Lillian at dVerse Poets Pub has poured a stiff challenge for Haibun Monday this week, stipulating the prose paragraphs be a true accounting, not fiction, and that the prose take us on “a journey into an interior”, that we “go back in time to one of the very first houses you remember living in. Try to recall a room or place in that house. The accompanying haiku should be traditional.” This is my attempt at meeting the challenge.
What does it matter what the inside of this log house is like? Inside you will see that the inhabitants are ready to go back outside. There are boots just inside the door, some arranged around the woodstove, felts pulled out, wool socks and mittens draped over. The dining room chairs each shoulder a wool jacket or sweater, sometimes even pants, as it gets hot inside with long-johns on and the woodstove going. Just outside the door are everyone’s snowshoes and my skis; the wax on the skis will do for another outing, the temperatures are constant just now. They’ll be brought inside to warm when they need to be waxed again. There’s also a trapper basket on the porch, with an ice chisel leaned against it. The auger for ice-fishing got left here too; it gets used too often lately to bother carrying it back through the bulkhead to the cellar. In the cellar ice skates are put on near the dwindling woodpiles then walked on through the bulkhead to the small pond behind the house where neighbors might join in too.
Back inside, the dining room table has topo maps on it, and magazines and butterflied books, unless the readers are flopped over the armchairs and couches in the living room, occasionally getting up to stir the stew that is simmering on the woodstove, (bear this time). The books take the inhabitants outside too; they’ve each read the entire Farley Mowat and Sally Carrighar collections at least twice. And Jack London can make them feel bone deep cold even in this snug little log house, which, oddly, makes them want to go outside again.
Deep snow cloud walkers
laughing under bare branches.
Sleeping seeds sigh and stir.