Free Firewood ~ haibun

Free Firewood

Two days before we traveled to my daughter’s wedding, a tree came down in our yard. It was a fifty foot hickory that was dead when we bought the house in 2013, and it was struck by lightning in 2014. The top of it hit the top edge of the chimney, at the side of the house, leaving fifteen feet of broken wood at the foundation. The chimney is fine. The tree continued down, resting in the fork of a redbud tree and splitting it three feet to the ground. We’ve had a lot of recent rain, softening the ground on the slope where the hickory stood. The roots were rotted to pulp and broke off as the tree fell.

I couldn’t leave it like that while traveling, so I spent the next day cutting up the pieces on the ground and cutting twelve feet off the top end of the tree. I cut the redbud into firewood and cut its branches into four foot lengths, leaving them in three large piles at the side of my garden.

When we returned, I spent a day cutting the rest of the hickory into firewood. It was so choked with English ivy that I spent more than an hour lopping that off before taking the chainsaw to the tree. The pile of ivy, some of it an inch-and-a-half thick, was as high as any of the three piles of redbud branches. I now have more than a cord of hickory firewood, with a fireplace that I converted to natural gas.

Last month ended up being tied for the hottest September on record for mid-Missouri, so I wasn’t too anxious to clear out those tree branches. We had a break in the weather today – overcast and 65º – so I spent the morning lopping the redbud branches and ivy into two foot lengths, then taking them to our city’s yard waste site, a mile away – five trips in my station wagon. The site won’t take anything larger than six inches in diameter, so now I have to find a neighbor who needs firewood.

ivy clings to tree
draining life from hickory
warm glow of fireplace

Colleen’s 2019 Weekly #Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge
No. 147, #Poet’sChoice

Childhood Memories ~ haibun

Childhood Memories

Many years after my mother’s passing, I got a hankering for her apple cake. I remember it as a single layer of spice cake in a rectangular pan, with apple slices upright in three rows, from end to end. I searched online for apple cake recipes, and ended up combining two recipes to get a cake that tasted just as I remembered, but with the apples stirred into the batter.

My mother always baked from scratch, and it finally dawned on me to ask my sister if she had my mother’s recipe. She sent a photo of the original recipe card, and there were distinct differences from my final recipe, so I didn’t waste any time trying my hand at the original. It had been fifteen years since I’d had my mother’s apple cake, but I knew I would never forget that taste.

Unfortunately, mine did not taste the same, and it occurred to me that my mother had made that cake since I was a child, and she probably hadn’t bothered to look at that recipe for years and years. Fortunately, I came up with a recipe that reminds me of her cake, so now I’ll try making it with the apple slices in rows. Maybe I can pass that recipe on to my children.

childhood memories
rows of fruit trees in orchard
apple falls from tree

This haibun is my response to Poetics: Looking for Sustenance from Lisa at dVerse.

Image: Apple orchard in Olcott, Niagara County, New York, October 2010

in filtered sunlight ~ haibun ~ magnetic poetry

in filtered sunlight

I try to make sure that I have agreeable weather when I go kayaking, but sometimes the weather has other ideas.  Yesterday, the sky was completely overcast, but showers weren’t predicted to arrive until late afternoon, with a thunderstorm expected at 10:00pm, so I launched at 10:00am.

I was on the water for five minutes when it started sprinkling,  That lasted for just two minutes, and I continued on my way, planning to paddle almost two miles upstream before heading back.  Rolling thunder in the far distance started about fifteen minutes into the paddle.  Five minutes later, I got to my halfway point, which has a ten foot stone overhang six feet above the water, when it started to rain.  Hard.  I sat, protected, for twenty minutes, enjoying the sound of the rain on the water.

When it stopped raining, I continued on for three-quarters of a mile and was able to see a great blue heron, two green herons, and a deer.  Pleased with the way things turned out, I turned back for the return to my launch point.  That’s when the weather had it’s way, again, leaving me to paddle for twenty-five minutes in a light rain.  If it was trying to ruin my day, it failed.  It was a great day for a paddle.

This haibun is my response to
Open Link Night #247 at dVerse.

If you want to try magnetic poetry, you can do it online, here.

poet of few words ~ magnetic poetry ~ haibun

poet of few words

I see the magnetic poetry of others and marvel at the extent of their verse, while mine has little or none. I’ve given some thought to that and decided there’s no getting around the fact that I don’t typically “wax poetic.” So, why would magnetic poetry be any different for me? And what better way to demonstrate that than with… Magnetic Poetry…

poet of few words
revealing innermost thoughts
more like pulling teeth

This haibun is my response to
Colleen’s 2019 Weekly #Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge No. 139 #Poet’sChoice

If you want to try magnetic poetry, you can do it online, here.

 

Butterfly Ballet ~ haibun

Butterfly Ballet

What to do on a special day, when clouds and rain try to make it anything but special? And so, a drive to St. Louis, the rain no more of an annoyance than those who don’t know how to drive in it, and an afternoon spent indoors among some of nature’s most beautiful creatures. Butterflies crossing our path with their dance, lending an air of magic to our anniversary.

oasis of green
outdoors, inside house of glass
butterfly ballet

For the prompt at dVerse, Merril asks us to write a haibun about magic in nature with
Haibun Monday – Lost and Found: Nature’s Magic.

Images: The St. Louis Butterfly House

endless falling rain ~ haibun

endless falling rain

In sudden warm temperatures, heavy winter snow flows with water, the melt running past ground still frozen. River reservoirs fill, and engineers with their minds on management of nature’s course decide when and where water will flow. Relentless spring rains add to already overburdened rivers, while waters rise and banks disappear. Levees that have withstood years of repeated onslaught are breached or overtopped. Water flows through city streets, while farm fields lie underwater, the season’s crops destroyed as they wait for the river to recede.

endless falling rain
rivers closed to all traffic
fish swim in the streets

This haibun (word count 98) is my response to Carpe Diem Weekend Meditation #89 Extreme Haibun … rain, with the challenge to write of a haibun of 100 words or less in length.

A Family Grows ~ haibun

A Family Grows

Distance. Family. A 700 mile drive, and balance is achieved. Fair weather may be followed by three days of storms, but balance will not be diminished. Rain or shine, my grandson’s wedding will be a day of celebration. Not even Sunday’s drive home can change that.

a family grows
two hearts look to their future
journey together