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Friday, June 26, 2009

riding in the rain

My father was an avid equestrian and disciplinarian. His four daughters dreaded riding with him because he sternly and constantly corrected our form or technique. When I was 15 and more interested in Seventeen magazine and fashion than going on horseback with my dad, that's where I found myself one early summer day. I wish I could remember why we went riding together; I certainly wouldn't have gone willingly.

As we guided our horses up the narrow trail through the aspen groves and Indian paintbrush of the national forest--dad in his cowboy hat in front and I, bare-headed in back--a light, warm rain began. I do recall the easy quiet between us with only the sound of soft rain, squeak of saddles bearing our weight, and a horse's hoof striking an exposed root or rock. Just as vividly I can still smell the ozone, the woods, and the scent of wet horse and leather.

warm rain
only the trail before us
silence between us

11 comments:

Beatrice V said...

I love it Nora, it is perfect.

nora said...

Thank you for your encouragement, Beatrice. It's so personal, I feel a little self-conscious. :-)

Poet in Residence said...

"the trail before us
the silence between us"

love those lines

Ashi said...

Good one - last line in the text gives a good picture, like this.

nora said...

Many thanks, PIR and Ashi! Speaking of picture, back on haiku a day there is a photo accompanying the haibun of my dad and me when I was grown and decided he wasn't so bad. :-)

Vic Gendrano said...

This is a sad commentary of father daughter relationship which fortunately though belatedly was brightened up in later years. I'll post here a link to my poem when my father passed away.

http://www.geocities.com/vgendrano/odefather.html

Copy and paste it in your browser and you will be taken to my old website which is still on. Tell me what you think. (Nora, remember what I've been telling you..)

Alan Summers said...

I love this!

I do feel it could be tightened up a bit, and some purists might point out that the haiku is too much of a mirror image, but it's great!

But on the other hand I'm not sure the repetition of certain words and themes is needed in this moving piece because you've set the mood so strongly already.

Please consider another edit, and submitting it to a haibun journal, if you haven't already.

I think you could loosen it up, and edit a few words out e.g.

riding in the rain

My father was an equestrian and disciplinarian: his four daughters dreaded riding with him because he constantly corrected our technique. But when I was 15 and more interested in Seventeen magazine and fashion than going on horseback with my dad, that's where I found myself one early summer day.

I wish I could remember why we went riding together; I wouldn't have gone willingly.

We guided our horses up the narrow trail through aspen groves and Indian paintbrush (consider leaving out “of the national forest” or naming the forest).

Dad’s in his cowboy hat, I recall the squeak of saddles, a horse's hoof striking an exposed rock, the scent of wet horse and leather.

warm rain
only the trail before us
an easy silence


====================

You mentioned rain a few times and I don't think you want to weaken the haiku, also you mention 'easy silence' in your prose so preempting your concluding haiku.

This is just to get you thinking, as a poem is never completed, I think Ted Hughes is one of many poets who've said that. ;-)

I wouldn't normally stick my neck out and post a comment such as this, but when I see some fine writing and know it can become even greater I feel I owe it to the author to just make them look one more time at their final edit.

Good luck, and whatever you do I think you should submit it to one of the haibun magazines! ;-)

Alan

Alan Summers said...

Here's a live link to Vic's poem:
ODE TO MY FATHER by Victor P. Gendrano

.

nora said...

Thanks Vic. We'll continue our conversation off-line. :-)

Alan, I appreciate your sharp editorial eye. Lynne Rees gave me some small changes and has accepted it already (I just wrote it yesterday morning!) to the fall issue of Simply Haiku. Don't hesitate to continue offering helpful edits. I do want my writing to be not just good, and it means you care enough to spend the time to analyze and suggest. For that, I thank you!

Alan Summers said...

Thanks Nora, and congratulations!

I've seen you improve at an incredibly eye-watering pace.

Let me know when it comes out! ;-)

John McDonald said...

lovely nora
john