Haibun: Shaken, not stirred

For De’s Prompt on dVerse Poets Pub. I haven’t followed any rules this go around.

Haibun: Shaken, not stirred
“A martini. Shaken, not stirred.” Bond, James Bond

My husband was a James Bond aficionado. He knew everything about him. When he was in hospital dying, his only regret: he would miss the new movie.

He will be watching from heaven when I go – I will be stirred without him by my side.

 

The Daffodils on the Edge of the Woods

For Posery at dVerse and Earthweal: Finding Hope


Haibun: The Daffodils on the Edge of the Woods

“She turned to the sunlight And shook her yellow head, And whispered to her neighbor: “Winter is dead.”
― A.A. Milne, When We Were Very Young

We bought our house and moved in in October. We planted daffodils all around the house. In the spring they burst into bloom and trumpeted spring. I noticed across the road, a bunch of wild daffodils, growing on their own. They splayed their greenness, displayed their golden heads among the dead leaves and bare trees. They became my favorite clump of daffodils and I looked forward to them every year. This year, they are growing, blooming. I saw them as I drove past on the narrow road by our house. I stopped and admired them. I began to cry to as I looked at them – the clump of a half-dozen blooms. I looked up at the spring blue sky with mackerel clouds. As much as I missed Brad, there was hope there. The sky would be blue, the daffodils would bloom, the birds would sing in the trees. There are moments caught between heart-beats, between tears and smiles. I wiped my eyes and bent down and kissed the blooms. Hope, I whispered. Hope.
trumpets of gold
proclaim spring –
proclaim life

Haibun: Kitten Photos

For Shay’s photo prompt on Sunday Muse BlogSpot. The haibun ends with a senryu and not the typical seasonal haiku.

Kitten Photos
“Taking pictures is like tiptoeing into the kitchen late at night and stealing Oreo cookies.” – Diane Arbus

Decades ago, I was a photographer. Not a taker of pretty of pictures but a paid-for-photographs-by-a-Philadelphia-newspaper. I also took autopsy photos for extra money. The photos I took were a queasy combination of the dead and food styling. Sometimes the paper would use me as a stringer and I would travel to a small town to take pics of mourners at a funeral, an exceptionally bad car wreck, or the local gardening club. Most of the time I hated my job but it paid the rent. Like most young underpaid photographers, I ate a lot of hotdogs at the Pen and Pencil – the local press club. The hotdogs swam in hot water in a slow cooker and were free. The scotch you had to pay for. I used to drink a week’s salary in scotch during this time. This temporary career choice of three years built up in me a hatred of having my picture taken and taking snapshots. People ask, why don’t you take pics of your garden or your food? Well, read what I did to pay the rent. On our 20th anniversary, my husband and I glared at the waitress who was taking our picture as we sat and waited for our dinner.

Like being a chef, being a photographer involves smoke and mirrors. Careful and precise knife work and the right ingredients. My favorite photographers were Henri Bresson and Alfred Stieglitz. They would have made great chefs I think. But I was young, a mere kitten. I learned to combine smoke and mirrors and precise knife work when I cooked. I never really caught on when I did photography. You can only put so much finesse into an autopsy photo after all. I regret the photography phase of my life – especially the phase of intruding in people’s lives. Hold still. Let me take your picture while you sit on the commode or weep for your dead mother (who was vaguely famous) or lie naked on a table waiting for the knife.
photographs
in black and white –
life doesn’t hold still

Bulbs and Bees

A haibun on the subject of spring for dVerse Poets Pub haibun Monday.  I prefer the haibun in the manner of Basho rather than the long descriptive westernized haibun.  This is also linked to Earthweal whose subject is renewal.

 

Bulbs and Bees
“To me the meanest flower that blows can give thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears.” William Wordsworth

Bulbs and Bees
When we moved into this house, my husband and I planted a few hundred daffodil bulbs to naturalize among the trees and boundary lines. Every year, they come up among the fallen dead leaves, pushing them out of the way. Then they begin to bloom – such sweetness of fragrance that lifts my heart. The bees come awake about this time of year. I press my stethoscope against the hive listening to them buzz. I must confess to stroking the green fronds of the daffodil and weeping as I remember Brad and I planting the bulbs so happily that first autumn we lived in our home. Such joy we shared with each other and with the creatures of the woods and of course, my bees. Every year the daffodils return bringing spring on its heels.
gazing at the blue skies
the colour of his eyes –
I smile at the clouds

 

 

The End

A haibun for DVerse Poets Pub. It is about new beginnings. I am ending the haibun with an American Sentence instead of a classic haiku.

The End
“Grief is like living two lives – One is like pretending everything is alright, and the other where your heart silently screams in pain.” Anonymous

December 22 my husband died unexpectedly. He had been in the hospital for a few days but then, he died. I sat and held him untl he drew his last breath. Christmas did not exist this year. The New Year’s did not exist. Nothing exists except the deep pain. I walk around the empty house and look out of the windows. The beginning of the year dawns grey and rainy. I curl up in Brad’s recliner wrapped in the blanket. I don’t think I will ever get warm again. Half of my heart has died.
I look up from the depths of a mine, a caged canary beating my wings against cold death.

Keeping Calm

For Sherry’s Prompt at Real Toads, keeping calm during the crisis of climate change.

Haibun: Keeping Calm
“The mightiest power of death is not that it can make people die, but that it can make the people you left behind want to stop living.” ― Fredrik Backman, My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry

Uh oh. Another one of Toni’s let’s get real and honest posts. With topics such as Trump, BREXIT, climate change – I find it hard to take any of it seriously. My husband died Sunday, suddenly, after a brief illness. I find it hard to keep calm in the face of a personal crisis. I don’t really care about a global crisis at this point. The love of my life died Sunday – a tall tree in a forest of fakes cut down in his prime. During his brief illness, I discovered again that the only thing that lasts forever is love. True honest unpretentious real love. One day I will care about the climate again. One day. Maybe it will be too late by the time I care again. Until then, I will wander through this empty house, stare at the Ursids by myself, look at the bare trees by myself. Love. That is it. The end-all and be-all. Love.
a tree cut down in its prime –
my heart grieves
my heart weeps

Haibun: Eastern Stars

For Marian’s prompt at Real Toads, Western Stars. It is based on the new album by Bruce Springsteen, Western Stars.  Those of us who are fans of the Boss all have that song that he wrote just for us.  Mine is first and last and always, Thunder Road.  Written back when Bruce was young, raw and tender, full of juice, it is my song. I am ending the haibun with an American Sentence instead of a haiku.

Haibun: Eastern Stars
“The hardest thing on earth is choosing what matters” – ― Larry McMurtry, Lonesome Dove

Fifty-two years ago, during the summer of love, I hitched hiked across the US with a gay male friend of mine. We slept in the desert several days. I will never forget the enormity of that sky with stars spread out like rhinestones on black velvet. It was the first time I ever saw meteor showers. I lay curled up in my sleeping bag watching the stars fall, several of them at once. We arrived in San Francisco, Haight Asbury a few days later. My friend and I were disgusted. The stars over the desert taught us a lesson about pretention, honesty, truth. We stayed a several days and decided to split. Back across the US we went, stopping in the desert again for a few more days of honest skies. We hit the east coast a week later. He went up to the Jersey Shore and I tagged along to meet up with my cousin Billy who later went to Woodstock with me. I lay on the beach at night at Point Pleasant and looked up at the Eastern Stars. They had the same lessons to teach about not being pretentious, about being honest. I have taken those lessons to heart and learned from them. Now I gaze out the window at the stars as my husband sleeps in the hospital room behind me. He is gravely ill and I stand at window and cry. A quiet unpretentious man, honest, and true.
Skies weep with rain as the eastern stars cry with me and hide behind clouds.

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