Memory’s Harvest #haiku

At the beginning of September I came back to my birthplace. Nothing of my mother remained. The grass in front of mother’s room had withered in the frost. Everything had changed. The hair of my brother and sisters was white and they had wrinkles between their eyebrows. We could only say, “We are fortunate to be still alive.” Nothing more. My elder brother opened an amulet case and said reverently to me, “Look at mother’s white hair. You have come back after such a long time. So this is like the jewel box of Urashima Taro. Your eyebrows have become white.” We wept for a while and then I composed this verse:

if taken in my hand
it would vanish in hot tears
autumn frost
© Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)

dirt

The soil was where our story began ~

We were farmers and during the coldest winter,  harshest depression, or strictest rationing, we always had a spare morsel for someone with empty hands. Great grandfather passed down a love for the harvest; his son carried forth that responsibility. Some of us shared that love for the land while others tried to get the last dime from her. Dimes are spent rapidly and with little memory. The land has been faithful and gives back to those who dig deep…

still warm to the touch

memories flow with the tears

you have never failed

crops

 

The Carpe Diem  prompt  today is from the wonderful haibun from Basho. “If taken in my hand” fills me with new and old memories as my hands return to the soil this season.