There was a lick of cold in the air when I stepped out of the front door that early spring morning, a small reminder of the ghosts of winter. I thought, for the briefest of moments, about digging a coat from the bottom of my pile of already-packed-away winter clothes, but the sun above my head was warm enough against my shoulders and it had been far too long since the sun and I had talked without intervening layers. Slow paced, I traced a path through my concrete clad neighborhood with no particular destination in mind. The sun felt good on my back, so I took off my shirt, letting the cold and the warmth sweep over me simultaneously. I shivered slightly as the sun battled the shadows on my behalf.
Ghostly blackbird sings
a premonition of spring
hidden in the shade.
The leaves crinkled under my feet as I walked. One of my footsteps made no noise and I paused to see what there was living among the dead leaves. It was a single cherry blossom petal that must have floated here on the contradictory breeze. With nowhere to go and nothing but time, I sat down in the dead leaves by the roadside, twirling the cherry blossom petal between my fingers, feeling the cold breeze, waiting for spring. I sat there all evening. As the sunlight faded into night, I bit a piece off of the petal, then another, then another, until there was nothing left. After that, I went home, the cold breeze still lingering.
dead leaves and dry ground
all crumbling underfoot –
a delayed rebirth
At DVerse, the prompt is to write a haibun about Cold Mountain.
Photo by Imani Bahati on Unsplash
Moon as red, as autumn wine,
that on this summer night so fine,
across the sky has slowly bled
like paint, unaccustomed to lines
or to creaking necks and upturned heads
that never before or after saw a moon as red.
There is a quiet quiver in the air,
on this summer night so fair,
when the moon is bled to slivers,
and laced with clouds that do not care
how much they mute the moon’s red river.
In your shoulders that night, though you know not why, there is a quiet quiver.
At DVerse today, we were asked to write a sparrowlet poem.
Photo by Anand Rathod on Unsplash
What is it, friend, that you expect to find
when at the mountain summit you arrive?
Will mind and body begin to unwind
or is that just a lie that you’ve contrived?
Might that lightheadedness be salvation
or is it merely an absence of air?
Are the tears that you weep from elation
or are they born from an unanswered prayer?
When Moses stood tall on that fabled hill
did his eyes see the same glory as yours?
Will you both swallow that same bitter pill
when you return to humanity’s door?
To search for salvation is so often futile,
even prophets must search through inverted pupils.
Photo by Tyler Lastovich on Unsplash
Do you feel some strange desire,
when you look at a beautiful painting,
to consume it, to swallow its entrails,
to expose the finer details hidden within
that no eyes can truly see?
I want to sink my teeth into meadows,
gnaw valleys into cliff faces
brushed from water and oil,
and lap up the churning waters
of acryllic oceans and clay rivers.
I want to taste how
the air must have tasted
that spring morning, or fall evening,
or summer dusk, or winter dawning,
the painter so fully contemplated.
Greedy poet that I am,
I want to leave this world and enter another,
where I can open my mouth and ears and hands and nose and eyes
to a reality far more true than this musky museum
I’ve grown to despise.