dVerse Poets Pub – Haibun Monday

Today for Haibun Monday, Bjorn is giving us the prompt – Beauty in Decay. Assisting him with this is a wonderful photographer, Susan Judd. We are to choose one of her photos and write the haibun around it and the prompt. You can see more of her work and more about her at http://suejudd.com/ Come join us for Haibun Monday – that wonderful Japanese form that is a combination of poetic prose with a haiku at the end.

Decay Transformed
Dried daffodils always make me think of my father. He was a loving and gentle man who enjoyed growing things – flowers, kitchen garden, puppies, kittens, and lively little girls. Before I left home to live in Philadelphia, he had a series of heart attacks and finally, a multiple bypass surgery. The doctors told him if he ever had another attack, that would be it and that he had an expectation of at most, five years added to his life. Being my father, after he had healed physically, he went back to his life with no bitterness or fear. He lived every day like the miracle it was. One of his projects was to plant in the fall, several hundred additional assorted daffodils on the grounds of our home.

Early one morning in late February, my mother called me. My father had been taken to the hospital with a heart attack. I booked a flight to go home immediately. Our neighbor met me at the airport and took me home and waited for a few minutes while I through down my baggage and then took me to the hospital. My father died within a couple of days. When we returned home after funeral arrangements were made, I noticed for the first time, hundreds of daffodils in containers – everywhere. My mother said they had bloomed early and that a heavy frost had been forecast. My father was such, that he could not bear even flowers to suffer and so he had pulled every bloom and brought them into the house. Later, he was taken to the hospital.

When I returned to Philadelphia, I took a huge bouquet of daffodils with me. I watched them wither in their vase. I could not bear to throw them away. I watched as they dried and became a different type of beauty – fragile, ethereal. I kept those dried daffodils until they finally turned to dust. My father transformed everything he touched into beauty. He gave his love to everything he touched. Today, in memory of my father, every time I bring daffodils into my home, I let them dry – to go the full cycle with love and joy, as he lived his life.

dried daffodil blooms
beauty transformed – light shines through
In spite of dried death.

used by permission, copyright Sue Judd

used by permission, copyright Sue Judd

16 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)
    Apr 25, 2016 @ 15:21:51

    I have a lump in my throat from reading your haibun.. I could not even imagine how much a picture like this could touch your heart. Your father must have been a gentle soul to care so much for daffodils.. This was one of your most touching poems I have ever read.


    • kanzensakura
      Apr 25, 2016 @ 15:34:43

      As soon as I saw it, I wept and then looked at the vase of dried daffodils on my mantle. He was a gentle man – I don’t know who loved him more – babies, animals, or the flowers that laughed beneath his hands.


  2. lillian
    Apr 25, 2016 @ 16:56:56

    Oh what a beautiful tribute to your father. Thank you so very much for sharing him with us. I think this photo was somehow meant to be — meant for you. And yes, the light shines through them as they thin with age and pass from livelihood to stillness and dried shells of what they were. As I looked at this photo I thought the daffodils seemed transluscent. I mentioned before, I could hardly believe this a photograph it seems a delicate pen and ink drawing awash with pastels. Your haibun is awash with the love for your father.


  3. Victoria
    Apr 25, 2016 @ 17:24:01

    This gave me the chills. It was not only the daffodils that your father touched with the gift of beauty–it was his dear daughter. He sounds like my adopted father–caring, sensitive and a lover of beauty.


  4. Patti
    Apr 25, 2016 @ 17:56:46

    This is a lovely tribute to your father. Your words bring him back to life for us.


  5. Misky
    Apr 25, 2016 @ 18:01:11

    Such a beautiful tribute to your father. Just grogeous.


  6. Hannah Gosselin
    Apr 25, 2016 @ 18:28:02

    Oh my goodness…this is such an amazing moving haibun…I, like Bjorn, had a huge lump and additionally tears in my eyes and then I read your comment to Bjorn and the tears couldn’t be contained. Wow. What an awesome father and he would be so proud of you. ♥ I love, “he lived every day like the miracle it was.” So much to be gleaned from this phrase.


  7. Michael
    Apr 25, 2016 @ 18:49:09

    That was so moving Toni, beautifully expressed and a fabulous tribute to your father. Bought tears to my eyes I have to say.


  8. voiceless2010
    Apr 25, 2016 @ 18:54:32

    The most amazing tribute, Toni.


  9. Bodhirose
    Apr 25, 2016 @ 20:25:02

    I could just feel the love for your father pouring forth, Toni. I kept thinking how very fortunate you were to know a love such as his…what a beautiful blessing for you. Thanks for sharing a wonderful testament of love…his and yours.


  10. whimsygizmo
    Apr 25, 2016 @ 20:39:46

    What a touching tribute, Toni.
    “I watched as they dried and became a different type of beauty” — this is life, isn’t it? In all its painful glory.


  11. Waltermarks
    Apr 25, 2016 @ 20:59:01

    Very good, gotta know where life ends. Your father sounds like someone who enjoyed life for all it had. Your story and poem were quite touching


  12. mishunderstood
    Apr 26, 2016 @ 00:07:04

    Love shines through your words….as well as your appreciation of your father’s sensitivity, kindness and love of nature. What a touching story. I’m so grateful for this photo as it led you to share a little bit of your father with us.


  13. kim881
    Apr 26, 2016 @ 02:34:28

    I can only echo everything that has already been said. A wonderful tribute.


  14. petrujviljoen
    Apr 26, 2016 @ 17:20:31

    Humbled by your beautiful memories.


  15. lynn__
    Apr 28, 2016 @ 19:14:36

    Such a tender, trembling memory to share, Toni! Thank you for this glimpse into his exceptional life… daffodils embody joy, I think.


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