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

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Michele Yanga



We do not keep busts of the common dead on our mantels as with the ancient philosophers, patriarchs and pundits. Instead, we give them their privacy, a chance to infiltrate the earth.

empty classroom –
puff of chalk dust
shrouding the fallen eraser

They found him already late while little stars leapt silently from the lawn, the smallest cinders escaping from an invisible fire. Even the birds that night were mystified by these tracers of an innocent conflagration.

fireflies –
ambulance with no siren
disappearing down the street

While preparing for the funeral, a dove asks who it is that I mourn and I wonder what sticks and stones hide their hollow corpses.

dusty wingtips –
sound of polish
scent of baby’s breath

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