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 found a new brand of pen in the drugstore and I’m on a trolley which distorts my handwriting although when it stops it is easier to write.
I don’t know what the next words will be or whether I will like any of this when I redo it later. I am grateful that some words come.
It occurred to me recently that we don’t–can’t–have complete explanations for anything including why I’m on this trolley and I am grateful for that as well.
MOVING PAST EACH STREET
WINTER HERE IS COOL AND WARM
PLOVERS EVER PLAY
Text: Linked to dVerse Haibun Monday. Kim Russell is hosting with the theme of handwriting.
Photo: “Writing on the Trolley”
News: I permitted Carly Stambaugh to use my poems as part of the data for her artificial intelligence project last October. She published her results last Friday. Three other poets were involved.
The Moon lets me stare at it unlike the Sun. I need a cooler face that doesn’t burn my eyes. I know little about the Moon, but that doesn’t matter.
I pass two cats along the boardwalk. They don’t mind me looking at them either and I know as little about them as I do about the Moon.
STRAY CATS ON THE PATH
WINTER–DOES IT BOTHER THEM
STORMS ARE COMING IN
Text: Linked to dVerse Haibun Monday hosted by Victoria C. Slotto with the theme “winter moon”.
Photos: “Winter Storm”, the panoramic view above, and below, “A Different View of Winter” by the author and linked to K’lee and Dale’s Cosmic Photo Challenge with the theme Winter.
Conspiracy theories come in pairs. There’s the nutty theory I won’t believe in, because–well–it’s nutty, and there’s the opposite theory that, for some possibly nutty reason, I do. Motivated enough I could likely prove anything is true, which doesn’t imply that nothing is true.
Every time I take a stand I lock the front door, but I keep the back door open to offer protection to those good folk polarized in the same direction that I am. If there are monsters coming at me, this is a reasonable thing to do. Often I am pleasantly surprised by who comes through the back door seeking and offering protection. Sometimes it is the very people I thought would be storming the front door. Sometimes I look out the window on the front door after a major storm and see blue skies, pleasantly surprised at the absence of monsters.
FRESH SNOW BRIGHTENS PATHS
EVEN WINTER GRAYNESS SHINES
DOORS REMAIN UNLOCKED
Text: Linked to dVerse Haibun Monday with the theme “pleasantly surprised”. I am hosting today. The bar opens at 3 PM EST.
Photo: “Puzzle Pieces Prior to Polarization” by the author.
Santa’s crunching on the snow.
Children want to see
Reindeer, sleigh and Santa, so
He crunches merrily.
Some complain that he’s not real.
Some pick on his weight.
Some complain no matter what,
Ending every praise with “but”,
So long as he’s not late.
Text: Linked to this week’s dVerse Quadrille where De Jackson (aka WhimsyGizmo) is hosting and the 44-word quadrille must contain some form of the word “crunch”.
Photo: “Waiting for Santa” by the author.
Robert Frost called it the “sound of sense”. I bust that phrase into two and think of it as “sound” and “sense”, but Frost more accurately describes the reality of poetry. Still he doesn’t completely describe poetry, because no one can. That’s a good thing. It gives the rest of us and our descendants for the next hundreds of millions, or billions, of years something new to do.
My view of sense is taking me into two different directions. After reading Jane Kohut-Bartel’s “Song of the Nightingale”, I want to understand better the 8th century Japanese collection, the Man’yōshū. After reading Debbie Roth’s Forgiving Fridays, I want to learn more about Hafiz (and Rumi) and the theme of forgiveness. Along these two ways of sense may the sound that’s right appear.
TWO PATHS LEAD AHEAD
SNOW HIDES SUMMER’S LEAFY WAYS
BOTH LOOK NOW LIKE ONE
Text: Linked to dVerse Haibun Monday where Toni is hosting asking us to write about our plans.
Photo: “Future Mystery” by the author.
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.