August 30, 2019

Grade School Cafeteria

Our grade school cafeteria was a place of hot home-style meals. This was a meat and three cafeteria -- no vending machines here. The rules were strict: no horseplay, no swapping or disposing of food, no dessert unless everything on your plate was eaten, and no plate with food could be returned without first proving that you had at least tasted each unfinished item.

The cafeteria manager was an older woman with a slight limp, a seemingly perpetual frown, and a booming voice. To my fearful schoolmates she ruled the lunchroom, but for me she was Great Aunt Viola.

When my class entered the cafeteria, Aunt Viola would seek me out and with a broad smile give me a cheek-to-cheek hug. Even worse would be the occasions when my class was lined up to return to the classroom and she would amble over, hand me a paper bag of fresh baked cookies (not on the day’s menu), give me a hug and say, “take these home and share them with your brother.”

        a hollow tune . . .
        chill wind

Dan Hardison

Contemporary Haibun Online, January 2018, vol 13 no 4

August 3, 2019

Fire Challenge

Haiku and image by Dan Hardison

Haigaonline - Fire Challenge
Vol, 20-1, Spring 2019

May 2, 2019

The Glass Bottle

Stopping at a general store for refreshments, we walk past a tub filled with ice and soft drinks in glass bottles. Our young friend comments that she has never had a soft drink bottled in glass, only plastic or cans. We tell her that drinks from glass bottles always taste better, so she asks if she can have one.

We make our way to the front of the store and she sits her bottle on the counter. The woman behind the counter rings up the price and hands her the bottle. She stands staring at the bottle with its pressed-on metal cap and asks, “How do you open it.”

The woman behind the counter smiles and hands her a bottle opener that is lying beside the register. She looks from the bottle to the opener and now asks, “What do I do with it?” Now everyone around us is smiling and I show her how to use the opener to pry the cap off the bottle. She takes a drink and smiles, “Your right, this is better.”

        silence broken
        in a blossom of light . . .

Dan Hardison

Contemporary Haibun Online, April 2017, vol 13 no 1

February 22, 2019

Earth Challenge

Haiku and image by Dan Hardison

Haigaonline - Earth Challenge
Vol, 19-2, Autumn 2018

February 9, 2019

The Notebook

It is interesting what may be found after someone passes away. My Mother loved gospel music, so it was no surprise to find a copy of “Revival Songs” among her personal things along with her bible. But it was curious to also find a black three-ring notebook with pages of handwritten notes from a 12th grade public school American History class of 1950.

        spring bud
        breaking into bloom . . .
        lost and found

Among the stated objectives of the class was to be better American and world citizens; promote love of home and church; to train my hands to be busy, my head to be clear and my heart to be warm; to know the past, to understand the present, and to judge the future more accurately. There were quotations from historical and literary figures, excerpts from poems, and verses from the bible. The class was on American History, but its purpose was on strength of character.

        golden faces
        following the sun . . .

Dan Hardison

Contemporary Haibun Online, October 2018, vol 14 no 3