Morning Haiku and Waka – Blog Hopping – January 11, 2016

Ducks in love

Love, what is love?  That potent attraction that pulls two people together?  No perhaps that’s hormones and little else.  Well, might it be then, the fascinating encounter with a great thinker who can mesmerize one into ecstasy with words? I think not, intellectually fulfilling perhaps, at least for a time but love, no, not love.  What about that perfect body, those lovely eyes and that suave voice.  Aesthetically pleasing perhaps, but no, not love.  We in the west, raised and nurtured on fairy tales and romantic novels, have a vague idealistic vision of love and I suspect that that vision is just an illusion.  If we search for love guided by all the nonsense that we watch on television and read in books our love affairs will be quickly over because they’re based on “fried air” as the Italians like to say.

So what is love – are there different kinds of love, or is there just Love with a capital letter?  Is that feeling you have for your dog or cat any less important to you than  the feelings you have for your child. (I can hear the scandalized voices now .. but Let’s be honest.) Don’t you get all torn up and feel miserable when your dear four-legged friend dies.  I know I still mourn my old friend Maao to the point that I never want to own another cat.

If we’re talking about sentiments and emotions, I suppose we could call a summer encounter or a meeting of minds on the internet a love affair, but if we’re looking for something deeper that involves something more universal maybe we should look within.

a quick flash
star-crossed summer loves
autumn cinders

© G.s.k. ‘16

§§§

sun and moon
lovers always separated
forever linked

this heart
one with the universe
love

a warm touch
the cherry tree blossoms
in love with life

creation
attraction and repulsion
love’s paradox

© G.s.k. ‘16

This post is linked to:  Carpe Diem Tokubetsudesu #69 An Essay About Real LoveHeeding Haiku With Chèvrefeuille February 10th 2016 and

Stay by Me – unnamed invented form – January 12, 2016

lilac tree

stay by me
even as the dawn breaks
the sun gives way
to another cold day of rain
stay here between these silken sheets
stay by me

here we’re warm
we can play here ’til noon
we can talk too
listen to my story of trees
stay here between these silken sheets
here we’re warm

let’s sleep on
no reason to get up now
our bodies are warm
we have our spring in winter
stay here between these silken sheets
let’s sleep on

stay by me
here we’re warm
let’s sleep on
[goodbye my love]

G.s.k. ‘16

 

(5) Words: | REASON | BREAK | STAY | GIVE | RAIN |
The Secret Keeper: Weekly Writing Prompt #19

The Party – Short Story – January 2, 2016

ginestra flowers

Walking into the room shaking snow off the cherry red coat she was wearing, she looked around the feeling a little out of place.  At that moment she heard her name being called from across the room and went towards the sound like a lost soul in the desert goes towards water.

“Ah Virginia, how nice to see you, but dear!  Why don’t you take off your coat! Here, let me help you.” a tall pleasant woman said doing just that. “Now, let’s get you a drink!” the woman said as she handed the coat to a nondescript greying gentleman of about seventy.

Virginia took the drink her friend had offered and sipping it let her eyes roam around the room.  The chatter of the people reminded her of the old rusty springs of her Grandmother’s double bed.  Odd she thought, her Grandmother had passed away forty years before.  People came up to her and they greeted and kissed her.  They exchanged what is commonly called small talk and eventually drifted away.

“How have you been doing …”

“Isn’t that just terrible news about Anna and Mario …”

“Seems the government is going to fall again …”

Small talk for a small world she thought. After a few moments she found herself standing alone in the room and somehow felt more comfortable.

Her mind wandered and she imagined herself walking again in the woodlands of Tuscany among the trees of the Maremma. It was 1987 when she’d met Gaitano and they’d gone for the first of their many walks in those woods.  The yellow ginestra flowers were in bloom then, he’d always loved those bright broom flowers. He’d pointed out the different kinds of bird’s nests to her; she’d been impressed by one huge nest that had been made in the bough of a large tree, she couldn’t seem to remember now what bird that had been.

She was pulled out of her thoughts when another guest entered the room.  A buxom woman of around sixty with a carrying voice. They’d once been close friends a few years back, but she’d gone off to America and they’d lost track of each other as sometimes happens.  As soon as she had hung her coat up she made a bee-line for Virginia.

“Ah, Virginia my dear!  What a sight for sore eyes.  I’m just so very  happy to be back home!” she said as she kissed Virginia on both cheeks, “I’ve had a really harrowing time out in the sticks of North America, I can’t wait to tell you all about it.  But first, tell me my dear, where is Gaitano that adorable husband of yours?”

A sudden hush fell on the room and even the usually self-confident woman felt the collective embarrassment and she realized that something was off.

This happened more rarely now that he’d been dead for nearly three months, but still, sometimes it did happen but it no longer bothered Virginia like it had done.

“Oh my dear Carla, you haven’t heard.  He passed away last autumn. We scattered his ashes in the Maremma.” Virginia replied.

Carla with tears in her eyes embraced her friend.

© G.s.k. ‘16

(This is a work of pure fiction based on parties I’ve been to in my youth. Bastet)

hung, cherry, wearing, bloom, snow, springs, bough, trees, again, roam, woodlands, seventy

A New Year Gift – Haibun – January 1, 2015

Tangerine-forest

Photo Credits: Italia Che Cambia

Last night I had a dream and when I awoke the first lines of the poem I previously posted were in my mind … usually when this happens, if I don’t write the words immediately, the words and the vision disappear, not so with these words nor with the sensation of walking through a stately forest, with the trees towering above me up into the winter sky.

If you’ve ever walked inside a forest, not a woods mind, you know that there is little or no undergrowth.   There can be paths of sorts, the ground is covered in old leaves, they swish as you walk and you must be careful not to become lost.  The light is filtered by the trees, the silence is penetrating and the wind actually whispers.  Sometimes in the summer you can hear a bird sing or a cuckoo call. The forest fills me with awe, it seems as though it is a cathedral to life, more magnificent and impelling than any cathedral I’ve ever seen.

I think I must have dreamt of a forest.  The feelings of awe still courses through my mind and I can almost see the beauty of this magnificent forest.

in a winter dream
the joy of life grows stronger
with every step

© G.s.k. ‘16

Earth’s Cathedral – free verse – January 1, 2015

trees

In this winter forest
Of cedar, spruce and pine
(The snow, softly falling
No passage here of time)
This dreamland comforts me
As the wind whispers songs
No hymns were e’er sweeter
Nor apse e’er holier
As in this holy grove

In this natural cathedral
I look towards the sky
I feel love around me
The magnificence of life
Here I sing thankful lauds
For all my many blessings,
Of each day I walk the Earth,
In this winter forest
Of cedar, spruce and pine.

© G.s.k. ‘16

This poem was a gift of a dream …

The Narrow Road (17) Farewell – Haiku and Tanka – December 31, 2015

dream

in the sea
bobbing on the waves
a passing story

§§

through sun and tempest
this infinite sea reveals
mysteries of life

each tiny shell a secret
each new wave a story

© G.s.k. ‘15

Carpe Diem #887 Returning home: between the waves, a clam

between the waves
small shells mingle with
bits of bush clover

© Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)

a clam
torn from its shell
departing autumn

©Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)

Encounter of Ages – Free Verse – December 26, 2016

On this cold winter’s day
I look onto perfection
The meeting of dawn’s light
And the closing of day
This marvel of creation
Lay arm in arm together …
In this momentous moment
My heart fills with peace
My mind knows true love
As the spring and the winter
Come together I sigh with awe …
Now life’s continuity
Through its endless cycles
Is no longer a stale thought
But a vibrant reality
As I look onto this scene
Of the encounter of the ages
On this cold winter’s day

© G.s.k. ‘15

Photo Challenge #92 December 22, 2015

A Christmas Lai – Experimental Choka – December 25, 2015

Look, as this new day is born
Peaceful is this cold morn’
Bells ringing across the land
Say violence is banned!
Today, Christmas day
Hear now, listen to my lai:
Let’s cleanse our hearts of woe
Joyfully shall we now go
To celebrate our joy
‘Twas born Mary’s boy!
Then, the seed of peace was sown,
Something we’d never known,
Pray that it may now grow strong
And fill our hearts yearlong,
With love, hope and peace.

© G.s.k. ‘15

When I first discovered choka, I also discovered that this poetic form is all but extinct, though some modern Japanese poets have written a few and there is a small movement to try to revive it, it’s mostly in the West that the choka is finding new life.  Now it’s possible to find “classical” (either 5-7-7 or 5-7-5 syllable count) choka written by American or English haiku poets and very interestingly we also find some experimental choka – variations created by Western haiku poets.

In 2013, I tried my hand at creating an experimental choka a Rhyming Choka : 7-6-7-6-5 syllable lines  repeated 3 times … rhymes in couplets until the last line.

For a little more information you can click these links (there are many more, and these are not necessarily the best) Poet’s Garret, The Poet’s CollectiveKUJAKU POETRY & SHIPS

Carpe Diem Special #188 Georgia’s 4th, another choka

Seven Days before Christmas (6) – Tanka – December 23, 2015

Credits: ianswalkonthewildside  Celebrating the Wild Side of Yorkshire’s Coast & Country

green with white berries
the druid searches the forest
young people too
for love, peace and magic
a gift of mistletoe

© G.s.k. ‘15

To tell the truth, I never understood why a parasitic plant like mistletoe should be a symbol of love … but I supposed it had to do with its evergreen beauty, so, I did a brief search and this is what I found:

“The tradition of hanging it in the house goes back to the times of the ancient Druids. It is supposed to possess mystical powers which bring good luck to the household and wards off evil spirits. It was also used as a sign of love and friendship in Norse mythology and that’s where the custom of kissing under Mistletoe comes from.

When the first Christians came to Western Europe, some tried to ban the use of Mistletoe as a decoration in Churches, but many still continued to use it! York Minster Church in the UK used to hold a special Mistletoe Service in the winter, where wrong doers in the city of York could come and be pardoned.

The custom of kissing under Mistletoe comes from England. The original custom was that a berry was picked from the sprig of Mistletoe before the person could be kissed and when all the berries had gone, there could be no more kissing!

The name mistletoe comes from two Anglo-Saxon words ‘Mistel’ (which means dung) and ‘tan’ (which means) twig or stick! So you could translate Mistletoe as ‘poo on a stick’!!! Not exactly romantic is it!

Mistletoe was also hung on the old English decoration the Kissing Bough.”

Why Christmas Com (where you can find more information about Christmas traditions.


Carpe Diem Seven Days Before Christmas 2015 #6 mistletoe

Seven Days Before Christmas (3) – Choka – December 20, 2015

red, blue and yellow
lights and decorations glow
brightening our hearts
on this longest winter night
with family and friends
toasting the season with cheer

the tree stands prepared
dressed in baubles and tinsel
now here we await
the dawn of Christmas morning
as we sing “Joy to the World”

© G.s.k. ‘15

 

light of the world
reflects in silver and gold
christmas tree clothed

© Chèvrefeuille

Carpe Diem’s Seven Days Before Christmas 2015 #3 decorations