This Day In History

Three haibun:

I had been at lunch in Third House. I finished my lunch early and I had stopped by Second House, popped into the lounge and sunk into a chair to watch TV. I had spent my sophomore year in Second House and always loved it. However, that day I was a senior of 17 years of age and I lived one more dorm down the street in First House. These old houses, three Queen Anne’s each painted a dull boarding school grey are gone today.

the wild geese above
flew in perfect formation
chaos left behind

The television had been left on. What was happening? Oh my God. The President has been shot. I was in an instant state of shock and awe. Oh my God, did I see this take place? I cannot remember. At that moment I could not even find the words to express what I was feeling. A light had gone out. But it wasn’t just dark or darker, it was chaos, a chaos of the mind, the heart and the soul and of course chaos on the black and white screen in front of me. It was something terrible and it began a run of dark history for the USA.

woodpecker knocking
high above in the maple
a chick all grown up

I ran back to the lunchroom where I shouted out the news. I do not remember another thing that afternoon. I do remember crying myself to sleep that night filled with such emptiness, dread and a sense of aloneness. Lately I have been reading a good deal about the Kennedy’s. Today I am reading: “The Patriarch” by David Nasaw. I will never believe that this assassination was the work of one lone Soviet sympathizer. I also know that the real answers will not be made public within my lifetime. I cannot think of that day without tears coming to my eyes.

shells upon the beach
autumn loneliness
creation of sand

Is this an “Ode”? Maybe, maybe not, None the less It is posted at d’Verse. So, as usual I write my haiku. Then I remember a bit late, kigo use. I rewrite. Then I remember that there must be a “punch.” So I rewrite. I worked to keep them each relevant.

Monsieur …

This poetry prompt from dVerse to which this poem is linked is quite simply one of my all time favorites. I get to say a wee bit about one of my very favorite characters in life. Claudia thank you. You have brought to me great joy today. Funny, my next favorite person is one whom you also mention, Miss Marple. As I became older and Mummy and I went out into the country side, leaving London behind, we took a house three doors down from Jane. But that is a story for another time.


It is exactly as I remember it. Not surprisingly there isn’t a hanging thread or a torn carpet not even dust upon his desk.

The difference now is that two nurses are on duty at all times, each in perfectly starched uniforms without a hair out of place.

White Haven Mansions still the home to the world’s Greatest Detective, has a wonderful undulating surface that was very modern when it was first built.

I half expected to see Miss Lemon with the row of those perfect curls perhaps a bit grayed today. When the “Great Detective” was not looking Miss Lemon always gave me sweets.

She was savvy, smart, stylish, and kind to this little girl. Miss Lemon died years ago in a terrible burning car crash. This saddened many for a long while.

My thoughts bring to mind the Captain. He had a bright blue Bugatti. Mummy dined with Captain Hastings whenever she returned to London after the war.

We initially came to White Haven Mansions because of the murder, then all of those horrifying nightly threats. She sought the help of Monsieur’s “little gray cells.” I think that those little gray cells saved our lives.

Style has always been a bulwark against many great difficulties in my life. Style is the reason that I have made this last trip to London.

I use a walking stick today. Look closely and you will see the silver head upon it. This cane, for that is truly its use to me today is a replica of the one of whom I have come to say goodbye.

Forgive me, I reminisce, let us enter into the bedroom of Monsieur. His eyes are closed, yet he is perfectly dressed in navy silk bedclothes.

One thing that the nurses do for him daily is his mustache. They have caring hands. I appreciate this fact. There are now tears in my eyes, he was well loved and respected by many.

I only met Monsieur Hercule Poirot three times as a child. He had a great sense of perfection and style. He left a lasting impression upon me perhaps because he set the tone for my own style.

Saddened now, I am glad that I have come to pay my last respects. He doesn’t see me and wouldn’t remember me anyway. “Goodbye Monsieur.”

As I leave I see an old brown jacket hanging on the hall tree. I know very well that it is not Hercule Poirot’s jacket. Is it Japp’s? I remember hearing about the meal that Japp made Monsieur Poirot while Japp’s wife was away. I do believe that Japp and Poirot had somewhat different tastes in food. Never mind, Japp was a respected policemen and friend.


Photo Credit Monmatou – Gazette d’octobre