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Green Trillium, senryu

Green Trillium

(adapted  Senryū 5, 7, 5)

By Kate Chamberlin

April, 2015

 

Paul’s mishaps and hikes

in bogs, forests, and meadows

influence his life.

 

Paul is resisting.

Sarah’s excited to go.

Grandma has new dog.

 

Long ride to the farm.

Paul slumps as cards fall to floor.

they arrive at the farm.

 

Smell of polished wood,

bacon, buttermilk pancakes:

Paul wakes at Grandma’s.

 

Paul visits the pond.

Peyton Grace follows along.

trouble is brewing!

 

Bog is dangerous.

Grandma holds Sarah’s elbow.

her guide dog is gone.

 

Marsh Marigold lea,

Golden Valley of yellow:

Rare wildflowers.

 

Drumlin forest trail,

smell of the decaying leaves.

Paul is not in sight.

 

Paul sits on Nurse Log.

sprained ankle is sore ;

wrap with willow bark.

 

Yew-Go-Wild cards:

concentration and matching

old and new flowers.

 

Cows slip under fence,

joke on the Marsh Marigold.

flowers have two names.

 

Balcony with roof,

Jack and Jill in the pulpit:

a rare, lucky find.

 

white, red, and green plants.

sunlight splashing through the trees:

Trillium Heaven.

 

Wake Robin is red,

its sap is very stinky:

blossom passing prime.

 

toad Shade Trillium,

three white petals but no stem:

rare Sessile trillium.

 

Squirrel Corn, Ginger,

Rattle Snake Fern, Skunk Cabbage,

False Solomon’s Seal.

 

Surprised by spring rain.

race to falling down old shack.

Rainbow’s apt Blessing.

 

Sarah reads in car

re: Jane Colden, botanist,

souvenir from visit.

 

Paul’s new sticker book:

Dutchman’s Britches in a row,

dry on sunny day.

 

Yew-Go-Wild deck:

Native American use

Blood Root juice as paint.

 

Paul soon fell asleep.

cards fall to floor like flowers

in Drumlin Forest.

 

Paul anxious to go.

Sarah re-reads Jane Colden.

Here we come Grandma!

 

Banister as slide;

breakfast sausage and waffles

with strawberry Jam.

 

Hike with a whistle

around Paul’s neck on lanyard;

blow if in trouble.

 

Grandma hears whistle.

Straw hat on Grandma’s grey curls .

Harness dog, head out.

 

Swish pass Day Lilies,

bees buzz from flower to bloom,

mosquitoes whine, dine.

 

Spy Black-eyed Susans,

wanders to find Sweet William;

forever as one.

 

Tweet! Goes Paul’s whistle.

hurry into Drumlin woods.

head to hollow log.

 

Paul climbed to light.

ant scared him when dropped on face.

he is wedged in tight.

 

Hollow trunk of Beech

traps Paul within its darkness;

inch down to safety.

 

Look for summer blooms:

Blue Coshes had set berry clusters,

little blue berries.

 

False Solomon’s Seal:

small, whitish, speckled berry clusters,

Tall leafy stems.

 

Colored tapestry:

Joe-Pye Weed, Mouse-eyed Hogweed,

shimmer in sunlight.

 

Glacier carved Drumlin.

wild flowers grow only here:

do not dig them up.

 

Siblings are ready!

awake to woods on fire;

trees hit by sunlight.

 

Maple and Beech leaves

peek autumnal foliage

aflame by sunlight.

 

Trail mix and a hike.

things are different at Grandma’s:

behavior is good.

 

Pods like angel wings,

fluffy seeds blow everywhere.

Milkweed pods have burst.

 

Little bird in nest,

Queen Anne’s Lace smells like carrot.

match Yew-Go-Wild cards.

 

Evening campfire songs.

toasted marshmallows are good.

Peace and quiet reign.

 

Snow blankets the bog.

cracks are heard from frozen trees.

ice skate on pond.

 

Snowshoes shush on trails.

our breath turns to ice crystals.

skates scrape on the ice.

 

When the brook gurgles,

ice melts, seed packets arrive,

Spring is very near.

 

Quilt as souvenir.

snowshoes for Paul’s souvenir.

last glimpse of Grandma.

 

Deadly, icy roads.

Grandma, Granddad, and Peyton

Die in the car crash.

 

Clan gathers at farm:

bog and Drumlin Woods willed to

Land Preservation.

 

I like Botany.

I’ll become a Botanist.

Paul’s career is set.

 

Last hike to the bog.

Binoculars bring plants close,

spot Green Trillium.

 

Their tears begin then:

a double Green Trillium,

tan toad next to base.

 

Grandma had told them

true soul mates always return

to the place they love.

–          Fin —

Based on “Green Trillium”, a children’s book  by Kate Chamberlin, illustrated by Mia Surakka, 209, Trafford Publishers, © 209 by Kate Chamberlin. All Rights Reserved.

From the book jacket: Childhood can be rough on a kid.  They’re told to do this, go there, and so many other things they’d rather not do.  9-year old Paul rebels at having to make the long trip to visit blind Grandma Grace and her old house in the country.  Paul would rather stay home with his friends, play with his trading cards, and swim at the YMCA.  His 12-year old sister, Sarah,  often tries to boss him around, causing a lot of friction.

Paul’s independent and defiant streek gets him a sprained ankle, stuck in a hollow tree, and other mishaps when he strikes off on his own into the acid bog and drumlin woods near Grandma’s home.

During hikes with Sarah, Grandma, and her guide dog, the lure and lore of the many wildflowers that grow in the acid bog, meadows, and drumlin woods captivate Paul, changing his attitude toward life as he discovers the botanist within himself.

www.traffordpub.com/bookstore

**

From: http://www.cinquain.org/theory.html

Senryū (川柳?, literally ‘river willow’) is a Japanese form of short poetry similar to haiku in construction: three lines with 17 or fewer total morae (or “on”, often translated as syllables, but see the article on onji for distinctions). Senryū tend to be about human foibles while haiku tend to be about nature, and senryū are often cynical or darkly humorous while haiku are more serious. Unlike haiku, senryū do not include a kireji (cutting word), and do not generally include a kigo, or season word.