March 1, 2023 · 1:13 pm
For the dVerse Monday haibun prompt, to write about the half-moon or “Mezza Luna”:
I hardly noticed the change. Just a few days ago there was a thin finger-nail clipping of a moon, hanging above the horizon at sunset, gleaming white against a purple velvet sky. Now on my evening walk she is overhead, a neat half-circle, the terminator drawn with a sharp pencil. And in another week I will see her rise, plump and full, climbing above the ridge to the east as the sun drops below the ridge to the west.
They run in circles, chasing each other above this still Earth. But you can see that she wants to be caught, because she runs a little slower than the sun to let him catch up. But, oh… every time, every time… he runs past her.
Mezza Luna points,
her sunlit face an arrow
aiming at her love
Filed under poem
Tagged as dVerse, haibun, moon
January 31, 2023 · 9:42 pm
A haibun for the dVerse Monday haibun prompt, “heart“:
Ba-doonk-a-doonk, Ba-doonk-a-doonk. Eight-thirty p.m. and my phone alarm is flashing “take meds”.
The tablet snaps in the cutter, and the two halves fall neatly apart: two 25mg doses of atenolol. There is a satisfying definiteness to that snap, a decisive counting out and finalising of the days with this miniature guillotine. (I am always tempted to run my thumb along the little razor blade to test its sharpness, but I do not. At least, I have not so far.) It clicks down SNAP! and another day is gone, decapitated, and dropped into the little plastic box below the blade.
I am no longer measuring out my life with coffee spoons – I am not allowed caffeine anymore – but with half-tablets of heart medication.
The rabbit is tamed:
it twitches rather than kicks
and plods tortoise-paced.
My heart no longer
skips a beat when I see you
(if I take my meds).
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Tagged as dVerse, haibun, heart
January 3, 2023 · 8:29 pm
Written for the dVerse Haibun Monday prompt, “Fireworks and a dripping tap” to write about your feelings towards this new year. I have already written several poems about my feelings about 2022 and it’s ending, implying that it wasn’t the best of years. But let’s just lay it all out now, so the tears make sense. After this, I am going to leave 2022 behind.
2022 was supposed to be a better year for everyone – covid vaccinations making us safer, travel opening up again and back to teaching face to face. But it was a year characterized by tragedy. One of my students took his own life a few weeks into semester. And then just weeks later another was killed in a car accident. Then there was a second suicide on campus, and, just as the year was finally drawing to a close, a colleague’s son died, a boy the same age as my twins.
Everyone said the usual thing to everyone else after the first suicide: “you can’t blame yourself”. But I do. I blame all of us – every one of us on campus that didn’t pay enough attention, every one of us that should have seen something, every one of us that could have said something, every one of us that might have made a difference. All of us that should have done better.
So, how do I feel about the year gone and the new one starting?
Thank God it’s over. Next year
I will do better.
Filed under poem
Tagged as dVerse, haibun
December 27, 2022 · 8:40 am
Ginger-mutt is caught out, but he sees it is just me and knows there will be no roar of “get off the couch!”. The rules are different before anyone else is up. Continue reading →
December 11, 2022 · 6:00 pm
December, and the first month of summer is upon us. Walking up the hill is an effort now in the heat. But I stay on the road in the sun, where any snakes are easier to see, rather than walk in the long dry grass or the leaflitter under the trees. Continue reading →
Filed under poem
Tagged as dog, haibun, rurality, summer
June 21, 2022 · 11:12 am
For the dVerse Haibun Monday prompt, “solstice”
On Sunday I walked down to my neighbour’s place to see if her overdue new calf had been born. I dawdled and delayed, scared to look in case it was still-born. But there it was, a few hours old, already fluffy and staggering around uncertainly. And I cried and cried when I saw it. Great sobs bringing up the darkness of the last months, washed out in a flood of tears (and, inevitably, quite a lot of snot). God knows what the cow thought of me, sobbing hysterically next to her. But she looked me in the eye and lowed loudly. I don’t think it was sympathy, she just wanted this mad human away from her calf.
Yesterday I planted two apricot trees, with a bag of manure each. The winter sun, even on the second-shortest of days, was warm in the garden and lifted sweet tendrils of scent from the horse and cow manure. Sweet scent of manure, sharp scent of calendulas, a comforting twist of woodsmoke from the chimney. Sitting on the ground, I day-dreamed of apricots – sun warmed, juicy and tangy-sweet, the colour of winter sunsets.
Today, my neighbour left a bunch of flowers on the gate for me. On this shortest day of the year, I have flowers on my kitchen table, the hope of summer apricots, and a fluffy calf I can visit later when the sun comes out. And if it doesn’t come out, perhaps there will be rain for my apricot trees.
let’s start the new year
with the solstice, so that each
new day is brighter
May 24, 2022 · 9:18 pm
For the dVerse Monday haibun prompt “Summer“, let me tell you about my day….
A trip to the GP turns into an afternoon in the Goulburn ED. A triage nurse takes my history and some blood, then runs an ECG as we chat about how hard it’s been for nurses during covid, how good the change of government is for women, about #MeToo and wonder “you too?”. Then I wait again, until someone else comes to take me for a CT scan.
First some saline through the canula and a cool tingle rushes through my chest triggering another thump. Then I am waiting as the machine whirrs, and tells me: “take a breath and hold it… now breathe normally”. It is hard to breathe normally on command. Then the iodine solution is pumped in and there is a rush of heat to my face and between my legs and a strange taste in my mouth. Again, I take a breath and hold it on command as the machine whirrs.
Dressed again, though still speckled with ECG electrodes and with the canula in my arm, I wait again until a doctor calls me through. The tests have all come back clear. So the chest pain? …likely pleurisy, long covid. The thumping beat, like a rabbit kicking? “yes, I heard it – ectopic ventricular beats”, tentatively “are you still… regular? Given your age…”.
Autumn inside me,
no summer heat flush, just a
rabbit in my chest
April 26, 2022 · 9:52 am
For the Monday dVerse haibun prompt “birdsongs“:
The sky is white and the air autumn-cool. Inside the children are eating breakfast, packing bags, looking for lost things. Outside, I throw scraps and a saucepan-scoop of pellets to the pig, and a scoop of wheat to the hens.
The rosellas swoop in, to perch chittering and bickering in the bent brittlegum by the chicken coop, waiting for me to leave. Among the brilliant reds and blues of the adults are a few youngsters not yet in full-dress plumage, but still in their dull cami greens. They are flamboyantly beautiful brats, especially the adults. Unable to share, they chase each other away so none has much chance to feed.
Circling the house, I pour a little wheat into each feeder. At the front I disturb the chough family who have arrived early. They hop and whistle back into the tree line, in their dignified black coats with only a fan of white lining showing when they spread their wings. Always together, like a close-knit family of undertakers, the choughs alight together at the feeder, all eight forming a black flower – heads down, tails up, as they share a meal.
The sky falls, screaming –
the cockatoos have arrived.
The small birds scatter.
February 1, 2022 · 9:38 pm
It was 30C and humid here today – and try as I might I couldn’t channel coldness for Frank’s dVerse Haibun Monday prompt, “winter“. Maybe if we had air-conditioning I could have done better.
She carries spring in her step, so what need could she have for its green in her hair? What need, when her hair is yellow-brown as a summer wheat field, and her skin stores the sun and the boundless, cloudless sky is in her eyes?
I offer pink, mauve, blue (roses and lilacs, summer blooms under clear skies).
But no, it has to be green. So, I take the small bottles from my own (winter defying, winter denying?) palette: apple green, electric lime, sweet mint. I twine the colours (tendrils, vines) through the summer of her hair. And in the end it is not so much like spring come to awaken winter fields (as I want to believe it is in my hair), as like rain-wakened ground after the drought ends. As she waits, I do my own.
The snow in my hair
will not melt away in spring.
But it holds apples.
January 16, 2022 · 7:42 pm
If you’ve read my post Tanked, this picture of our new over-flow tank will be familiar. It’s 4m in diameter, weighs 400kg, and fell off the truck and tried to escape by rolling downhill into the dam when it was delivered. We stopped it, and rolled it back up to the house and tied it to a tree so it couldn’t get away.
Continue reading →
Filed under poem, prose
Tagged as haibun, rurality, water