orange leaves ~ haiku & kimo

orange leaves
fall on bluff top trail
river view

maple leaves of brilliant orange and yellow
reflect the afternoon sun
in a final farewell

Haiku, a Japanese form, have three lines with a syllable count of 3/5/3, 5/7/5, or short/long/short. A kigo, or seasonal reference, is integral, and there is often a kireji, or “cutting word” at the end of the first or second line to indicate two thoughts half-independent of each other.

There are distinct differences in kimo, an Israeli variant of haiku originally structured to meet the need for more syllables in Hebrew. Like haiku, there is no rhyme, but kimo have a syllable count of 10/7/6, and deal with a single moment in which there is no movement. While my poem is a moment in nature, kimo have no seasonal or natural requirement. Find discussions here and here.

This is my response to Colleen’s #TankaTuesday Weekly Poetry Challenge No. 296, #Tastetherainbow.

memories, the only present ~ gogyohka

  Image copyright
David, The Skeptic’s Kaddish

 

distance, measured in time
always out of reach
in the future lie possibilities
in the past, all that is unobtainable
memories, the only present

This gogyohka is my response to  Colleen Chesebro’s #TankaTuesday #Poetry Challenge No. 274, #Ekphrastic #PhotoPrompt, where we are asked to write any form of syllabic poetry (including gogyohka), inspired by a photo provided by David, The Skeptics Kaddish.
The photo is of David’s father who is gone, but always present in his heart.

Thoughts Take Wing ~ tanka prose

Thoughts Take Wing

From dragonflies to swallows; from great blue heron to bald eagle; this winding river offers sights that take my mind on flights of fancy. Although my passage is never as graceful as theirs, I glide across the water with a paddle as my wings and take in the beauty that surrounds me. Past limestone bluffs with distinctive faces that talk of the mystery of time, beside shoals that hold stone tools from the past, to the passage of time itself as I pass beneath lush, overhanging branches in midsummer that become graceful lines in winter. With nature as my companion, my thoughts take wing.

damselfly in flight
bass jumps out of the water
lands with a big splash
waves roll out in a circle
create ripples in my mind

This is my response to Colleen’s #TankaTuesday Weekly Poetry Challenge
No. 268, Specific Form: Tanka Prose
.

In a roundabout way, this might be considered on prompt for Day 13 at napowrimo.net, where we are asked to write a poem that shows how good fortune is possible, even when it seems impossibly distant.

Summer Day in Spring ~ haibun

Summer Day in Spring

On a bright, summer-like March day sandwiched between the forty degree norm of rain and clouds, I walk the paved and cedar-mulched trails that wind around and over the hills of this conservation area known as Runge. Trees marked with blue paint, some cut into segments, lie beside the trail, felled by state crews that, during winter, had marked those that were either dead or waiting to topple. Healthy trees are plenty along the two miles of trails in this hundred-acre preserve, with an occasional firmly-rooted, long-dead oak lending its graceful lines to those waiting for the arrival of green. As always, cedars show faces that seem to peer from trunks that bear the scars of severed limbs.

I cross a hillside meadow that shows new green within the black of a controlled burn before coming to a pond with its own green emerging from the water along banks of reeds flattened by winter ice and snow. A turtle watches warily as I pass to enter the forest once again. Along the path that takes me out of the preserve, I walk beside a small stream and stop to gaze at details in the limestone bed that are miniature examples of the Karst formations found here, in central and southern Missouri.

small splash of dull green
frog startled by intruder
stone that does not skip

Such a pleasant afternoon invites me to spend more time outdoors. Four miles away lies an island that is not an island. Sixty years ago, the US Army Corps of Engineers constructed wing dams on the Missouri River. Stone dikes that extend at an angle into the river are meant to prevent shore erosion while maintaining a steady current down the center of the river to provide a channel for commercial navigation. The slight curve that was in the river below the State Capitol soon began collecting river sediment, and the area that briefly becomes an island during high-stage floods now covers thirty acres of wooded terrain. A pedestrian bridge curves 765 feet from the riverside bluff, crossing railroad tracks that parallel the river to reach the new city park established on Adrian’s Island.

I leave the paved trail to take photos of tangled trees that have been carried downriver, then continue along a gravel road that extends to the end of the park. High in the trees that are likely fifty to sixty years old are two eagle’s nests. One has not seen any activity this year, but bald eagles often perch in the other, with reports that young eagles have been seen. I look up to see one of the parents overhead as it soars above the treetops and banks as it drops low over the river. It rises again and turns sharply before settling into the nest with its mate. As I leave the road, careful to maintain a safe distance from the tree that holds the nest, the eagle watches intently, sometimes moving to a nearby branch for a better view of me, while its mate stays behind. Taking what photos this angle allows, I then turn back to the trail and bridge to leave the island, knowing my photo opportunities will decrease as leaves appear, giving the eagles the seclusion they deserve.

cool days grow longer
warm breeze brings a welcome change
branches wait for green

This haibun is my response to Colleen’s #TankaTuesday Weekly Poetry Challenge No. 267, #ShareYourDay, in which we’re asked to take a photo and write a syllabic poem about our day.

It’s off-prompt, but I’m also sharing it with Day 3 at napowrimo.net
for National/Global Poetry Writing Month.

Transitions ~ haiku

Transitions

as leaves change
cooler winds prevail
shorter days

fading light
as leaves float downstream
herons leave

hidden water
when river freezes
icy wind

eagle’s nest
among bare branches
with first buds

bass splashes
kingfisher’s steep dive
turtles wake

warm breeze blows
across muddy banks
drying out

I have been chosen to name the theme for this week at WordCraft: Prose & Poetry.
The cycle in this haiku sequence is my own response to
Colleen’s #TankaTuesday Weekly Poetry Challenge
No. 262: #ThemePrompt: Transitions
.

Shared with Open Link #311: March Live Edition