This haibun is for Colleen Chesebro’s Tanka Tuesday. The prompt words are Happy and Sad.


I wonder are there any pure emotions; are they not always a tangled knot of one thing and another? Is happiness ever a golden peace, or is there always a hint of sadness, a shadow at the edge of thought, regret, a twinge of pain? When we leave this house it will be through choice, to build a new home in another place, different and more in tune with our desires for calm and quiet. It will be to shape another stone dwelling, that was home to others before us—cattle as well as people, dogs and cats—into a place that will accept to cradle us a little while longer in its warmth and its grassy fields.

We leave behind a passage in our lives, a time of growing children, heartaches as well as happiness. Life was here in all its facets. Two feline friends are buried beneath the roses that bloom each year with memories, children skipped from here to their first schools. The sun rises and sets each day and each day brings us a little closer to the end. We move, because we must, because it pushes back the last day, when the sun will hang suspended in an unchanging sky.


Every spring rose bud,

scented promise of young life,

furls wind-strewn petals.


On the edge

This haibun is for Colleen Chesebro’s Tanka Tuesday.

Photo ©Wouter Hagens


Only at this moment

and this and this

can I write of past and future, each moment ticking by, another grain of sand in the glass, adding to the past and taking from the future. I sit or stand or take a step

this way or that, back again

in that infinitely narrow strait, where all futures, all pasts, slide and pass, reach out a hand, catch a grain

and another and another

and by the light of a star already dead, imprint its shape. Memory stored, I keep it polished and bright, as long as I can see its trajectory downward, behind, stroke the memory of its fiery tail as it falls. This sun, with rays so much younger than the fiery mass, flickers in the facets before they are lost, poured through the straits into the pile of the past. So many grains, falling in a brilliant cascade. How many more are left to come?


Each moment glitters,

dark or light, by sun or moon,

a glimpse of heaven.

I taste my childhood, the scent,

floral, pungent of privet.

Tanka Tuesday: Peace & Tear

For Colleen Chesebro’s Tanka Tuesday. The theme is Peace & Tear. The first haiku is thoroughly depressing so I wrote another, a bit more hopeful, and a third to shed a bit more light.

Photo©Dominicus Johannes Bergsma


Tear up planted earth,

let no spring green the furrows,

we have war to wage.


Let tears of peace fall,

spring rain in war’s desert wastes—

blood blossoms open.


When all is swept clean

by winter winds, pure as ice,

hidden seeds will sprout.


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.