I’m thinking of the time we took the train out through the desert – the only form of life that hot, dry day was the tin box shaking and snaking its way between the low brown hills. Not even a bird circling high in the indifferent blue sky. It was hot. Too hot to stand up, too hot to sit down, too hot to lie with your head on the seat, too hot to read, too hot to sleep, too hot to talk, too hot to open the window, too hot to close the window, and in the end all we could do was sprawl, stunned and silenced by the sun, waiting for rumours of temperatures reached to rattle down the train at every station, watching the earth burn down to its bones. And then, at one stop, a man selling ice – chiselling off shards of it from a block the size of a sink, and everyone reaching and snatching and grabbing, as if they were diamonds that melted like dreams in our hands.
Not reaching my lips
Ice melts between my fingers
Watering dry ground.
Kanzensakura has opened up the bar at Dverse after the summer break. The prompt is “hot” and she is asking for a haibun that recalls personal experience. We don’t suffer too much from heat here in the UK – though we did hit a glorious 33 degrees last week!!! – but I am lucky enough to have spent time in a few different deserts now, and this haibun recalls the hottest train ride ever, heading out of Pakistan back when I was young and off adventuring.