Haibun: Making Lemonade

Her eyes filled with mist when she spoke about Zeeland. I was too young to understand her stories. 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.

Zierikzee
the ring with the moonstone
still fits

© 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:

Rustoord

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.

Zierikzee
het ringetje met de maansteen
past nog steeds

© Xenia Tran

I am delighted that 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 colleagues for putting this 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

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Haibun: Christmas Lights

Christmas lights tied to lampposts in Findochty

The Festive lights along the coast are often understated. There is something honest and refreshing seeing them unlit against a blue sky. In this small fishing village, a handful of squares with cables and light bulbs are tied to the main street’s lampposts. One has a leaping dolphin, another a sailing boat. There’s an anchor and a ship’s wheel too. The locals joined hands to pay for it all.

all year round
a spirit of community
Christmas lights

© Xenia Tran

a Christmas light in the shape of a ship's wheel tied to a lamppost

We are taking a short blogging break until 29th December and wish all of you who celebrate a very Happy Christmas!

Seasons greetings with love
from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Canon Powershot SX60 HS, Settings: f/5.6 – 1/500 s – ISO 200, f/5 – 1/1000 s – ISO 160 and f/5.6 – 1/1000 s – ISO 160.

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Between Heather and Grass: #Poems and #Photographs Filled with Love, Hope and Whippets by Xenia Tran @WhippetHaiku

For those of you not familiar with Eivor and Pearl’s poetic adventures, Cathy Ryan shares a beautiful review of Between Heather and Grass on her blog today. Thank you so much for sharing this Cathy, we’re so happy you enjoy the book! xxx

Author: Xenia Tran

Published: November 2019 by Holistic Linguistics

Category: Creative Non Fiction, Poetry, Photography, Verse, Book Review

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Welcome to Between Heather and Grass – Poems Filled with Love, Hope and Whippets, our beautiful, soulful sequel to Sharing Our Horizon and our second book for whippet lovers, dog lovers and lovers of nature. The book features poetry, breathtaking photographs of the Scottish Highlands, and our two adopted whippets Eivor and Pearl. The majority of the poems are haiku, haibun and tanka, written in rhythm with the seasons. The poems and photographs illuminate each other and are both calming and inspiring, inviting you to dip into this collection many times over.

Between Heather and Grass is Xenia Tran’s second book of verse, complete with photographs of the spectacular scenery of the Scottish Highlands and not forgetting her two gorgeous rescue whippets. The complementary poetry and photos capture the majesty of…

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Haibun: Autumn Equinox

a male swan and his cygnet in the pond

We’re enjoying an Indian Summer. Here and there some leaves are changing colour, a few float along the stream into the pond. The only cygnet that remains is showing his first white feathers. His parents have changed their plumage too. The sun travels lower through the sky, wrapping our world in warmest light.

one last wave
before the muddy roads
autumn equinox

© Xenia Tran

swan parents in new plumage on either side of their growing cygnet

Wishing you all a beautiful Sunday and a happy September Equinox tomorrow.

With love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Canon Powershot SX60 HS, Settings: f/5 – 1/30 s – ISO 200, f/4 – 1/250 s – ISO 160 and f/4 – 1/400 s – ISO 200.

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Haibun: A Day for Peace

macro shot of a white feather

In the city of seven rivers, doves are released into the sky as a symbol for peace. We remember how more than one hundred and forty thousand people lost their lives. Every year on 6th August, we remember.

The main river that feeds the others springs from the Chugoku mountains. The water is crystal clear and full of nutrients. There are crabs on the mud flats at low tide, cormorants fishing. In the middle of one of the rivers sits an island where herons nest. A survivor tells us, he loves to come here and watch the birds, fill his heart with hope for the future.

from the sky
on Hiroshima Day
a white feather

© Xenia Tran

macro shot of a white feather

Wishing you all a peaceful day and our thoughts are with our friends in Hiroshima.

With love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Panasonic Lumix FZ200, Settings: f/3.5 – 1/250 s – ISO 100, f/3.5 – 1/125 s – ISO 100 and f/3.5 – 1/160 s – ISO 100.

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Haibun: Moving Earth

Knockan Crag Nature Reserve

Top half of the Puzzle Wall at Knockan Crag, Sutherland

The Puzzle Wall at Knockan Crag shows traces of tropical marine creatures in the bottom layers below a layer of lime-rich mud. Above rests an even older layer, nearly half a billion years old. Scotland was part of the same continent as North America back then. The closing of a huge ocean led to a collision of two continents and the force of this collision thrust up these older rocks to make them top of the pile. This at least, is the theory. Touching part of the puzzle with my hands brings up a tingling sensation.

layer upon layer
how the earth moves
truth’s her art

© Xenia Tran

the trail at Knockan Crag with history depicted on painted stones

The clouds bring light relief from the blazing Summer sun. Along the trail we’re invited to take one hundred million year steps and follow Scotland as it drifts across the planet. Six hundred million years ago, Scotland is near the South Pole. Five hundred million years ago, Scotland is part of North America. Three hundred million years ago, Scotland is near the equator. We’ve seen the evidence of this in the beautiful rocks at Cove Bay, the sandstone reminding us the area was once a hot and arid desert.

rolling ball
a sculpture on the hill
mirrors our world

© Xenia Tran

a close up shot of the Globe sculpture at Knockan Crag

Moss is growing between the slate on Joe Smith’s beautiful Globe. Ferns and heather release delicate scents in the breeze. The lochs are glittering below when we look back and see how far we’ve already traveled on this journey. Before we leave, my hand hovers above the Pipe Rock in the Puzzle and its gentle pulse. It makes me wonder what landscape we’ve come from, what landscape we’ll return to.

one by one
stags run down the mountain
into cooler seas

© Xenia Tran

view west from Knockan Crag with the Globe sculpture in the foreground

You can see more photographs and another haibun from Knockan Crag in Deep Time on our sister blog Whippet Wisdom.

Wishing you all a beautiful Wednesday,

with love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

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Haibun: Fragrant Breeze

Assynt

an undulating single track road in Assynt with a dry stone wall and mountain views beyond

We’re taking our time travelling the single track with here and there a passing place, used by many as a place to pause. People pause to take a photograph of highland cattle, their long horns glistening in the sun. Or photographs of ewes with lambs in tow, a fresh dot of red paint between their shoulders.

I pause to look at Canisp and Suilven. Towering above the landscape in the way only mountains do, they speak to me in the way only mountains can. In a soft and familiar voice they urge me to stay a little longer.

fragrant breeze
gorse blooms between the rocks
that call us home

© Xenia Tran

Views of mountains Canisp and Suilven from the Stoer road with gorse in bloom

With love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Panasonic Lumix FZ200, Settings: f/4 – 1/1250 s – ISO 160 and f/8 – 1/640 s – ISO 160.

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