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October 2014, vol 10 no 3

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Featured Writer: Margaret Dornaus

Margaret Dornaus' Japanese short-form poetry is widely published in international print and online journals, including Ribbons, The Heron's Nest and Contemporary Haibun Online. Winner of the Tanka Society of America's 2011 International Tanka Contest, she recently received an An (Cottage) Award in the 2014 Genjuan International Haibun Contest. Her anthologized work appears in: Contemporary Haibun 14 and 15; Fire Pearls 2: Short Masterpieces of Love & Passion, 2013; Lifting the Sky: Southwestern Haiku & Haiga, 2013; The Red Moon Anthology of English-Language Haiku (2011-2013); The Texas Poetry Calendar (2014-2015); and Take Five: Best Contemporary Tanka vol. 4, 2012. Read more at Margaret's About Me Webpage.


One day the Rainbow Serpent wakes from a dream to create the earth and all its inhabitants. Grass. Flowers. Trees. Frogs. Birds. Emus. Kangaroos. Wallabies. Rivers and streams. Then she makes laws for all to obey, saying, "Those who keep my laws will be given human form. Those who don't will turn to stone."

on the wall of a cave . . .
all the ancestors
dancing before firelight
finding their way home to me

(Contemporary Haibun Online 9.3, October 2013)

Margaret's thoughts on haibun and tanka prose:

Haibun and tanka prose help me relive and bridge past experiences with past, present and future dreams, providing a unique perspective I have not found in other forms of poetry. I love the interplay between the prose sections and the haiku/tanka, the way in which they feed off one another, and how the leaps between the two can lead you and, hopefully, other readers to new discoveries or, perhaps, simply an appreciation of a moment.