A Quarterly Journal of Contemporary English Language Haibun
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June 2009, vol 5 no 2

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Clyde Kessler



I play solitaire in a canoe on a pond. I shuffle the cards and place them on a wooden tray. The canoe drifts mid-pond, and toads sing from under the mud flat alders. Mosquitoes are biting my ears, my arms, the back of my neck. They are all shuffling around me the same way I busily reshuffle the cards.

Moonlight has tricked the jack of diamonds into shining on the water. It is a strange red diamond sifting towards tadpole gills. It is the next card I need if Iím ever to win.

The stars of Orion
playing against all the cards
they play for darkness

A bullfrog bellows
a ghost deep in its voice
chorusing through mud

I might swim under the canoe.
I might find the drowned jack cloned from light.

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