Surrendur–dVerse Haibun Monday

Photo: Labeled for noncommercial reuse.

Photo: Labeled for noncommercial reuse.


“When he fixed the foundations of the earth,
then was I beside him as artisan;
I was his delight day by day,
playing before him all the while.”

Proverbs 8: 29-30

In 2008, we returned home from the Southern California desert with rattled nerves, having experienced a 7.3 earthquake centered not far from us. Our expectation of relief shattered immediately. Reno was experiencing swarms of temblors, upward of 100 daily. True, they were not that large on the Richter scale, but because they were caused, most likely, by excavation of the foothills for yet another residential development, they were quite shallow and the effect on our multi-level home was that of a truck slamming into its façade. Jumpy, tense, frightened, edgy—so many adjectives to describe our state of being.

It was to Mother Earth, to nature, that I fled—discovering solace in her damp spring soil. Touching timelessness in her body, listening to the songs of birds, the humming of bees, inhaling surrender in the loveliness of lilacs and roses. Nature trusted that all would be well because creation was in the care of its Creator. Today, when those smaller emotional or spiritual earthquakes disrupt my well-being, it’s in the garden or walking the dogs along the river that I find harmony, as well as the source of my own creative energy.

Mockingbird utters
songs of trust that have no words—
earth’s sweet harmony.

Please join us at dVerse for Haibun Monday where we are sharing those things that give us serenity.


Photo: 10 Best--An Itinerary for viewing the San Andreas Fault

Photo:–An Itinerary for viewing the San Andreas Fault


Now and again
the earth desires rest.
Sap withdraws.
Roots reach slender fingers
into her deep soil,
drink slowly of her nourishment—
according to her plan.

But then, today she shivers,
sends waves of movement
through her old body,
surprises those of us
who seek assurance,

Written for Sanaa Rizvi’s Prompt Night where we are considering “Spontaneous or Not.”

I can look out the window and see the San Andreas Fault and last Wednesday we had an early morning 4.8 temblor. The earth has her plans but also her surprises. She is both predictable and unpredictable, like we are. The photo is of a sign for tourists wanting to view the fault line.


The Love Affair of San Andreas and San Jacinto


Should you hold doubt, hear my request:
investigate. USGS data confirms these facts
that I put forth based on experience.
Earthquakes visit my valley like a lover his mistress
nestled as she is in the arms of two faults.

Substantial temblors came this week alone—
magnificent displays of power, Earth’s climax.
Just before she peaks, a moan fans out
announces slamming forces built up within
her core—the accoustics of rapture.

When opposites conjoin, damaged surfaces
spawn newfound beauty, realign nature,
bless us with unsuspecting serendipity.
Revel in uncertainty, in danger, in new growth.
I challenge you.

Coachella Valley, home to Palm Desert and the better known Palm Springs lies between two significant fault lines: the San Andreas and the San Jacinto. While they don’t really come together, it seems that action on one often invites activity on the other. Coachella Valley, like all of California, is home to frequent earthquakes. We had two this past week—not huge ones, but big enough to catch your attention. Scientists and doomsayers predict we are overdue to have “The Big One.” Over the years we’ve already experienced a few over 7.0 which seem to wait for us to visit to occur.

This week, fellow blogger Justin (Tino), asked me to give him some random words to use in a poem. So I asked him to reciprocate. The words (serendipitously) were: acoustics, earthquake, challenge, investigate, request, magnificent, damaged, substantial, serendipity, opposite. I’m submitting this for dVerse OLN. The pub opens tomorrow at 3:00 PM EST. Hope, as always, to see you there.

As You Lie Dying

As you lie dying,
the shadow of a palm
outside your window
peeps in, enters,
slips across the comforter,
nestles in its folds,
covers your pain.

In the distance
a couple bats tennis balls
back and forth across the net.
No strain.
An easy volley,
back and forth again.
Like our ideas,
ricocheting back and forth.
Yours, then mine.
Divergent memories.

One fact we both hold true.
The night earth shook Tehachapi,
our lives were rent.
And nothing evermore
would be the same.

Outside the window now
a murder of crows descends to feed.

Submitted to dVerse Poetics  prompt based on the wonderful photography of Tracey Grumbach. Thank you, Tracey. 

Process note: The poem is adapted from an actual experience at my sister’s death bed. The reference to the Tehachapi Earthquake relates to the night of our parents marriage (July 20, 1952) when we were children. Both of our parents had lost their first spouses to death. This was our first night together as “siblings.”