Fear of dark water

dark_water_stock_by_leandrasstock

 

GUSTS, NO. 24, Contemporary Tanka, Fall/Winter 2017 (Tanka Canada) This is the third of three tanka published in this issue of Gusts.

Note: I have added the picture of dark water here on my blog. The original tanka does not appear with the picture in Gusts. The original water picture is called, “Dark Water”and is by (c) LeandrasStock.

On Growing Older…

On my pillow haiga 2015

Questions

London sky drama

Questions

    “Where did the time go?” we asked. 

The north wind answered, “It rushed by while you were busy doing other things.” 

        “And how did we not notice it was passing?” we puzzled. 

The south wind replied, “Perhaps the sun blinded you so you could no longer see.” 

         “Did any of us notice the days grew long and the nights shorter?” we wondered. 

The east wind smirked, “You focused so much on clouds that you missed the stars.”

         “Why must it come to an end so soon?” we questioned. 

The west wind whispered, “You’ve done what you must. Now it’s time to go.”

Photograph (c) 2015 by Harald Illsinger

Photograph (c) 2015 by Harald Illsinger

With kind thanks to photographer Harald Illsinger for allowing me to use this beautiful photograph of the gull in the morning sky. The top photograph was taken by me in London, 2015.
 

Frozen Moments

Frozen Moments (c) 2015 Harald Illsinger

                                             Frozen Moments (c) 2015 Harald Illsinger

FROZEN MOMENTS

It doesn’t matter that your words were shouted
In a peal of sparking anger, anger spewed
In moon-white flames tinged with flicks—
Sapphire blue and poppy red and yellow.

Burning so hot and fast, those thoughts
Consumed themselves and all
Nearby, including what remained
Of hope
For change…
Your change,
Your transformation.

And when the fire burned down,
All that was left were the ashes of your anger.

Small chars of memories…
Frozen moments of who you were…
Once—
Long Ago.

Unable to forgive—even yourself,
You are locked in the ice of stagnation,
The ice of inner struggle.

Frozen fire—
No thaw,
No shift,
No change.
No redemption.

Frozen
Moments
Forever.

old_pocket_watch_buried_1774093

Note: Many thanks as always to Harald Illsinger for the use of his exquisite photograph, Frozen Moments (c) 2015. His work always serves as such wonderful and unexpected inspiration.

Dream Time 1

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I’m working on a series of poems based on dreams. The draft is tentatively titled, Dream Time.

For years I didn’t dream. Oh, I know I did. Science can prove we dream. I just didn’t remember them at all. When my doctor put me on a new medication, a surprising side effect was very vivid dreams. Colorful dreams, strange dreams, confusing dreams, and beautiful dreams. I loved this unexpected gift, and so I have been working on cultivating how to recall dreams. We all know that dreams are quickly lost upon awakening. If they aren’t written down or recalled consciously, they float back to where they came from.

I’d like to share one of these dream poems today. This poem is loosely based on a very strange dream I had about chasing a bus. It was very disorienting to say the least. Of course, I checked dream meanings online, and I read that to dream of missing a bus is a very common dream. It tells of someone not sure of the path in which they are headed or if they missed an opportunity by hesitating, or even perhaps that they are faltering in a relationship. But none of these fits my dream of being lost in a city I know but looking totally different. A city in which no one can tell me its name or the direction in which they are heading. Please remember the poem is not a literal retelling of the dream as a journal would do. It is a poem and thus a product of the imagination.

The Missed Bus

Dream Time 1  ~  The Missed Bus

The missed bus
pulls away
from the curb,
picking up speed
faster than I can run.

In my sleep I am able
not only to run fast
but shout loudly enough
in a stranger’s voice
that might be heard
if only the driver
would catch
a glimpse of me
in the mirror
as I chase
the departing bus
on a street
I don’t know,
in a direction
of which
I am unaware.

Running so fast,
shouting
until my voice
gravels to a rasp,
my legs and arms
feather darkly
and suddenly lift up.

I am flying
above the bus

waiting for it
to stop or even slow,

but it speeds on
its course.

Sailing down
I see it is empty,
hurtling fast
somewhere,
nowhere,
unguided, and
with lowering wings
I fly into the open
side window,

my fingers emerging
from dusky feathers

I grasp the wheel
in desperation,
my foot able
to hit the break.

The stop is sudden,
my head rolls
forward fast
into the glass.

Only silence,
and absolute
stillness
now,

the wind
speaks of
something
I can’t
quite hear.

I awake
in my bed, heart
pounding,
head throbbing,
dizzy,
relieved.

Outside,
in the tall tree
the crow
watches
from his branch.
Even he is silent
for once.

Morning starts
to erase the night,
and the mist
begins to thin
in parts.

A new day
is waiting.

 

The Crow by Oana Stoian, (c) 2010

The Crow by Oana Stoian, (c) 2010

Water Song

water_texture2379

Water Song

Water, the color of night,
so very still
not even a wave
breaks the glass surface.

Fear is sometimes
like this, submerged
so far it is hidden
from the conscious self,
safely buried
and unable to rise
to the top again.

Dark thoughts swim
against the current
of common sense, but
they meet no resistance
that far down.

The First Coyote

The First Coyote

Shadowed by trees, it was alert,
Watching those on the porch.
Tall, thin, a knife sharp gaze,
This coyote knew its way around.

The startled man cradled the cat
And called the nervous dogs back
Inside the house, far away from
This lurker in the evening woods.

Was it waiting for a squirrel or
Rabbit? You couldn’t tell this far
Away, yet clearly it was patient
And after tonight’s dinner.

How else could it survive
If not for foraging here and
There, waiting for a quick
Capture, meat for a day or two.

This was the first coyote seen
In the neighborhood, and now
I open the window late at night
To listen to it sing to the moon.