Because water can suffocate, my mother taught me to swim. She was a swimmer herself, a lifeguard and a good teacher. I learned quickly in a lake where she would stand on the sandy bottom and help me go under. I could see her legs in the murky water. Later she took me to the swimming pool where she made me jump off the diving board into deep water.
I never joined a team. In lessons I was the teacher and the taught. Ended up coaching the swim team and loved to hone the skill of others. To see them build their technique, strength and endurance. To help them love their sport and learn to race to win although sometimes they didn’t. I could swim for miles without regret.
Straight path in water
Don’t forget when you need breath
Eyes on the finish
dVerse prompt for haibun Monday on a sport
I have been away one year short of a decade. There is lots of gardening to do. It is not that a man can’t tend the garden. Yes, men can mow, turn the soil, weed whack, uproot the invasive blackberry, chop up the fallen trees and fill the wood shed. In a little corner plant some vegetables and prune the fruit trees.
My touch calms the plants, brings nourishment and mulch to their roots. Old blooms are removed, dead branches clipped. I tend to little things. See a bug before it eats the whole plant. Build a nursery bed and let seedlings grow. Know the life cycle of a common weed and notice the small wild dogtooth violet and try to cultivate it. Go beyond the obvious and hope he remembers.
force beyond control
found knee deep in the garden
speak of little things
We were light and dark in the sun of Africa. Even on a cloudy safari
the zebras stood posed on the savannah. In the distance the baby elephant
ran with its mother. Hidden in the grass a baby rhino. A mother and child
traveling on a mission in South Africa.
At some point they will part. The child will return to Africa a woman.
The zebras will continue to graze and outrun the predators. The song of
praise will continue to rise on a level of global understanding.
Shadow of the zebra
on the plains of Africa
dverse prompt on shadow
Lake Wapello was a place we would go in the Iowa summers.
I lean out of the rowboat into a field of water lilies all in
white bloom, so thick that the vessel made a trail behind.
My father rowed, split the blossoms and stems with his
bladed oar. The sound of wood and water the only voices.
We were cut through and found the shore as every lily moved
back to its perfect creation.
Memory of a time
One stroke after another
To find the shore
a memory haibun
After breakfast I want to show Greg the lake. It is late in the morning. More people have put in boats. The sun is on the lake where we stand to decide our day. We can walk the loop around Lightning Lake. No, that will be in the shadow, Greg wants to be in the sunlight. Let’s go this way I say, we can go to the bridge. Not if its in the shadow, Greg says.
Along the trail there are patches of shade, there is grumbling along the way. We go beyond Rainbow Bridge where there are spots of sun. Greg wants only to be in the sun. He stops by a boulder on the shore and falls asleep. I walk further watching the shore and Greg, then turn back to join him. Around his boulder are plants, small seeds of sedge and lupine, and tiny birds that come to eat.
Suddenly there is a piercing sound almost like a coyote in the distance. It fills the woods with its call, startling me from my study of flora and fauna. It collapses back into silence. There it is again, this time the mind memory of the loon, the unforgettable voice of the loon. Across the lake it glides along the water, stretches its neck to call again.
hear the sound of a loon that calls to its mate waking the dawn
Lightning Lake is in the E.C. Manning Provincial Park in British Columbia.