Poetry is my first love. I remember arguing with my various English teachers about the poetry assignments. How could we truly know the meaning of a poem if the poet wasn’t alive to tell us? How could my interpretation be wrong if that was how I read it? Who really understands a poet’s heart except one who feels the same angst, awe or joy from the outpourings of the individual heart? Why did l feel such joy in perusing the pencilled words, black against the crisp white page? (Always pencil- revise, revise)😬
The internet has opened up such a banquet table from which to feast (and occasionally gorge ) on an innumerable array of poetic offerings. I enjoy various styles, but find great delight in the Tanka (Gogyoshi style ) promoted by Japanese mentor Taro Aizu. You can catch more of our work on Facebook * World Five-Line Poems.
This page requests submissions of 5 line poetry only. Other examples of 5 lines are limericks, Tanka, Cinquain and so on. Perhaps I’ll see you there?
Well July is the month of new birth and lovely summer lollygagging.
It is also the season of butterflies.
One of the disasters of growing old in the city is the lack of natural life. When I was young I had the gift of field and brook, beavers building dams, lovely lily of the valley, and Canterbury snow bells. Did I mention Bleeding Hearts and the rare Lynx sitting in the back yard licking its paws at dawn? Then there was the moose that ran past the window on its way to the river….but I digress.
Butterflies~I must confess, fill me with awe. I had the joy of visiting the Butterfly House in Victoria BC awhile back. It was a lovely experience, all stages of butterfly life in one spot.
I remember well the butterflies of my childhood, as they danced and flitted, fluttered and kissed the flowers as they swayed in the sunshine. I lay in the un-mowed grasses wishing one would land on my nose…and if it did I promised myself I would lay so still, with no breath at all…to see if the butterfly would smile back at me or kiss the tip before it moved on.
So July for me, is still the season of butterflies. We have planted the flowers and of course I lay in the tall grasses. But now my grandchildren worry that I need help getting up. I want them to experience the wonder, the ecstasy, the fluttering of Butterflies. I want to tell them and you dear reader that we are all butterflies.
“What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly.”
For me, turning on the kettle has a relaxing quality about it. The sound of the water boiling. The spoon resting in the china cup. The clanking of the spoon as it stirs the sugar.
Growing up, when my family received important news, good or bad, we would boil water and make tea.This ritual allowed us a moment I think to take in the enormity of what had happened.
It’s a way to reset ourselves. To symbolically “count to ten” before we react to the world around us.
Refueling our mind is an imperative step that we owe ourselves as we move through life. It’s the path to clarity and perspective. Acceptance and peace.
It’s the only way to live our best life and offer our gift to the world. As Wynonna Judd once said, “You have to fill your cup. You then give away the overflowing, but you keep a cupful for yourself.” That’s how this day has been.
I’m in a tanka*-ish mood this evening 🤗
Here is a pic of my tea in its obligatory china cup.
cold spring frost lies thick –
I wait for the tea kettle
sun parts cloud-curtains
water boils to waken leaves
mist and steam rise together
*tanka – elder cousin of the haiku – a Japanese syllabic poetry form, the lines of which are 5-7-5-7-7
Happy July musings friends 😍 June is gone…fluttering away like an un-cocooned (my word?) butterfly. 🦋 These first few days have been chilly, and cool…with a hint of fog.
Where I come from fog has a sound. Distinctly. It rolls in from a distance, rustling the leaves, sneaking through the woods, settling around our shoulders. It is the kind of sound that spawns scary horror stories and things that go thump in the night.
You hear it…you know it is coming…but not.. 😮quite.. yet….
This phot by Darlene Rafuse from my roots in The Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia (North Mountain ) sparked that memory today. I’ve told stories about it to my husband and children who have not experienced the eerie phenomenon (stubble jumpers, prairie people every one). It usually occurs in the late afternoon along the coast, causing us children to stop whatever we were doing and run for the shelter of the cottage or home. It is like the whistle that called us to supper in the winter. It signaled night.
Life is like that….things change…
Fog comes and obscures our vision.
But in the morning the sun always rises.
The bad news : Nothing is permanent.
The good news: Nothing is permanent.♥️
Go well today. 🦋
When I was young there were strawberries. Rows upon rows.
Strawberries were a lucrative business in the Valley. Each spring, succulent, ruby red offerings matured. Nestled in their green leafy blankets they waited to be snatched from their protective straw beds to be sliced, mashed, crushed or dipped by eager consumers.
An early alarm had jolted me from my warm bed. Exiting the sleeping house I scooted down a well worn path to the patch. As usual, in a cool, damp foggy dawn my eyes strained to see familiar landmarks. The dilapidated hen house on the left, the outhouse, traded for a new indoor model, now a lonely sentry to the right. As if from nowhere, Skip, my neighbors’ dog, materialized from the mists.
Her familiar “yip” her only greeting, she joined my morning mission. We reached the edge. Skip slouched on her haunches, looked around, yawning as if to say” You go girl…too early for me!” Reaching into my pocket I found the sandwich I had made (I was not into breakfast), offering the crusts in the usual morning ritual. I surveyed the rows. The sun was beginning to peek through the mists.
Grasping the first of many quart baskets I scrunched down in the straw, examining the condition of the berries. Mother earth smell tickled my nose. Would I find feast or famine? Rooting among the leaves I imagined them all snuggled together in their berry bed muttering and complaining, trying to find a more comfortable position as the light shone in their eyes. “Wake up sleepy heads!”I muttered. How I wished I could trade places.
Though the fading gloom I could hear voices…words undistinguishable yet, like the babbling brook flowing nearby. I grab another basket. My nimble berry- stained fingers gathered..intent on their harvest. The older girls that work at the Canning factory would arrive soon…everybody gossiped about how fast they could work a patch. They only picked berries till the Cannery opens. “That was where the real money was.” they said. Cannery girls live in the Valley forever. I didn’t aspire to be a cannery girl…my fingers picked up speed.