Weather Doesn’t Wait ~ haibun

Weather Doesn’t Wait

Thirteen times since early May, our weather has flirted with – no, made out with – temperatures of 90ºF or higher here in mid-Missouri. Since the beginning of the year, 83 days have had daily high temperatures that exceeded the normal range, with 4 record high temperatures set. All of this, while waiting for tomorrow’s start of summer.

weather doesn’t wait
for notes on a calendar
waiting for solstice

This is my response to Haibun Monday 6-20-22: Solstice,
the prompt from Frank Tassone at dVerse ~ Poets Pub.

Image: Black Shire Distillery, Hermann, Missouri 19 June 2022

Lemonade In August ~ haibun

Lemonade In August

This late summer month, when the wind seldom gusts and the heat clings to the skin with an air of resignation, the knowledge that its persistence will not last, this month was your favorite. In your retirement you spent more time outdoors than in, as you gardened, tended to your animals, and prepared for the coming change in weather. Shirtless while mowing your acres of lawn or relaxing with a game of horseshoes, you wore that warm sun like it was your own. You were born to this month, and I always did see it as yours. You are always on my mind, but most especially in this month.

beneath a hot sun
the still air

This haibun is my response to Haibun Monday 8-2-21: August,
the prompt from Frank Tassone at dVerse ~ Poets Pub.

Image source: PNGITEM

Solar Separation ~ haibun

Solar Separation

The sun rises and I embrace the warmth. I tan evenly over the course of the summer, but mindful of the power of those rays on my fair skin I limit my exposure and use sunscreen. Meanwhile, I spend my days making pickups and deliveries for a trucking company. Half of those hours are spent behind the wheel, often with the sun shining into my cab. I give little thought to that sun exposure. After all, there’s no sunburn. In fact, there’s no irritation, at all.

In my fifties, I learn the error in that assumption. I have some precancerous cells on the left side of my face frozen for removal. Two separate times, I have cancerous growths removed from my upper chest and shoulder. They can appear anywhere, even areas that get less exposure. The left side of my body seems to be the most affected, that which would have received the most sun exposure through the driver’s side window.

Dry patches on my face, primarily on the left side, are misdiagnosed by a dermatologist as a form of psoriasis, but they are correctly diagnosed as precancerous when I visit a cancer center for skin screening after moving to Missouri. Daily application of Efudex cream over several weeks gives me a face fit for a Star Trek alien when all of the precancerous areas are exposed, until the dead skin sloughs off and my face returns to normal.

That was six years ago, and there has been no recurrence. Summer has arrived, but my days in the sun are a thing of the past.

sun high overhead
shortest shadows of the year
days now grow shorter

This haibun is my response to Haibun Monday 6-21-21: Solstice I,
the prompt from Frank Tassone at dVerse ~ Poets Pub.

Solar Separation

mid-treatment for precancerous skin damage

summer heat ~ haiku

summer heat
forest gives refuge
in oak’s shade

Carpe Diem Exploring the Beauty of Haiku
#1828 Baransu (balance) discusses balancing
a haiku through association in its lines, or choosing
one element of a line to proceed to the next.
Here that association is from heat to refuge to shade.
I think this is the technique I use most often.

Image: One of the many oaks on the trails at Runge Nature Center in Jefferson City, Missouri

hours before sunrise ~ fusion troiku ~ hineri

The prompt for Carpe Diem Weekend Meditation #90 Crossroads
Summer Solstice (Troiku Hineri)

starts with two haiku by Jane Reichhold and Yosa Buson (
in blue) to be used
to create a “fusion” haiku which is then to be the base for a troiku.
The hineri (or twist) is to use each of those haiku to create three new troiku.

this short night –
from a shallow well I scoop
a persimmon flower
                      Yosa Buson

solstice splits
between the peach halves
a red stone sun
                      © Jane Reichhold


hours before sunrise
a shallow well of darkness
summer solstice night

hours before sunrise
early morning dew on grass
field mouse in hiding

a shallow well of darkness
offers little time to hunt
owl returns to nest

summer solstice night
shadows fading into light
eyes closing at dawn

The three additional troiku follow, below.

hours before sunrise
tiny feet finding way home
safety of darkness

early morning dew on grass
faint signs of activity
traveler’s footprints

field mouse in hiding
snugly secure in its nest
before coming light

a shallow well of darkness
holding opportunity
for keen eyed hunter

offers little time to hunt
darkness giving way to light
before finding prey

owl returns to nest
spending the day in silence
patiently waiting

summer solstice night
approaches with setting sun
wings spread in darkness

shadows fading into light
successful night of hunting
hunger satisfied

eyes closing at dawn
owl hidden within shadows
waiting for nightfall

A troiku is three haiku, with each of the three lines from a suggested haiku as the first line of each haiku in the troiku. It’s not always possible to have a 5-7-5 format in the second haiku, due to the limitations of the suggested haiku. The name of the form is derived from “troika,” a sled or carriage drawn by three horses harnessed side-by-side, an iconic symbol of Imperial Russia.


Image sources:
Library of Congress
Bullfinch and Horned Owl, by Kitagawa Utamoro (cropped here) (troika)

reaching me in the darkness – renga

Carpe Diem Weekend Meditation #53 Renga with Basho #10 “summer’s night” asks us to create a renga (or chain of verses) by following each provided haiku by Bashō with two lines.
(Bashō’s haiku here in blue italics – tr. Jane Reichhold) This prompt has a twist (hineri) – to use “summer’s night” first, with the other haiku used in any order. A “closed chain” is attained when the hokku (starting verse) and ageku (closing verse) 
connect in a way to make “the circlecomplete.

reching me in the darkness.jpgsummer’s night
the tree spirit follows in
the sound of wooden shoes

reaching me in the darkness
fading into the tall grass

a bamboo shoot
when I was a child it was
fun to sketch

breaking through the tender earth
growth faster than I could draw

day after day
barley ripens
a singing skylark

free and unburdened spirit
welcome song to pass the time

Welcoming the morning light_2

rice paddy sparrows
shelter in the tea plants
when chased away

welcome when eating locusts
unwanted when eating seeds

reaching me in the darkness_abegonia flowers
blooming in the colors
of a watermelon

thoughts of sweet tasting dessert
with final meal of the day

clapping my hands
the echo as it dawns
of a summer moon

welcoming a friendly face
rising above horizon

Museum of Fine Arts Boston – Sparrow and Bamboo Stalks, by Ohara Koson
Metropolitan Museum of Art – Skylarks and Primroses, by Kubo Shunman (cropped here)
Library of Congress – Watermelon (untitled, artist unknown)