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poem: tiny blue flowers

May 3, 2011 Leave a comment

two-inch deep moss,
a 2000 foot drop, and
tiny blue flowers

Out hiking the other day in the Columbia River Gorge, at one point the steep trail led up an exposed rocky face in a series of switchbacks. Before then, the trail had been going through the forest, but now it was clear just how high above the valley floor we really were, and my acrophobia would hit me in the face at each switchback. Now as it happens, on hikes I’m usually very interested in looking closely at what’s around me anyway, but suddenly it became very important for me to focus on the feel of the deep moss on the shaded side of the rocks, dry and slightly crunchy outside yet slightly damp inside and soft like a thick thick carpet, and on the quite interesting particular shade of intense blue of some tiny flowers on the rocks’ sunny sides.

Eventually we reached the summit and its spectacular views of Mount Hood and Mount Adams, but I think my memory of the feel of the moss and the color of the flowers will outlast that of the distant peaks.

Returning, we took the much longer, much less steep trail down the side of the slope. :-)

 

poem: dusty guitar

February 17, 2011 Leave a comment

the dusty guitar
leaning against the TV
by a well-worn remote

Sad, isn’t it? OK, more reading and guitar playing, and less TV-watching, is on the agenda.

moon viewing

September 25, 2010 Leave a comment

Two haiku I wrote at the autumn moon-viewing at the Portland Japanese Garden:

melancholy flute –
sunset reflected like fire
in distant windows

eyes closed –
murmuring voices
and the piercing flute

Can you tell I enjoyed the shakuhachi flute music? :-) The koto playing was amazing too.

The night was clear so it got dark quickly, even with the full moon. Resting my camera on a bamboo railing I was able to take a long-exposure picture of the path:

A hand-held long exposure of a five level lantern, just for fun:

poem: november roses

November 16, 2009 2 comments

november roses,
still blooming
as the maple leaves
gently fall
on the old broken birdhouse

(or as a haiku)

november roses
bloom as the maple leaves fall
on the old birdhouse

poem: their journey withered

October 22, 2009 11 comments

heron’s cry —
in the falling darkness
two blossoms

autumn thunder, evening
a branch trembles
as crow goes wandering
the petals alight
on mountain snow

heat-faded remains of daffodils,
their journey withered
in inches

Snow comes early in the mountains, but dried flower petals retain the memory of summer’s heat. And everything has its own journey to make, whether long or short.

I linked this poem to the readwritepoem blog, where there is a weekly poetry “prompt” inviting people to submit poems on a new theme each week. This week’s theme was giving up control, writing a poem by pulling randomly from a bag of words that had been cut up from a different source — another poem, a newspaper article, or even a memo from the boss at work :-).

I randomly selected words from some of my favorite haiku from Basho. Here they are as I pulled them from the bag (highlighting the phrases that I used for my poem):

heron’s cry falling darkness two blossoms field echo lightning above nightfall temple autumn thunder evening branch trembles wandering goes crow petal alights mountain snow leaves shimmering heat faded remain daffodils journey withered inches dead silence one into perfect fragrant enough waterfall’s rose barely dried bells sick first bend dream grass stabs

Then all I did was add some line breaks and a few tweaks for grammar. If you are going to try to make a poem from words pulled from a bag, you could do worse than starting with Basho’s words!

(You can read other poets’ submissions on the theme at the readwritepoem blog too.)

poem: unlike things

April 14, 2009 10 comments

simile: a figure of speech comparing two unlike things, often introduced by like or as.
metaphor: a figure of speech in which a word or phrase literally denoting one kind of object or idea is used in place of another to suggest a likeness or analogy between them.
— Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary

life is like a simile
i compare yours to mine
pretending they should be the same
why aren’t you more like me?

life is a metaphor
if i see the world through your eyes
if i walk a mile in your shoes
who will meet me when i arrive?

life is a deep snow-covered hillside pasture
at twilight as the first stars appear,
where dozens of laughing dogs leap and run in circles
with sparklers

April is National Poetry Month, and on the ReadWritePoem blog  a bunch of poets more dedicated than me :-) have taken on the challenge of writing a poem-a-day for the whole month — check it out!

poem: desert sky circles

March 23, 2009 12 comments

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desert sky circles:
sunset’s red rainbow beckons
as the moon rises

Lost in the desert, Throws-his-words and Fierce Cat heed Raven’s sign, a red rainbow surrounding the rising full moon, that leads them to water. The haiku is how I would write it; here is Throws-his-word’s song:

In the land of hard stones,
In the land of painted giants,
In the land of angry trees,
In the land of parched lips,

Raven, where is the laughing grass?
Raven, where are the sleeping trees?
Raven, where are the deer and the buffalo?
Raven, where are the singing streams?

“Wait for the sunset”, Raven whispers.
“Wait for the moonrise”, Raven whispers.
“Look me in the eye”, Raven whispers.
“See what I see and come to me.”

I linked this poem to the readwritepoem blog, where there is a weekly poetry “prompt” inviting people to submit poems on a new theme each week. This week’s theme was collaborative, to write a poem using the first line donated from another poet’s poem. I selected my line from a lovely poem by jone.

(You can read other poets’ submissions on the theme at the readwritepoem blog too. By the way, red rainbows are a real phenomenon, and the one Nancy and I saw during a neighborhood walk last weekend was the inspiration for this poem.)

As part of the prompt, I also donated the first line of one of my own poems, and I was delighted to see how other poets took it and made it their own. Check them out!