What would I want to take with me when I leave this world?
My spirit rises
unencumbered by this life’s
winter shroud of pain
I leave earthly behind me
shedding the ephemeral
Photo; Dwight L. Roth
Today at d’Verse, Frank Tassone asked us to write a Jiesi death poem. Jisei were often written in waka (tanka) or haiku, but death poems are not restricted to those forms. What is essential is the expression of both imminent death and the significance of life in the face of it. In this sense, Jisei is the poetry of both memorial and celebration.
I decided to write my own death poem as a reflection of the struggles of this earth and the joy of setting my spirit free in death as I leave it all behind! This poem evolved out of a longer poem I did a couple of year ago called When My Spirit Rises. This is written in the Tanka format.
Today at d’Verse we are writing about eyes… the window to the soul. When my son was little he loved Raggedy Ann. He was very protective of her. I find it interesting that their eyes are almost the same in this photo! This poem is the story of us all this year! Wear your mask and be safe.
Today at d’Verse. Lisa asked us to write a poem using the word Clown. I have no first hand knowledge of Clowns, so I decided to clown around with my poem which I wrote in Tanka form. Hope it makes you smile!
Tanka enjoys a long history in Japan. Originally known as waka (short song), the 5-line verse poem was the medium of literary exchange during the Heian era, the golden age of ancient Japanese culture. Courtiers and emperors alike composed them. Lovers would often share their devotion through the exchange of them.
The second stanza of the poem above reflects the true intent of the tanka.
Today at d’Verse, Frank Tassone offered to us two master poets. One was William Shakespear who was a prolific English poet and play-write. The second was the most revered Japanese poet Matsuo Bashō(松尾 芭蕉, 1644–1694), who introduced hokku which later became haiku poetry. Both men changed the world with their words. This is the goal of all of us who write. Our hope is that our words will shed light on the truth of the world around us in a way that has both present and lasting affect.
I write poems on my
journey with teacher Bashō
New beans sprouts today
Such different poets
Shakespear and Bashō
Both pushing flowers
Bashō visits Shakespear’s stage
So many words are spoken
“All’s well that ends well”
What more needs to be spoken
Clear as fresh spring air
Lost in endless lines of verse
Shakespear’s never ending voice
Bashō speaks more with
less, like a set c-4 charge
I wrote my Haibun above, then added a few non-conformed haikai ranga verses following that give comparison of the two from Bashō’s perspective.
Golden strands of a spider’s web shine in my window as the sun was setting in the distance. Today, for Frank Tassone’s Haikai challenge, we are using the September Equinox as our prompt. Earlier, I watched a writing spider spread her web across my dying zinnias, hoping to catch that one last bug before cold weather closes in for good.
Spiders spin crossroads
Sun sets on golden silk strands
Shining fall colors
September Equinox makes
crossroad tangled deal once more
On my last job, managing a siding warehouse, I met Mr. Ed. He was a fine gentleman of a generation gone by. He was our driver and delivery person. We found a lot in common and in between trips sat in rocking chairs talking about a little bit of everything. He came down with pneumonia and died the last year I worked there. It was a great loss for all of us.
Frank Tassone asked us to write a Haikai poem about the Harvest Moon. This one is very unique in that it comes on Friday the Thirteenth. It has not done that since the 1800s. We missed it here due to the much needed rain that came through last evening.
Before I moved to North Carolina, I thought gumballs were those giant bubblegum balls you could get from a machine at the entrance of a store. You put your nickel/quarter in the slot, turn the handle, and the ball would drop and roll into the cup below. Then, I moved into a house with five giant sweetgum trees. They are a Southern specialty, very prolific in their production of spiky gumballs. The balls produce seeds that open and drop out or get eaten by birds in the Fall. The hard shells, covered in sharp spikes, keep falling all winter long. Just when you think you have raked the last of them, the wind come through and down comes another layer! As you can tell, I like the sweet bubblegum balls much better!