Green memorial – haibun for dVerse.

We took the quieter path through the trees. It runs alongside an old canal, a memorial in itself to local people who carved it out of the steep hillside. We walked the old towpath – single person narrow – above the river and beside the canal itself, empty of water, but full of nettles, red campion, dog’s mercury. We stopped to read the names carved into the bark of a beech tree – Layla 7 years old Jack 4 years old. We wondered who they were; worked out they might be in their thirties now, with children of their own. We wondered who had carved this green memorial, and why. The beech tree kept its secret, even though the leaves were whispering all around us.

trees are green guardsmen

river water slow and silent

time blurs all our names.

I went on a poetry walking workshop on Sunday, with Chris from Poetry Pin. We walked, wrote poems, and pinned them to a virtual map, so that future poetry lovers can read them in the place they were written. Along the way we found a beech tree with these names carved into the bark. We wrote a poem there, so if you’re ever on the Tarka Trail, you can read it and connect with us on a wet Sunday in May.

This haibun commemorates that walk. It’s a memorial of a memorial, maybe. It’s written for Frank, who is hosting haibun night at dVerse tonight. It’s Veterans’ Day in the States, and we are asked to write about memorials.

18 thoughts on “Green memorial – haibun for dVerse.

  1. I have been very impressed with the creative memorial poems encountered out here on the trail. I have carved my name on several guardsmen in the deep Washington state forests.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a wonderful way to write, Sarah – and to leave a trail of poems for others to find – and a clever focus for your haibun: a ‘memorial to a memorial’. I walked with you among the nettles, red campion and dog’s mercury, and wondered about the carved names. I love that the ‘beech tree kept its secret, even though the leaves were whispering all around us’.

    Like

  3. And now all of us will wonder at the story of Layla an Jack, whose memory is carved in a shady glade. How special!

    Like

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