Beach Hikes

Beach hikes are the best because there is no elevation. I can walk for miles, barefooted, sand between my toes and shells strewn along the way. Waves repeating melody cancels the cares of the world, healing power of sound and saltwater.

Except in some beaches of Portugal where the hike to the small beach among rugged cliffs is near impossible. A road leads down, the surf pounds and beware of being pulled under.

In Crete the road winds along sharp curves, narrow, sometimes one lane, for miles going down until finally, there is an expanse of beach, pink sand and clear water.

in any season

this offering to the land

brought by the sea

Beach Hikes

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

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

Returning

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October 30, 2019, returning from Athens to NYC.   My daughter and I had traveled together for two months without having any major disagreements. There was just one night in Dubai when I was verging on being a selfish, judgmental person; I got over it. At the outset of the trip, I said I wanted only three things— to go to Prayer Mountain in Ghana, to do a day trip to Morocco, and to visit Pompeii.   I am easy to please most of the time.

 

I take it back. There was a moment on the train from the Athens airport to our hotel in the heart of Athens when I was so nervous about getting off at the correct station that two pickpockets targeted us. My daughter felt a hand in her bag and looked the thief in the eye. He bolted without her wallet. It was an elaborate scheme where one thief held the door from opening, while the other went for the cash. My lesson— stay alert, don’t become a victim.

 

Now that I am remembering— the other time my daughter got mad at me was at the Catania Airport when I turned into an “ugly American” and told off a group of Italians on the tarmac bus to move closer together so everyone could get on. I was shouting in English and nobody moved an inch.

 

 

trip of a lifetime

pray for Europe  Africa

and all of the world

 

 

 

dVerse prompt to use a poem written about myself and write a haibun based on that poem. I used my poem Language written October 7, 2019, while I was on this trip and at one point, didn’t know where I was. Now I pray that someday I can return, especially to Ghana.

Returning

My Stronghold

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” Charles Dickens

 

I am on the road going home. Now it is getting complicated. The world is experiencing a pandemic. My home state of Washington is a hotspot for the virus. Hopefully they will not quarantine the whole state but I imagine that could happen. Right now I am in Arizona because New Mexico has closed its state parks.

We were told in the morning that all campers had to be out by 5pm. That was at City of Rocks, a geological phenomenon, volcanic in nature, of monolithic stones in an outcropping out in the southeast of New Mexico. It is remote, out of the way but met the criteria of 100+ people gathering. We ate breakfast, packed up, hit the highway to Arizona.

My favorite camping in Arizona is Chochise Stronghold. It is where Chochise held up to keep the Dragoon’s and the US Calvary at bay. The terrain protected the people. If I can’t go home, I want to be at Chochise Stronghold. He is buried here somewhere in the Dragoon Mountains. Nobody knows or will tell the exact location, but the history draws me to this place even though there are only pit toilets.

I can’t get my mind off of the history of small pox. My grandmother lived through a small pox epidemic when she was a child but her mother and sisters died. I hope my genetics will get me through this pandemic of Coronavirus. Right now I have my health, my supplies. I could probably stay out here for a month. There is a stream running where I could boil water. Wash my body, my hair.

We are going day by day, watching the news feed on the internet. Nobody really knows what is going on. They say China has it under control. Italy not so much. People are dying in their homes. If you watch a documentary on the Spanish Flu of 1918, it is very sobering, so being proactive is understandable. It all seems to be the worst of times.

 

a season of change

happening the world over

now we wait it out

My Stronghold

Opposites

I was in my mother’s kitchen. It is autumn and she is about to die. Years later my father died in the springtime. They were opposites like that. Mom was a believer. Dad said, “When you’re dead, you’re dead.” Mom was always nice to people and dad would care less. Dad drank himself into a stupor and my sober mother always helped to carry him home, or to rehab.

My mother’s kitchen was her workshop and out of it came strawberry rhubarb pie, fudge brownies, fudge, meringue on pies or simply cooked on a baking sheet, peanut butter cookies she would crisscross with a fork, peanut brittle, anise candy, cinnamon rolls, French breakfast puffs and tapioca pudding. She loved sweets.

My father’s workshop was in the basement, just like his father before him. Every tool was hung up in order across the wall over a huge workbench. Those tools hung so perfectly, waiting for him to pick them up and build something, anything. 

place with no seasons

where nothing ever happens

sad to imagine

_________________

Haibun prompt at dVerse about Spring

Opposites

Dubai

I got on a nonstop to Dubai. Emirates has the best looking stewardesses. The first ones I ever saw were in Johannesburg, South Africa. Two were walking through the Fire and Ice Hotel lobby. I thought they were models. Their outfit was tailored in beige and red, a small red pill box style hat and a white scarf draping down past their shoulder then up the other side around the neck. The red lipstick threw me back to the fifties and sixties when even United Airlines, Pan American and others had great uniforms and meals. Those days are gone and so is a part of the day I lost traveling to the Middle East, UAE. I left Houston at 7:50 pm and arrived Dubai at 7:40 pm the next day. That’s about 24 hours but the flight was only 14 hours. While I was in the air I lost ten hours. When I return to Houston I will get it back. If I just kept flying west would I constantly gain time? Would I never age?  Is time relative?

flying into day

sunrise over England’s shore

nighttime in Dubai
___________________

Going northeast to go east, over Nova Scotia, Goose Bay, Edinburgh, and finally the Persian Gulf.

Dubai

Salad & Song

Golden pea pods are on the vine, easy to see against the green.  Patches of spinach, arugula, kale, chard and beet greens.  Let’s go make a salad.  Add scallions, fresh herbs- parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme.  Now I am in a song.

Be patient tending tomato, cucumber and pepper plants.  Someday they too will join in the salad.

wake from day to day

pray for more sun and some rain

we eat from the bowl

Salad & Song