Haibun for small mercies

For the dverse prompt, a local snippet.
Not much happens in our town. Looking back through the regional paper for the last week or so, it looks as if nothing happened at all. I do get FB notifications though from the wild life refuge just outside the town, in a nature reserve, out of bounds to the general public unless on an errand of mercy. Lots of good things happen there. Centre-de-soins-de-la-faune-sauvage-de-Tonneins-

P.S. If you look at the site, the most recent post is about the release of a buse variable, a common buzzard. The FB translation has chosen the other meaning of buse — a nozzle. You have to laugh.

Quiet and slow flows the world these days, but the men with guns still stalk the lazy fields, the wooded pools of the flood plain and its blue sky-gazing ponds, keeping the countryside safe from deer and pigeons. Quiet and slow, and in the river bend where no one walks, not even armed, is where the healing works. Here in the quiet, we take our foundlings, babies bereft, broken or off course, weak, wounded or too weary to care, and in the quiet on the river bend, on this domain, out of bounds of gun and dogs, pieces of life are patched up, wild lives reclaimed. So many small victories beneath the hail.
after the floods
and winter frosts the daffodils
always shine

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.

37 thoughts on “Haibun for small mercies”

  1. Wow, this is a powerful piece and I could see the nature you depict in this scene especially:

    “in the quiet on the river bend, on this domain, out of bounds of gun and dogs, pieces of life are patched up, wild lives reclaimed. So many small victories beneath the hail.
    after the floods
    and winter frosts the daffodils
    always shine”

    Such expressive and evocative poetry.

    1. We’re surrounded by abrutis, a small minority who like killing things, but right in the middle of nowhere, exactly where the abrutis with guns love to go to shoot them off, is a sanctuary staffed by volunteers who get a steady stream of animals to patch up, brought in by local people who care too. We need to know about these things too.

      1. Opinion is changing and the hardline ‘I like killing animals’ brigade have their backs to the wall. If there will be anything left when they finally lay down their arms is another question.

  2. (I assume the shooting is some ‘tradition’ valorised by the local establishment and not for food). I liked how the piece takes us inward from the fields to the shelter of the river bend and to the small victories. Lovely film of that ‘nozzle’ being released. And the haiku is an exquisite echo of fleeting beauty. A fine write – thank you.

    1. They are the self-styles guardians of the environment who protect innocent citizens being submerged by the hungry, violent hordes of hares and badgers, pine martens, deer, rabbits, you name it. But there are nicer people too, and they are in the majority, I think.
      Thanks. The nozzle is a treat, it’s true 🙂

  3. Wild life reclaimed is something to celebrate. I live in the city so I appreciate the view of the town and the countryside. I can’t wait to see those daffodils shining again.

  4. It’s the same here, Jane, a quiet, slow flow, and then those men with guns disrupt it by hunting innocent animals. Back in the Middle Ages they hunted for food, they ate what they killed, shared it with others. But not these guys. As you wrote in this too familiar haibun that breaks my heart, ‘pieces of life are patched up, wild lives reclaimed’. I always look forward to daffodils.

    1. It’s always a tiny minority who like killing for its own sake. There’s no excuse for it. At least there are a lot of people who care enough about baby squirrels, vultures and pine martens to take them out to the sanctuary to have them looked after. It would be a lot easier to just ignore them. Well, maybe not the vulture, but you know what I mean.

  5. It’s a relief to know that men who like killing are in minority.. I live in the city so it’s always nice to read and learn more about nature and countryside. Especially love the image of winter frosting the daffodils 🙂

    1. Living in the city cushions us from a lot. The city has its own rhythm, and it’s easy to ignore what goes on outside.

      The daffodils don’t appear until after the frosts. It’s a sign that winter has gone.

    1. No, I haven’t. I’m sure it isn’t true all over the world, but here it is, that there is a small minority of men who enjoy killing, a lot of people who don’t care enough to have strong views about it, and a growing number who are very angry. The angry people will end up swaying the don’t much care people.

    1. Thanks Linda. It’s sad that on the one hand you have people giving their time to saving injured animals and birds, others taking in animals they have found and want to save them, and a small number of mindless morons shooting anything that moves.

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