December 13, 2019

Christmas Cat

Opening the door to a neighbor, a gray and white cat by his side stared up at me. The cat had appeared at his house just after Christmas and he was hoping to find her owner. When I arrived home the next day, the same gray and white cat greeted me. Afterwards, whenever we opened the door, she would be waiting. As nights got colder, I made her a makeshift bed on the porch. When the temperature threatened to drop to freezing, we let her stay in our sunroom. Her name is now CC – short for Christmas Cat.

        breakfast table . . .
        when I get up
        CC takes my chair

Dan Hardison

Haibun Today, Volume 11, Number 4, December 2017

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

January 25, 2019

This Woman

She was born in 1886, married at 18, and had her first child a year later. Her sixth child only lived 10 months. The seventh child was born one month after her fifth child died. At the age of 46 and the height of the Great Depression, she entered a hospital for the insane. It is there she would die 36 years later.

        into nothingness . . .
        autumn leaves

During her time in the hospital, her surviving children would visit on Sundays. They grew to adults and had families of their own. To their children and grandchildren, they spoke fondly of their mother but said little about how or why she came to be in a hospital for the insane. Things might have been different today for this woman – my great grandmother.

        prayer flags
        dancing in the wind . . .
        birch bark

Haibun by Dan Hardison
Photo: Lena Dolly Burnett

Contemporary Haibun Online, April 2018, vol 14 no 1