The thought of riding my bicycle up and down Indiana State Road 55 and even getting as far as DeMotte, exhausted and proud because we also got back, makes me realize today how big I felt our world was back then no matter how small it actually was by other measurements. Like burrowing rodents on a communal challenge, we knew that trip my brother and I took to DeMotte broke important, new ground.
There was a hill half a mile from the prairie farm we had to climb to reach our destination. We were told to be careful because cars could not see us. We were careful, at least on our bikes, or lucky that few cars usually drive that rural road. I wondered why that hill was there at all considering how flat everywhere else was. At the time I reasoned that even the slightest elevation, say a foot, must be caused by a dinosaur’s body lying somewhere below. I wanted to dig them up and then keep going to China.
I can still see that hill, but I can’t find it for sure on Google Maps. The information online does put in perspective most of the places I heard and imagined as a child. “So that’s where they are!” I tell myself. However, I don’t need an online map for that hill. Even in my memory it remains difficult to bike up, but fun to ride down.
QUIET CORN AND BEANS
GROWING ON DEEP PRAIRIE SOIL
CHILDREN RUSHING BY
Text: Linked to dVerse Haibun Monday. Mish is hosting with the theme “hometown”.
Photo: “Trees in Winter”
I have never seen an owl, but I have seen pictures. I don’t remember if they ever appeared in my dreams. There they could come in many forms representing, so I’ve heard, good luck or bad or death or wisdom perhaps with the sprinkling of Merlin’s understanding of reality. Unfortunately, like most people, the scientific nonsense I believe in, without being aware of it, would still keep me from taking such dreams seriously. It’s really too bad. Maybe the owl has brought me bad luck through the back door? Maybe, because I refuse to take that deep, transforming breath and become as wise as those owls are said to be, I deserve all my current blindness? Maybe this, too, will all turn out well in the end?
OWL WISE AND BOLD
WINTER VIEW IS CLEAR BUT COLD
PEACEFUL FALLING SNOW
Text: Linked to dVerse Haibun Monday. Victoria is hosting with the theme “owl”.
Photo: A winter scene in Techny Park from last year by the author.
The east side of Chicago would be Lake Michigan, the most beautiful side of Chicago which I prefer experiencing from a dry distance since I can’t swim and I have no intention to learn. Hopefully this makes the city itself happy knowing that when I walk along the lakefront I prefer her beautiful arms.
TEASES ME WITH SUMMER’S HEAT
WINTER’S CHILLY TOUCH
Text: Linked to dVerse Haibun Monday. Bjorn hosts with the theme of “water”. Come join us writing haibun.
Photo: “Chicago from Navy Pier” by the author.
Announcement: Christopher Fielden has accepted my story, “Keeping His Cool”, as Story 62 in Chris’s Colossal Cliche Count Writing Challenge, a 150-word-max humorous flash fiction challenge with the goal of using as many cliches as one can cram into that restricted space and hopefully still writing a readable story.
I rarely descend to the existential depths of metaphysical dread. Why would anyone want to? Besides there’s nothing down there. That’s why it’s dreadful. Why get all miserable over nothing? Sanity stays on the bright surface with the breathable air and the cleansing rain. Or, to put it in other words: don’t look down–the deeper depth is toward the sky. That leads me to my problem. Although I don’t have anything particularly dreadful to write about, which should make the sophisticated and critical reader question my allegiance to the dark side, I no longer have any motivation to shut up.
SMILING LETS ONE BE
SEASONS’ PLAYFUL METERS RHYME
TIME TO LIVE FORGIVE
Text: Linked to dVerse Haibun Monday. Bjorn is hosting. Toni provided the prompt why do we write in the way we do? I am not sure if I answered it.
I am also linking this to Debbie Roth’s Forgiving Fridays because it occurred to me when I woke this morning that if I really want to levitate to a deeper depth I will have to stop weighing myself down with making sure karma is distributed equitably. There’s plenty of karma to go around.
Photos: “Water Flowers”, above, and “At the Chicago Botanic Garden”, below, by the author.
I put the flower in a cup of water so it will not wilt. The cat puts her face in it as well. She wonders what that flower is doing here. The flower isn’t doing anything. It would have preferred to remain where it had been attached to its true source of nourishment and understanding, its roots. They miss each other.
Birds sit on a railing watching me approach. They aren’t struggling to survive. Survival is not that hard. They are not afraid I will pick one of them and put it in a cup of water so it will not wilt. I have no crumbs for them. They don’t mind.
SUMMER FLOWERS CUT
KIKI DRINKS BLOSSOM WATER
BIRDS WATCH AS I WALK.
Linked to dVerse Haibun Monday. Toni is hosting on any topic. Come join us to write a haibun.
Photos: “Kiki Hiding Her Face” and “Birds on Boardwalk”, below, both by the author. These are linked to K’lee and Dale‘s Cosmic Photo Challenge with the theme “faces”. My cat Kiki’s face is hidden. The birds don’t mind showing their faces anywhere.
I walk toward Sunset Ridge Woods busy dreaming while this summer day is busy being beautiful. Last night I read a fable telling about fairies guarding a forest glen.¹ They punished cutting trees in their creative ways using the imaginations of the trespasser. They were more effective than fines–and swifter. Natural retribution could take years or generations. Those fairies kept the riff-raff in line–if you believed in them.
Today governments take over guarding forest preserves. Perhaps they do permit what some might call over-harvesting where it’s out-of-sight and wild. Like beauty, one guy’s rightful use is another guy’s misuse. Governments keep the opportunists in line–if you believe they can. I wonder how my mind would survive a trespass on a fairy glen? Maybe they still rule in these subtle ways even without my acknowledgment of their existence. If so, who could stop them?
SOUNDS OF SHRILL TRAFFIC
SUMMER WARMS THIS SUNSET TRAIL
SHELTERED BY STILL TREES
¹“The Man Who Had No Story” in Jane Yolen’s Favorite Folktales From Around the World.
Linked to dVerse Haibun Monday hosted by Grace with prompt “Summer”.
Photo: “Green Midsummer Madness” by the author linked to K’lee and Dale‘s Cosmic Photo Challenge with prompt “midsummer madness”.
I drink coffee and think of a handmade, blue cup that I used for decades. That cup felt right for my fingers and mouth. I remember being told how it fell and how the handle broke off while I was away. Were I home I would have tried repairing it (without success), but it was thrown away. I did not complain. One can always buy another cup, even a technically better one, like the one I am using now, handmade and blue.
I see wrinkles change the smoothness of my skin. They’re not like cracks in pottery. They age well or not so well. What makes them age well is worth more than the gold that I have heard some use to repair a beloved cup and it cannot be bought. Whether mine have aged well or not, teenage cashiers now give me the senior discount I didn’t even know existed.
COFFEE HELD IN BLUE
SUMMER HELD IN HEATED AIR
BLUE LIKE OCEAN WRINKLES.
Linked to dVerse Haibun Monday hosted by Grace with the prompt “Kintsugi: The Art of Broken Pieces”.
Photo: “Low Tide Atlantic Ocean” by the author taken at Myrtle Beach,
North South Carolina.