Haibun: Erasmus

A longish poem for me and ended with an American Sentence, a departure from the usual ending for a haibun.

“And the passing comet, we wish-would cleanse our earth.” ― Danikelii

C2020 or, the Comet Erasmus, was last seen 2000 years ago. I stood outside for three nights in a row, watching the smudge of it in the early pre-dawn. Since my husband died almost a year ago, I have slept badly, I usually go to sleep around 7:a.m. and awaken about 9:00 a.m. I frequently go outside all times of the year to watch the stars. I read about the comet Erasmus and realized, it was coming to make its presence known, just for me.

I stood outside and watched with my binoculars. I used Venus as the marker to sight my way to this elusive comet. Two thousand years ago! Who knows if the earth will be here when it makes its next pass. The pearly grey sky with the slight tinge of pink at the horizon, barely showing between the trees. An owl hoolted before going to sleep. I was humbled by the comet. I felt so small, so pitiful in my humaness. But we all of us wear comet dust in our hair. We are all of us made of these trailing miracles.

I remember thinking when I was 10 and watching the stars from the roof of our house, gazing at the stars and occasional comet. A comet is just like a cat. They both have tails and do as they wish. –

Traveling light without a sound; we are stardust.

26 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Glenn A. Buttkus
    Nov 23, 2020 @ 20:20:28

    You had me at “we all of us wear comet dust in our hair.” Haley’s Comet comes every 75 years. It’s a bit easier to pick up on. Nice to read you, to feel you out there.


    • kanzensakura
      Nov 23, 2020 @ 20:34:02

      Thank you Glenn. I am slowly posting again. Very slowly. I am working my way around the circuit to read and comment. Outside at night calls my name. Erasmus has left the building.

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  2. sarahsouthwest
    Nov 24, 2020 @ 01:27:08

    Good to see you here. I like your reflection on comets – and the world – here. We are so small, and the universe works on such a different scale, but we are part of it.


  3. Jane Dougherty
    Nov 24, 2020 @ 03:15:58

    Comet as cat! I feel the hush in this and the palpable sadness of such ancient things cycling and our little spans so full of meaning but so short.


  4. Francis
    Nov 24, 2020 @ 04:07:50

    The stars and the night sky give us such perspective, whatever their nature. Our world could do with a benign cleansing. Well done.


  5. kim881
    Nov 24, 2020 @ 05:01:59

    I’m so happy to see you back at the pub, Toni, to read your haibun and learn about the Comet Erasmus. How amazing to see even the smudge of it after it was last seen 2000 years ago! And what a sobering thought, to wonder whether earth will be here when it makes its next pass. I love the delicate description of the sky, the comparison of comet and cat, and the Joni Mitchell allusion in your American sentence – we are stardust.


  6. Helen Dehner
    Nov 24, 2020 @ 11:55:20

    ‘we all of us wear comet dust in our hair’ ~~~ delightful! Have a wonderful week!


  7. merrildsmith
    Nov 24, 2020 @ 12:50:58

    The last stanza and sentence are especially wonderful.
    I have an image of you now, as a child and as an adult gazing up at the sky in wonder.


  8. gillena cox
    Nov 24, 2020 @ 13:26:52

    Wonderful haibun. I will research C Erasmus
    Much🖤 love


  9. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)
    Nov 24, 2020 @ 15:35:46

    It’s been a long time, and I had not realized that almost a year had passed since your husband died. This year has been so very strange for all of us. Love the wonder of looking at the comet and the stars. I need to get away from the light pollution this winter


  10. purplepeninportland
    Nov 25, 2020 @ 14:52:07

    Love the end stanza of this.


  11. Magaly Guerrero
    Nov 29, 2020 @ 14:32:52

    The American sentence is brilliance that sticks. It would’ve been glorious on its on, but the prose that takes us there–the thoughts, the stars, the sleepless nights, the story–makes the whole piece incredibly lingering. “We are stardust.”


  12. Kestril Trueseeker
    Nov 29, 2020 @ 19:26:49

    That’s so cool that you got a chance to see it. One of the things I’ve learned to appreciate in the darker time of year is more opportunity to appreciate the beauty of the night sky.


    Nov 29, 2020 @ 23:32:35

    I’ve heard from dust we came and dust we return but I wasn’t thinking of stardust. That elevates everything. I’ve been watching the red star. Mars maybe?


  14. Rosemary Nissen-Wade
    Nov 30, 2020 @ 07:15:09

    That is such an incredibly beautiful piece of writing! (And of course I like the bit about a comet being like a cat, lol.)

    So good to read you again, Toni.


  15. Beverly Crawford
    Nov 30, 2020 @ 11:54:51

    I am struck by the fact that you lost your husband virtually at the beginning of enforced sequestering, just when you sorely needed the support of those who love you, which would have made your new widowhood more difficult. It’s good to see you here again. We never get over loss, but we do learn to live around it. Blessings!


  16. Ayala Zarf
    Dec 01, 2020 @ 06:05:27

    Beautiful. It’s good to see you again.


  17. magicalmysticalteacher
    Dec 02, 2020 @ 11:28:24

    I’m loving the comparison between comets and cats!


  18. erbiage
    Jun 02, 2021 @ 14:55:38

    Dear Toni
    Hope you are well.
    I know you are missed.


    • kanzensakura
      Jun 03, 2021 @ 08:26:47

      Thank you. Since my husband died, I have been holed up with my grief. I hope you are well! I still read the writings of others; I just am not communicating. Thank you for checking on me. ________________________________


  19. Mother Wintermoon
    May 13, 2023 @ 22:32:00

    I’m just catching up. I hope you and your beautiful writing will return one day, but I understand the process of grief. Sending love and (((hugs))) to you. 🩶


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