Monday, January 9, 2017

Giant hands, little feet


The shape was ominously grim.  Black smoke with a fireball so huge.   Giant hands in red and orange colors against the darkest night.  A monster to my 5 year old mind.   I was awaken abruptly and carried to the window.  On the second floor, I can see the growing smoke against the sky.  The commotion, screams and siren lights were jumbled, in one distressing picture. All our things were packed hurriedly, while we wait for the blazing fires in the nearby houses to die down.  It would be some time before I could sleep at night by myself.


tattered leaves on grass
i ink colors on grey clouds
& ashes of yesterdays




Posted for D'verse Poets Pub - Haibun Monday and the theme is Childhood Experiences. Thanks to Jane (Lady Nyo) for helping us with the prompt and reading!

29 comments:

  1. That must've been so frightening. I had a similar experience as a child when our chimney caught fire. I was afraid at night for a while after that, too. An engrossing retelling. I especially like that closing haiku.

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  2. I can so understand the memory of a disasters so close.. love the description of the flames as hands.. like they where reaching out to grab you. A lovely closing haiku.

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  3. Going through a fire is never fun, been there at my lair

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  4. Jesu! This is the stuff of nightmares forever. How this experience obviously impacts a child for life. The haiku was perfect. Just 'off' enough to satisfy in the true spirit of haiku. Jane

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  5. make me think of my mother's descriptions of fleeing during the Japanese occupation in China, during WW2.

    Happy new year, Grace ~

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  6. How traumatizing - the things that shape, make or break.

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  7. Vivid and frightening experience well captured. The end haiku is just superb.

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  8. whew. what a terrifying memory. especially being woken for it. our minds go a bit crazy in the darkness of night. thinking of what might be there. especially when attached to a reality such as the fires.

    i remember waking after seizures. surrounded by so many faces, many i did not know.

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  9. The pieces of childhood memories that stick are fascinating. That you were carried to the window seems an odd thing both for a parent to have done and for you to remember, but it's the piece of information that ties this together for me.

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  10. Wow Grace but that is a terrifying memory....I can appreciate your sleeplessness....

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  11. A blaze set in a life-time.
    Gives meaning to a treasure

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  12. Beautifully done. Not something I would like to remember. Happy days writing.

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  13. Fires can be terrifying. I can imagine how your parents were trying to decide what best to do.

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  14. You are clearly safe now. Awesome write.
    ZQ

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  15. Can remember fires of many kinds, friend Grace ... including love and hate ... Always, cat.

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  16. Trauma at age five, the effects so long-lasting. I can only imagine the terror. Glad that life got better.......

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  17. Such a powerful - and yet tenderly rendered - piece, Grace. "ashes of yesterdays" is an evocative and mesmerizing image (especially given the prompt and the personal history). The way you were able to harken back to details of what must have been a very traumatic experience is the stuff of brilliant writing!

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  18. Gayle Walters RoseJanuary 9, 2017 at 10:43 PM

    Somehow, fire seems an especially horrifying tragedy when out of control. I can imagine the fear your felt, Grace, and it's no wonder you couldn't sleep alone for a good while. Beautiful haiku that let's us see how that experience has still affected you.

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  19. such an experience, Grace... brilliant writing :)

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  20. fire terrifies me...glad you survived.

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  21. Interesting how the subconscious picks up the word 'hands' for the flames - as if that experience made you aware that hands are not only for holding and caressing you, not only symbols of care and gentleness, but can also turn vindictive and dangerous.

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  22. Oh so frightful for a child..the memory forever etched in your psyche ..to only be reminded of many times later in life....nice one, Grace.

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  23. What a frightening experience for a child, you really capture the sounds and images in your haibun and the 'ashes of yesterdays'is very poignant.

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  24. This is so vividly recalled! My house caught on fire when I was a child but it was not as scary as your experience sounds. Your last line is stellar...ties it up so brilliantly.

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  25. Wow, Grace--I had a similar experience growing up in the foothills of L.A. (when there were unpopulated foothills). My grandpa carried me off the hill down to a neighbors.

    Your haiku is just stunning.

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  26. yes, the fear witnessed by young eyes makes it hard to trust them to close again

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  27. Oh my! That would have been a terrifying experience!

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  28. I'm amazed at your power of recall from 5..such a vivid piece of writing.I struggle to connect with any memories that young.

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