A Quarterly Journal of Contemporary English Language Haibun
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December 2006, vol 2 no 4

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Bruce Ross


I circle the top of the Great Temple Mound. It dominates in grandeur the other dirt mounds of Ocmulgee National Monument near Macon, Georgia. The Mississippian culture that built them is long gone from here. The top once held a structure probably used for religious ritual. I circle it in my own private ritual. To the north, south, and west mountains. To the east, the place of the rising sun, the Ocmulgee River and corn fields. The surrounding grounds are silent but not still: wild purple flowers, a blue striped skink, red and blue dragonflies, a flock of cardinals, red blossomed trees, some empty picnic tables. A gliding turkey vulture to the northeast circles slowly almost not moving.

                                                          a few mounds
                                                          of the Mississippians
                                                          summer heat