I can see the sky
for the first time since I came
but I see no trees
only birds mourning their loss
in time they will grow again
September 10, 2020 ~ Waka
Copyright © 2020 Abigail Gronway – All Rights Reserved
Waka – from the words wa = Japanese and ka = poem
Waka consists of three units, with the syllabic pattern 5-7-5-7-7
The first two lines (5-7) treat one subject.
The next two lines (5-7) treat a different subject.
The last line (7) is a refrain or paraphrase.
Hello, my WordPress family! I’ve missed you.
For the first time in many weeks I sat outside today under my patio umbrella to do some reading and writing. After a couple of hours, I realized that I could see more sky than usual. Then it dawned on me why this was so: the people living behind us had cut down all the trees that lined the back fence, the fence dividing our yard from theirs. Several more hours have passed, and now even more trees have disappeared from their yard, leaving only one. This is the biggest of them all, and it remains to be seen whether or not this one too is intended for the wood pile.
While I’m quite happy to see the sky at last, I think I’ll miss the trees. I’ll miss the laughter of leaves as the breeze tickles them, the sight of their happy dancing as they twirl their flowery skirts, and the changing of their colors that marks the passing of seasons.
The birds will miss them too. The nests they built with care are now gone forever. Perhaps they lost memories of where they first saw the light of day amid bits of broken shells, where they learned to fly and to fend for themselves, where they met a mate and built a nest of their own, where they laid their first eggs and waited patiently for their babes to appear, open-mouthed and needy. But they, like us, are resilient and will find a new place to build their nests and line them with new memories. If I could speak to them, I’d tell them they are welcome to take shelter in our trees, but no matter. Judging by the chirping and singing, I’d say they already did.
I’ve missed writing poetry. This is only my third poem all year—quite a switch from when I used to write one a day! I can’t say that I’m back, not yet, but I’m coming back, both as a reader and a writer.
By the way, I’m not entirely sure that my poem is a good example of a Waka, so please do further research if you desire to perfect this form. 🙂
(The photo is from when there were trees.)