This week Chèvrefeuille has challenged us to create a haibun with a maximum of 250 words (including the haiku or tanka) inspired by the following image:
Part of my childhood, from the age of seven to sixteen, was spent on the border of South London and Surrey. We lived in a council maisonette in a group of three blocks beside a dual carriageway, the main London to Brighton road, constantly busy, day and night, with cars, buses and lorries. At the back of the estate was a playing field that seemed huge to us then – I’ve been back since and it isn’t really that big – with a pavilion and several pitches for cricket, football and rugby. We used to climb over the metal gates and play, running, climbing and exploring. There were even sand pits that were used for athletics in the summer. Along two sides, dark alleys ran and met at one end. On another side was a patch of wasteland beside the railway tracks. This wilderness was full of delights: grasses that grew high above our heads, a wild damson tree that we loved to climb and the most wonderful wild flowers that brought colour to the dry dust and crackly grass of summer. For me, the best part was the wild fennel with its delicate fronds and liquorice fragrance.
Slugs leave slimy clues,
silver trails and fennel breath,
to snail-studded stalks.
© Kim M. Russell, 2016