Hillbilly Haiku

The Cult of Pertty

Tag: snow (page 1 of 2)

Gnarly Pertty

We snowshoed up to the Carson Range ridge on Sunday and it was beautiful. It was one of those wonderful Tahoe days of blue skies and warm weather in the middle of winter.

While resting and the girls hamming it up for photos, I saw a tall tree that looked like it was twisted with rheumatoid arthritis. It looked to have been struck by lightning several times. It had branches twisted around each other. It had competing tops from at least two different branches of the trunk.

If measured by symmetry, this tree was about as ugly as they come. If measured by longevity, heartiness, and a will to grow old in splendid dignity, this tree is beautiful… Kind of like a few people I highly respect back home.

Zoom in on the image to see the detail.

Beauty Comes in Many Forms

Farming implements that have out-lived their usefulness can make themselves useful in another way. I think this picture by my cousin, Deitra Linzy Beavers, in rural Crittenden County, Kentucky exudes Wabi-sabi pertty. These items were profoundly utilitarian in their day and they were probably used on that very property until they were no longer needed. Yes, they can look a mess in some circumstances, but in other circumstances like this, they tell stories.

If we can just let our minds wander on dead grandparents, aunts and uncles, we can hear those stories. For me, scenes like that remind me of the tough times my Mom and Dad’s families must have endured on rural farms during the 1920s -1940s in Crittenden and Lyon Counties, Kentucky. When I see an achingly beautiful image like this, I can hear my lovely, strong aunt telling the story of her and my father hitching up horses to a wagon to go pick as much corn as possible with an early frost on the way. Then, later that day, my father leaving home to join the Army and not returning for years.

Useless junk? Hardly.

Photo Credit:

14 February 2016 Deitra Linzy Beavers

The Origin of a Hillbilly Haiku

Photo Credit – By Mike’s Birds [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

I’ve never had any patience. I think of grand stories in my head, but I don’t have the discipline to sit down and write it all down. I’d like to complain that it bores me after a while, but I know that when I actually do it, I am anything but bored. So, when it comes to writing, I must be lazy or scared.

However, haiku is short enough to let me explore some long thought out idea and write it within minutes. I find putting the haiku together pretty easy, once I have thought of the subject matter. Let me give you an example.

I walk a lot. 6 to 10 miles a day. My mind is incredibly active the whole time on a wide range of subjects. The other day I was thinking about how lucky I was with where I live. It is a nice neighborhood with nice people and beautiful homes. That got me to thinking about the home I grew up in. The whole thing would have fit in a big garage in my neighborhood. I shared a bed with my brother for most of my childhood. My parents never made much money, but we never wanted for much of anything that I can remember. My mother and father made that place a home that I was happy in. My mother, especially cared about the house and took care of it inside. My father painted it and cleaned the gutters and cut the grass, until I was old enough. See, I told you my mind wanders a lot.

Anyway, I was thinking of home and thinking of my mother and where she and my father grew up in western Kentucky. Most of my relatives had natural gas tanks and wells, because they lived in very rural areas. I remember very well waking up in those homes, especially around the holidays and seeing my Mom or one of my aunts staring out the window with a coffee cup in hand. My haiku have lots of people staring out windows. For whatever reason, I remembered my mother’s mother’s home’s kitchen window looked out on the gas tank and the well. See, I told you my mind wanders a lot.

Anyway, Kentucky and the midwest have lots of Cardinals. They are beautiful birds that have held a special place in my heart since childhood. My mother loved them too. I’ve got an aunt who sends me birthday and Christmas cards with Redbirds on them every time and I love it. I’ve got several by my desk now. Cardinals don’t migrate, so one of the more striking and sweet images I have of winter is seeing Redbirds in the snow. See, I told you my mind wanders a lot.

Anyway, I’m thinking of how lucky I am now with my home. I’m thinking of how happy we were in our tiny house in Kentucky. Oh, yeah, I’m walking in a snow storm. I see a mountain bluebird (my second favorite bird) alight on a branch. I’ve got my idea.

Home is What You Make of It

Momma loved to watch
Redbirds nesting in the snow
on the natural gas tank

Season, nature, and a little surprise, maybe some insight on life, to finish it off. True in every sense to my people and the wonderful place where I had the pleasure to grow up. Done in less than 30 minutes and I go back to being lazy.

More than you ever wanted to know about my haiku habit.

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