Death Stalks a Tanka

Death rattles nearby
cold winter has stripped trees bare.
Branches jerk in wind
create shadows in our room.
I seek comfort in your arms.

Frank is hosting MTB at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. Today, he asks us to write a Japanese death poem which can be in the form of a tanka if we choose. He explains that a Japanese death poem speaks of imminent death but at the same time, extolls the significance of life. A tanka is similar to a haiku, but longer: 5 lines of 5-7-5-7-7 syllables.

Seasonal Scenes

Summer tourist ignores gawking stares,
is scantily clad
leaving little to imagination.
Too intent on catching season’s last rays
exchanging working haze for lazy days.

Its transition, felled by floral war of sorts,
gold dipped sunflowers droop defeated.
For autumn’s hearty mums,
brass and bragadocious, now gleam victorious.

Written for Tuesday Poetics at dVerse. Today Laura asks us to write a nine line poem. To make it more challenging, she asks that it incorporate a specific line from a poem she’s cited; and that line just happens to be exactly nine words long! Each of these nine words then, in that order, become the first word in each of the nine lines of my poem. Confused?
Here’s the line: “Summer is leaving too, exchanging its gold for brass” from Dorothy Lawrenson’s September. Now, look just at the first word in each of the nine lines of my poem Seasonal Scenes. And now read those first words from top to bottom and voila, they say Summer is leaving too, exchanging its gold for brass!

Photo from pixabay.com

To Everything There is a Season

City folk turned country dwellers
we weathered through the seasons.
First-time home-owners on thirty acres,
we rented out our fields.
Watched corn and wheat planted,
then flourish in hot Iowa sun.

Harvest seasons came and went.
Like shapeshifters,
acres changed their landscaped views.
Plant, tend, reap, rest.
We marked off years waiting,
hoping for a blooming of our own.

And then, pregnant with expectation
we watched my belly grow,
just as the wheat and corn grew tall.
Similar to mother earth that year,
we gave birth, finding sustenance
in the fruits of our labor.

And then one bright September day
we brought our daughter home.
Stood blinking from the sun’s glare
holding her up amidst the fields,
thankful for new life
in this, our season of joy.  

Written for Tuesday Poetics at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets across the globe. Today, Rose is guest hosting and titles her prompt “Waiting on Wheat” – asking us to somehow write about wheat within our poem. Photos are from our homestead in Iowa, in 1974. Yep – that’s me with our daughter on the day I came home from the hospital. In those days, it was common to stay in the hospital for 5 days! Even after a normal birth. My how times have changed! The title for the poem comes from Ecclesiastes in the Bible and was also turned into a wonderful song written by Pete Seeger, first recorded in 1959.

Celebrating National Haiku Poetry Day

kaleidoscope me
fuchsia, orange, purple too ~
flowerlicious spring

Day 17 of National Poetry Writing Month, which is also National Haiku Poetry Day. Toads asks us to write a traditional haiku:
* three lines, 5-7-5 syllabic structure
* must include a kigo (seasonal reference)
* must include a kiru (cutting/juxtapositioning/punctuation that shifts focus).  Here the toy kaleidoscope becomes spring’s profusion of flowers.

Photos: first is from the San Diego Botanical Gardens last month. The lilac photo was taken last May in Harvard Arboretum’s lilac lane.

Stop in at Toads today to sample some wonderful haiku! 

Tanka with polytoton

Shadowed moon flickers
on windblown cornstalk stubble.
Red fox stalks its prey,
hunting through snow covered field.
Hunter in wool cap takes aim.

fox-4101341_1920

Frank hosts dVerse tonight, the virtual pub for poets. We are to consider the polytoton: rhetorical repetition of words within a poem, but each time used in a different way (cornstalk and stalks; hunting and hunter).  
I’ve used the Tanka form: 5 line poem with 5, 7, 5, 7,  and 7 syllables.
Pub opens at 3 PM Boston time. Come join us! Image from Pixabay.com

Ah to rest . . .

The grove hides its secrets well,
cowering behind the decrepit shed.
That rotting wood that stands askew,
door long felled, splintered, near gone.
As if to escape, to ignore and deny
those happenings long long ago.

They argued under darkening sky.
Stars glimmered fearfully
as stealthy clouds crept in.
Temperaments turned tempestuous
till fury exploded in death,
and thunder roared its anger at their folly.

Found next day in storm soaked grove,
blood spewed over fallen fruit
mixed with rotted apples’ smell.
Their deaths desecrated this century farm,
marking 1957 as its demise
when lovers met, quarreled and died.

Grove turned fallow years thereafter,
apple trees neglected, tendered not.
That vile act didst poison roots,
stunt growth, until gnarly limbs
abandoned since that fateful night,
crouched low, berating fouled earth.

Each spring since, forgetting not,
winds gust disapproval.
Rend blossoms, so few to bloom.
Pockmarked fruit then drops to earth
as bees from nowhere find their way,
steal succor from this grove’s sad plight.

Autumn strips meager tattered cover.
Blighted fruit and curdling leaves
gladly shed by grieving trees.
With naked desire, they lust for snow.
That white soft silent blanket
to comfort limbs; cover blood stained earth.

Winter offers unconditional anonymity.
Memories of past sins cast upon this grove
retreat from souls of trees.
No fruit. No activity. No remembering.
Simply slumber, hibernation stupor.
Sweet serenity, adrift at last.

winter-1861695_1920

Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets, where today Laura asks us to consider rhetorical questions. She then provides six unique questions, asking us to choose one for the topic of our poem. I chose Why did the grove undress itself, only to wait for the snow?  Image by cocoparisienne at pixabay.com

Summer Ditty

Freckledee doobie
summer me toonie,
singin’ some sillies with you.

Suckin’ orange slurpees
racin’ thru sprinklers,
singin’ our goofy-do tunes.

Hopscotch my sidewalk
ten in pink chalk,
singin’ hippity hoppity, bippity bop.

Friendship and freckles
grow in the sun.
Besties forever
singin’ as one.

It’s Quadrille Monday at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Mish is hosting and asks us to include the word “freckle” or any form of the word in our Quadrille (a poem of exactly 44 words, sans title). Photo from Pixabay.com