And This Dog Barked

My dog Rufus was an aging beagle

sat in his kennel as people walked by

and this dog barked to see such a sight

My dog Rufus would sleep in my bed

cuddle in the covers where he laid his head

and this dog barked in the middle of the night

My dog Rufus was leary of strangers

always on guard if he would sense danger

and this dog barked before the bite

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dVerse prompt to create a tale (not tail) in your mind so that it will be remembered because of its lyrics, repetitions, etc. Then write it or record it.

And This Dog Barked

My Kindergarten Class

Kindergarten (garden of children) was the garden where I bloomed.

I went down around Colonial Circle and two blocks east, past the school patrol at the corner and there was West Elementary School. The classroom was light and airy with large windows along two sides. A long child-sized table was lined up by the windows and little chairs where we could sit. There were no desks. (Desks were in the 1st grade.)

Miss Nelson led us in art and theatre. (Seems like I was always a star.) My self portrait hung on the wall and I sang “Where is pinkie…..” in a performance for the parents. Miss Nelson took us to the post office, a creamery, a train ride and the Bell Telephone Company. The phone company had an exhibit of the evolution of the telephone, right up to the phone where you could see the person you were talking to.

I didn’t get to go on the train. The day before, I slipped going up the brick stairs to my front door and cut open my lip. The teacher and my mom thought I would bleed on the train. No train ride, no Hollywood career, and I wouldn’t eat butter for fifteen years because we had shaken a pint of cream until it turned. I was sure it would taste sour.

experience base

creates spirit of learning

growth of the person

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Back to school in my memory with a dVerse prompt on school.

My Kindergarten Class

Staying Alive

Licking the batter bowl

mother didn’t know that it could kill us

sweet sugar egg flour

on our tongues

now verboten

she didn’t know those little pet turtles

(the ones in their plastic island paradise)

with salmonella all over their tiny prickly feet

could kill us

now verboten

mother didn’t know that our cotton pajamas

could kill us

when we fell into the fire

now verboten

———————-

Dutch word verboten has such a nice sound to it. Verboten is German, verbose Afrikaans

Staying Alive

Peanut Butter Cookies

Mother made cookies. Peanut butter cookies. She would roll some dough in her hand, make a ball, and place each ball on the cookie sheet. With a fork she would crisscross each one flat. When out of the oven we ate them warm or dipped in cold milk. Every time I bake peanut butter cookies I do the same. I add more peanut butter but I roll the dough in my hand, press the fork and think of mother who loved baking peanut butter cookies for my sisters and me.

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NaPoWriMo prompt to write about a habit I got from my mom. I love making peanut butter cookies (and chocolate chip).

Peanut Butter Cookies

Mumbly Peg

I never cared much for whiskey

beer okay when its cold

drinking myself into a stupor

not high on my list of does

but yesterday I wanted a hunting knife

a short fixed blade with a sheath

I think of how I was taught

a game called mumbly peg

so holding the wooden handle

tossing the knife in the air

I watched it fall to the ground

and thought of my father’s despair

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A first time for me prompting to Poets and Storytellers United based on a game my father taught me

Mumbly Peg

New Moon Deep Sand

I remember sleeping out under the stars during a Girl Scout campout. It was an open area, few light pollutants and a cloudless night. I learned the North Star (Polaris), the dippers both Big and Little (Ursa Major and Minor), Cassiopeia, and as we lay on our sleeping bags looking up,  a cross directly above us. The scout leader shone a flashlight into the direction she wanted us to look and we could follow her light to the next star or constellation.

Decades later I woke on my cot in the middle of the night. I was at the Upper Tanner on the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. New moon. Deep sand. It was so hot, I lay naked on my sleeping bag. I couldn’t sleep, watched the Milky Way, and saw Pleiades rising.  

under this one sky

a circle magnificent 

above or below

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dVerse prompt to write a haibun of an experience in the natural world that influenced your life.  Going through the Grand Canyon on a rafting trip grounded my life to the power of nature (God).

New Moon Deep Sand

Fantasia

Fantasia is Portuguese for costumes. When we put on a costume we enter a fantasy world. Before Halloween, I would bring out the sewing machine and make costumes for my children. One year they were unicorns, a shark and a penguin, Spider-Man, a green dragon (that won a best costume prize), a wizard and an alien. The dog wore a tutu.

Now my children are grownups. I find myself wanting to wear a costume, wanting to enter a fantasy. As soon as I finish writing, I will bring out the sewing machine and go make my fantasia.

let go of myself

find a place where I can dream

a different world

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dVerse haibun prompt on Halloween

Fantasia

Wings

It was the first death I could remember—-my father’s father, my grandfather. It came as a surprise, an aneurysm, as the family sped on the highway trying to get to the hospital. We were too late. I never saw the body.

How could I make sense of death at such a young age?

When we returned home, I picked the butterflies off of the grill of the car. These were dead, their soft bodies smashed, the wings intact. I took those colorful wings to the garden across the street. I sat under the overgrown asparagus in the corner of Laird’s garden and buried the butterflies one by one.

life is a flicker

mind what is most beautiful

pathway to the rest

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dVerse prompt on how nature plays into our lives. This is a haibun about a death and how nature played a role in how I dealt with that death. I was six years old and loved butterflies.

Wings

Birth Days

Some birthdays are easy to remember like when the family got together and my favorite aunt bought a cake that set the bar for all cakes proceeding it. A January birthday meant I could wear the dress my gramma made for Christmas. Uncle Clifford snapped a Kodachrome memory.

On birthday number five, all my friends set at the extended dining room table. I remember the balloons. I remember blowing into a red balloon and it expanded out and away and I swear it grew nearly as long as the table.

celebrate the day

when no one wants to destroy

and a new birth comes

Birth Days