dVerse — Poetics 435 — The Band, In Concert

 

It’s the beginning of January and in the middle of the night, when all is still except for the low chatter coming from the latest netflix episode from the latest series. One cat sleeps on my lap and one cat sleeps under my right arm on the couch, warm and dreaming of hunts in summer fields.

Almost as if inside my head, comes a distant sound like silver tinkles on a wind chime. It sends a chill at the top of the spine that rises up and blossoms in the back of my head. It grows closer and more distinct. It is the chorus of yipping that comes from a coyote band on the move. Trying to imagine how those short legs can navigate through the tall snow, coming from deep in brambles of the back acreage where no human foot treads. Maybe they follow the deer paths and hope to get lucky with one of the stragglers in the process.

The cats wake and both of their heads swivel. If my furbabies were in the wild they’d make a tasty snack for the band. Maybe it’s the bags of used kitty litter in the open can outside the door that draws them in? Maybe it’s the kitchen scraps on the snow-mounded compost heap that has drawn furred morsels to it? Or maybe they are calling me out to play?

Moonlight’s blank landscape
Furry shoulders bump then run
Two worlds one spirit

 

The poem that calls to me from the last year is one by Glenn Buttkus, published on 11/23/20 at Glenn’s blog and at dVerse:

My Carcajou
by Glenn Buttkus

Life will reveal all to you when the time is right
and the moon is bright.”–Guru S. Gill.

In the great northern forests where Sasquatch has 
been seen and not seen, where winter has stabbed 
into the heart of autumn with icicle stilettos and 
deep dangerous freezes, there are isolated places
where there is no man’s track, no smell of tobacco,
no tread-marks, no oder of alcohol, no garbage, no
zap of neon, sirens or horns.

There is a snow wraith that prowls in the deepest
shadows, striking fear into the hearts of cougar,
bear, and men, that possesses granite muscles
undulating beneath a striped mantle, a little
monster with musk sacs, part bear, part badger,
part skunk, with savage ferocity and courage
equaled nowhere–the white wolverine.

Only a few men have ever seen the albino Carcajou,
but I have many times, in my mind, seen the glorious
swath from the powerful shoulders to the base of its
great bushy tail, and the fearsome black-green weasel
eyes, and the razor fangs that can crush bone or bite
through a metal roof. I have seen the skunkbear
sitting back on its haunches like a wolf, and it has
seen me.

From Winter’s skull cap,
it expects me, as I leave
the stink of cities behind.

 

I really love how Glenn has tapped into the spirit world here, a place so far away from the spiritually bereft world of modern civilization.  How I responded is not a direct conversation with either character in Glenn’s poem, but more in a metaphysical way.

Sarah is today’s host of dVerse. Sarah says:
This is your task for this prompt:
1. Choose a poem that calls to you. Choose something you’ve read over the last year – maybe from dVerse, but you can take a poem from elsewhere if you prefer.
2.
Write a poem in response.
3.
Post your poem, and either the original poem or a link to it, so that your readers can see the conversation manifested.
3.
If you like, you can explain what it was that attracted you to the original poem, and how you’ve responded to it.

36 Comments Add yours

  1. lillian says:

    First, I love that you wrote a response to Glenn’s haibun…I hope he reads this! It not only gave me your new haibun to read which I enjoyed immensely, but also I got to read Glenn’s again. A two-fer! I love these words ” and one cat sleeps under my right arm on the couch, warm and dreaming of hunts in summer fields.” That provides me with such a wonderful understanding of the cat under your arm….just a great addition of concrete detail.
    Well done!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you for your thoughtful comment, Lillian. As far as Mlady (the cat under my arm) goes she only dreams of outside as she was rescued from the mean streets of Grand Rapids and has no interest whatsoever of going back “out there.”

      Like

  2. sanaarizvi says:

    This is such a great response to Glenn’s poem! 💝 Especially love; “Almost as if inside my head, comes a distant sound like silver tinkles on a wind chime. It sends a chill at the top of the spine that rises up and blossoms in the back of my head.” 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you very much, Sanaa ❤

      Like

  3. Wow, you smashed it! What a great response to Glenn’s poem ❤️❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Very happy it pleases you, thank you.

      Like

  4. I love the conversation here. It’s as if his words come to life outside your window as you read them. You conjure up warmth and safety and then add in something a little more..dangerous. It’s a great response.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Sarah, many thanks to you. I hope Glenn likes it 🙂

      Like

      1. I’m excited about that!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Beverly Crawford says:

    What a rare treat! Your poem transported me, and while I was still suspended in wonderment, Glenn’s haibun was presented to be read once more, and I was once again transported into worlds beyond. Thank you

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      “Take a trip and never leave the farm”
      –Jim Stafford
      🙂 You are welcome

      Like

  6. Glenn A. Buttkus says:

    OMG..thank-you, thank-you, thank-you, and thanks again. I am gobsmacked, touched, emotionally overwhelmed, grateful and honored that one of my scribblings touched you so deeply. I really like where you went with this, from concrete shut-in Netflix reality to a netherworld of imagination. You had a ‘two cat night”, so to speak. Your haiku is perfection, a glorious capstone. The morph from wind chimes to yipping and howling, the palpable fear, the reality that coyotes kill and eat cats is quite chilling.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      ❤ 🙂 You are so very welcome, Glenn. Your poetry always has an effect on me, and this one in particular. My shadow is paltry to it, but thank you for your kind words 🙂

      Like

  7. You know, I don’t know why I didn’t think of writing a haibun as a response to somebody… it suits the prompt perfectly!

    Well done, Lisa! I enjoyed your response and the original too 🙂

    -David

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      You’re welcome, David, glad you enjoyed both poems.

      Like

  8. Sadje says:

    You’ve set a very inviting scenario here.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, Sadje, it’s my nightly routine — usually without the coyotes though!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sadje says:

        You’re welcome Li. Thanks for sharing

        Liked by 1 person

  9. memadtwo says:

    You picked a great poem to respond to. And your mirror is just right–the feeling transposed into your own landscape. What a wonderful pairing! (K)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Kerfe, thank you! Glenn’s poems are a hard act to follow.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. memadtwo says:

        They are, but you did a good job.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Grace says:

    I so enjoyed your haibun – filled with contemplation of the spirits of the night. That sound of the wind chime brought chills

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Glad you enjoyed it, Grace. It was exactly how I described it!

      Like

  11. Ingrid says:

    I feel the hum of the spirit world in both pieces: they are most definitely connected, Lisa. Great writing!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. kim881 says:

    A haibun in conversation with a haibun is a great take on this prompt – and it’s one of Glenn’s! I love the way you set the scene in the opening paragraph, Lisa, with the cats in their rightful places, and the shift to something less cosy and homely in the second paragraph. I can’t imagine coyotes in the snow – the closest we get to such wildlife are the deer and pheasants! I don’t like the idea of cats being coyote snacks, but I love the thought of ‘Two worlds one spirit’.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Thanks for reminding me of Glenn’s poem, Lisa. I think it’s the one of his I’ve most enjoyed.
    What a wonderful thought, that wolf cousins are nosing around your house!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      I think they must have wiped out the rabbit population around here as it’s been a long time since seeing any rabbits 😦

      Like

      1. Getting rid of rabbits was once considered a good thing. Now I suppose it’s just another excuse for ‘controlling pests’.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. msjadeli says:

          Ironic you should mention that about the rabbits. When I went out to look for images of “coyote bands in winter at night” the only photos are of people killing them. It’s open season on coyotes if the google images are any indication 😦

          Like

          1. I imagine you have more or less the same rules that we have, the kind to keep the hunting lobby happy. You claim that there are open and closed seasons so that the animals have time to reproduce more cannon fodder, but at the same time you designate pests that the gun nuts can kill all year round. Keeps them happy voters.

            Like

  14. robtkistner says:

    This was an excellent piece and an engaging read Lisa — well written. Happy & Healthy New Year to you and yours. Here’s to writing wonderful poetry in 2021.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Rob, thank you very much. I raise a glass to that and toast 2021 with you. Cheers!

      Like

  15. This makes me think of John Cage and R. Murray Schafer.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you very much, Todd. High praise!

      Like

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