An Unlikely Friendship

Written for:  Sunday Muse #74

seasgull prompt

Seagull and man
were wary
of each other.
Soon they developed
a rapport. On a
forgotten, foresaken
piece of land,
a piano was discovered.
Still worked. The man
could not play,
and the gull could not
read music. They just
liked each other’s

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Shikoku Island

Written for:  Carpe Diem #1746 – Shikoku Island . . . the path of enlightenment
This is a once in a lifetime pilgrimage for Buddhists.

“The Shikoku Pilgrimage or Shikoku Junrei is a multi-site pilgrimage of 88 temples associated with the Buddhist monk Kūkai (Kōbō Daishi) on the island of Shikoku, Japan. A popular and distinctive feature of the island’s cultural landscape, and with a long history, large numbers of pilgrims (known as henro still undertake the journey for a variety of ascetic, pious, and tourism-related purposes.”

pilgrims chanting
the Heart Sutra to honor Kukai –
cry of a Vulture
breaks through the serene temple –
pilgrims chanting

© Chèvrefeuille (our host)

mysterious Island
dedicated to the Path of Enlightenment
four countries as one

© Chèvrefeuille

(note: Shikoku means “four countries”)

Here is my attempt:

buddhists on the path
seeking to gain enlightenment
on Shikoku Island

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Renga with Basho

Written for:  Carpe Diem Weekend Meditation #102 – Renga with Basho . . . ancient times

“This weekend I have chosen to challenge you (again) to create a Renga With Basho. I will give you a series of haiku by Basho to work with. You can decide which “line-up” you will follow, and add your two lined stanza towards the renga. It’s a wonderful opportunity to create a renga with Basho, my sensei.”

Morning Glory (1)

Japanese Morning Glory

Here are the six haiku to work with (all translated by Jane Reichhold and taken from “Basho, The Complete Haiku”):

flood waters
stars too will go to sleep
on top of a rock

where the ocean flows below
and rises high at will

still summer
the harvest moon too hot
to enjoy coolness

when harvest moon pales
too much coolness will set in

morning glories
in the day time a lock lowered
on the gate

nothing can hold them back
joy and color have no lock

chrysanthemum flowers
bloom at the stonemason’s
between stones

hearty flowers bloom anywhere
stones take on their colors

the bitterness of pickles
in the talk

seizing up their enemies
how many will come home?

plum blossom scent
since ancient times the word
has been sorrowful

now photographs are taken
plum aroma freshens air

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Mike, The Butcher

Written for:  Poetic Bloomings2 – For Your Consideration:  Character Sketch #1




In a butcher’s life you meet
all types of people–some chat
some eye the scale–they think I’d cheat
them, but I’m an honest man, white cap.

Customers ask for cooking tips,
I like giving them suggestions.
My wife tends to snip at me
if I interrupt her preparations.

Sometimes being the friendly type
Can get you into hot water
like when a woman talks about Mike–
that’s me–too much; husband’s veins get tauter.

I’m not an unattractive guy
though my apron has blood spots
I play in a band nearby
after cleaning up a lot.

I have three kids I’m devoted to,
strictly a family man.
If you flirt and I flirt just know it’s true
My wife, kids, and guitar are my life’s plan.

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Center Table

Written for:  Imaginary Gardens With Real Toads:  Weekend Mini-Challenge –
“Grandma’s Kitchen”  (posted by Sherry)

“For your weekend mini-challenge, re-visit your grandmother’s kitchen. Was it your safe place? Is there one item that stands out for you, when you remember being in that warm, bright room?


Tell us about it, any form, any length. Take us back there. Make us see it. How did you feel, as a child, back then, in your grandmother’s kitchen?”

Each cozy room is arranged
around the kitchen, centerpiece
of Grandma’s home life. Soon
as you enter, delightful scents
assail your nostrils, and cause
loud stomach grumbles. An
immense aluminum table fills
the room. On holidays, the table
is set, large pots and pans
simmer on the stove. On regular
visits, we sit and watch
Grandma crack eggs into a
mound of flour, like snow. She
kneads an immense ball of dough.
That wooden rolling pin has
quite the workout as the dough
begins to appear paper-thin,
nearly translucent. Dough
is stretched across table,
and is cut for noodles, or
separated into rows where

different fillings can be
used for knishes.

All the rooms wrapped
you in comfort, like
a hand-stitched quilt.
No recipes were handed
down because none were
in writing. Grandma
could not write, but
she sure could cook.

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Goodies for Seniors

Written for:  Poetic Bloomings2 – InForm Poet – Imayo
“The imayo is a 4-line Japanese poem that has 12 syllables in each line. If a 12-syllable line sounds unique for a Japanese poetic form, don’t fret. There is a planned caesura (or pause) between the first 7 syllables and the final 5. The 5/7 syllable splits are the familiar patterns found in other Japanese forms like haiku, tanka, and senryu.”

I bypass jelly apples–break my teeth for sure
Fragrant caramel corn tastes sweet–then there’s those hard bits
What choices at outdoor fair–funnel cakes, ice cream
Nothing makes you feel older–kids chewing taffy

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Written for:  Poets United Midweek Motif~Vigilance
“Create a new poem that addresses the monitoring and vigilance you see as necessary or obtrusive.”


Perhaps if guns
were not easy
to buy, and assault
rifles were banned,
we could stop weeping
as we watch each
new vigil with its
prayers, flowers,
speeches, and tears–
again and again and again.

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Autumn haiku

Written for:  Poetic Asides #498 – Write an Autumn poem.

traveling to orchard
both sides of road, summer green
one tree dressed in red-gold

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 498



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Redolent Scent

Written for:  dVerse Poets Pub – Poetics:  Waiting for a poem . . .  (posted by SarahSouthwest)

“Tonight, I want you to write a poem of anticipation. Maybe you’re hoping for something wonderful, maybe you’re afraid of retribution, maybe you’re just desperate to get off the bus.”

You have mixed, kneaded,
and rolled; dough pulls away 
from sides of bowl.  Cover,
and wait for it to rise–
three times. Loaves
are in the oven. Keep
peeking to be sure they
are expanding in the pan.
Butter softens in readiness,
knives are laid out. Stomach
growls. When? How much time
does it need to cool?

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Written for:  Carpe Diem #1744 Pilgrimage to the Great Shrine of Ise (Japan): “There is nothing to see; and they won’t let you see it.”


Grand Shrine of Ise (Shinto-religion)

“The gateway’s doors stand open, but a white curtain, hanging from the lintel in their stead, hides all view beyond.

In front of the curtain lies a mat sprinkled with pennies. Before it each pilgrim pauses, lays aside his staff, takes off his travel robes, and tossing his mite to lie there beside its fellows, claps his hands, and bows his head in prayer. Then, his adoration done, he slowly turns, takes up again his robe and staff, and goes the way he came. For this is the goal to his long pilgrimage.

That curtain marks his bourne. Beyond the veil none but the Mikado and the special priests may ever go. Yet every now and then a gracious breeze gently wafts the curtain a little to one side, and for an instant gives the faithful glimpse of a pebbly court, a second gateway, and, screened by pale within pale of palisades, more plain wooden buildings with strangely raftered roofs, reputed counterparts of the primeval dwellings of the race. And this is all that man may ever see of the great Shrines of Ise, chief Mecca of the Shintō faith.”

cherry blossoms bloom
fragile beauty goes with the gods
walking Uji bridge

© Chèvrefeuille (our host)

Here is my attempt:

white curtain drawn
open only to special priests
front of Shrines of Ise

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