Traveling the Eastern Sierra–a Haibun

dVerse Meeting the Bar host, Bjorn, asks us to write a Haibun–a blend of prose and Haiku.

Traveling the Eastern Sierra a Haibun Several times a year, I drive the 500 plus miles from Northern Nevada to Southern California snaking along the eastern slopes of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Every time, varying with the season of the year, vistas of delight surprise me, seduce my muse. Late winter, as I drove over Mammoth Lake pass:

I crest the summit—

mountains peaks span the view:

layers of meringue.




Throughout the year, Mt. Whitney oversees the halfway mark in my journey. Early May, this year, I arrived at sundown as the sun slipped behind her snowy crown. Clouds broke the light into distinct rays—as someone one said to me: “Like God in the movies.”

Her heights remind me

how utterly small I am,

how great Creation.

Aug312011 070


In spring, wildflowers of all colors abound on either side of the road. The lakes dotting the route fill up, if winter has been kind. Rivers flow over rocks, around boulders. Ducks and geese bob on Little Lake—a sheet of emerald in the midst of bright red lava mounds.

I drive by quickly,

ignoring the urge to stop—

a woman, alone.




In summertime, mirages float across the steaming highway. Hawks and eagles circle lazily above, searching for rodents, snakes or road-kill. The desert regions expand in all directions once you hit the Mojave.

Joshua trees stretch

their crooked arms heavenward,

begging for relief.

Photo: desertusa

Photo: desertusa


In autumn the array of colors stuns me—brilliant oranges complement the turquoise blue of Lake Topaz. Flaming yellow aspens creep up crevasses into the mountain gorges.

Water smooth as silk,

mirror-like reflections, clouds

float on her surface.




23 thoughts on “Traveling the Eastern Sierra–a Haibun

  1. I felt as if I were on the trip with you and a beautiful trip it was, Victoria. Thanks so much!



  2. And I thought the truly great poems had to be inspired by pain. These are magnificent!!! 🙂


  3. Such gorgeous postcards of poem and prose…as well as the pictures just breathtaking!


  4. arathi says:

    I enjoyed the journey in all the seasons..very nice:)


  5. Teresa says:

    I love the way you’ve included all the seasons in this piece. Very pretty.


  6. Poet Laundry says:

    These are all just gorgeous Victoria…prose, haiku and photos.


  7. jo-hanna says:

    Gorgeous writing and such a wonderful journey.
    I would so love to see mountains of wildflowers like that.
    Love the haibun you made with this.
    By the way:
    I clicked on the first picture address and was told by Avast that it was a Trojan, so beware.


  8. jo-hanna says:

    Oh – this looks so inviting: I’m going to get me a cup of tea and then slowly savour this.


  9. tigerbrite says:

    Beautiful travelogue through seasons of the mountains. There is a special reason why they feel so spiritual:)


  10. Mary says:

    A beautiful series, Victoria. Enjoyed your pictures and the words that accompanied. My favorite metaphor was “layers of meringue.”


  11. A grand subject for a haibun: your prose is poetry and your poetry enhances it. It sounds like a wonderful journey, whenever you make it.


  12. claudia says:

    layers of meringue…..oh i love that…. what a beautiful trip… and how the landscape changes with the seasons… i think if i would drive it i would need forever just because i would stop a hundred times on the way to breathe and watch and enjoy…


  13. kathy reed says:

    A moving adventure on your blog today…the haiku set off the prose in a distinct and crisp manner.


  14. Oh this was a great idea, the 4 seasons and a travel description.. The beauty of it, the urge to get on, still passing all those vistas, when your haiku provides that meditative thoughts you might think when traveling. I think you have proven how the story of the prose expands well beyond what is written, and that your text describes an inner journey as much as the physical one.


  15. Glenn Buttkus says:

    So very ambitious, like a young mare with the bit in her teeth, showing us all the equestrian dances; five separate haibun, five haikus, all beautiful, flowing perfect, five into one, like poetic tributaries running strong into a river. Cycling & degradation toward women are today’s hot bones with the dVerse dogs it seems; really nice job on the prompt.


  16. Lovely, lovely – your haiku(s?) lovely


  17. Grace says:

    I love the nature verses and pictures Victoria ~ What a delightful road travel & my favorite haiku is the second – to be feel small beside his Mighty creations ~


  18. The Sierras are so dramatic in their stature and changes from the pine trees to the Joshua Trees. Thanks for a lil bit of home


  19. Linda says:

    Both travel and seasons! I love all of these, especially the haikus: being alone, and tiny in creation, silk reflections, meringue. Wonderful, all~


  20. brian miller says:

    lovely trip through the seasons…i know the awe of standing under the mountains…how small we can seem in the shadow of it…the desert has a beauty much different than many places….


  21. Pamela says:

    Yes, nature and all her glory. Beautifully written piece. Sorry for not visiting more often. I keep going in and out of a funk.

    Pamela ox


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