This haibun is for Colleen Chesebro’s Tanka Tuesday prompt: Smoke and Veil.
The photograph ©Humphrey Bolton is of the disused railway line that ran close to the bottom of our garden. It was a favourite place to play, overgrown and mysterious. It hasn’t changed at all.
So many things jog a memory, shake it from the old biscuit tin on the shadowy shelf into the light. A word, a phrase, a hint of light on a leaf, the smell of cooking, all threads in a magic carpet that has one destination. The past is a place where nothing changes. The colours and sensations never fade—the sound of chattering voices, the heavy hand of heat and cicadas whirring, the ice cream van’s tune, the muggy smell of Woodbines and that indefinable, slightly musty, exciting and forbidden scent of drawers where secrets and souvenirs were kept. I can see and hear so many things that are long gone from this waking world, I tell them over, like polished beads in incense-sweet gloom, lest I forget.
Through a veil of smoke,
forgotten moments—a thrush
on a distant lawn.