My nineteenth birthday was spent as part of the volunteer work staff at a Christian camp in Upstate New York. My primary duty was washing dishes in the kitchens, and in particular the pots and pans. It was a hot and time consuming job.
Not wanting to make a fuss, and to do my duty, I allowed my birthday to pass away virtually unnoticed. As I was finishing my shift, one of the supervisors asked if I had had a good day. I responded by saying it had been busy, but not bad; though it was kind of strange for a birthday.
He said that I should have said something, and they would have done something special. He then asked if I had ever been sailing. When I replied that I hadn’t, he took me down to the lake and gave me a private lesson.
A sailing lesson
On a birthday nearly missed
Friendship on a lake
dVerse Birthday Haibun
They stood before the cascading waters and spray of the majestic waterfall. The world was theirs, full of beauty and promise. Hand-in-hand they gazed into their future.
Beautiful – Plunging
Uncontrolled by man’s power
Calming – Turbulence
She stood before the cascading waters and spray of the majestic waterfall. Her world like the waters themselves, careening. Widowed, she walked away alone.
This week Colleen has challenged us to write a poem in the haibun form. A haibun, she explains follows this format:
- Begin the haibun with a title. The title should hint at something barely noticeable in the beginning which comes together by the ending.
- Your haibun prose can be written in present or past tense including, first person (I), third person (he/she), or first-person plural (we).
- Subject matter: autobiographical prose, travel journal, a slice of life, memory, dream, character sketch, place, event, or object. Focus on one or two elements.
- Keep your prose simple, all excessive words should be pared down or deleted. Nothing should be overstated.
- The length can be brief with one or two sentences with a haiku, or longer prose with a haiku sandwiched between, to longer memoir works including many haiku.
- There are different Haibun styles: Idyll: (One prose paragraph and one haiku) haiku/prose, or prose/haiku; Verse Envelope: haiku/prose/haiku; Prose Envelope: prose/haiku/prose, including alternating prose and verse elements of your choice.
I have chosen to write in the prose envelope form.
In the challenge, Colleen asked that we try to incorporate Frank J. Tassone’s photo (below). I had first thought to write using it and having it as the scene of a “fall,” but that seemed too dark when I delved into it. I then took the licence of making the scene “a little bit further along the cliff at a waterfall,” and setting the narrative on two separate dates spaced years apart.
© 2020 Frank J. Tassone
The Bard of Avon, William Shakespeare was a writer of fame in his own day, and his legacy lives on in our English tongue. He brought dozens of words and phrases into the language, and peradventure many may soundeth peculiar to thine ears, but they nonetheless are his legacy. One of Lord Strange’s Men, he later built his own theatres in London.
A West-Midlands man
Now Thames-bank Global renowned
First among men Strange
A haibun written for d’Verse’s Haibun Monday 4/27/20: A Portrait of Two Masters
It was the early 1980s and I was at the US Marine Corps Infantry Training School at Camp Geiger, North Carolina. It had rained for days, and the trails and pathways throughout the wooded training area had become quagmires. This did not of course stop the training.
It was into this environment that we men of “Charlie Company” began a timed hike. At first I did well, even though the mud in places seemed to make every step feel as if my feet weighed a hundred pounds. I was quite proud of myself at my professionalism. In fact, almost Hollywood-like, when I slipped my rifle was instinctively lifted skywards away from the unforgiving mud.
But alas, I started to fall back in the column, and eventually was trailing some ten to fifteen yards behind the others. As we approached a place where the trail crossed a road, a truck was waiting, and I and other “hike drops” was snagged by a sergeant who ordered us onto the uncovered back of the vehicle. Cold and wet to the skin we were taken at speed back to camp, as the chill began to take its toll. I never again was a hike drop.
Mud and toil – is a way of life
It prepares you for a world of strife
By testing yourself – to the limit each day
You strengthen yourself – for the role you play
The defense of others – is no simple chore
But to give of yourself – who can do more?
Lips blue, fingers numb
Windswept the transportation
Never lag again!
dVerse: Snapshots of Our Lives
Buster looked through the bars – uncertain of how to proceed. His kennel-mate, Fido – a Springer Spaniel, had only moments before used a piece of board purloined from the “walkies-yard” to vault himself over the “doggy prison” fence. Buster was unsure of what life outside might hold for him, but he would never know if he just sat there and stared.
A barrier erected to keep him in,
Should Buster try to leap it?
Only he who dares will win!
Angelica sprinted through the waist-deep grass. She had spent a wonderful morning entertaining elves, princesses, and even a giant in her secret hideout in the hills overlooking her apartment complex. She was so engrossed in the conversation with one centaur that just happened to stop in for a chat that she had forgotten that her mother had told her to be home no later than 12:30 for lunch. It was 12:23 when she thought to glance at her watch. She quickly excused herself from the conversation and headed home.
Rushing towards home
Amid rolling hills of play
Inspiration Call – 7 Jan 2020
Much has been made of the cold and foggy night which brought Rudolph onto Santa’s team, but he is a late comer as we all know. Yes – ladies and gentleman, boys and girls – Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, and Cupid all preceded the red-nosed star of song and film. But when it comes the the true “Harts of Christmas,” Dunder and Blixem, that Thunder and Lightening to you and me, were the original stars. Isn’t it amazing what a good publicist can do for a scrawny red-nosed fawn? Give me Thunder and Lightening any day!
True Christmas harts fly
Swift Lightening and Thunder
Tow Santa’s sleigh high
Tuesday Writing Prompt Challenge December 24, 2019: “Heart of Christmas”
The prompt was for a poem, but I couldn’t resist the pun so went with a haibun.
I have spent most of my life in educational communities, first as a student, then as a teacher. The excitement that runs through a classroom at the first few tentative flakes is electrifying. Students’ gazes move from texts to windows, and silent prayers are said that the snow might stick. Such excitement and anticipation of “a good snow” is shared by teachers as well as their charges, though they professionally call the students back to the learning at hand. “Oh, for a thick blanket of white!”
Hesitant flakes fall
Flurry of fellows follow
The blanket begins
The Industrial Revolution changed lives forever in rural Britain. Factories replaced farms, and towns eclipsed villages. James Watt and Matthew Boulton, as well as other inventors, led the way with increasing the power available to looms and spinning frames by the use of coal produced steam. The social changes aside, the cost to the environment is ongoing.
If James Watt had known
The pump’s carbon legacy
Would he have it made?
Heeding Haiku With Chèvrefeuille, November 27th 2019, steam engine
The class was debating about who should be credited with being the first missionary. Most were of the opinion that Peter should have the distinction as he brought the gospel to the Roman, Cornelius in Acts 10. Others held that Philip should be given the distinction because he instructed the Ethiopia eunuch in chapter 8. One female student was quiet throughout. When she was finally asked to give her view, she responded, “Mary.” This met with some scorn from her fellows. When she was asked to defend her view she said, “Mary was the first to proclaim, ‘He is risen’,” a point quickly agreed with by the instructor. She shot the teacher a shy smile of thanks.
A little smile and a blush
(Based on an actual lesson)
Written for d’Verse Haibun Monday 11/24/19: Gratitude