A Quarterly Journal of Contemporary English Language Haibun
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September 2009, vol 5 no 3

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Eric Berg


The Whiteness of the Winnowing Fan

I once met a man who carried a winnowing fan on his back. And when I asked him about it, he did the strangest thing he broke out sobbing, stabbed the oar (for I know its true name, now) into the ground, and went down onto his knees, chanting in a foreign tongue that sounded like the most natural language in the world. A boar, a pig, a deer; they all were drawn to this man, they all placidly accepted the knife into their throats; their blood across the land. And after the sacrifices were done, the man heaved himself up and staggered away, the weight of an invisible oar still contorting his back. It began to rain that night, and three weeks later, the bleached sailors came.

oceans sent abroad
swallow the living

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