Castle Hill

For the dverse prompt. I am always unsure about haiku. Here’s the haibun about a childhood room.

The big bay window had three views across the valley and only one washed by the rain from the west. Hills rolled, green even in August, and on one stood a crumbling keep. We always looked for the castle on the hill. If clouds hid it from view, we would have rain, but on summer evenings it would be washed in gold, as the rooks settled in the ash trees.

sun sets on childhood

its rolling hills mist-hungโ€”

a nightingale sings

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.

49 thoughts on “Castle Hill”

    1. It wasn’t in walking distance, and it was only the ruins of the tower. Local people used it to guage the weather. The view was wonderful from our house though ๐Ÿ™‚

  1. Oh Jane, this is wonderful! You’ve taken us into a special room with a beautiful bay window. And your way of detailing the “arc” of the bay window is so well done. One portion of the bay window took rain from the west. What an amazing detail that “pictures” a bay window so well! I love how you then shift to the “meanings” you took from that window’s scene. Most especially that in the summer….there was a wash of gold (sun rays / setting sun or rising sun that would gold the sky) and the birds settled in the ash trees. You’ve named the birds and the trees…and these are wonderful details as well.
    The haiku – yes! In my mind (and mind you, I am not an expert and am learning with everyone here) the haiku is a traditional one. It is definitely about nature…and the words mist-hung are the kigo taken from the list of words that apply to spring …from the saijiki (dictionary of kigo). I love the first line… you are remembering your childhood – and that memory of the sun through that window. For me there’s a double-meaning with the mist as well….the memories are a bit misty…and you think back and bring them into view to remember. And the kireji is there as well, in the hyphen…and the added shift/insight…the nightengale sings. The beautiful sound out of the mist….the wonderful memory you’ve recalled from the mist.
    Thank you so much for posting to the prompt. I truly enjoyed your write!

    1. Thanks so much, Lillian! Of all poetic forms, I find the Japanese ones the hardest to understand. I must be a million miles away from an eastern mindset. Yes, you’re right about the mists of time. They do cast childhood in a golden light ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Wow, a real castle. We would have died for a real sure enough castle in our neighborhood. It sounds like a place of imagination and adventure. If you didn’t get to go there literally, I’ll bet you had many adventures there

    1. We did go, with friends who had a car and it was like a fortified tower in a film, bleak and grim on top of its hill. Yorkshire is littered with monuments. The church in the village was built around a Norman keep. We didn’t notice the ancients things particularly.

  3. I’m there in that big bay window, Jane, looking for the castle on the hill. A beautiful weather forecast. I love the opening line of the haiku!

    1. Thanks Kim. There’s a very funny story attached to that view. When my future husband, who is Essex born and bred, moved in with me, he brought a print his mother had bought for him a couple of years before. It’s of Wensleydale and you’d swear it was the exact view from that bay window. Fate.

  4. Beautiful–the image of a castle washed in gold. The whole thing is as Damien says, “enchanting.”
    I’m never sure of haiku and other Japanese forms either, and if I’ve done them correctly.

    1. If we could see it at all it meant the weather would be fine. My mother would always have a peek at it in the mornings before we set off for school ๐Ÿ™‚
      I usually steer clear of the strict Japanese forms. Don’t want purists telling me I’ve been sacrilegious.

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