The peephole shrunk her
to suit my memories. Years of regret
rattled my ribcage at her rapping.
When I opened up, she didn’t
recognize me and mispronounced my name,
so I told her the truth:
the person she wanted disappeared long ago.
Hermits scrawl haiku
under thatched, sun-splintered roofs;
| hermits scrawl haiku
| daub paper mulberry minds
| wolves’ tails inked fractured
Written for Ronovan Writes’ Haiku Challenge, which provided the prompt words “haiku” and “mind.” (The first is dependent on a bit of creative license: mind > head > roof.) “Hanami” refers to viewing parties when cherry trees (sakura) blossom. “Washi” refers to paper traditionally used for artwork and calligraphy.
Remember to try and read the experimental form in various ways; it’s not meant for a straightforward reading. Just as writing is a practice of experimentation, reading must be creative, too.
Photo prompt courtesy of Grammar Ghoul Press. I believe it’s an advertisement for the live-action movie adaptation of the manga Judge by Tonegai Yoshiki. After looking into it, my tanka seems way too lighthearted.
Predator and prey
secretly plot together —
seeking nature’s revival,
targeting children’s mindsets.
the memories of heroes
in her clay tablet.
Ink-stained pearl surface:
the drowning of a drained pen —
my spent muse laments.
| ink-stained pearl surface
| hand wrenched free, discovered warps
| bleeding muse allayed
Written for Ronovan Writes’ Haiku Challenge, based on the prompts “muse” and “pen.” Coincidentally, I was researching the Muses for another piece before seeing this prompt; Calliope felt like a necessary subject for this considering that her emblem is a writing tablet. (Okay, that’s not a pen, but hopefully it’s regarded as thematically related.)
Pupae hang from the glassy surface of stagnating water, vacuumed to the sun’s reflection by their respiratory trumpets. Larvae leisurely propel themselves by the feeding current of their mouth brushes to partake of pleuston.
I trust I’d be justified — even celebrated — to destroy them before they break their dependency on this puddle’s microlayer.
As I raise my boot above the water, it blackens with my shadow and the not-yet-mosquitoes plunge under grass blades. My foot lingers a moment as they remain hidden and drowning.
I lower my foot and crouch beside the puddle again and watch as they cautiously resurface.
the scratched patches
my windowless hut,
the dull umber egress
to a world
with blackberry lilies,