Walking to the Botanic Garden

We live close enough to the botanic garden that I can easily walk there. It is even easier to bicycle there, but usually the bicycle comes along for deeper rides on forest preserve trails. The problem with a bike is where to park it when I am tired biking and want to walk.

Finding where to park my mind is difficult, too, even when walking. I wonder, why park it at all? Just let it enjoy itself, as long as it is really enjoying itself and not making me anxious. Should I meditate? Do I walk straight enough? Are there any good movies to watch? Should I be on a keto diet? My mind has plenty to keep it busy dedicated to saving me from fanciful stuff.

That’s why I carry a phone. Rarely does anyone need to call me although an app helps my family locate me. The phone has a camera. When I see something unusual my eyes take me out of my head and I take a picture. Not all of the pictures I take are good. Some have too much light. Some don’t feel interesting. Some make me wonder, did I really see it that way? Some I’m glad I took.

FOLLOW THE BLUE BLOOMS
PROOF THAT SPRING WOKE UP TODAY
TURNING SUMMER ON


Text: Linked to dVerse Haibun Monday. Bjorn is hosting with the theme of “walking”.

Photos: “Willow Trees Realize It Is Spring”, above, and “Blue Guides the Way”, below.

Blue Guides the Way

Lingering Day

Some days I get out of bed and all the night’s rest must have organized something because things appear obvious at least the things that I am aware of. There is much that I am not aware of and that by default isn’t clear because I am not even aware of it.

That lack of clarity is also a good thing. It gives me reason to go to sleep again tonight, trust the muse to do whatever she wants, so I can awaken with a new present, painful or not. And if there should be pain, I will be searching through whatever opportunity sorrow provides to find joy.

EVENING TAKES MY HAND
LINGERS AS THE DAY GROWS LONG
THERE’S THE MORNING SUN


Text: Linked to dVerse Haibun Monday. Victoria C. Slotto is hosting with the theme of “lingering day”.

Photos: “Evening Pavement”, above, and “Sunset over Green Bay”, below.

Sunset over Green Bay

Faith

A tarot card reader told me I could predict the future, but I did not take advantage of my skill. She herself got many things right about me, or rather she got the details wrong, if one wanted to be technical about it, but the end results were all right on target, better than I expected.

That was long ago. It was the only time I ever had a reading done. I thought at the time I was skeptical enough, but I realize now that I believed every word she said. Today I am more skeptical of doctors tempting me with drugs than I am of tarot readers pushing what? Best wishes? Some good advice on what to be cautious about?

I looked for her when opportunity brought me back to that area to thank her and tell her that she was right about everything of value. I didn’t expect she would still be there, but I checked anyway. Her dark shop in the hotel lobby was replaced by a well-lit trinket merchant. No one knew what happened to her. So, instead of expressing my gratitude, I had to be satisfied with seeing a beautiful future for her through all the storms that might come to charm her life. It was basically the same future she predicted for me.

WHAT WILL COME OF US?
FLOWERS AREN’T REQUIRED TO ASK.
BLOOM, RECEIVE AND GIVE.

Text: Linked to dVerse Haibun Monday. Michelle (Mish) is hosting with the theme of “faith”.

Photos: “Morning Sands to Walk on”, above, and “The Way We Bloomed Last Year”, below.

The Way We Bloomed Last Year

Learning to Write

By second grade I learned to write well enough to make short sentences. My teacher wrote that they were “Very good”. So, I wrote more and I showed them to her. She gave me another sheet of paper which encouraged me. My third grade teacher was less impressed. I stopped showing her what I wrote. That gave her more time to focus on what was bothering her.

I am older now than either of those teachers were and I realize that I’ve been like both of them at different times of my life, sometimes unreasonably patient and other times unforgivably impatient. Looking back. I forgive the impatience in my third grade teacher and hope I can forgive it in myself as well. I understand the many reasons for impatience that torment adults. I hope her life was happy because today she looks more like my daughter than a teacher.

Given all the reasons for impatience, it amazes me that any of us are blessed enough to enjoy any patience. Nonetheless there it is again as a commonplace miracle.

MOTHER SAVES THE WORK
FLOWERS YEARN TO BLOOM AGAIN
LATER OLD LEAVES FADE


Text: Linked to dVerse Haibun Monday where Toni is hosting and to Debbie Roth’s Forgiving Fridays.

Photos: “Very Good”, above, and “Alice in Wonderland”, below.

Alice in Wonderland

Budding

Imaginary friends don’t talk back as much. That’s one reason to ask their opinions. They don’t know what’s really going on, but sometimes they have an interesting perspective. Real friends will try to set me straight according to their views of the direct path from here to there but they are often as wrong as I am.

I take a walk which takes me on a path temporarily away from all friends. There’s mystery before my eyes. The trees are budding. There will be Spring regardless of my wintery dreams.

BIRDSONG THROUGH BLUE SKY
WINTER’S BRANCHES TRUST AND BUD
WOULD THAT I COULD HEAR


Text: Linked to dVerse Haibun Monday.  Victoria C. Slotto is hosting with the theme of tree buds.

Photos: “Tree Buds”, above, and “Early Blooms”, below.

Lily of the Valley

Winter’s Grey and Sparkling White

Saturday afternoon the snow started slowly. Being warm the flakes became thick. I started my walk catching some of it, missing most of it. I am not aware enough to be aware of everything. I must leave some for the saint’s creative contemplation or the monk’s mindful meditation.

The snow came down thicker and more beautifully as I walked back through sparkling white. I did not expect so late in my grey year to have so many blessings as if my impatience and despair had been forgiven.

GREY SKY WITH WHITE OWL
WAITING IN THE SNOW-FILLED TREE
LOOK–HE FLIES AWAY

 


Text: Linked to dVerse Haibun Monday.  Björn is hosting with the theme “grey”.  I am also linking to Debbie Roth’s Forgiving Fridays.

Photos: “Snow on Bush”, above, and “Snow on Branch”, below.

Snow on Branch

Home

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”

Writing on the Trolley

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.

Winter Moon

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.

A Different View of Winter

 

Pleasantly Surprised

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.