I have just discovered the Cherita (A haiku/tanka inspired form created by ai li on June 22, 1997. Now this must have been calling me to pay attention. I had noticed a few of Celestine’s beautiful contributions both on Facebook and on her blog Reading Pleasure and she write the cherita as if she is singing ever so softly. She does have a way with words and metaphors that I truly admire.
Now the reason, I am more drawn to this form after reading the source of this(Celestine is generous enough to highlight after each postin), my mother’s birthday was June 22nd…that is one majour attraction; in 1997 I made a majour move away from family and friends, starting a new single life. And, lastly, the word Cherita is the Malay word for “story” or “tale” and I have been looking for a way to write les histoires ranconté by my grand-maman.
So I am going to try and write a cherita more often in my Daily reflections similar to what I have been doing in Waka (haiku, tanka, haibun). Thank you, Celestine, for sharing this form with your readers.
So for my first try I am simply going on a tale spin (not tailspin) but for my first time, this is a “spin off of tales” raconter (told) by my grandmother. Des histories Grand-maman m’a racontait autour de la table de cuisine avec une bonne tasse de thé. (Stories my grandmother shared at the kitchen table over a good cuppa tea).
no sterile beginnings for me
twisting and turning
in a hurry to see your face
in the comfort of home
two generations holding me
my first bain d’amour
Grand-maman was the town mid-wife. Doctors called upon her to stay the long hours, usually at night while expectant mothers were in labour. My grandmother would phone the doctor just when the mother was dilated enough so the doctor had little wait time to deliver the baby.
We would hear all sorts of stories about how some households were sometimes ill prepared for the birth of a 2nd, 3rd or 4th child. Growing up in a predominantly French Canadian and Catholic town, the church encouraged procreation and condemned birth control.
If you wanted to receive absolution for your sins at confessions and the priest got wind of avoiding copulation for fear of getting pregnant, you would have to forgo absolution for your sins on that day.
an unhappy husband hummed and hoed
needs not having been met
he actually told on his partner!
with a sign of the cross
tongue wagging on how to behave
his wife was not given absolution
Grandmaman told us this story how she found a way to get around “not refusing” her husband but still not being exposed to the chance of getting pregnant.
Ma Tante Rose comes for a visit every month
Sometimes this relative makes
no one would question
that extra layer
husbands simply sigh and roll over.
hot summer night
sitting by the riverbank
cicadas and bullfrogs compete
shrill of the musique à bouche (harmonica)
stepping and jigging to the beat
cutting through the thick
Grand-Papa bringing life
finding perfection out of imperfect moments
There is something so ordinary
and yet so extra-ordinary
on hot summer nights
no rules of behaviour
young or old
telling tales of this and that
laughing and singing
foot tapping for sure
©Cheryl-Lynn Roberts 17/017/20
My first Cherita attempts…I am not sure if it is okay to include prose within the tales but for a first try, it just fit well.