A Quarterly Journal of Contemporary English Language Haibun
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March 2009, vol 5 no 1

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Patricia Prime

Challenging Landscape

Staring out across the landscape he's unable to pull away from the violent stars and the crows that tick inside his head.

spreading sunlight
gilds his hair and beard
a whirling fire
begins and ends
in the hot summer sun

"The madman paints his private world outside," the frightened villagers say. But he knows they are the mad ones.

After a while his loneliness nags him like an aching tooth. He wanders the fields gathering sunflowers, gropes for sanity among his brush strokes. But inside that gaze he's cold.

A knife poised momentarily in his hand.

a hawk pauses
ready to swoop
on a mouse
the narrowed road
enveloped in dark trees

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