Raging Water

The ephemeral beauty of both youth and cherry blossoms. This young woman wears a kimono with a pattern of raging waves. Fragile cherry blossoms and raging water patterns are a traditionally pairing. The combination expresses the Japanese perception of nature and enhances one’s enjoyment of the season.

North cherry blossom
blooms soft.
Here chill mist begins bone cold.

Northern hemisphere hearts welcome the unfurling cherry blossoms. Pretty fleeting beauty gladdens souls tired of grim winter. My cherries glow autumn bronze, golden through misty rain. Another flood on the way. Nearby, Emergency Service volunteer’s wives pack sandwiches. Calls for help will take the men away soon.

Frank at dVerse https://dversepoets.com/ requests a haibun.

He describes haibun: ‘The form consists of one to a few paragraphs of prose—usually written in the present tense—that evoke an experience and are often non-fictional/autobiographical. They may be preceded or followed by one or more haiku—nature-based, using a seasonal image—that complement without directly repeating what the prose stated.’

I particularly like the haibun form. You can read some admirable examples by dVersers here: https://www.blenza.com/linkies/links.php?owner=dversepoets&postid=27Mar2022&meme=12489

Twas Scringey in the Reejin Kroost

Robbled grobs take scruze,
Pluck freagletoms from spingoes.

Utagawa: Actor Iwai Hanshirô V as the Spirit of a Chicken

With apoloamolies to Lewis Carroll whom I have beforinger adorealimized. https://maxjoyart.wordpress.com/2020/08/10/a-caterpillar-asks-a-big-question/
Il Marveloso Brudberg at dVerse wants nonsense. So gabilbom gettling troiks it is.
He makes much more snesbits here. https://dversepoets.com/2022/01/13/meet-the-bar-with-narrative-nonsense/
The magnillience dVerse sqadjilings make squilliances too. Rodje them here: https://www.blenza.com/linkies/links.php?owner=dversepoets&postid=12Jan2022&meme=12493

dVerse Colour Challenge

Recently Mish at dVerse set a colourful challenge https://dversepoets.com/2021/02/16/poetics-true-colours/. She asked us to see the world through colour. I made one rather dark offering https://maxjoyart.wordpress.com/2021/02/19/black/. The challenged has closed, with a kalescope of response. As always I am in awe of the creative diversity https://www.blenza.com/linkies/links.php?owner=dversepoets&postid=15Feb2021&meme=12476.

When I remembered seeing a pretty, colourful vintage French paintbox this collage and haiku sprang almost fully formed. Despite having promised not to waste time with words and pictures I once again have stolen time to share this with you.

So many of you on wordpress are inspirational. The French paintbox in the picture belongs to Miss Mustard Seed, Marion Parsons. Her charming blog is one that gives me courage to continue. https://missmustardseed.com/about/. It is so soothing to see a life being lived with such grace.

‘I, Miss Mustard Seed, write this blog so that those who read it will feel braver and more inspired when they finish a post and close the browser.’


I have decided not to continue posting words and pictures.

My thanks to all who visited my site during these five months. I am particularly grateful to those of you who left ‘likes’. I especially appreciate the many kind comments.

The real worlds beckons, and so I must leave.

Thank you and goodbye.


An Antarctic Odyssey

Frank at Dverse https://dversepoets.com is hosting a Jisei (Japanese death poem) challenge. He asks us to ‘Write a haikai (haiku, senryu, tanka, kyoka, Gogyohka) or haikai-esque poem that reflects on imminent death—and the significance of life in light of it. If you are going for the haikai-esque, keep the lines brief (no more than 10) and use the aesthetics of haikai (simplicity, heartfulness, and pathos)

There are some very thought provoking responses to Frank’s challenge. You can read them here: https://www.blenza.com/linkies/links.php?owner=dversepoets&postid=17Nov2020&meme=12493

Giff challenge: Bored on a Blue Day

Bored on a blue day
tail flicker
that fly won’t live much longer.

This week I am still learning how to make giffs. My challenge is to:
* make each giff an integral part of a very short story.
* each story has a one hour time limit for both picture and words
* create a different feel for each story.
* keep them to twenty frames or less.

Watch for the blink! I think it’s my favourite bit of this giff. Maybe double the number of frames would give the fly a more natural movement. I may try a series of more completed giffs in the future.

Let me know what you think.

Seven Day Challenge 7: Winter wind

Well, I’m proud of myself. I have actually completed a task. I’ve illustrated seven haiku in seven days, finishing with my hero Basho. We were hoping for snow today but it’s just raining. That’s very welcome here.
This work is the exact size of my computer wallpaper. If you’d like to enjoy it on your screen feel free. I like to change my wallpapers often. So next week I set myself the task of a wallpaper collage everyday.
Can I manage to complete another weeks worth of task or will I falter? We’ll know in a weeks time.

Winter solitude
in a world of one colour
the sound of the wind

Matsuo Basho

Seven Day Challenge 6: Haibun, Meroogal, Mr Garling and Tottie

Kennina Fanny McKenzie Thorburn , to give Tottie her full name, was one of the generations of women who lived at Meroogal.  She, her nieces and all but one of her sisters, who died in childbirth, never married. Spinsters all. A nasty, spiky word to bandy about unmarried woman. One can hear the neighbours sniff. Lots of men friends. Always driving out. Can’t keep a man.

The curators of Meroogal are modern people with generous modern sentiments. They put a positive spin on the girls’ unfortunate circumstance: ‘A young woman of the Victorian era, Tot Thorburn had suitors and male friends but chose not to marry. She enjoyed a long and happy life with her sisters at Meroogal.’

Tottie, not being a modern person, may have thought otherwise. ‘1896, January Tuesday 14. Mr Garling came up & took Netta & I out to give us a lesson how to play Golf.  I got quite interested & got on very well. Mr G. stayed to tea. Wednesday 15. Mr Garling came we drove him home. Saturday 18. Mr Garling came out with us for a drive. Sunday 19. Went to church in the morning. Mr Garling was there came up in the afternoon he stayed to tea. Monday 20. Nice day. Mr Garling came up & gave Netta & I another lesson in golf says I get on well. I like the game. Tuesday 21. Mr Garling came to dinner. After afternoon tea I sang for Mr G & Netta. Mrs. Matthews Will & I drove Mr Garling to the train & saw him off to Mittagong quite sorry to see him go. Came home, feeling glad there were no visitors.’

He taught Tottie golf
pretty glow
yet Mr Garling leaves on the train

For day six of my personal challenge to illustrate one haiku a day for a week I have written a haibun. Haibun includes haiku and prose. I’ve just this week discovered this form. I really enjoy the story telling potential in combining three concise prose paragraphs with a haiku.

Do take a look at some of the links to Meroogal. A fascinating place with such richly diverse stories. From home and back it’s less than a day. When the jacarandas flower I’ll go there. Things should be better by then. In this covid era haven’t we all learnt to plan simple, to cherish small dreams?

Golfing Tottie Sources
The Caroline Simpson Library and Research collection is the source for the lovely picture of Tottie[i] relaxing in the garden.[ii]
The iron rose is from the Rijksmuseum.[iii] You must be a subscriber to the Rijsstudio for full access to their images but it is so worthwhile.
When travel is again possible Meroogal is a must visit.[iv]
Find out more about ‘The Women of Meroogal’[v]
Meroogal’s curators tell a story about life at Meroogal, Tottie and Victorian mores.[vi]
The image of Tottie’s golf clubs comes from this engaging story about golf.[vii]
You can read some of Tottie’s diaries online.[viii]

[i] http://collection.hht.net.au/firsthht/fullRecordPicture.jsp?recnoListAttr=recnoListRI&recno=44948

[ii] https://sydneylivingmuseums.com.au/research-collections/library

[iii] https://www.rijksmuseum.nl/nl/collectie/NG-NM-1089-A

[iv] https://sydneylivingmuseums.com.au/meroogal

[v] http://collection.hht.net.au/firsthht/fullRecord.jsp?recnoListAttr=recnoList&recno=347

[vi] https://sydneylivingmuseums.com.au/stories/home-their-own

[vii] https://sydneylivingmuseums.com.au/stories/cupboard-under-stairs-meroogal-and-golf

[viii] https://sydneylivingmuseums.com.au/stories/tottie-thorburns-diary

Seven Day Challenge 5: Monks and Violets again.

On my second ever post I made a little flip book. I have had to remove the link due to lack of space. As only a couple of people have looked at that post – thank you for your likes – and that this blog exists to teach me things and that I have spent the day battling with technology to create this page I feel OK about re-posting the images as today’s challenge.

So here are my collages about Monks and Violets.

A Japanese Haiku is a very short story. A small jewel of an isolated thought bubble.

The poets Basho and Ryokan had some stories to tell about violets, too. The itinerant monks who populate these stories were loners. They sought the Divine through isolation.

Seven Day Challenge 4: Window on the Soul

She has Fallen a Long Way

Oh do be quiet
no-one is
interested in what you will say

What are you doing
haiku blog
end of the conversation for now

The window’s broad view
gaze pen poised
happy in the house love built for me

No Ted to husband
my thoughts here
yet she died pining in his shadow

This week I have set my self a challenge to visually interpret one Haiku each day. I’m told that setting an achievable goal is a good thing.

Day four of my personal hiaku words and picture challenge is again inspired by dVerse. https://dversepoets.com/2020/08/04/poetics-looking-out-the-window/
This time the words and picture are all mine A few blogs back there was talk about haiku used in sequence to tell a story. So that’s what I’ve done. My title is a quote from Sylvia Plath’s The Moon and the Yew Tree.
My broad window view is on the edge of an Australian mountain plateau. No spring here yet. We are hoping for snow in a few days time. I am happy and snug in the home my partner and I built together.
To quote today’s host fellow Australian Peter:
Poets have been using windows as inspiration for ages (a Google search gives over 67 million matches to the words ‘poem’ ‘window’). Supposedly, during the winter of 1960, when poet Sylvia Plath was stuck with writer’s block, her then husband Ted Hughes suggested she write about the view out her window. The masterpiece The Moon and the Yew Tree is the result.
Peter instructions for today:
· Take a photo of the view out your window
· Write a poem about it – what do you see, what’s missing, what don’t you see when you look out the window?  what’s changed since this time last year?
· Include a link back to dVerse in your post.
· Post your poem along with the photo on your blog.

Have a read of the other interesting responses here: https://www.blenza.com/linkies/links.php?owner=dversepoets&postid=31Jul2020&meme=12476

Seven Day Challenge 3: dVersity Haibun

Tourists in shiny puffy coats, seeking famous Saihō-ji’s Koke-dera green mosses, rush by the little bamboo ticket office. ‘Koke-dera?’ on the move shouted at the Ticket Ladies. The Ladies give back narrow eyes, gently straighten pink kimono. No bow, no eye contact, delicate fingers gesture up the steep hill. Thirty dollars entry it must be worth the walk. I’m the only one off the train who stops at this emerald gem. Tiny, exquisite Gio-ji. Eight hundred years of moss, bamboo and maples growing quietly, relentlessly. Model for my own modest garden eight thousand kilometres south. Flaming fallen maple leaves scarlet against my own green moss has been my birthday marker for fourty years. Here on this significant decade birthday pink ume snow, cherry buds and bright winter green are my compensation. Years of dreaming and saving to be here, now. Only three dollars entrance.
The Ladies keep a close eye on the white paper umbrella just inside the gate. Beneath gaudy pink struts the very first of the early spring peonies sit breathtaking in the moss. White paper, Schiaparelli pink, moss green. I stop breathing for a moment. Bashō may have stood here under my very footfalls reflecting on a broken-hearted beauty retiring from her lover’s rejection.
How reluctantly
the bee emerges from the deep
within the peony
The temple fundraising committee anticipate that such astonishing beauty laid naked must surely entice the paying customers. All winter the ladies anticipate that strident pink. Stopped at the bamboo gate, I am the bee. Camera in hand, I gaze a little too long. Stern fingers tap the price placard. Entrance price barked in a rough tone. Startled, ‘Yes’ I bark back in the same tone. I hand over the correct coins, beaming the joy of pink and green from my green occidental eyes into their dark oriental ones. Raucous laughter, teeth showing, loud, surprised into unlady-like mirth. ‘Hai’ – yes – bark back all the Ladies grinning. The emphatic, strident Japanese tone that says ‘You see the world my way.’
‘What’s this?’ laughed Father
‘Digging to China.’ Small hand waves fan.

This week I have set my self a challenge to visually interpret one Haiku each day. I’m told that setting an achievable goal is a good thing.

Today I am combining my seven day goal with a dVerse challenge. Kim’s challenge is a birthday haibun. https://dversepoets.com/2020/08/03/haibun-monday-birthday/ This is my first haibun. I had to look up what it was.
The diversity of the creative responses to a single prompt always amazes me. As does the speed at which that others can create. Have a read here: https://www.blenza.com/linkies/links.php?owner=dversepoets&postid=28Jul2020&meme=12489