la belle-mère

There was simply nothing in the world better than that first crunchy bite of a Granny Smith apple after four years of restriction, discomfort and awkwardness. Braces, glasses, pimples, unruly hair, no skill with makeup, no fashion sense, and frankly, no social skills to speak of . . . but now, all would change, right? Braces gone. Four-eyes exchanged for contacts. Clothing with an eye to shape, color and fit – not just function. Napkins and manners, routine and rules, safety and childhood resumed – someone to guide the transition into young womanhood.

Inspired by the brave woman who took on the gargantuan task of “step-parenting” an adolescent, and the September 17 prompt “juicy apple” from the Facebook group NaHaiWriMo. I think the French have it correct when they call this person the beautiful mother.

life rewritten

Chachani and Misti are mountain peaks found in Peru and offered up as inspiration for a foray into Japanese poetry. Looking on this picture sends my memory swirling back to the 1980s. My morning and afternoon views walking to and from the school bus also featured mountains. To the west, the Grand Tetons. To the east, the Sleeping Indian. The rising sun pulled my unwilling spirit into the world each day; the setting sun hastened my laggard spirit home again. For years I have sworn that the only thing that gave me hope during early adolescent hell was the solidity of young granite towering over all else.

shorebird cry

Your delight at a new-found surprise went unacknowledged, and so another nail in the coffin of crushed dreams was driven home. But what a delight, filled with choices! Ramble wooded trail or old logging road? Turn shoreline left or shoreline right? Bats arrow inland, on the prowl for evening bugs. Mid-day, seal pups sun. Old owl perches under the fir canopy, waiting for the rush of small feet. Find historical tributes to the displacers and displaced. This is where past, present and future community gathers; and the place you could not bring her.

sunbeam to shadow
tardy feet wander this trail
a shorebird cries

The day 12 NaPoWriMo challenge was to write a haibun about the natural landscape of where we live. Woodard Bay Conservation Area is a gem.

Rain Dance Whim

two lane road in the desert with storm clouds overhead

On some days, and at certain times, I have a fondness for back road adventures. Yes! Let’s go off the beaten path. Let’s take that narrow, winding lane that others bypass. And then there are times I stubbornly take the lane others shy away from . . . this time it will be different, I say to myself. This time, dreams come true. This time . . . this time . . . this time. Note to self: Shut up and drive.

grubbing for dreams

To ponder this day: what is a dream when anchored firmly? Or when rootless and wandering? Can dreams be truly realized if we dig up our tap-roots of origin and toss them aside? I think this changes over time. When we are young and straining for the “freedom from” or the “freedom to” we want nothing more than to whack off the root at its core. Aging, we perhaps want something a bit more.

just a hazy hint of colorful blossoms

saved by the bell

Opening up allows you to be caught by wind or wave, to be held so you don’t plummet or sink so quickly. Our immediate startle response in times of crisis is to tighten up, to shrink in on ourselves as adrenaline surges through our body. But, what happens when we live in a constant state of fear and we never open up? How do we learn to relax? Where do we turn? Where can we find living examples of opening in slow, graceful, trusting motion? Some study yoga, some tai chi. And where did these teachers find their inspiration?

shadowy face looking into fish tank with jellyfish

A Windsor Feast

Ah, the paths we stumble down looking for inspiration for the day’s haiku prompt. For example, I love soup. To be more precise, I love making soup. Mostly because it can be a one-pot wonder left to simmer in a crockpot all day, requiring (this depends on the state, type and amount of available leftovers to hand) only one cutting board, knife to chop up larger portions into spoon-size chunks, and spoon. On particularly fancy days, I might even sauté up the onion rather than toss it in fresh. A good soup can squeeze pennies out of a tight food budget and tears from your eyes as you dolefully eye the unvarying nature of your daily meals. Just ask my son. He’ll tell you I’ve ruined soup for life for him. To which I invariably reply, “At least you were fed.”

deer eating tree bark

The Early Bird, One Day Late

Welcome to NaPoWriMo 2017Today is April 1 and off we go. With a catch-up because the early bird prompt to write a haibun was so intriguing.


The Worms Crawl In, The Worms Crawl Out
Just a little spate of Lenten abstinence, nothing prolonged or serious. Until the dreams begin. The dreams that take restful slumbers and twist them into sweating, panicked terrors that even the purring cat next to your overheated body can’t erase. The dreams that linger and never end. The dreams that point accusing fingers and then scoff at regrets. The deep dreams that know how life has settled into sinew, nerve and muscle, unwilling to end.
one chin hair plucked
clings: thorny stems, slimy worms
sprouting from left breast