Sound Thinking

The temperature dropped like a stone –
Which made me think
That invisible, freezing rocks must be
Falling from the sky
So I should stay inside.

But no. I wondered instead if could hear
All the pebbles and rocks along the road
Shrinking in their skins
With the same silence as ice
Cracking from cold.

Or maybe down at the beach sand
Might be singing, the way it does in summer,
Except Christmas Carols and Auld Lang Syne.
Hard to hear much over
The sound of the ocean shivering,

The waves coming in
And stamping their feet,
As they try to shake off
This North Atlantic chill
Just down from Labrador.

For The Twiglets

Renga – Winds Can’t Heal (Jilly/qbit)

Harry P. Leu Gardens. Copyright Jill Lyman, al rights reserved.
Harry P. Leu Gardens, by Jilly

What the winds can’t heal
The contrails sever

Winter howls
from a wounded sky

Spliced fragments of discontent
litter the cutting room floor

Of the hunched and hungry

Light that has never shone
Moloch’s restless domain

Its bitter meal
usurps our Threnody

Offspring of the beatnik fringe
slice their tongues on prosody

Their teeth drowned red
from parsing wine

The young so wise
abbreviated flights in time

Dovetail earth and sky
mulled, singular, primed

Jilly, qbit

Jilly’s Renga Challenge – Winds Can’t Heal
For Jilly’s December Casting Bricks

Haibun – Christmas, 1980

After college, I spent a few years traveling around Europe, picking up work here and there. In one such adventure, I worked in a shelter for homeless East End London youths. This was back when Docklands still had bombed out buildings from the Blitz and Cockney was what you heard in the streets.

I volunteered for the Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and Boxing Day shifts. It would just be me and about a dozen teenagers who were runaways or who had been tossed out by their parents. They had been living under bridges or worse, and the shelter gave them a place to stay until we could “get them sorted.”

Breakfast and dinner both were beans and toast. Every day, day after day. There was one smallish gas oven/stove, and one pan to heat the beans. You can guess where this is going… Correct!  With no cooking experience whatsoever, I went out and bought a huge turkey and all the fixings so I could make the kids a proper Christmas dinner.

My ability to grossly underestimate a situation is a hallmark of my life, and one of the things my friends and family say makes me so endearing.

Dinner a bit late
Turkey rolling on the floor –
Hilarious stuff



For Frank’s Haikai Challenge

Message in an Orange Fanta Bottle, Mexico, 1966

Please whoever gets this:

I am eight and in love
With the pretty stewardess
Who was on our flight
From San Diego to Baja.

She doesn’t know I exist,
She spends all her time with the pilots
Crowded around her on the patio
Here at the same hotel as us.

If you get this and see her
Tell her:
I am true and brave.
If she would just turn around

And see me pushing palm fronds
Into the pool with my foot
One after another
When no one’s watching.