Haibun: Summer Tomatoes

For De’s Quadrille prompt over at dVerse Poets Pub. The word today is “spike”.  A quadrille is a poem of exactly 44 words, sans title, using the prompted word of the day.  A haibun in the manner of Basho.


Haibun:  Summer Tomatoes
“It’s difficult to think anything but pleasant thoughts while eating a homegrown tomato.” Lewis Grizzard

It was the middle of July, mama had died mid-June. The tomatoes hung thick from the vines. To encourage more blooms, I buried the fertilizer spike.
soft like my mama’s cheek
I held the tomato to my face –
watered it with my tears



46 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. whimsygizmo
    Mar 11, 2019 @ 15:27:32

    Oh, Toni. How beautiful. This brings tears. Just wonderful.
    And I hope you catch Glenn’s comment on the site today about how you inspire him with your ninja Haibun skills. 🙂


    • kanzensakura
      Mar 11, 2019 @ 15:35:09

      I did catch it! LOL. my ninja haibun skills are nothing but copying the style of beautiful brief Basho in his haibun! Hugs to you. Wish I could be there to see your girly hula!


  2. merrildsmith
    Mar 11, 2019 @ 15:29:54

    Oh my! This is just so poignant, Toni. I really like how the prose just blends into the haiku (or vice-versa).


  3. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)
    Mar 11, 2019 @ 15:35:33

    I do love the way you feel your mother in that tomato cheek… may you get plenty this year too…


  4. little learner
    Mar 11, 2019 @ 16:04:27

    So beautifully poignant. Thank you!


  5. sarahsouthwest
    Mar 11, 2019 @ 16:07:55

    This is a tiny piece, but for me it captures something so enormous – the way something apparently trivial can suddenly kindle a memory so powerful it brings us to tears. Beautifully done.


  6. Glenn Buttkus
    Mar 11, 2019 @ 16:15:59

    Tears for love apples, kudos for another fab classic haibun. As you know, you inspire many of us. My wife only plants tomatoes; seven plants. She lives on them until satiated, then begins her giveaways; hugs.


    • kanzensakura
      Mar 11, 2019 @ 16:27:02

      Nothing beats homegrown tomatoes. I plant enuff plants to can, eat, and give away. My mother guards the tomato patch I think because I always have more than enough. I make a mean green tomato relish and can it as well. My mama taught me everything I know about gardening. Squash, cukes, taters, green beans….we love our fresh produce. Take care. Hugs.

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  7. kim881
    Mar 11, 2019 @ 16:19:32

    Such a poignant haibun-quadrille, Toni, you touched my heart with your homegrown tomatoes.


  8. Beverly Crawford
    Mar 11, 2019 @ 16:24:37

    This makes me long for a sun-warmed tomato!


  9. Charmed Chaos
    Mar 11, 2019 @ 17:04:41

    There is nothing that can compare to a fresh summer tomato, except our mothers. Beautiful Toni!


  10. robtkistner
    Mar 11, 2019 @ 17:09:42

    This is sad, sweet, and beautiful Toni. What a fine write!


  11. Grace
    Mar 11, 2019 @ 17:32:26

    Very touching Toni and I so love that softness like your mama’s check.


  12. Frank J. Tassone
    Mar 11, 2019 @ 18:31:02

    Reblogged this on Frank J. Tassone and commented:
    #Haiku Happenings #8: Toni Spencer’s latest #quadrille #haibun for #dversepoets!


  13. Frank J. Tassone
    Mar 11, 2019 @ 18:32:39

    A hearthrobbing gem, Toni! Beautiful and brief!


  14. sanaarizvi
    Mar 11, 2019 @ 19:46:00

    Oh this is achingly beautiful, Toni! ❤️


  15. qbit
    Mar 11, 2019 @ 21:07:48

    The tomatoes bringing you the touch of your mother, both physically and in memory. The fertilizer buried underground like a memory and a body. So good!


  16. rothpoetry
    Mar 11, 2019 @ 22:30:35

    I love the sentiment in this poem! A really good use of the prompt! A second touch!


  17. V.J. Knutson
    Mar 11, 2019 @ 22:50:45

    How the simplest of things take on new meaning with loss. Beautifully touching poem.


  18. Laura Bloomsbury
    Mar 12, 2019 @ 06:45:26

    the fertiliser spike and your tears ripened this haibun so evocatively


  19. rivrvlogr
    Mar 12, 2019 @ 09:27:59

    I can visualize this – your eyes closed while memories wash over you. Nicely done.


  20. Jane Dougherty
    Mar 12, 2019 @ 11:45:48

    This is so touching in the incongruity.


  21. Frank Hubeny
    Mar 12, 2019 @ 13:06:52

    Nice remembrance of your mother.


  22. Linda Kruschke
    Mar 12, 2019 @ 18:06:06

    This is so sweet and poignant. It made me think of my dad, who loved vine-grown tomatoes from our garden when I was a kid.


  23. Misky
    Mar 12, 2019 @ 18:08:46

    A charming haibun, and so lovely to think that your mother is watching over your summer crops.


  24. thotpurge
    Mar 12, 2019 @ 22:50:27

    Poignant… (and I love “ninja haibun skills”… more power to that!)


  25. Rosemary Nissen-Wade
    Mar 13, 2019 @ 03:30:28

    Oh, so lovely! And you made me taste that tomato.


  26. jazzytower
    Mar 13, 2019 @ 12:54:45

    So beautifully written, I could see this.



  27. Jim
    Mar 13, 2019 @ 20:24:08

    Beautiful, Toni. Mama’s tomatoes and Mama’s blooms.


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