March arrives ~ senryū

March arrives
denying winter
brings no change

I was well into my thirties before I accepted that my early March birthday is not in the spring.
I dislike winter that much, although I actually saw one budding tree while kayaking on Sunday, so Missouri does offer that over Western New York. (* click image *)

This short-form senryū is my response to Colleen’s Weekly #Tanka Tuesday
#Poetry Challenge No. 167, #Poet’sChoice

Winter’s Dark Blanket Awaits ~ collaboration poem

Winter’s Dark Blanket Awaits

On a fir tree dressed in snow
with a green-white brocade,
pine cones cast shadows in moonlight.
As the old year is put to sleep,
dreaming forevermore in silent night beauty,
its light germinates a New Year.

To create this poem, I’ve woven together my haiku response to Frank Tassone’s Christmas challenge with the tanka response by Lisa at Tao Talk to Frank’s New Year challenge.

Image source: / Aaron Burden
(edited here)

Sol’s Assurance

Sol’s Assurance

For the briefest moment in this shortest span
of daylight, the clouds part to reveal the sun,
as if to say, “Fear not. I am still here,
my light growing, the darkness receding
with each new day, each glance I pass your way.”


Image: Missouri, 3:19pm CST  21 December 2019 (7 hours short of Winter Solstice)

Notes, while driving with a love supreme


Notes, while driving with a love supreme
    (random riffs recorded on the road)

Layer upon layer of clouds holding
a snow that never materialized
deliver a gray light,
but there’s joyful anticipation at the start
of this long drive home like a pulse
of contentment. A love supreme.

Piano pulls me forward with resolve,
when Coltrane comes in
pursuing that love
as drums urge me onward.

Like a psalm rolling through me,
clouds give way to blue sky,
the hint of home drawing me closer
on this long cold drive.


Notes, while driving with Miles

Notes, while driving with Miles
    (random riffs recorded on the road)

Rain falls, steady, and I say so what.
Wipers try in vain to keep the beat,
but this combo is too tight.
The bass just layin it down,
horn and sax sparring.

There’s a fog rolling through the hills,
tellin’ the rain
hold the ice, this is just too cool.

Bare branches, with pines the only green
in a landscape of white on brown.


A lone birch like a ghost that knows,
as blue as this feels,
there will be no blue sky.
And that so what refrain slips in
and out.

Narrow roads now,
winding through wet grass
lined with granite and marble.
A memorial among memorials,
some barely legible.
Everything here is blue,

except the pines, white now with big, heavy flakes.
Country roads skirt the mountains,
snow now a powder, hanging in the air like a fog.
Roads slicker than the music.
Hands tense on the wheel.

Piano eases through me,
slowly levels out, bringing me back to the lake,
out there somewhere, blue asleep within the white.


Frigid Delirium ~ prosery

Frigid Delirium

The lights of my cabin far behind me, I search in conditions that favor no one and no thing, on a night that holds nothing but a wall of cold shifting amid howling winds.

As I plod ahead, all is disjointed, whiteouts removing any context from my surroundings. The bitterness of cold stings my face and wraps my body in a blanket that saps, rather than strengthening me. The dull ache that grips my fingers and toes means something. Something.

Direction no longer has any meaning. Left could be right, and forward seems irrelevant. My venture now seems pointless, any reason for following this course now lost to me.

Wondering if I’ll ever know again the warmth of a flaming hearth, I wade through the knee-deep snow, suddenly stepping into nothing as the snow closes around me. A cow is screaming across the arroyo.

This bit of flash fiction is my response to Prosery #7: Jim Harrison, presented by Linda at dVerse ~ Poets Pub. With Prosery, the challenge is to write a piece of flash fiction with a 144-word limit. Included in the bit of prose is to be a complete line from a poem. For this prompt, the line to be included is “A cow is screaming across the arroyo.” from Jim Harrison’s “Cow.” My flash fiction also meets the additional challenge of hitting the 144-word mark, exactly.

A Thought Crystallizes

A Thought Crystallizes

In the moment it reflects,
still water tells you
all you need to know.

Clouds in a November sky
appear or do not, suggesting
snow or denying it.

The leaves are raked, but still
they fall, oaks paying no mind
to storm fronts or frozen ponds.

As you enter your winter,
know it may dictate conditions,
but need not dictate outcome.