I was woken by a small earthquake in the early hours of this morning.

Here in the ‘shaky islands’ of New Zealand theories and legends about earthquakes abound – concepts such as earthquake weather, which probably has some small basis in fact as pressure changes affect the earth’s surface.  There are stories of animals becoming restless before large earthquakes, and I recall a particular time where a neighbour’s little dog hid under the house crying before a not insignificant shake.  On the West Coast of the South Island there are reports of loud noises from the mountains before some earthquakes.

The Maori also have their own explanations such as the restless movements of Taniwha, supernatural creatures who inhabit areas of the earth or sea.

hot night
the earth shrugs
in its sleep



A haibun challenge for MLMM

Storm flags are flapping on the harbour as the wind picks up.  On the water some boaties are checking moorings while others have decided to head out to sea hoping to avoid the worst.  Along the seafront shop owners are sandbagging doorways.  Storm shutters are being hastily hammered across windows.  A mother loads her children in the car and heads inland.

sea surge
no-one quite wants
to believe


A haibun on change and transitions for Dverse poets

It was a gypsy life in the Air Force – home was always wherever we hung our hats.  We got used to hanging new curtains, digging new gardens, meeting new neighbours, and the children survived a succession of schools and friendships.  They grew up and left home, and still we travelled on, just on our own this time.

Then for a while we put down roots in a wild and lovely place, built a barn, built a life and a church.  So many good friends, none of them rich or even very famous, all of them special.  The gifted years, treasure beyond treasure stored up as memories.  Until we got older, and the children were too far away, and the distances too great.

This time the wrench of leaving was something we felt, like a tree being pulled from good earth.  Pieces of our hearts left behind among the mountains and sea-spray.  A different transition.

you and I
always moving on


Answering a challenge to condense three of Basho’s wonderful ku into one.  To see the whole challenge visit the original post

It is unexpectedly cold tonight and I am curled up under two quilts, wondering how I came to be in this unknown place.  The moon is lost among drifting stars that call to me with a strange intensity.

falling sick
in a field of dry grass
autumn wandering




Henry Wadsworth Longfellow penned the lines: ‘Into each life some rain must fall, some days must be dark and dreary’.  This is true for all of us, and sometimes the darkest days obscure the road ahead.  There are people who seem to get the most sips from that bitter cup of rain, and it is then that we must cling to the promise that the light is waiting, there at the end of the road.

racing clouds
patterns of shadow
and sunlight