Warm Sunlight

WHA Haiga Contest

April 2017

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Great Uncle

I am four or five. It is warm and the fragrance of the blooming privet hedge tickles my nose. Visiting Grandma, which happens often, she lives only blocks from our house, my mother’s Uncle Willie is at home when we arrive. He is old with a surprisingly full head of gray hair and a round, fat belly. He always makes us laugh and today he is taking my sister and me for an ice cream cone.

hopscotch
the soft feel of chalk
on my hands

As we set out on our stroll, Uncle Willie holds each of us by the hand. He is walking slowly and there is no reason for my short legs to hurry. As we amble, his grip tightens on our hands until we squeal with delight. We know the game. He will not stop squeezing until we say, ‘uncle.’ We play this game until we arrive at the soda fountain.

church bells
just the right amount
of music at noon

I try to eat my ice cream quickly, before it drips down my arm. It is a losing battle and Uncle Willie helps keep it from getting messy. I taste the cold sweetness of Butter Pecan and the crunch of the sugar cone. I laugh and lick and lick and laugh. He teaches us how to push the ice cream down into the cone. I finish my cone and begin our walk back. In spite of sticky fingers, he holds my hand tightly and I giggle once more.

midsummer
old elms fill the playground
with shade

Failed Haiku: A Journal of English Senryu

August 2016

If Only She Had Stayed

122

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Esther dreams of a period filled
with gauzy comings and goings,
she has a vision of two little girls,
 how many years ago?
pajama clad ,nestled on the floor
the tv tuned to jackie gleason,
some kind of tribute show.
one sister has to leave
going by subtle degrees,
creeping away like a hermit crab
crashing into another world
leaving behind an empty shell,
and her only sister.
 no one had the power
to persuade her to stay,
not Esther, not anyone,
 and before she leaves,
she carefully opens up
a hungry space in Esther’s heart.

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For The Sunday Whirl ‘#122’

For Poets United ‘ Pantry’

Sweet Summer Rain


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summer puddles

splashing in the memories

of childhood

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first drops

hitting the hot sidewalk

smell of summer

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sudden downpour

blurting out the story

all at once

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summer rain – the day drizzles on and on

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kissing

under the beach umbrella

heat storm

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©2013 Wabi Sabi

For Carpe Diem ‘summer rain’

Fluking with My Father

I could never write a word about summer fishing without recalling the wonderful experiences I had learning to fish in an old rented rowboat with my father and grandfather.  Since my father burned easily in the midday sun, we always set off before dawn, headed to the boat rental place on the edge of the Great South Bay and there he would put his outboard motor onto the rented boat.

We were on our way by five thirty, with hooks overboard by six.  We fished for fluke (a type of flounder) in the summer. I can still taste the pepper and egg sandwiches my grandmother packed for us.  I can smell the bay and feel the ocean breeze on my cheek.  And I recall the blue claw crabs and how they always escaped from the bucket  and  wandered around the bottom of the boat until I begged my father to return them to their bucket prison.

Since it was a small boat, my father only brought one child with him each time he went fishing. We had to take turns.  My siblings and I recall these trips with bittersweet nostalgia,  and for me, they  were some of the most magical moments of my  childhood.

My father did not live past 53 and those fishing trips became part of his legacy.  I learned much more than fishing when I went out on the bay with my him looking for fluke.  I learned about life.

 

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waiting for a bite 

a boy learns to ignore

the first nibble

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the old row boat

drifting with the tides

then a bite!

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father and son

reeling in the first fluke

together

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summer fluking 

on the great south bay

catching  the sunrise

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©2013 Wabi Sabi

For Carpe Diem ‘ the first bonito’