Haibun: Making Lemonade

a black and white family photograph featuring two women and a baby boy in a pram

Her eyes filled with mist when she spoke about Zeeland. I was too young to understand her story. The feeling in my heart when we made lemonade was real and true. She let me add a little sugar to warm water, while continuing to stir with her spoon.

the ring with the moonstone
still fits

Β© Xenia Tran

This haibun was inspired by a moment from my childhood when I visited my great-grandmother in Rustoord, the retirement home where she spent her final years. Zierikzee is a town in the province of Zeeland in The Netherlands.

The above poem is an interpretation in English of my haibun Rustoord, originally written in Dutch:


Haar ogen liepen vol met mist, als ze het over Zeeland had. Ik was te jong om haar geschiedenis te begrijpen. Het gevoel in mijn hart, als we samen citroenlimonade maakten, begreep ik wel. Ik mocht schepjes suiker aan het warme water toevoegen terwijl zij met een lepel bleef roeren.

het ringetje met de maansteen
past nog steeds

Β© Xenia Tran

Rustoord was first published in Vuursteen, Tijdschrift voor haiku, senryu en tanka, Winter 2019, the quarterly journal of Haiku Kring Nederland. A very big thank you to Marian Poyck and the team for featuring my poem and putting this beautiful edition together.

The header photograph is the only photograph I have that features my great-grandmother. It was taken in 1941 by my late grandfather and features my late great-grandmother, my late grandmother and my father in his pram.

Wishing you all a blessed Sunday,

with love from Xenia xxx

Dutch Goes the Photo Tuesday Photo Challenge: Retrospective

Rag Tag Daily Prompt: Realm

dVerse Poets: Open Link Night #257

A further selection of recent publications in online and print journals can be found here:

Author: Tranature - quiet moments in nature

The stories, poems and photographs on Tranature are the original creative work of Xenia Tran, inspired by the natural surroundings of the Scottish Highlands.

53 thoughts on “Haibun: Making Lemonade”

    1. Thank you kindly dear Lois. We’ve kept it in a special frame with other family photographs and they are truly treasured πŸ™‚πŸ’œ xxx


    1. Thank you so much for your kind words dear Cathy, hope you are all having a wonderful weekend too πŸ€—πŸ’œπŸ• xxx

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words dear Laurie. It’s lovely to feel their presence, especially at this time of year πŸ’œ xxx

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words BjΓΆrn, I’m so glad you enjoyed this. Translating it into English was the hardest part ;o)


        1. Thank you, my voice did change in English. I felt that a literal translation would need a longer explanation and remove too many of the internal echoes from the original idea.


  1. That is a very special photograph, Xenia – I have a similar one somewhere in my collection. I love the brief but vivid description of making lemonade and the moonstone ring – I love moonstones – and I enjoyed reading the Dutch version. My Dutch is very basic as I didn’t spend as much time there as I did in Germany. One of my best friends is married to a Dutch artist – they live in Norwich.
    Congratulations on having your haibun published!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words dear Kim and lovely to hear you have a similar photograph in your collection! Have you written a poem with that image? If not it may be a nice thing to do, just to see what happens. I am glad you enjoyed reading the Dutch version too xxx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve written poems with other images, Xenia, but not that one. There is one I cherish, with my great grandparent and grandparents on my mother’s side, my parents and my (then) baby sister and me. Sadly my grandfather had just had a breakdown and looks terrible, and my grandmother and mother were both recovering from TB.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thank you Kim, I can see why you treasure that photograph and it’s telling such a poignant story πŸ’œ xxx

          Liked by 1 person

  2. I add my Congrats on your being published. At first I thought Zeeland meant Zealand; thanks for clearing that up. Just last year, through Ancestry.com I discovered my true heritage in Cambria, Italy. I’m thrilled to be Italian.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words dear Glenn and how wonderful you’ve been able to trace your heritage to Cambria – that’s so exciting!


  3. I love every bit of your post, Xenia. Congratulations on getting your poem published in another language and thank you for translating it so we English speakers could enjoy it also ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words dear Linda, so lovely you enjoyed the Dutch version too πŸ™‚πŸ’œ xxx


    1. Thank you so much for your kind words dear Dwight. I’m very grateful I knew her and wish I’d been old enough to understand her history when she was alive. She had the kindest soul and I can still feel the connection we shared πŸ’œ

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Thank you dear Dwight, it does feel as if part of her lives on in my heart πŸ’œ


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com 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.

%d bloggers like this: