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

sitting
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.

a lost race (cherita)

© Clr ’14 Ghost Bike – Montreal

cycling

at the break of dawn
beware of the traffic

cycling through the viaduct
competing for space
a cyclist lost the race

~~~

loss of a cyclist

a sister mourns her sister
a mother mourns her daughter

a city of cyclists and citizens
form a vigil for Mathilde Blais
a ghost bike hung in memory

© Tournesol ’14

Montreal Gazette:  Death of a Cyclist

Written for BJ’s Shadorma and Beyond at MindlovemiserysMenagerie