February 22, 2018 by petrujviljoen

It’s about time one sits on top of the ash heap and not buried in it. Ashen, sure. It was hard work digging oneself up and out.

There it was. Stood at the side of the concrete path leading to the toilets for days. I picked it up. Brought it indoors. Still have it, at pride of place on the shelf where such things go. Many years later. A thought trundled into my head, a positive to combat the general habit of malaise. Humility is good but too much … you know the saying. It’s about time.

Only one small chip in the rim. It was in there for what must have been really many years. The block of flats had a coal boiler, even then it was an odd thing. 1995. We bathed in an inch of water often. Often it broke. Often the landlord didn’t bother to buy coal. How he did his doctoring without hot water one didn’t ask. Why did we live there you’d like to know. Well. It was trendy. It was. It was! Bunch of white artists right in the inner city of Johannesburg. Being from it came later. Since being, also, here and now.

The new owners bought an electric geyser. Put toilets inside the flats. The ash-heap had to be cleared. And there it was. The Chinese teacup. I still have it. Placed. 2018.

the oak, half red

heralding an early autumn

meagre harvest is in



The Museum of the Discarded first inspired by the Claudia McGill Museum 🙂

Linked to Dverse Poets OLN



36 thoughts on “Ashen

  1. Jules says:

    Appropriate for the start of the Chinese new year. Often Dragons look like Dogs…

    I am always on the lookout for treasures… once I found a gold ring with an amber type stone and baggets… not real diamonds. I eventually got the kink in the ring fixed. But since it only fits my wedding band finger… I don’t wear it often.

    When I was visiting Wisconsin – I found just little bit of memorabilia from New York City!

  2. Reblogged this on Frank J. Tassone and commented:
    #Haiku Happenings #8: Petru’s #haibun for #dversepoets!

  3. MarinaSofia says:

    Love the close observation and attention to detail.

  4. Nan Mykel says:

    I thought I already did: am re-blogging. Exquisite!

  5. Nan Mykel says:

    Reblogged this on NANMYKEL.COM and commented:
    Perfect, beautiful! ove it. Great opening line! Good morning.

  6. Gorgeous haibun, Petru! Love your attention to details in your prose!

  7. I love the way you told this and then the haiku at the end. Wonderful!

  8. Vivian Zems says:

    An interesting find taking pride of place amongst your belongings. Your haibun flows beautifully.

  9. I love the way you weave the story of the teacup into the other of a gentrified house… The teacup has a story to tell

  10. One’s meager harvest is another’s treasure.

  11. Janice says:

    Great find. I enjoyed how you told the story.

  12. Grace says:

    Such a novel find, chinese teacup. Nice to see your part of world heralding an early autumn. Can’t wait here for spring to finally arrive.

  13. Beverly Crawford says:

    My home used to be a “museum of the discarded”. I loved my “found” things and antiques. They kept me grounded to my place in time and in touch with those who came before. I loved your poem!

  14. Thanks for the mention. And…this is a real treasure you found. I love the orange-red color. Full of life.

    The discarded given a new life. I like that.

  15. memadtwo says:

    A treasure! (K)

  16. I like how the red of the oak echoes the red of the tea cup, and the meagre but precious harvest.

  17. Frank Hubeny says:

    I liked the chip in the rim. It reminds me of my current coffee mug with a tiny chip but the one I prefer nonetheless.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Available on Amazon

Available at

As the World Burns

Available at


Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material or any part of this material without express and written permission from myself is strictly prohibited.

%d bloggers like this: