Fragrant Breeze

Lilacs bloom fragrant
Perfume carried on the breeze
Summer’s almost here
Poppies sway // ripples flowing
Gently across Flander’s Field
Reminder to us
That war is filled with blood-shed
Poppies bleed blood red

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Photos: Dwight L. Roth

Written for Frank Tassone’s Haikai challenge Fragrant Breeze. He also reminds us of the anniversary of D-day and suggested we incorporate that as well.

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Eternal Sleep


Fragile blooms reveal such striking beauty

Nature’s embellishment for green fields

With seeds yielding a mixed bag of healing and death

Petals of red hearts of black // growing wild and free


Seeds to ease the pain // used for generations

Extractions and concentrates create powerful narcotics

Morphine // Heroin  // Codeine

Powerful pain relievers leading to addiction


Blood red flowers mix with the red blood of the fallen that bloody day

Symbol of the men who died on Flander’s Field // resting in eternal sleep

Paper Poppies sold on the end of a wire on Veterans’ Day in November

Beauty grown wild all over the world


 Photos: Dwight L. Roth


Blood and Poppies

EER_0518Each Memorial Day, when I was young, the large community cemetery behind our church filled with flags that waved across the sloping hillside. Volunteers from the VFW commemorate those soldiers who died in service to their country by placing a flag on each grave. I never saw any poppies growing as in Flanders’s Field, but many other flowers dotted the hillside along with the flags.

Memories are mixed

Joy and sorrow flows freely

as blood // and poppies

wave on the resting places

of those who never came home


Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Frank Tassone asked to write a Haikai poem Haiku or Tanka that reflects on some aspect of Memorial Day.  Check them all out at:

#Haikai Challenge #35 (5/26/18): Memorial Day #haiku #senryu #haibun #tanka #haiga #renga