A Quarterly Journal of Contemporary English Language Haibun
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Contents Page: March, 2010, vol 6 no 1


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Jeffrey Harpeng

Fig Bird in a Jacaranda

Song is not the right word. There are no words in the Fig Bird's song. The Fig Bird is Tromp l'oeil painted in a Jacaranda tree. A painting, that is, until it sings, or at least where the music has taken roost a dark eye shines in a mask of red skin. Tcher! from time to time tcher! in its music, as if that was the sound of the string pulled to release the music wound up in it.

Branches this way and that bar a full view of the bird. They add layers of conceit to the Tromp l'oeil. Jacaranda flowers are celebratory robes, priestly robes to be worn only on feast days, priestly robes, and their halos. Spring is a long festival, exuberant with hue, chroma and quickened growth. If you walk under a Jacaranda's branches in September, October, their flowers tint the blue silk spring sky with a shimmering ache. The bird does a solo duet in avian phrasings, curly and vibrant as wood shavings. There's not a word to scold its aria.

walking from the bird
song I daydream coloured threads



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