Recently, a member of the group introduced the "haibun." This is a form I had never heard of, but I gave it a try. My first attempt fell short on the haiku portion. I made some revisions. I don't know that I came any closer to actual haiku, but I am happy with my effort and I am calling it done so I thought I would share.
A camping trip at Chittenden Reservoir is a well-planned and coordinated event. Mike starts watching the weekly weather predictions in hopes of finding three consecutive Vermont summer days promising warmth and sunshine. If a full moon should happen to fall within those days, the camping gods have surely blessed us.
We pack the van at night, leaving only the cooler to be packed with ice, food, and beverage and then loaded in the predawn hours of the morning as we start the 70 mile trip.
Dew trickles through
We leave the main road for a dirt track that climbs 1500 feet into the Green Mountain National Forest. A sharp turn and the final 500 yards end at a small boat launch. Damp detritus of evening activities litter the shore. Two brightly colored kayaks glide away from the dam and are quickly out of sight. No need for words as we take the canoe to water’s edge and load it with our camping gear. Mike parks the van and then shoves the canoe into the cool, glassy water. I hold steady as he climbs in and we start our paddle.
The reservoir covers 750 acres. There are a few cabins near the dam, but most of the 7 mile shore line, dotted with coves and small bays is left to the wild, inhabited by deer, foxes, moose. Primitive campsites can be found if one knows where to look. We know and head straight across, hoping to find out favorite cove unoccupied. The not knowing gives us a sense of urgency.
Light bursts over
diamonds on the water
The canoe crunches on the gravel beach. We police the area before unloading, always hoping for no sign of previous habitation and too often disappointed. Once the tent is set up and our camp arranged, we relax. We gaze at the water and the mountains. We watch the family of ducks, hoping for hand outs, watching us. We read. We listen to the birds. We giggle at the antics of chipmunks. We swim, float gazing at the blue sky. We talk and laugh. We make love in the afternoon.
In the evening we paddle to the furthest bay. The beaver slaps her tail on the water very near the canoe to warn us away. We see a snapping turtle, the feathers from a duckling, a single webbed foot settling around it. A bull moose, awkward, yet majestic, dips his head into the water. We sit quietly watching until, sated, he turns and vanishes into the marsh grasses.
Night symphony begins—
Croaky tunes of longing,
Birds at roost
As the pale darkness of summer settles, Mike builds a fire. We sit on benches made of logs and stones, sharing our prepared feast. We make bets on where the moon will rise. I am always wildly off and Mike wins every time. He has studied such things. Our mood shifts to one of awe. We meditate in silence at the sight of the ascending Full Buck Moon.
Our hearts are full. We sit and poke the fire, mesmerized by glowing embers. Gratitude spills from out lips between kisses that taste of wood smoke and wine.
With plaintive call
Loon glides to lift-off—
April 18, 2015