Although my grandmother was quite open and modern in her outlook, her tastes were old-fashioned. This was reflected in the house where I grew up: in its solid furniture, embroidered cushions and tablecloths that hung low to cover the table legs. For a small child, the dining table was a house or a tent, where my little sister and I could hide. It was square, made of heavy, dark brown wood, and had flaps that pulled out to extend its size when we had visitors. It stood between the ‘put-you-up’ sofa and the French windows that looked out onto the postage stamp garden. Four chairs were tucked around it and there was just enough space for two small children to squeeze between them and sit on the cross of struts that gave extra support. My grandparents would pretend they couldn’t find us and you’d hear them move from room to room calling our names.
However, one day unexpected visitors arrived and they forgot we were there. We watched from our hiding place as my grandmother’s feet trotted between the table and the little scullery where she had prepared a pot of tea and a plate of cakes. Not realising that the teapot was already on the table, my sister began tugging on the tablecloth to signal that we were still there. The steaming teapot toppled over the edge, splashing scalding hot liquid over my legs. My sister emerged unscathed, sobbing uncontrollably at my white-faced silence and the blisters already forming on my bare legs.
in memory’s garden
scent of lavender and mint
a comforting balm
Kim M. Russell, 23rd July 2018
My response to dVerse Poets Pub Haibun: Delving into the Traditional
Lillian is hosting Haibun Monday this week and she’s been doing some research to learn more about the haibun. She has given us some background about the haibun’s origins, the first haibun anthology, a reminder of the traditional form and a full explanation of kireji and kigo, with examples. Today Lillian would like us to journey together into an interior.
She wants us to close our eyes and go back in time, to the house we grew up in, the very first house we remember living in, and try to recall a room or place in that house that still resides in our memories. She asks us to take our minds around the rooms and see what details we can picture. Do we remember this room because of something that happened there…..or someone who habitually sat there?
Our haibun should begin with one or two short paragraphs describing that room – a true account, not fiction, followed by a haiku that adheres to the musts as given by Lillian, particularly the section on the SAIJIKI.