Fresh Air Walk During a Pandemic

Fresh Air Walk During a Pandemic

There was rain that would not touch me,
followed by sunlight that surrounded me
but kept a respectful distance.

Even pollen seemed deferential.
Skirting the edge of the trail,
passing hikers offered a simple hello.

The birds treated it like any other day,
their distance a product of instinct,
mine a matter of discretion.

Cedar branches swayed in the breeze,
flinging leftover rain droplets,
a reminder that things could be normal again.

This is my poem for Day 2 of National/Global Poetry Writing Month.
It’s off-prompt, but I’m sharing it at
napowrimo.net.

Also shared with Open Link Night #263 at dVerse Poets Pub.

Traveling Again (visiting Tu Fu)

Mountain Travel (visiting Tu Fu)

I return to the temple once seen in my travels,
remembering the bridge as I cross it.
This mountain and its river have been waiting.
I see the flowering willow and become like nothing.
All in this country is vivid, shining in a thin mist.
The sand is soft, colored by the late day’s sun.
I wonder why I have not returned sooner.

Literal translations of classic Chinese poetry can be found at chinese-poems.com. This is my interpretation of a poem by Tu Fu. The literal translation, as provided at chinese-poems.com, is as follows:

Travelling Again

Temple remember once travel place
Bridge remember again cross time
River mountain like waiting
Flower willow become selfless
Country vivid mist shine thin
Sand soft sun colour late
Traveller sorrow all become decrease
Stay here again what this

Image source: ukiyo-e.org – Red Temple Gate, by Fujishima Takeji

More Chinese interpretations can be found here.

Today is Day 1 of National/Global Poetry Writing Month, and, though off-prompt, I’m sharing this at napowrimo.net.

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

When Will I See?

When Will I See?

Different, this distance
in time of sickness. Neighbor
more distant than new moon
beyond my reach.

Within sight again,
soon enough, will it taunt me
with its presence, my neighbor
still out of sight?

This is my second response to Poetics: Now I Can…, from Mish at dVerse PoetsPub.
She offers the haiga shown above, with a quote by Mizuta Masahide,
“Barn’s burnt down, now I can see the moon.”