Dead Ends {a haibun}

Clouds make the January sky darker than it should be for five o’clock, and the temperature has been dropping all week.

After finishing a steaming cup of tea, it’s time to face the evening traffic. I wrap my turquoise scarf twice around my neck. A dull day deserves a bright color.

Tonight is the night.

I haven’t cut my hair in almost three years.

But it’s a new year. A new decade. I am ready to let go of dead ends.

And begin growing again.

Long, cold commute…
Running warm fingers through wet
shoulder length curls.

Spectacle {a haibun}

img_3462
[Photo by Ganeshrg, Wikimedia Commons]

When dragonflies swarm, people stop what they are doing and watch. They call their friends over. They take photos of themselves surrounded by a blur of wings.

This is what happened one day at work.

You couldn’t walk outside without bumping into them. For twenty minutes, all anyone could talk about with any passion was a gathering of dragonflies.

Even people who bolt outside every day with their mind on cellphones or cigarettes or any number of urgencies, even the distracted and the burdened, were compelled to observe.

I sat at my desk watching the dragonfly watchers. I had noticed the creatures days ago when there were only one or two. My desk has a window view.

No one paid them any attention back then, when they were so small in number.

Two dragonflies sew
the seams of clouds, moving slow
across my window

Patterns {a haibun}

There is uncertainty in the growth of living things. But there are also patterns.

All day the leaves were in motion. Now the pelting rain is here and they are still. Branches are crooked things, yet they are beautiful.

There are hints of perfection in the geometric shapes of cells and wings and flowers and fruit. And there is certainty in death and birth.

end of storm…
watching the rain get thinner
eating birthday cake

The Vines {a haibun}

I step outside my front door at sunset, stooping to pick up a loose paper. It is wet with rain, and the writing is smudged. The handwritten words sink in: “Please clean vines off home”. It is signed by the property manager. He gives me one week to comply.

There are no vines to my left or right. Grumbling, I walk around to the back of the house and discover the offender. It stretches from ground to roof, weaving its way through the slats of vinyl siding.

How will I reach that height without a tall ladder? What if I fall standing on something? I do not have the proper cutting tool. There is no one to help me. It is getting too dark to see.

That night, I cry softly. How did the vines grow so tall so fast? Would I need to hire someone? I imagine the stubbornness of the vines–their thickness, their invasiveness, their resistance.

Hot summer morning…
kitchen scissors snipping vines–
one by one they fall.

Gray {a haibun}

img_2396

Weekday mornings are cold. I need to trick myself into exposing skin to air. I am mindful. Every inch of me is aware. Warm. Quiet. Still.

Behind the closed blinds, there is gray light. I tell myself it’s good to be comfortable. I allow myself to be absorbed. I can close my eyes. But when the gray light brightens, it’s over. That’s the time the cats want their breakfast. Life calls.

The kitchen is in shadow and the floor is cool. I stoop to open the cupboard beneath the window. The cats run into the farthest corner of the dark cupboard as I scoop the food. I fill a mug of water for my coffee. I leave the cupboard door open so they can run out. Cat noses are soon buried in bowls. And while I wait for my water to heat I water the basil plant. Every day I turn it just a little so that all the leaves have a chance to face the sun.

I almost stumble–
two beggar cats underfoot,
a good gray morning

{It took me a few days to find the right moment to write about this topic. I have mixed feelings about mornings lately. This haibun is for the Good Morning! dVerse prompt.}

Movement {a haibun}

img_3064

Sometime around midday, I pause.

My mahogany desk is so shiny. It’s always marred by fingerprints.

Beyond this dark wood is a wall of brightness. A live background mural of clouds and sky and trees. Silent and untouchable. No one who is busy with accounting notices.

I can’t help but study the living movement of the palm fronds. I hope no one sees me.

My co-worker is blaring gaudy pop songs for the whole office to hear. But I have my own music– a soaring melody for listening ears only.

I imagine this…
slender leaves are fingers
playing piano.

{This is my first attempt at haibun. I didn’t have one about dusk, which is the dVerse haibun prompt this week, so I am going to use this for Open Link Night #218. }