Haibun: Smudgy Moon

For Real Toads, Margaret’s picture prompt of retro-paintings and for OLN at dVerse Poets Pub.

Haibun: Smudgy Moon

“She had a beautiful laugh which was like rain water pouring over daffodils made from silver.”
― Richard Brautigan, Sombrero Fallout

Yellow in the sky. Is it the moon setting or is the sun rising? The trees are a smudged backdrop to the moon. Birds are twittering, a distant dog barks. The flowers in my yard bloom boldly in the half-darkness, reflecting the moon.
daylight savings time –
daffodils don’t care about time –
they bloom in their own time

Haibun: March 6, 1984

For Amaya’s prompt at dVerse, Mardis Gras mambo.  Let me tell you cher, the times were wild in restaurants back then.

Krewe of Zulu Throwawy Coconut

March 6, 1984
“There’s a thing I’ve dreamed of all my life, and I’ll be damned if it don’t look like it’s about to come true — to be King of the Zulu’s parade. After that, I’ll be ready to die.” — Louis Armstrong

The restaurant was empty of customers. They were all in the streets getting wilder and crazier. My sous chef looked at me askance as I was a little bit high myself. One only one waiter and two runners had come into work along with one dishwasher.

I looked at them and said, “Hell, let’s close it up and go outside.” My sous laughed and pulled a small brown vial from his pocket and laid down a line. The dishwashers pulled out their vials and a joint and we all had a party, right then, right there. The noise outside ratcheted it up. “We are missing Zulu Krewe. Y’all go. I’ll close it up. Tell Carl the place was locked when you got here.” Mardis Gras in the Crescent City. Zulu Krewe was lambasting past. I laughed and shook my hips. I threw my apron on the counter, did a couple of more lines,turned the security system back on and headed outside. If I ran, I could catch up to Zulu Krewe. Who knows? If it took off my shirt and shook my tits hard enough, they might just throw me one of their prized coconuts. Laissez les bon temps rouler! Let the good times roll!

fat Tuesday rolls hard –
sex sin and dirty dancin’-
tomorrow we pray

Krewe of Zulu



Haibun: Flowering Quince

A second haibun for Merrill’s prompt, March Madness.

copyright kanzensakura  flowering quince

Haibun:  Flowering Quince
My ancient flowering quince is blooming, always the first of my yard flowers to do so.  The weather is crazy – freezing one day, warm the next.  Rainy one day, icy the next, sunny and warm the next.  My quince blithely ignores all the weather.  It begins to bloom mid-February whatever the weather.  I love this bush as it feels like a member of the family.  It was transported by root cuttings from England when my family immigrated in the early 1700’s.  It cheers me no matter what.  No matter that my father, grandmother, and grandfather all died in the same month of March, the same year.  The pink flowers proclaim resurrection.
rosy pink flowers
sing eternal life – eternal joy –
my ancestors smile


Haibun: March Madness

For Merrill’s prompt over at dVerse – March Madness. Narch can be a mad month with Lent, basketball tournaments, the weather!  My take on March Madness.  I am proud that I have several degrees from Duke, one of which is my MFA which I was awarded last summer, in honor of my mother, who died two years ago.

Haibun:  March Madness
“Imagination has a great deal to do with winning.” Mike Krzyzewski

When I was three months old, I was taken to my first basketball at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Mama says I was quiet and slept the whole time. She and Papa had a chance to get out but no babysitter so, they took me along. I grew with Duke Basketball, our house being about three blocks away from the east campus. Every March, the world of ACC and NCAA (Atlantic Coast Converence and National Collegiate Athletic Association) gear up to see who is the best in the USA. My Duke Blue Devils have won five national tournaments. I miss my mother most of all during March, sitting and cheering the players and fussing at Coach K.  Duke’s many championship banners hang proudly from the ceiling.
March Madness begins –
my mother’s presence sorely missed –
cold winds blow outside

Duke Chapel in the snow


Haibun: Making Udon

For Magaly’s Prose prompt at Poet’s United.


Haibun: Making Udon
“If we are facing in the right direction, all we have to do is to keep moving” Paul Kornfield

On one of my trips to Japan, after I had walked out on my profession as chef, my faithful guide Nikko suggested we go to the suburb in which he lived, about a 15 train ride from downtown Tokyo. Amazingly, fields of green crops rested between the clustered houses – buckwheat, wheat, and soybeans. He wanted us to have lunch at a small restaurant where the owner handmade udon noodles in the old way. He knew I would want to see and taste.

The owner and his wife went to the restaurant everyday. Outside the restaurant was his family’s farm – several acres of buckwheat or soybeans at different seasons. A small patch of cucumbers, melons, squash, corn, tomatoes – were just being planted. The owner happily let me watch him mix udonko – udon flour – with sea salt and water in a huge bowl. Carefully he pulled together every scrap and shaped into a ball which he covered with plastic wrap and then placed the bowl on the floor. Putting on clean socks, he began to knead the dough with his feet. It is a tough dough and the body weight makes it easier to knead. This was done several times with resting between the kneading. Finally he rolled it out and cut into perfect strips and cooked me a bowl of noodles, vegetables, and miso.

Soon I was using my chopsticks to convey the fresh doughy noodles into my mouth, alternately raising the bowl and sipping the rich miso broth. He saw how much I enjoyed my meal. Nikko told me he said that if what he did made others happy, then he was happy. All the holes in my heart healed in that moment. I again remembered why I loved to cook – it made other people happy. I realized that was the reason for this journey – to regain hope, happiness, joy of sharing without restraint. A bowl of noodles changed my life. Yes, it truly did. I look at the world around me – then and now – I don’t have to stay negative and angry and crazy. I can feel pain at life, but I don’t have to let it obsess me. I make udon today, as I was taught those years ago. And when I feed the noodles or any food to people and they are happy, then I am happy.
small green buckwheat plants
under pale spring sky – watching
them grow my soul grows.

Haibun: Hospitals

For my prompt at Real Toads: Write a haibun of 100 or fewer words. Any subject as long as it is true and directly reflects on you.  My contribution of 97 words.

Haibun: Hospitals
Hospitals are a cottony kind of place. You are insulated from the outside world yet, right outside your window, the world is happening. The sun is shining, rain or snow is falling. At night, the hospital is full of odd beeps and alarms. Not a good place to be when one wants to sleep.
hospitals –
no rest for the weary –
sun shines bright outside

Victorian era hospital approx. 1870

Haibun: Blue Sky Blue Flowers

For Mish’s prompt on dVerse Poets Pub. Today is quadrille Monday. A quadrille is exactly 44 words and uses the prompted word which in this instance is sip or variants there of. A haibun in the manner of Basho. NOTE: I am home from the hospital having bullied my doctor and promised to take a boatload of meds *wink*.  For Tuesday Platform with Real Toads

Blue Sky Blue Flowers
“Flowers are the music of the ground. From earth’s lips spoken without sound” Edwin Curran

Our lawn is covered with tiny blue flowers, always the first flowers to bloom. Overhead the sky is a clear blue. I sip at them like a bee, from sky to flower.
cloudless blue sky –
blue flowers covering the lawn –
sky is twice reflected

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