Jane Reichhold’s haiku is so beautiful, I just had to try a Soliloquy no Renga response as suggested by Chevrefeuille in Carpe Diem Universal Jane #3: ‘Riversong’. It was pouring rain today so that influenced my response.
This short poem is called a Tan Renga. Tan Renga looks like a tanka but is written by two people. In this case the first ‘stanza’ is written by Jane Reichhold. The second (final two lines) is my response, prompted by a Carpe Diem feature in honor of Jane Reichhold: “Carpe Diem Universal Jane #3: Riversong”.
As my poem reports, I was in downtown Toronto yesterday near an inner city hospital. Stepping out of my rural retreat, a brush with urban poverty and homelessness is bleak, depressing. I wrote this poem in today’s aftermath. While musing and surfing I stumbled on a recent report and article on homelessness . Canada did have a federal housing program until 1993 when it was eliminated. Since then, construction of affordable housing has dropped and homelessness has increased each year. The estimated annual number of homeless Canadians is 235,000. Statistics are impersonal and beyond comprehension. Even 1000people without homes is unacceptable.
On a more positive note, major cities (Toronto, Ottawa, Calgary, and Vancouver) have adopted 10-year plans to reduce homelessness. Unfortunately a recent study indicates that these plans are doomed to fail if the federal government doesn’t step in with national funding and coordination. City mayors are asking for $12.6 billion over the next 10 years to pay for new affordable housing. I certainly will back this whenever I have the opportunity.
I had a magnetic poetry moment on Sunday night. Themagnetic poetry website gives you a collection of words and the name of the game is to create a poem. It’s sort of like Scrabble except instead of making words out of letters you make poetry out of words and word endings.
October is already approaching midpoint and once again our view of the moon waxes into fullness, on Saturday night. Hunter’s Moon,Travel Moon, Dying Grass Moon. This is the time of year when, in northern North America, native hunters went hunting to stock up food for winter. I am neither a hunter, nor an eater of meat so this time of year is more about plant harvesting and getting ready for winter. I wanted to write a poem to go with my monthly moon post so I put my reflections into an October acrostic:
Overhead—look up!—sun slants through blue, dark clouds, morning mist; patches and tapestries of orange, russet, red, yellow; autumn’s iconic play;
Cold fresh dampness glistens suspends, energizes muscles to sore exhaustion;
Torn memories pull, traces of past fallacies rise, fall—sprouts attempt encores while autumn resists temptations;
Orange-burnt marigolds self-replicate in generous abundance—pumpkins outround the moon;
Brown brisk stalks of mullein rule the sky as ubiquitous bees bask in purple borage stars—crickets buzz;
Evening blinded by sunset rushes to night; yet stubborn gardeners toil under moonlamp—what once was still day, now is night;
Reaping leaves, fruit, and branches for food and mulch; memories mingle in seamless timeflow waxing empty of distinct features.