“I always think that the best way to know God is to love many things.” ~ Vincent van Gogh

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Variations on a theme

Haiku: 


days of rain
baby water dragon*
likes my yard

*Eastern Water Dragon, Australian lizard.



Tanka:


in my yard
the intruder stands
with bold gaze
claiming ownership –
this tiny lizard


Cherita:

I look out through the glass door.

A baby water dragon stands proud
in the rain-soaked yard, gazing back.

I turn, grab my camera. In that moment
it disappears, I’m focused on an empty spot.
I still see the vivid defiance, the ownership.


'We must stay positive!' many exhorted, as fires destroyed much of my country. I found such advice intensely annoying. What, play for the sinking of the Titanic? And anyway, I felt I was only capable of dark, despairing poems. Then one wise friend advised me to find small things to still love about the world and write of them, so as not to pass even more despair to others. I couldn't at first; then, finally, turning to micropoetry seemed to offer a way.

(I've decided I like the cherita best on this occasion, and am making resolutions to use it more often.)


I'm sharing this at Weekly Scribblings #6 at Poets and Storytellers United: Turn Cliché Into Poetry or Prose.

38 comments:

  1. I, too, love the cherita version. I like the other ones, too, especially the tanka. But the cherita tells a more complex story--we can see everything that happens.

    You have a very wise friend.

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    1. Thank you.

      Yes she is.

      I realised I didn't make it very clear what cliché I was thinking of, so have amended my note to explain it more fully.

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  2. I enjoy variations on a theme, Rosemary, especially on a Wednesday morning when I’m not quite over the hill of mid-week. I enjoyed the tanka and the cherita. Sadly, we don’t get lizards here, it’s never warm enough, but enjoyed watching them in Italy – and never managed to get a photo! What a relief that a lizard survives fire.

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    1. Some lizards survive some fires. Believe me, few if any would have survived the vast,long-lasting firestorms we have had here recently. But such fires did not come to this town (only the smoke from them).

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  3. Oh I love this concept and was inspired enough to try it immediately! I love the cherita form, but my favourite here is your haiku... says it all without needing any more words. Will ponder over your friend's advice... does the world need more reality to spur action or does it need a break and some love and beauty?

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    1. Yes, each form has its own strengths.

      I think my friend was perhaps thinking of me as much as my readers – I wasn't sure how long I could go on inhabiting such darkness.

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  4. I recall writing about a lizard (my neighbor's iguana) using the Shadorma form, but I couldn't locate the file this morning to share with you. No matter; whatever it was, I'm sure it would pale next to your outstanding work. Hang in there, sister.

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    1. Oh, I would have loved to have seen it. Meanwhile, thanks for reminding me of the shadorma, another handy short form.

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  5. Delightful, simply delightful! Guessing the viewer did not have time to see the water dragon change color ... next time.

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    1. Ha, it was already the best colour to blend into its surroundings here. Its best protection is perhaps its two speeds. It only has two – frozen stillness or faster than the speed of light.

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  6. Easy to understand being in a dark dystopian nightmare, given the devastating fires. Hopefully the rains will clear the smoke .. and your dark place.

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    1. Yes, the smoke has cleared and many of the fires have been pout out by the rain. Now we have to worry about flash flooding making roads impassable – but that's better than the fires, for sure.

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  7. That is one gorgeous, gorgeous cherita Rosemary!😍 It speaks eloquently of survival during dark times.

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  8. I am in love with that little lizard. What a bold personality you've given him in your pieces! I'm not sure it was your intention, but I came out a little more hopeful after reading these.

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    1. Oh, that's good! Yes, they are bold creatures in some ways, but quicker to flee than fight humans.

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  9. I like all these bite-size poems. They are an accomplished variation.

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  10. I always gain something from your writing - a glimpse into your world, this time a dragon present!

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    1. They are actually quite common here. Marvellous creatures.

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    2. I'm with you, Rosemary. Here the Gecko litter lizzards think "possession is nine tenths of the law."
      The wait on the door frame overhead part and make a dash for being inside. If they are slow the get squeezed to death by the closing door.
      ..

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    3. Oh yes, we have the little geckoes too, and that is indeed a hazard for them.

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  11. The cherita is lively to share a little story and turn one's mind from larger than life despairs.
    Happy you found the cherita it originator is Ai Li

    Much💝love

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    1. I have known about it for some years, but tend to forget. Magaly used it recently, which reminded me.

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  12. I do love the cherita form. I grow weary of all the platitudes. I had to let my snarky humor out in my poem for this prompt because that is exactly how I'm feeling at the moment.

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  13. Curiously I too was amazed at the defiance of some of the birds and lizards being so defiant in MY garden. Then I remembered it was theirs fist! I love all three Rosemary.

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  14. a visit
    from the water dragon
    cute alien

    I like your tanka best. During this apocalyptic summer I can only say your responses were (thankfully)human and authentic.A trait that does not sit well with surface dwellers.

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    1. Ha, nice to get a haiku in reply.

      Yes, and I think my responses were necessary – to myself especially. But could not endure staying there, so the challenge was to find a way to ease the pain with equal authenticity. Alas, focusing on the small and immediate doesn't address the big issues, but perhaps keeps us sane between times.

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  15. A bit of awe in the midst of such tragedy. The cherita form, for me, paints the picture a bit more and I like that.

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  16. I do like this concept of looking at the same theme in different directions. You're introducing new things that I can share.
    Regarding the devastation, I may not be able to do much from where I am but I will do what I can.

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    1. Bless you, Joel, your care for all living things is apparent in your writing. We in Australia do know and are grateful for the way our disaster has touched hearts all over the world.

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  17. Dear Baby Water Dragon, dear survivor: How I admire your tenacity!

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  18. The cherita is my favorite, a story moving along.

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