haibun
A Quarterly Journal of Contemporary English Language Haibun
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Archive: American Haibun & Haiga Volume 4

[Return to Author List, Vol 4]

Jeffrey Harpeng

 

Kaikoura

At the sea’s edge, I estimate compass setting, point out from the rocks, push-mower roll one hand out from my heart toward tomorrow. In the grammatic space inhabited by my brother, I make him a thumb winged plane, palm down, further and further out there. In reply he zigzags a tutorial pointer across a map in the air. A map on which I see him already gone, barely arrived. Six years since last we met.

We cross the broken scripted rocks: geological glyphs smoothed and pooled by the tide. Surf washed, wave worn inlets are littoral character traits in the script. I wave for his attention. He responds shrugging eyebrows and shoulders. I scoop bracketfulls of air before me to my chest, sample a scoop at my lips and splay fingers from my mouth with gastronomic gusto, and a Latin pout. Pensive eyebrows raised, he nods.

the rocks text
& deaf sign—shell spirals
hear the sea

Over rocks patchy with seaweed, we find ways out to separate stone jottings for a view south around the headland.

Pointing northeast, right past him, I turn his attention to a couple with jeans rolled up, wading ashore through the incoming tide, from sea locked rocks. He zooms in with his video camera, points his diary. I see the rerun on television that night.

no seals in sight
the back of a black rock
raises its head

Months later I receive his video of the world: takeoffs, landings, train rides, bus rides, the sights captured by a memory truer than mine.

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