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

My Dog and I

It is bath time for the dog

he looks at me

like he knows the word bath

really it’s a shower

but I call it bath to him

he lets me take him in my arms

and put him in the tub

I spray him with water

rub him vigorously with suds

between the toes (especially between his toes)

and all over

I still remember a time when someone

showered me

dried my skin

and put ringlets in my hair

My Dog and I

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 more 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

Picking Cotton

MEMORIES of cotton picking days

picked along with men and women

all over the South

people of all colors

fourteen footer dragged behind

filled with cotton

picked from each boll

start when you’re old enough

to hold a sack

sang in harmony

as we picked

infant scooting behind

too small to pick

“cotton on the roadside

cotton in the ditch

we all picked cotton

but we never got rich”

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photo from SMU Degolyer Library

Picking Cotton

When I Think About Rooms

When I think about rooms

the one that encompassed me

front door corridor

entryway

dark hardwood door

no windows

rarely used

darker in its none use

where no one went in or out

(always the side door)

but this room

with its front door

that held a way in and out

held me as a three year old

who sat on the bench

with hinged top for boot or shoe

other side was closet

a closet rarely opened

such a small room

for my small person

remembered now

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NaPoWriMo prompt on describing a room remembered

When I Think About Rooms

Ninth Grade English Class

It was the ninth grade, in Sophie Pouch’s English class, we passed the reading of Macbeth from reader to reader until it went all around the classroom yet still was not done. The next day we did it again and again, when finally, it was finished.

And Shakespeare’s words went out into those hallways of the school with a morning greeting of “How now, you secret, black, and midnight hags?” as we congregated around our lockers. A commanding response of “Speak. Demand. We’ll listen.” “Had I three ears, I’d hear thee.” And on it went into our school day.

Autumn moonlight—
a worm digs silently
into the chestnut. Basho

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dVerse prompt to consider Shakespeare and Basho in a haibun. I will never forget Sophie Pouch’s ninth grade English class.

Ninth Grade English Class