Month: May 2015

Robin’s Song: a haiku 

Today I finally got to look at a couple of the haiku prompts/challenges I like to participate in and, to my surprise, no, delight, they went together perfectly. Well, they went together perfectly in my mind at least. 

The first word is “song” from Haiku Horizons and the other two are from Ronovan’s weekly challenge- “think” and “fresh”. And here’s the product:

fresh air sunshine and
the robin’s song starts the day
gracefully I think

I hope the poem and prompt words flow as well to you as they did for me! 

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Paper Bark: a haiku/haibun

I remember walking through the woods with my Papaw on the first day of squirrel season, I was probably 10 or 11 years old, enjoying both the beautiful forest we were in as well as just being with my grandfather. As we went along, Papaw pointed out many different things to me, teaching me only a fraction of what this seasoned outdoorsman knew. At some point he pointed out this rather interesting tree with white bark that was peeling away in a hodgepodge manner. 

We walked over to the tree and easily pulled a piece of the bark off and handed it to me. “You what kind of tree this is?”, he asked me. “No, Papaw, I’ve never seen one before”, I answered. “That’s a paper-bark.”, he began to explain. “They call them that because their outer bark is white, thin, and peels right off, like paper …”, I’m sure there was more but that’s the part that stuck, sticks, with me. I later found out there are birch trees and they are, indeed, known as paper-barks. 

birch trees paper bark
soft white armor so fragile
no protection here

Thanks to Chèvrefeuille for today’s writing prompt for stirring this sweet memory up in my foggy old mind. 

Blue Skies: a tanka

Its been a very long, tiring day for me so far – and it is still early! I was heading off for an afternoon nap when I saw the weekly TRC posted to the CDHK website. As you may know, I have a particular fondness for these tan renga; don’t ask why: I just do. 

The hokku, as I (finally) learned it’s called, was written near the end of the author’s life and I could feel that. The last two lines, my contribution to make the haiku into a tanka, came to me almost instantly; I only had to tweak a few words and I had it. Make sure to see the original post to learn more about this exercise, the author, and all things Japanese -poetry related really. 

this autumn
why getting older is like
a bird into clouds
© Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)


gliding along through skies
on the way to where he came
© Greg Wolford

Peonies: a haiku 

The prompt for this poem was, for me, a little vague; of course I can barely imagine the time and effort our host at CDHK invests almost daily so this is not meant to be critical. So, I took the thoughts that the example haiku gave me and “wrote” with them!


spring rains green the grass
dandelions invading 
peonies will soon bloom

Many thanks to Chèvrefeuille for the work he does that spawns so much creativity!

Woodpecker: a haibun/tanka

Sitting on the deck, enjoying the breeze, coffee in one hand and my pipe in the other; what a wonderful way to start the day. Listening to the gentle, sweet sounds of creation: leaves rustling, birds singing, and a squirrel chattering away. The serene scene suddenly interrupted by an awful metallic rapping in rather rapid succession! My eyes dart toward the source of the sound to see a woodpecker pecking away on a peculiar choice of material: an aluminum gutter. 

silly woodpecker
pecks aluminum gutter
sound is deafening


beak sore, head throbs – I wonder
was lesson learned today

Linked to CDHK episode #735

Shame: a haiku/haibun 

It was easily the biggest Willow tree, and among the larger of all trees, in the neighborhood. As soon as I saw it gracefully swaying in the Spring breeze it grabbed my heart. I always tell folks “We bought the tree; the house came with it.”  It pains me so to see the life threatening damage – likely it’s demise – a lightning strike and subsequent damage from “pests” have caused the old tree over the past two years or so. Many days it’s lush, green canopy has provided me shade from the heat and rest during times of weariness. 

Willow tree older
than me – lightning strike shortens
Your life – such a shame

Linked to Haiku Horizons 65th weekly prompt: the word “shame” and CDHK episode #736