E.S.R., 1920-1990

Pilgrimage (haibun)


Sometimes, but especially each autumn, when I walk where I know you did and the wet leaves lift a little when there is no wind, I think they move in the memory of your passing.  And when I pause and my shadow seems to go on in a direction I had not thought, it is you reminding me to not stray again from the path you had made for me, though so often I have chosen another way.


                                  cemetery pond

                                    among thousands of graves

                                    one drifting duck


And why have I come again, knowing there is nothing of you here but my own remembering, this pilgrimage I have made for twenty-five years, searching still for the sacred place in me that you prepared and I in my years have lost.  Soon snow will cover my coming and going, simplify and clarify this ground but not what it holds, nor what I have long buried here.



                                    beneath the autumn oak

                                    cicada husks


But I can say to you now that I have come farther than ever before, can say at last the prayer that had always caught in my throat:  please forgive me for loving you less in your life than now I do in this death.


                                  empty chapel

                                    the sound of the bell

                                    between its sounding

Poetry by countryfog
Read 744 times
Written on 2015-10-08 at 16:39

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Coo & Co The PoetBay support member heart!
A beautiful haibun, my friend :-)
I like the movements in the first paragraph, the lifting leaves and the straying shadow, emphasised by the drifting duck in the first haiku.
The introspection of the next few lines is well wrought and further defined by the musings on snow. Then the autumn oak returns us to the present, though at the mention of cicada husks I begin to think of rebirth. We don't know much about cicadas at BirdBrains, so that might not be appropriate, of course. Our apologies.
The final part of the piece is tender and moving, making me think about how much is said in silence, in between prayers.
Thoughtful applause from FT and Ms Bird :-) :>)

Jamsbo Rockda The PoetBay support member heart!
You do this form of work so well. There is an art to making the haiku underline the prose. To be honest I do not like haiku very much. I find them too limiting and structured. But haibun has an ideal use for them. This must have been hard to write and sad to think about. Thanks for sharing.

josephus The PoetBay support member heart!
It must have been painful to write this. But cathartic as well. i have done and still on occasion do visit my parents graves. They seem gentle places now. I no longer ask for forgiveness for a life that didn't quite measure up. Rather I focus now on a life evolving in a universe as alien to them as Mars would be to me.

This is so evocative, tragic and beautiful.
I will read it again and again so it must be bookmarked!