A Quarterly Journal of Contemporary English Language Haibun
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September 2008, vol 4 no 3

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Adelaide Shaw


With our move from a suburb of New York City to a small rural town two counties northward I've become a gardener. I've become acquainted with peonies, spirea, hosta, creeping juniper, broomplant, barberry, sedum, king's gold cyprus, and others. Some in the garden, some on a list to be planted in the future.

early evening–
one more lily planted
before dark

I've become a seeker of vistas—the hills, fields and meadows, the ponds and streams, spilling over their banks after spring and autumn rains, shrinking to muddy, algae laced puddles, thin trickles and stony bottomed dry beds in the summer, freezing from a layer of slush to a solid block of ice in winter.

late March
the swept clean look
of brown hills

I've become a dreamer of skies and clouds, a sitter with a book and a stopped clock, a camera with eyes snapping images to preserve in memory and on paper.

roadside flower stand–
the autumn mist collects
on empty shelves

I'm a calendar, watching for the cyclical changes, the weather patterns different from the area in the southern part of the state. Spring is slower to arrive, winter longer. Summer hotter and autumn more colorful.

a sweeping white field–
the hilltop farm house
casts a small shadow

I'm a hound, stopping and turning my head, my nostrils twitching. Scents are stronger. Wood smoke, burning leaves, farm animals, freshly mowed hay, wet pines and fermenting leaves.

damp morning
first the lilacs…
then the manure

I'm a stranger to the area so I talk to shopkeepers, tell them my name, ask theirs, smile and wave to people. I let the outside inside.

new friends–
a rainy afternoon
in the diner

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