All posts tagged: haibun

Halfway Along The Lane

I can’t remember if the fence was crooked before or after the stranger came? In my memory he’s tall, thin, white haired and smiling. Perhaps he wasn’t all that tall though. Most people seem tall to me so perhaps he was shorter, more averaged sized. Either way, I can still see him standing in the larger gate, the one we used, not the one eaten by the conifers, smiling at my parents’ house. He was the one who revealed that it used to be two and not one, and he had lived there at some point, back when he was my age. At least I think he said that, I might have made that last bit up. I think I was disappointing that my parents already knew the bit about our house not always being one dwelling. It was the same sort of disappointment that came I woke up from dreams with secret doors and hidden staircases. The mystery was never mine to find, it always belonged to someone else. My room is now the …

Summer Ashes

The sun has turned most of the garden crisp, stems crunching to dust between fingers when I dig in between the leaves. Still, the lavender stands as it should, scent sticky on my skin, determined to be carried home into the house. Its flowers haven’t faded yet. It doesn’t seem to bow to heat the same. But between the lemon tree and dahlia, the herbs have taken refuge in the shadows of a water butt. There the decking still burns my feet by afternoon and moisture only lingers a little while upon the soil before vanishing. One by one they will succumb, no matter how often I tend them. Eventually night falls across this place and time, soaked in the day’s heat. Still this garden will shiver, weeping for the storms not come.

Beyond The Veil

Already the veil has been tucked away as a memory, beneath the cards we couldn’t fit on the mantelpiece and the notes received once the invites were posted. Still, the leftover cheesecake is still fresh in the fridge and sausage rolls on a platter still sit on the table at my mother’s, ripe for plucking in pass-by swipes of the dining room. The band is the only sign that anything is changed. That you are no longer my fiancee, but now my husband, promised in paper and witness to love and honour till death do us part. Our world falls quiet in the sleepy aftermath and we are able to return to us as we were, as we wish to be… Wedding season blooms gypsophila and roses sudden, sweet, fleeting. Things have been a little chaotic over the past couple of weeks in my household so I’ve not been as active as I would like with the DVerse prompts. I feel I have a good excuse though. On Saturday my fiancee and I tied the …

Hear The Ancestors Speak

There are motions that crack open the audios files inside my head. I don’t realise what they are until your voice is playing on the loudspeaker in my brain, blotting out all other thought with the echos of your absence. Salted caramel for the mind, both sweet and salty, love and tears. I will hit repeat until the lump in my throat jams the mechanism and you stutter into silence. In the months where I’ve lost track of time, I cannot tell if you have begun to sound more like me, or if I am becoming you. Rolling the words around my mouth before I speak as if to stain them with your voice. Familiar phrases still clutter my tongue as I sift through the vowels jumbled between my teeth. You spoke so easily compared to me, I do not think anyone notices that I am using your words instead of mine. Learning how to thread these sentences into conversations is a little like taking the waist of a dress in a few inches before …

Erosion

I imagined that she was some great coastal cliff. Stone strong for thousands of years, but now the sea has managed to find a way between the cracks and it’s taking her apart in chunks. It doesn’t sound like a landslide though. She doesn’t shriek and splinter as pieces of her sheer away from herself. There’s only silence as another memory, another name, another face, slips beneath the waves and into darkness where it can’t be reached. There are still pieces of her left. Like fossils, preserved inside the depths of the cliff face. On days where it seems like everything has crumbled, they can find a way to the light. The willow withered its roots turned to dust and ash but it kindles still.  

NaPoWriMo – Day Twelve: Crewe

Lined up like tin soldiers, the railway houses don’t change much. Those narrow, red faces with wide eyes that keep watch on the crisscross of streets, their pockets of green tucked away with their tangles of washing-lines, and wooden sheds squeezed in between the weed clotted fences. It’s the sort of place where noise bounces down avenues and lands in a garden not its own. Music might be just as easily from a park you cannot see for grey roof tiles, as the radio downstairs. Wind carries laughter further than static. The train line plays hide-and-seek between the buildings. Always behind the next fence, darting beneath your feet, slinking away between the mishmash of warehouses not yet reclaimed for renewal. In the same way your nervous systems fizzles beneath your skin, the tracks hum and rattle from corner to corner. In the thunder of carriages the words loose themselves. The statement, ‘I was here first, this is my town, I am the heart, the life giver, the cradle it crawled from to sprawl its way …

Thinking Of You

My Great-Grandmother did not turn grey in her old age, she went white instead. The photos of her in younger years are tinted sepia to the point where I’m not sure what colour her hair once was. I think it might have been the same brown as mine, but that’s just a guess. I’m sure my mother would remember if I asked her. In my memories her hair is the same colour as icing sugar. The sort we sieved over golden mince pies straight from the oven in the kitchen, bronze mincemeat bubbling through the cracks. Though we only made them at Christmas in my head the sun is beating through the windows and the tress are heavy and green. Beneath my tiny feet the orange seat of the dining room chair creaks with each movement I make and there is flour beneath my finger-nails, packed tight beneath the tiny half moons. I know it is my job to decorate the pie crust before it goes in for baking. These stubby fingers will mash pastry …

Garden In Progress

I’ve spent the summer trying to drag the garden in my head out of my thoughts and into the little patch of land attached to the house we bought last year. In April I had dreams of babbling waterfalls tipping from the deck into the coy pond, honeysuckle and clematis flushed full of flowers, trees bowed double with glorious, ripe fruit, and every herb under the sun dancing drowsily in the sun. In reality things have worked out a little different. The deck isn’t level, it’s sloped so that the water runs away, but not the right way. It runs inwards and puddles at the centre. This had led to rot and a rather worrisome, growing hole that requires extreme caution when trying to hang out the washing. Beside the deck, the pond is less than halfway done since August rains have put an end to many a bricklaying attempt. There’s no waterfall as of yet but we’re certainly pumping enough of the stuff out of the pond to try and keep things moving. I think …

Count It On My Hands

I’ve started gathering my grandmothers on my fingers. Ba was first to claim her place as right-hand woman. The signet ring’s a little worn but sharpened almost to a blade’s edge. Her wit used to have the same bite if you weren’t careful. She’d slash you with her words and have you bursting with laughter all in a matter of seconds. Something of a frail bulldozer, unstoppable at times, but even her initials grew faded past the point of a stranger’s recognition. Granny Kitty is a new addition. I don’t know how she’d fair with the idea of taking up residence on a middle finger but she wasn’t one to back down when the blood began to rise. ‘Up like a light’ my mother says. That was the Irish in her, and the feminist who brought the shields to defend her granddaughters going to university. Independent, clever, funny, tenacious, but most of all loving. The dandelions and the daffodils grow still. Even without Spring. It’s a free-for-all at the dVerse Poets Pub this week and …

Love

For the twenty-three year old with the widow’s peak, and freshly shaved cheeks, currently on the other side of the crack between office door and door jam, sticking his tongue out of the corner of his mouth. These are the moment when I am the most in love with you. That silly, childish quirkiness that tickles the grump out of my limbs and forces me to chuckle into folded arms, head down against the desk, aware that I should be writing but in all reality, I’m struggling to do so much as turn away from you. I flirted shamelessly for three years, until timings and courage were aligned enough that we ended up somewhere other than the shop you worked in and I, carrying something other than a so-called broken laptop, was trying to make sure that you realised that it was defiantly a date before somehow loosing my footing and almost falling straight on my arse. We’ve always found it easy to laugh. I come home to you, not the house or the things …