embraces blue sky
many paths open
when in search of direction
open to new heights
coiled response in readiness
reaching for spring’s light
As always, thank you to Freya Pickard for this feature, and for offering these prompts.
Love Will Travel
Across the miles, family missed.
Absent by choice, I pay the price.
Travel being far less frequent
than this heart might hope it to be,
phone calls, texts, and video calls
are my only compensation.
miles fall away before this heart.
What is distance, but a number?
Even tenfold, love will travel.
This poem is my response to Poetics: Exploring the realm of Korean Literature, the prompt from Sanaa at dVerse ~ Poets Pub. Sanaa discusses the kasa, Korean verse in which content is described or exposed through parallels. It usually is written in balanced couplets. Either line of a couplet is divided into two groups, the first having three or four syllables and the second having four syllables.
shelter beneath oak
threatening clouds overhead
This haiku is my response to Colleen’s #Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge No. 238,
#SynonymsOnly, where the prompt words are sanctuary (shelter) and follow (ensue).
Image source: Sierra Club | A Year in the Life of a Lonely Oak
spatters my windshield
moon greets me
during my travels
shimmers on the highway
wait to greet my tires
relief of cool air in the car
at the far end of our trip
family waits to greet us
These haiku and gogyohka are my response to Frank Tassone’s #Haikai Challenge #195-197 (Trifecta), which offers three kigo:
#195 – midsummer rain
#196 – summer moon
#197 – smoldering hot
While Frank’s prompts are related to the the last three weeks of June, these haiku are influenced by my travel in mid/late July.
cool mountain water
flows into hazy summer
kingfisher takes flight
the long journey home
This haiku is my response to Carpe Diem #1844 Returning Back To Normal (I Hope), where Kristjaan hopes to start again with daily posts and try “to bring back the happiness of Haiku,” inviting us to join in “a quest for a (new) Masterpiece.” In the following form, the haiku becomes a solo renga:
the long journey home
in the mind of a poet
time and distance become one
Image source: Wikimedia Commons
Poet Matsuo Bashō meets two farmers celebrating the mid-autumn moon festival,
from Yoshitoshi’s Hundred Aspects of the Moon (Tsukioka Yoshitoshi)
My initial reaction to Colleen’s Weekly #Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge No. 229 #SynonymsOnly, where the words offered are dawn and twilight (to be replaced with synonyms), was to write a haiku.
Instead, I decided to write a chōka.
light of setting sun
brings a night of quiet rest
morning light arrives
waves ripple in reflection
as the cycle continues
Chōka, a Japanese long poem written primarily from the 6th to the 14th century. Chōka have alternating lines of 5 and 7 syllables and an indefinite length (from 7 to 149 lines), ending with an added 7 syllable line. So, 5-7-5-7-5-7-…7, and a length allowing greater themes.
Chōka often were followed by one or more short poems called hanka, or “envoys,” summarizing, supplementing, or elaborating on, the contents of the main poem. Sometimes, a tanka would serve as an envoy, and that is what I have written here.
Man’yōshū (“Collection of a Myriad Leaves”) is the oldest existing collection of Japanese poetry (from some time after AD 759) and contains 4,536 waka (classical Japanese poetry). 265 of those are chōka (long poems). The 1940/1965 edition of The Man’yōshū: One Thousand Poems (a translation) is available for download as a PDF from Internet Archive and is some pretty interesting reading.
Image: sunset on the Niagara River at Lake Ontario, Youngstown, New York
(click image for larger view in new tab)
The current theme at Pure Haiku is Unfurling, presenting haiku inspired by Unfurling, art Elisa Ang. My haiku has been featured.
A Journey with Bashō
gains high regard for renga
chained cherry blossoms
learning the art of a craft
by following a master
once mentor is gone
student becomes a teacher
butterfly takes wing
thoughts turn to honored poet
with the voice of a master
a reclusive life
beside a banana tree
plagued by loneliness
follow master’s example
find solace in distant friends
seeking peace of mind
traveling on narrow road
snow on the mountain
learn new lessons every day
while discovering friendship
in search for satisfaction
until last snowfall
willing to learn from the past
even as my years grow long
For Poetics: Poems to a Poet, Laura Bloomsbury at dVerse ~ Poets Pub asks us to write a poem about, or addressing, a favorite poet, trying to employ something of the poet’s style. To create this chain of verse regarding Matsuo Bashō, I decided to write a renga (Japanese linked verse poetry, typically collaborative), with haiku referencing his life and responses that reflect my own journey.
Matsuo Bashō was a master of haiku and renga, culminating with the publication of The Narrow Road to the Interior in 1694. As a page or servant, he learned a love for renga and went on to become a teacher, respected for his haiku. Bashō was known for his many travels from Edo (now Tokyo), vacillating from seeking friendship to an escape from the company of others. Near the end of his life, “he relented after adopting the principle of karumi or “lightness”, a semi-Buddhist philosophy of greeting the mundane world rather than separating himself from it.” (per Wikipedia) Also, “rather than sticking to the formulas of kigo [seasonal words], which remain popular in Japan even today, Bashō aspired to reflect his real environment and emotions in his hokku.” (early term for haiku)
Images from Wikimedia Commons
Poet Basho and Moon Festival, by Tsukioka Yoshitoshi
Portrait of Matsuo Basho, by Hokusai