Gray Walk, in Living Color ~ haibun

Gray Walk, in Living Color

Two days ago, we had 80 degrees and 80% humidity. And overcast. Yes, muggy – wanting to rain. But I thought I might get some photos of milkweed at that “breakout” stage, with fuzzy seeds clinging to pods, so I headed to a local conservation area to walk the trails. I had been there a few weeks earlier, taking photos of monarch caterpillars, but I knew those would be gone for the year. As it happens, the milkweed needs another week, so I continued my walk, expecting few photos with the poor lighting provided by a cloudy sky.

Until I was surrounded by color. As the path enters a large meadow, there is a broad expanse of flowers, and flying from plant to plant were hundreds of monarch butterflies. I spent the next fifteen minutes trying to take photos of these beauties as they moved among the flowers, more concerned about fueling up for the great flight ahead of them than they were about maintaining any clear line of sight with my camera lens.

As it started to sprinkle, I continued my walk into the woods, looping back after a mile of shelter from the rain to come back to those flowers. The sky was no clearer, but the rain had stopped, so I took a few more photos before heading out of the park. With fifty yards to go before reaching the parking lot, random raindrops started falling and I made it into the car just as a steady rain began to fall. This morning I woke to 46 degrees.

preparing for flight
butterflies feed on asters
milkweed drying up

(clicking any photo will open a larger image in a new tab)

Gray Walk in Living Color_1Gray Walk in Living Color_2Gray Walk in Living Color_3Gray Walk in Living Color_4Gray Walk in Living Color_5Gray Walk in Living Color_6


Gray Walk in Living Color_7

Gray Walk in Living Color_8Gray Walk in Living Color_9Gray Walk in Living Color_10

Ken G

inkstone a well

inkstone a well.pnginkstone a well
words held in my hands
waiting to speak

Carpe Diem #1518 Inkstone and Pencil (free style)

Free style haiku works outside of the constraints of traditional haiku (5-7-5, kigo/seasonal word). Several examples of free style haiku are given in the challenge. Santōka Taneda was another haiku poet known for his free style haiku, and numerous examples can be found here, including this:

Aki to natta zasso ni suwaru
The grasses / That have become autumn, – – / Sitting down in them.
Santōka Taneda (tr. – R. H. Blyth)

Taneda Santōka.jpg

Images (inkstone)
Terebess Asia Online (portrait)

American dream ~ senryū

American Dream_1

American dream
bipartisan politics
our oxymoron

American Dream_2

silence is golden
speaking up – not the RIGHT way
the joke is on her

shame of a nation
leadership without respect
the joke is on US

Senryū are often cynical or darkly humorous, and do not generally include
a kigo, or season word. With that in mind, this senryū trio is my response to
Carpe Diem #1516 Robin D. Gill, a haiku poet pur sang (Out of the Box)

American dream_3.png

Images (top) (middle)
Wikimedia Commons
– Paul Stahr’s Columbia (edited here)

reaching me in the darkness – renga

Carpe Diem Weekend Meditation #53 Renga with Basho #10 “summer’s night” asks us to create a renga (or chain of verses) by following each provided haiku by Bashō with two lines.
(Bashō’s haiku here in blue italics – tr. Jane Reichhold) This prompt has a twist (hineri) – to use “summer’s night” first, with the other haiku used in any order. A “closed chain” is attained when the hokku (starting verse) and ageku (closing verse) 
connect in a way to make “the circlecomplete.

reching me in the darkness.jpgsummer’s night
the tree spirit follows in
the sound of wooden shoes

reaching me in the darkness
fading into the tall grass

a bamboo shoot
when I was a child it was
fun to sketch

breaking through the tender earth
growth faster than I could draw

day after day
barley ripens
a singing skylark

free and unburdened spirit
welcome song to pass the time

Welcoming the morning light_2

rice paddy sparrows
shelter in the tea plants
when chased away

welcome when eating locusts
unwanted when eating seeds

reaching me in the darkness_abegonia flowers
blooming in the colors
of a watermelon

thoughts of sweet tasting dessert
with final meal of the day

clapping my hands
the echo as it dawns
of a summer moon

welcoming a friendly face
rising above horizon

Museum of Fine Arts Boston – Sparrow and Bamboo Stalks, by Ohara Koson
Metropolitan Museum of Art – Skylarks and Primroses, by Kubo Shunman (cropped here)
Library of Congress – Watermelon (untitled, artist unknown)