Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Haibun - "Blossom(ing)"

"When cherry blossoms
scatter -
no regrets"  
(Haiku by Issa)

A hush often surrounds true beauty, almost as if proclaiming perfection, it might elude the admirer.  The wise do not snip budding branches, place them in a vase, but patiently welcome morning's fragrant breeze to lift one's hair. This Easter morn, I see God in the humble tumble of blushing florets pirouetting gracefully to garden's sweet-scented ground.   Imagine these petals my sins, forgiven;  my shame, my indifference no longer a stumbling block.  My potential no longer contained; I feel as if to burst, but quietly walk away, filled with grace.

Beneath grace I blossom(ing)
florets humbly fall. 

by Margaret Bednar, March 29, 2016

This is for "dVerse Haibun Monday - #10 Hanami"

and "The Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - The Tuesday Platform"

Contemplating sin this Easter. (and of course, the forgiveness of)  As a Catholic we believe in mortal and venial sin.  Venial sin is "everyday" sin that we might allow to "pile up" - put off asking forgiveness.  But when we do this - we also become indifferent, lukewarm - so to speak - and we don't live up to our potential.   This is where my thoughts were when pondering this poem...   I wanted to through the word "patience" in as well as I believe this is one of the most important virtues - a waiting upon the Lord.  It's a humbling.  

Wednesday, March 23, 2016



Protected by sand dunes and salt marsh 
does seem a fragile thing
and with gulf stream's warming breath 
not yet delivering this early morn
I should be leary; but I don't mind 
as I wrap fuzzy shawl of silk and wool 
about my shoulders.

My son's braver; hoodie and shoes scatter 
where he flings them
in his usual zig-zag, helter-skelter fashion. 

Seems I've traded salt and snow 
for finely blowing crystals,
almost imperceptible 
until lying upon cool, moist sand
I marvel at their quiet journey 
of slowly shifting this barrier island 
of little to no bedrock.

I call my son to share, 
but my voice is swallowed by wind and surf.  
He's scampered far ahead, 
poking at shell deposits, driftwood, 
forcing gulls to abandon lucrative breakfast sites 
and ride shifting winds further down-shore. 

I abandon myself to absorbing, watching, imagining 
rangy ponies that freely roamed this coastline; 
pirates that rested (and liquored) post-pillage,
shipwrecks - of lives lost, others saved;  
heroics retold for generations.   
Ponder last night's ghost-walk 
and for once, believe every word.

My son is back, cheeks flushed, hair damp.  Shivering.  
Surrender my wrap as he leans against me, 
shows me half a sand dollar.
Come noon we'll have pail and shovel in hand; 
for now we have in mind 
Flying Melon's smoked salmon and shrimp scramble.

By Margaret Bednar, March 23, 2016

This is linked with "Poets United Midweek Motif - Climate"  

The winter beach is officially over and spring pricing is well under way.  I love the discounted rates and truly love the solitude and beauty of what the ocean has to offer during it's "off season", winter.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

"A Healing"

A Healing

Whimsy, flushed pink,
extends her gentle hand
invites me to slide, spiral, spin
into a world of purity.

A realm,
fragile as raindrops,
luscious with imagination,
with indulgence,

embraces me as I walk garden's path
begin to fantasize
as I step closer,
admire Calla Lilly's grace.

by Margaret Bednar,  March 22 (updated from June 2013)

I wrote the original poem (linked above) a few years ago and I feel this one is much improved.  Still am in love with this image I captured with my handy dandy iPhone!

Often purity is not associated with indulgence - but I think there are times when it can apply.

Linked with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Tuesday Platform".

Monday, March 21, 2016

"Curtain Call"

Curtain Call

I can't decide upon goldenrod,
dandelion, or just plain old yellow,
but tonight's buttery light
melts into mother earth
as periwinkle sky winks, blinks
and yawns her way toward midnight.

So much I love silhouettes itself
against evening's curtain call
as twilight's music begins.

by Margaret Bednar, March 21, 2016

This is linked with "dVerse "Quadrille #5 - melt" - a poem in 44 words, no more, no less, and this week's word we must use is "melt".  

Sunday, March 20, 2016

"Seasonal Blackbirds"

Watercolor by Karen Gustafson of ManicDDaily

Seasonal Blackbirds


Mid-heat of day, seven, and barefoot
I fly down gravel drive,
unfazed by sharp stones.  Collect the mail,
scatter blackbirds skyward.


Grieve not alone as songbirds fly south,
hawk circles above pony and me,
chorus of crows less forceful
as chicks have long since left the nest.


Cherished carved pumpkins
succumb to December's bitter bite,
and trees, black-leaved, caw a warning
as I add to mother's compost pile.


Etched against my retinas
reside ghostly images, wings outstretched.
Lesson learned; crack open piggybank 
purchase first pair of sunglasses - raven black.

by Margaret Bednar, March 20, 2016

Video: documentary - Secret Life of Crows - http://youtu.be/89C5gsdaSXg

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Central Park in March

Central Park in March

A Magnolia Warbler prefers spruce and pine
but the idea of this delightful fellow 
gracing my favorite tree makes me happy,
so I paint it perched beside a flowering Saucer bud
gracing us with song this mid-March day. 

Gapstaw Bridge gracefully bends 
above hopes and dreams reflected in The Pond, 
frames the hum of people upon quilts and grass 
as I sketch a scene hinting of childish laughter
and the fluttering of hardier birds that winter here: 
Tufted titmouse, House Finch, and a personal favorite, 
the Carolina Wren. 

The essence of sanctuary must be realized in snapshots, 
in moments, as it is impossible to snare it whole:  

I’ve walked a blustery trail along Tupelo and Sheep Meadows,
hunkered beneath my oversized umbrella trying to capture 
raindrops upon Wagner Cove, sweated beneath March's sun 
capturing silhouettes within arches of cool fieldstone, sandstone, brick
and granite.  Learned to “shoot from the hip” with my lens, 
capturing lovers and quarrelers, doting mothers, harried executives, 
joy, loneliness.

Life in this rectangle where winged predators and prey 
adapt with civilization (or perhaps for a few hours
it’s the other way around), come spring is celebrated, 
reminds us of our roots if we listen.

by Margaret Bednar, March 15, 2016

This is linked with "Imaginary Garden of Real Toads - Tuesday Platform"

Monday, March 14, 2016

Haibun - "Scavanged"

It's just about daybreak.  A silvery haze shrouds this weathered boardwalk's path toward Pamlico Sound, cedar waxwings and yellow-rumped warblers swoop sandhill's shallow peaks and valleys, while piping plovers and killdeer warily distance themselves along tide's edge.  No offense taken as we descend sand-swept steps, become easy targets for ocean's bully and bluster.  My son's not a pirate, nor interested in gold, but he seeks treasure non-the-less: whelk, cigar and slipper shells ker-plunk into his bright red pail and he's blimey well surprised when he scavenges an orange-tipped Blue Crab claw; informs me it's a female's as the "nails are polished".  I scan the sand for a Scotch Bonnet, the state shell, ironically a rare find; settle for a battered olive shell fragment and the swirly tip of a moon snail.  Glance ahead, my son challenges ocean's waves to catch his fleeting figure as he scatters a group of Royal Terns skyward. 

Hazy sun, swooping Cedar Waxwings, Blue Crab claws scavenged
Gems & shiny baubles blimey well forgotten.

by Margaret Bednar, March 14, 2016

You're invited to Listen:  https://soundcloud.com/margaretbednar/haibun-scavenged

I'm trying to understand haiku - I don't like the "American 5-7-5" so I'm trying to lean towards traditional Japanese haiku - yet obviously putting a personal twist on it with a nod toward a "one sentence" poem with a word that "transitions" it at the end of the first...   My seasonal reference is the "Cedar Waxwings" as they are birds that appear on Ocracoke only during the winter months.  Blackbeard the pirate was also killed off the coast of Ocracoke so I hinted at this with conjuring up treasure and using a pirate term "blimey" 

p.s. Female Blue Crab claws are "painted" orange at the tips - that's one way to identify the gender.


the Japanese poem is typically written in a single line, not three...

Add to this the fact that the Japanese haiku is not merely a syllabic form, but is a nature poem-- in fact, not merely a nature poem, but explicitly a seasonal poem.  Traditionally, a haiku is "in the moment"-- present tense-- without metaphor, but simply observation; and also by tradition is not an imagined scene, but a direct experience by the poet.

Haiku also have that "kireji" that I mentioned, a "cutting word" that cuts a haiku into two parts of five and twelve syllables (on). English doesn't have explicit "cutting words," but a traditional haiku in English will have a distinct pause, often made explicit with punctuation (e.g., a dash or a colon) at the end of either the first line (assuming it's written in three lines), or the second, thus cutting it into two pieces of either five and twelve, or twelve and five, syllables.

The Haiku Society of America now defines a haiku simply as "a short poem that uses imagistic language to convey the essence of an experience of nature or the season intuitively linked to the human condition" -- note the fact that they have given up on the 5-7-5 form, and don't even keep the tradition of writing in three lines (nor, for that matter, the requirement for a seasonal reference.).

Even in Japan, modern haiku poets often have given up the explicit seasonal reference-- and don't always write in the seventeen on, either. But, to be fair, they have a few centuries head start on us, and must be getting pretty tired of what can said in seventeen on using the list of allowed kigo and kireji words.

Linked with "dVerse - Haibun Monday #9"

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

The Fly-Away Horse, by Eugene Field

"Invisible Wings" by Margaret Bednar
I am taking a short blogging break - enjoy this sweet poem ... 

The Fly-Away Horse 
by Eugene Field

Oh, a wonderful horse is the Fly-Away Horse -
Perhaps you have seen him before;
Perhaps, while you slept, his shadow has swept

Through the moonlight that floats on the floor.
For it's only at night, when the stars twinkle bright,
That the Fly-Away Horse, with a neigh
And a pull at his rein and a toss of his mane,
Is up on his heels and away!
The Moon in the sky,
As he gallopeth by,
Cries: "Oh! what a marvelous sight!"
And the Stars in dismay
Hide their faces away
In the lap of old Grandmother Night.

It is yonder, out yonder, the Fly-Away Horse
Speedeth ever and ever away -
Over meadows and lanes, over mountains and plains,
Over streamlets that sing at their play;
And over the sea like a ghost sweepeth he,
While the ships they go sailing below,
And he speedeth so fast that the men at the mast
Adjudge him some portent of woe.
"What ho there!" they cry,
As he flourishes by
With a whisk of his beautiful tail;
And the fish in the sea
Are as scared as can be,
From the nautilus up to the whale!

And the Fly-Away Horse seeks those faraway lands
You little folk dream of at night -
Where candy-trees grow, and honey-brooks flow,
And corn-fields with popcorn are white;
And the beasts in the wood are ever so good
To children who visit them there -
What glory astride of a lion to ride,
Or to wrestle around with a bear!
The monkeys, they say:
"Come on, let us play,"
And they frisk in the cocoanut-trees:
While the parrots, that cling
To the peanut-vines, sing
Or converse with comparative ease!

Off! scamper to bed - you shall ride him tonight!
For, as soon as you've fallen asleep,
With a jubilant neigh he shall bear you away
Over forest and hillside and deep!
But tell us, my dear, all you see and you hear
In those beautiful lands over there,
Where the Fly-Away Horse wings his faraway course
With the wee one consigned to his care.
Then grandma will cry
In amazement: "Oh, my!"
And she'll think it could never be so;
And only we two
Shall know it is true -
You and I, little precious! shall know!

Saturday, March 5, 2016

"Cherry Esplanade"

Cherry Blossoms - Brooklyn, NYC Botanical Garden
Cherry Esplanade

Oval blossoms flirt, flush;
double flower this month of May -

as you hold my hand
beneath fleeting, fragile petals
held within cherry trees'
umbrella like palms.

We count double rows
of seventy-six,

yet bow to countless gnarled branches
sprouting elegant blooms -
whisper it's like walking within
Monet or Van Gogh;

a spiritual awakening of sorts;
of peace.

A faint aroma like a kiss,
an ache of desire - embraces us,
find it's easy to fall in love
beneath crowns of glorious pink.

by Margaret Bednar, March 5, 2016

You are invited to Listen:  https://soundcloud.com/margaretbednar/cherry-esplanade

This is linked with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Kerry's Challenge - Let's Count on Our Fingers & Toes"  A theme of numbers and numerology.  76 - did a little research and embedded what I learned into this poem.  Thank you, dear Kerry, for FIVE years of this garden.  It is a a place full of inspiration and people I cherish!  

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

"True Genius"

King Lear, Act 1, Scene 1,  Edwin Austin Abbey - and my son, the actor

True Genius

It begins, Act 1, Scene 1 -
comedic or tragic; the best have both.

A pinnacle role: youthful, manic, valiant -
it doesn't matter, other than a willingness
to toss comfort aside, embrace passion
which will vanish upon final curtain fall,

and a desire to carve an everlasting mark -
not so much for acclaim, but for truth.

by Margaret Bednar, March 2, 2016

You are invited to Listen:  https://soundcloud.com/margaretbednar/true-genius

Linked with "dVerse "Open Link Night #167"

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Haibun - "Bitter Kiss"

Prospect Park, NYC

Hills undulate gently upon a greensward necklaced by chestnut, white poplar, and oak, where children's laughter and songbirds fill the air above Long Meadow; unheard by the jogger as he labors past, eyes focused straight ahead.  Teenage boys toss a football, shirts inside-out instead of skins as wind's picking up and winter's a tease a way, fall's labor crunching beneath their tennis shoes.  Silhouetted, the trees stand vulnerable, bare but for a few golden leaves unable to provide protection for a couple's final, farewell kiss.

The chestnut, poplar, and black oak brace for wind's bitter kiss
tastes of goodbye upon brittle, fallen leaves.

by Margaret Bednar, March 1, 2016

an excellent link explaining the true nature of a haiku...  "A Philosophy of Haiku"  and what I can understand of Haibun is a prose written paragraph in a "concise, imagistic haikai style and has one or more haiku after it... ?

.. not sure my paragraph is "haikai" in style but it is what it is :)

I have walked Prospect Park in Brooklyn a number of times and there is always so much to observe.

Linked with "dVerse - Haibun Monday #8"

also linked with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - The Tuesday Platform"