December 21, 2018


Words by Dan Hardison
Santa Ornament by Jake Caskey, 1996

December 14, 2018

November 25, 2018

Hardison Grocery

Beyond the “Sunbeam Bread” screen door were rows of wooden shelves filled with once-common brands, barrels of dried beans, and bins of fresh local produce. There was a rack of country hams and a refrigerated meat case filled with everything from steaks, pork chops, and whole chickens to pig’s feet, ox tails, and chitlins.

Just inside, glass bottles of Nehi Grape, Orange Crush, and RC Cola could be found suspended in a metal drink box of ice-cold water. The checkout counter, there was only one, had no moving belts or scanners just a mechanical cash register and a front filled with bins of candy.

Before shopping malls, supermarkets, or fast food, this was where groceries were bought accompanied by an exchange of gossip. Once every neighborhood had its own grocery and I grew up with such a store owned by my grandparents.

        catching a moment
        and holding it forever . . .
        an old photograph

Dan Hardison

vol. 41:3 fall 2018

October 30, 2018

Tree Challenge

Haiku and image by Dan Hardison

Haiga Online - Tree Challenge
Vol, 19-1, Spring 2018

August 27, 2018

By His Side

He is up from his nap and ready for an afternoon walk. As we leave, he stumbles on the threshold of the door. His pace is slow, his movement stiff, but he has a look of determination as we move along the familiar path. We reach our destination (only half as far as in the past), and start the journey home. As we return, he is moving even slower and a bit winded, but tomorrow he will be ready again for another walk.

He is 15 in human years and has multiple health issues. The playfulness and exuberance may be diminished, but in those brown cataract glazed eyes the affection still shows through. I once said, “it is here he will stay” and it is here we will be by his side.

        though faded and worn . . .
        child’s blanket

Dan Hardison

Contempary Haibun Online
July 2018, vol 14 no 2

July 27, 2018

Water Challenge

Haiku and image by Dan Hardison

Haigaonline - Water Challenge
Vol, 18-2, Autumn 2017

June 29, 2018

Unknown Horizon

This is someone who has always been outgoing, who loved sports, and always stayed busy. But Parkinson’s disease is taking its toll. This once vibrant life is slowing down, the speech is difficult to understand, movement is faltering, the step that was ever so sure now unsteady. Like a ship listing starboard, he continues on to some uncertain horizon.

        to a vanished season . . .
        autumn leaf

 Dan Hardison

Contempoary Haibun Online
October 2017, vol 13 no 3

May 28, 2018


As far back as I can remember, an old handsaw hung on the pegboard above my father’s workbench. I do not recall him ever using it, instead using a newer saw that hung next to the old one. It was not until I was a teenager that I noticed the initials “RH” carved in the old saw’s wooden handle – my grandfather’s initials.

        to the morning light . . .
        fleeting dream

My grandfather died when I was two years old – too young to remember him. There is a photo of this man and me riding together on a horse, and he is smiling. There is another photo, this time he is alone, standing outdoors looking forlorn. I would like to know more about this man I never had the chance to know.

        image before me
        reflected in the mirror . . .
        family tree

 Dan Hardison

Contempary Haibun Online
July 2016, vol 12 no 2

May 10, 2018

The Art of Handmade

For Dina

When you think of art, what comes to mind – paintings or sculpture perhaps? What about stained-glass windows, a hand-blown glass vase, an animal carved in wood, a hand-woven basket, or a bowl wheel-thrown from clay?

art:  The products of human creativity

Regardless what a person may think about art, most people enjoy that which is handmade. And if someone we know created the item, it will have special meaning. This can be true with a quilt sewn by your grandmother, a table built by your father, or a mug crafted of clay by a friend.

handmade:  Made by hand or a hand process

Whether a person creates objects for a living or just as a hobby, they do so because they love the process of creating. Nancy E. Green has described this process of craftsmanship as, “with an eye to both beauty and utility, not just art for art’s sake, but art for the soul’s sake.” So whether it is an oil painting or a handmade coffee mug, it is the fact that it was created with “heart and hand” that makes it special.

artist:  A person whose creative work shows sensitivity and imagination

People collect these works for the enjoyment of being surrounded by things that are not only beautiful, but are also handmade. As clay artist Dina Wilde-Ramsing has said, “There is a very intimate relationship between the maker and user. God bless the people who appreciate that.”

love:  Have a great affection or liking for

— Dan Hardison

"The Art of Handmade" is a handmade accordion artist book containing the essay above. Constructed with photographs of clay art by Dina Wilde-Ramsing from the collection of Dan and Patty Hardison, giclĂ©e printed on watercolor paper with archival ink, mounted on paper, backed by handmade paper, and sealed with archival varnish. (one-of-a-kind, 4” x 4” closed, 4” x 41” opened flat, includes paper portfolio)

View the complete artist book as a PDF