General Poetry posted August 14, 2016 Chapters:  ...44 45 -46- 47 

This work has reached the exceptional level

A chapter in the book 2016


by mountainwriter49

Tanka Prose
We speed by Fancy Gap in hopes of avoiding the highway patrol's radar.  As I cross beneath the Blue Ridge Parkway, I think of a nearby place that is so dear to me.  Only 25 miles up the Parkway is an oasis perched atop the mountain’s crest; still verdant and vibrant in my mind.  I’m not driving, so I close my eyes and remember those wonderful times when I was young. Of time spent at Meadows of Dan, Virginia.  I smile. My eyes well.  A tear of joy meanders slowly down my cheek.
I recall the drive along the tortuous US Route 58 from Danville to the mill. Its course laid upon ancient Indian paths. The serpentine route twists and turns; rises and falls with such delight.  I still hear my mother’s scream as my dad would squeal-a-tire as he approached the jumping-off point...And  later, my daughter’s delightful squeals as I’d throw-the-curves before we'd stop.   Oh, what a view! A panorama of God’s pristine Earth lay before our eyes as we stand arm-in-arm along escarpment’s edge o'erlooking the valley below. 
save for lone hawk’s caw
and gentle winds
permeates as I hold you close
atop Lover’s Leap
Sated in thought, I transition to farmer’s market where we'll buy red-waxed hoop cheese, dried apple rings and cow-moo patties.  The chocolate ones.  I think of Papa each time I eat dried apple rings.  But few things compare to our trips to Mabry Mill during the fall when leaves are afire with brilliant reds and golds.  Stunning.  Ethereal...spiritual.  I think of one frigid winter's day when we went to sled and to play along the Parkway's expanse. The mill's wheel's are locked in winter’s stern jaws of thickest, hardest ice.  We laugh and play while trudging through the deep soft, wet snow.  My daughter loves the eight-foot long icicles hanging from the mill’s wooden aqueduct.  All's  quiet; sublime...serene.  ‘Tis this memory, one of so many made at this place, that's my favorite.The air's so pure and filled with sanctity and love as we mar the pristine snow with our footsteps into our then unknown memories...
winter’s breezes wynd
through white pines and barren oaks
snow-capped limbs
and our memories forevermore

13 August 2016

Poem of the Month contest entry


Tanka Prose. This poetic form is a close cousin to haibun, but is differentiated by it's more prose-like and less-terse, or more graceful tenor and use of tanka rather than haibun. As with haibun, the poetic form is to-the-point and mostly present tense. The title stands alone, yet compliments and sets the tone for the poetic prose and tanka. The prose set the tone for the tanka and the tanka compliment and round-out the prose.

Last week I gave Taffspride (Ann) directions to Mabry Mill as part of her northern trek routing to an event in New England. As I passed by its I-77 exit on Thursday of this past week, I thought of her travels there and then, that, brought out such wonderful memories I have of that part of this world--the Meadows of Dan, Virginia. I've been there many times off-and-on since 1964. This tanka prose is autobiographical.


Jumping-off Point = Lovers' Leap

Lovers' Leap = A wayside along US Rt. 58 as it ascends the Blue Ridge escarpment.

Mabry Mill = A major tourist attraction on the Blue Ridge Parkway just north of the Meadows of Dan intersection. A restored Mill and community and part of the National Park Service.

Meadows of Dan = a small, unincorporated community at the crest of the Blue Ridge at the junction of the Blue Ridge Parkway and US Rt. 58.

Squeal-a-tire = burning rubber; taking curves too fast (a Southern phrase)

Throw-the-curves = see definition for Squeal a tire.

Thank you for reading my poetry, and particularly so since it is just a bit long.

Pays one point and 2 member cents.

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