RSS Feed

Tag Archives: haibun

The Big One

Posted on

 

My husband asked me to pack a bag for an unknown destination. Meticulously sorting through my wardrobe, I consider every possible activity and climate. Will we swim? Hike? Dine casually? Upscale?  I pack my whole wardrobe.

We arrive at the U.S. border with all travel documents, including airline tickets, safely hidden from me, inside my husband’s leather jacket. It is still on the chilly side here. Spring has been teasing us, a matter of days ahead. He hands the customs officer our passports. “Where exactly are you headed to?”, he asks.  My husband takes out the printed tickets, places them in is hand and replies, “It’s a surprise for her birthday”. The customs officer looks closely at the tickets.  He bursts into a smile bigger than the tiny booth he is confined to. “Have a good time”, he says and waves us on.

The anticipation grows as we near the Detroit airport. We enter the terminal and I know this has to be the big reveal. I imagine the reaction of the airport attendant if I tell her I didn’t know where I was going. As I struggle to pull my overloaded suitcase towards the desk, my husband hands me my ticket.

VEGAS BABY!!

 

they say what happens

here stays, but I saw snowflakes

dance in the desert

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kim is our pub tender as we serve up some haibuns about birthdays.

dVerse Poets Pub

As Stars Go Dim

Posted on

 

Hope eludes her. Night embraces her. Like an old friend, it takes her by the hand to search for the light. Illusive. Dawn becomes the deadline for this decision, the last one she will make.

 

ink-shadows seduce

the sun rises unnoticed

over faded flower

 

 

 

A quadrille haibun for dVerse Poets Pub

image credit: pixabay.com

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255

 

De Novo

Posted on

 

The view is woodsy from my favourite part of the couch. Streetlights are still on as dawn sheepishly reveals itself outside my window. I resent January with it’s epic entrance, bursting with expectations. It falls short in the shadow of Christmas and I see only grey. The dulling pavement of my street is a reflection of the skies above. Neutral and speechless. Blank and waiting. One grey squirrel clambers up and down the giant maple. I tap on the window. He looks at me curiously, then continues on his quest for hidden peanuts. Someone has been feeding him. I admire his fluffy tail and his simple life. My solitude is broken by that car with the noisy muffler and I wonder why Santa or someone similar did not replace it. I take another sip of tea, breathing in the new year.

 

sun in cloud coma

ashen earth begs for first snow

squirrel pays no mind

Autumn Hush

Posted on

 

It was an early phone call for a Saturday. My brother’s caller ID but not his voice. My mother forced words she could not yet comprehend herself. He was gone. I asked where he went.

 

moonbeams radiate

October sky remembers

flicker of fallen star

 

 

For Quadrille Monday at dVerse. Kim has offered us the word “early” for our 44 word poems. This prompt is open all week.

The Field

Posted on

 

 

We grew up here. The soft breezes of summer carry me from our white brick house to this place of solitude. My feet greet the weathered path, making the hollow, tapping sound I so remember.  Again I wonder how this hard packed earth can feel like clouds under my feet….but it does.  I love the tickle of tall grasses against my bare legs and how the skies match my eyes today. I still marvel at the delicate design of Queen Anne’s Lace as it stands stoic beside red clover. A grasshopper leaps ahead of me, dodging my every step. He has nothing to fear but I cannot resist the urge to pull apart a milkweed. The same silky threads still comfort me. I roll them between my palms and set them free. They dazzle like white satin in sunlight before the greenery embraces them.

My journey curves around a cluster of wild bergamot. I pause to inhale the scent of sweet citrus. Just ahead to the left of the trail I see the large crevice or “crater” as we called it. A place to pretend, when we used to do that. Golden rod bouquets border the path in brilliant yellow. I run my fingers along them as I pass. They seem to be early. Finally I reach the neighbour’s orchard where I once believed swiping a few apples was a major crime. “Run!!”, I remember saying to my brother. He just laughed at me….the way he always did.

 

 

nurtured by nature

summer silenced by the fall

some seeds will die young

 

 

 

Written for Haibun Monday

~ dVerse Poets Pub ~

The theme is “Hometown” and I am your host.

Doors open at 3 p.m. EST. Hope to see you there!

 

 

 

 

 

Unwritten

Posted on

 

An Italian leather notebook sits empty at my bedside. A gift from a dear friend with an encouraging,  handwritten message. The sun sneaks through wooden blinds just enough to illuminate dust particles dancing over it. I run my fingers across the engraved designs on the cover that seem to speak of great things to come. I look inside, as if expecting to find something that wasn’t there before. Between each fine line there is silence, words yet to be unraveled in garlands and strokes unique to me. A lovely pen waits for the warmth of my hands, but has lost all hope.

I type to the rhythm of my random thoughts wondering why this has become my only mode of composition. Somehow I have forgotten the crossing of t’s and dotting of i’s. I have left behind the curves and arches, loops and flairs. I have left behind a piece of myself.

 

frozen river breaks

mallard writes in cursive form

freed by early thaw

 

 

 

Written for Kim’s Haibun Monday. The theme of the prose is “communication through pen or pencil and paper, followed by a traditional Haiku that includes reference to a season.” You can join in too at dVerse Poets Pub. The prompt opens at 3 p.m. EST and is open all week.

 

Gookookoo

Posted on

 

The well worn paths of the forest floor feel like home to me. They are only a starting point to something more. Perhaps something no one has ever seen or touched. My feet often wander off trail to investigate a mossy log or to find that magical spot where land meets water.  I pick up rocks for future painting, caress the bark of an old oak tree and savor the scent of dampened leaves before the first snowfall. I look for the smallest of creatures, putting nature under a microscope.  I know he’s out there…..somewhere but I have not yet encountered the silent flier. Natives of the Chippewa tribe call him “Gookookoo”.  I have displayed calendar pictures of him on preschool walls, spoke of him in simple terms, but his magnificent eyes have never met mine. He lurks where I do not search. His screech has yet to reach me. Legend says that is a good thing.

 

muted feathers soar

over unsuspecting souls

deer mouse holds his breath

~

 

 

For Haibun Monday at dVerse Poets Pub.

Victoria is our host.  WHO can join in? You can.

The prompt begins at 3 p.m. and is open all week!

 

Image credit: pixabay.com

 

 

 

 

Mélange

Posted on

dscf3808

 

It’s a short drive to the park. Winter has made a whimsical return as if to poke fun at Spring. Snow powdered trees appear to float in rainwater lagoons. I throw my daydreams into placid pools and wish for sunlight. In the foreground, flakes fall melting instantly on a glass stage. In the distance, they unite to soften the woods with a whitewash.  This portrait is life, mirrored and stilled by the indecisiveness of Mother Nature.  I join in reflections of branches blurred and blended, losing myself in the scene.

 

Seasonal squabble

Geese ponder their homeward flight

Nature simply paints

 

Björn leads our Haibun Monday this week.  He explains two techniques, “ekphrasis” and “haiga” as we combine art and poetry.

 

 

 

Ties

Posted on

thailand-1578267_1280

 

He tells me he’s going to Thailand. Alone. For six weeks. Six weeks and six days. He is taking a backpack. I think he is joking but then…there’s the grin, that familiar smirk n’ dimple disposition that says he is not. I smile, wide-eyed while panic pokes at every ounce of my maternal self. “What?” “Why?” “When?” The fact that he will miss Christmas becomes trivial, getting lost in swirls of anxiety. I look in his eyes for answers to questions I haven’t thought of yet. He speaks of hostels in Bangkok and a train to Chiang Mai where you can ride an elephant. My heart races like a tuk-tuk but I remain focused on him, his dreams, his ambitions, his life. This is his life.

 

sea eagle sets sail

as easterly winds beckon

avoiding monsoons

 

Toni (kazensukura) leads our Haibun Monday at dVerse this week. The topic is your choice. Just remember to follow the etiquette of the form. “(1) The haibun must be non-fiction (2) The occurance must have actually happened to you (3) You are to write one to two tight paragraphs and (4) End it with a season based haiku.”

Image: pixabay.com

 

 

Moon Trippin’

Posted on

moon-trippin

 

Supermoon sent us scrambling to the nearest park for open ground. Cameras in hand, we had visions of something extraordinary. The awe came when I did not focus on or with my camera but stood with mind silenced, tracing her perfection. I imagined some funky God of Geometry with a giant compass and extremely steady hands, carving our cosmic muse into carbon paper skies. He didn’t know her beauty until the asteroids and meteorites chiseled her barren cheeks and the sun dazzled her silly.

We heard the unmistakable howl of a coyote in the nearby woods. Believing in the myth added to the ambience.  I became lost in the mystery of moon tides and the depths of craters. I wondered where I stood with her in astrological terms, being born on the first day of the whole zodiac. I am clearly a beginning…to something.  Her porcelain face revealed no secrets. With fuzzy photos, we turned to go home. She followed,  her golden light gushing over darkened streets.  I drank her energy, let her sparkle my spirit one more time, just in case I would not see her Supermoon magic again.

 

sun in Scorpio

stars of Aries kiss Luna

November clouds drift

 

 

Written for dVerse, “Haibun Monday: You say it’s your birthday?” Toni is back and she has given us options for this haibun challenge. “You have three choices:  birthday, full moon, or combine the two.” Check it out. There’s still time to join in!

 

 

Do You See Herons?

Posted on

 

Herons? Yes, I see them often…from a distance. Familiar sights on regular hikes through marshlands and parks. They appear to me as a privilege, preening on a rock amidst the reeds or sailing overhead in glorious flight. Grey. That is common or sometimes a Great White Egret, with plumage of an angel set aglow by the sun. It is always enough to slightly dazzle me. Today I am given a gift. From the top of the bridge that arches over a murky green creek, I stand only a few feet away from him. Staring motionless at the water with one leg spindly and bent, he waits. He waits more patiently than I do. He cares not that I watch. I become a similar statue, camera in hand anticipating his next move. And there it is. Saaaa-nap! His elongated beak now holds firmly to a tiny wriggling fish along with an innocent leaf caught in the hunt. An ordinary day for him. I am a guest, if only to admire a great heron’s dinner.

 

leaves ride in ripples

twilight grants one last favour

over humdrum day

 

20160913_180018

 

20160913_175837

 

 

We are looking for the “extra” in the ordinary for Haibun Monday. Grace is our host and she has reacquainted us with the form.  Hope you can join us!

 

Waiting on Wings

Posted on

dscf5008

 

My days have suddenly become empty. Disconnected. As my feet take to the path along the pond, I am immediately transported to a better world, a wiser system of life. I am guided by the goldenrod that edges the marsh, layered by clouds that whisper October. Distant sounds of the highway become muffled and soon forgotten. My haven is solid. The sun starts to melt on the horizon, pouring liquid gold ripples across the water. They reach for me. I reach for my camera. As I look through my lens, a large swarm of gnats dance against the glow and I wonder how these lowly beggarly bugs can possibly steal the show…but they do. Hundreds of starlings arrive in what seems to be chaotic confusion, contrasting with their precision landings on swaying reeds. I start to climb the rickety wooden lookout and again curse at the park for not replacing the missing step. There must be other people like me that don’t like missing steps. Perched and ready, I wait for the geese, my constant. Usually the honking is outrageously loud as they begin their dissension, but  I hear nothing but a few lonesome tootles. I wonder if they’ve found a new venue and why. The sun lays itself over the pond to bid farewell. Clouds become fuchsia pink feathers, a delicate distraction as the night sky slowly envelopes me. I question my instinct to leave. Am I afraid of the darkness even in the comfort of this paradise?

 

autumn winds waver

memories fade on still waters

sun dips into dusk

 

dscf5018

 

Written for “Haibun Monday: Winds of Change” led by Toni Spencer (kanzensakura)

Join us at dVerse Poets Pub 

Short Version of a Long Love Story

Posted on

DSCF1385

 

We fell in love. Then we met. Yes. That is how it works when sparks fly in cyber space. It all began in a divorce support chat room where the last thing I was looking for was love. After six months of emails, instant messaging, and daily detailed phone conversations, we ran out of questions and the answers were consistent. Seeing each other face to face was just an inevitable step in an already established relationship. Finally a flight was booked. A dear friend drove me to the airport…”dear” because she didn’t question my sanity, at least not openly. I remember my hands trembling as I held my hot tea before boarding a plane to see him for the first time. I wasn’t nervous about traveling 1500 miles to meet this man of my dreams or worried that instead I would be captured by a disturbed internet troll, never to be seen again (though it may have crossed my friend’s mind).  No. He was not the unknown. It was the unfamiliarity of flying, airport procedures like gates, security and layovers that scared the living crap out of me.

A long distance relationship ensued and we became frequent flyers.  I could sleep through take offs, knew which airport restaurants to avoid and was quick on the draw to trade my seat for future free flights. Our love was challenged by distance and immigration procedures but the time spent together was like a hundred honeymoons. This was our life for six years. Elated hellos. Tearful goodbyes. On one sunny day we were riding bikes along a woodland trail in Collingwood, Ontario. We stopped for a moment and he pretended to crouch down to retrieve a water bottle. Instead he looked up at me with a ring.

It’s nine years later and this morning, just like any other morning, I sleepily tap the outside of the electric tea kettle. Yes, it’s hot. He times it well. As I take my favourite orange mug off the shelf, he knows my silence is not for lack of gratitude. He knows I don’t converse until I’ve had at least a half a cup of caffeine…and I know that isn’t easy for him. I know he needs his 15 kilometer bike ride after sitting in an office all day. He knows I need to put my feet up. A tall glass of water waits for me because he knows I probably didn’t drink any all day. He knows me well. It is in this “knowing” that our love keeps growing.

 

Tiny warbler charmed

Beckoned by the westerlies

Warmed by desert sun

 

Over at dVerse Poets Pub, Toni asked us to pen a romantic haibun, reminding us also that a haibun is true, not fiction. This is my response.  I think the prose is a work in progress, much like love itself. 

 

My Happy Feet

Posted on

heart-1220657_1280

 

Beside my bed there is a magnificent mountain of slippers, each one a gift of love. She made them all, that mother in law of mine, from 1500 miles away. They usually make the commute in groups, a few couples arriving notoriously at Christmas, this time with surprises inside each one. Every night when I get home I choose a pair for my aching feet. There are those with extra reinforcement for the sole purpose of…well, yes for the sole purpose. Some days they wait obediently for me in true coordinated fashion, but there are those days when life is disheveled and one goes astray. Perhaps they play when I am away. I don’t mind when they don’t match, but when they do, all is right in my world.

 

stitching across stars

sunshine travels many moons

to scatter rainbows

 

 

Written for Haibun Monday #15 : All Things Quotidian (doors open all week). Toni asked us to write a short and sweet haibun about everyday things or occurrences.

Image credit: pixabay.com

 

 

 

By the Marshland

Posted on

wetlands

 

“But the beauty is in the walking — we are betrayed by destinations.”
― Gwyn Thomas

Not far from here, there is a trail, a precious passage to my own inner peace. This is where my heart sings. This is how I breathe.  My feet take to the winding path of the wetlands and I am liberated. Sun ribbons stream through tall prairie grasses to dance with shadows on my shoes. Yellow warblers cling sideways to the reeds, whistling and swaying to Spring’s gentle breeze. Damselflies hover over lily pads floating close to the pond shore. Oh to be a damselfly, weightless of the woes of this world.

The ducks and geese have made their annual return to the marsh. I still marvel at their innate ability to do so, after vacationing hundreds or even thousands of miles away. This is their home again and I am nothing more than a visitor, uninvited. I visualize the ripples of disruption I would cause if I dared to dangle one toe into their vested waters. Focusing my camera on lavender blue chicory and one bristly bumblebee, it occurred to me.  This delicate ecosystem thrives without me and in spite of me. This trail is the truth of life and I am humbled.

 

waterlilies pose

as footsteps softly mimic

the pulse of nature

 

This week for Haibun Monday, Bjorn has asked us to write a haibun “inspired by the concept of walking”. This is a week long prompt. Lots of time to join in and follow the poetry trail at dVerse Poets Pub.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wither to Wonder

Posted on

 

After a brief visit, we leave my hometown perched upon a hill, frozen in time. I try to chip away at memories of popsicle stained tongues, sun burnt shoulders, band aids and bare feet tickled by the greenest of grass. Life was a picnic. A party for so many different occasions. Flowers were power, carefully doodled on duo tangs and notepads during lengthy telephone calls.

It is quiet now, the screech of laughter muffled by blankets of time and loss. In my garden, I watch familiar spring breezes tousle the snow white petals of my daffodils. They stand stoically among furled fall leaves left to mulch. Content with the silence, I rake carefully around my forget me nots. An old flower pot slowly crumbles as if trying to blend in with earth’s decay. I run my hands through it.

 

 

Memories dormant

Trusting in perennials

Narcissus nostalgia

 

Written for dVerse ~Haibun Monday: Beauty in Decay

Bjorn has inspired us with the photography of Susan Judd.

 

 

Unspoken

Posted on

haibun 11

 

I take my tea (with milk) and nestle into the corner of my retro couch. This has always been the perfect view of the front yard, my little piece of nature. My mind wanders from the bleak, bare limbs of the ancient maple to my own melancholia. I think about words wasted, stirring in minds but never poured. Why?

The lyrics of an R.E.M. song somehow find their way into my head again, uninvited. “Oh no, I’ve said too much. I haven’t said enough”.  The anthem repeats until I welcome the squawk of two feisty blue jays. I listen to the chatter of simple souls, exposed.  The clouds spit by fits and starts against my window only to remind me of all things voiceless and vague. Droplets run and merge with each other, twisting and turning along the glass. Conversations of the past rehash and play to the unsteady beat of the rain. I open the door to breathe in sweet spring. I have no patience for puzzles.

 

 

Timeless mysteries

Secrets, too heavy to fly

Truth soars with the wind

 

Toni’s prompt for Haibun Monday is related to communication or the lack of it. There is still time to join in at dVerse!

Eyes Open

Posted on

crocus for haibun

 

“Come –

see real blossoms

of this painful world”

~Basho~

 

Today I walk upon mounds of spongy soil where neon blades blend into the dead of brown. I feel the unease of limbo and transition, tree branches bare and waiting.  The red maple, with no patience for spring, has already scattered its tiny flowers and they grab hold of the treads of my shoes. Dried out and weightless, they cling to me. Had I not noticed them before their fated plummet to the earth?

A purple crocus blooms beside an old oak tree. They don’t grow wild in these woodlands. A relocated bulb, perhaps journeyed here with an ambitious squirrel. He would never know the joy that his misplaced treasure had bestowed on me.  The trail suddenly juts south towards soggier territory but I commit to it.

A pair of ducks set sail across a flooded marsh, still surrounded by autumn’s auburn willow branches, a rare medley of seasons. The mud makes me tiptoe on the trail, searching for composted leaves for stepping stones. I ponder about why I have never owned a pair of rubber boots. The rain has been abundant, flooding streets and parks but I like the shine it is has given the emerald ash trees. These are majestic trees ridden with the curse of the ash borer yet they still bring me peace. All of nature brings me peace.

 

Cherish the blossom

Life bursts through soils run amuck

Petals slip through fingers

 

 

Written for dverse ~Haibun Monday#10: Hanami~ Kansen Sakura (Toni Spencer) has asked us to begin our haibun with a haiku by Issa or Basho, expand on it with our own perspective of “beauty, spring, hanami, journey to view cherry blossoms or other spring blooms, when you notice spring’s beginnings, the renewal and hope in spring…fun times relating to spring.” This is followed by our own haiku.

Rain Gauge

Posted on
rain

Image Credit: Gabriella

 

He wandered west from the financial district destined for relief from the squirrel cage they called success. Grey skies merged with the concrete below his feet. Tiny droplets remained stoic for an instant before rolling like tears from his navy blue pea coat. The clouds erupted. Looking up, his forehead caught a colossal drop that had dared to dangle from the coffee shop overhang. He ran his index finger along the glossy storefront just for the sound or perhaps to startle the young girl sitting on the other side of the distorted glass. He pondered the vanilla latte and moved on.

No eye contact was made with the unshaven man huddled under wet cardboard on the corner. His conscience took hold of him as one Gucci oxford failed to miss a puddle. Turning around he knew his small gesture would be more about him than the one who was destitute. He handed him a twenty. The sky lit up suddenly exposing the contrast between his smooth, manicured hands and the grimy palms of the homeless man. He glanced quickly at the man’s face. Somewhere in one short gaze, he found himself.

 

Yesterday’s downpours

Today a soft shoe tap dance

Weathering the storm

 

Inspired by one of Gabriella’s beautiful photos for Haibun Monday at dVerse.

Smallest of Places

Posted on

view-of-the-church-of-saint-paul-de-mausole-1889

 

 

I find green in the smallest of places. It is not the mountain covered in triangular repetition of perfect pine that makes my heart flutter. It is not the river, churned and murky or hills that roll in shades of emerald and jade. It is the single blade of grass between my thumbs, tickling my lips as I blow gently through cupped hands. My eyes wander to the delicate veins of magnolia leaves as tiny aphids make their delicate climb. I reach to touch the green of neon moss blankets warming tree limbs, fallen and forgotten. I follow green in the iridescent glow of dragonfly wings dancing over the shallows. I cherish the green of tiny strawberries weaving on trellises, patiently waiting to ripen. As cerulean skies and yellow meadows magically merge in van Gogh’s “View of the Church of Saint-Paul-de-Mausole, I will still find green in the smallest of places.

 

 

Lost in fields of green
Four leaf clover at our feet
Gently we must walk

 

Written for Haibun Monday at dVerse Poet’s Pub. We have been inspired by the work of Vincent van Gogh.

Chasing Sunsets

Posted on

September 2015 200

 

We barely finish dinner of cauliflower and chickpea coconut curry, when you suggest we dash to the beach. The sky, like a southwestern painting of burnt orange and turquoise is obstructed by the stately maple tree in our back yard. Donning my fall jacket for the first time this year, I welcome the brisk, blustery air. My flip flops fight the downhill slope as I clutch our camera in one hand and my hair in the other. Somehow, I am surprised to see the lake lashing on tawny shores, oblivious to the solace of the setting sun. The clouds remind me of pieces of cauliflower we have just consumed, but these are now inked with the inevitable gloaming of day’s end. Still amazed by the infinity of the Great Lakes, you take to the camera, capturing all possible angles. I reminisce of similar spontaneous races to canyons in your enchanted land. Was it just for me? I think not, as I watch you take one last photo of gleaming sands soaking in orange.

 

Summer embraces fall
Celestial glow unfading
Reflections of love

 

 


Written for Haibun Monday, a new addition to the schedule over at dVerse Poet’s Pub. This is my first attempt at writing a haibun, a combination of prose and haiku.