Sunday, May 10, 2020

Mother’s Day Haiku and Tanka

A swirl of high clouds
between the retreating sun
and the frosted earth
My mother folds away the old quilts
that did not save her asters

 Fire in the woodstove
The monarch butterfly waits for the sun
to warm its wings

 Swallows have swept
this summer's sky for the final time,
have left for their other lives
in another world
and I remember you

The clothesline
light with cobwebs
a cricket's gleam

Four generations

This hepatica
whose freshness lasts for an hour . . .
if left in the woods I wouldn't have seen it,
wouldn't have seen it wilt

missing the bats
that always flew from barn to pond

Under bare maples
and around a sharp corner
to the field where the one-room schoolhouse
     stands – only in my mother’s words

Blue flowers
from the woods
she remembers May baskets

Spring Beauty

the blossoms of spring
to swell slowly
      . . . as if time can give
     what eternity promises

Quiet bedroom
somehow the presence
of her absence


 Carol’s Mother’s Day Wish

While raising 10 other children,
three of them born after I came home,
She accomplished Himalayas of laundry, Rocky Mountains of cooking,
and Fruitful Plains of flowery gardens

In the midst of all this activity
She did everything I needed and almost everything I wanted

Because she fed, bathed, and made wrinkle-free beds,
I spent more than 50 years in bed without a pressure sore,
no case of pneumonia, not even a single night in a hospital

I was a reader and she found perfect books
at the library and on the bookmobile
I was a writer and she scribbled my confusing corrections
in crowded margins
I was a poet and she brought me stories
of outdoor experiences
that I could turn into haiku and tanka
I was a bookmaker and she helped me design covers
measure and cut and tape, choose fonts and evaluate colors
She packaged and mailed hundreds of books

She participated in every aspect of my life,
Always with interest and engagement

She was at least half my memory

Now she relaxes on her sunny porch
Great-grandchildren and hummingbirds
swirl by

Happy Mother’s Day
To my amazing
And very dear mother

You gave life to me twice –
once on November 16, 1949
and again day by day starting in the 1950s

With love,

Coming soon . . .the new book of haiku by Carol, illustrated with many photos of the family and farm.