Home – A haibun

Bare branches stand still, upright sentinels, not stirred by even the vaguest breath of wind. Hints of winter sunset are already making the clouded horizon dim above the red church that sits at the bottom of my garden.

bright red church
painted to stand out, a sore thumb
with its automated bells

Decorated with last autumn’s leaves, with garden chairs and my little’s sister’s climbing frame, with our flame-licked iron brazier which we light on occasion to toast marshmallows outside, our garden sits, awaiting spring’s kinder breath to bring much-needed change, to bring new life.

I find quiet here,
time for contemplation
in my busy world

I remember a few winters back – quite a few – being out with my dad in the back garden, splitting logs to burn on the fire. Noel had given us the tree that fell down in his back garden, and we were cutting logs for the logpile.
Dad told me to be careful with the axe. Swinging it overhead and bringing it straight down into the wood was a strange kind of fun. But you had to watch it if you didn’t want to cut your own foot off too.

you have to be alert,
always watching and waiting for
where you must go next

We will leave here soon. This military quarter has been a stopping place for us all, no more than that. It will hurt to make a clean break with the past, but we will be attentive, and will keep our own two feet to stand on.

Home is not here. It is what seems the same, yet is ever-changing – where family is.

Three words: I love you
so simple, so resonant
a safety blanket,

an invitation,
speak anything you will here
you are safe with me.


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