Saturday, October 3, 2015

A visit to Aunty Barbara in the 1950’s--By Philip David Noble--Scotland

A visit to Aunty Barbara in the 1950’s

Hair slicked down and shoes polished up by rubbing them on the back of the sock
of the opposite leg, we go up the stairs of the second storey close to the dark brown door with brass letterbox, and wait patiently.

At last the door is opened by a much thinner and frailer replica of my grandmother.

The dark hall smells of  linoleum polish as we follow her through to the back snug.
The  range, is still well blackened, and the heavy curtained alcove cupboard bed.
It seems so small. Could she really sleep in there?

Then the big treat. A small box of faded coloured wooden bricks with a sliding lid is ritually produced for us. The grown ups talk and talk and ­time drags. 

slowing down
in time with the ticking clock
little heartbeat
On this occasion we are allowed into the front room.
Dark and unappealing, except for the tiger skin draped over the back of the sofa.
Sent all the way from India by one of our adventurous forebears.

Duty done, the reward of a pan drop at the door and off to the farm and the animals

and the freedom of the Braes and the Windy Hills.

not yet autumn
purple flowers fade slowly
on the wallpaper

Philip David Noble was born in Aberdeen, Scotland in 1946. He is an ordained Scottish Episcopal priest, and a visual artist with qualifications in pure science, theology and storytelling.  He joined the British Origami Society in 1968 (, co-founded the International String Figures Association in 1978 (www,, and is a founder member the International Guild of Knot Tyers, ( and has been actively studying soap bubbles for over thirty years. Philip has given workshops and performances in UK and in over twenty countries worldwide. He has been writing haiku since 1996 several of which have appeared in various haiku publications but most regularly in Mainichi Daily News haiku column.


  1. Philip,
    A wonderful haibun! I enjoyed it a lot. Welcome to Whispers!
    Your new friend,
    David Fox

  2. Dear Philip,

    I'm glad you already have a comment on your wonderful haibun. It is so good to have you at Whisper, sharing your words. Welcome!


  3. Hi Philip. Welcome to Whispers and thank you for sharing your amazing and memorable poem. I really do love poems that reminisce of those good-ole-days. Continued blessings!

    -MJ (

  4. Interesting read, welcome to Whispers.

  5. Fantastic. Great job! Look forward to more. Ralph