This haibun is for Colleen Chesebro’s Tanka Tuesday. The prompt words are Happy and Sad.


I wonder are there any pure emotions; are they not always a tangled knot of one thing and another? Is happiness ever a golden peace, or is there always a hint of sadness, a shadow at the edge of thought, regret, a twinge of pain? When we leave this house it will be through choice, to build a new home in another place, different and more in tune with our desires for calm and quiet. It will be to shape another stone dwelling, that was home to others before us—cattle as well as people, dogs and cats—into a place that will accept to cradle us a little while longer in its warmth and its grassy fields.

We leave behind a passage in our lives, a time of growing children, heartaches as well as happiness. Life was here in all its facets. Two feline friends are buried beneath the roses that bloom each year with memories, children skipped from here to their first schools. The sun rises and sets each day and each day brings us a little closer to the end. We move, because we must, because it pushes back the last day, when the sun will hang suspended in an unchanging sky.


Every spring rose bud,

scented promise of young life,

furls wind-strewn petals.

Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

30 thoughts on “Knots”

      1. I suppose that’s natural, Jane. But I know you’ve wanted this move. Think of all the good things! 🙂 I’m wishing all good things for you and those who are going to move with you, human and animal.

      1. Indeed it has but the good bits can be nestled snugly in the heart and the bad burnt on a goodly pyre. You ARE up to the challenge. Just take it in petits pas … no need to be a bounding deer 🦌. And most of all, find the purpose in the way things are … it works a treat 🙂

      2. I’m trying. The practicalities are getting in the way of the dream though. If it works, it will be tremendous. She says, sighing over the word, if…

      3. I know much of practicalities vs dreams. Furthermore I once attended a lecture on ‘Pink Elephant’ words … these are the ephemera such as ‘if’. The idea was to ban them from one’s vocabulary and replace them with sturdy words like ‘when’. Try it … you might find it works and if not you can mutter my name in a wholly insulting way under your breath and talk about me badly behind my back … burning ears are a speciality 😀

      4. If the ‘ifs’ could be counted as ephemera, I’d say, yes,think positive Jane, it’ll all work out. Unfortunately, some of the ‘ifs’ are great stonkers…

      5. I do understand stonkers, believe me, I do. But I do also know that if I gave up believing I would simply turn to dust as though gnawed by a posse of woodworm!

  1. You put into words much of my recent thoughts, “Is happiness ever a golden peace?”, really hit home for me. I am, for the first time in her nine years, about to have an entire summer off with my daughter. We are so excited to have this time together but I am somehow already wistful for it. My task will be to live in the golden moment each day and truly enjoy my spring rosebud. Thanks for this great haibun!

    1. I hope you make many wonderful memories 🙂 I think your attitude is right—live in each moment, don’t expect marvels. I hear people talking about the things they are going to buy for their children, the things that they have to have to be happy, and I can’t help but think that they are wrong. You can’t bribe children to be happy. Just have fun!

  2. Jane… Your words always evoke emotions in me. This is such a fabulous piece of writing. Each week, I look forward to reading your take on life and the prompt words. WOW!! ❤

    1. Thank you Colleen. You don’t know how much your appreciation means to me. One thing I would dearly love is to be able to make a living, even a tiny poverty-stricken living out of writing because it’s about the only thing I can do. It isn’t going to happen, but when someone says she enjoys reading what I write, it helps make up for it 🙂

      1. Jane, you have a gift with words. Keep working your craft. Write those books and stories and fill them with this poetry. It is magical! ❤ And, I wouldn't say this if I didn't enjoy your writing! ❤

  3. We believe in people who can’t do literally nothing for themselves how they can deliver to us so never leave ur patch at least blossoms bloom and u may catch the sight of a fruit or two so life should be committed and all follows

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