Blindfolded, he takes me from the car through the humid air of August. He holds my hand, and then surrounds me with his arms, when small obstacles appear. He brushes the hair from my forehead, gentling me like a shy colt. The silk rectangular scarf, I had folded and tied about my breasts clings to me. My cutoffs ride up further exciting me, as he lifts me onto a wall. Shushing me, he says. “Sit still, honey.” I have no idea where we are but, his voice and footsteps have a slight echo.
of a harmonica:
Vibrations tingle across my skin, raising the down on my arms. A bead of sweat mixes with baby lotion and follows a shiver down, from cleavage to navel. Seconds become minutes, as the song caresses me. Oh, how I love him, this long tall drink of water with his huge hands and slow drawl. As the last note hangs in echo, I hear him approach. He lifts me high and traces the droplet down to the top of my hip-huggers with his tongue. I am still blindfolded when he places me on the ground. I feel his breathe upon my mouth. The tip of his tongue plays across my teeth. Ah, I remember him, his face, his hands, his taste, and that night at the empty skating rink…but, sadly, not his name.
falls from my hands:
the drawer closes
First Published by Contemporary Haibun On-line Winter of 2013
Copyright © Debbie Guzzi | Year Posted 2015
I s l i p p e d on a teardrop and landed in her arms. She never knew how much I needed her. I s l i p p e d in a puddle and I died in her soul. She never knew how much I needed her. Between yesterday’s old coffee and today's bright doom I broke in half. My heart slipped away into the hell of her death and my mind created LOST memories. So many moments of despair she held, and so many times of loneliness I lived. Beneath the darkness of the moon I drowned in a river created from her pain. It engulfed me into oblivion and I shall never be the same again. Sisters need each other and I needed her. Life seems over and death seems so FINAL.
teardrops in her arms-
woe brings rivers of d r o w n i n g
DEATH by suicide
I s l i p p e d on a teardrop and landed in her misery. She never knew how much I loved her. I s l i p p e d in a puddle and I died in her heart. She never knew how much I loved her. After the downpour of anguish I fell asleep. Nightmares of our final hug GOODBYE. If only I had held on longer maybe she would have felt more love from me. Maybe enough love to keep her alive. For she never realized how much her pain caused me heartache. She bled in sadness and I bleed in regret. No time to heal because healing is no more. Life seems dark and death seems so BLEAK.
one final goodbye-
not enough pure love from me
two dead souls bleeding
I s l i p p e d on a teardrop and landed in her remorse. She never knew how much I longed for her. I s l i p p e d in a puddle and I died in her essence. She never knew how much I longed for her. Before she was born she was already gone. A lifetime of sorrow and feeling different. It was hard for her to be a lesbian. Too hard. RIDICULED and damaged beyond repair. No more light at the end of her tunnel and the lessening of sunshine during her days. It’s depressing to think about what she felt her final moments of life. Her goodbye letter was awful. Full of pain and too much grief for me to read. I keep it in a journal tucked gently away. One day I will pull it out and read it again. Life seems wrong and death seems so BLACK.
suffered from regret-
too flawed and b r
o k e n to heal
~She s l i p p e d on a teardrop and landed in her grave~
Date Written: June 21, 2016
Copyright © Laura Loo | Year Posted 2016
It's quiet here - quiet in a way that catches me off guard. The tranquility is almost tangible, something I can touch and hold and wrap around myself. I can hear the pulse of faraway waves, the faint hum of the wind, the nonsensical call of distant seagulls. I can hear my own heartbeat, pounding along with the waves.
As I kick off my sandals, my spirit steps out of my body, leaving behind the material baggage of city life. The sand is soggy beneath my feet and I know my footprints will disappear when the sea rises, as if I were never here at all.
It's low tide, that magical time when the sea recedes to reveal the ocean floor. Grooves of sand catch pockets of water that are half-buried mirrors, reflecting pale blue sky and slices of violet sunlight that glitter like chipped diamond.
a vocal seagull
descends toward liquid skies –
At low tide, a second beach emerges, stretching all the way across the bay to the opposite shore. I walk slowly, tasting salt on the breeze as it runs invisible fingers through my hair. Strands sweep across my face, catching in my eyelashes before fluttering free once more.
The beach is a dream catcher, snagging small treasures when the sea withdraws. And I am a child again, fascinated by the hermit crab retreating into his shell as I approach. I spot the dimpled surface of an urchin’s shell peeking out from wrinkled sand. Other shells are scattered across the beach, some upside down, exposing smooth, pearly souls.
a tiny starfish
drifts beneath placid water –
When I find a sand dollar, my breath catches. It’s perfectly whole, with smooth, rounded edges and clean, ivory skin. It’s heavy and light all at once, the flawless design at its center subtle and brilliant, like a delicate floral tattoo. How many hours had I spent here as a child, searching for this transitory coin?
My eyes fill with unexpected tears as my vision wavers behind distorted pools of grief. I’m half-blind until I blink, releasing salty rivers down my cheeks. Even then, my sight is murky.
My tears taste like the ocean and I think, suddenly: Whose tears fill the sea?
Written: November 4, 2015
For Charlotte's "Creative Haibuns" Contest
Copyright © Heather Ober | Year Posted 2015
It’s siesta, yet one can hear from the second floor of the house the animated sharing of juicy news some visitors have brought to the gracious host, the lovely widow of a wealthy sugar planter. The sound of laughter is carried over the charming veranda bordered by lacy cast-iron grillwork, with its delicate oak leaf and acorn design and colorful, overhanging ornamental plants and flowers.
Three Creole society matrons in their typical 1840s long dress fashion despite the sultry heat are being served their tea and fanned by the owner’s black slaves. They are talking about the strange happenings at what used to be Dr. Louis and Mdme. Delphine Lalaurie’s grand house at 1140 Royal Street, a few houses away from the where they are having an afternoon gossip. Apparently, the last tenant abandoned the Lalaurie house not only because of some ghost sightings and agonized sounds that were heard from within. His furniture business inventory was also being mysteriously destroyed at night.
The lady of the house remembers how Mdme. Delphine Lalaurie used to be a respected member of New Orleans society. After the fire in 1834 and the subsequent discovery by firemen of seven emaciated slaves at the attic with obvious traces of abuse and torture, the couple and their four grown-up children had to flee in the middle of the night, or be lynched by the angry townsfolk.
Were all the stories true? Six years later, no human bones were discovered at the backyard, nor actual records or reports thereof, negating further accusations of slave murders, including that of a young girl who allegedly fell from the rooftop trying to escape her lady’s wrath. If Mdme. Lalaurie was the inhuman monster the press accused her of that time, then all of her contemporaries were also guilty, including all plantation owners, for the practice of slavery was fundamentally immoral and depraved. The lady of the house tells herself it is best to keep silent and let one person take all the condemnation. This removes the attention of the press and the restless community away from her social circle and her own guilt.
and undue exploitation -
cancer cell takes root
Inspired by A House in New Orleans Contest
27 January 2016
Note: The Lady of the House is a fictitious character, but relies heavily on historical background from:
1. Mad Madam Lalaurie: New Orlean’s Famous Murderess Revealed by Victoria Costner Love and Lorelei Shannon
2. Old New Orleans, a History of Vieux Carre, Its Ancient and Historical Buildings by Stanley Clisby Arthur
3. Mdme. Delphine Lalaurie, Wikipedia
Copyright © KP Nunez | Year Posted 2016
It's so dark outside, my eyes can't distinguish where sand meets water. Somehow, dusk has come and gone, plunging the evening into darkness.
But even as my eyes yield to this opaque absence of light, my other senses heighten. I can hear the crash of waves as they abuse the shoreline, sending foaming water up the beach in icy streams. I'm lulled by the sound of polished pebbles colliding like marbles as they recede with the waves. I can feel the sea's cool mist against my face, taste its salt on my lips. The scent of seaweed drifts on the breeze in gentle wafts - and then, slowly, the faintest whiff of smoke.
I glance over my shoulder, where a tiny dot of light penetrates the darkness. It's a beacon on this cool night, and I walk slowly toward it, digging my toes into the soft sand with each step.
peeks through thinning clouds--
He's still there, stoking the fire, feeding the flames until the heat is tangible. The air wavers between us like a veil - a line I want to cross. He stirs up clouds of smoke, stirring feelings within me as I watch his busy hands. I wait patiently for him to notice my approach, and when he does, my breath catches.
burst from seasoned maple--
blue eyes sparkle
I watch golden light flicker across his skin, softening the lines of his face. He abandons his task, moving around the fire until he stands before me, smiling as if he knows my heart is thundering in my chest.
He waits for a painstaking moment to pass. Then he kisses me with toasted marshmallow lips, pulling me down into his lap to watch the sparks rise like fireflies into the breathless night.
Copyright © Heather Ober | Year Posted 2013
It had been a long night, an hour drive just to be with my sister. One must stay in touch with family; it’s the right thing to do. I don't even know what movie we saw. Here she was again in all her glory whining, and whimpering, about her conditions. Confined space is the wrong place to be with someone bi-polar. Sometimes, I think the family should mark her eruptions on a calendar, maybe there’s a pattern? She was hungry; her blood sugar was low; hurry, get her home!
“Geez Sis, if my life depended on carrying peanuts, I'd make damn sure I had them with me!” I my replied.
the sleet fell
through the headlight beams:
“You bleeping self-centered witch!” Her reply.
And on and on, enumerating all my faults at the top of her lungs. Her face was darting back and forth across the stick shift like a viper. The weather was so bad, and her screaming so loud; I almost drove us up a telephone pole. The back road to her house was serpentine through a pinewood, and over narrow, slick, bridges. Well, about fifteen minutes into my dissection, I burst a gut.
“You need to have some control. Your diet is horrible. I wish you could see yourself eating. Your plate might as well be a trough.” There now I’ve gone and done it, I thought to myself. The little devil in me was all smiles. When we pulled into the driveway; she leapt out.
the car door
slams rattling the glass:
eyes wet as rain glass
It only felt good for a moment. It was true; she did deserve the comment. She’d felt free to butcher me, but, it was wrong to try to hurt her. The momentary release, which felt so good, has given us months of anguish.
Published in Dead Snakes Magazine Winter 2014
Copyright © Debbie Guzzi | Year Posted 2014
Out in the middle of a large farmland, I become a girl of old charm and unexpected songs again. Past the flanks where cluttered rows of hyacinths and ferns quiver, disarranged huts begin to shake as the rough wind wheezes. And on this late July, mounds of dust remind me of summers back in my grandfather’s hometown. Yet, a different vanishing overtakes me.
a season passes…
carrying all its flowers
to emerge as buds
Watching for thrushes that grow moist from dusky froth , my heels trek along deepened clay. As I lay on haystacks listening to stars chiming, the inky moon sinks its riddled face through a veil. Somehow, I feel alone...abandoned like the opera of a heart which seems to fall into a tragic ending. Yes, Grandpa isn’t around any longer, as a requiem of tears swells.
on this barren field…
a solitary twig cracks
from one glittered tree
The nightfall drools looking for the yellow among clouds. For a while, the hazy outlines of strangers--native women and children ---disturb my old revelries when Grandpa would linger by the porch dipping tunes from his violin. Through calm intervals of laughter, we sway together; fire to air, salt to honey. Much as I need to inhabit this space, it no longer belongs to me, or to him. But twilight comes brimming with all the glistened jewels of our own world.
between two lifetimes
is a haunting melody…
like a song unsung
Creative Haibuns Contest
For Charlotte Jade Puddifoot
Copyright © nette onclaud | Year Posted 2015
Her reveries slant the compass of time: 1970s. Minefields now roar through blurred visions. She retreats into dots of space to live in the moment, as emotions fling to a gray sky. While curtains blow unceasingly, hours freeze. Again, love passes; leaves, while a young wife’s heart crushes in tears.
bouyant clouds wander
in the expanse of night time
to gather shadows
There is delicacy in pain. Letters from Nam change the dark of winter to a glitter of December lights. As she sets the table, the flaming candle waxes through a kitchen filled with sweets and almonds . He is the breath touching musical tones in the quiet rhythm where carols are sung together. Feeling his presence,
she regales in a lone dance of fond remembering.
pines in crimson gold
waltz across the starlight
etching mellow notes
Somehow, a woman begins to droop beside a half-closed window. In the cold of duskfall, she longs
for her soldier husband, quietly. Then wiping her cheeks, she is refreshed by those who need her, now. In a joyful play with daughter and son, Aunt Jamie finds her true north. Such is the luster of more tomorrows,
moon glimmers, dust fades
a balm of healing renews
For SKAT : Any Poem You are Proud Of Contest
Copyright © nette onclaud | Year Posted 2015
Scurrying on my way home, a little leaf catches my eye, and I am compelled yet again to slow down.
a whirlwind of thoughts
compete with swaying of trees~
lone leaf on my shoe
I am not sure exactly when my fascination for falling leaves started, there is just something so beautiful and artistic in which they drift to the ground....I recall one particular moment in my college literature class when my professor inquired into my choice of the word "wither" in my leaf metaphor for a dying old couple.
My explanation involved telling him that for me, that particular word had a certain gracefulness to it, and that was how I saw that couple in their twilight years. But I deviate, for I merely intend to write about the interesting tree that I saw the other day. I do not know what species it is, but it bears its berry-like fruits on its branches and it has cordate leaves.
barren branches touch
newborn leaves on other side--
a paradox tree
A smile languidly forms together with my memory of seeing that same tree six days post double-faced state. It proudly donned a full crown of leaves in less than a week. With this image in mind, I can’t help but feel mystified, with the constancy and dichotomy of change….It seems like everything around me is continuously evolving, revolving. I can’t help but feel lost.
Almost in defiance to this line of thinking, I shake the leaf off my shoe, and trample on it. Instead of feeling satisfied, I feel guilt. I never did forget that Enid Blyton tale of how dried leaves were actually fairies.
littered autumn road
I stomp on the frail fallen….
my feet crushing death
Rolling my eyes with my melodramatic thoughts, I continue my walk home. It’s crazy how leaves can make me go philoloopysical. I am tempted to actually stop in the middle of the road and simply sit there—be among the trees as the wind serenades them, with the leaves swaying gently, some choosing to pirouette, some doing the salsa dip.
Being the practical person that I am, I just run my fingers along my wind-discoed hair. If it were possible, I would like to be a leaf. I find such nobility and grace to it. Imagine being able to capture light, transforming energy to create nourishment. Giving, breathing life. There is a delicate artistry with the changing of its colors—a complex, fascinating chemistry in each blade that I’m sure God is so proud of.
eyes gently follow
dying trail of withered leaf;
wind sighs its mourning
I pick up one leaf to remind me...
Copyright © kabuteng P.iNk k. | Year Posted 2015
He never did see a face though only a board width away,
yet remembers feeling privileged, spending those last few moments
while trying so hard to find the softer soil to lessen the impact
upon the brass plated permanent encasement; in this final resting place.
beneath the old oak
neither sun nor moon perceived
a veil of shadow
He’s mindful of the susceptible sensation within when the last
shovelful that completely covered the coffin tenderly placed,
then the license to use the coarse fill of heavy clay and stoney soil.
to become apart
at one within holy ground
the grass grows each spring
A phenomenal pride when to barrow away the surplus soil,
leaving the mound trim and tidy, a monument for the deceased;
also a monument for him, his very first dig, all with his own hand.
a mark of respect
for three score years and nineteen
© Harry J Horsman 2015
Copyright © harry horsman | Year Posted 2015
You won't find a yard like this anymore. You'd think it would seem smaller now that I'm an adult, but it doesn't. It's still enormous, stretching far beyond the house like a grassy sea. The hills roll like the tide, dotted with patches of melting snow that remind me of cresting waves. All around me, the gardens wake from a wintry slumber.
cling to naked branches--
a robin sings
Time stands still here in Nana's garden; the ghosts of childhood haunt every inch of the yard. There's my brother, climbing the ancient apple tree, throwing crab apples at my sister as she plucks daisies. Even as she dodges apples, she plucks away - asking no one in particular if she's loved or not, leaving a trail of petals in her wake. And there I am in my grass-stained skirt, twirling and twirling, falling dizzily to the ground, oblivious to my sister's shrieks of protest and my brother's triumphant laugh.
I shake my head and the vision clears. Now the garden is empty - still overflowing with trees and shrubs and flowers, but lacking in laughter, mischief, and innocence. Innocence has been replaced by wistfulness.
glide across the sky--
a door creaks
"Tea's ready, dear."
I glance over my shoulder at Nana. She stands on the back porch wearing her favourite apron and my favourite smile. Like her garden, she hasn't changed. A few more silver strands in her hair, a few more lines around her eyes - but she is still the same woman who took care of us, tending to us just as she tended to her gardens. She smiles at me now, as if she knows that garden has cast a spell over me.
With another glance at the apple tree, I follow Nana inside the house - and I swear I can hear echoes of laughter behind me.
Copyright © Heather Ober | Year Posted 2013
The snow slowly morphs into rain, a thousand cold cocoons that release raindrop butterflies into the frosty air. They glisten in the morning light, clinging to soft leather like tiny diamonds as he drapes his jacket across my shoulders.
The jacket smells like him: fresh soap and spicy aftershave--and that spearmint gum he always keeps on hand. It's way too big on me, but he zips it up anyway, pulling the hood over my head to shield me from the rain.
bleed beads of liquid light--
He's soaked, but he doesn't seem to care as water slides down his rosy cheeks, dripping from his frozen nose. He brings my hand to his lips and whispers, "Happy New Year." Even his lips are cold, but I lend him my warmth.
As we stand there together in the soft tranquility of winter rain, I realize I'm happy. I want to stay here forever, in this life-sized snow globe of frigid weather and smooth, warm leather.
For Giorgio's "Leather Jacket" contest
Copyright © Heather Ober | Year Posted 2013
Going out of his way, the obliging taxi driver drives to the top of the hill.
A young man gets out, walks a short distance to a vantage point
where his gaze falls upon the village down below,
the old cottages and farmhouses, sprawling fields,
winding lanes, and the clustered trees
where the stream skips by.
an overcast sky
scent of rain is in the air
a lone robin chirps
His eyes roam slowly, taking in little details,
keen to save them in his mind, fresh,
like the morning dew clinging to the swaying grass.
the cool autumn breeze
ruffles hair and memories
Time is pressing. One last look.
Then he reluctantly goes back to the car.
Soon, it’s speeding along the asphalted country road
heading to the station where a steam train awaits.
A new chapter in life...The city beckons.
sudden drops of rain
spatter on the hazy glass
sad eyes turn misty
Written: 15th November, 2015
Contest: Any Poem Written in 2015
Sponsor: Laura Loo (2016)
Contest: Creative Haibuns (2015)
Sponsor: Charlotte Jade Puddifoot
Copyright © Paul Callus | Year Posted 2015
In the recollections of my journey thus far, the tattered pages of my life flutter
in my mind. Like snapshots of times and places in black and white and color.
Haunting faces and glimpses of places. Sad narratives come to mind along with
stories and the history of family. Happiness entwined with sadness is all mine.
I often open the rusty old gate and travel a winding path to a place of weeping.
And I stand trembling with the wind in my hair . . .
the wind takes my hair
tangled branches creak and groan
whispering my name
And the tattered pages flutter. I find myself in a church, ornately beautiful.
I am a little girl praying on my knees. The hum of a thousand candles flicker.
Then I am holding my fathers hand as we stroll a lush green park. We laugh
as we walk along, just me and my father. We are going to feed the swans,
oh the beautiful floating white swans of my memory . . .
crystal clear water
the swans silently drifting
they come to greet us
Like wings whirling the pages move. I am me just a few weeks ago. I
hold a single red rose and place it at his headstone. I trace the words with
my finger. Baby, son of . . . he never got to see the sky. I never got to hold
him in my arms. I must turn this page for it is ripping out my heart and soul.
He the family secret not adopted but dead . . .
and gentle rain falls
on a bright red rose bleeding
clouds darken the sky
July 11, 2015
For the contest, Haibun, sponsor, scott thiryseven
Copyright © Broken Wings | Year Posted 2015
For some reason, this morning her alarm clock failed to sound. With eyes half closed,
she glanced at the clock. It was around 8 AM. She got dressed as quickly as
she could, hurried to the train station. When the train arrived; she managed
to get a seat . She put on her glasses and took out her crossword puzzle.
She became lost in the clues. She had finished one puzzle, was on to the next,
when the voice of the conductor interrupted her thoughts. A delay was announced.
As it turned out, the train ahead had derailed. Many were seriously injured.
It was then, she appreciated the silence of her alarm clock.
a peal of thunder
shatters the peace of the day
rain comes crashing down
Copyright © Joseph May | Year Posted 2014
Rays of sunlight awaken and skies of sapphire inspire, when mother lies back with eyes veiled, breathing out life and breathing in spirit. She is the fertile earth and boundless sky. She glides through eternity, rising and falling. Her hair, once the color of midnight, now shines silver like beams from the full moon, and the stars encircling her, illuminate creation, igniting dreams and enchanting sleepless nights. As we, who no longer walk barefoot upon the earth, busy ourselves, forgetting to lift our eyes in witness to her majesty and her beauty and her grace. Our hearts still beat in unison with her essence. Beneath the stars, we walk upon the same dusty earth as our ancestors. The sky rumbles all around us with echoes of the past, and in stillness, she feels the knees of the forgotten pressed against her chest giving thanks for her nurturing breath.
spirits veil her eyes -
drifting through sapphire sky
*Haibun form inspired by Susan Seddon Boulet’s Gaia
(for Debbie Guzzi’s Free Verse, Prose, Haibun Contest, 11/1/2014)
Copyright © Rhonda Johnson-Saunders | Year Posted 2014
I sat quietly and waited, making the noises he had come to know, calling him in his newly given name. His face would appear, cautiously calculating my intent, he would approach. The promise of food and gentle touch too much to deny. And so we did the “Little Prince’s” taming dance, each aware of the other and the possibility of betrayal.
cold eyes, empty heart
frost forming on life’s edges
winter’s numbing kiss
Our meetings continued, less cautious greetings, more welcome contact, minimal conversation. His coat was becoming more ragged in spite of attempts to keep it up, his gait slowing as our good-byes became short walks together. He could not leave his place, his home, even though it had left him – alone, to fend for himself.
hoarfrost in retreat
sunrise gently awakens
friendships warming blood
He withdrew – I would wait, quietly, whisper the name he had come to know, make the sounds that signaled “all clear”. I searched for him, stood silent and listened for his weakening call, shed tears in the cold rain of November. His last call, a feeble attempt at good-bye, led me to him. Alone, cold, hungry, he lay there, rolled his eyes as I cradled his cold and fading spirit. He shivered – and left.
winter’s cold cradle
ice encasing a friendship
a thawing of hearts
submitted to – Creative Haibuns – Poetry Contest
sponsor – Charlotte Jade Puddifoot
Copyright © John lawless | Year Posted 2015
hanging in the air
humidity’s heaviness . . .
the river’s slow crawl
On the Mississippi lies the beautiful little city where I once lived. How many times I trudged up inclined streets; or leaning forward, red-faced and panting, pressed up slopes with all my might, feet on pedals of my purple Sting-ray bike, urging myself not to dismount prior to reaching glorious level ground! The damp beneath my clothing in those days was a given. Simply stopped to rest. . . sipping pop underneath a tree, I would often feel rivulets of sweat that trickled down beneath my underarms, a surfeit which caused circle stains to appear beneath the arms of short-sleeved shirts or on Sundays, beneath the flowered dresses that I wore to church. However, despite the heat’s discomfort, it was summer, after all!
counting down the days
until the school bell’s last ring -
a fling with summer
Released from stifling classrooms for vacation, I eagerly embraced the sun. . .and how I played! Kickball with the neighbors, visits to the city pool with my sisters and friends, bike rides to parks or into town, where I spent my allowance on records and treats, and hours racing eagerly through the pages of Nancy Drew books in front of a cooling fan - all these things consumed me.
It was in the month of August, and more than a decade of muggy summers later that I found myself transplanted in a desert. As if thrust into a giant pre-set oven with a noose about my neck, I learned firsthand the meaning of “slow roast.” Here, in the new and different place where I've now lived most of my adult life, the heat can leave one with a burn like acid watered down, a deep sensation lingering in skin long after sun has left the sky. Perspiration may just evaporate before it has a chance to wend its way along the body’s contours. Discomfort notwithstanding, there’s no pain. Acclimated to these summers now, I find that it is easier for me to breathe in August heat than it was the first time I’d ever encountered it. Released from stifling work, I go outside into the oven, pen in suntanned hand!
so many summers have passed
writing till twilight
Copyright © Andrea Dietrich | Year Posted 2015
Last time it rained was in April.
It did not rain that much,
but it was enough to dirty everywhere.
You see, it was a south easterly wind
and the clouds arrived laden with sand from the north African desert.
That was nearly five months ago, and the farmers are already up in arms,
bemoaning lack of water as they till the arid soil.
dust flies in the air
the sun blazes overhead
sweat drips profusely
Prayers have not gone unanswered!
Dark clouds creep from behind the hills
fast multiplying, ominously, obliterating the blue.
The calm hot air is ruffled by a timid breeze which soon turns
to gusty wind. A sudden horizontal flash followed by drawling thunder
precedes a few big drops of rain which testily hit the ground.
increase of tempo
deafening cymbals clash
Water gathers then flows steadily down the streets;
thirsty fields drink greedily; trees bathe in delight, relishing
heaven’s kiss of life on their moribund leaves, roots breathing in relief.
Then, worn out, the wind slowly abates; so do the thunder and the rain.
The clouds shyly disperse, permitting an unobstructed view of the sky above.
Satiated, the sundrenched land savours the afterglow.
veins pleasantly throb
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Contest: Rain Rain Come My Way
Sponsor: binibining P.iNk
8th June 2016
Copyright © Paul Callus | Year Posted 2016
FICTIONAL EMOTIVE WRITE
Since I was a tiny baby I was brought up by my grandparents and had a very happy childhood. I knew that they were not my real parents but they gave me such love that I didn’t ask any questions for fear of upsetting them. Grandma’s eyes would mist over any time anyone mentioned my parents so I knew something bad had happened to them
Whispers in the hall
The child is too young to know
They passed so quickly
I left home at 20, married and moved to a small town about 50 miles from where I grew up. I was always in touch with my grandparents, but over time old age crept upon them and I recently cleared the family home when grandma passed away. I discovered yellowing newspaper cuttings, which told of how my parents had been killed in a horrific car crash, it also detailed their final resting place in the local cemetery.
Scrapbook of old photographs
My parents smiling
Dawn is breaking and dappled sunlight streams through the trees. A veil of grey swirling mist shrouds the cemetery. I pull my shawl closely around my shoulders and begin my search. Strands of ivy hang down from the towering yew trees, its dark green tendrils wrapped around the grey granite graves clinging so tightly as if it was trying to hold up the graves like a puppet on a string. The fallen gravestones remind me of decaying teeth with many gaps where stones had crumbled with age and neglect. I walk slowly, reading the names of those who now had eternal rest. Eventually I found their grave at plot 142, where a marble angel watches over them sleeping. I scrape off the thick lichen, which obscures their names. Tears fall and I hug the gravestone wishing I could embrace my parents for real.
I greet my parents
Stone cold grave gives me closure
Heartbroken child cries
Contest Overgrown With Vines Sponsored by Broken Wings
Copyright © JAN ALLISON | Year Posted 2016
Trying to recapture the joy of those winter days is difficult. School cancelled: sun shining through the sheer, white, curtains into an all too girlie room, the sound of a tea kettle's whistle, the ice cold feeling of oak boards on bare feet, between scatter rugs; I ran to the kitchen. The transistor radio sounded, still calling out school closings. The snow sifted down.
sparkles on snowflakes –
the plow roars
Quick phone calls, punctuated with giggles, roused a gaggle of neighborhood girls. White skates in hand, I burst out the door. I rushed toward the swampy area behind the neighbor’s house. My rubber boots crunching crust above the powdery fluff. At the edge of the watery wood, I stood staring. Boys, I see the boys in there. They have their skates on already. Tommy Maloney, my crush, skated toward me.
his black waves
dusted with snow –
whoops of delight
A hummock of snow-topped grass served as a seat. I removed my boots from beneath the zip sides of snow pants and try to tie laces new white skates. Once done I stood wobbling, weak-ankled. Tommy laughs, as knock-kneed I attempt a glide toward him falling on my butt. Oh how his eyes sparkled, an Irish rogue at twelve. Kneeling, Tommy began to re-lace my skates. I remember wishing, so much, he would kiss me.
First Contemporary haibun online Fall 2013
Published in Winter Legends 2014
Copyright © Debbie Guzzi | Year Posted 2015
In the bleak midwinter,
frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron,
water like a stone;
snow had fallen, snow on snow,
snow on snow,
in the bleak midwinter,
- Christina Rossetti
My mirror-face is pinched pallid as, colourlessly, I go over and over his last journey, and shudder like a train on a track. His last tracks...tracks in the snow...train tracks. Tear-tracks damp-bead my ashen cheeks, but tears, though summer-hot, don't thaw the bone-chill of alone.
his snowflake letter
cold on an empty car seat -
Just sorry and people don't always understand, I only hope you can and goodbye.
I took to my bed as the ripped days bled, pulled the duvet up over my head, shaken by a blizzard of dread. Fingers in ears, didn't want to hear about last movements, CCTV footage, forensics. My words fell snow-silent, and, as people have pointed out to me since, now I only speak through poetry's voice, its mediumistic mouth.
I'm reading a book, Coping With Suicide, well, I'm trying to read. But each page is a snowdrift muffling my mind, each word is a curled black whorl of hard-iron earth. I've stopped counting the days and nights, they've merged into a blizzard blur of winter-white. And the hoarded condolence cards all cry winter in snowflake whites and star silvers: In Deepest Sympathy ivory-traced, With Sympathy silver-etched.
Who would have thought grief had so many shades of winter? That death had a colour? Whilst others died with a heart attack's red squeeze or cancer's black rampage, he died with suicide's expanding white, its barren blank.
Poking food around my plate, staring sickly-numb, dumb, at the mounded happy orange of carrots, the yellow smiles of corncobs. Ashen faces in sifting ashy light, voices ermine-soft in empathy.
friends coax-feeding me
at a table set for one -
his chair is empty
Sleeping with his photograph, well, feigning sleep, through each silent night. Nothing holy in loss and lonely, just a hole blown through the heart.
Remembering: winter woodland walks hand in hand, plans we made, foundations laid. Frost-framed photos, snapshot days: a memory mural. Each shared moment freezing to a cold grief-pearl. Blanched branches window-tapping, and I'm thinking it's him.
vista of Christmases past -
Copyright © Charlotte Jade Puddifoot | Year Posted 2015
I miss so many things: the old pear tree, which once lived by the walk and the bees inside. The bees almost never stung, but made the most delightful buzz. The smell of the pear blossoms and the fruit as it rotted on the ground. I even miss the colonies of ants, which swarmed. You see, I chopped it down. Well, the bees stung my ex-husband, or, he was scared of the bees, or some such thing. The bees like the cat, knew more about the true core of the man than I did. Once the cat shat on his side of the bed, and pulled the sheet over it. Even then, I didn’t really hear nature’s call. I miss the rose bushes, which I tore out because of the June bugs. “Mustn’t have untidy, ugly, things around me,” fool that I was, and continue to be. I have almost eradicated the wild violets. Soon, even I will be gone. “Who will remember all that sweetness? Oh, the pear crisp with crumbled cinnamon crust on a Fall day, all gone.”
a mown lawn
stretches to the horizon –
a hedge clipper whir
The Rose Queen was a lesser villain than I. She was imaginary and I am real, or so I believe. “If you’d lived with Alice would you have played croquet with a flamingo club?”
First Published in Contemporary haibun January 2014
Copyright © Debbie Guzzi | Year Posted 2015
It is a dazzling display of brilliance, this conglomeration of constellations from different skies above as many different seas. I look at them, and feel the spark within my being. So, like a wounded soldier from the battlefield of life, I take little tentative steps, slowly but surely getting back the hang of walking with my poetic words after having been paralyzed for years. Gentle souls warmly welcome and offer as crutch a kind note or two, and not a few offer a glass of their own wise concoction when my throat and thoughts seem dry.
a little star blinks
with millions in milky way ~
words flow from a quill
I start having fun and develop new friendships, and as my own unsure steps strengthen with each passing day I continue to soak and absorb the light from the sun and glow from the moon and stars thousands of miles away. I realize that in this artworld no less than the creator has pioneered and trailblazed by the masters of years past, there is a place for all who dares to put down thoughts, fantasies and dreams in words and puts them out there to share with everyone.
hitched a wagon to the stars ~
words form into poems
A lesson this experience brings me is that with all the glitter emanating from each brilliant star there lies within a heart battle scarred, just like me… some maybe more than others. Those golden stardusts are but byproducts of myriad encounters common to this life’s journey. If one finds herself in the trail of a hurtling comet, one should not be dismayed, but get out of the way for it is nothing personal. Odd but true, that sometimes it is the comet’s panacea for the pain nature has ordained. However, so long as I do not set out to cause undue disruption in someone’s sky travel, I should not allow the comet, or any star for that matter, to dictate my direction. I have my own path to tread.
stars come out at night
brighter after a wild storm ~
poems take new brilliance
13 November 2015
Creative Haibun Contest
Sponsor: Charlotte Puddifoot
Copyright © KP Nunez | Year Posted 2015
As I watched my daughter playing with her son, I couldn't help but see myself in her. I still think of her as a child, but I guess parents always see their grown children as babies. My daughter is a reflection of me in many ways. She calls me her hero, but I'm the one who is proud of her. A tear rolls from my eye as I remember all the struggles we faced. Growing up as the child of a single parent, her life was a harsh reality.
I didn't know how to care for you, or how to handle your cries.
I wasn't sure what to do until I looked into your innocent eyes.
The first time you woke in the night, you scared me half to death.
My heart was filled with such fright, I could hardly catch my breath
I fixed you a bottle of warm milk and rocked you until sleeping.
I touched your hair, soft as silk. I held you close in safe-keeping.
My daughter left for a meeting in the middle of an atrocious storm. Heavy rain had been falling all day with outbreaks of thunder and lightning. "Love you both," she said, as she hugged me and her son, then rushed out. I was left with my adorable grandson. Cuddling him close and watching him play reminded me of times when my daughter was his age. Life had been a struggle: she had been a lively infant but I'd almost lost her from a series of convulsions. When she was nine, she decided to run away, but only got as far as the front yard. Then there were the terrible teens with the silly boyfriends I had to threaten. She had matured into a beautiful young woman, a wife and mother, and an influential and inspirational adult. Watching her grow up had been filled with trials, but also with much love and delight - I would not have changed a thing.
You were nearly lost to me, and I would've never known
the angel you would be, through the years you've grown.
Your younger years we spent together flew by much too fast.
A boyfriend dressed in leather? Thank God that's in the past.
Who would you become, when into a woman you were grown?
One day to be a mum? Would you have a child of your own?
My grandson fell asleep in my arms. I didn't want to put him down, so I held him close like I used to hold my baby girl. He looked so peaceful and innocent. I was shaken from my reverie by the wind as it rattled the windows and drove sheets of rain against the panes. With each flash of lightning and crash of thunder, my worry grew. I gazed at the clock and realized my daughter had been gone for more than five hours. She wasn't answering her phone. The intensity of the storm filled me with a sudden fear, just like the fear I had when she was young.
baby in my arms
I will keep you safe from harms
the rage of all storms
now I fret and stew
daughter, what's become of you
what more can I do
I felt so helpless, trapped in the house with the baby. My palms were starting to sweat so I put him down in his crib. Even if he wasn't here I wouldn't know where to look for her. I started pacing, emotions switching between fear and agitation. I started to panic. What if something had happened to her? What would I do without her? All those fears I had when she was a child came back to me. I had to get hold of emotions. I couldn't panic. Then the door opened. "Sorry, Mum. The weather was too bad to drive home so I met a friend for coffee, and my phone lost its charge." A sense of relief flooded through me. I held her close, just like I did when she was a child.
You were my angel as a little girl
Ribbons to tame your unruly curls
Then you grew up much too fast
into a lovely woman, a bonny lass.
Now you have a child of your own.
Before you know it, he'll be grown.
A grandson to hold upon my knee,
Thank you, daughter, for loving me.
Freestyle Haibun: Prose, Couplets, Senryu and Rhyme.
Collaboration between Lin Lane and Silent One
December 10th 2015
Copyright © Lin Lane | Year Posted 2015