I remember stories about young girls and children who ran away with the gypsies, looking for a romantic life on the road and camaraderie by the campfire. I have also heard of atrocities done to Romani folk during the Second World War and seen them vilified for setting up camp near towns and villages. I have known Romani families. One of my great, great aunts was married to a Roma man; she read tea leaves and, when he died, she was moved into the ground floor of a house, where she lived as if it were a caravan, with a curtain across her bed. In Ireland, they are known as tinkers. When I lived in the wilds of the Irish countryside, and walked several miles with my daughter in a sling to a friend’s house, I would often pass a caravan, with children playing by the roadside, water boiling for tea on a campfire, and washing drying in the hedgerow. They would always greet me; I’d stop for a chat and they’d comment on my baby’s progress. The one thing that surprised me about that family was the colour television they watched every night.
wild roses blossom
in the heart of the briar
a curl of wood smoke
Kim M. Russell, 2018
My response to Carpe Diem #1408 Gypsy (kikobun)
Today our challenge is to create a kikobun, which is structured somewhat like a haibun, a passage of prose with at least one short poem (haiku or tanka). It features landscape and nature, and interaction between writer and the landscape. The key specification is that a kikôbun involves movement of the writer, in that it is a short travel diary. The haiku should not repeat what is in the prose, and should not attempt to ′globalise’ the prose like a conclusion. Our theme is ‘gypsy’.