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

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Diana Webb


Four Postcards for a Blossom Tree Collection


I'm writing this Van Gogh postcard out in the garden of a pub near where I bought it. "The Pink Peach Tree," except there is no pink in it. Not in this one. This one is pure snow, unlike the other ones he did which look like snow-trees streaked with sunset. "Motifs everyone likes," he said. He dedicated them to the aptly named Anton Mauve, who had just died and who had encouraged him to be liberal with colour. But this one is pure white. A tree of prisms perhaps.

drunk with white wine–
a rainbow
on the blank page


Here's one of Bonnard's almond tree for your collection. "Poetry is imminent in the least of things," wrote someone with reference to this artist's work. This is the almond tree that grew in Pierre Bonnard's back garden. He saw it every day. The day he died. It was a homely thing. He painted homely things. Bathrooms, bedrooms, things on tables.

feather duster
catching the dust
catching the light


I picked up this one somewhere. Any place where spring comes round each year. "Pruniers en Fleurs" – Camille Pisarro. "He of all painters most closely aproached nature," Cezanne said, and he himself lamented the lack in some of his work of "the instantaneous reaction of the senses which I consider vital." So how cool is that!

self portrait–
old man with a white beard
stippled like blossom


This came from the V&A no less. "In a Shoreham Garden" by Samuel Palmer. He was a fan of William Blake. Heaven in a wild flower. That kind of thing. For him, apparently it was The Tree of Paradise, this apple tree. So pearly. That lady waiting under it at the end of the path, wearing a long skirt, could be the brush of the painter dipped in a deep deep pink. Sorry if some of these words are smudged. This may not be the ideal place to write a postcard.

bubbles bubbles
a whole orchard
of bubbles

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