A Quarterly Journal of Contemporary English Language Haibun
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March 2006, vol 2 no 1

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Patricia Prime

Crystal Mountain

It's the day before Christmas Eve. We're on our way to Crystal Mountain for lunch to celebrate the end of term.

panning for crystals
in the water sluice—
one violet gem

Lunch is brought to us at a table too high for the chairs. Rain drips from a sun umbrella. A strut loosens and flaps in the breeze. But we're free. It's the summer holidays.

Later we browse in the shop. There are huge table- and chair-sized pieces of quartz—every colour one could imagine. Clusters of purple crystals like grapes, or the green of sea and landscape, grey outside, but inside pink or blue or painted by the sun coming through the window. The loveliest like stained glass shaped by craftsmen.

We linger over jewellery: rings, brooches, necklaces and select a present for our daughters. I chose a black crystal pendant and a bracelet for my granddaughter who is going through a "Gothic stage." I think she will wear them.

smooth stones
warm against my throat
that day in the shop

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