My maternal grandfather served in the Home Guard in WWII. His son, my uncle, ended up in Africa on the front lines with a wrench in his hands instead of a rifle, fixing trucks. My paternal grandfather was accidentally killed in a training exercise by a live bullet that should have been blank.

The Soldier,

Rupert Brooke, 1914

If I should die, think only this of me:

That there’s some corner of a foreign field

That is for ever England. There shall be

In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;

A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,

Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam,

A body of England’s, breathing English air,

Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home.

And think, this heart, all evil shed away,

A pulse in the eternal mind, no less

Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given;

Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day;

And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness,

In hearts at peace, under an English heaven.

Haiku V

All good things must end

Haiku week is finished now

Thank you for playing!

This is the last haiku round up, thanks to everyone who posted them, it’s been a blast! I’m leaving town mid-afternoon, so I’ll post what I have so far. If I missed you, leave a note in the comments and I’ll add you when I get back.

I’m off for the weekend. Hubby is getting better, and I’m still stealing his car. In my defense, I have cleaned it and filled it with petrol.

Haiku IV

The Mystery Yarn Parcel I won in Jillz August contest arrived last night! Good old Royal Mail!

Mystery parcel,

Rowan Cotton Chenille yarn,

Galaxy chocolate!

Mystery Yarn Parcel!

There was a bar of Galaxy chocolate in the box that did not last the night, also a lovely note, and four balls of yarn purchased from Liberty in London, a store I remember walking past and never going in. It is my first Rowan yarn, Chunky Cotton Chenille in two wonderfully contrasting shades of blue, soft and squishy.

Yarn close up.

I love those two colours next to each other! Jillz, how did you know blue is one of my favourite colours? 152 yds a ball, I have four balls, so that’s 608 yards total. The Shapely Tank Top requires 600 yards, but that’s in DK not chunky. Can anyone help me do the conversion from DK to chunky? Dark blue two thirds of the way up, and the top third in light blue maybe? Or maybe a warm and snuggly Tricot? Or a scarf, hat and mittens set? A waistcoat/vest? Endless possibilities. Must swatch, but endless possibilities! What would you make with it?

The Thursday haiku round up:

I’ve been listing the haiku’s for the day they were written, not the day I found them. The Friday haiku round up will be the last one. It will be done early afternoon as I’m leaving town for the retreat, so apologies in advance for anyone I miss off the list. Just leave a note in the comments and I’ll add you when I get back. This has been so much fun! Make sure you read everyone’s comments, lots of haiku are popping up there too.

Haiku III

Working on the socks

promised for Sehlat’s birthday,

knitting down the bones. (*)

(* Writing Down The Bones by Natalie Goldberg is one of the first books on writing I picked up five years ago, and I still go back to it. I think I’d prefer my novels with a bit more structure than she writes, but it’s a great book for journalling.)

Spent most of last night knitting Sehlat’s second sock while Hubby was out. They’re two weeks late so far. I’m past the heel, and onto the foot part. Sehlat has very little feet, so it shouldn’t take much longer to finish. The Star Toe looks quite nifty. I’m writing up this pattern when they’re done. The socks will come with me this weekend to the church women’s retreat in middle-of-nowhere IL, where there is zero cell phone signal and a lot of quiet. There will be some meditative knitting time on Saturday afternoon, probably by the lake. I’d like to climb a tree and knit up there, but I have visions of dropping the ball or a squirrel stealing it and wrapping the whole tree in yarn. Maybe I’d better stick to the gazebo.

The Wednesday haiku round up:

Go give Hubby some sympathy, he’s come down sick just as I’m jetting off for the weekend, stealing his V6 automatic SUV, and leaving him with my manual transmission oldie-but-goodie Ford workhorse.

Haiku week!

Five syllables first,

then seven, then five again.

Join the haiku week!

I’m amazed! Who else can we ensnare for Haiku Week? Look at all these haiku writers!

Apologies if I’ve missed anyone, just drop me a comment and I’ll add you to the list. There’s a whole pile of haiku in Norma’s comments too. This is my haiku for the day:

Waiting for parcels

from London and New Hampshire

Today, just one, please?


I dared Norma to try a week of haiku with me. Haiku are snapshots, five syllables on the first line, seven on the second, and five on the last line. They’re easier than sonnets, where you have a rhythm pattern as well as a rhyme pattern to follow. Haiku I can do, sonnets defeat me. My second journal keeping class assignment is a series of letters, but they’re shaping up to be paper journal content, not public weblog, so you get the haiku instead.

First dental visit

in six years. Fear confronted,

in two hours time.

For the record, I’m fine, no work required other than a moderately brutal cleaning.

Where I’m from

Found an interesting writing assignment on Fragments from Floyd, based on the poem “Where I’m From” by George Ella Lyons.

Where I’m from

I am from tea cups, from Twinings and tannin.

I am from the haunted bathroom,

(cold and primrose yellow,

feeling dead eyes always on you).

I am from the chestnut tree I planted and forgot,

the wallflower,

tendrils of scent trailing my path.

I’m from the turbulent Christmas

and the Norman build,

from Ida Violet and George.

I am from the never-shut door

and the home-knitted scarf of rough wool.

From elbows off the table

and ungrateful little witch

I am from paper cut-outs of Jesus,

with pictures to colour

and memory verses each week.

I’m from the East, the town,

scones and Sunday roast.

From the motorbike my mother took apart

and couldn’t reassemble,

and the eighteen month immigration to New Zealand.

I am from the brown suitcase under the wardrobe

certificates and jewellery,

passports and old documents,

memories made solid in a gold pocket watch

that no longer ticks,

and a paua shell picked up on the beach,

and a passport for a six month old baby.

I don’t normally do poetry, but this caught my attention. Try it yourself.