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A Quarterly Journal of Contemporary English Language Haibun
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Archive: American Haibun & Haiga Volume 3

[Return to Author List, Vol 3 ]

Zinovy Vayman

 

A Haibun for Christmas

cheap mirror
after the round-the-world trip
same pepper-and-salt

I open my window. It is already dark. My childhood song sounds in me in Russian:

Mosk’va-Ka’looga, Los Anzhe’los
obyedee’neelees v o’deen kol’hos

Nine and nine syllables and a stomping rhyme. Rhyme inside the first line too. I would translate it like: “Moscow, Kaluga and Los Angeles have united in a single collective farm”. Kind of stupid . . .

in the moonlight
star-spangled banner—
its stripes black and white

Walking in a safe part of the City of our Lady the Queen of the Angels I still sing the short line. On Olvera Street I see a poster “Olvera Street News, Los Angeles, California. Final Edition. Printed by M. Tanzini.” I read, “Life in Los Angeles before the Americans came was an almost ideal existence. People lived to love, to be kind, tolerant and contented. Money, of which there was plenty, was just for necessities. The men owned and rode magnificent horses. The women were flower-like in silks and lace. There were picnics into the hills and dancing at night , moonlight serenades, romance and real happiness”. That’s what Christine Sterling wrote about El Pueblo De Nuestra Senora La Reina de Los Angeles . . .

I recall my childhood full of golod-kholod(cold-hunger). “Cold” and “hunger’ form a perfect rhyme in Russian (they differ by just one consonant). Fleeting memories of the sad charm of the Moscow countryside . . .

Russian water well:
I throw a chained bucket
into my dark face.

[Return to Author List, Vol 3 ]

 


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