Independent, En-Masse

A familial gathering – rock balanced upon rock – stands at the Rideau’s edge, one amongst several such groupings, each a masterpiece unto itself, and yet one small, insignificant creation begs attention: a small duck-like figure, turned away from the rest, facing north rather than south, as if it hears a different call.   Even its companion, hesitant, looks back towards the family, for reassurance.  Body of fossil, head carved by erosion – he ponders other horizons. Even the artist – albeit working with spartan tools – could not bend the will of this little being, could not mold him into conformity.  He is childlike innocence and brash determination, and I imagine that as the sun goes down and the tourists disappear, he glides through the water, travels against the current and revels in the freedom.

At the river’s edge
figures rise, stoic families
hailing passersby.

(Written for dVerse pub, and for Ragtag Communities prompt: spartan.  The balanced rock sculptures are the work of John Felice Ceprano and can be found at the Remic Rapids in Ottawa, Ontario.)



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Permission to write, paint, and imagine are the gifts I gave myself when chronic illness hit - a fair exchange: being for doing. Relevance is an attitude. Humour essential.

49 thoughts on “Independent, En-Masse”

  1. Isn’t nature wonderful, even ‘working with spartan tools’?! They are fantastic rock stacks and your haibun has brought them to life, V.J. I especially like the phrase ‘A familial gathering’ and love the ‘small duck-like figure, turned away from the rest, facing north rather than south, as if it hears a different call’.

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  2. as if it hears a different call – in this one sentence you describe how resilient life is against all odds – love the haibun, it’s crafted so impeccably

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  3. Your writing is always so irresistible and your photographer’s eye is essential in this one! That little detail jumps out at you and you communicate it beautifully in your words. Bravo!

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  4. That is so great! I’m amazed you were able to notice that snall detail and make such a compelling story out of it. Once I have your words, I can’t “un-see” the intrepid bravery.

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  5. Very creative response to the prompt; always fun to key off one image and build that back story. Remember “Wrong Way Corrigan” from the 50’s. My Mom used to call me that, for many of the reasons you’ve given to the duck.

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