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Tonight is a full moon, as I realized as it rose up into view in the east window of my office. I don't know what it is about full moons that drive me to poetry, but there you have it.

Full moon, draw his eyes--
That we might be together
In spite of the miles

I write in haiku because I have a terrible sense of meter. Also they are short, which is a mercy for anyone else who happens to read them.
daidoji_gisei: blooming tree branches against blue sky (Color of Sky)
I am visiting friends right now, and this afternoon while they were at work I took a walk around the area to enjoy the view. As they live in a new subdivision in rural Maryland next to a state park there was a lot to look at! There are trees everywhere and they are starting to color up.

In the evening they took me with them to their landscaping class. It was interesting to listen to the other students talk about their houses and what they wanted to accomplish landscaping-wise, but at times my attention faltered and when it did I started working on some poems.

I am not a poet. I do not claim even to myself that my poems have any value as poems. When I write them I do so with the idea of sharpening my handling of images. This is one of the reasons I write almost exclusively in haiku.

I managed to compose two poems relating to things I saw on today's walk. I almost think the first one should be pulled apart and made into two independent poems, but I don't know if I will ever really get this done.


Here at the bottom
of autumn's thin blue heaven
hawks regard me coldly


Looking down on
forest trees turning color:
Brocade thrown over hills
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
I jotted this down on my Facebook page a week or so ago and decided that I liked it enough to keep it around. So I am archiving it here:

Why do I keep looking for the moon?--
Its face looks on yours
as mine cannot

I have never figured out where my obsession with the moon and stars came from, but it is a very old one.

My laptop is currently refusing to boot up. Someone who is actually trained in Apple stuff has diagnosed it as a kernel panic, so tonight I am going to go through the steps outlined on the support page. I am hoping that my auxillery keyboard is not affected by the panic, or things could get ugly. (I shouldn't keep worrying about this, because evidently most cases are cured by simply booting up in safe mode and that only takes the shift key, but I always worry. It's an unpleasant part of who I am.)

On the Monday after Gencon I was going through security at the Indy airport and was just starting to put my shoes on when the woman behind me (who looked my age) pointed at my bag of liquids and said, "Excuse me, but are those miniature paints?"

"No, those are temporary tattoo paints," I said, "but from your question I know you were here for Gencon." She laughed and confirmed it. We chatted as we put ourselves back together. It was her first Gencon, she had been urged to go in the past by her friends, and now she couldn't understand why it took her so long to come. She had been playing games for some time, and now was getting interested in miniatures. "So you will be back next year," I said. "I intend to," she said, and then we were heading off to our respective gates. I will probably never see her again, but it made me happy to know that next year there was going to be one more middle-aged woman guiding the destiny of armies in Indy.
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I am a huge fan of Dante's Inferno, which I first read in high school because of an Uncanny X-man summer special. (Let it never be said that comic books are not educational.) Since I started writing I've been reading and rereading it, trying to tease out lessons from the Master's style. (In much the same way, I guess, that Dante studied Virgil. I'm fairly certain that of the tow of us, Dante is the better student.)

Tonight I felt moved to share one of my favorite passages. It's the section where Virgil is explaining who Dame Fortune is to Dante, and I've included one of Virgil's bit of smack:
Cut for length, but you really should go and read it )
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
Piled on gray concrete
drifts of creamy-colored snow:
catalpas after rain


Jul. 27th, 2008 11:17 pm
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
It's way after my bedtime and I'm frustratingly not sleepy. I'm blaming the weather--according to the National Weather Service it's 85 here, with a heat index of 94 (that's 29 and 34 for you metric folks)--this is Not Good Sleeping Weather. I can deal with heat during the day, but at night I need it to cool down.

While I am here--last week while searching my desk for something I found a poem that I must have written a few years back. I record it here, so that I can find it again, should I ever have the need for it. I can't presently imagine such a need, but there's always the unexpected.

First view of the sea
by a mid-continent girl--
Oh! It's flat like home

daidoji_gisei: (Default)
I awoke this morning to find the world misty and dark: Lincoln was swathed in fog. As the sun rose behind the clouds I saw that the fog had layered the trees with frost, edging the dark bark with white. I spent the walk to the bus stop admiring the effect, and the bus ride trying to compose a haiku about it.

winter morning fog
in a world made soft and gray
black twigs fleshed in frost

I've never figured out why haiku is the only kind of poetry I write. My best guess is it is an intensely structured form, and I like that.

daidoji_gisei: (Default)
This morning I had a dental appointment (regular teeth cleaning, nothing exciting) and so ended going in to work in the middle of the day. It was a hazy sky, the sun burning behind a veil of clouds with snow flurries.

White motes dance earthward
swirl, dip, silver sifting down
Sun shines through snow

I've been sort of grouchy this past week, mostly I think because of the approach of Valentines Day. Nothing good can be said about a holiday that combines ever-present reminders that I am a romantic non-entity with the opportunity to eat suicidal amounts of chocolate. On the other hand, I've felt pretty good today--probably due to my recovery of my earring collection.

Earrings have always been my favorite kind of jewelry (unlike rings and bracelets they don't interfere with your hands, and unlike necklaces you don't need to worry about your shirt collar matching) and through high school and college I amassed quite a collection. Then my ears started reacting to the metal and I'd wear a pair for about 2 hours before my ears itched so bad I had to take them out. No more earrings.

Until recent months when a jewelery-making friend suggested that I try sterling silver or 14 ct gold plate--and they worked. Oh, rapture! Last weekend one of the local craft stores ran a sale on their silver and gold jewelry findings and I bought a package of earring wires in each metal. Last night I sat down and converted almost all of my remaining earrings over to the new wires. Today I had the bliss of having to make a decision about what pair to wear. Oh, such bliss!

On the way to work I stopped by and bought several packages more wires. I only have a few more pairs to convert, but now I'll be able to make earrings for myself as well. I don't see myself getting as deeply into jewelry-making as I am crocheting, but I would like to be able to put together the occasional earring.
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
I stayed home from work today because I woke up with a head full of goo and a bad cough. When I called in to report I learned that my baking assistant for that day also called in sick, so tomorrow (assuming I get to work tomorrow, which looks likely) the bakery will be in a horrible state. Oh, rapture.

Late in the afternoon I pulled myself together enough to put some clothes on and do some laundry. As I was carrying out my clothes baskets to the car I noticed that there was a huge commotion of birds going on in the backyard tree. Looking up I saw that they were all perching in the tree and eating up its berries, chattering all the while. I would have liked to have stayed and admired the sight longer, but laundry called. Still....

Tall yellow tree
more full of birds
than hackberries

...it made the day better just from existing at all. Peterson's Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants of Eastern/Central North America says the berries are both edible and tasty, but I'm not sure if I really want to compete with the birds on this one.
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
We are now deep into autumn here, and I'm loathing it. Normally I like fall (actually, I like all the seasons which is why I plan never to move to Hawaii) but we have had drab/overcast/rainy days for what feels like weeks and I'm starting to erode under the constant blahness of it all. (Which is why I plan never to move to Seattle. I don't think it was a coincidence that grunge music started there.) Autumn should be about the yellowing of the maples, the slow bronzing of the oaks, the late defiant blaze of chrysanthemums--not this brown-and-gray muck I'm currently trapped in. It's the time of year that I normally dream of jetting up to Sioux Falls for an L5R tourney as an excuse to admire the roadside weeds, but now just want to burrow more deeply into my blankets and sulk.

But when reality fails me there's always art. Women Poets of Japan by Kenneth Rexroth and Ikuko Atsumi has a beautiful poem by Princess Nukada (who lived sometime in the 7th century) which compares spring and autumn. No poem survives its own translation, we are told, but this ghost is not without power to move me:

When spring escapes
freed from being huddled in winter's sleep,
the birds that had been stilled
burst into song.
The buds that had been hidden
burst into flower.
The mountains are so thickly forested
that we cannot reach the flowers
and the flowers are so tangled with vines
that we cannot pick them.
When the maple leaves turn scarlet on the autumn hills,
it is easy to gather them
and enjoy them.
We sigh over the green leaves
but leave them as they are.
That is my only regret--
So I prefer the autumn hills.
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
Yesterday [livejournal.com profile] helen_keeble sent me a poem she saw somewhere; it's by a medieval Japanese woman named Lady Ki No Washika. I'm putting it here so I don't lose it.


It's not because I'm now too old,
More wizened than you guess.

If I say no, it's only
Because I fear that yes
Would bring me nothing, in the end,
But a fiercer loneliness.

I have a book on Japanese woman poets that I was given as a gift. It contains poetry from the Heian era up to modern times, and I was interested to note that I am as unmoved by the poems of modern Japanese women as I am of modern American men. I love the older stuff, though, and even found a way to write a story (Benten's Blessing) around one of the poems. I mean to do more of that.

Two Haiku

May. 30th, 2006 11:47 pm
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
The last scout meeting of the year was tonight. I may have more thoughts on this later, but for now here are two haiku I left scrawled on the sidewalk of the church we met at.

Peonies in bloom
in early summer heat
nod heavy pink heads

Catalpa rising
into heaven fears no lightening
only time

I think the first one is more successful overall, but I like the idea of the second one better. Maybe I'll try to work on it more? I'm really a lousy poet, but I like the compactness and stringent design of haiku.

After the meeting Linda, Linda's daughter and one of the other girls and I were leaving the building together. The others stopped to read what I and others had written on the sidewalks. "What's that?" the other girl said. "Haiku" I told her. "You're weird," she said firmly.


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