Grand-Maman’s tales (Cherita) #1 – #4

© clr Grand-Maman 2014

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).

Cherita #1

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

Cherita #2

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
unexpected stopovers

no one would question
that extra layer
husbands simply sigh and roll over.


Cherita #3

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
summer air


Cherita #4

finding perfection out of imperfect moments

There is something so ordinary
and yet so extra-ordinary

with family
on hot summer nights

no rules of behaviour

young or old
everyone’s engaged

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.


Daily reflections summer hives and raspberry dreams troibun July 20 2017


Some eat raspberries and some wear them in full season like a fashion statement. She chuckles at her sense of humour trying to make fun of her summer hives. So much easier to digest when humour sweetens even the most bitter lemon.

succulent raspberries
sweet and juicy
running down her chin

succulent raspberries
filling her whole being
pink spotted legs

sweet and juicy
crunch of the seeds
stuck between her teeth

running down her chin
with a quick flick of the tongue
good to the last drop



raspberry fields (troiku)



children giggling
straw hats in open fields
raspberry smiles

children giggling
one for the basket
and two for me

straw hats in open fields
intent concentration
hovered over bushes

raspberry smiles
a mother’s favourite perfume
sweat mixed with sweetness


CarpeDiem Haiku Kai


remembering when (troibun)


When she thinks of beach, today, memories of long ago walking along a sandy beach in Maine resurfaces. It was dusk…the tide was up, so she, her family and friends could not walk on the wet sand like they did in the afternoon. She was only eleven; he was fifteen. But they were almost the same height. He may have thought she was more mature in “that sense”.
The wind picked up as they stared out onto the ocean; they walked slightly away from the family both quiet in thought, as if they were in different worlds. She was so young and naïve, he was a romantic and a vibrant adolescent. He was so handsome, she remembers, and spoke little English. For some reason, his words in French were so poetic.


high tide waves
impressive yet cold
bare foot in the sand

high tide waves
bold and calculating
startling splash rouses

impressive yet cold
warmth of his hand rubs gently
on innocent hand

bare foot in the sand
watching life go by in the sea
dreaming different tales

She remembers the softness of his the back of hand gently stoking her hand. It felt so natural like holding hands with her sister or her best friend…comforting, endearing. Thinking about this in her tent that night, she wondered if he felt something different than she…after all he was so much older than she. That summer of 1963 where innocence is still a nice safe place to be.


Written for Carpe Diem Haiku Kai : Beach




Daily reflections July 19 2017 illusive ruminations troiku

time wasted
churning old and spent
living in your head

time wasted
ten and one different ways

churning old and spent
no matter how hard you try
same old, same old

living in your head
illusory journeys
your wonderland






inner peace daily moments July 18 2017 haibun


“Today, I visualize myself at peace.”

Misperceptions, misinterpretations and seeing what is not there can lead to confusion and inner turmoil. Listening and being led to the chaos mindsets of others is harmful to inner growth. It feels like living in limbo and never finding an outlet.

Today she is trying to visualize herself at peace. Closing her eyes, she chants her mantra and meditates…

jolt of white light
stir her innards
tranquil repose



On the road to the Holy Grail (haibun)

Suzanne has asked us to write about the Road to the Holy Grail, and quotes from “Reflections on the Art of Living” edited by Diane K Osbon:

“What the Holy Grail symbolizes is the highest spiritual fulfillment of a human life.  Each life has some kind of high fulfillment, and each has its own gift from the Grail…   It has to do with overcoming the same temptations that the Buddha overcame; of attachment to this, that or the other life detail that has pulled you off course…   In the Grail legends, the land of people doing what they think they ought to do or have to do is the wasteland.”

I am not sure if I have interpreted this well but have tried interpreting a journey to engulfment.


So much time seems to be wasted when we all seem to think that time is plentiful. Is it? Really? In the past decade,  she has returned to her path of spirituality. Usually strife and hopelessness draws her there and in time, she feels at peace. She is astounded at how often she rereads a passage of wisdom and spiritual growth twenty to thirty years later as if it were the very first time. What does that mean?

There are times when she was in her  early twenty’s she may have digested words intellectually rather than emotionally. That is the only answer that makes sense to her. Life happens and too many times attachment to things and persons cloud our vision but the path is always there, waiting, forgiving and embracing.

Nothing can be rushed…it is not like spring cleaning with a power wash but letting yourself go and be.  Emptying your mind and allowing to be filled with light.

visions of white doves
inviting her home


For those who know me, also know my late mother’s name is dove in French, Colombe.


path to nothingness (haibun)


From On the Road, Suzanne has chosen the following quote to inspire us to write in our favoured waka form.

“As we turn every corner of the Narrow Road to the Deep North, we sometimes stand up unawares to applaud and we sometimes fall flat to resist the agonizing pains we feel in the depths of our hearts. There are also times when we feel like taking to the roads ourselves, seizing the raincoat lying near by, or times when we feel like sitting down till our legs take root, enjoying the scene we picture before our eyes.” – Soruyo

Thinking back when her children were little and stress had a way of creeping into the household. So often she would pack up a blanket, a healthy lunch and off they walked (her son biked) and she pushed the stroller for the younger one to the fort by the rapids. It was a mile to get there or 1.6km and if the children had behaved, they would walk to the wading pool half a mile away and maybe get a sundae at MacDonald’s across the street. The road taken then was to “stay above float” and it happened to make everyone content.

Sometimes, at the end of the day when the children’s father returned from work, they would plan a family bike outing, but before, she would take a “mommy run” to check on her bike she would say. What she actually did was ride very fast, wind blowing in her face, removing the “dust of her day” and by the time she was by the rapids, she was cleansed and became a person. She was not a mother, a wife, a daughter, a woman, a friend, a volunteer, a counsellor…she was one simple person.

roar of the rapids
inhaling every woe
announcing hope
water splashing at her feet
droplets giggle with joy

Once the stress of the day had dissipated into the current, washed away and moving on to the basin of the river, she felt lighter. Her shoulders rose naturally and she sat with her spine straight without a thought in the world…no dreams were necessary…

rolling white caps
just sitting – not wanting
contentment infused

©Tournesol ’17/07/18


my travel journal (troibun)

twilight approaching
narrowing pathway
shadows linger

twilight approaching
birds mocking
my hesitation

narrowing pathway
finally, my eyes can see
a light within

shadows linger
becoming spiritual guides
path of soul-searching


My Travel Journal, (Troiku)  is inspired by Chévrefeuille’s meme, “Basho’s Shadow Diary“. One thing I loved reading Basho, The Complete Haiku, translated by Jane Reichhold, was a dark side I could relate to;  I find beauty in the darkness now since so many thoughts form into haiku or verses,  lifting the darkness ever so gradually.  Somewhat like the darkness is the murkiness of the mud until a lotus surfaces above water.



unwelcomed guests (Troiku)


early morning rise
shuffling to make coffee
crunch of a cockroach

early morning rise
even spiders feel lazy
in the heat

shuffling to make coffee
grinding dark roasted beans
startles a cockroach

crunch of a cockroach
cutting through the morning haze
a piercing scream


This troiku, which is a new form of haiku created by Chevrefeuille was written for Carpe Diem Haiku Kai, with the summer kigo “cockroach”