Haibun: Canoeing in the Pine Barrens

For Mish’s prompt at dVerse. Today is Quadrille Monday. A quadrille is a poem of exactly 44 words using the word prompted for the day. The word today is “steep” or variants of the word. I have taken you all to my beloved Pine Barrens in New Jersey. The creek and river water is colored with the tannins leached from the roots of the pine and cedar trees.  I have done a haibun in the manner of the original created by Basho – brief and to the point ended with a seasonal haiku.

Haibun: Canoeing in the Pine Barrens
Canoeing through the Pine Barrens is peaceful – floating on crystal clear water the color of tea leaves steeped in a glass pitcher. Silence. Slight shush of the canoe on water soothes us.
sounds of birds and wind –
umber colored water flows
through the Barrens

creek in the Pine Barrens

The Devil is in the Details

For the Out of Standard Prompt today on Toads. We are to write a poem about a cryptid – a creature that exists but doesn’t exist and is rarely seen. I have chose the Jersey Devil from my beloved and oft times spooky Pine Barrens.

“photo” of the Jersey Devil

The Devil is in the Details
Tea colored water flows through the Barrens.
Pine scented water flows through the Barrens.
Don’t be there at twilight or later.
The Jersey Devil will get you
If. You. Don’t. Watch. Out.
You won’t hear him coming.
He spreads his skeletal batwings
and swoops on you from above.
Bones of animals ….
and humans lie scattered about under the pines.
and in the tea colored water.
Dogs have disappeared from backyards.
Babies have disappeared from cribs.
People have lost their way in the Barrens
and disappeared.
You won’t hear him coming.
The Jersey Devil will get you
If. You. Don’t. Watch. Out.

Jersey Devil

The Blue Hole

For Margaret’s Artistic Prompt over at Real Toads. I used to live across the river in Philadelphia, across from the Pine Barrens or the Pinelands or the Pines as this area is known. This is one of several poems written in this mysterious and beautiful setting. There is a Blue Hole hidden in the Barrens – its depths have not yet been fathomed and it is freezing cold all year long. Some call it the Devil’s Puddle, others the Blue Hole, some call it simply The Hole. The Jersey Devil is said to haunt the Barrens and to hunt around the lake. People live in the Barrens, called Pineys.  The creeks that flow through the Barrens are stained rusty brown with the tannin from all the pine tree roots. It is one of the most beautiful and silent places I have ever encountered.

The Blue Hole
The Jersey devil swims here –
In the silence and loneliness of the Pine Barrens.
He drinks from its ever freezing waters
and hunts in the pine trees
that rim the Blue Hole.
He sighs with the trees –
A soft lonely sound.
People approach and he slides
into the surrounding trees
leaving only a branch moving as if with the wind.
The Devil’s Puddle,
The Blue Hole.
The Jersey Devil calls it home –
the only home he has ever known.

Blue Lagoon by O. Bentor (NFS)

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