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A Journal of Haibun & Tanka Prose
Bob Lucky, General Editor & Ray Rasmussen, Technical Editor
January 2020 Vol. 15 No. 4

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Jonathan Humphrey

The Art Of Bending (A Mandala)

I have a favorite bend in the river. It blushes orangish-red with fallen leaves in October. I will sit on a nearby stump and listen to the water mending itself of all obstructions, be they fish, snake, bear, plastic. I have a favorite elbow on my wife. Her right. She throws a mean fastball. Could knock me out cold with a frozen deer patty. I live in both awe and fear of this knowledge. I have a favorite hairpin turn on the highway, flanked in cornflower blue. Forty-five miles per hour and the coffee tilts. Forty-six and you’re burnt and swearing. Then there’s the bough on the willow tree by the creek that refuses to break, just bends and bends, while holding its sighing green curtain. It is behind these leaves that a fox turns into a woman and back into a fox each night. Her tail kinks midway at a forty-five degree angle. Fleas are there at the bend watching the wind mat down the orangish-red hairs. They swap stories of their wives’ legs. How they kick when they make love. How they are spring loaded. Be careful, they tell one another. Fall off that way and you drown. Creek into river. River into bend.

daylight moon
the egret folds
itself thin


Note: “daylight moon” originally appeared in The Heron’s Nest Volume XIX, Number 1: March 2017.)


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