Tanka: Ginkgo (1)

The ginkgo fans green
Spring blows soft upon your face
Sleep has come too soon
In a place where leaves open
To dream under the full moon

My thoughts go to a friend who lost his mother a year ago this month. This same month a friend died at the age of 91 who had been as a second father to me. Yet May is a merry month, reminding us that a new life awaits us where death no more reigns.

For Cee's Flower of the Day Challenge (FOTD): "Don’t forget that my FOTD challenge accepts leaves and berries as well as flowers."

A Better Paradise

Concerning Paradise
we can’t go back again
said Adam to Eve

There’s Cain, there’s Abel
We’ll start all over again
Make it good this time

Abel’s dead by Cain’s hand
Paradise lies unattained
Eve said, my garden’s now a grave

Something greater lies ahead
Pride and death no more a stain
On this broken earth

With their dying eyes they saw
A bridge to life regained
The Son lifted up, reconciling God and man


For Eugi’s Weekly Thursday Prompt “paradise”; and Cee’s FOTD Challenge; click on the links and join in!

Poetics and Wang Wei

Laura at dVerse asks us to reinterpret one of several Chinese poems. I’ve chosen to reimagine “Stopping at Incense Storing Temple” by Wang Wei.

At the Moon Garden

When in the concatenation of bells that toll
I stop at dusty pools of ghost-bearing scents
The rains having come and gone, ashes remain
The acrid smoke of the dead stings my eyes
Choking the young, ridiculing the old
I turn away to the bowers of forest glades
Where You await storing love’s incense
And I like a wanderer home at last
Stand strong in Your warm embrace
Escaping the dragon of the past
To rise with You to eternal joy.

November Prophets

In November the sunlight
dapples over dead leaves
wind rustles memories free
storms sweep tombs, unearth bones
beleaguer dead valleys to awaken
an exiled Ezekiel’s breath:
“The end is not night
Sleep is not death
Your seed-borne husk betokens
Jerusalem’s dawn is nigh.”


For dVerse’s MTB this week, Frank asks us to write a Jisei (Japanese Death Poem) in either a haikai or haikai-esque form of ten lines or less. Click on Mr. Linky to join in!

September Hope by Candlelight

Broken shadows across the cracked ground
your grave day lost in flurried words
like September leaves across
yesterday’s hallowed ground
grief yet uninterred:
you six years gone
from my sight
till Day
breaks.


Written for dVerse’s “Poetic: 9 across for a countdown,” this nonet begins with a line from W.S. Merwin’s “To the Light of September:”

Continue reading “September Hope by Candlelight”

In a Dark Hour

ezekiels-vision-of-the-valley-of-dry-bones-what-does-it-mean_0

3 A.M.

Awakened to an eerie self-examination of the soul
on the steel-cold surface under surgically precise lights
unentombing cancers, contagion-carrying arteries, dismembered
corruption to the dispassionate gaze of an Enemy brooding,
brooding.

3:20 A.M.

Still sweating under the administered fumes seeping
through pores, guilt-driven language of parents driven
from home to carnage of children preying on children, warfare
of wretched depravity in the eyes of a man, a woman seething,
seething.

3:40 A.M.

Cannot speak, cannot hear, cannot see, cannot feel anything
but the weight of irreversible fate, the darts of the Enemy
injections of delirious oblivion only to awaken to endless night
where no refuge lies from grief and fear and the hate pursuing,
pursuing.

4:00 A.M.

Helpless, my tongue dry, the light dims, darkness closes in,
but a voice is heard, a minister to prophesy over the bitter
collocation of bones, unholy, “O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD!”-
prophesy!- in the body and the blood a Life that is not mine breathes,
breathes.

DailyPostPrompt: eerie

It Can’t Be Smoke: A Haunting

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It can’t be smoke that drives you here like a leaf
Caught in a funeral pyre or a sinner fleeing in shame!
What fell blast of Hell’s eternal fire brings you, cruel shade
Upon my porch, and feeds the tendrils of your fiery flame?
Begone, you ghost of the foul-mouthed past that stalks
The children of men, to warn of never-ending death
And griefs that ne’er can mend! Begone upon your walks
Of doom and leave me to life’s revelry and vice
Until its trinkets be a dream and I a shadow like you.

DailyPostPrompt: Smoke

The Pilgrim Shadow of Poe

Rather unexpectedly, the first thing that popped into my head at the DPPrompt for today – shadow – was Edgar Allan Poe’s Eldorado.

You may be one of many that had to memorize it at school or maybe you dimly recall it through shrouds of the distant past.

For the latter, I have no doubt at all that it will take just the first haunting lines will jog your memory:

Continue reading “The Pilgrim Shadow of Poe”

Sea Castles

seagulls-sea-640

He had waded out too far
The boy in the sea
Knee-deep he stood
As the tide withdrew
Drawing bridges round his toes
Dipped in seaweed

On a mermaid watch
Spying only undulating glass
Alluring sheets of metal grey,
Gathering towers, sparkling spires,
Sudden with a dragon’s curve

And he, turning away too late
To shore, felt the sand give way
Beneath shifting feet of clay,
Merman knee-deep no longer
Arms flailing, gasping watery riddles

Above the cresting wave
Choking fear and salt water
Blinded eyes seeing royal fury
Losing air, light, sky, dreams
In a torrent of sea

Till he grew legs again
Bones plucked from the foam
Tossed back onto the shore
Spluttering at the eddying pool
From which he rose

Like a bird flapping forgotten wings
Then dropping like a stone
On to his knees
Beside fallen sea castles.

dVerse Poets Pub: OLN #278 Rejoice!
Re-posted on JollyBeggar.com
Originally posted on PilgrimDreams.com