waiting for Christmas

As newlyweds, we’d spent our money on the wedding and honeymoon so our budget was limited. We found an artificial tree on sale and put it up together. I had a few simple ornaments I had made in years past which we used to decorate the branches. We had no gifts under the tree but were happy celebrating our first Christmas together.

When our sons were little boys, they could hardly wait for St. Nick’s Day when we’d open our stockings…what gifts would be inside?  I hung them high, out of reach from eager eyes and curious fingers. Our neighbor bought the boys each an Advent calendar. They opened a window every day to find a little chocolate treat inside; counting down the days until Christmas.

Now that we’re older, we enjoy the waiting…listening to music, looking at light displays, attending grandchildren’s programs. The season of Advent is a special time of holiday concerts and worship services, culminating in the celebration of Christmas Day. We don’t really need any gifts except the presence of Emmanuel, God with us.

anticipation

waiting for return of king

our advent journey

 

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A traditional haiku refers to a season and nature so here’s another…

 

small creatures waiting

under snow’s winter mantle

for coming of spring

 

 

Linking to Imelda’s haibun prompt of “waiting” at dVerse Poets Pub

 

 

 

 

rest in peace, Rip!

 

Dear God, why does everyone have to die? One by one, we leave this world cold and those left standing feel abandoned, depressed, hurt, and angry. We know that you understand deep emotion. After all, you lost your only Son…and that son wept at the grave of his friend. We believe you mourn with us. Yes, our final enemy wields a cruel stinger but you took the sting out of death for Uncle Raymond (“Rip”). You called him quietly in his sleep; he passed unexpectedly, without suffering. Thank you, Father, for your mercy, even in his final breath. We grieve but he rejoices, celebrating in your presence today; reunited with his wife, son, and sisters. He fell asleep in mysterious darkness and woke to a glorious morning!

 

breath of life recalled
death comes as thief in the night
sun will rise again

 

 

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Raymond (right) died in early morning of brother Willis’ 90th birthday (8-18-18)

selling tickets

(black field cricket image from agpest.co.nz)

Black-field-cricket

 

Cricket orchestras play in late summer. Instrumentalists hide in road ditch grass, crawl along out buildings, sneak into farmhouse basements. Symmetrically speaking, you could fold paper cricket crisply, like a program, from antennae to tail spikes. Don’t be surprised when common cricket dresses up in gloss black for the evening concert. The koorogi orchestra tunes as more players join in. Buzzing music crescendoes into a grand symphonic sound. 

 

chirrups with his wings

hope hops ~stridulates~ for mate

listens with her legs

 

 


Listening to the music at dVerse poets pub with Victoria tending the bar.

shine light in darkness

Frank J. Tassone hosts haibuns at dVerse Poets on Hiroshima Day, 2018.

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Hiroshima Memorial Ceremony

Reading a thin volume, Hiroshima, in high school, I experienced the mushrooming disturbance to our world. Horror, regret, tragedy and fear seared my mind as images of devastation burned into my imagination. An unthinkable calculation dropped this surreal weapon of ghastly power on unsuspecting civilians. 

Visiting Pearl Harbor as an adult, I attempted to understand the whys of warfare. An over-reaching dictator and ultra-ambitious military attacked unsuspecting soldiers, provoking enmity. Havoc, death and destruction ensued, trailing a bloody wake across the “Pacific” (sadly ironic) theater. 

Until it finally ended with not one, but two, atomic bombs. Who fully realized the fallout of unleashing such force? Acts of war escalate exponentially, beyond all expectations of reasonable retaliation. Let ugly history be our strict teacher and awful memory be our future deterrence.

 

land of rising sun

lanterns floating on water

lit with hopes for peace

 

 

 

slanted ceilings of childhood

Running up to my bedroom on second floor, I’d turn on the landing and pass through loft area with railing overlooking stairwell. I entered my private world with yellow walls that reflected sunlight, white furniture, and a small closet with loose doorknob. I flopped on the comfy double bed, knocking headboard against the wall, and fingered the bright patchwork quilt handmade by my maternal grandmother, tracing lines of my imagination.  In this cheery space, I would draw or do homework at my small desk, listen to popular hits on the radio, and read my latest library stack in bed. Three shelves on the wall held treasures I’d crafted of decoupage, miniature paintings, marble mice and clay.

I opened my double hung window on summer nights to let breeze and neighbors’ voices through the screen. Sometimes I’d hear a siren passing nearby on a busier street or the pizza delivery guy come to the door (after my brother and I were to bed). I experienced both sweet dreams and frightful nightmares in that room, learned to pray, and fantasized about boys. Sometimes a best friend or two would sleep over and we’d talk and laugh until late. In the morning, my mom would open the stairway door so our miniature poodle, Jock, could scamper up carpeted steps and leap on bed to wake me.

 

city summer night…

fragrance of backyard lilacs

wafts into bedroom

 

 

 


Lillian invites us to write haibun of a childhood room, including a traditional haiku with kigo (seasonal) word and kireji (cutting) word/turn of idea. Read more at dVerse.

hey bun, issa mud mess!

 

enough rain here five to six inches already and counting with basements filling and ditches flowing as swollen rivers carry away sheep too frightened to move to higher ground and wash out culverts which derailed a train of oil tanker cars spilling into the flooded fields and seeping downstream calling out hazmat teams and trucks hauling rocks while farmers groan at wet hay rotting crops covered with silt and black soil carried away and why must it rain another day?

 

farmers grow webbed feet

wading through muddy season

who’s building that ark?

 

 

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road wash-out next to flooded field

 


Jilly at dVerse poets encourages writers to “break the rules” with this week’s haibun. Our local weather has been unconventional too….and destructive.

ewe ain’t seen mutton yet

dVerse poetics prompt to use street names: Mutton Lane, Shoulder of Mutton Alley


 

The town grew up around a humble sheep farm. A stone farmhouse, before they razed it, had stood a hundred years, with sheepfold attached. The last farmer, third generation of sheep farmers in the family, built a butcher shop behind the house to diversify his business. His only son, Marcus, was known as a young boy for his skill at mutton busting (sheep riding) at the local fair. Once, he entered a national competition, winning a trophy which surpassed his own height and glittered like gold. The townspeople ooohed and aahhed when Marcus returned as a local celebrity. The farm and sheep are gone, but Marcus’s grandchildren still live on Mutton Lane and manage the butcher shop adjacent to Shoulder of Mutton Alley.

 

an old stone sheepfold

see one’s breath doing farm chores

bleating of the lambs

 

 

count chocula aboard?

My tropical vacation dreams began to snap, crackle, pop when a mysterious caller milked my ear with the news, “You have won a trip on the Kellogg’s Caribbean Cruise line. The reduced price is a special, ‘k, and includes the total luxury cruise experience.” Crazy cocoa puffs! I was gonna enjoy drinks fruity, pebbles between my toes, and sun on my face.

A few weeks later, I was boarding the good ship, Lucky Charm; recently commissioned by Gen. Mills of the Chex navy. At the top of the gangway, we were greeted by our uniformed (uninformed?) Cap’n Crunch wearing a pirate’s hat. Passengers spread out across the deck to wave “Cheerio” to friends on the dock. As we were leaving port, I noticed the life rings looked unnervingly like giant froot loops and the inflatable rafts rather like puffed wheat.

At our first port of call, I felt thirsty so joined the queue at the island cider shack, Apple Jack’s. Back on board, I listened to a live country music band, the Corn Flakes, just for kix. They played their #1 hit, Harvest Crunch, but the lead singer’s voice was too husky for my taste. After a fabulous buffet meal featuring crab alpha, bits of caviar, sushi, and other sole food, we were entertained by a magician doing trix with silly rabbits. I decided to retire to my bunk early.

 

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awakened by noise

fear of cereal killer

on mystery ship

 

 

 

 

 

 


Haibun in response to Lillian’s fantastical noodling poetics at dVerse Poets!

where walk takes me

 

I’ll walk down our gravel road, usually alone with God, or sometimes with my neighbor and her boys. We chat along the way and soon we’re back home. I used to take my husky…or she used to take me (I miss my fast and furry companion). I walk a mile or two for the exercise and fresh air.

Other times, I’ll meander through our grove of trees sheltering our house and farm buildings. I go to tune in nature, clear my head and calm my heart. I listen to bird calls, admire the foliage stage of the trees or mushrooms in the grass, and perhaps pick up sticks blown down by our last wind storm. 

A bold rabbit hops closer and pauses to observe me observing him. Long ears twitch before he hops for cover under blue spruce. A black-bibbed flicker tap taps in tree until I pass below; he bobs and flits away. I startle a handsome ring-necked pheasant which whirs up, startling me. Bending down, I pick up a perfect robin’s egg that fell out of the nest, unbroken.

 

oak trees hold old leaves

prairie winds buffet farm grove

birds mourn fallen nest

 

 


Bjorn inviting us to take a walk with dVerse Poets this week…

scene with gazebo

I completed the April challenge!logo-napowrimo

 

Roses have graced my life. Growing up, I admired my mother’s backyard roses with blooms of varied hues. I sniffed each bush’s blossoms to compare scents. Upon high school graduation, I received a lovely long-stemmed yellow rose. Later, I carried three pure white roses in my bridal bouquet and following the birth of each child, my husband presented me with a dozen red roses.

I’ve tried to tame wild roses in my farm garden: a yellow settlers’ rose (possibly planted by pioneers) and a pink prairie rose (our Iowa state flower). Roses require nurturing. Admire the roses and have respect for the thorns in life’s garden. Cut roses fade fast.

 

roses in the park

tender touch of Gardener

walking by my side

 

 

©Ryan Hawk/WPZ 2005, gazebo

prompt & photo – CDHK

lonely or alone is a choice

Linking to Carpe Diem Haiku Kai‘s “loneliness” haibun prompt.

 

My husband and I don’t sleep together anymore. Yes, it happened slowly and yet it was by choice…my husband’s but I influenced him. As newlyweds buying furniture, I encouraged him to pick out a recliner but, not wanting to be a “lazy boy” by association, he declined.  

For years, I was a poor sleeper who desperately sought rest. I complained if awakened when hubby worked late (often), rose early (sometimes), or got up during night to check livestock (seasonal). My alert sensory apparatus took intense interest in all these nocturnal comings and goings. Worries about my husband’s apparent workaholism aggravated my insomnia. I was a co-dependent sleeper to a man who had little appreciation for circadian rhythms. 

Fast forward to time our middle son broke his leg and the doctor suggested he sleep in a recliner with his leg raised. I called my husband from the surgery center. “Honey, if you ever  wanted a recliner, now would be the time to buy one. Why don’t you go pick one out?” He did; it would be a life-changing decision.

Our son’s recovery led to my husband’s discovery…that recliner was comfortable! He could fall asleep to a movie without me grumbling about noise in bed. When calving season came, he would get up during the night, check cows, and spend remaining hours of darkness in the chair so as not to wake the queen. It eventually became a habit since we both slept better.

On vacation, camping or otherwise, we enjoy sleeping together…time apart seems to have a “honeymoon effect” when we reunite. And my husband knows he’s welcome to visit anytime!

 

ships pass in the night

Unknown

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farmer snores in recliner

dear wife sleeps in peace

 

spiritual connection

 

Prayer is sharing an intimate conversation with God.

 

open the scripture

listen, study, meditate

speak response from heart

 

 

 

 


“One bun” (haibun of one line of prose plus haiku) in response to CDHK prompt.

 

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