Parenting Haibun

Watercolour and ink illustration of a helicopter rescuing a heart. Used to illustrate a haibun on parenting.

We have a little ritual most evenings where at some point of cuddles on the couch while reading before bedtime, my son will call out for his dad’s ‘rescue helicopter’, giggling and asking:

‘can you rescue me daddy?’

From the other room, dad’s chopper blades can be heard to the growing squeals of my boy as he anticipates the helicopter ride once he’s free from mamma’s arms. They fly around the room and ‘land’ on impossible surfaces— the keys of the piano, the dining table, the top of the child proof fence separating the lounge room from the art studio. All fun, light and laughter no matter how many times we play out this rescue, but the symbolism of his request for a ‘rescue’ from my embrace doesn’t escape me. Continue reading

Stars & Flying Sparks

Image of 2015 Lyrid Meteor Shower, to illustrate post on life and the 'zinc spark' of life.
Photo: Kris Williams, via American Meteor Society


sparks fly! conception!

a stellar invitation

save the date! it said

forty weeks of gestation

enter dragon, leo-fire


That’s me, leo AND dragon. A fierce combination, right? Although I don’t live my life guided by astrology, I do identify with a lot of the traits assigned to my signs. On the topic of life path’s and traits being foretold, check out Dan Millman’s Life Purpose Calculator if that kind of thing interests you. The link gives a bit of info, but if you want to read more, plug the number and ‘life purpose’ into your search engine- be prepared to go ‘wow!’ I have the book and I was blown away by the eerily spot on descriptions of not only myself, but countless friends and family members.

The opening line of the tanka was inspired by the most amazing thing I’ve learnt in recent days: at the moment of human conception, following the fireworks of the horizontal dance (one of a number of ways to conceive), the event is marked by tiny sparks flying in celebration of the successful creation of a zygote (years before ‘it’ becomes a tantrum throwing 23 month old). The light emitted is caused by the surge of calcium when sperm enters egg, triggering the release of some of the egg’s reserve of zinc. The released zinc then binds to small *molecules and together, they emit a fluorescence which was detected by Scientists at Chicago’s Northwestern University in the past week, using fluorescence microscopy. The phenomena had previously been observed in mice. The light of life! It has huge implications for IVF and leaves open (in my mind) endless questions about creation, life and the connectedness and meaning of it all.


*My reading has not yet shed light on what those small molecules are, so any readers who may enlighten us, please do so in the comments.

Prompt words for the tanka (dragon, invite) from 8 year old poet, Miss E– guest prompt-maker for Ronovan Writes’ Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge #95

Assembling Dreams

Photo by Richard Baxter

It came in a flat pack (we should have taken that as warning of what was to follow).

Patience was required for assembly, its urgency announced by toddler tears born of a skewed sense of time- what’s not immediate equates to eternity.

fresh deluge of tears

child’s grievances with time

freestyle wail won’t cease

I tried to distract him with a story and some songs, asking for nothing more than an exchange of the wailing for sound effects on cue, prompted by what Old MacDonald had on his farm. It seemed the only thing on the farm was a crying child.

mum’s fresh out of songs

old MacDonald combat style

eyi eyi…NO!

His dad cursed (in whispers drowned by tears) the parts strewn across the floor, pieces mass produced but requiring solo, manual, slow construction.

The tray was made of sturdy steel, coated a beautiful shade of red, resplendent in its replication of a time and style of yesteryear. The plastic tyres and impractical design (requiring fuming fumbling with minuscule fasteners) revealed it as a product of its age- for consumption by the masses and disposal on destruction.

Complete, at last! We ventured into the cool night air, for the debut expedition.

little red wagon

styled on whimsy, nostalgia

carrying fresh dreams

The wheels maneuvered easily over gravelly ground, with a very happy* toddler commandeering it, parents looking on in wonderment, spellbound by the boy and his red wagon.

fresh breeze heralds love

red hearts tumble like your wagon

boy, we like your style


Inspired by the two word prompt (style, fresh) from RonovanWrites’ Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge. To get more words on the page (then on the screen), this week I played around with a haibun! A first for me, and something I’ll definitely do more of. In my reading, I came across a site with some lovely examples of haibun:

*don’t let the serious  face fool you- he is happy. No tears, right? 🙂