Category Archives: haibun
When the choice of drink is water or chardonnay, I usually take water. I don’t want to end up in some faraway place, sleeping under a bridge, and wonder how I got there. Nobody’s going to rescue me from my own stupidity. If someone asks why I prefer to eat by candlelight, I say, “It’s fine to dine in the dark, but the last time I tried that, I nearly ate my finger, mistaking it for a French fry. Don’t you think it’s important to be safe rather than sorry?”
will you meet me on the path
to the mountaintop?
More The Whirligig #257
More Writers’ Pantry #11 at Poets and Storytellers United
Yesterday at noon, when I opened my kitchen window, I looked out toward the clothesline, and saw the neighbor’s scruffy cat. “So, you’ve finally decided to wake up,” I said with a laugh. Instead of purring, the cat began snarling at me. It had my full attention! An intimate talk followed, although I will not tell you what was said. That moment stays between the cat and me, and I will hold onto it forever. Meanwhile, I’ve decided to listen. If anything can keep me from seeking the cat’s wisdom again, then I don’t deserve to hear its voice.
Fog envelops me,
yet I keep moving forward
on the unseen way.
More The Whirligig #256
More Writers’ Pantry #10 at Poets and Storytellers United
My mother used to say, “It’s hard to improve on an onion sandwich.” She’d peel three small beauties, slice them, and lay the slices between thick slabs of buttered brown bread, sprinkling them with salt and pepper. She chewed slowly and thoughtfully until she had eaten every pungent morsel. Then brushing the crumbs from her lips, she’d reach across the table for her garden catalog, delve into it and dream of planting peas—and more onions—in several parts of her garden.
two jays at the bird feeder
fight over one seed.
More The Whirligig #252
More Writers’ Pantry #6 at Poets and Storytellers United
For weeks I stumble through dark clouds of grief, after losing my little point-and-shoot camera to an ignominious death. My constant companion on nature walks no longer functions—the lens will not retract—and I slog through my beloved wilderness with unseeing eyes.
Yet a new day dawns, with a new camera, and I am ready again to romance the little things that others spurn.
I slip through a fence with a sign that warns against trespassing, my heart beating wildly. Will this be the day that my transgressions are discovered?
But I have no time to worry, for at my feet I spy some tiny, reddish-purple flowers. Willing the wind to pause in its pummeling of the delicate blossoms, I fish my camera from my pocket, kneel, and focus the lens for the first photo of the day.
First flowers of spring
nourished by underground streams—
gratefully I drink.
If I could touch the sound of a dove with my fingertips, I would. But my hopes are dashed; the little songster flees as I draw near. The dove calls again. Surely this time! Stealthily I move forward, but a dry leaf crackles underfoot. Hush now, I say to myself, you’re making too much noise; surely she hears you. But, no, there on a branch of the plum is the dove, and there is her song, pouring from her beak like a silver waterfall. Slowly, ever so slowly, I approach, I reach, I touch the sparkling notes. The dove does not stir, though she knows full well what I’m doing. You doubt my story? In the Age of Donald Trump, anything is possible.
An old Buddhist monk,
who never tells me his name,
visits me in dreams.
More Sunday’s Whirligig #248
More Writers’ Pantry #2 at Poets and Storytellers United