This month, for Carrot Ranch Literary Community, Colleen M. Chesebro challenges us to write a double ennead poem on a topic of our choice in 99 syllables, then reduce to a 48 syllable form, then 24 syllables and finally to a 12 syllable haiku. Here is my entry.
This was written for this week’s Tanka Tuesday challenge, hosted by Colleen M. Chesebro. This week’s theme was Disoveries, and I chose to write about food discoveries and wrote both a choka and tanka.
We have joined a CSA, and that has introduced us to some new produce that is not normally found in grocery stores — sometimes just a new variety of something familiar, like the purple bell peppers, or something somewhat familiar that I wasn’t in the habit of buying, like the bok choy. Actually, bok choy was one of the main components in the recipe, found here, that I featured in the tanka. The syllable count made it hard to include it, and I wanted to emphasize the foreign Thai flavorings. I’ve made it two or three times now, so it’s recommended.
Today, as we greet the summer, the clouds look like puffs of cotton in a field of blue. Deep pink roses bloom in the garden, and yellow coreopsis peek out from among green growth along the picket fence. As I stand on the steps, a brown blur moves in my peripheral vision, taking shelter in the shrubs. I think it is a chipmunk, but a part of me thinks my eyes deceive me.
I slowly descend the steps and spot a small bunny hopping along the neighbor’s property across the street. I stalk him in my slippers, trying not to appear stalker-ish, hoping he will submit to be the subject of my photography. I plod across the street without looking towards the creature. I have the leisure to do so as there is no traffic at the moment. My bunny is not an easy photography subject. He leaps, jaunting his hindquarters with its white tail into the air, as he moves further from me. I satisfy myself with a distant shot, a lot of zoom and a grainy photo.
little brown bunny
seeks white clover to nibble
and freedom from view
I think back to two days ago, walking Luce around the block. Lately, I spot deer almost every time I walk in our suburban neighborhood.
I spotted a deer grazing in a neighbor’s yard. He and I make eye contact, while Luce concerns himself with sniffing things close to the ground. The deer is a youth perhaps, lacking both the spots of a fawn and the antlers of a buck. We stand a few feet apart, and he does not move away from me. I speak to him very soothingly as we look at one another, “Hello honey. You are very nice. Don’t worry about Luce. I don’t think he’ll even bark.” I was wrong. Luce turns his head towards the deer, and he does bark. I step over the curb into the street with Luce to keep the peace between us.
A little ways down the street, Luce and I return to the path and continue our way down the hill. I make small talk with a couple across the street, also walking a small dog. I mention the deer, unconscious of what is happening behind me. “It follows you,” the wife said. The deer had been following in my footsteps, taking the path behind me. I made a friend, it seems. Perhaps, if I had been dog-less, it would eat from my hand?
This was written for dVerse’s Monday haibun challenge, with the requirement to make some mention of or reference to the summer solstice. I really enjoy the haibun form. This is the longest one I’ve written so far, and the first time to include more than one haiku.
The bird in the photo is the American Goldfinch, which is, by the way, the state bird in New Jersey where I live. I remember learning that fact in grade school. Years later, I saw a lot of these colorful birds at my dad’s bird feeders which he filled with nigel seed, a favorite with finches. Dad no longer keeps up with the bird feeding, but I still spotted a goldfinch this season in the shrubbery.
Just for fun, here is the soundtrack of a goldfinch’s song.
A trickling waterfall creates a soothing soundtrack as I walk along the edge of the koi pond. The pale koi and deep bronzed goldfish weave in and out of one another’s paths, darting undercover of the lily pads and then emerging again into the center where I can observe them. They are graceful, arcing and twisting their lithe bodies, like water ballerinas … synchronized swimmers. And once in a while, in the midst of their performance, they seem to be arranged in perfect symmetry.