Haibun: The Watch

Haibun: The Watch
“Those we love never truly leave us, Harry. There are things that death cannot touch.” – Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Parts One and Two

An early leaf burning: smoke wanders and its incense drifts to heaven. The voices of cicadas are silent now in the stand of cedars on the hill. I go to the pile of stones gathered from daily walks down to the creek and back. I bring one back and place it carefully on the pile. I began years ago with the death of friend, and then the death of my mother and the three suicides of friends last July and the death of my cousin Billy last October. I also place a candle in a gallon jar, that will burn though the night. The night will be cloudy, the stars unseen. But that doesn’t mean the stars aren’t there, just hidden from view. Like the loved ones gone before. I will sit on my back porch and watch the candle through the night, keeping watch, drifting in and out of sleep, of dreams. I sit entranced in the midst of the haiku I wish I could write.
the silent cedars
on the hill bear witness
to unseen stars

 

20 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. gillena cox
    Oct 30, 2019 @ 14:51:10

    Luv the resonance through out of “unseen stars”
    Thanks for dropping by to read mine

    Much💞love

    Reply

  2. Ron.
    Oct 30, 2019 @ 15:10:20

    Marvelously composed & related. Perfect closer.

    Reply

  3. Sherry Marr
    Oct 30, 2019 @ 15:33:12

    The vigil with the candle, the bearing witness to unseen stars, is just so beautiful, Toni. You have endured a lot of deaths. Many beautiful beings to remember.

    Reply

  4. Eileen T O'Neill
    Oct 30, 2019 @ 16:47:57

    This is absolutely beautiful. A great and loving tribute in time and thought, to those who are somewhere with those stars..

    Reply

  5. sanaarizvi
    Oct 30, 2019 @ 17:06:04

    This is incredibly raw and poignant, Toni! I especially like; “The night will be cloudy, the stars unseen. But that doesn’t mean the stars aren’t there, just hidden from view.” 🙂

    Reply

  6. Frank J. Tassone
    Oct 30, 2019 @ 19:49:49

    Reblogged this on Frank J. Tassone and commented:
    #Haiku Happenings #6: Toni Spencer’s latest #haibun!

    Reply

  7. oldegg
    Oct 30, 2019 @ 21:10:32

    What a beautiful haibun this is Toni. Love and loss hurts but we still cling to precious memories.

    Reply

  8. susanstoo
    Oct 30, 2019 @ 23:46:14

    Such perfect witness. I love the stone pile and the candle in a jar, and this deep knowledge: “The night will be cloudy, the stars unseen. But that doesn’t mean the stars aren’t there, just hidden from view. Like the loved ones gone before.”

    Reply

  9. kim881
    Oct 31, 2019 @ 05:21:29

    The burning leaf, the smoke and the silence create an atmosphere of solitude and pensiveness, Toni. I love your cairn of stones, a wonderful way to commemorate loved ones, and the candle in a gallon jar – and the sentence ‘I sit entranced in the midst of the haiku I wish I could write’.

    Reply

  10. jaerose37
    Oct 31, 2019 @ 07:08:13

    What a poignant and touching post…the end haiku is superb

    Reply

  11. RedCat
    Oct 31, 2019 @ 07:37:24

    Beautiful poetry. Building a cairn for loved ones. So touching, especially for those of us who’s lost many people.

    Reply

  12. memadtwo
    Oct 31, 2019 @ 09:14:03

    Wonderful way to remember your dead. (K)

    Reply

  13. Rosemary Nissen-Wade
    Oct 31, 2019 @ 19:01:26

    The haiku you did write is perfect! And the prose part of the haibun wonderful too. You created such an atmosphere! And such a mood!

    Reply

  14. Susie Clevenger
    Nov 02, 2019 @ 11:57:29

    I love the candle vigil, the watching and tending of the flame for unseen stars who shine even when they aren’t seen.

    Reply

  15. Just Barry
    Nov 02, 2019 @ 20:16:18

    You made me think of my mother, father, grandparents, and all who have crossed over. I liked your analogy of the stars being present even though we can’t see them, like those who have crossed over. This is really thought-provoking.

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Nov 03, 2019 @ 19:16:48

      I remember my mother telling me this when I was small and we were sitting on the front porch at night, looking at the sky. Just because you can’t see the stars doesn’t mean they aren’t there.

      Reply

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