Daily Haibun, June 15th – No on Repeat


Some days parenting seems to consist of saying No! umpteen times. Until you feel like a broken record heard to many times before.

Doesn’t matter you’re doing the right thing. Tempers fray and mindfulness becomes an unreachable idea.

Such day’s I’m happy when bedtime goes peacefully and ends with hugs and I love you too!

A child’s tears falling
Grief of a frustrated will
Pains a loving heart

© RedCat


Daily Haibun June 3rd – Can you smell the roses?


Can you smell the roses? Or the lilacs? I used to. Now I can’t. I hope smell-training and time will make it come back. But sometimes I despair.

I’ve always had a super nose. Been sensitive to smells. To the point of nausea sometimes. Now I miss it. Feel like I’ve lost a point of orientation in the world. 

The reason of course is Covid-19. It was the loss of smell that made me sure I had it before even being tested.

It’s been a struggle. And a shock to realise how much taste depends on smell. In the beginning it felt like I couldn’t cook anymore, because I couldn’t taste if I seasoned the food right. 

Now some smells have come back, and some things just smell wrong. Onions smell horribly. The coffee roastery no longer smells like burnt coffee, it smells dangerously chemical.

The purple lilacs
Perfumes the summer evenings
In my memories

©RedCat


Read other Haibun’s written for the monthly dVerse prompt by me here.

Read other Daily Haibun’s here.


Heart-Soul Sounds – A Quadrille


Have you ever heard the sad sound
As betrayal a soul wounds
As a shattered heart hits the ground

Have you ever heard the sigh of release
As a soul lets go of grief
As a heart rewound in love finds peace

Heart-soul sounds

©RedCat

Written for this week’s Quadrille prompt – What’s in a word? – over at dVerse. Where Lillian prompts us to use the homographic pair of the word wound, meaning using the word twice in our 44 words Quadrille.

Read other Quadrilles by me here.


Cat Searching High and Low

©RedCat

I opened the chest with spare linens today
In it was the old blanket Puck the cat loved
I must not have washed it after he passed away
Because directly came Pika to sniff and purr
As if drawn by years old scent
Her body language telling me she wouldn’t be deterred

Later she searched all over the house and yard
As if wondering where he were
Demanding entry to places she’s normally barred
I let her into both closet and storage shed
Letting her do her futile search
Knowing the longing singing in her head

It’s like when I come upon traces of my father
A photo, his name in a book
His old faded shirt I still have in a drawer
And my heart instantly fills with that old sorrow
Prompting me to search to make sense of the loss
Knowing whatever I do, he won’t be there tomorrow

Now Pika and I sit gazing through the window
I scratch her ear, she settles on my lap as the sun fades
We both know however much the wind blows
Our longing for a lost one will still be there tomorrow
Ready to awaken at a sight or whiff
Piercing our hearts anew like an arrow

©RedCat

I read the Poetics: The Print the Whales Make prompt at dVerse. And knew directly about what I would write. Even so the sorrow still hurts. But it also feels good to share it, something I was never allowed to do as a child. I first wrote “strangely feels good”, until I realized grief is something that’s supposed to be alleviated by sharing. 

So instead, let me say how intensely grateful I am to finally found a way to share it, and people who don’t shy away because I do.


Puck lying in the book I’m reading.
©RedCat

A Dirge For The Drowned – April Ekphrastic Challenge

Jane Cornwell

In the gray dawn light
A floating sound
Coming from the fishermen’s bight
A dirge for the drowned

A floating sound
Washing over the seashore
A dirge for the drowned
For love lost forevermore

Washing over the seashore
Like swashes of tears
For love lost forevermore
Grief echoing over the pier

Like swashes of tears
Coming from the fishermen’s bight
Grief echoing over the pier
In the gray dawn light

©RedCat

Boats by John Law

As so often happens with the forms I know well, I didn’t set out to write a Pantoum it just happened after I’d written the first stanza and sat wondering where to go next. Grief is a thing that changes over time, but still comes back to us again and again when reminded.

Searching for rhyming words I also learned two new ones.

Swash – the rush of seawater up the beach after the breaking of a wave.

Bight – a curve or recess in a coastline, river, or other geographical feature.

See all art and read all poems for today at The Wombwell Rainbow.


John Law

“Am 68. Live in Mexborough. Retired teacher. Artist; musician; poet. Recently included in ‘Viral Verses’ poetry volume. Married. 2 kids; 3 grandkids.”
Jane Cornwell


likes drawing and painting children, animals, landscapes and food. She specialises in watercolour, mixed media, coloured pencil, lino cut and print, textile design. Jane can help you out with adobe indesign for your layout needs, photoshop and adobe illustrator. She graduated with a ba(hons) design from Glasgow School of art, age 20.

She has exhibited with the rsw at the national gallery of Scotland, SSA, Knock Castle Gallery, Glasgow Group, Paisley Art Institute, MacMillan Exhibition at Bonhams, Edinburgh, The House For An Art Lover, Pittenweem Arts Festival, Compass Gallery, The Revive Show, East Linton Art Exhibition and Strathkelvin Annual Art Exhibition.

Her website is: https://www.janecornwell.co.uk/

April Ekphrastic Challenge – GloPoWriMo 2021

Dark Stairwell – A Haibun

Photo by Francesco Ungaro from Pexels

A dark stairwell. My cat meowing and howling in his box. The grownups swearing over the scratches they got when forcing him in. My mothers volatile mood. Grief flashing to rage, flashing to confused numbness flashing back to grief.

My aunts and uncles have strange whispering voices. Walking on eggshells. Afraid to do or say anything that reminds us. Like it’s possible to forget.
Like it’s possible to step out of the endless loop of grief and confusion.

I did not understand. How could daddy just be gone forever? And who is that stranger looking out of my mother’s eyes?

Like a plucked flower
A rootless child drifts astray
Unseen and unloved

©RedCat


Written for Walk with me down Memory Lane… today’s Haibun prompt over at dVerse.

I’m one of those that might have opted out of this one, knowing the punch in some of my memories. Also knowing I do not have them all. Nearly everything before my fathers death, two months before my sixth birthday. And two months before my younger siblings birth. Are built up by photo albums and my mother’s stories. And those stories tended to shift over the years. Even today, if one of her children mentions a story she told us over, and over, and over again – only to be met with a blank stare and a totally new story.

Both of us have long ago lost the sense that we will ever know the truth. We have our own memories, as far back as they go. Beyond that we will never know.

And I, again, ended up with fragments so small I don’t know what the memory is about. And this memory, of the dark stairwell, in the house we’re moving out of just weeks after my father passed away.

I have no pictures of that time. But I do have this from what seems a happier time then I can remember.


©RedCat
Photo by Ravi Kant from Pexels

The Rose Garden

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

Waiting for sleep. For dreams. The only place I still see my love. Young and happy, as we once were. Not ravaged by age and disease. Like the day you drew your last breath.

In the rose garden we laugh and kiss. Hug and touch. Making love on soft grass beneath fragrant blossoms. I cry as we cuddle, knowing the dreams are ending. Knowing I’ll wake in a cold and lonely bed.

In the morning I find the rose garden covered in sparkling snow. Like the tears and sorrow of my dreams have fallen outside. Grief translated to shimmering ice. 

©RedCat


Written for Friday Fictioneers.

Read more stories by me here.

Click on the frog to read more stories or add your own.


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