This haibun, written for Colleen Chesebro’s Tanka Tuesday challenge (Happy Birthday, by the way!) was inspired by thoughts about my grandmother and what she would have (probably did, a million times) wish for after her children died. It could be read as though I don’t think there’s any point striving for change. It isn’t meant that way.  We should and must do what we can to make things better for everyone, is really what I was trying to get across, and not try to unravel a nice little strand of happiness for just our own little selves.


If I could wish I wouldn’t. Too vast and rolling the world I’d shift with my chopping and changing. Go back sixty years and make it so two children didn’t die? How so? Change the way the poor died then through lack of care and no doctor for those who couldn’t pay? Would I stop the trains on the way to the death camps without changing the hatred that sent them there? Nip the hatred in the bud, go back two thousand years? Kill the Christ who started it with his new fangled machine of blame? Would I stop a massacre here only to create a war elsewhere?

No wish is anodyne, no stone so small it will not start an avalanche that I could never master. Life is what it is—hard for many, easy for some. We can dole out handfuls of softness here and there but in the end the stones roll and gather no moss. Only more stones.

Sitting on this stone, teetering on the cliff edge I watch the changing sky and the greening earth. This is the only reality, the magic undercurrent of existence, and that I would never change.


Melts into summer

in a rush of perfumed blooms,

wild, sun-charged growing.

Cherish each falling petal,

no moment ever returns.


A haibun for Colleen Chesebro’s Tanka Tuesday on the theme of Hard & Soft.


After weeks of cold, sun-teased buds burst in a fountain of white and pink froth, fluttering and bowing in defiance of the wild winds and steely shafts of rain.


Bud-tight blossoming,

at one with the sun, spring-bright

cascades of beauty.


Rain drums and pounds petals into earth, iron-hard after weeks of cold, turning the sarcophagus of winter into the softly luxurious, green-sprouting mud of spring.


Cold earth cedes, coaxed

by delving, trickling runnels,

shoots a rack of green spears.

Light falling through leaves

A haibun for Colleen Chesebro’s Tanka Tuesday prompt. A haiku and a tanka frame a piece of prose.

Photo©Domenico Selvagnin


From light, dark grows, night,

scattered with starlight, moonlight—

midnight precedes dawn.

This path leads between waking and sleeping, light and darkness, dusk and dawn. We follow its meanders from spring to deep winter, round and round, until the earth stops turning.

All that keeps me to this path between the deep shadows of night and the misty haze of morning, between the leaves that burst fresh and green and those that tumble in a blaze of autumn fire, is the touch of your hand.

Hold tight to my hand, feel how its clasp is both cool as spring water and hot as summer sunshine, twist my fingers in yours like tresses of light falling through new leaves into the rushing stream.

At dusk, we two walk

bathed in sun motes, golden, soft,

petals at our feet.

Spring blazes from stark black boughs,

already its beauty fades.

Tanka: Stirrings

Trying not to think of other things, writing poetry for Colleen Chesebro’s Tuesday Tanka challenge. I’ve used synonyms for both ‘help’ and ‘smile’.


Sun beams pale through mist,

easing winter into spring,

stirring sap and song.

Wind’s edge turns blunt, caressing,

turns aside my winter face.