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Category Archives: haibun

Southport

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It is our first morning in Newfoundland. We settled in late, the night before to an eclectic vacation rental in the small community of Southport. Population 40. We want to experience the true local life of the most eastern province of Canada. I open the door to see our surroundings in daylight, barely breathing the salty air on the bay, when I hear the sound of a four wheeler, kicking up gravel in it’s path. A middle-aged man stops in front our door. “Hello! How are you doing? Staying at Peggy and Viv’s are ya?” He shares stories of the land, the people and the fishing industry. He says he will never leave “the rock”, this magnificent island we’ve come to explore. He’s ventured out to bigger dreams and cities, but this is home. It’s different here. He’s already convinced me it’s better here. He offers a word of advice to us. “Don’t worry about crossing boundaries or walking across the neighbour’s properties. The worst thing that can happen is they’ll invite you in for tea.”

My eyes wander a bit to take in my surroundings. Colourful little buildings called “stages”. Rocky shorelines and fog in the distance. He tells us of a 90 year old woman visiting the area. She asked him to take her out on the ocean to see the sights and he willingly obliged. Then his voice becomes shaky with emotion. “She said to me, ‘Now I have seen heaven.'” He puts his hand on his heart. “I will never forget her face and those words”, he says. I get the same lump in my throat, feeling the sincerity in his eyes. The conversation brings me back to a place of genuine simplicity. This is why I am here.

 

fresh breeze of August

eagle basks in morning sun

feathers set aglow

 

 

 

 

It’s Haibun Monday, everyone! The theme is “morning”. Hope you can join us at dVerse Poets Pub

I am your host and the prompt is open all week.

 

Nookwezigan (Smudge)

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For many years, I worked on a First Nations reserve. It was part of my job to become familiar with some of the Ojibway language and culture and to promote it within a daycare setting. Native American customs and spirituality have always intrigued me and still do. The legends and rituals shared with me by my co workers opened my mind to other ways of thinking. I admire the simplicity of thought and their many symbolisms of nature.

While attending a Native Early Childhood conference, I chose a workshop involving an outdoor excursion. We slowly climbed a steep, grassy hill, leaving gifts of tobacco along the way for ” the little people”. At the top we rested on large rocks and meditated on a breathtaking view of the valley below.  When we returned to the community center we sat in a circle to be “smudged”. Nervously I anticipated my turn as a seashell with burning sage was passed around the group. I watched as each of my native colleagues stood one at a time, directing the pungent smoke towards their body with beckoning hands. Drawing it close and gently pushing it away. Cleansing themselves of negative energy. I was welcomed into the ceremony, treated no differently than the rest. As I embraced the smoke I believed what they believed. This was healing.

 

bashkodejiibik

i am not Anishinaabe but

mino giizhigad

 

Translation:

sage

i am not native but

it’s a nice day

 

Written for Paul’s poetic prompt, “Medicine” over at dVerse Poets Pub.

 

 

 

RAMblings on Faith

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I’ve lost faith. Not in myself or any one person…but in society as a whole. We’ve truly outdone ourselves, haven’t we? Our power is devouring us. Self-destruction disguised as bits and bytes of betterment. Perhaps once we’ve surrendered the rest of our intelligence to a robotic regime, we’ll cycle back to playing with sticks and rocks. Building our own fires out of boredom ….just to see if we can. History repeats itself. We’ll sharpen our knives again instead of our minds. But will we ever sharpen our awareness? We have only scratched the surface of our abilities to evolve into humanity. On the contrary, we’ve regressed. We’ve even lost faith in friendships, walking on eggshells around social behaviours we’ve already mastered. Texting conversations that freeze, then flow again, with license to ignore as if the norm.

I have faith in potential. Before I allowed video games to sweep my children into a “Call of Duty”, we collected shells on the beach until the sun nestled on the horizon. Clouds were clouds. Facial recognition meant nothing more than counting freckles. Collecting precious smiles that burst into laughter over almost nothing. We traced the shape of the moon as the grass tickled our skin. I remember. They remember.

I have faith in possibilities. I see starving children no longer starving. I see the end of violence. I see lonely people surrounded by love. I see it all because it’s all there waiting for us to create. Much more rewarding, I would think , than superimposing fictional characters into a digital environment. You don’t need goggles. Just a good heart. I do have unwavering faith in God, but I fear he has lost faith in us.

 

lone seagull sets sail

sun waits patiently for more

waters uncharted

 

 

It’s Haibun Monday at dVerse Poets Pub and the topic is “faith”.  You are all welcome to join in. I am pleased to be your host. Doors open at 3 p.m. EST and this poetic prompt is open all week.

Image credit: pixabay.com

Ashen

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I embrace the grey. Where pavement glistens in the rain. Where clouds paint every inch of sky in shades of loneliness. I am touched by the greys of nature, stones peppered in hues of silver, the undersides of lifeless leaves, glistening beach sand and broken twigs.  My eyes wander off clear cut paths to spot the fluff of squirrels’ tails or the fringe of a bird’s feather now fallen. An ancient tree speaks to me in somber tones, begging to share his story. Does he remember the forest floors of ancient times? Or is it all a foggy blur? I caress the rough, dappled bark of a walnut tree. It’s ok. I’d love you anyway. Grey takes me to a place where black and white, wrong and right can mix and mingle into maybes.

 

 

dull sky, sparrow spies

the grizzle drizzle of grey

open wings take flight

 

It’s Haibun Monday, open all week at dVerse Poets Pub. Bjorn has asked us to consider grey as a subject for our haibun, ” to bring grey into a personal (non-fictional) piece of prose. Add to that a haiku (with season and nature)”. Feel free to join in with us.