraph. Photo from pixabay.com.

Monochromatic Beauty

Contemplation, gift of the night.
Moonlight glazes the sea.
Gone are those wild waves of yesterday
when nature caroused to youth’s delight.
Evening’s darkness, a quiet scene
dressed in shades of ebony.
I hear the sea’s symphonic hush as midnight nears.
So many questions come to mind,
most unanswerable by humankind.
Why should not the water
find delight in the floral fragrance
of its own rippled surface?
My scent commingles with the sea’s.
My toes curl, touching her lapping edge.
Her ripples ebb and flow so slowly,
shine in gentle arcs of lunar light.
Mesmerized, I begin to understand.
Yes, time seems shorter now
ending chapters closer,
looming large like tonight’s full moon.
Energy disipated, still beautiful
in this later monochromatic scene.
I’ve come to contemplate the night
and take my leave thanking the sea.
Quietly I begin the walk home,
sensing the rippled surface  I leave behind,
and I smile.

Written for Tuesday Poetics at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Today we are asked to let our imaginations become a springboard to the mystical/sacred and use one of eight fragments from the mystic poets. I’ve chosen “Why should not the water find delight in the floral fragrance of its own rippled surface?” (Jnanadev) Photo taken while on our last cruise, well before the age of Covid.

Ode to Bermuda

I am oceanically mesmerized.
Sitting on rippled sand,
slowly sifting granules
through my fingers
through my toes.

Waves splash, crash,
dash against shoreline’s rugged rocks.
Salty spray, misty on my skin,
lost in thought,
time labors not.

I stand, then saunter farther down shore.
Discover limestone formations,
arced frame through which I stare.
Architecturally designed by nature,
window open to bluest of blue seas.

This is Bermuda,
beautiful indeed.

Written for MTB (Meet the Bar) Thursday at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the world. Today Peter is hosting and asks that we consider and emphasize sound in our poem. For example, we can use onomatopoeia (the word sounds like the object described); alliteration (repetition of consonants); rhyme; and rhythm.
Photo taken four years ago when we wintered in St. George, Bermuda. No photo-shopping in second photo. The water is truly those amazing colors!

Provincetown Farewell

Day dallies before night,
languorous not angry.
No streaks of orange-red.
No temper tantrum flares.
No sinking glaring half-orb
stamping her rays.

This evening she dabbles,
pastel palette en plein aire.

Blushing, she rouges blue sky.
Sun butter yellows upon her brush,
delicately blend into rosey hues.
Bending closer, stroking more,
soft kisses touch ocean calm
till violet hues meld into scene.

She pauses quietly in her beauty,
then softly fades farewell.

IMG_1768IMG_1769IMG_1783IMG_1776IMG_1780IMG_1771
Originally published a number of years ago. Publishing again today as we return to Boston. Instead of our usual two weeks, with walks into town to meander galleries, shops and eat at restaurants, in this age of Covid, we spent just 8 days in hibernation at our rental by the ocean. But, Provincetown, even without all the hoopla and town attractions, never disappoints.

Sunset photos taken in Provincetown, at the very tip of Cape Cod. No photoshopping; no edits. Just pointed my phone and clicked. Breathtaking evening as you can see. Easy to understand why artists and poets (including Mary Oliver) flock to Provincetown.