Adagio–dVerse Haibun Monday

Photo: David Slotto, Cedar Wax Wing in Our Ornamental Pear Tree

No Ko Me—Tree Buds
A Haibun

Outside my office window, on the second floor of our home, an ornamental pear tree shares the seasons with me. In summer, her leaves are full and green, offering their shade in the southwest, yet still allowing a view of the setting sun as he hops over the Sierra Nevada. A robin perches in her fluffy nest.

Autumn paints my landscape in glorious tones of gold and orange and crimson…a final shout-out before the now-brown leaves let go, returning to nourish the earth, revealing the tiny, inedible fruit that appears to be a berry. An influx of migrating cedar wax wings stop by to eat of her offerings, along with an occasional chickadee.

But it is in spring that promises pop out on all the gnarly little branches and as I wait for them to open, the return of wrens and finches fill the room with poetic song. This is the first movement of another year’s symphonic beauty.

brace themselves, appear anew
soon, a crescendo

Today, I’m hosting the Monday Haibun at dVerse. The prompt Kigo is No Ko Me–Tree Buds. To learn more and to join in HERE is the link.


It’s Spring–Or Is It? Frank Tassone’s Haikai Challenge

Photo: Tomas Sobek via Flickr–labeled for non-commercial reuse.

It’s Spring—Or Is It?

The first year after we moved to Reno, my sister sent me a gardener’s diary. A thoughtful gift-giver, she knew of my newly born enthusiasm for the garden that we were able to plant in our large yard. Each week I dutifully entered notes: what we planted, sowed and dead-headed, the weeds we battled, the heights of the tomato plants and their yield, the weather conditions, what fared well, what needed more light or water, what didn’t make it. This journal offered us the surety that the following year we would know exactly what to do when spring first showed her colors.

The second year, I abandoned the diary. The slopes were open to skiers on the Fourth of July; tomatoes planted after the last snow on Peavine wilted; blossoms froze on the Stella cherry tree,which subsequently gave no fruit and the sweet peas and jasmine didn’t have a chance. Spring and each season that follows is a new experience every year. We have grown to love the adventure of extreme gardening.

Snow covers Peavine
Morning sun bronzes her slopes
Spring cowers behind clouds

Linked to Frank Tassone’s Haikai Challenge. Peavine Mountain is just northwest of Reno. Local lore has it that you don’t want to plant your tomato seedlings outside until the snow is off of Peavine.

Moon Castle on the Hill

Moon Castle on the Hill

My grandfather’s last name was Lunenschloss, meaning Castle of the Moon. When my father was lost in WWII, Mama and I lived with my grandparents in this white castle on the hill. We were alone on the summit until a couple of families joined us. Grandpa had built the home when they lost their original one during the depression. He named the dirt road that led up to it Castle Crest Drive.

The view from atop the hill was breathtaking, especially at night. Overlooking Los Angeles to the East and Glendale to the West the cities lay like twinkling stars at our feet. Daytime brought no end of joy for a child: searching for quartz with veins of gold, sliding down hills in cardboard boxes, and climbing “my” pepper tree. Mud pies, hide and seek, kick the can—life was an outdoor adventure, morning till night.

Mythic memories
Winter moon—childhood magic
Lifescapes ebb and flow.

Posted for dVerse Monday Haibun where the prompt this week is Hometown Haibun.

Photo: Labeled for non-commercial reuse. The home was the only one at the top of this hill. The area has completely changed.

Death Scene–Frank Tassone’s Haikai Challenge

Death Scene

Written and linked to Frank Tassone’s Haikai Challenge.  This week’s challenge is CROW. The story is true. My Irish mother always claimed that the black bird was a sign of death. I used that as a theme in my novel: “The Sin of His Father.”


Photo: Wikipedia Commons–Labeled for Non-commercial reuse.

She only lasted four weeks from the day of her diagnosis. I spent much of that time with her–witnessed the rapid progression of her cancer, helped to manage her pain,tried to comfort my mother, her husband and children. I wallowed in a feeling of helplessness.

We watched tennis players enjoying nearby courts and a multitude of large blackbirds feeding on newly sown grass.

Life begins, life endures, life ends.

outside crows forage
black contrasts on summer green
inside, my sister’s waning

The Good of the Poor

The Good of the Poor

About 1981 or 82, I sat in a cold church in Detroit, Michigan. I pulled my coat around me, barely noticing the cold, entranced, instead, by the strong voice of a diminutive woman clothed in just a white sari with blue edging. Fearlessly she proclaimed the need for more care for the poorest in our community, and she had the right to do so, as she was opening a shelter for the poorest in Detroit. Outside, winter winds howled. Within, I questioned how I could do more in my own mission of nursing the impoverished elderly.

After her talk, those of us who were engaged in such service were led to the basement for a reception. There, we had the opportunity to meet and greet Mother Teresa, one-by-one. The warmth of her words and her hug have remained with me, sometimes encouraging, sometimes chiding. I recall them now with deep gratitude.

Four tiny swallows
hound a lurking hawk—
winter desert sighs.

This week for dVerse Monday Haibun, Kim would like to have a take a look at handwriting of famous people. I have chosen that of Mother Teresa and am including a snippet of an analysis of her handwriting which fits my experience.

“Mother Teresa may have been diminutive in size, and shy of personality, but this sample shows that when she wanted something done, she found a way for it to be done. ”  To read the full article, follow the link HERE.

The pub opens Monday at 3:00 PM EST. Please join us!

Still Water, Frozen Beauty

Photo: Sharon Knight
January 27, 2015
Used with permission

Still Water, Frozen Beauty
a Haibun

We make our way down I-395, skirting the crowding of mountains, the eastern flank of the Sierra Nevada, to my west. I snake along, at a near crawl. Overnight, nature has painted her landscape in a wash of pristine white. The black granite peaks are creviced with whipped cream and, to my east, the desert valley is likewise blanketed, sketched with paw prints of various critters. Blackbirds on telephone wires huddle together for warmth.

Slowly, we crest the hill leading into Topaz Lake. She lies there, still, in hues of silver and turquoise. In contrast, a few late autumn trees still hold on to their intense orange leaves. I search for a place to pull off the highway in order to take photos, but southbound semis and black ice remind me that I know better. A flock of Canadian geese lands on the lake, sending ripples, creating texture on her mirrored surface. They etch the scene into my storehouse of memories.

Lake Topaz stretches,
clothed in shimmering satin,
beckons her lover.

Posted for dVerse Poetics, with deep gratitude to Sharon Knight Photography. Sharon has given us permission to use one of her photos for a poetry prompt. They are stunning.

Looney Moon-dVerse Haibun Monday, Fuyu No Tsuki, Winter Moon

Looney Moon
a Haibun

In the late 1960’s after several years of nursing, I went back to school for a Bachelor’s degree in nursing Education. Some of the classes I had to take, I had already been through as a student nurse. One of these was psychology.

The professor discussed ancient myths about human psychology. One point of discussion, dispelling a widely held belief, was the “reality” that the full moon has no influence on human behavior. The handful of nurses in the room looked at each other and we shook our heads. We had encountered a different perspective: labor and delivery rooms overflowing their capacity, emergency departments brimming with “crazies,” often accompanied by police officers, and inpatients with some degree of mental disturbance or dementia whose behavior decompensated even further.

Though the textbook and the “expert” saw things differently than we did and ignored our point-of-view, our experience seemed to us to be a more valid indicator.

Winter Moon won’t hide.
She highlights our nakedness,
bares our poor spirits.

  • Posted for my prompt at dVerse Haibun Monday: Fuyu No Tsuki–Winter Moon. I hope to see some of you there. I would enjoy hearing any experience you have had related to the effect of the full moon on human behavior. Nurses, Doctors and Law Enforcement have their own unique insights, I believe.