First Steps

Kathy Nguyen sponsored a haibun contest on her Origami Lotus Poetry blog this summer. The rules were challenging. Three haibun were to be written, each on a specified theme, and the resultant haibun were judged as a set. I am pleased to have received “Runner-Up” in this contest. This is the third of my three, and probably the most difficult to write:

(THEME: Kindness/compassion from strangers)

First Steps

When I wake again, the night nurse is gone, and there is an unfamiliar nurse in her place. I immediately register the fact that she is young enough to be my daughter. Her nametag says “Gretchen,” and there are many appliqued roses stuck to it, which is surely a good sign because these are earned by nominations from previous patients. In no time at all, I can see why. Gretchen is nothing, if not enthusiastic. “Let’s get you up and walking,” she says. “Oh no,” I quickly demur. I am dizzy and oozy and everything hurts. All I want to do is sleep. “Lean on me,” she says gently, but in a voice that brooks no resistance. I swing my legs around, grab her arm like a lifeline, and slowly, painstakingly, shuffle the ten steps or so around the room before collapsing back onto the bed. Gretchen beams from ear to ear, and applauds for me as if I had just swum the English Channel, or done the cleverest thing ever. And for a moment, I feel like I have.

early morning
the trellised rose leans
into the sun

Back in Time

Kathy Nguyen sponsored a haibun contest on her Origami Lotus Poetry blog this summer. The rules were challenging. Three haibun were to be written, each on a specified theme, and the resultant haibun were judged as a set. I am pleased to have received “Runner-Up” in this contest. This is the second  of my three, also written “on-site”:

(THEME: Summer or spring)



Back in Time

As I step off the airplane into the glaring sunlight, I feel like I’m stepping into perpetual summer. California always has that effect on me. But it’s an illusion. When the sun sets and the evening fog rolls in like clockwork over the foothills every afternoon, it is as cold and dark here as anywhere I’ve ever been. Somewhere in those dark hills is the double-wide grave marker with my parents’ names on it that I won’t be visiting this time around. But I hardly need to anymore. Their spirits live everywhere around here–in the sunlit live oaks, in the golden hills, in the elusive scents of eucalyptus and wild sage, and in every place that we ever drove through or walked along together.

home again
the sun glinting
off the Golden Gate

Untethered

Kathy Nguyen sponsored a haibun contest on her Origami Lotus Poetry blog this summer. The rules were challenging. Three haibun were to be written, each on a specified theme, and the resultant haibun were judged as a set. I am pleased to have received “Runner-Up” in this contest. This is the first of my three, written in June as I sat in the Quad, soaking up the rays, and reflecting on how life comes full circle:

(THEME: Dreams/daydreams/nightmares)

Untethered

 

I’ve lived this day so many times in my dreams that it feels unreal to me now. This place is exactly how I remembered it, down to the red-tiled roofs framed against a bluer-than-blue sky. But the sun is warm on my shoulders, a light breeze is blowing my hair back, and I feel intoxicated by the overpowering scent of gardenias. When I close my eyes, I can almost believe that I am 17 again and it is my adventure that is just beginning, not my son’s.

move-in day
a seagull soars
above the Quad

secrets

I’m pleased to be featured on Kathy Nguyen’s Origami Lotus Poetry blog today, in her August Blog Bash feature. Check it out, and while you’re there, don’t miss the other August artists, poets, and writers who are also showcased there. What a wonderful way to celebrate the end of summer!

playground swing
kicking
at clouds
(NaHaiWriMo, November 2011)

***

 

secrets…
the whisper of corn silk
between my fingers
(Sketchbook Haiku Thread, May/ June 2011)

The entire post can be read here.