News from My Townland

Day 12 of NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo and it really does feel like running a marathon. I do not have a conventional work schedule. My husband is retired and I am self-employed. How do people with a 9-5 life manage this? Draft on lunch hour? Steal some online posting time on break? I am managing to do something everyday, but I cannot guarantee quality. Maybe some people only post the really polished stuff?

Anyway, today’s prompt should have been easy, but it hasn’t and I am not sure that I have fulfilled all the qualifications for a haibun. If you want to check, read the article here. I have more tasks to confront, so I have to settle with having tried.

Here is the prompt.

We’ve challenged you to tackle the haibun in past years, but it’s such a fun one, we couldn’t resist again. Today, we’d like to challenge you specifically to write a haibun that takes in the natural landscape of the place you live. It may be the high sierra, dusty plains, lush rainforest, or a suburbia of tiny, identical houses – but wherever you live, here’s your chance to bring it to life through the charming mix-and-match methodology of haibun.

I am, at least, very fortunate to live in a landscape lush in detail.  I have to call it News from Our Townland because everytime we meet our neighbour Winnie down the lane she sticks her head into the car and says. “Any news?” And for non-Irish readers a townland is basically an outlying rural district. Our townland translates, I am told, as ‘the place of the briars.’

News From Our Townland

At noon, in fields stretching south, dye daubed sheep, lowing cattle mourning calves gone to Mart, bog cotton in springtime, the cuckoo flowers blooming just before the cuckoo arrives from Africa

wind turbines on Arigna, gorse acid splash in the mist on hummocks of hills, the gap to the southwest where the Atlantic gales blow in on us, rattling the glass

the sun slips behind that bump running along John’s and Paddy’s property line, that tangled hedge, dipping into Lough Moneen, at dusk dripping magenta, violet and ink

Place of briars. Thorn trees twined and bound in ivy and lichen year round after ditching their spring prom blossom dresses into the shuck. Or jewelling naked limbs with sloe and haw, brazen rowan for wild bird fodder.

The song sung at the holy well to a plaster Mary. Blackbird and thrush trill to trickle of stream tune. The offerings tied to the bare hawthorn – coins from around the world, a teddy, a shoelace, rosary beads in loving memory – oh Holy Mother, hear our prayers

Taming daffodils

Herds huddled in haggards

Briars still flourish

© 2018 Bee Smith


And where words fail…

I am a most fortunate woman to live where I live.

5 thoughts on “News from My Townland

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.