Winter Blanket

Winter Blanket

It was a blanket, no more.
Just four inches of snow, but even less
has had my hands tightly gripping the steering wheel
as winds off the lake buffeted my trailer
at the crest of the Skyway crossing the Buffalo River.

Winter, always my least favorite season
for driving. For any reason, really.
The weight of snow on the shovel.
The wind chill while checking out my unit.
Kicking tires covered in slush. Driving.

But this was just a blanket of snow,
still waiting to be plowed at nine in the morning,
already packed down by morning traffic.
Traffic I navigated as I pulled a short trailer
into an intersection that was a glaze of ice.

Making a wide left turn, I watched the cars
that watched as I passed to their left, watched
the drivers’ already wide eyes widen further.
My gaze shifted from the road to my left mirror
to see my trailer jackknifing to meet me.

Heart in my mouth, I spun the wheel to the right,
felt my tractor straighten out, tugging the trailer pin
that had been pushing me around. The relief
in the eyes of those other drivers was palpable,
their cars spared for another day’s winter drive.

I pulled over a short way down the road,
did a walk-around, checked out my unit,
and kicked the tires, more out of frustration
than for any safety check. Safely back in the cab,
I drove off as I enjoyed a picturesque winter scene.

I may miss Buffalo, but I don’t miss Buffalo winters.

This poem is my second response to Poetics: Connections, the prompt from Merril at dVerse ~ Poets Pub, which is to about connecting or connections—in any sense. Merril cites the poetry of Mary Oliver as an example.

Before I retired, I drove for a trucking company in Buffalo, New York.  Buffalo is known for its winter weather, especially the lake effect storms that drop snow carried by the winds off of Lake Erie.  They made for some interesting experiences while driving a tractor/trailer (semi).

Shared with Open Link Night #2812: LIVE Edition

Reflection ~ with audio

 


Reflection

A slight nudge, and I leave shore.
Or do I? It follows me on either side
as my kayak moves along the stream,
witnessing each stroke of my paddle.

And the stream, for its part doubling
the presence of the shore with sycamore,
oak, and maple casting their light
in ripples cast from my bow.

I touch the water as a floating leaf
passes, or is it the passing shore I touch?
Could it be that it has been the shore,
and not the water, that has drawn me here?

The newly rippled image tells me it could be both.

This poem is my response to Poetics: Connections, the prompt from Merril at dVerse ~ Poets Pub, which is to about connecting or connections—in any sense. Merril cites the poetry of Mary Oliver as an example.

chill wind through the trees ~ senryū

chill wind through the trees
below, silent leaves rustle
greet last fallen leaf

Kristjaan Panneman (Chèvrefeuille) has told us of his mother’s struggles with dementia, apologizing for his absence from Carpe Diem Haiku Kai due to the time he was dedicating to her, as well as his increased workload as a nurse due to the current pandemic.

My senryū, child once more, was posted in August 2020 and inspired by that dedication, as well as by his senryū:

memories
fading away more and more
she … a child again
© Chèvrefeuille

Kristjaan lost his mother to COVID-19 this month. Please keep him in your thoughts.

Not Just Any Watch ~ with audio

 

Not Just Any Watch

This is not a timepiece held by just any man.
His later life an escape to simple times and the bottle,
it graced the pocket of your father’s jeans
and marked the hours as he worked by your side,
toiling in farm fields after your mother’s death.
And later, it measured the hours of tavern time
till we would pick him up and drive to Aunt Ginny’s,
his home in his last years far from those fields,
never recovering from his loss. Measuring
his life, short as it was, it passed to you,
its black shoestring of a watch chain lasting
even through the years it served you. It passed
from your hands to mine, a reminder
of the hard years of your youth, a witness
to the life you achieved through hours of hard work,
a testament to the power of time to heal.

This poem is my response to Poetics:Object Poems, the prompt from Mish at dVerse ~ Poets Pub, which is to write a poem beginning with “This is not a ______” and centered around an every day object, sparing the details of the object and instead showing the connection that it has made or what it represents.

Image: the pocket watch that once belonged to my grandfather, and then my father.

old year ends – senryū

old year ends
hope for better times
first day dawns

With Carpe Diem #1842: End of Year,
Kristjaan (Chèvrefeuille) reminds us that
in classical Japan (following the Lunar calendar)
there was a fifth season ”New Year.”
Using “first day” as a kigo, this senryū is my response.

Also shared with Heeding Haiku With Chèvrefeuille
and with
Frank Tassone’s #Haikai Challenge #171 : New Year’s Day

Image source: Museum of Fine Arts Boston – First Dream of the New Year, by Kôzan

Sedition Perdition

Sedition Perdition

Speaking to his acolytes, a petty tyrant wondered
how a set electorate could easily be plundered.

“Since my landslide victory obviously was stolen,
if you’d just ignore the facts I’d truly be beholden.”

Fearlessly, he’d lead them on a rightful march for justice.
So they marched, with no time left to logically discuss this.

With seeds of hate deeply rooted, his angry throng dispatched,
the petty tyrant snickered at the clever scheme he’d hatched.

Safe behind the White House walls the biggest loser hunkered,
watching news feeds gleefully from deep within his bunker.

Down the avenue they marched, right up to the Capitol,
where they scaled its stately walls, defiled its sacred halls.

Their misplaced trust in Donald Trump the reason for their sins,
undermining traditional democratic doctrines.

Thus the sixth day of the year denotes a failed sedition,
and citizens celebrate a president’s perdition.

Image source: Global Times (edited here)

Shared with Open Link Night #281

Love Like Waterfall ~ haibun

24 June 24 2017

Love Like Waterfall

We stood on the the shore of Lake Erie, just as we had many times in the past. From the waves rolling onto its sandy beaches, to the dunes lining those shores, to the wildlife found along the the shore and on the marshes within the park, to its wonderful lighthouse, Presque Isle State Park in Erie Pennsylvania has much to offer and has become one of our favorite places to visit. We always make it a priority to stop there when we drive from Missouri to Buffalo to see family and friends.

But this visit was different. Family and friends from Erie, Cleveland, Youngstown, and Buffalo (and even Tennessee and Washington state) were there to share in the beauty of the moment as we stood beneath the towering Presque Isle lighthouse to exchange our wedding vows.

Pennsylvania is one of the few states to allow self-administered weddings. Because Presque Isle has come to mean so much to us, it seemed only natural for us to have our wedding there. I wrote poetic verse that was read by my children and my granddaughter, and I also wrote the vows that we exchanged. It was the perfect setting for our new beginning.

under clear blue skies
waves in the sunlight sparkle
love like waterfall

This haibun is my response to Happy New Year! This prompt from Lillian at dVerse ~ Poets Pub is to write a traditional haibun about a new beginning we’ve experienced in our lifetime. The haiku within the haibun is to include a kigo (a word associated with a season – here, waterfall for summer) and a kireji or cutting word at the end of the second line. This word (in English haiku, it can even be simple punctuation, such as a dash, comma, ellipsis, or an exclamation point) briefly cuts the stream of thought, indicating that the verse consists of two thoughts half independent of each other. In my haibun, sparkle serves as the haiku’s kireji.