In Love’s Warmth ~ haibun

24 June 2017

In Love’s Warmth

A shining day approaches, the celebration of the day, three years ago, when family and friends witnessed the union of two souls beneath a lighthouse tower on the shore of Lake Erie. Our paths, separate and whole, met and became one in a way possible only through a desire to be complete, each with the other, no longer alone. As equals, we gladly followed the path before us, each knowing the love, grief, joy, hardship, and elation of the other.

Experienced by all present, our beacon of love could not be denied.

passion’s waves
flow from heart to heart
in love’s warmth

This is my response to Traditional writing: on a shining topic,
the prompt from Lillian at dVerse Poets Pub, which is to write a haibun
about “One Shining Moment” in the writer’s life.

The Only Way ~ ekphrastic haibun

The Only Way

This life, spent for so long in one place, was not a life spent at a standstill. The directions taken may not have been direct, but they’ve brought me to where I am, today. The shortest route is not always the quickest.

Knowing the streets in the towns around me like the back of my hand meant never getting lost while making deliveries when, and where, they were needed. There is a comfort in knowing a place so well, but other elements in life have a way of interceding.

So it happened, that my last time behind the wheel of a truck was on the direct, cross-country route that brought me here, following my heart to a new home.

falling leaf
taken by the wind
shifting scenes

This ekphrastic haibun is my response to Haibun Monday: Meet Piet,
from Kim at dVerse Poets Pub, with the prompt to write a haibun
inspired by “Broadway Boogie Woogie” by Piet Mondrian.

Image source: Wikimedia Commons – “Broadway Boogie Woogie”, by Piet Mondrian

The Day After ~ Post NaPoWriMo 2020

The Day After ~ Post NaPoWriMo 2020

I have participated in National Poetry Writing Month every year since 2014 and have met the challenge of writing a daily poem in April for each year. Completing the challenge this year seemed harder than in past years – in fact, a couple of my poems were about writer’s block – but inspiration from other poets, as well as following other poetry prompts, helped me complete the challenge.

Writing every day, as well as reading the poems of fellow participants, seemed to consume more time than in previous years, at the expense of time usually spent reading the words of poets I follow on a daily basis. I have some catching up to do, but the sun is out, it’s not raining, and I’m going kayaking.

pausing for fresh air
poet’s mind is exhausted
writing challenge done

This is my response to Colleen’s Weekly #Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge
No. 175, #ThemePrompt
, where the theme is “The Day After.”

One Man’s Heart ~ haibun

One Man’s Heart

There is no sea so wide that I would not cross, nor mountain so high that I would not climb. I would cross the driest desert and brave the wildest jungle, weather any storm of frigid snow and stand against the strongest of gales. All of this I would do so that I could proclaim to all the world my love for you. Not in sonnet nor in flowery verse, but in words so clear that none might question their intent.

one man’s heart
could not be more full
than by your side

This is my response to Haibun Monday 4/27/20: A Portrait of Two Masters,
from Frank Tassone at dVerse Poets Pub, where the prompt is to write a haibun
inspired by William Shakespeare and Matsuo Bashō.

~ Day 27 ~

I Can Actually Get Away with Calling This a Poem ~ haibun

Today is Day 14 of National/Global Poetry Writing Month, and the prompt at is to write a poem that deals with the poems, poets, and other people who inspired you to write poems. Long story, short – I started writing to sort through my emotions. However, I am inspired by Bashō.

The prompt for Poetics: Order, Order! from Laura at dVerse Poets Pub is to write a poem about your relationship with order. Simply put, we’re merely acquaintances.

I may have met both prompts.


I Can Actually Get Away with Calling This Poetry

Never, in the past ten years, have I had less enthusiasm for writing poetry than I have today. It’s not as simple as having a favorite poet that inspires me. I have never looked upon any one poet as a beacon, although I may have enjoyed or appreciated individual poems.

I have written to form, to many forms, but I find doing so to be constrictive. I prefer to write in free verse, but more about that in a minute. I may experiment in a form, but few impress me enough to stay with me. I can finish reading a poem before I realize it actually has meter. I may read a tritina and think I’ve never tried that form, only to check my poetic forms list to see that I have. When I do write to a form, it must work for me at that time, but, more often than not, writing that way feels contrived. Sometimes it’s, “Okay, I tried that. Time to move on.” Even when a form works for me, I don’t necessarily gravitate to it, with one exception.

Haiku. (And here I contradict myself and say that there is a poet, Bashō, who inspires me, from beginning to end.) Maybe it’s the simplicity. It’s like a thought fragment, so it may seem natural to me, considering I have ADD. Who knows, maybe that’s why authors don’t stick with me. Maybe it’s why I prefer writing in free verse. Maybe it’s why I’m hard to please. But, believe me, I have had poets impress me, please me to no end.

Sorting my emotions was what got me to start writing, in the first place. No one poem or person. As for free verse, maybe it’s my way of shrugging off the order that’s required to keep my mind on task, working in a straight line. I may do so more than I realize, but I try not to write in a narrative. Too often, I’ve read poetry that strikes me more as a story (like this?!), as a series of sentences with line breaks, relabeled as poetry. I’m sure that I’m guilty of the same. And, now that I’ve probably insulted every poet out there, I’m going to try to write some poetry.

troubled poet
in need of inspiration

In the Beginning ~ haibun

The prompt for Haibun Monday 30/03/2020: Snapshots of Our Lives, from Kim at dVerse Poets Pub, is to write a haibun that tells the story behind a poem from our personal archives. This is the story behind How I Knew I was a Poet, my video poem from 2017.

In the Beginning

I first visited YouTube in 2006, and it wasn’t long before I was making videos of my own, including video poetry. As time went on, I joined other video sharing sites. In 2010, one of the vloggers I followed was planning to travel from Chicago to Boston on his motorcycle, and he asked those along his route about meeting up for coffee. I took him to see Niagara Falls, and offered a room and a bed for the night. He told me to visit him any time, offering the use of his spare room.

The following year, we planned a meetup that included four other vloggers. Two of them also were from Chicago, one was from Washington state, and the fourth was from Missouri. Over several days, we visited a blues club, took a boat tour of Chicago’s architecture along the Chicago River, and visited the Green Mill Jazz Club (the home of slam poetry) and The Poetry Foundation. Everyone had a good time, and I had some interesting conversations about poetry at The Poetry Foundation with, little did I know, the woman who would one day be my wife.

I moved to Missouri in 2012.

whispering verses
witnessed by poets
in the beginning

Image: The Poetry Foundation, in Chicago

Vertigo ~ haibun


My absence here may be waning. Normally, I might experience vertigo every couple of years, but I had a brief, half-day episode last week, and now this one. (No, nothing respiratory.)  I’m in my third day, but things are gradually getting better. I’ve only done enough reading to keep up with some comments and the news, and this is my first attempt at writing. Focusing on the screen is difficult, and the headache accompanying this makes that even harder.

About the only thing that relieves the headache is sleep, so I’ve been averaging 12 to 14 hours a day, including naps. Every couple of hours, I tend to rollover in my sleep, with that motion aggravating the situation, so it can be a fitful sleep. Once awake, maintaining equilibrium enough to transition from lying to standing takes from 30 to 45 minutes. I can move around cautiously, but being stationary is best, so I’ve been standing as little as possible. Just glancing around can trigger it. Then it’s nap time.

I learned my lesson long ago, so it’s been years since I’ve had a hangover, but I’d swear this is one of the worst I’ve ever had. The worst would be my first experience with vertigo, a solid week in bed following an inner ear infection, thirty years ago. Thankfully, this one seems to be tapering off. So far, there’s no nap in sight, so maybe I can catch up on a little reading.

the worst kind of friend
occasional companion
world out of balance
one that’s never supportive
constantly leaning on me

Images (layered)
Wikimedia Commons

Frosted Window View ~ haibun

Frosted Window View

Distracted by all manner of things in the non-digital realm during this past week, from health to, well, health, I missed the deadline for Pure Haiku’s translucence theme.

My poem “Hold That Thought” (10 January 2020) was in regard to an incident I had a couple of months back, with minor symptoms that may have been a transient ischemic attack (TIA), or mini-stroke. In early January, I had an echocardiogram and a scan of my carotid arteries. The latter showed minor plaque buildup without any obstruction to blood flow, but my doctor now has me on 81mg aspirin as a precaution.

The echo showed that I have an atrial septal aneurysm (ASA). The incidence in the general adult population is about 2%. This aneurysm is not the same as the extreme circumstance of a weakened blood vessel. The wall between the upper chambers of my heart bulges to one side, a condition that I’ve likely had for all of my life. I just had to wait until my sixties to find out that it exists. Since it also has the potential to cause a stroke, my doctor referred me for an additional echocardiogram.

A transesophageal echocardiogram is just what it sounds like. Yesterday, I was sedated, and a device was placed down my esophagus to get a much closer echo of my heart. Rather than a technician, as with my first echo, this procedure was performed by a cardiologist. The results showed that, in addition to the ASA, I have an atrial septal defect, an opening in the septum separating the upper chambers of my heart. It’s a condition common to 30% of the population, often with no ill effect. There is no urgency to the situation, but I’ll receive more information from my primary in the next few days. I’ll be seeing a neurologist in September, so I suspect any decisions will be delayed until then. The cardiologist was less concerned by the results than my primary care physician was by the initial prospect. In fact, he didn’t see any issues with my level of activity. Time will tell.

Imagine how different life would be if our skin and tissue were translucent and medical diagnoses were as simple as peering into our bodies.

sparrow clings to perch
snow swirling around feeder
frosted window view

A Truly Cold Moon ~ haibun

A Truly Cold Moon

Having decided not to travel for the holidays, I am on the road in mid-December, nonetheless. Life does not always proceed according to plan, and the loss of a loved one takes precedence. The heart of my brother-in-law has been broken since the death of his wife, my sister, ten years ago, and it finally succumbed to the weight it has carried all these years. There is one less light in this world.

viewed in my travels
moon rises in a dark time
cold night in my heart

This haibun is my response to Frank Tassone’s #Haikai Challenge # 129: Cold Moon.
The Cold Moon also is known as The Moon Before the Yule.

Linked to OpenLinkNight #256 at dVerse ~ Poets Pub

Moon photo: 11 December 2019

Ringing Distraction ~ haibun

Ringing Distraction

My tinnitus is so bad today that I-cannot-think-straight. Literally. It pulls my attention away from what I’m doing and to the thought of the ringing in my ears, instantly, like snapping a finger. I have to refocus my attention, which isn’t always easy. ADD already has a say in that, so that hyper-focusing means having to drag my attention away from the ringing and (hopefully) back to my “task at hand.” If it’s something like writing, as in this, getting back on track may be as simple as re-reading my last few lines, but that doesn’t do anything for the direction my thoughts were taking me before the distraction. (I’ve already had to walk away, then refocus, three times for this short paragraph.)

setting pen aside
no better luck with keyboard
ringing distraction
listening to Miles Davis
soothing balm for tinnitus