Monday, May 22, 2017

Haibun


                                                      THE DINNER PARTY      

1. Getting Ready

 Mrs. Fraser is getting ready for dinner. A party of twelve. Very special (as always), designed to impress Mr. Fraser's colleagues and their wives.

 A black velvet dress clings to her slim figure. Diamond earrings and necklace.  Silver hair, coiffed in an up-do only her hairdresser can accomplish. She's almost ready.

From a dresser drawer, hidden in her silk lingerie, Mrs. Fraser takes out a silver flask and swallows long and slowly.  The liquid fires up her throat and her nerve.

                                                        a lone walker–
                                                        the night blooming jasmine
                                                        cast in shadow

 2. The Dinner

 Crystal glasses, English china, Belgian lace. A table set for royalty. Mrs. Fraser longingly gazes out the window. A summer night cries out for a barbeque, not caviar and squab; beer not Verve Clicquot.

 On her right is Mrs. Henry.

 Your grandson?  Precocious is he? Toilet trained in one week you say? Remarkable! Did you notify The Times?  Yes, I'm joking. Of course I'm joking.

 On her left is Judson Parker. She kicks his creeping foot away from hers.

 Yes, I agree. Desperate hunger in the world. Should all do our part.  I'll start now and pack up this dinner for the Homeless Mission downtown. What's that you say? A joke, yes. Just a joke.

                                                           bouquet of roses  
                                                           silky petals
                                                           fall with a touch

 3. Saying Good-bye

 Goodnight. Goodnight. Thank you. Lovely to see you.  Next week at the Henderson's? Can't wait to see their infinity pool. A restful view, I'm sure. Perhaps, I'll jump in and disappear into infinity. Yes. Yes. Another joke.

                                                             night voices
                                                             rumbles of thunder
                                                             before the deluge

 4. Lights Out

 Midnight. The house locked down. One more successful dinner. One more gold star. 

 Mrs. Fraser takes out the flask again and places a bottle of pills next to it.  She lines up the pills on her dresser. With slow deliberation her hand moves from pill to mouth to flask, from pill to mouth to flask, from pill to mouth to flask.

                                                           storm brewing
                                                           an owl's call
                                                           thrown to the wind

Modern Haiku, Oct. 2016 



Thursday, May 11, 2017

Haibun

                                                                                 
                                                                             FRIENDS

 
She was a bright student, Phi Beta Kappa.  Married before graduation.  Has her first child six months later.  Three more children follow in rapid succession.  She moves to a New England Coastal town and writes that she is happy.
 
She, with husband and children, move to Florence where he continues his art studies.
 
She writes that she is happy.
 
Upon their return she teaches high school English and writes that she is not happy.
 
She and the children move to a commune in California where she grows vegetables, bakes bread, has a lover, changes her name to Sunflower and writes that she is happy.
 
                                                                      dried roses
                                                                arranged in a vase
                                                                    for a second life
Lynx, 2011

Monday, May 8, 2017

Haiga




                                       




A Hundred Gourds

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Haibun


                                                              MOVING        

An old colonial house. Ours. Cleaned, painted, polished, scrubbed and repaired.  An object on display, a star on stage, ready for the public.  Ready to be someone else's home.

We wait, out of sight and out of hearing.  What do they think, these lookers, these pokers and prodders? Will someone see its charm as we did 29 years ago?  An old lady with a few idiosyncrasies. The sloping hallway, the creak in the dining room floor, the  leak above the side door when there is a drenching rain? Will the new family be forgiving and adjust to the old lady's habits and manners?  Another sweater when winds blow through loose windows, a pot under the leak.  This old lady has so much else to offer.

From a bedroom window, rolling fairways and fastidious greens on the golf course.  Lilacs and roses on warm breezes; the maple, a canopy of gold in autumn and the envy of Midas; the transformation of the land with fresh snow.  Birds, squirrels, rabbits, raccoons, chipmunks, possums.  Residents and visitors, including the occasional deer and wild turkey.

 The walls will soon hear new stories and absorb new memories.  Will they echo with happy celebrations, crowded with children, grandchildren and friends? And, when it is time for the owners to move on, will they look back, as I am, and wonder what has happened to the years?

                                                          this morning the sun
                                                          glowing in the east-
                                                          later… the west


Haibun Today, April 18, 2008

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Haiku


river walk
the scent of lilacs
and fresh tar


our new home
neglected in and out
but for white lilacs

Kernels, summer 2013
3 Lights Gallery, Oct. 2008

Monday, April 17, 2017

Haibun

                           

                                                                 DINNER WITH THE FAMILY

He is 16.  Long hair and a pierced ear.  Baggy jeans and extra large tee shirt.  He is with his parents and grandparents.  They talk to each other, but not to him.  He sits apart and says nothing.  He is 16.

                                                                  darkness falls
                                                                  in the dense woods
                                                                  all that’s hidden

Contemporary Haibun On-Line,
Sept. 2009


Thursday, April 6, 2017

Haiga





A Hundred Gourds
Cattails
Chrysanthemum



Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Haiku

                                                     
                                                                                ice floes
                                                                                stop and go traffic
                                                                                on the river road


                                                                               frigid temps
                                                                               the radiator's soft ping
                                                                               in the night


                                                                               spring thaw
                                                                               that dirt road
                                                                               going nowhere still


Living Haiku Anthology
March 2017

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Tanka Sequence


                                                               TIME PASSING    

                                                                   longer nights
                                                                   he slips into his last sleep
                                                                   quietly
                                                                   the release he waited for
                                                                   is not his alone

                                                                   Dutch homestead
                                                                   a rusted water pump
                                                                   the handle half-way;
                                                                   so many stories forgotten
                                                                   so many never finished

                                                                    double-Dutch jump rope
                                                                    the sureness and speed
                                                                    of the girls’ steps;                                                             
                                                                    how unalike I am
                                                                    with my hesitant moves

                                                                     sometimes I see you
                                                                     when you are young with dark hair
                                                                     moving easily
                                                                     your shoulders straight, your face smooth
                                                                     before I know of time passing

                                                                      I saw you last night
                                                                      felt your presence
                                                                      heard your voice
                                                                      and know you will come again
                                                                      when I least expect it
Ribbons, March 2013


Thursday, March 9, 2017

Haibun

 

  BLOOD ORANGES
 
A rarity, blood oranges at the market.  I buy several and remember her delight when she found them again decades after leaving her home in the Sicilian hills.  The mottled red orange skin, the reddish flesh, juicy and sweet.
 
I add goat cheese to my cart and remember her stories about buying cheese and milk from the goat boy every morning.
 
I remember her dark eyes and warm smile and her deft way with a cooking spoon.
 
I arrange the red orange segments, spiraling them on a plate, toss a few cubes of goat cheese here and there, squeeze on some of the red juice, sprinkle with olive oil, salt and a generous shake of freshly ground black pepper.
 
                                                                  lunch under the pines
                                                                  the breeze stirs up a fragrance
                                                                  from afar
Contemporary Haibun Online
June 2009
 

Monday, February 27, 2017

Haiku Sequence




                                                                           MOUTHE, FRANCE

                                                                           Sunday
                                                                           chickens scratching in the road
                                                                           the flying dust

                                                                           at the lumber mill
                                                                           only the river noises
                                                                           and the wind

                                                                           moss covered church
                                                                           creeping through the open door
                                                                           the warmth of May

                                                                           in the graveyard
                                                                           one freshly weeded patch
                                                                           the sharp lettering

 
Modern Haiku, 1974


Saturday, February 18, 2017

Haibun


                                              RACHMANINOFF PIANO CONCERTO No.2     

There is drama in the opening chords.  The piano alone— six times the same chord, beginning pianissimo, getting louder with each repetition.  Then a sweeping blend of violins and piano.  I listen and forget the arduous task I’m doing, peddling my exercise bike.  The music lifts me beyond  the mundane aspects of daily life.

                                              icy sleet
                                              on the windows—
                                              empty bird feeder

Now an introduction of horns and full orchestra.  The piano, romantic in tone.  A quiet orchestral melody.  Hollywood borrowed the melody for a film years ago.  Everyone of a certain age would know it.

I’m there in the concert hall.  Spotlight on the pianist, his head bent over the keys, fingers flying. The audience is in shadow. All still but for the occasional  cough or sneeze.  Bike exercise completed, I remain listening.  An increased tempo in the third movement.    Passages of piano fireworks, each note quick, clear and sharp.  I’ve listened to this so often I can anticipate each phrase, each note.  Then the full orchestra again, soaring with the melody and finally closing with a strong crescendo.

                                                   with gloved hands
                                                   spilling bird seed—
                                                   sleet down my collar


World Haiku Review, March 2003

Friday, February 10, 2017

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Haiku



                                                                        soft snow
                                                                        the cold floats down
                                                                        one flake at a time


                                                                        late winter cold
                                                                        long underwear
                                                                        frayed at the cuffs


                                                                        crackling in the air–
                                                                        on a frigid afternoon
                                                                        tea and ginger snaps
A Hundred Gourds
Daily Haiku
Chrysanthemum

Friday, January 27, 2017

Haibun

                                       
                                
                                                          
                                                                 A DAY IN JANUARY           


Today, I begin to remove the holiday decorations. Some have been part of my holiday celebrations since childhood, ornaments that I inherited when my parents passed away. Others are from my husband’s family. There are paper ornaments made by our children and grandchildren.  Ornaments from places we visited and from friends.

                                                                      bits and baubles
                                                                      wrapping the years
                                                                      in tissue

Haibun Today, December 2015
 

 



Monday, January 23, 2017

Haiga






Daily Haiga

Friday, January 13, 2017

Tanka Sequence




                                                               WHEN DISASTER COMES

                                                            (Hurricane Sandy, October 2012)

                                                                   snug in my home
                                                                   with after dinner coffee–
                                                                   is it luck or fate?
                                                                   that we are here not there
                                                                   with just each other and hope
                                                                 
                                                                    day after day                       
                                                                    the mundane things I do
                                                                    with barely a thought
                                                                    until I remember
                                                                    the speed in which life changes

                                                                    bleak images
                                                                    the fodder of nightmares
                                                                    the truth of now;
                                                                    helplessness prevails
                                                                    hopelessness bores deeper
      
                                                                     day becomes night
                                                                     and becomes day again
                                                                     with still no answer
                                                                     why some were chosen
                                                                     and others spared

                                                                     from home to market
                                                                     all my wants granted
                                                                     how easy to forget
                                                                     those with neither home nor food
                                                                     and only sky for shelter

                                                                     thanking God
                                                                     for keeping family safe,
                                                                     guilty with relief
                                                                     I accept each day
                                                                     as a slippery gift
Cattails, Jan. 2014