LEAVENED BREAD

 


Sugar comes back to our kitchen on Holy Saturdays after a forty day absence. It feeds the yeast that leavens the dough for our favorite Easter treat, Philadelphia Sticky Buns. My husband carefully kneads the rising dough and leaves it on a covered bowl to double. Then it will be kneaded again preparatory to a second rising.

While the dough rises, my husband prepares a bed of chopped pecans, corn syrup, and brown sugar in a pan to receive the sticky bun coils. When the dough is ready, our children fight over who will help their Daddy cut and roll the dough into little buns. Each will have a turn, each one’s concentration broken either by daddy’s admonition to put the  bun right side up in the pan or by a child asking, “Is this alright, Daddy?” Soon the pan fills up with dough rolls  distinguished by the age and skill of the hands that shaped them. After awhile,   the aroma of baking bread, caramelizing sugar, and roasting pecans wafts out of the oven and fills every corner of our home.

A season to bloom
the garden yielding its fruits
heading to winter.

For Dverse Poets Haibun Monday:  From the Kitchen of Poets

RAINY AUTUMN

rainy-autumn

We woke up later than we should. Our room was dark. No sun entered the windows to rouse us from bed. My eyes were heavy. The grey morning was pushing down my lids. But it was after 7 a.m. and I would make us late for Mass if I tarried longer. When I got a hold of my senses, I heard the soft pitter-patter on our window panes and the slosh of puddle as the cars went by. It was raining.

Thirty minutes later, we were cruising down the interstate. While my husband was concentrating on the road, I was looking at the trees by the roadside. How the colors have changed in just a week. While I always appreciated the brilliance of the leaves under a glowing sun, today I appreciated the shadows and the way the reds and oranges complemented the misty grey of the morning.  

rains showered on autumn
turning leaves flooded  the ground
naked trees shiver

My second and more conventional entry for WPC: H2O

CLOUDS PASSING BY

Clouds1

            According to superstition, a child would not grow if he laid on the ground and let a cloud cross over him. That did not bother my cousins and I when, during our summer reunions, we would watch clouds while lying down on the spiky grass covering our grandparent’s yard. We would chitchat,  tease one another, and giggle until we itched from the grass or the sun got  too hot.  Although most of my cousins from my father’s side lived in other provinces, they normally visited on the feast days  of our patron saint  and during major family celebrations.  I have not been to family gatherings  for many years  now.  Many of my cousins and I  now live all over the world. A couple have even passed on.  Meanwhile, all of us had  aged but none could boast about being  tall.

White clouds on blue skies
Flock of sheep led to pasture
Dispersed by the wind

~~~~~

Toni Spencer hosts DVerse’s Haibun Monday:  The Sky is the Limit


THE FIRST TIME EVER I SAW HIS FACE

butterflyonqueenanne

I met him with a luggageful of warnings. “He could be a psycho!” was my friends’ almost unanimous fear when I told them that I would meet the man I met online who happened to be from the other side of the world. After a year of extensive e-mails and expensive phonecalls, we agreed to finally meet in person. I would fly for 21 hours while he would drive 12 hours  to get to our meeting place. To appease my friends (and the little scared voice within), I did check the information he gave me against those independently available online, memorized the emergency number (9-1-1!), and arranged to meet in my brother’s apartment in Delaware.

The hour of our meeting approached. It was on a snowy December night. I parked myself on the couch by the window overlooking the road. I jumped at the sight of passing headlights. A lot later than expected, a car parked in front of our door. The door was opened before the doorbell rang. Outside stood a handsome, clean-shaven youth, cold inside his grayish woolen sweater. “Where is your stuff?” I managed to squeak after I regained my breath.

We spent two weeks together during which time, I learned that he was definitely not a murderer but, to my tastebuds’ consternation, I also learned that he was quite adept at using leftover turkey (mostly as soggy turkey rice). Meanwhile, he learned that I could not cook to save myself and that I was shorter than he thought. He gave me a ring anyway.

Sheltered butterfly
warm inside binding cocoon
foreordained  to fly

~~~~~~~~

 DVerse’s Haibun Monday:  A Little Romance.  Jump into the pub for some romantic takes.

MARCO POLO’S SHIP (WPC: Narrow)

 

 

shipcargo

In Roger Williams Zoo in Providence, RI is an exhibit dedicated to Marco Polo’s adventures.  A prototype of the ship that he used for his voyages was on exhibit.  I do not know how accurately it represented thee ship.  If it did, then the cargo hold of the ship would have been too narrow and small ship  for all the loot that Marco Polo had to bring back to his king.  If the actual ship was bigger,  would it have been big enough to contain all of the riches that Marco Polo laid his eyes on?

marcopoloship2
“Stored below, you can see some of the spices, fabrics, and other treasures Marco Polo collected on his journey,” so says the notice on the wall.

the endless ocean

always big enough to hold

avarice’s excess

WPC:  Narrow

JUST AN ORDINARY LIFE

DEWDROP2
Photo courtesy of my Honor Phone

My day begins and ends attending to my baby.  In between, I am busy taking care of the needs of a rather large family of seven:  feeding, schooling, refereeing four bickering boys, and meeting their demands.   There are dishes to clean, clothes to wash and fold, a house to straighten up.  On a good day, I get to read a book, take pictures, or have some silly fun with the children.  Most days, I am thankful about the simplicity of my days.  However, there are days when I rue the plainness of my life.   How inconsequential it is.  How ordinary.  There are only the dirty dishes and dirty clothes and bickering children to face day after day.  Nothing  earthshaking or important at all.  Then there are days when I am overcome with sadness for a future without the same noisy children and messy chores.

Life in a dewdrop
the simple turns magical
lasts but a moment

DVerse Poets’ Haibun #15 Monday

WPC: SPARE

bluets4

Bluets sweeten our spring visit to Maine.   It is always a delight to see the little white clumps of flowers amidst the sea of green.  It is amazing that though very little, they still manage to stand out and be noticed.  When I stoop down low to take a close look and snap some photos, I notice the busy activity surrounding these flowers – little flies flit about the flowers.  Against the afternoon light, it was not to imagine those little insects as fairies dancing around the flowers.

but the wildflowers

thriving wherever they scatter

meeting hostile hands

bluets5

The fields were mowed after a few days of our arrival.  Fortunately, the lawnmower spared the areas close to the dirt road and bluets growing there survived.  There are happy flower clusters that welcome the occasional cars passing by.

stars in the night skies

bluet sprays on where feet trod

God-given grandeur

~~~~~

WPC:  SPARE (These bluets are what remained after the rains and the recent lawnmowing. 🙂