Haibun: A Message From The Stars

black whippet with a green ball in his mouth on tidal sands

A small boy in an Everton shirt waves his arms like wings, shimmies down the dunes and kicks a ball across the tidal sands. A huge smile lights his face. He can move freely and breathes the fresh air. It’s a different world from his hospital bed. Some of the players came to visit him, preparing him for what he had always dreamt of. To walk on to the pitch as their mascot.

The day eventually came. The crowd roared. He and his twin sister stepped on to the grass. She carried the ball because he was too weak. She passed the ball to the referee. The team captains shook hands, put their arms around the children for a photograph. They wished the players good luck, waved at the crowd and watched their heroes beat Manchester United 3-1. It was an amazing day, one he would never forget. He fell asleep with a big smile on his face, taking the memories with him on his next journey.

from the stars
you throw us a ball
a thousand smiles

Β© Xenia Tran

blue whippet with a pink ball by her feet on tidal sands

This post is dedicated to the memory of our nephew Jamie Baker (1977-1986) who died of leukaemia hours after appearing as a mascot for Everton Football Club.

An edited version of the poem appears in Between Heather and Grass – Poems and Photographs Filled with Love, Hope and Whippets, a book specially created in Jamie’s memory.

With love from Eivor, Pearl and Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Panasonic Lumix FZ200, setting: iA.

In response to Carpe Diem #1180 – Departure

Daily Prompt: Fortune

dVerse Poetics: Anthropomorphasize Me

This poem features in Between Heather and Grass. If you haven’t read the book yet, feel free to take a peek inside:

look inside feature for Between Heather and Grass
Look inside …

Author: whippetwisdom

The stories, poems and photographs on this blog are the original creative work of Xenia Tran. Inspired by life in the Scottish Highlands and in awe of nature she gives voice to the wisdom of her adopted and fostered whippets.

83 thoughts on “Haibun: A Message From The Stars”

  1. SMiLes my
    FriEnd and
    A sMiLe on
    Face.. yes..
    Adult or Child..
    is worth a tear of rise
    away from death as life..
    there was
    a day.. actuAlly
    51 of them for a
    son of mine..
    and what
    i cAMe
    to find
    oF liFe fELt
    fAir.. ‘fore.. is sometimes
    children never smile at all..
    and what i cAMe to find far after
    that as i voWed to make his pain
    a sMiLe as my eYes to never end..
    is yes.. an adult who smiles so much
    can lose that smile and never remember now
    then what A Smile feels like at all.. after they
    did it
    much of
    tHeir life
    FaCt born
    wiTh a sMiLe
    oF iNfinity more it seems..
    as children are my friEnd.. Gifted this
    way.. lesSon leARned for me all is Gift A sMiLe..:)

    As alWays too.. thanks for yoUr inSpiRinG words
    and these words are for your Nephew Jamie too..
    Xenia Tran.:)

    As after loss oF effective use of both
    my eYes and eARs for 66 months then..
    with not even a memory oF A sMiLe fELt oN Face..
    no oTher
    but to
    make words
    FeeLingS.. and SMiLes.. aLive..:)

    i thiNk some
    cAll ‘that’ Poetry..
    i’M More For FeeLinGs sMiLes.. aLiVe..:)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for your beautiful words from the heart my FRiEnD Fred and so sorry to hear about your loss – 51 days of an angel touching your life forever. We send you love and smiles across the miles and I will swing by to read over the weekend :o) xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, Xenia, that brought tears to my eyes. So, so poignant and sad and I’m so sorry for your loss. So glad Jamie got to fulfil his dream. Love and hugs ❀ ❀ xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Xenia, that is just so beautiful! I can fully see your nephew’s happiness at being on the pitch and seeing Everton defeat Man U. Truly wonderful (and yes, it did make me tear up πŸ™‚ ).


    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m sorry for your loss. Loosing someone so young is a heartbreak that never heals. It’s a blessing he was able to enjoy such a special moment. This is truly a Beautiful tribute to him.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Such a touching post and so sad to lose someone that young to a horrible disease. I am glad that he got to fulfill his dream. I know that puts a smile on everyone’s face when they think about that day.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Such a poignant moment and a lovely haibun celebrating the moment, Xenia. Being a mascot didn’t just make Jamie’s day, it made his life. What a wonderful last line and haibun!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. So sorry to read about his passing but so lovely to read the story ~ I am glad the event gave him happy memories ~ I thought your haiku is a gem with that ball and smiles ~

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your kind words Paul and good to hear you are of the Blue persuasion πŸ˜‰ They made his day, he was so happy. Many clubs do so much good in the community ☺


  8. My heart and my tears go out to Jamie’s parents.
    Age doesn’t matter, nothing compares to the death of your child.
    A dubious distinction we share.

    Loving memory of James Daniel McGuire, 1976-1999.

    Seek peace,


    Liked by 1 person

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