Haibun – Haikai challenge #22

Barely Spring

Last week, I secretly watched the feral kittens who live in my potting shed, playing outside while their mother carefully watched. I was behind a curtain and laughed in delight at their antics. Down at the edge of our property, the line of daffodils were in full bloom. The day was warm; in point of fact, it was warm until this morning when the weather turned cold, blustery, and snow was mixed into the rain that fell, drenching everything. I took a walk in the woods noticing Spring sneaking in. The ash and maples had small nubs where leaves would be, tiny blue and white flowers in the ground cover showed their mettle, and the creek had a small tinkling sound – some of the ice had broken and the water was singing its joy at being free again. My flowering quince is covered with red buds the size of the nail on my little finger. It will be the first thing to bloom and then the cherry trees.

This morning reminded me that spring is a changeable lass. I remember the first day of spring a few years ago when we had five inches of snow. The daffodils poked up out the snow, some bent down into the snow and some of the blooms frozen. The cold weather stung my cheeks and a cup of hot green tea was welcome when I came back inside. A bit of sadness settled on me when I remembered the snow beaten daffodils. Silence settled around me. The robins were in full throat outside in spite of the rain.

the night my father died
the house was filled with vases of daffodils –
he brought them in so they wouldn’t freeze

15 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Victoria C. Slotto
    Feb 24, 2018 @ 18:07:45

    Oh that final reflection in the haiku–how the weather impacts our remembrance of those significant moments in life, and how much it tells me in so few words about your father.


  2. kiwinana
    Feb 24, 2018 @ 20:00:24

    Nice to think that Spring is in the air, here in NZ there is a feeling of Autumn, the days of the hot summer have gone, evenings are a bit cooler, nice can sleep better now. All the best for a wonderful week, love the thought of watching kittens playing. Enjoy.


  3. revolutionarymusings
    Feb 24, 2018 @ 23:14:03

    Great poem i especially like the line “some of the ice had broken and the water was singing its joy at being free again” Thank you. I would love to learn how to write Haikai


    • kanzensakura
      Feb 25, 2018 @ 13:58:10

      Haikai entails several poetic forms: haiku, tanka, gogyoshi, senryu. You can look up the various forms on the internet for their definitions. I would suggest reading the forms first and getting a feel for them. Being Japanese forms, they are all connected with nature somehow, even the love poem tankas. It is a most rewarding way to write and can become a meditation in themselves. Frank’s website offers a selection of written forms and my website offers a selection as well. dVerse Poets Pub also offers a friendly venue for aspiring and seasoned poets. Good luck. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask.


  4. Jane Dougherty
    Feb 25, 2018 @ 06:43:09

    Our memories do seem to be encased in the season, don’t they? The touch of the frozen daffodils is lovely, their link with the memory, death in life and vice versa.


  5. merrildsmith
    Feb 25, 2018 @ 08:29:17

    So poignant–life and death–the joy of kittens and daffodils, and the memories and associations that go with them.


  6. Mish
    Feb 25, 2018 @ 13:48:24

    There is much to love about this haibun. Your walk in the woods resonates with me, especially the image of ice cracking, sending the water flowing again. I always resist poking at the ice. I like the way the second part of your prose becomes very reflective. Loss returns to us in memories and seasons. The robins playing in the rain makes me think of how life must go on, despite our grieving.


  7. Frank J. Tassone
    Feb 26, 2018 @ 06:27:08

    Reblogged this on Frank J. Tassone and commented:
    #Haiku Happenings #1 (2/26/18): Toni’s latest haiku for my current #haikai challenge!


  8. Sarah Russell
    Feb 26, 2018 @ 10:56:42

    Your father and I share a love for daffodils. A beautiful Haibun, Toni.


  9. Trackback: #Haikai Challenge #23 (3/3/18): first spring gust (haru ichiban) #haiku #senryu #haibun #tanka #renga #haiga – Frank J. Tassone
  10. Frank Hubeny
    Mar 07, 2018 @ 10:34:46

    Nice haiku in memory of your father.


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