Hanakatoba for Margaret ~ haiku

I have known Margaret Fabrizio, both virtually and in the real world, for fourteen years, and in that brief period of her life I have come to admire and respect her for her many accomplishments, as well as for her determination to take all (and more) of what life has to offer.

Margaret is a classically trained musician, with skill as a concert harpsichordist, who went on to become accomplished in many aspects of art, including quilting. Upon learning of kawandi, quilts of a unique style crafted by Siddis who are descendants of African slaves in India, eleven years ago, Margaret traveled to India to learn their technique. With her experience in various media, she brings her own unique style to kawandi, and in her nineties she has gained recognition for the quality of her work. This short haiku series is my gift to a dear friend on her birthday.

Hanakatoba is the Japanese form of the language of flowers (floriography), in which the meanings of particular flowers are meant to convey emotion and communicate directly to the recipient or viewer without needing the use of words. I’m a poet. I’ve put it into words.

Hanakatoba for Margaret

as magnolia blooms
countless works of art take form
music to the ears

many colored walls
with dedication to craft
red tulip opens

true recognition
crown of a chrysanthemum
sunflower bows down

as the years go by
friendship across many miles
meadow of bluebells

Flowers key to this series, and their meanings (per Wikipedia):

magunoria      magnolia      success
chūrippu      red tulip      fame
kigkiku      chrysanthemum      imperial
himawari      sunflower      respect, radiance
burūberu      bluebell      grateful

Image source: Wikimedia Commons
Langage des Fleurs (Language of Flowers), by Alphonse Mucha

Art as Complement at Origami Poems Project

My micro-chapbook, Art as Complement, is available as a free PDF download at Origami Poems Project. All poems are printed on one sheet of paper that when folded, following these instructions, creates a palm-sized chapbook. The six poems are inspired by the Cazadero Nature and Art Conservancy, which is tended by Margaret Fabrizio in the mountains of Sonoma County, California.

It’s an honor to have my poetry placed with the many fine poets who can be found at Origami Poems Project by hovering over the “Poets” tab and clicking “Find a Poet.” Many thanks to Editor Jan Keough for accepting my poems and creating this micro-chapbook.

Cazadero Beauty

Cazadero Beauty

Gently touching a madrone,
marvel at the beauty of its skin.

Follow trails through meadow and wood
to find works of art at every turn,
flowers that mirror the beauty of this place,
living in harmony with nature.

Follow the line of tracks left by wheels
that lumbered through here decades ago
and find a yurt sheltered beneath
the grand canopy of its surroundings.

Sit within a natural amphitheater of stone
that has heard lines of poetry
and seen the smiles of children.

Lie in the forgiving moss
that carpets a stone outcropping.

Witness a massive oak
embracing a giant granite boulder,
a marriage for the ages.

Kneeling before mighty redwoods,
shed tears of joy at their majesty.

Look down into a valley of green
and know that a river rushes
through its depths to the sea.

Feel the warmth of candlelight,
the late evening sun filtered through the forest.

Experience all of this on the land,
Cazadero’s gift as envisioned by a true artist.


This poem is my second response to The Sunday Whirl – Wordle #518.


Cazadero Nature and Art Conservancy – owned by Margaret Fabrizio and known as The Land – is a 40 acre property in Sonoma County dedicated to the preservation and respectful honoring of natural habitat with non-invasive art works. Pictures of the art installations can be seen here, and the buildings here.

My other Cazadero poems can be found here.