A Quarterly Journal of Contemporary English Language Haibun
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March 2008, vol 4 no 1

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Giselle Maya


Le Cours Mirabeau

some years ago i changed nests
from one land to another
from one language to another
from one house to another
now in the place that has chosen me -
soft voices in a courtyard
in Aix-en-Provence

nine olives on a small dish
people touch the orange tree
a winred skirt serves us a vegetarian meal
here where the Romans bathed in healing waters
a turquoise table cloth with lemon roses
a tiny black spider i lift from the table
to the shelter of a huge pot of basil

a few years later i went back
to find the place  --  la Cour de Rohan -- not a trace of it
Aix with its high houses, cast-iron balconies
sunbleached facades, scents and colors
the art of weaving in and out of streets
fountains, madonnas on altars placed high
all that is the same still

i know the town's heart
and visit it rarely now
staying in the country to work
and garden -- the dream is intact
recessed from the foreground
the town  so ancient,  so settled
has ceased to call me

                               moss on the fountain . . .
                               in the studio of Cezanne
                             the painter's ladder