Honeysuckle #Haiku #OctPoWriMo

I remember as a kid playing in the woods near home and the plethora of honeysuckle vines we had around us. They always smelled so sweet and fresh. I can still remember the taste of their sap (I guess sap is the right word LOL) as we would pluck the flowers, pinch off the bottom and draw out the center, then seeing that delicious little bit of liquid on it. I can still almost taste it’s goodness now. And the scent still always reminds me of good, innocence times. 

Photo curtesy of Gardening Know How

Honeysuckle vine

The sweet perfume of nature

Childhood memories

Star and Child: a #haiku 

Reading the prompt words for this week’s haiku challenge offered up by our friend Ronovan, child and star, I was immediately taken back in time, to a simpler time in my life: my childhood. 

laying on warm grass
gazing at stars far above
cloaked in childlike awe

I can remember warm, humid summer evenings spent exhausted, laying on the lawn, looking at the stars so far away but so bright. I remember thinking about how beautiful they were in the patterns we have “made up” for them. My dad was stationed on the USS Orion when he was on active duty so I could easily identify this constellation from a young ago. To this day I still find myself looking for Orion in the sky – and thinking about Dad. 

Even at that young age, pre-teen, I imagined how God might have hung them as is described in the account of the Creation in the first chapter of the book of Genesis. I  still do that, too. But these days I do it from the comfort of a chair (I’d never get myself up off the ground! LOL), often while sipping on my pipe. 

“Then God said, “Let lights appear in the sky to separate the day from the night. Let them be signs to mark the seasons, days, and years. Let these lights in the sky shine down on the earth.” And that is what happened. God made two great lights—the larger one to govern the day, and the smaller one to govern the night. He also made the stars. God set these lights in the sky to light the earth,

And evening passed and morning came, marking the fourth day.”

‭‭Genesis‬ ‭1:14-17, 19‬ ‭NLT‬‬

A Perfect Day #OctPoWriMo

The 15th day of OctPoWriMo brings us the thought of a perfect day: no limits, nothing out of bounds, what would your day be like? I pondered on this idea for quite a while, with many ideas playing around in my head. When I finally set out to write I thought I would use the trimeric form … but the best laid plans … and all that jazz.

As I wrote the story began to unfold in front of me, going to a different “day” and events than I’d planned. The trimeric I’d planned on using morphed into, something else: a quadmetric maybe, a whole new poetry form? Probably just a happy accident, as I’m pretty happy with the end-result.

The perfect day for me: what would it be?
I’d want my father back for a day;
There’s so much I’d like to say.
There’s maybe more I’d ask him.
Would that really be a perfect day?

I’d want my father back for a day
Nearly 40 years since he passed
Three quarters of my life he missed

There’s so much I’d like to say,
Tell him all about my life,
My kids, his grandson, and my wife.

There’s maybe more I’d ask him,
So much of what I have is faded memory.
And would he be proud of me?

Would that really be a perfect day?
Because I don’t know what we’d say.
What I have now I will treasure; forget “what ifs” forever.

My Favorite Color #OctPoWriMo

Colors mean a lot to us, though I don’t think we often think about it. Today’s prompt for OctPoWro brought that that back to my mind.

If ask any of my kids, my wife, even my grandson, they will all tell you my favorite color is orange. And it has been since – well, before I knew it was.

Since I was a child
My favorite color was orange
For a while I thought it was blue
But I realized I was wrong as I grew

My favorite color was orange
Even though it wasn’t a popular choice
And certainly not the favorite of other boys

For a while I thought it was blue
And it took me many years to admit
That orange was really it

But I realized I was wrong as I grew
Papaw’s trucks were always orange
It seem this color had appeal to him too

Looking back on find memories from my childhood, I remember my Papaw always had a truck; I can only remember him not having one during the last few years of his life.

The first one I remember was an orange GMC Sierra with a “three on the tree” (three speed manual transmission with the gearshift on the steering column). I loved that truck! In fact I loved it so much that for Christmas that year he and Granny bought me a Tonka truck exactly like it (except for the white cab-roof on my toy); I still have that truck locked away safely today. Every truck he had was a shade of orange; somethings he’d settle for a more red-looking color, but it was still orange.

In the mid-nineties I bought my first truck: a 1971 Chevy C-10 long box; the cousin to the truck Papaw owned and I loved so much. I even began to carry on his tradition of naming the truck. He always called his Betsy if I remember right; this truck was now-and-forevermore The Orange Blossom Special, or “Blossom” for short.

I chose to write this using the trimeric form because of its versatility and lends itself so well with prose, in my opinion at least. I was tempted to go on with more stanzas but didn’t want the poem to become too long; the post’s overall length is more than I’d intended to start with. 

I Think: a haiku/haibun

This week’s prompt words from Ronovan’s weekly challenge are think and free. As soon as I read them the thoughts of breezes blowing, leaves falling, and playing in the park. You see, this past week was my daughter’s birthday and one of the old photos we dug up for a Facebook post was one of her playing in the leaves at the park, her curly hair bouncing in the wind; she was about two in that photo I think. 

gentle breeze blowing
as leaves float freely around
I think about you

Quality Time with My Papaw: a haiku/haibun

It was a miserably hot Saturday when all of us kids and our chaperones loaded up for our first annual church youth group fishing trip. Of course we could not have known the weather would be so inhospitable when we scheduled our outing. Hot, sun baked, and dripping with sweat, we all sat for hours waiting for just one bite, even a nibble, on our fishing lines. After what seemed like days not hours, my Papaw finally said, “Well, I reckon it’s time to try something different”.

He reeled in his fishing line and I saw him fiddling about with his tackle; I had no idea what he was doing but whatever it was, I thought, couldn’t produce anything less than we already had. While he changed over to whatever his new idea was my cousin and I went back to our futile attempt to catch something, anything!

A few minutes past and I heard Papaw begin to chuckle as his real began to spool in line. Whatever he had changed in his fishing set up seemed to have made a difference; Papaw had the first bite of the day! All of us kids and the adults, too, that were near him began to gather around to see what he had on his line. After a few minutes of fighting the fish who had taken his bait, Papaw had indeed landed the first catch of the day. But in reality he had out done us all even more than we realized; there was not one fish on the end of his line but two fair sized catfish!

When we asked what he had done he explained, as he laughed so hard tears streamed down his cheeks, what his new setup was. He had split his line and put on two hooks about 12″ apart. Each hook was baited with something no one would have guessed to try as by bait: bubblegum! He explained that with the water conditions he had a hunch that the bright pink, floating odd-shaped bait would be too tempting for the fish to not bite at; his hunch was spot on. The sly old fisherman had outwitted not only us but the fish as well. 

Summers longest day
Stirs memories of Papaw
Spending time fishing

Linked to CDHK challenge long day/summer solstice.

Paper Bark: a haiku/haibun

I remember walking through the woods with my Papaw on the first day of squirrel season, I was probably 10 or 11 years old, enjoying both the beautiful forest we were in as well as just being with my grandfather. As we went along, Papaw pointed out many different things to me, teaching me only a fraction of what this seasoned outdoorsman knew. At some point he pointed out this rather interesting tree with white bark that was peeling away in a hodgepodge manner. 

We walked over to the tree and easily pulled a piece of the bark off and handed it to me. “You what kind of tree this is?”, he asked me. “No, Papaw, I’ve never seen one before”, I answered. “That’s a paper-bark.”, he began to explain. “They call them that because their outer bark is white, thin, and peels right off, like paper …”, I’m sure there was more but that’s the part that stuck, sticks, with me. I later found out there are birch trees and they are, indeed, known as paper-barks. 

birch trees paper bark
soft white armor so fragile
no protection here

Thanks to Chèvrefeuille for today’s writing prompt for stirring this sweet memory up in my foggy old mind.