better late than never

better late than never

moonrise silver and stately
cresting the ridge
beyond my neighbor’s
house, then his roof
as it peers through
branches nearly bare
barely bearing buds
soon to be full-blown
leaves that will block
future moonlight

except that, otherwise
occupied, I miss that
early moonlight, even
as it rises above those
trees that loom over
my deck, their one grace
the shade they offer
as the season warms
though, at times, their leaves
will offer a delicate frame
for the moon in any phase

waking to the realization
of a missed opportunity
I prepare my tripod
add the zoom lens
to my camera, head
to the front porch
– by now fully clothed,
of course – and look
to the western sky
to see a wall of clouds
determined to obscure
the morning’s early light
and a moon just past full

and so, to plan b,
alarm set to remind me
to capture the next moonrise
just before bedtime
later in the night
later than the first
the moon not so full
still filtered by clouds
and trees that try
to steal the show
in a not-so-early light

This is my response to The Twiglet #319: early light.

Shared with Day Seven at (off prompt)

bells like clear vowels ~ gogyohka

bells like clear vowels

water falls freely
in a thundering roar
framed by rainbow and mist
a carillon sounds
bells like clear vowels

The Rainbow Tower, on the Canadian side of the Rainbow Bridge at Niagara Falls, houses a carillon that sound three times a day.

Image source: Tripadvisor
~ the Rainbow Tower is at the left end of the bridge
~ the green tower to the right is an observation tower on the American side

This is my response to Twiglet #318: bells like clear vowels

Shared with Day Two at (off prompt)

Gogyohka (pronounced go-gee-yoh-kuh) is 5-line poetry, similar to tanka but with no fixed syllable count and no conventions regarding content. Here is a link discussing gogyohka.

At Home ~ gogyohka ~ senryū

At Home

What is a trip to a place left behind,
one that always lives in my heart?
Have I returned home when I visit there,
or when I leave?

This is my response to Twiglet #308: returned home.
As an exercise, I have also written this as a gogyohka and a senryū.
(Also shared with Colleen’s #TankaTuesday
Weekly #Poetry Challenge No. 303, Senryū.)

always present

a trip to a place left behind
always in my heart
at home in two places
past and present as one
never gone


have I returned home
when I visit the past
or when the trip ends?

Senryū are similar to haiku, but they tend to be about human nature, rather than nature.

Gogyohka (pronounced go-gee-yoh-kuh)
 ~ a form of Japanese poetry pioneered by Enta Kusakabe in the 1950s
 ~ 5-line poetry ~ like tanka, but with freedom from restraints
 ~ no fixed syllable requirement
 ~ no conventions regarding content
 ~ brief lines in keeping with the tradition of Japanese short verse

Memories on the Downslope

Memories on the Downslope

It was winter, early 1966.
Do you remember where?
Of course you would,
but you’re no longer here to say.

Somewhere in Pennsylvania.
A grandparents’ farm, family friends.
We camped there several times,
but for that visit we stayed in the farmhouse.

All for a fun day of sledding for the kids.
Why shouldn’t a dad join in?
Diving onto that wood and metal glider
you raced down the hill, unstoppable.

Until you found the one bare spot
on that long slope of a farm field.
The sled came to a dead halt,
but you rocketed forward.

We found your metal frame glasses coated
with blood from the gash in your brow.
Just like that, the cold seeped into all of us,
so we went inside while you were taped up.

But the day was early, so once our bones
were warmed by hot chocolate
we loaded up the grandparents’ van,
ten of us packed into a ’64 Econoline.

We headed for an old logging road,
snow covered and perfect for sledding.
Of course, you were more than content
to let the kids have all the fun.

This is my response to Twiglet #298 – a bare hill.

Shared with OpenLinkNight #324 at dVerse ~ Poets Pub.

Image – Lightning Guider sled

Open Secret

Open Secret

The sky leans in
to whisper in my ear.

It speaks of clouds
that dance in the wind,
of rainbows that dance
within a misty canyon.

Heard even above the roar
of a mighty cataract, it speaks
of blue water that returns
the favor of the sky,

of a river that knows
my return is inevitable
when it flows through me
even when I am away.

The sky shares with me
what is a secret to no one.

This is my response to earthweal weekly challenge: AN ATMOSPHERIC RIVER ROARS AT US
and is inspired by Twiglet #293 – the sky leans.

The last leg of our recent trip took us to western New York to visit with family, and, of course, the Niagara River. Parking on the American side of the river, we walked across the Rainbow Bridge in Niagara Falls to view the falls from the Canadian side, which is always a delight.