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

wallpaperup.com

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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postcard of barefoot life

Chèvre at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai prompts us to write a “kikobun” (traveling haibun) on “gypsy” theme. Here’s my interpretation!


 

In my dream, I’m captured as a young girl by gypsies while visiting Europe. I leave walking trail to pick wild flowers in wooded area and am taken away by Romani people in a brightly painted wagon pulled by dappled horse. We wander the Van Gogh landscape of hilly vineyards and loose haystacks humped in fields, finding temporary day work for local farmers. Every evening, we circle round the flickering campfire, listening to lively songs and loud stories. I join in the dances, wearing my head scarf, peasant blouse and flowing skirt; barefoot in the dirt. 

 

gold bangle bracelets

gypsy smiles flash in firelight

accordion plays

 

 

1agypsygirl004

free vintage clip art

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

bah humbug!

As I grow older, my faith in humanity slowly shrivels. Man’s heart is selfish, proud, and violent. It’s been that way since the beginning but we all want to believe differently. We so desperately want to think better of ourselves and our loved ones but we too can go “there” (whatever evil direction “there” may be). I’ve been hurt most often and most deeply by the one I thought loved me most (or, at least, that I loved most). And I have hurt those I claim to love. Our love and compassion are so limited but our capacity for anger and hatred so large. Man feeds on violence: Rome had its gladiator entertainment, there has been war and genocide throughout human history, our “civilized” society kills the innocent in the womb and produces individuals that go on shooting rampages. I’m sure a hundred years from now, if mankind survives itself, people will look back and consider us “barbaric”.

 

blood red tulip buds

bulbs split, leaf swords thrust upward

blossoms burst open

 

 


Mish asks us to write about “faith” in broad sense for haibun Monday at dVerse Poets.

 

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palms for alms

I am that beggar on the ancient road of cobbled stones in Jerusalem, begging alms in the city of the king, near David’s tomb. The Passover crowds pass by me on their way through the golden gate to the Temple mount, singing songs of ascent. I limp out of the chaotic throng, pressing my back against the stone wall and clutching my empty cup. What is that I hear? Shouts of “Hosanna, save us”! Now I see ecstatic children waving palm branches before a rabbi astride a young horse; no, he rides a humble donkey. As they pass, Jesus looks into my eyes; a gaze that overwhelms me with compassion.  I pick up a palm frond as the shofar sounds the call to worship: “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.”

 

crowds shout hosannas

rejoice in the coming king

my cup overflows

 

palm-leaf-1370948

 

royalty free stock photo

 

 

 

poet’s bio notes

(Link to dVerse Poets)

 

summer thoughts flutter

capture words like butterflies

netted poetry

 

My love of poetry began with a book ordered from Weekly Reader in late elementary school, Reflections on a Gift of Watermelon Pickle. I read and re-read this collection of contemporary poems. Besides being a voracious reader, I enjoyed writing. I remember writing my own chapter book about a dachshund named Brandy.

In high school, I delighted in the poetic words of Ogden Nash, e.e. cummings, and Shel Silverstein. I memorized the lyrics of musicians like Neil Diamond, Elton John, and John Denver (living in Colorado). Words fed my dreams.

My paternal grandfather loved poetry. He could recite Longfellow’s “The Village Blacksmith” to us. When he passed, I treasured his timeworn volume of Edgar Allen Poe. Inspired, I purchased the complete works of Emily Dickinson to read.

As a young mother, I submitted a few poems to Welcome Home magazine. Later,  I discovered the blogosphere through devotional writers like Ann Voskamp. Then I followed a friend who endured a difficult foreign adoption process, blogging her feelings and experiences. While reading her blog, I contemplated writing my own.

With a busy farm and family, I wanted to keep my posts brief…a poetry blog! I dug up and tweaked a few old poems and published them as “a poem in my pocket” on WordPress in 2012, the same year I became a grandmother.  For fun, I signed up for an online poetry writing class. I read Billy Collins and Luci Shaw.

My ears like rhyme and rhythm but my ideas usually flow as free verse or haiku. I feel compelled to write my thoughts and challenged to try prompts from various sources, particularly d’Verse Poetics and Carpe Diem Haiku Kai. I hope my blog is a spot of beauty in a sometimes ugly world. Poetry is a creative outlet for me, a personal retreat from the busy mundaneness of life.

 

“There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind…So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself. ”   — MARCUS AURELIUS

weathered pastels

Kristjaan at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai inspires “springtime haibun” challenge…

Two years ago we invited our five grandchildren and their parents for Easter dinner after Resurrection Sunday worship. We already enjoyed warmer spring temperatures and tulip bulbs sprouted in the garden. A delicious meal was planned featuring honeyed ham with favorite side dishes. The mothers laid out their children’s best clothes with frills and bowties in anticipation of the next day’s celebration.

During the night, it snowed a wet blanket on the greening lawn and dirt farmyard. Plans for our first annual Easter egg hunt had to modified over the protests of the children, who were soothed by the fruity taste of jellybeans. The rabbit tracks across the waiting garden disappeared with the melting snow. New life persists and now nine grandkids are budding on the branches of our family tree.

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photo by lynn

 

wet snow on easter

spring’s resurrection muddied

hide the eggs indoors

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Later the same year, our weathered, fifty-year-old kitchen cupboards were re-done (resurrected) in “espresso” with distressed brass hardware  🙂

inheritance of fools

Wrote this “grey haibun” to share at dVerse Poets pub…

 

A mist of grey grief hangs over us all. Roll call of promising youth, senselessly gunned down before their prime, grows irreversibly longer even as numbers of disconnected, angry youth swell precipitously. Education leaves God out, letting demons in.

Hate disrespects human dignity. Rage destroys human life. Violence disregards meaning of community. Selfishness and rudeness rule (un)social media. We refuse to walk in the life-giving Light; choosing to crawl into the darkness of our own souls.

The civilization of Man is graying fast. Without fear of God, we will fear each other.  Beauty of human culture  fades. We follow a suicidal path and wonder how to write our own obituary.

 

ashes to ashes

ravens cry over ruins

grey twilight descends

 

 


An insightful article regarding philosophical reasons for school shootings HERE

 

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