Coming of Age–dVerse Quadrille

Coming of Age
a Haibun/Quadrille

Outside my office tree house, the once-huge robin’s nest seems crowded, small. Three growing babies fluff their wings, itching to fly, it seems. But still, they cuddle to mother’s soft sunset-red breast.

ready to be free,
still gaping beaks, huddling close,
teenage robins wait

Linked to dVerse Quadrille Monday. The word to include is itch. The poem, excluding title, calls for exactly 44 words. I am getting nothing done these days watching this wondrous process of nesting, birthing, nurturing and, soon, fledging.

Happy Anniversary, 7 years, to dVerse. It’s been a great ride.

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Life Seasons–dVerse Monday Haibun

Photo: Pixabay
Labeled for non-commercial reuse

Life’s Seasons
a Haibun

Lately, I’m almost afraid to answer the phone when Aunt Joyce, the matriarch of our family, calls. I love this elderly, alert, wise woman who has outlasted her generation, and seems to be the glue that holds much of our vast family together. But recently the calls have been peppered with sadness—stage IV cancer, death and more death. These are members of my generation that she reports on. Brings it home, it does, as I’m the oldest of the bunch.

Outside my “treehouse” office, I spotted a large, artfully woven nest a couple of weeks ago. It remained empty until Saturday when I spied papa bird standing on its rim. He ruffled his feathers, puffed out his red breast, then sidled up to mama, snuggling for a few moments, remaining as she flew off for her break. Twelve to fourteen days, my Google Assistant tells me. Will I get to witness birth?

full-throated robin
sings summer joy lustily
I prune dead roses

Spring Rain–Frank Tassone’s Haikai Challenge #33

Photo: pixnio. Labeled for non-commercial reuse.

Rain Dance–Haibun

The bipolar weather does her spring dance. Early this week she offered temperatures in the high 80’s. Today, I glance outside my office window and watch drops of rain fall uncertainly on the fully developed leaves of the ornamental pear tree. Temperatures in the 40’s early morning.

This tree brings so much joy. She offers niches perfect for robin nests and in the autumn extends her arms, heavy with small, hard pears, pears more like berries than the fruit we know. Flocks of cedar waxwings and the occasional chickadee stop by to be nourished on their journeys south.

So welcome sweet spring rain. Bring life to this high desert.

spring rain droplets hang
from dancing leaves (like old breasts)
carmine hooded finch sings

Linked to Frank Tassone’s Haikai Challenge #33 where the Kigo is Spring Rain, harusame.

Adagio–dVerse Haibun Monday

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

Adagio
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.

adagio—buds
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