A Quarterly Journal of Contemporary English Language Haibun
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December 2009, vol 5 no 4

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Garry Eaton


Earth, Air, Fire and Water

It's late summer in the valley of the North Thompson River, and a ferryman on his cable midstream watches an osprey splash down feet first into the smooth, jade water nearby. Carried down by the current, it fights to get airborne again, flailing and showering water with its beating wings. When it lifts off, there is a good-sized fish sparkling in its claws.

A moment later, the ferryman hears a fire suppression helicopter coming in upstream. It hovers, nose down, while the river fills its bucket. Then it lifts slowly and takes off with its dripping burden into the haze up a side valley.

wup wup wup
five hundred gallons quiver
in the rotor's grasp

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