Yitgadal v’yitkadash – dVerse Haibun Monday


Sitting in a hospital, watching and waiting for my father to die, that was my memory of three years ago. I remember the bizarre juxtaposition of the glorious, scorching summer outside, and sitting in the shadow of partially-drawn curtains, as if the room was already preparing us for mourning, for the stopping of all the clocks. A butterfly danced in the breeze of the oscillating fan, fluttering above our heads as if attempting to lighten the atmosphere, enticing us outside with the glories of Nature dusted brilliantly on its wings. It didn’t seem right that the heady perfume of honeysuckle should still waft in through the half open window whilst life was disappearing in front of our eyes. But on the other hand…

sunlight and fragrance

haunt our days with rich hints of

renewal – the end.


dVerse is back to its normal post-anniversary-celebration schedule, with Haibun Monday! This week, our lovely host Toni has asked us to write on the theme of summer, heat, keeping cool and our memories of the challenges of the dog days.

As you can see from above, my dad died in the summer three years ago, and it was the oddest experience, something so sad and challenging happening in such a heatwave. It didn’t seem quite right.

Please do hop on over to dVerse and see how others have interpreted the challenge – no haibun will be the same as any other!

Oh, and by the way, the name of this pieces is inspired by the opening words of the Jewish prayer, the Mourner’s Kaddish – the words mean ‘glorified and sanctified’.


Butterfly – NaNo 3VisD 2

Here’s my latest offering for Anonymous Legacy’s photo-inspired prompt, VisDare. This week, and for the rest of NaNoWriMo, she’s ringing the changes, so the rules are a little different…

Use whichever photo you like for your VisDare.


Use TWO of the photos of your choosing as a combined prompt.


Use ALL THREE of the photos as a combined prompt.

Hmmm…. And we have 300 words to play with, rather than 150! This week, I have chosen just one of the photos, as you’ll see below.


Image Source

– Butterfly – 

Seraphine is bursting with joy. She is surrounded by the other Chosen, each adorned with their tribal headdresses and familial tattoos.

She thinks of butterfly season, when her forest home is filled with the delicate creatures, when the air is rainbow-hued. The rustle of silk reminds her of the sibilant fluttering of thousands of wings as the creatures take flight, seeking their freedom. She too is taking flight. Searching for new air, endless sky in which to spread her wings.

The room falls silent. The Arbiter is here.

Two doors open – one is flanked by two beautiful women, the other by two guards. A small tug of foreboding pulls at Seraphine’s core. Something is not right. The sibilance of butterflies transforms to the urgent flapping of crows’ wings – dark and discordant.

The selection is quick and efficient, brutal even. The Arbiter points, flicks her head towards the door of her choosing, a girl’s fate decided in an instant. Delight awaits the girl guided towards the women, despair if a guard grasps her by the shoulders and pushes her through his door, now yawning like an entrance to Hell.

Seraphine knows that there is no hiding place. As she feels a rough hand land on the back of her neck, she understands that her coin has flipped and landed on the dark side. She now knows why her mother waved her off with so many tears. Yet she also realises why she was not warned of the consequences. Better to have a dream, to aim high and burn bright on your way down, than to remain in the mud below for all time.

Whatever fate has in store for her now, she can always remember her moments as a butterfly, searching for her own patch of sky.


Cuts Like a Knife – Līgo Haibun Challenge

I have decided to dip another toe in the world of the haibun – a piece of prose followed by a haiku poem. The Līgo Haibun Challenge is hosted by Penny, Ye Pirate and Nightlake – why not take a trip to their blogs to find out more?

This week’s two alternative prompts are:

The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough – Rabindranath Tagore

The world is mud-luscious and puddle-wonderful  – E.E. Cummings

I have chosen Rabindranath Tagore as my inspiration – I hope you enjoy it.

Please do go and check out the other entries by visiting any of the co-hosts’ blogs and finding the InLinkz linky thing! There are some very talented writers out there…


– Cuts Like a Knife* –

She sometimes forgets. Wrapped up in the treadmill of her days – the getting up, the showering, the dressing, the rushing out of the house; she is distracted.

Half a mind on this, the other on that.

But then, late at night, as she steps into her bedroom, switches on the lamp and bathes herself in its pool of yellow light, she catches a glimpse. She is peeling off the day; removing her jacket, her blouse, skirt and stockings. Her mirror records the moment, that millisecond when half-turned, she sees the inky etchings on her rose-blushed skin. It was a choice she made not so long ago, to record a time in her life that changed the path that she thought had been set.  A reminder that for her, life’s opportunities must not be taken for granted and yet sometimes, she also just needs to breathe.

the butterfly kiss
whisper-soft, yet knife sharp
in its impermanence

*Yes, I have Tagore’s quote etched on my skin, in a huge spiral across my back, starting at the base of my spine. Yes, this is autobiographical. No, you don’t get to see pictures!