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
Copyright © Suzette Richards
Two hawks aloft
crows anxious banding together
Carol Ott comes over to my house, likes the warm weather, November
a California Christmas and maybe species will change places to reflect
paints watercolor ornaments, gentle Jewish lady
how far from her past is she now? or is she quite aware just not talking
about it now
I wonder what she thinks the solution to Israel-Palestine might be
ask her sitting around the pool next summer
almost always disappointed people haven't given the single state solution
we discuss Thanksgiving, the cleaning and cooking before and the
cleaning after, then the insane Christmas potlatch
deciduous trees have a special winter beauty, conifers among them.
Copyright © Robert Ronnow
First comes Spring, with daisies and Easter eggs,
And little girls running around wearing their Sunday best.
My peony's start blooming, followed by
long walks with my dog, who is sniffing around
fire hydrants for the first time in 3 months.
The sun's eyes are open later,
While the moon takes his time rising deep in the horizon,
And the stars are just so much more,
Summer brings newness and fresh green everything,
Everywhere it spreads, wherever it can touch and see.
The burning heat is combined with sweating,
which then turns into family reunions,
Followed by swimming with my cousins.
And I can hear the sound of tiny footprints on lawns
Running through the neighbor's favorite sprinkler.
And sweet smell of marshmallows to eat,
My favorite one of them all, would have to be the Fall,
The sweet scent of fire lingering through the
Twilit cool breeze,
And there are yellow, orange and red leaves falling,
Like confetti from a pinata,
They have a certain destination in mind,
Mostly it's for my children collecting them with papa,
Or using them for their 3rd grade Science project.
Families all over the world get to do one thing,
At the same time...
Collect nature's beauty marks,
And jump so excitingly among,
-the beauty of a season..
Not too long after that, the Winter I saved for last.
Not because I don't appreciate this weathered season,
But because there's nothing better than that first time
You can see your breath when you breathe.
I'll never forget the first time I woke up as a child,
Gazed out our front porch window,
And experiencing awe for the very first time and saw,
Snow dipped pine trees with little green, and a lot of white.
There are icicles dangling reflecting a prism into
All surrounding light, and when they decide it's time to melt,
It's about that time of year when the sun stays up a little later,
And when the moon takes his time rising deep in the horizon.
And when the stars are just so much more..
Copyright © Laura Urbaniak
am looking ahead
so i got out of bed
its none stopping
Copyright © kurtis scott aka curtis futch jr
its come once a year
its always near
not just went s cold
christ was born we're told
its alway love dust
gifts for all of us
Copyright © kurtis scott aka curtis futch jr