On the Road Again, Finally

On the Road Again, Finally

I’ll be away for the next three weeks, so I thought I’d get in one more chance to take photos of fall colors. On Saturday, I went for a drive to Ha Ha Tonka State Park, which is 60 miles south of my home in Missouri. It’s located on Lake of the Ozarks and is known for its limestone bluffs and karst formations, as well as for the fire-ravaged mansion known as “The Castle.” I’ve posted other photo blogs of its fall colors in the past, including this one.

It was a mostly sunny day when I left home. By the time I reached the lake, scattered clouds became mostly cloudy as the day went on. The temperatures were in the mid-60s so it was comfortable walking weather. I didn’t do any trail hiking, but I walked about 1 ¾ miles by following the paved and graveled paths. While some trees were bare, many were colorful and the oaks and hickories were getting ready to change.

As I said, I’ll be gone for a few weeks. I left yesterday, Sunday, and drove 700 miles to my son’s home in Cleveland. I’ll stay here for a few days before moving on to Buffalo to stay with my son. Of course, I’ve spent some time (the first visit in eleven months) with my granddaughter, who will be two years old in a couple of weeks, and I’ll see her again on the return trip.

I thought I’d need to stay here for fourteen days, so that I’d be cleared to enter New York State, but NY’s travel restrictions changed while I was driving to Ohio. Now the requirement for all out-of-state travelers is a negative COVID test within three days prior to entering NY, followed by a three-day quarantine in NY, followed by a COVID test in NY.

Coincidentally, I tested in Missouri and received a “negative” notification Sunday morning. Since test results can take up to a week, I’ll drive to NY on Wednesday (within the three -day window),  then test on Saturday. I should have my “negative” result by the following Saturday, just in time for me to see my daughter for the first time in eleven months, just before her baby is born. Since she has type 1 diabetes, her doctors want to induce labor two weeks early to avoid complications. So, she has a “tentative date” of November 17 for her first child, and if everything works out I’ll get to meet my new granddaughter.

My online presence has been erratic the past few months, but for the next three weeks it could be sporadic. I know I’ll have down time while family is busy at work and I’m technically “in quarantine,” so we’ll see how that works out. I have poetry to catch up on, as well as comments on my own poetry to catch up with, so I’ll do what I can. I’ve looked forward to this visit for a while, and I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity.

take new direction
changing leaves

Here are some of those photos from Saturday.
(Click any image for a larger view in a new tab.)






A Family Grows ~ haibun

A Family Grows

Distance. Family. A 700 mile drive, and balance is achieved. Fair weather may be followed by three days of storms, but balance will not be diminished. Rain or shine, my grandson’s wedding will be a day of celebration. Not even Sunday’s drive home can change that.

a family grows
two hearts look to their future
journey together


Distance Is Not a Factor ~ haibun

Distance Is Not a Factor

This morning finds me on a solitary journey, as my wife stays behind for work, driving on a ten-hour jaunt to visit my son and his family in Cleveland, where I shall hold for the first time my lovely granddaughter, now four weeks old. My drive continues the next morning, Thursday, taking me to Buffalo for holiday visits with both my son and daughter, interspersed with visits to sisters and friends.

Maxing out the time of that stay takes me to Sunday morning and a very, very long drive home, as I avoid driving on New Years Eve day, weather permitting. Indianapolis is a seven-hour drive and offers a layover if weather becomes a factor, leaving just six hours for an early drive home, the next day – hopefully early enough to avoid the serious drinkers on New Years Eve.

Odd breaks may offer a chance to read random posts by my friends on WordPress, but I anticipate a lot of catching up, once I am home.

for the holidays
distance is not a factor
when words aren’t enough

This graphic from weather.com shows the weather system over the States, as it is expected to develop, west to east, this week. My route (the red line) will be through rain, with snow expected in New York, once I arrive. The stretch from Cleveland to Buffalo runs parallel to the Lake Erie shoreline and is known for its “lake effect” winter storms. I’ve had my share of storms along that route. Hopefully, they will have passed before my drive home on Sunday.

comfort found in company ~ tan renga

comfort found in companylend me your arms,
fast as thunderbolts,
for a pillow on my journey.
                    © Hendrik Doeff

comfort found in company
will make a journey shorter

Carpe Diem’s Tan Renga Challenge September 2018
Chained Together III (21) lend me your arms
(Add to the provided hokku by Hendrik Doeff
to create a tanka)

Image source: Chazen Museum of Art
Two Lovers Preparing for a Journey, by Kitagawa Hidemaro


shelter and meal served by friends ~ renga

Welcoming the morning light_2The challenge for Carpe Diem’s Renga with Basho #7 I’m a wanderer is to create a renga (or chain of verses) by following each provided haiku by Bashō (here in blue italics – tr. Robert Hass) with two lines. A “closed chain” is attained when the hokku (starting verse) and ageku (closing verse) connect in a way to make “the circle” complete.

shelter and meal served by friendsI’m a wanderer
so let that be my name –
the first winter rain

shelter and meal served by friends
wine warms me for my travels

all the day long-
yet not long enough for the skylark,
singing, singing

my voice not as melodic
carried away by the wind

the dragonfly
can’t quite land
on that blade of grass

watching reeds sway back and forth
making ripples in the pond

welcoming the morning light_1

the shallows –
a crane’s thighs splashed
in cool waves

frog splashing in quick retreat
thankful for gift of freedom

by the old temple,
peach blossoms;
a man treading rice

daily routine brings rewards
thoughts of meal at end of day

autumn moonlight–
a worm digs silently
into the chestnut

meal and warmth in one bundle
no travels in store for him

Museum of Fine Arts Boston (Japanese postcard)
Metropolitan Museum of Art  – Skylarks and Primroses, by Kubo Shunman





The Dead play
as wheels turn,
rubber rolls,
carrying us north,
east of where we were, south
of where we want to be
and I glance at our speed,
prompted by the sight
of a cop on a bridge,
radar gun in hand,
who glances up at a jet
contrail of conspiratorial origin
left by a pilot radioing
the location of an object
of unidentified nature
flying by on its return
tariff-bypassing flight
from a secret Chinese moon
base producing aerospace
tech products, where terraforming
efforts advance at an accelerated rate,
rubber trees nearly ready to roll out
the next set of tires for future trips
to Buffalo and home again.

Freewheeling it here, in my response to the optional prompt for Day 10 of National/Global Poetry Writing Month – write a poem of simultaneity/multiple things happening at once.

Image source: © Jack Knight Illustrations

NaPoWriMo 2018