reluctant poppies ~ haibun

reluctant poppies.jpg

April 2017 Poppies ~ no buds yet this year

Back in Western New York, first blossoms always arrived from late April to early May, perennials providing lush colors while we waited for the last frost that would mark the end of May, when annuals could be planted. It was an adjustment for me when I moved to central Missouri, where spring rains are already falling by early March, flowers are blooming by April, and the summer flowers are showing their faces by May. Normally.

Erratic weather and March/April nights cooler than usual meant spring was severely delayed this year. Oak pollen, my one bane here in Missouri, appeared four weeks late, just in time for the typical May spike in temperatures and precipitous drop in humidity – typical factors in high pollen count. Daffodils and violets were three weeks late. Usually gracing our garden by mid-April, irises finally appeared last week. If it wasn’t for the ninety degree days this week, I could believe I was back in Buffalo.

May in disarray
flowers confused by weather
reluctant poppies

Frank Tassone’s #Haikai Challenge #34: Passing Spring

dry grass expectant ~ haibun

Dry Grass Expectant

dry grass expectant

Winding past oaks and cedars, one last turn of the trail brings me to a break in the trees and the beginning of a rise dressed in tall grass, dry from the winter winds that have swept across it. All is calm now, the land greeting spring’s arrival. I turn my head at the sound of rustling to see the grass moving in seemingly random lines that approach the next curve ahead of me. A wild turkey steps from the grass onto the trail, followed by another, and another, until eight of them mill about, pecking at the soil. I stand beside a cedar, watching in silence as they proceed into the grass across the trail, and I realize I have been so caught up in the moment that I haven’t even raised my camera to document the experience.

dry grass expectant
silent host teeming with life
first shoots breaking soil

This haibun is my response to Carpe Diem Weekend Meditation #23 Kamishibai, the art of story telling.

Winding River No. 1 (visiting Tu Fu)

Winding River No. 1 (visiting Tu Fu)

Winding River No 1A blossom petal drifts away, but still it is spring
Yet I grieve when many thousands fill the air
I watch the flowers disappear before my eyes
No amount of wine can take away the loss
On the river, kingfishers nest near the little hall
A unicorn lies at the entry to the high tomb
Seek joy when learning the truth about nature
What good is sadness surrounded by beauty?

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

Winding River (1)

One petal blossom fly reduce but spring
Wind flutter ten thousand points now sorrow person
Now watch soon exhaust flower pass eyes
Not satisfied much wine enter lip
River on little hall nest halcyon bird
Decorative border high tomb lie unicorn
Careful investigate natural law must seek joy
What use undeserved reputation trip up this body

Image source:
Off-prompt for Day 30 of National Poetry Writing Month/Global Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo 2017).
More Chinese interpretations can be found here.

NaPoWriMo 2017GloPoWriMo 2017