The heart of a tree suffers

The heart of a tree suffers

Whether it is a near-to-heart friend
or far-distant relative,
the heart of a tree suffers with
the death of a single branch.
When it is at the very heart,
all who know feel the loss.

This poem is in memory of Ken Thayer, a cousin who lost his battle with cancer, this past week.
This my first attempt at Sijo, in response to Carpe Diem Universal Jane #13 Sijo the Korean poem.

Sijo (a Korean verse form related to haiku and tanka)
~ three lines of 14-16 syllables each
~ a total of 44-46 syllables
~ a pause near the middle of each line
     ~ first half of the line contains six to nine syllables
     ~ the second half should contain no fewer than five
Originally intended as songs, sijo can treat romantic, metaphysical, or spiritual themes. Whatever the subject, the first line introduces an idea or story, the second supplies a “turn,” and the third provides closure.
Modern Sijo are sometimes printed in six lines.

Sketch artist: Natalie Bucki

River to the Stars: #Haibun

In her dreams, she paddles to the stars.

Yesterday and today: Merril's historical musings

I paddle slowly. The river wanders like my thoughts, meandering, unhurried. The water forms patterns, sparkling ribbons that dance with the breeze’s soft kiss. The breeze smells of earth, water, and of greenery sprouting and blooming, the scent of life and promise. I watch a great egret perform a sun salutation. A turtle on a moving branch floats by, a surfer hanging ten. I see fish swimming just beneath the glimmering surface of the water. Their silver scales catch the light, as they twirl in an aquatic ballet. This river has been my place of dreams, my place for dreaming. I say goodbye.

The blue planet fades

soon only a memory

carried in my heart

adrift, sailing through star seas

scarcely feeling the shockwaves

I am in a tiny vessel hurtling through the vast universe. I am sad and scared–but filled with wonder. Though I think of Earth, remember the…

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Negotiating Caverns

This morning, I replied to Sue Vincent’s latest photo prompt with the first thing that came to mind, Out of the Shadows. After posting, I thought about conversations I’ve had with one of my favorite poets here, Robert Okaji, who has given me valuable advice on writing poetry. I admire his ability to illustrate, while still maintaining an economy in his words. I’ve tried to accomplish that here. I’m sure I’ll be returning to this, but, so far, I think this poem can stand on its own. Just in case, here is the photo from Sue’s prompt.

Out of the Shadows

Negotiating Caverns

We cling to
what we know,
seeing, yet wondering at
what could be.

Bathed in light for
seconds of an eon-life,
stalactites reach to connect.