Haibun: River of Love

a smiling whippet in a yellow jacket standing in the shallows of a mountain stream

The rain has stopped and small drops twinkle on the pine and bare branches. We follow the trail as it winds down the hill, passing the place where a young hind once stood between the trees like a statue, without any of our dogs noticing.

Misty looks at me as I remember, sees the pictures I am making. She smiles her loving smile, and I treasure the new memories we make together.

feet in the shallows –
we feel the surge
of a deeper flow

© Xenia Tran

a mountain stream with shallows and currents flowing between the trees

Wishing you all a happy Thursday and a peaceful rest of the week,

with love from Misty and Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Jez Braithwaite’s Water Water Everywhere #162

Thursday’s Special: Pick a Word in January 2023 (Perspective)

Looking Back at 2022 with Love and Gratitude

First of all we want to say a huge thank you to all our blogging friends, fellow poets, photographers and prompters who make this such a wonderful space to meet and share in these extraordinary times.

This was a challenging year and we have never felt the love of this wonderful community more than during the times of loss of our beloved Eivor and Pearl.

Your prayers, healing, comments, messages and cards have wrapped us in a warm blanket of comfort, love and light.

ice on the sea
all winter long
spirit companions

© Xenia Tran

Haiku Dialogue, 9 February 2022

We are also eternally grateful for the love and support we received when Misty joined us as our forever foster. The way you have taken her into your hearts has been beyond amazing and I am sure that Misty can feel this love too.

a smiling whippet in a red jacket on the beach

As we have done in previous years, we will reflect on the year season by season, highlighting the posts that resonated the most.

To see the photo-galleries as they are intended, it is best to visit this post in website view.

Winter

A New Dawn, our first post of 2022, featured a haiku that received an Honourable Mention in the 22nd HIA Haiku Contest (2020) as well the surprise of being included in Krzysztof Kokot’s European Top 100 Most Creative Haiku Authors in 2021. This post was the most popular post in Winter and would become the most popular post of the year.

The other most popular posts in Winter were The Way Home, Walkway to the Light, Beat of the Drum, What Travels with Us and Forest Bathing.

Spring

Spring, normally a time for new life, rebirth and growth, became a season dominated by Eivor’s illness and palliative care. He walked through this season with so much grace, appreciating every fresh sprig of grass and wildflower. He still moved so well, wanted to run and do all the things he loved doing and was a true inspiration.

Some of the most popular posts in Spring were Blessed Rain, Brushed by Moonlight, Spring Breeze and Spring Grass.

Eivor passed away peacefully on 24 May 2022 and our post Run Free Sweet Eivor shows him exploring the woods with his usual energy only days before. We did not know then, that we would be writing Sweet Dreams Sweet Pearl only a week later.

We cannot thank you enough for all your kindness and love through your comments, messages and cards – they brought us much comfort. As did the thought that Eivor and Pearl, who had been inseparable for the eight years they knew each other in this life, would continue their next journey together too.

his ashes
next to hers
summer rain

© Xenia Tran

Under the Basho, 16 November 2022

Summer

We had no intention of adopting or fostering another dog so soon until angels both in heaven and on earth brought Misty into our lives.

After a three-week blogging break we returned with Meeting Misty, where we introduced our sweet twelve-year old forever foster whippet, whose owners had passed away. It became one of the most popular posts of the Summer, along with The Puppy Within, They Walk Beside Us, Treasures, One Step Ahead and Where Love Sails.

Misty is a very special lady and, in more than thirty-three years of adopting and fostering animals, this is the first time we have met and continue to meet our forever foster dog’s family and learn about her earlier life.

sea lace
the first step
so small
nobody knew
the size of the ocean

© Xenia Tran

Ribbons, Spring/Summer 2022: Volume 18, Number 2

As in previous years, we were delighted to be able to continue to support three charities close to our heart – Give a Greyhound a Home, Children with Cancer UK and Dogs Trust – with the proceeds of Sharing Our Horizon and Between Heather and Grass:

In memory of Eivor and Pearl, we also dedicated a 1/4 acre of woodland at Ledmore and Migdale Woods, a place we visited during five magical holidays together in beautiful Sutherland. Eivor and Pearl loved it here and this dedicated grove will be there forever, supporting a constantly changing cast of trees, plants, animals and fungi.

Woodland Trust Dedication Certificate
Autumn

Autumn gave us some beautiful weather for walking, especially in the early part. With Misty, our walks are shorter and together we discovered some lovely new places we look forward to seeing again in the new year.

The most popular posts in Autumn were Pulse of the Ancients, Autumn Glories, Sacred Waters, Sweet Music, Intricate Reflections and A Blessed Christmas.

Autumn was also a season to celebrate a milestone birthday and semi-retirement:

autumn moon
my first sixty years
of wandering

© Xenia Tran

haikuKATHA, Issue 13, November 2022

We want to say a warm-hearted thank you to the international haiku and tanka journal editors who featured my poems throughout the year.

Special thanks to Mr Hidenori Hiruta of the Akita International Haiku Network, who translated ten haiku poems by me into Japanese for the World Haiku Series 2021.

We were also honoured to contribute to three anthologies in 2022:

… and delighted to contribute to a haiku calendar for 2023:

Thank you once more for walking along with us here.

If you want to read more about our year, feel free to check out the 2022 highlights on our sister blog Tranature.

a smiling brindle whippet in a maroon winter jacket running across tidal sands

We send you our warmest wishes for a healthy and happy 2023 and look forward to seeing you here again on Thursday 5 January.

May you all be blessed with joy, peace and wellbeing!

With love from Misty and Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr

CMMC: December Alphabet – Letter ‘W’ at the Beginning of a Word (Whippet)

Thursday’s Special: Pick a Word in December 2022 – Tribute

Sunday Stills: What Did You Do in 2022?

Haiku: Autumn Gold

Cairngorms National Park

a brindle whippet in a red jacket on a forest trail above a loch in autumn

mist is rising
into its colour
a gleam of gold

© Xenia Tran

view over Loch an Eilein and the mountains beyond in autumn

Wishing you all a happy Thursday and a peaceful rest of the week,

with love from Misty and Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Thursday’s Special: Pick a Word in October 2022 (dramatic, serene)

Rag Tag Daily Prompt: Gleam

Tanka: Stag’s Roar

close up of a brindle whippet peering over a dry stone wall

smooth moss
covers the stones
within sight
a stag roars near the
sunny side of the mountain

© Xenia Tran

a hill in the distance with late heather in bloom

Wishing you all a happy Thursday and a peaceful rest of the week,

with love from Misty and Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

CFFC: Smooth

Thursday’s Special: Pick a Word in September 2022 (bounded)

Tanka: Low-Tide Treasures

a smiling brindle whippet running across the beach

fleeting world –
gulls and oystercatchers feed
in the lagoon
there are treasures to be found
at this special hour

© Xenia Tran

oystercatchers and gulls feeding in a tidal lagoon

Wishing you all a happy Monday and a peaceful new week,

with love from Misty and Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Jez Braithwaite’s Water Water Everywhere #141

Thursday’s Special: Pick a Word in August 2022 – Lagoon, Shoreward

Puente Poetry: Breakwater

a brindle whippet sniffing seaweed beside an exposed breakwater at low tide

in grey-blue light after the rain
the day starts gently on the sands
where we pause and gaze at
the glittering retreating sea

~ with the flow of the wind ~

we keep each other safe
through attentiveness and love
between columns draped with tooted wrack
we find an overabundance of treasures

© Xenia Tran

a brindle whippet sniffing seaweed on an exposed breakwater at low tide

Wishing you all a happy Thursday and a peaceful rest of the week,

with love from Misty and Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Thursday’s Special: Pick a Word in July 2022 – Texture

Rag Tag Daily Prompt: Column

dVerse Poets Open Link Night #321: Blast Off

Tanka: Stone Spirits

a blue and white whippet carefully stepping across shingle and rocks on a tidal beach

precious earth –
each stone its own
aura
our souls so closely aligned
with all that we see

© Xenia Tran

close up of a senior blue and white whippet bending down to sniff stones on the beach

Wishing you all a happy Thursday and a blessed Earth Day tomorrow,

with love from Eivor, Pearl and Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Tanka Thursday: Aura

Thurday’s Special: Pick a Word in April 2022 (Salient)

Word of the Day Challenge: Unusual

Haiku: Eyes so Blue

two whippets in black jackets walking onto the beach from the dunes

eyes so blue
the child’s first glimpse
of the sea

© Xenia Tran

Presence #72, March 2022

shingle and dunes in the foreground above the beach and water

Wishing you all a happy Monday and a peaceful new week,

with love from Eivor, Pearl and Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

We are delighted that the above haiku has subsequently been included in Dawn Returns, Haiku Society of America Members’ Anthology 2022.

Dawn Returns Haiku Anthology

Word of the Day Challenge: Jubilant

Thursday’s Special: Pick a Word – March 2022 (asperous, effusive)

Tanka: Sunburst

two whippets walking towards the beach at high tide

forest edge
tall shadows meander
towards the sea
peace can guide us home again
as the sun bursts through the trees

© Xenia Tran

sunburst from a low winter sun appearing through the trees

Wishing you a blessed Thursday and a peaceful rest of the week,

with love from Eivor, Pearl and Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Tanka Thursday: Peace

Thursday’s Special: Pick a Word (Meandering)

Tanka: Where the Heart Is

two whippets in the dunes

passing clouds
our hearts still walk
on the sunny side
collecting light and sharing it
wherever it is needed

© Xenia Tran

dunes with marram grass and pine trees overlooking the Moray Firth

Wishing you all a happy Thursday and a peaceful rest of the week,

with love from Eivor, Pearl and Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Tanka Thursday: Heart

Thursday’s Special: Pick a Word in September (Reachable, Linkage)