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 across green land and country lanes.’
Among the tattered edges of the outskirts, men in high viz score paint mark lines onto empty fields. New arteries already slicing the rural in half, prying it closer to the urban. Matchbox houses are packed beneath the topsoil, sprung, and loaded to bloom. Soon this will be another garrison of tin soldiers, with newer faces and prettier smiles.
Pigeons broke my fence,
with their fat, fast, crash landings.
Grown too quick to cope.
Today’s prompt was to write a haibun about the natural landscape of where you live. However, I live in a town that is gearing up for a new HS2 station in the not-to-far-off future so there isn’t much natural landscape left to talk about. Anyway, I hope you enjoy the Haibun. DVersePoets, you have trained me well for this particular prompt.
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 rolls into smiles too thick to cook all the way through. When they break open after dinner, the dough is still white.
Spring brings daffodils
snowdrops, tulips and crocus.
They don’t stop growing.
It’s Haibun Monday again at dVerse Poets Pub and tonight our prompt is ‘grey’. For some reason it reminded me immediately of a comment my Gran once made about my Great-Grandmother not going grey but going white instead while both her and my mum had grey streaks starting to appear.
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 the clematis might be dead but the honeysuckle did attempt a short show at the end of July, I suppose it’s establishing itself. Let’s not talk about the fruit trees. They’re just trees at the moment. Green and not much else.
A jungle garden
is wild, green and beautiful.
Here? Work in progress.
Haibun Monday has rolled around again and we’re going back to school with stories about our summers. Personally I’ve been trying to green my fingers and make the garden my own but gardening isn’t a quick project, it takes time. My herb garden is progressing well though. When the end of summer sales go up I’m going to buy some more planters and expand my collection. It turns out that they’re just as pretty as they are useful and fragrant.
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.
and the daffodils grow still.
Even without Spring.
It’s a free-for-all at the dVerse Poets Pub this week and this I haven’t written a Haibun for a while I thought I’d include two of the people who’ve had the biggest impact on the woman I’ve become and two people I’ve unfortunately lost of the last couple of years.
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 here.
I come home to you.
I’m dipping my toe into the dVerse Poet’s Pub for the first time in a month or so. Today’s prompt had me a little stumped for a moment or two, and then my fiancee decided to pop his head around the door and act his usual way. His usual way being charming, silly and a little annoying.
Make sure to click the badge above and check out the Poets Pub for yourselves as well as the fantastic poets that frequent the bar. It’s a host of amazing prompt and amazing people. Well worth a visit.