It was a visit long overdue by most people’s standards. I had last seen my daughter two years prior to that during a whirlwind trip which she and her fiancé had made to Cape Town. I had an unexpected financial windfall and the money was burning a hole in my pocket. On the spur of the moment, I called my daughter and asked her to source accommodation for me in London over the Christmas season. A few days later, she called me back with the news that all the hotels had been booked up, save for the Ritz. I chuckled at the idea of having to spend my entire holiday budget on just one night at the Ritz. Then reason asserted itself and we put our heads together to come up with an alternative solution. I could hear her flatmate in the background, chipping in with her penny’s worth of advice. My daughter hung up and I was feeling down in the mouth about the plans for the trip being derailed in such a fashion. Later that evening, my daughter called back with the offer that if I did not object to sleeping on the settee in the lounge, I would be most welcome to stay with them at their London flat. I gladly accepted. She is a chef at a top restaurant and I was looking forward to gourmet meals prepared by her - including the Christmas turkey.
screeching seagulls dive
at sushi scraps on a plate -
the urchin watches
The evening of the booked flight to London, arrived. It was an uncomfortable hot day and I showered and dressed with only minutes to spare before my friend took me to the airport to book in the statuary two hours before international flight departures. At the airport everything was in chaos. We were given the unwelcome news that our flight had been cancelled. This was the third direct flight to London which had been cancelled that week due to London experiencing the worst weather and snow since records began in 1890! We were offered alternative flights and had to stand in queues for hours in order to procure a new airline ticket. Some people became very verbose and insisted on being granted passage on other airline carriers (at the cost of our local airline carrier).
I do not know whether it was due to the weather or the disappointment I was feeling, but when my turn came at last to book a new flight, I readily agreed to fly on Christmas Eve ( three days hence) to London. If I had been given time to reflect on this date, I would not have accepted it. Arriving in London on Christmas Day would have been disastrous: The tubes and other public transport would have been curtailed on Christmas Day and shops and other amenities would have been closed for the day. This I knew from previous trips to the UK over the festive season. To add insult to injury, taxis would have charged triple for cab fare and no amount of quibbling would have swayed them. I phoned my friend to collect me and when we got home, I poured a large glass of Merlot and retired on the sun lounger in the garden. It was *full moon that evening and it was almost worth missing the trip to witness its beauty. I left my bags in the hallway and retired early – after phoning my daughter and giving her an update on the status quo.
between moon flowers -
Six am the following morning, I was woken up by the phone ringing. Sleepily I took the call. It was the airline inquiring whether I could get to the airport by seven am. My friend was dancing up and down in agitation and already had the car out by the time I had brushed my teeth. I offered to pay any speeding fines which she might incur during our mad dash to get to the airport on time.
The flight was an additional service which was laid on to get the backlog of passengers to their desired destinations. Heathrow had given our pilots permission to proceed, hence the call to me that morning. We were a total of thirty six passengers on the Boeing 747 – it translated to two passengers per crew member. We were treated to five in flight movies which were current and could eat and drink as much as we wished to. By the time we landed in London at seven pm that evening, there was a festive spirit among us. A radio taxi (which my daughter had organised) was waiting to collect me at Heathrow airport. It was a chilly four degrees Celsius below zero and I was grateful for my leather coat and wool accessories.
steep steps to flat
shut out the bitter world -
a heart pounds
*The December 2010 lunar eclipse occurred from 5:27 to 11:06 UTC on December 21, coinciding with the date of the December solstice. It was visible in its entirety as a total lunar eclipse in North and South America, Iceland, Ireland, Britain and northern Scandinavia.
"bitter" means piercingly cold..... A term commonly used by Britishers...
"flat" means apartment. The Londoners I know, refer to it as just "flat" with no adj or possessive noun or article. Please see the About section for explanations regarding the 1ST AND LAST haiku.
Haibun(literally, haikai writings) is a prosi-metric literary form originating in Japan, combining prose and haiku. The range of haibun is broad and includes the autobiography, diary, essay, prose poem, short story and travel journal. ~ Wikipedia
On the 12th day of kiss-mass my true love sent to me
12 dirty undies
11 socks a stinking
10 shoes a humming
9 shirts for pressing
7 days of take-out boxes
6 flagons of beer
5 D V D's
4 mischievous children
3 dozen wine bottles
2 ex partners
and an engagement ring under the tree
I do not know?
The Tragedy of the Banished Revolutionaries.
Epochs apart, yet,
bound by conscience,
Enduring the whispers of time,
through creeds professed,
and a million sins confessed.
of these banished revolutionaries,
is ceremonially muted by ritual,
and gleefully crushed under,
that serve Religion Inc.
"And the meek shall inherit the earth",
an incendiary thought,
for the pie in the sky that must be sought.
The tragedy of the banished revolutionaries,
for us to hear,
through the din of the cacophony of prayer.
The tragedy of the banished revolutionaries,
each day that we choose,
to shun the meek,
and mouth conscience-salving prayers,
for yet more silver,
and yet more silk.
Winter winds blow all around.
I’m astonished by the sounds of Jingle Bells and reindeer stomps.
All of this should never stop.
Snow lies on the ground, if only that weren't too profound.
Time only leads to decay, but not on Christmas, not today.
You should see the angels pray.
Toy trains, and rag dolls are the things kids used to want.
But time has changed, yes so have children…
Santa seems as if a villain.
So much fighting, so much crying, it sounds as if the kids are dying.
“I want money, I want fame, and these toys are just so lame.”
But that’s the product we provided.
Second chances are no more, Santa’s plot we wait for.
He’s sick of this, he doesn't care, it’s as if he’s not wanted here.
He gets ready to take it all back….
There’s still one toy left in his sack, it’s for a little girl, half a world away.
Now how could he have missed this, on the perfect Christmas day?
He turns around, not time for war.
This toy, the girl is waiting for… It’s not a toy like you’d expect.
She didn't ask for electronics, or stupid games such as Sonic.
She just wanted one small thing…
She’s waiting for something EXTRA special this gloomy day.
In a bed she sits and stares, at the window near a chair.
She’s so weak, and all alone.
She doesn't even have a real home, not where there are bright lights anyways.
They've decorated a weeping willow, the only tree around the “home”.
So she has lights to see.
It’s Christmas after all, but there’s no way to calm the raging sea.
She’s dying, it won’t take much longer, and she doesn't care about the tree.
She needs a new heart extra bad.
So, Santa’s bringing her the one thing, that will stop her parents from being sad.
He rushes to the hospital in his golden sleigh, and climbs right down the vent,
He’s saving Christmas today.
Santa rushes in just in time, finds a doctor, the girl is dying.
It’s not what he usually does, but he stays and watches as they save her life.
He waits for her to wake up.
“Santa, you saved my life, oh thank you so much! I needed my heart to be touched.”
He just smiles, and kisses her hand. He’s so glad he didn't destroy the land.
Christmas is still a special day.
There’s no more sorrow, no, not today. Santa smiles though some are still ungrateful.
There’s that one child, standing in the snow, her life can now be started in the evening glow. That’s life for the grateful, loving, caring, and the thankful. Most of the time Santa just gives toys. For all the good girls and boys. But not today, and not tomorrow, once a year he gets rid of sorrow. So sleep tight and say your prayers, Christmas time is but once a year.
The time of year when the joys
Rain down form Heavens
When the families get together,
When the children look up in hope
Santa’s fill surprise in the socks at night
When the snowman appears in gardens
There comes a the giggles and chants
Colored balls in trees and stars shining
Exchanges of greetings nights of prayers
We gather to celebrate the coming of Joy
Night to celebrate the Holy Jesus
Night to celebrate new Life, for its
The time of year when joys
Rain down from Heaven…
If I woke up on Christmas alone
My day would be so very blue.
Life has never been the same
Since the day I had met you.
It is my favorite time of the year
To spend alone with the one I love
I had even thought you must have been
Sent from the One up above.
So glad we never went our separate ways
You bring me hope yet still today
When we wake up together
You brighten up my day
Will always love you, I guarantee
My life is now complete, too.
Our future we cannot yet see
I just know all I ever need is you.
THE JOURNEY OF THE MAGGI
Such a journey we had of it
traveling to welcome the new born King..
nay... journeying to receive the to be born new king
we were three of us the king, the beautiful princess of our people
and the brave prince of our people
the king at age thirty barely a man himself
the princess in her teenage she was barely twenty
and the boy prince straight from initiation to adulthood
we traveled on a short notice
debate on what to carry what to wear
what gifts to give
princess Maggie advocating for diapers..
the king advocating for gold
the boy prince only concerned with
his personal comforts..
the young boy wanted special safari boots
made of camels hair-
he finally agreed to go... after a promise
coming back we would find a Massai
herdsman who would make him the sandals....
Maggie chuckling and giggling for we all know..
the Massai are herders of cows...
these days were civilized folk
we took an aircraft to Tela-aviv....
after raiding the royal treasure house...
and carrying off an unspecified amount of gold
and silver... myhrr frankinces we don't poses..
and we booed the crazy lads idea...
that we carry wild flowers...
The good sky bird dropping us at tela-Aviv
the geography eh..confusing to us strangers
people of a strange tongue.. king attempting
the language.. ended using gesticulations...
young prince nearly falling over himself-
at the thought that his daddy who claimed to be...
a master of latel the spoken word couldn't
put across a message.. even gesticulate wise
choosing to travel by night after encounter with goons,
sleeping in snatches,a racoon belaying danger... old king claiming he
saw the danger in a vision... racoon which is just a racoon
cold night being eaten by strange ice bugs...
father scolding boy for cuddling too close to the princess..
boy almost freezing to death intent on staying away from princess
father gilt ridden about it...
yet we arrived on time to welcome the unborn king
debate over who to offer what gifts
consensus.. we place all of them together
promise extracted that when the boy becomes of age
he would come and study at our village
on the way back ears grued to the radio...
listening for news from home..
wondering whether the war
had already broken out
father and son strategizing war..
we arrive back home, gracious..
weren't we glad the war wasn't to be
the journey we kept to ourselves...
for you never disclose
a maggi events.. i do so now...
the time is rite..we spied the star of SERAH..