Haibun for the talking baby

For the dverse prompt.

Babies learn so quickly, growing from unformed blob of glup to something that walks, talks and has its own opinions.

So few weeks ago
it was spring and these birds
were still eggs.

Between September visits, our small grandbaby has changed from being dog spectator, watchful and amused, to dog commander, dishing out treats from her plate, and expecting to be obeyed in all things. She follows them about, calling, but of course, they don’t understand their new baby names, and of course, baby gets furious when she has to shout twice, or ten times.

Scattering leaves
with a swirl of red skirts
summer leaves the stage.

By the end of the autumn, who knows how her wings will have grown. Perhaps Bee and Emon will have learned a new language too.

In the porch
dog watches leaves bowling
remembers the sun.

Bee (more commonly known as Bix) stealing the talking baby’s lunch.

Emon (Redmond) and Bee (Bix) early morning June, hence the green.

Random word generator

Late because we were out this morning. Not far, just meandering. Here are the words. Feel free to borrow and build some poems with them.

Haibun for a summer walk

Sun had burned off the mist, the lingering memories of smoke snagged in the bramble tangles, where a nest slowly unravelled in the wind.
It was cool in the narrow lane between the softly curved walls of the tiny church and the façade of the big house. Cool the lane winding up between oak and ash and Sunday silence. Silent the disused church, especially on Sundays. No fire had touched this place that held damp in its cupped carved hands.
We walked, dog-panting, dog-curious, up and round and back again, between stone and stone and tree-walls and lingered awhile before the glorious evening sky-blue of the big house door, wondering if it ever opened onto the courtyard beyond, drinking in the scent of over-ripe apples.

Summer wasp-buzzes
still—reluctant to let go
of its ripe wild fruits.

Haibun for paper shelters

For the dverse prompt.

There are shelters within shelters within shelters: wrapped in a coat, inside a room, inside a house, beneath a roof, in a country with government and laws and no war. Umbrellas. But from some things there is no shelter, no higher shelter that keeps us all safe.
I walked in the forest today and saw the fern fronds brown and dead beneath mossy trees, their leaves shed in survival mode, and the dead snake-skin of an empty gully where only echoes run.
We are running along dry, leaf-filled gullies. And when the rain comes, no big car or swimming-pooled palace will be shelter from its fury.

Fox digs out the hole
in parched clay. Mouse sees only
a giant’s shadow.

Haibun for a home in the sky

For the dverse prompt. We moved from Paris to Laon in Picardie after our fourth child was born. It’s a lovely little town, perched on a rocky outcrop, with a beautiful cathedral. The stone masons honoured the oxen that had drawn the stone up from the plain to build the cathedral by placing their statues in niches of the two main towers.

Photo ©Uoaei1

It went up and up, the road winding about the rock, through woods, vertical trunks clinging to slopes were vines grew once, the new road taking longer because the old one, cobbled more than 800 years ago, was too steep for modern vehicles. Ox carts managed though, even laden with building stone.

Time sits on branches
bowed beneath birds and leaves
never stumbling.

Through the arched gateway of the city walls, towered, watchful, and still climbing to the centre of this world in the sky. Cobbled paths met, converged and merged on the cathedral parvis, and my gaze rose above the statued portals, above the rosaces and their coloured glass, sombre on the wrong side of the light, to the towers, the light, airy towers where stone oxen looked down, as they will forever, in pride at what they had achieved.

Silent as stone
lichen-grey and green as spring
cathedral.

Haibun for an encounter

Before it got too hot, I took the dogs out for a walk around the newly mown meadows. Yesterday our walk was curtailed because Trixie followed us and a cat in a field is fair game as far as dogs are concerned. The day before we had to double back because of rabbits, the day before that the marsh beaver family was out by the pond and they send Redmond berserk. Bix doesn’t like them much either. I had great difficulty controlling Redmond who yelled his head off and had to be thumped.

Today, before it got hot, and after Trixie had come back in from seeing Imelda off, and I had checked that the marsh beavers weren’t in sight, we set off. Sniffed two dead snakes, juveniles. One at the edge of the meadow, sliced in half by the mower, the other beneath the trees, half-eaten.

Deeper beneath the willows, where the mower doesn’t go, we startled a hen pheasant. She didn’t fly away, but hissed and fluttered at the dogs who were surprised and excited but not murderous—the long grass in front of us was seething and cheeping with pheasant chicks. Bix got tangled up in Redmond’s lead, yelped, threw himself into the sedge and refused to get up. Redmond, non-plussed, let himself be untangled and led away. At a guess, they have not been used for bird-hunting.

We left the pheasant in peace to gather up her chicks. I’d like to think she’ll look for somewhere safe from fox and feral cat, but it’s not in her nature. At least I can keep the dogs away.

Relentless heat
broken grass throws no shade
well water recedes.

Haibun for wild maps

For Paul Brookes’ 30DayWild challenge.

Haibun for wild maps

These fields are veined with running feet, the hooved and the padded, the broad forked twig-feet of pheasants. Through the long grass they run, tunnelled through bramble, broadening to the crushed stalks of temporary resting places. River banks are scored with badger claws and the parallel slices of deer hooves, caves hollowed by coypu, the landslips of boar.

Birds weave their aerial paths, the flitter and flutter, leaf-like, from bough to bough, the flash of damselfly-dip into the stream. Squirrels antic their way, highwire, no trapeze, through poplars and alders, where woodpeckers mark altitude points.

No contour lines track these slopes, sedge symbols the ponds. Dogs nose, gaze, see smells as bouncing colours in the air perhaps. I follow, trusting to commonplaces, my half-world as much as I can ever know.

Smells recall childhood
baking bread hot tarmac
here quince blossom.

Haibun for an almost forgotten word

The dverse prompt is to write a quadrille using the word ‘spell’. It has another dialect meaning that is less well-known.

We called them spells in the north, the tiny wooden shards that stuck in fingers and knees. A northern word, not Gaelic, from the Norsemen perhaps, a legacy like beck and thwaite, wether and garth.

Childhood
time of stinging nettles
searching for dock leaves.

May journal 1

Morning dawns misty grey again, the sky cool pearl. The meadow is speckled with the pink of orchids, buttercup yellow, and soon with the light will come the specks of blue-sky flax. The air is still but echoing with song, a throb from so many different throats, blackbirds, thrushes, chiff chaffs, nightingales, wood pigeons, golden orioles, and the hacking cough of lost pheasants.
Once again, the fox has taken the food container to play with, out of sight among the long grasses, and I am running out of boxes. I wonder if the pigs have been back, rootling in the ditch. There is nothing more to say, waiting for the sun to light the world of green and gold, the same wonder that never palls.

Minutes pass
in tree breath and subtly
everything changes.

Haibun for spring song

The dverse prompt is birdsong in a haibun. If you’d like to join in, this is the link.

The songs are short in the winter months, though the thrush thrills without a pause and the crisp air is loud with calls of crows and magpies, the chatter and clatter of woodpeckers and jays. But as the year turns the birds tune in. Great tits and warblers, chaffinches and robins, and though the mornings are for the thrush, the evenings swell with blackbirds’ song. Now that spring is full and sweet, the chorus is complete, loud and rippling, floods of notes, the nights are rocked with the cradle music of nightingales, mornings by the woodwind wake-up tones of orioles. And flickering to their own unmusical twitterings, swallows bank and weave in the first sun.
Wind in the leaves
water rippling over stones
magic in bird throats.