A Celebration Haibun

Today’s challenge at d’Verse Poets is to write a haibun that is about a celebration revolving around the holiday season.  So here’s my true tale of a rather stressful winter break that ended in celebration.


I didn’t know that the door was ajar–such a simple oversight on my part, but that is all it took. Rocky made his escape.  My big tiger and white housecat is out in the midst of Iowa’s harsh winter.  With no idea of the coming storm, he runs from me when I call, acting as if he’s not spent every night of the last five years sharing my bed.  My heart is breaking with worry; however, he is happy to make his way in the world as the feral hunter he thinks he was born to be.  But Iowa storms are even more fierce, and Rocky is smart, smart enough to know he needs food, shelter, and a soft pillow. So he returns to my home and embraces my willingness to softly scratch his head.

back from his journey
the feline Odysseus
cause to celebrate


Tik Tok

Tik Tok; Tik Tok
Watching the clock
count down to 3:25.
Tik Tok; Tik Tok
watching the clock
tik time away
till peacefully I can retire.

Tik Tok; Tik Tok
So many challenges
drowning every day
as the Tik Tok keeps
marching on to the end–
Will I make it to 3:25,
to the weekend, to retire
free of the nonstop grind?

Tik Tok; Tik Tok
The time has passed
for “teacher as hero.”
Parents can’t handle
teach-at-home pandemic,
not with one or two
let alone twenty-five.
Tik Tok; Tik Tok
till they go back to class.

Tik Tok; Tik Tok
“My baby can’t wear a mask”
Tik Tok; Tik Tok
The challenges add up
Student forgot how to speak,
forgot how to work,
Tik Tok; Tik Tok
too long since they were students,
now a feral child of the couch.

Tik Tok; Tik Tok
Why do they have to come
when they can work from home?
Tik Tok; Tik Tok
free from masks; free from
teacher and peers and
social constraints
Tik Tok; Tik Tok
work at our own pace–
no deadlines, no due dates
whenever its done
says the admins.

Tik Tok; Tik Tok
I talk to myself at
the front of the room
greeted by mute stares
“I showed up; give me the
grade I want; not earned.”
Mommy calls to yell
“My baby is better than that!”

Tik Tok; Tik Tok
The challenges keep coming–
No time to teach; time to meet
Tik Tok; Tik Tok
No time to eat–
new duties handed out
as students act out.
Count them at the bathroom
door, walking in and out.

Tik Tok; Tik Tok
The pressure builds;
forces outside seep in.
“You can’t teach my
baby that; the poor
dear will feel too bad.”
Tik Tok; Tik Tok
No BLM or CRT;
instead recite the pledge.

Tik Tok; Tik Tok
The challenges continue–
not that book–
my delicate flower can’t
read about an LGBTQ character.
Tik Tok; Tik Tok
Turn back the clock–
We can’t have that obscene love.

Tik Tok; Tik Tok
Rip the book off the shelf
Censorship is the best way.
Tik Tok; Tik Tok
It will save the day!
Tik Tok; Tik Tok
Will they take me away
over the books upon my shelves?

Tik Tok; Tik Tok
The pressure builds–
Tik Tok; Tik Tok
Will I last through
Tik Tok; Tik Tok
the day, the year, to quit?
Tik Tok; Tik Tok
The challenge today
Tik Tok; Tik Tok
National School Shooting Day
Tik Tok, Tik Tok, Tik…

You can keep your
fucking thoughts and prayers.

Hallowed Ground

The challenge today at d’Verse Poets is to write about a historical artifact.  I am planning a trip this summer to visit the cemeteries where my Puritan ancestors are buried. I’m rather conflicted by their harsh theocratic exclusive society, so this is the topic I am writing about.

My 8th great grandfather, one of many relatives in this cemetery I plan to visit.

Hallowed ground next
to the old church
Resting in eternal peace.
Puritans’ final city on
the hill–buried
beneath the ground.

Tentative steps
lead me in…
to see those souls
who came before me–
shaped me in their
own image.
But, no, this bit of
granite, all that remains.

Cold broken stone
for cold broken people.
A harsh legacy for
family and country.

They would have happily
hung me–hated me–
for blasphemy, heresy.
I could dance on their
graves in bold defiance;
yet, I feel kindred bonds
seeping through the
stone–weathered and
worn through the ages–
tempered to a more
accepting person.

I weep their tears
for lessons not learned.