A Quarterly Journal of Contemporary English Language Haibun
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June 2005, vol 1 no 1

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Ray Rasmussen, Canada


Three Buck Poet

The light fades and evening's chill slips in at the end of a long hiking day. We gather stones, make a fire ring, touch match to kindling. Flames jump to life in the dry wood. The fire crackles and, assisted by steaming bowls of chili, warms us.

"I found this book on the bargain table for three bucks," Chris says. None of us have heard of the self-published poet.

Chris' resonant voice transports us into the poet's world. Sparks leap out of the fire and associations fly to mind.

The poem about a first girlfriend leads us into sharing our own lusty adventures with the girl-women of our boyhoods. A second poem is filled with rage about the destruction of the woods the poet roamed as a boy. The pained music of his words bring to mind the clear cuts we viewed on today's hike.

Our poet-mentor prompts us to relive our early years, share our shattered marriages, explore the deaths of parents and friends.

In the dying light of the fire, it seems as if even the pinion pines have joined our circle.

fire embers—
moths flutter in and out
of the light


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