© 2020 Frank J. Tassone
We stand on a precipice, nation and world. Fissured by plague and threats to democracy, we are faltering, close to tumbling into an abyss. Is this the beginning of the end? Or merely a ripple in the waves of time? I leave the angry and weary voices to walk, looking for beauty in the bright colors around me. A chipmunk scurries by. Deer shyly graze, turkeys strut through the long grass, and blackbirds give a trilling chink as they fly overhead.
I watch the sun rising over the river, making it sparkle. It know it’s physics, but I can also see the magic. We need both.
bare branches turn green,
brown leaves fall into river–
past floats to future
©️Merril D. Smith 2020
A Haibun for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday Haibun prompt, using Frank Tassone’s photo at the top for inspiration, and my photo at the end.
After years of archival research, chapters drafted and re-drafted, grad school extensions, and the birth of my first daughter, I finally received my Ph.D. in American History. My husband, father, and toddler daughter watched me receive my degree in a small January ceremony. I was proud of my accomplishment, but I think my father may have been prouder.
Seeds drift and flutter,
fields and cracks fill with flowers–
the glow of persistence
A Haibun for dVerse, where Lillian asks us to write about one shining moment. Something I just noticed–my dad never wore ties, but he wore one for this.
The morning after–my work is done.
Who controls the remote?
Everyone gets a present.
Yesterday did not dawn. It oozed grey with an oppressive silence, punctuated by thunder. There was a tornado warning in effect for the afternoon. Then, the storm clouds cleared, and the sun shimmered on the trees as we drove to the animal hospital to say goodbye to our cat Mickey. From the window of the little exam room we could hear birds singing. Maybe Mickey heard them, too, but I know he heard our voices and felt us petting him. He purred before he went to sleep, never to wake.
Today, dawn came. I walked, watching the sun rise and listening to the birds–and the world seemed a little less broken.
white cat paw clouds drift
slumbering in the sunshine—
trees drop pink teardrops
Mickey’s quirkiness matched his one blue eye and one yellow eye and his long legs. He loved chasing his orange ball. He hid from strangers and growled at some people, but he loved to sit with us at night and get neck rubs. We miss him.
Red Bank Battlefield, NJ
It is warm for February, but not as warm as I thought it would be. A cool wind blows across the choppy river. I put on a hat to cover my ears–still I hear the trees whisper, “spring is coming,” as I see shoots and leaves poking from the ground.
bare branches beckon,
sun’s chariot draws closer
waking earth with light
It has been a mild winter, but I’m ready for spring. It was good to see a blue sky yesterday. Though we’re back to dreary grey today, I’m excited to see crocuses, and even a few daffodil leaves emerging from the ground.
Frank asked us to write about the coming of spring for Haibun Monday at dVerse.
This may be my mother’s last move. We fold old years into new boxes; rearrange the past to fit the present. But somewhere, in some bit of time-space, the what was, still is. I stare at a painting on her wall. There’s a small red figure among the winter birch trees. Have I never noticed it before, or have I forgotten? It has always been there. I see it now.
Silvered bare branches
in moonlight they dream of spring–
leaves fall, new buds bloom
A Haibun for dVerse, where Björn has asked us to write about a beginning.
I’ve been feeling stressed for months—deadlines, caring for my mom, trying to fit everything in, waiting for the next disaster. I take a morning walk in the riverside park before the predicted downpour arrives. There I find a bit of magic, a bit of healing. Life goes on.
leaves fall on a silent world—
time pauses, deer leaps
I’m linking this Haibun to dVerse’s Open Link Night. Lillian asked for some treats. Seeing deer is a treat for me (as long as they’re not in the road).
Hubble Space Telescope-Image of Supernova 1994D (SN1994D) in galaxy NGC 4526 (SN 1994D is the bright spot on the lower left). NASA/ESA, The Hubble Key Project Team and The High-Z Supernova Search Team
Twinkle, bang—a star explodes, sending its dust into space. We’re made of that dust, ephemeral and eternal. Everything connected, nothing ever truly extinct. Listen—
stars shimmer and sing
treble and bass symphony,
in bright notes of stellar light
tumbling into space
At dVerse, Linda has asked us to use the word “extinction” (or some form of the word) in a quadrille, a poem of 44 words. The extra challenge is not to discuss climate change.
This is a haibun tanka quadrille. Maybe a haibun tanka is not a thing, but oh well. I’ve also used synonyms for fall and give for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday challenge. I was joking with someone about stars “singing,” but here’s an article about the sounds they make.
I look at the painting. Is it a lesson about hubris? Or that children must make their own mistakes? All I see is father and son, horror and grief.
and now your feathers
nicked and torn, you soared too close
bewitched by the sun
A haibun quadrille (a poem of 44 words) for dVerse, where De has asked us to use the word “nick.” And also, for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday, using synonyms for enchant and fly.
I read the news—an Alaska man finds a bottle with a fifty-year-old message inside. The Russian sailor’s note conveys friendly greetings. They drift through Cold War seas, through glasnost and perestroika to shores not yet submerged by the rising seawater of melted glaciers. The man shows the message to his sons.
Past meets the future
carried on time’s tumbling waves
ebbing and flowing
lives tide-lifted and lowered
as moon-silvered sea rolls on
This is a Haibun tanka (because sometimes you have to break the rules) for Colleen’s tanka Tuesday photo challenge, using the photo above.
Here is the story that was in the news.
My mother’s voice is soft now. Her words slur and drift off in a breeze. But today she laughs, and the sparrows twitter and chirp, carrying that laugh up to the sky.
Dawn rises giggling
rose-tipped clouds streak summer sky—
shadows dance on ground
For dVerse, where De has asked us to write a quadrille (a poem of 44 words, any style) using the word voice.