A Quarterly Journal of Contemporary English Language Haibun
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June 2008, vol 4 no 2

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Diana Webb




old pair of needles
from the hospice shop –

Casting on stitches again after a long gap, her hands still remember the moves passed on from mother to child. The years cast off between...

Grandma by the French windows, needles flashing. The little girl thinks,'I'm four.' Soft bales of wool in multicoloured shades encircled with paper bands, nestling in cellophane packs on shelves of the corner Drapers' waiting to be dispensed, a few at a time.

Her own knitting grows into illuminated text, the birds and trees of convent nature walks sweeping through the feathery yarn's greens and blues and browns. Metal clicks against metal like rosary beads.


Wearing his white coat, Mr Abbot the pharmacist presides.

In the weeks before Christmas, the centre of his small Chemists' a piled up shrine to the patron saint of baths. Yardley's Freesia talc and Lavender in tins with small round perforated lids. Wrapped soaps in threes. A round box with soft spheres glowing in deep rainbow shades through its transparent lid. Jars of crystalline salts. Moving around it slowly in a multi-fragrant mist.

out of the back room –
in his hand
a sealed white bag


They rattle like medication capsules. Rimmed wafer domes of pearly aqua, raspberry, apricot, pistachio... She chooses. Placed on her tongue it melts and fizzes her back to the little shop by the dual carriageway on a hot summer's afternoon when satellites were news.

frozen pyramid –
sucking from a cut off corner
depths of citrus

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