Family Trees

One fall when leaves were gone the clearings came.  Those worth the haul were taken, but the rest would have to carry on.  As if a flame had come to burn this forest’s ancient best, the parent trees, the wisdom they possessed, the ground turned bare as youthful family trees preserved their hold on Earth tenaciously.


Linked to dVerse Meeting the Bar with Bjorn hosting on the theme of silence. I formatted the Chaucerian stanza as prose to highlight where I would expect a reader to enjoy the silence.  I use line breaks to mark the completion of metrical patterns not to indicate silence although sometimes I run out of breath and need to pause before I carry on.

Photo: “Thinning” by the author.

 

 

 

Chicken Problem

They live free from lust and fear and anger.¹

I waste resources taking precautions against what I fear and nothing happens. It is what I don’t anticipate that messes me up. For example, while walking Fred that half mile we usually take through the forest I stay within view of the path so I won’t get lost. I don’t think about the problems Fred has been having with those chickens whom I allow to range freely near the cabin and who torment him chained to his doghouse. So when I unchain Fred, out of kindness, because we are buddies and all, and I see him turn back up the path briefly looking at me with scorn, I realize that I’m an idiot.

By the time I get back, Fred’s anger resolved his chicken problem. He is gnawing on one of them when he sees me and begins part two of his plan for domination. He rushes into the cabin defending his castle growling and baring his teeth. At this point I guess I felt fear, but mainly it was anger which is what fear turns into when it doesn’t care any more. I kneel down bracing for his charge with the chain in one hand and the forefinger of my other hand touching the floor beside me, “Get your ass over here.”

Fred is smarter than most animals I’ve met including myself. He bowed his head and submissively accepted the chain.

follow forrest trail
trees prepare for new spring growth
winter dying’s past


Linked to dVerse Haibun Monday hosted by Toni Spencer with the topic fear.
¹A quote about fear is required. Mine comes from the Bhagavad Gita, Eknath Easwaran translator.
Linked to NaPoWriMo2017 Day Seventeen.
Photo: “V” by the author

One Rose

This simple story that is theirs to tell
Is older than the darkness of the night
And truer than the Sun’s new morning light
And deeper than the deepest magic spell.

Between them stood tall mountains none would cross,
A river that ran rapids through their dreams,
A forest that lay dense where one rose beamed
And warned them they could suffer every loss.

They followed Love no matter how they’d fall.
Then mountains bowed to open up the sky.
The river calmed. The forest lifted high.
What fear they felt they now could not recall.

Their tears took root, went deep. They understood
That darkness charmed by light transforms to good.


Linked to dVerse Meeting the Bar: Pop Sonnets hosted by Kim of Writing in North Norfolk with the prompt to convert a pop song into a sonnet.  I am not supposed to tell you which pop song I selected.
Linked to NaPoWriMo2017 Day Thirteen.

Photo: “Watching the Light” by the author

The Path To My Home

I am only inclined to tell this story, before I can no longer speak, because no one I have been rash enough to tell it to so far believes it. Right now, I’ll restrict myself to what is believable and that is simply that a puppy followed my neighbor pushing his way up the long path through the wild grass and tall red osiers that were not beaten down by my narrow, daily footsteps. He looked like a friendly dog although I cannot remember why I agreed to take him in.

His name was Fred. I let him sleep inside my cabin containing a hand pump for water, kerosene lamps for light and a wood stove on the edge of central Maine’s vast forest lands. On his first day Fred tore open the sealed food bag and stuffed himself with dog food until his stomach bloated. When he saw me refill his bowl he knew this was home. Eventually, Fred would earn the title of “bad dog”. I forgave him. I hope he forgave me. However, that gets into the unbelievable part that I’ve promised myself I must tell, but which I cannot tell, just yet, because I am trying to make it clear how cute he looked walking innocently through that tall grass.

WATER FLOWS DOWNHILL
FILLING STREAMS FROM MAPLE GROVES
AUTUMN LOSES WARMTH


Written for dVerse Haibun Monday.  
Photo: "Orderly Entanglement" by the author.
Hear the author read this haibun on SoundCloud.

Forest Wedding Blessing

Near the oaks where the naiad folk dwell
In the waters that tumble and swell
There’s a wedding today.
May new life come their way.
May their union through each turn out well.

Written for the Limerick Challenge Week 23: Wedding.

Dance

While algae’s greening in the swamp
And ogres in the forest romp,
The villagers would have a dance,
A masquerade, and take a chance
Some ogre with a fairy might
Pretend to waltz then start a fight.

They’ve never liked each other much
Although it’s heard they sometimes touch.
It’s even heard they sometimes kiss!
But I’d doubt all reports of this.
It’s rumored that they even love.
What can these fools be thinking of?

The dance will give them roles to play.
For some there might be words to say.
It’s safe to meet behind disguise
To look into each other’s eyes.
Of course, they know what each has done,
But from the present, who can run?

We’ll have that dance, no matter what.
Yes, worried folks will worry, but
Tonight we’ll take a chance on change.
Let something, somewhere rearrange,
Then, whether they like it or not,
They’ll get the love they’ve always got.


This originally appeared in Snakeskin.