in memorium

We lament with this family suffering awe-ful grief. Beloved infants lost at 26 weeks gestation; twin grandbabies happily anticipated. Expectant mother, more than halfway through pregnancy, heard heartbeats and viewed ultrasounds but no more… no more expectations, no more movement, no more fast swooshing of babies’ hearts beating their distinct rhythms. Only mother’s lonely heart beats now, heavy with slow sorrow.

The relentless spring rains mirror this drowning grief. Tears falling in torrents, flooded emotions. Erosion of the soul. What kind of broken world is this, where little lives can be cut short by the cord that was their lifeline? We may ask “why?” yet not receive an acceptable answer to the anguished questions. We have only our faith in God himself to cling to. Lord, have mercy on your children. As we remember precious twins taken; remember us too, for we are dust.

 

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rosebuds fade…family mourns

inadequate words

 

 

 

 

 

 

picnic by the sea

Linking to Gina’s picnic themed haibun prompt at dVerse Poets

Camping near the beach, we plan a picnic lunch to the enticing sound of surf. The cool morning sea breeze has acquiesced to the gentle sun’s insistent warming. We pack water bottles, ham, cheese & lettuce sandwiches, chips, sugar cookies, and  mandarin oranges into the yellow backpack. We pull on swimsuits, grab thick towels, sand implements, and two shapeless sack chairs for us parents.

In sandals and flip flops, we traipse across hot asphalt parking lot, zigzag along boardwalk down the grassy dunes to the beach. Happily off-season, we take our time choosing just the right spot on the uncrowded sand. Mom and Dad commence to read or nap in the sun while sons eagerly deploy tools for building the world’s greatest sand castle near the water.

 

southern vacation
keep sand out of sandwiches
seagulls beg for crumbs

 

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photo by lynn

greatest show on earth

After sunrise early one morning, I watched the full moon still hovering in the pale western sky. Momentarily, it appeared as a bright shiny coin balanced on an electric line; a high wire act, ready to roll like a big white marble down a track; a cosmic toy staged by a playful Designer. I wondered if the weight of it would bend the wire low to the ground causing sparks or if it would tip off and crash to earth, creating a sizable crater. As I observed, it fell…slow motion…through the wires and was caught safely in net of bare tree branches, averting disaster. The earth turned, the water tank filled, and I went back to chores.

(VI.)

starlight’s beauty fades

overwhelmed by sun’s glory

full moon in retreat

 


Linking to Carpe Diem‘s retreat…this haiku is #6 in my joy of light series.

to january, with love

 

January is a schoolmarm in a one-room schoolhouse on the frozen North Dakota prairie. She wears a gray woolen dress and peers over her spectacles with sharp grey eyes. Better be on time, sit up straight, and memorize your lessons so you’re ready when called on to recite. Here’s a clean slate and a bucket for fetching coal.

January is a team of malamutes ready to pull new sled. They wiggle and whine as musher harnesses them together; experienced dogs in front. He pats each one and slips them treats as they lick his gloved hand. Well-bred and muscular, January’s eager for the arduous adventure ahead. With a shove and a shout, we’re off.

January is a precipitous game of chance. It freezes and sneezes as icicles and noses drip. Weather rages stormy blizzard, then melts to muddy puddles. Celebration left in the past, until someone’s birthday or you migrate south. Glum with fevers or gorgeous with snowflakes, January is faceted garnet – a real germ…excuse me, gem.

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first month of the year

opens possibilities

Latin word for door

 

 

 

 

 

 

Joining Kim at dVerse Poets with this (rather unconventional) haibun for January.

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

 

_______

 

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!

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