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Archive: American Haibun & Haiga Volume 4

[Return to Author List, Vol 4]

David Cobb


A Hole with a View

with a ball of string
the sexton measures sunlight
into portions

I can work out more or less where it will be. The ‘old half’ of the village churchyard, downside of the bank which in gently undulating Essex is styled a ‘cliff’, on the church side of the brook, admits no new corpses. Nowadays we villagers, when we are ‘spent’, recongregate on the top shelf in strict rotation. Guess how many years you may have left to live, multiply this by the average number of burials a year (five or six), and this again by six for the allowance of feet. Then, using eye or foot, you can roughly pace out the distance to your final resting place.

Mine won’t be right up teetering on the cliff edge, for this position is kept for leftovers of cremations. A choice predicament. Not because the cliff has a better share of sunshine, or is nearer the sturdy support of oaks and chestnuts, or closer to birdsong in the branches or to the bells that ring for weddings, or because the moles do not riddle there. Simply, the cliff is the dress circle for viewing the gathering of the whole village on Christmas Eve for carols by candlelight. Looking over the headstones of the ancient squirearchy, one might see the silhouettes of those who will one day join one in the Land of Moles. Or at least feel the tremor of their pattering feet. A vague comfort.

how urgently
the gardener fills the can
with his own water

[Return to Author List, Vol 4 ]


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