Haiku – Cherry Blossoms Fall

Cherry-Blossom-
The challenge today is to complete a special kind of Japanese poetry called a tan renga. Poets work together completing poems of three line stanzas followed by two line stanzas. Here is the prompt haiku, the first stanza, by Shirao:

hito koishi hitoboshi koro wo sakura chiru

yearning fills my heart
when the candles are lit;
Cherry blossoms fall

And my response:

silent puddles at my feet
dreams go unfulfilled tonight

This haiku was prompted by the challenge over at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai Drop by to read some great poetry.

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Believe

g tall-forest-landscape

Dani spent two months in Sanctuary before she realized that she belonged there. She was smart enough and she made sure to work harder than everyone else so her biggest problem was just waiting.

Someday, someone was going to leave the valley and they would need a replacement. So she continued her botanical studies, taught herself to read tarot cards, and thought a lot about what it might be like to realize your destiny.

This day was warmer than usual and Dani could just imagine how Fiona would react. Her mentor was very small and thin and thus always cold. Today she would be comfortable and so perhaps, more forthcoming with her teaching. Dani had become quite fond of her in their time together. But the best thing about being in Sanctuary was the feeling of belonging somewhere. The feeling that she had finally found her way to a place where she fit in.

She noticed it right after she arrived. During the first few days, when everything from the food to the light was different, Dani realized she was actually happy. And not just happy but Happy! Despite the confusion of time and place, somehow Dani was breathing contentment.

#####

“It doesn’t matter,” Dani said “if you are really what people think you are. Because people make up their own reality based on what they believe.”

She was seated next to her tutor watching the sun set over the distant hills. Fiona smiled her wrinkled smile.

“Yes,” she said. “So true. And once you have figured that out you can change your reality.”

“Are you serious?” Dani said.

“Very serious. We are what we believe we are.”

“But what if I believe in something that is not real?” Dani asked.

“What is real?” Fiona raised an eyebrow.

“I mean, suppose I believed I could fly? I wouldn’t just suddenly be able to do it!”

“Have you tried?” Fiona asked.

“Tried to fly?”

“Tried to believe.”

#####

It was several days later when Dani found the wild endive patch. “Back home we called these dandelions,” she said to no one in particular. So it was a surprise when a whisper answered her.

“We called them lion’s teeth, goats beard…sometimes a fairy clock. But most often we just referred to them as “blessed medicine.” There was a small woman standing in the shadow of a nearby tree. Her slight figure was wrapped head to toe in a blue-grey cloak which served to make her nearly invisible standing next to the grey bark of the massive oak, covered in it’s blue shadow.

“Oh – hello! I’m Dani.”

“I know. What would you wish, Dani?” the small woman asked. “If you could wish for anything what would you wish?”

“What would I wish?” Dani thought a moment. “Well, I very much want to become a soothsayer in the valley. But I’m afraid it will be a long while before that wish comes true.”

The woman chuckled. “Perhaps not so long as you think, Dani. Pluck a flower – no, not one of the yellow ones. One that has gone white and puffy. Blow on it gently and make your wish. But Dani – be careful of what you wish for. Sometimes they DO come true.”

Dani plucked a fluffy dandelion, thought for a moment longer then blew gently against the flower-head. Immediately many tiny seed parachutes drifted away, each in it’s own direction. Dani smiled and turned to thank her mysterious friend. But the woman was gone. Only her cloak remained, crumpled on the ground.

#####

On the side of a cliff Dani stood poised on one foot, thinking of Fiona’s words. She had not tried to believe the impossible and it had begun to trouble her, this reluctance to take a leap of faith. How could she expect to become a wise woman, a healer, sage, oracle, if she could not believe in those things which she could not see? She drank the tincture which Fiona had given her and closed her eyes.

“I believe that I am here to fulfill my destiny as a soothsayer,” she said aloud. “I believe that in this world, in this way, I can fly.”

From below in the valley Fiona watched and wondered. When she saw Dani begin to levitate the soothsayer smiled. “Such a shame I will not be able to see her grow,” Fiona thought. It was the only thing she regretted.

Then she laid herself down amongst the soft grasses and prepared to die.

1:00 A.M.

wp-train-train-1523036384Lonely whistle calls
Some nights I hear the longing
No train tracks nearby

Written for the prompt at Carpe Diem Haiku Hai Visit there to learn some fascinating information about Masaoko Shiki, a young poet who gave Haiku it’s name and brought this poetry-art into the 20th century.

Passage Pieton

speakeasy Pieton

“When did you know you were lost?” he asked.

“Just before it got dark,” I said and dutifully signed my name to the little guest book.

“And that’s when your car broke down?”

“No, it was about half an hour later. After I realized that I must have taken a wrong turn somewhere and tried to backtrack. The car just sort of chugged to a stop.”

“Lucky I happened along when I did,” he smiled. “Not many people use that road this time of year – once the tourist season is over it becomes most quiet around here.”

I shuddered at the idea of being stranded alone in the dark. With no cell reception this far out in the wilderness I would not have had another choice. And then the old pickup came sputtering along the road, following it’s headlights home.

The driver was handsome and charming and despite all of the reasons why I should not, I trusted him. When he offered to drive me to a local bed and breakfast it sounded a lot better than spending the night alone in the dark in the woods. So I said yes.

The Passage Pieton Bed and Breakfast was a pretty sight, all glowing windows and gingerbread trim. Marcus, who turned out to be driver of the truck as well as owner of the bed and breakfast, offered to send up whatever food could be found still available in the kitchen. I thanked him and set off to locate my room which Marcus said was located on the back side of the Inn.

After a late supper I turned down the bed and prepared to read a little before falling asleep. When I opened my book the postcard which I had been using as a bookmark fell out.

It was a simple postcard, mailed from a beachside resort in France over a month ago. The message was written in French by my best friend, Roseanne, who had spent months teaching herself French in preparation for her dream trip of a lifetime.

She had flown to Paris and visited all the big cities before renting a car and driving to a little beachside town somewhere in the South of France. She did not name the city and said only that she was staying at a cute little place named after a goofy bird.

That postcard was the last anyone heard of Roseanne.

She disappeared without a trace and despite efforts from both French and American authorities there seemed to be no leads in the case. I was determined to conduct my own investigation – I knew her best and surely I would find something everyone else had missed. I flew to France where I rented a car and set off into the countryside just following my instinct as to what Roseanne might have done. Would she have turned towards the forest hillsides or the coastline? Coastline. Would she have taken a left here or a right hand turn? Left. Would she have stopped for gas now or gone on a bit farther? Farther.

And so I wandered on a blind pilgrimage to honor my friend. Now here I was in this little inn in the middle of a forest with no more idea what to do next than the police had. Finally I slept.

The next morning I was awakened by an odd sound. A swooshing, sucking, swooshing sound. A sound like – waves? Groggy I got up and walked to the window, expecting to see some kind of activity in the forest.

Outside my window was the ocean as far as the eye could see. And between my window and the water was….beach. Lots and lots of beach. To my right I could see a broken dock jutting out into the water and just beyond it a partially sunken boat covered in pelicans. I picked up the postcard on my bedside table and studied the picture again.

Just then the door of my room popped open and Marcus stood there with a breakfast tray.

“Do you like the view?” he grinned. “My Inn is named after it, did you know?”

“I didn’t know, my French is not very good,” I answered.

“Most of you English girls come here without a clue about our culture or language,” he said. “Would you like me to translate it for you?”

“Yes, please,” I said and hoped my voice wasn’t shaking.

“In English it is translated as the Pelican Crossing.”

I dropped the postcard and watched it flutter to the floor.