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Thursday, November 13, 2014

Andrena Zawinski ------- Three Haibun

Singing Bird Haibun
“Sitting quietly, doing nothing, spring comes, 
and the grass grows by itself.” Basho

It is not a steely-eyed egret nor heft of pelican but just a singing bird that catches my fancy 
from a balcony perched across from pines lining the marina. Here I make watch of another 
shifting sky, distant buoy sounding swells in the bay, common robin chiming in on the wind.

resting in my palm 
it might pulse at the heart line
practice its pitch

But this bird makes its roost in the forked trunk, where branches droop heavy with cones. 
Like this robin, I try to perfect a voice in the intimate language of birds, call back at it, 
parroting the rise and fall of its wistful warbling, practicing the melodic whistling.

the robin carols
in a cathedral of pine
all feather and trill

Everything readies for something - above, wide wings of dark crows fan the horizon. Below, 
a ray steers clear of a row. A dog splashes into the water, his boy crying for a lost oar. 
Twilight settles on tapping riggings and masts, breeze in the tinny chimes, spring in the song.

the clouds feathering
disappear into sunset
the bird still singing

"Singing Bird" received Tiferet Journal's  1st Place Award in their Carriage House Contest.

 Last Gifts 
 (Haibun for Keiko)
  The truth is not always beautiful, 
  nor beautiful words the truth
  Lao Tzu

She is soon to board the plane for Osaka, and you try to avoid farewells. 
She is returning, after thirty years, to her childhood home to nurse 
the ailing mother--oya koko, filial piety, she reminds with a stern stare. 
Later you will learn the return is really for her own care, these her own 
last days. 

You lop off the American Beauty blooms, plop them into the seamless 
goldfish bowl she brings on her last visit. There is also the single teacup 
whose lip, she says, is delicate as a woman’s kiss. Dressed the way you have
 never seen her before--blue kimono under haori stitched in silver apple blossoms, 
phoenix fan in the pocket--she slips out of the coat, carefully folds and smooths it, 
places it ceremoniously into your outstretched arms.

The roses remain for a time, then spent, wilting petals drop down onto the 
furoshiki square she once wrapped around large bowls of salmon and seaweed
in sweet rice--its slender cranes winging the edges toward some unseen distance. 
The rose scent lingers even as the sight of her begins to dim.

heavens darkening 
a red winged blackbird
blazes skyward like a sword

Nocturnal Haibun

I will think it a pity that you have no way to remember tonight’s play of light, 
when you name was written in green by your beautiful lantern on a girl’s breast.--Kawabata

dancing on night air
luminaries of the dark
in concerts of light

Caravaggio powdered his paint with their iridescence.
In Frost’s garden, they were real stars to fill the skies.
Children contain their flickering dance in Mason jars, 
smear the emerald brilliance around fingers and wrists.
They are Cherokee torches turning dark into starry nights, 
Japanese hotaru of passionate love, Chinese hing hoy 
souls of the dead.

sparks of fireflies 
ignite the night’s shimmering
nocturnal courtship 

1 comment:

  1. These are wonderful! I enjoyed them! Thank you!