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20 Oct

Haibun Thinking – October 14th 2014

Grown up, and that is a terribly hard thing to do.
It is much easier to skip it
and go from one childhood to another.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald

~~~~

A young cavalier climbed upon the black stallion and as the carousel began to turn he reached out to grasp the brass ring. Decades passed in ups and downs, an eternal loop without beginning or end, but still his arm remained extended trying to snatch the prize.
As time wore on,  and out of frustration, he began lashing out  angrily at those who love him. He began to let his inability to succeed eat away at his health and his soul. The older he got the further away the ring became.
Sadly, as our rider and his steed head into the sunset years he is still unaware that he has held the prize in his hands since birth. The greatest gift of all, slips slowly through his fingers.
The gift of     family
seeking  his pleasure
in ownership and wealth
a man’s downfall

Living in the past

7 Oct

I am happy to welcome back  Haibun Thinking after a well deserved rest . Please pay them a visit and take the time to read ..each story as diverse as the authors. It can be found here:

HAIBUN THINKING – October 7th 2014

arthur-browne                                                                                 © Arthur Browne

How could I have failed to see the beauty of the maples reflecting in the pond as large koi danced in the dappled shadows? How could I have been deaf to the songs of the birds and the chirping of crickets ?

I sat there on the granite bench beneath Buddha’s gaze and felt sorry for myself. I was drowning in self-pity and angry with my life. Why was I still here when I had nothing to live for?

A stranger came along and sat down next to me, although the benches beside me were unoccupied. I felt put out about this intrusion but was too polite to speak up. We sat in silence for several minutes and then he spoke first. He told me how he had come to this park every day for the last twenty years. Today would be his last, he was going far away and would never be able to return.

With tears in his eyes he held out his hand and placed a rose in mine. “I always toss one in the water before I leave” he said “I was hoping you would do it for me when I’m gone.”  “Presumptuous of you” I though as he walked away.

A  passing woman  stopped and stared. “Mr. Warner used to sit on that very bench every day and toss in a flower” she said “that is until last weekend. He died and they are burying him today. He will finally be reunited with his little daughter who drowned in this pool.”

I was dumbfounded. The grey clouds suddenly lifted from my soul and the warm sun thawed the ice in my veins. I have so much in my life that I have not been thankful for, choosing to only see the negative and ignoring the moments of joy each day brings. I saw how a man’s sorrow could keep him from moving forward by chaining him to the past.

Leaning forward I dropped the rose into the water. “Farewell..I will not return. You can rest in peace.”

living in the past

while ignoring the present

there is no future

 

Haibun Thinking: Week 14 – April 22nd 2014

23 Apr

Haibun Thinking: Week 14 – April 22nd 2014

and Earth day..

Sally - My Beautiful Things

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Frank and Wanda stand on the icy Hawaiian beach and watch as the massive waves come thundering in. “Look to the left” she yells at Frank “I see an iceberg!”

Strange to think that only two generations ago, people actually sun bathed and surfed on these shores. That was, of course, before pollution blotted out most of the sun and nuclear accidents changed the earth’s rotation.

treating our planet

with shocking indifference

when will it stop

The Road Less Traveled

10 Apr

Haibun Thinking: Week 12 – April 8th 2014

 

fork in the road 624151138_f1ff60b2db_oYou think you have life all figured out. The path you follow is comfortable, like your favorite pair of worn out jeans. But then..the bubble you were living in pops without warning.

You find yourself faced with the proverbial fork-in-the-road. With no possibility of going back,  you are left with two choices. Continue to the left and your life will be somewhat the same. You will move forward as before, without effort,  but somehow you feel an emptiness inside. It is as though you have lost something along the way.

To the right, the road is less traveled. Many obstacles will get in your way and the path is rough with things that can trip you. If you should choose to go this route your progress will be slow and sometimes difficult. What to do?

My decision was not made lightly. After much soul-searching I have decided to go right. It is possible that I may fall flat on my face but at the end of the day I hope to feel a sense of accomplishment, something that has been sorely lacking in my life.

donning new shoes

I leave my self doubt

at the fork in the road

—————-

 

Ponderings

2 Apr

Haibun Thinking: Week 11 – April 1st 2014

Image

I sip my  coffee on the porch swing and watch as the setting sun sets the pond ablaze before dropping over the horizon, leaving the tranquil waters and sky in hues of pink.

In the gathering darkness I become acutely aware that I am not alone. The soft humming in my ear tells me that I am about to become a buffet for miniature vampires.

I am reminded of the words of the Dalai Lama

“If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.”

As I rush indoors to slather on chemicals that are probably more deadly to me than them, I ponder on his words. ( Pondering is all you have to do on nights like this).

I have never been star-struck by actors or musicians. There are certainly some I prefer above others but the fame they wear is fickle.Their fall from grace can be swift and unforgiving. I am in awe of the silent heroes… volunteers

The men and women who give freely of their time to help others. Their only reward at the end of the day is probably just a smile or a handshake, a simple “thank-you” but they will be back tomorrow and the day after.  Each one just a tiny point of light but together they  make a difference in the lives of those they reach out to…the poor, the lonely, the sick and elderly.

I open the door and prepare to do battle on the darkened porch. Perhaps I will let one of two of them bite me…not.

in a noisy room

even the lowly mosquito

can make himself heard

 

 

 

 

Haight and Ashbury

25 Mar

Written for:

Haibun Thinking: Week 10 – March 25th 2014

Check it out..better yet, why not give it a try ?

© Patricia Ellis McCoy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo © Patricia Ellis McCoy

Ray stepped off the bus on the corner of Haight and Ashbury and straight back into the summer of love. In her mind she could almost picture the hippies, men in bellbottom pants and fringed vests, the women in flowing dresses their hair adorned with flowers. She laughed to herself as the tune from John Phillips earwormed its way into her head. So this was where it all began .

She had grown up in a house of women. Grandma, mother, and herself. Mom had never wanted to talk about Ray’s father, only to say that they had been very much in love and that he was buried far away in a place called Vietnam. Grandma would shake her head sadly and refuse to elaborate.

Grandma and mother are both gone now and Ray was left with the daunting task of emptying the old house. In an old trunk she found a faded wreath of flowers and an envelope addressed in her mother’s handwriting with “return to sender” stamped on it. She opened it slowly, feeling like it was an invasion of privacy.

The letter crisp with age was addressed to Paul and spoke of her conception beneath the cypress trees of Golden Gate Park in July 1967.  Her mother a hippie? Was Ray really a flower child ?

With the name Rainbow you would think she would have suspected.

secret of the obvious

not in what you know

but what you believe

Freedom

20 Mar

Haibun Thinking: Week 9 – March 18th 2014

Golly, did I hear you say you would be free if you could?

Gussy the Goose, Charlotte’s Web (2006)

———————-

At the age of fifteen, I discovered my freedom where it had been buried all along; hidden inside me behind the fear and lack of self-worth.
That bitter cold November day, I saw my father for the first time for what he truly was. A cowardly bully who vented his alcohol-fueled rage upon his children. He would often tell us that we were a great disappointment to him and it was his shame that caused him to drink. He abused us because we deserved it.
On that day, he raised his hand to me for the last time. Without a word, I walked upstairs to the bedroom and called the police. Of this I am not proud. What kind of daughter sends her father to jail?
But something else happened that day. I stopped allowing him to victimize me and in some strange way I think he respected me for it.
teenager discovers within
the secret to freedom
independence day
————
Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose,
Nothing don’t mean nothing honey if it ain’t free,
“Me & Bobby McGee”

JANIS JOPLIN

Positive Thinking

11 Mar

Written for :

Haibun Thinking Week 8: Freestyle Week

My inspiration this week came from Brenda at Friendly Fairy Tales:

http://friendlyfairytales.com/2014/03/06/origins-of-thought-haibun/

Image

The winter that  seemingly never ends . Mornings beginning to the sounds of shoveling and the scraping of car windows, late afternoons with more of the same. My mood plummets with the falling temperatures. Welcome to “sunny” Quebec.

they say in Quebec

that we have two seasons

winter coming, winter leaving

I never used to hate the winter months the way I do now. When my children were in their teens, my husband and I used to sneak out of the house at daylight to go cross-country skiing. We would be home long before the sleepy-heads made their appearance at the breakfast table. Why we gave it up..I really don’t know. Admittedly we are not as spry as we were back then,

Brenda is correct ( and wise ) in saying that it is we who control our thoughts. Therefore the negativity that has dragged  in – this seasonal depression – is to some extent; self-imposed.

I awoke this morning to more new-fallen snow. I was struck by how beautiful and pristine it looked. When I took Buddy the wonderdog for his morning ritual, I discovered that it is the perfect consistancy..I will erect my masterpiece behind the house so the neighbors don’t think I’ve lost my marbles..

building a snowman

negativity released

one ball at a time

………

believing in angels

4 Mar
Haibun Thinking Week 7: March 4th 2014

Cherubs by Michelangelo

Cherubs by Michelangelo

What does an angel look like?

Often portrayed as chubby children or women in flowing gowns their golden tresses cascading between their wings, but I disagree.

Real angels look like me and you. They wear jeans and sweat shirts, uniforms or suits, some are clad in tattered rags. But they all have one important thing in common. Compassion.

An angel is a homeless man sharing his sandwich with someone.

An angel is a nurse who stays on long after her shift ends to hold the hand of an elderly woman  so she does not die alone

An angel is a fireman, a police officer, a neighbor

An angel is the stranger who reached out to me when I felt like my world was falling to pieces

An angel is you, my friend, with every act of kindness; every soft word spoken; every smile

blessings of angels

in thought word and deed

wings are optional
————————-

Haibun Thinking

28 Feb

Haibun Thinking: Week 6 – February 25th 2014

Literature Prompt

Today you are you!
That is truer than true!
There is no one alive who is you-er than you!

~ Dr Seuss

So who am I ?

A couple of years ago I met a very wise woman. The first thing she asked me when we met was “Who are you?”

I told her my name but she shook her head no. “I did not ask your name, I asked who you are. You smile all the time but it does not reach your eyes. They are filled with hurt. Who are you behind that invisible wall?”

I was taken by surprise that she could read me so well…that she could see my wall of protection.

I spent my childhood seeking the affection of an abusive father whose only love came from a bottle. When I got older I would give 200% of myself to others with no expectation of anything in return believing that I did not deserve it. Unknowingly I had remained that little girl hiding under her bed..and it was time to come out.

leaving its cocoon

a hesitant butterfly

learns to spread its wings

——————————-

 Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting…

-Seuss