The Princess and the Pearl: A Cautionary Haibun
Lily’s father took her to the Oyster House every Saturday. They sat at the small tables, on wobbly chairs, and ordered oysters and buttermilk. Lily liked hers with hot sauce and vinegar. She liked her buttermilk with three shakes of black pepper. Vintage photos of Miss America contestants lined the wall behind them. Boozy old men sat at the bar drinking beer and shots of whiskey.
funnel clouds on the horizon spinning shades of gray
One Saturday, Lily had a feeling that something extraordinary was going to happen.
“Perhaps this will be the day that I find my pearl,” she thought.
When the waiter brought the oysters to the table, Lily couldn’t decide which one to choose. So, she closed her eyes, made a wish, and picked the fat one on the right. She sank her teeth into the vinegar-laced breading. As it melted on her tongue, she felt something hard scrape against her tooth. Holding her breath and being very careful not to swallow, she extracted a rather large oddly-shaped yellow pearl.
“I found it! I found my pearl!” Lily squealed.
free fall she steps into her red high heels
Lily’s father let out a loud laugh and the boozy old men turned and stared. The Miss Americas stared back. The bartender came out from behind the bar, drying his hands on his dingy white apron. He looked at the pearl and held it up to inspect it.
“I’ve never seen a pearl quite this color before,” he announced, as he buffed it with his dish rag. “And it’s so large and bumpy. I’m sure there’s not another one like it! You must have it made into a ring!”
the wizard behind the curtain smoke and mirrors
Suddenly the bar came alive. There were oohs and ahs from the old men. The bartender puffed out his chest. And everyone was talking about Lily and her pearl. She felt like a Princess. The Miss Americas continued to stare from the back wall. They knew what it was like to be a princess, to find your pearl and to lose it. But Lily was too young and too excited to notice them. She was too busy thinking about that ring and how she was going to find her Prince.
still searching somewhere along the yellow brick road
by Susan Beth Furst
The Fredericksburg Literary & Art Review Spring & Summer 2018
How is your Sunday? I hope you are taking time to rest and relax. When God created the world he set aside a day to rest, not because he needed it, but for us. It is a tough world out there so I hope you will take this time to rest and enjoy your family and the day.
A scripture of hope should you need some;
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
in my own words....
Something in the water
A Jewish transport arrives at Stutthof concentration camp. Down the road is the popular resort town of Krynica Morska. Families untouched by the Nazi nightmare splash in the waters of the Baltic Sea, oblivious.
at the beach she says goodbye
gentle waves to her father at Auschwitz
Wetlands and beautiful pine forests, spotted with silver-birch and oak, surround the electric barbed-wire fences of Stutthof. Inside the fences typhus runs rampant.
on a branch her friend says
white ash ‘I will be your sister now’
Just days before Liberation, the remaining prisoners at Stutthof are marched to the Baltic. Hundreds are forced into the water and shot. One of the survivors marries and immigrates to the United States. She vacations with her family every year at the beach.
in the snow she walks by the sea
purple crocus washing the sand from her feet
Sonic Boom April 2018
This haibun is one of my poems in my collection of holocaust poetry. I hope to publish them one day, but I feel that there are more to come. I write about the holocaust because it is a story, or should I say millions of stories, waiting to be told and remembered. It was a time of great suffering and fear. A time like no other in modern history. Ultimately a time of triumph, of good over evil. We would do well to remember. As a believer, I see it as a historical marker, a moment in time, from which the modern state of Israel was reborn. A prophecy fulfilled which will usher in a new Kingdom. One in which there are no more tears and no more dying.
"And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, Look! God's dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."
Revelation 21: 3-4 (NIV)
Coming back different
They found him behind the drapes in the living room hiding from the commies--
We follow the nurse down the long corridor at the VA Hospital where Uncle Herb lives. My shoes squeak on the white-tile floor. As we enter the visitor’s area the nurse locks the doors behind us. I wonder if she will remember to let us out.
so many colors
Uncle Herb is staying with us for the weekend. I start to laugh when he sings White Christmas. He sounds just like Bing Crosby. I think he forgot to take his medicine though, because he’s talking non-stop again about his perpetual-motion machine. Dad tells him it won’t work but Uncle Herb won’t listen. He just keeps talking and they keep going round and round.
he checks his pocket
for another nickel
The music is loud at Lois’s wedding reception. Various aunts, uncles, nieces, and nephews are celebrating, including Uncle Herb. The DJ is playing Devo and we are all out on the floor dancing. Lois succeeds in convincing Uncle Herb to join us. On a good day he does a pretty mean Freddie.
rapid fire of machine guns
in a distant field
It would have been enough that you survived Korea, the psychiatrists, all the Thorazine they pumped into you, the weekend passes, the group homes, and us. But those awards—the ones they found in your room—for the thousands of hours you spent taking care of the patients at the VA. How did you do it? We thought you were just drinking coffee, at McDonald’s, with your friends. Seems you had a little bit more in mind. Oohrah!
the old lot
between the cracks
For my Uncle Herb...you "whipped it good!"
Are you tired
You won't find it here
in this world,
at best a counterfeit
for a time.
But always the chase,
I can't get no
Its never enough.
when the weight
Is just too hard to bear,
In the nick of time,
staring you in the face,
God sized hole
Then Jesus said, "Come to me, all you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28-30 (NLT)
It is no coincidence that you are here. God speaks to us all the time. If he spoke to you today, would you let me know, with a like or a comment? Thank you! Sometimes I feel like I am lost in space... But then I know that would be impossible, because God knows right where I am. He promised never to leave me. And I believe him. After all, He's God!
In the end of the Sabbath, as it began to dawn towards the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary to see the Sepulchre...
Isn't it just like the women to get up early and check on things? In Matthew's account it was the two Marys, in John's it was Mary Magdalene, in Luke's it was the two Marys, Joanna, and other women.
And what did they find?
And behold, there was a great earthquake: for the Angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.
Matthew 28: 2
Well, they weren't expecting that!
And the Angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here, for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.
He is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!
And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All Hail. And they came and held him by the feet and worshipped him. Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me.
Matthew 28: 9-10
And isn't it just like Jesus to appear to the women first; women who had little worth in first century Jewish culture, or Roman, or Greek culture, for that matter, and entrust them with the most important news in the universe!
So the enemy thought he had him. Jesus suffered, died, and was buried, for our sin. But Sunday morning came and he went and rose from the dead! Imagine That! And all believers will do the same, and live with him forever!!! That is the Good News!
You can read the whole story in the Bible, the book of Matthew, chapter 28. May I suggest you try the New Living Translation or if you are feeling adventurous, The Message. You can find these and many other translations online at www.biblegateway.com.
He is Risen!
He is Risen Indeed!
And oh, by the way, The tomb is still empty!
And as they sat and did eat, Jesus said, "Verily I say unto you, One of you which eateth with me shall betray me."
And they began to be sorrowful, and to say unto him one by one, Is it I? and another said, Is it I?
Mark 14:18-19 KJV
The Last Supper, the Jewish Passover, Jesus was celebrating with his disciples, the twelve. But one would betray Him, and Jesus knew, and yet He loved him even then. He forgave him, even then.
After the Passover meal Jesus went with His disciples to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray.
And while he yet spake, behold a multitude, and he that was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them, and drew near unto Jesus to kiss him.
But Jesus said unto him, "Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss?"
But Judas couldn't accept His forgiveness. And he went out and hung himself.
I am Judas. I have betrayed Jesus. My sin is why He chose to die on a cross. He hung there for me, because of me.
Do you know sin? Do you know how it feels? It is heavy. It brings death to everything it touches. Death to God's beautiful creation, Death to God's beautiful creatures, and death to us. It brought death to Jesus...
Or so the enemy thought, God had other plans...
Come back on Sunday, for the rest of the story...
Spoiler Alert: It's Good News!!
One of my favorite memories of Easter Sunday, was going to Phipps Conservatory for the Spring Flower Show! My sisters and me would skip down the brick paths, in our patent leather shoes and Easter bonnets. My favorite room was the orchid room. Pink and purple orchids hung from moss covered trees. A thousand panes of glass and blue sky reflected in the pond below. Back in the 60's they had live music. And the organist, dressed in her flowered dress and very, very, large and frilly Easter bonnet played Peter Cottontail and Easter Parade. I imagined that I was Judy Garland dancing with Fred Astaire, through the flowers...
Phipps Conservatory is still around but the organ is long gone, not to mention the organist. People don't dress up anymore, and the crowds are much smaller, hardly the parade that used to snake through the conservatory on Easter Sunday. But sometimes in my dreams, I find myself holding hands with my sisters, the ribbons on our bonnets fluttering behind us, as we skip down the brick path, Fred and Judy just around the bend in the orchid room...
A haiga is a poetic form which blends image and poetry (usually haiku). The painting is one of my first attempts at watercolor, and the haiku was inspired by my painting...
Please visit my store...Humpty Dumpty Cracks and All, makes a great gift A story about a cracked egg and a miraculous transformation, sounds like an Easter story to me...
I have chosen the first line, steel blue night, for my haiku. I was inspired to have a bit of fun with the haiku and so I have also written a troiku for your enjoyment...
steel blue night--
steel blue night--
meets his match
beneath the city
into the cave
the bat man returns
I hope you have enjoyed my haiku and special thanks to Chevrefeuille, the inventor of the troiku which is merely using an existing haiku as inspiration and composing three new haiku. The first line of the original becomes the first line of the new haiku, the second line of the original becomes the first line of the second new haiku, and the third line of the original becomes the first line of the third new haiku. It is really a lot of fun!!
Signed Copies of my book, Electric Pink A Christmas Haibun, are available this December for only $10.00 (free shipping). Just click on Store and you can order one or more copies signed and personalized by me! The checkout is secure and I will ship within 2 days! These are great Christmas gifts and stocking stuffers! The rag-tag nativity story appeals to children of all ages, as do the beautiful illustrations. Get yours today! Merry Christmas!
playing on the beach
the wave chases him
back to his mother
her notebooks full
of empty space
In the old conservatory water splashes from the top of the red brick fountain to the blue hydrangeas and white lilies below. I skip along the path in my patent leather shoes and Easter bonnet. The pink and yellow orchids tangle in Spanish moss. A cactus snakes past a saguaro and ancient pipes - hyacinths and tulips line the Palm Court. Banana plants touch the glass ceiling. The lily pond reflects a thousand panes in deep blue sky . . .
on thin ice
Susan Beth Furst
I am honored to have my haiku and haibun appear in Blithe Spirit, Volume 27, Number 3. Thank you Editor Shrikaanth Krishnamurthy, I am grateful.