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Haibun, Haiku, Senryu by James Fowler

Haibun, Haiku, Senryu - James Fowler

planting moon
the garden gate


the distance
between the mountains
and the clouds



my father and I
paint the barn
compare wars





Light creeps between the flakes that click against my old USS Midway flight jacket. The honking geese on the beaver pond paddle to keep from freezing in. Behind me, beyond Route 12, the factory whistle calls the morning shift. The ruffed grouse, hidden beneath the hemlock, mutters as I walk by. Gusts of wind lift swirls of snow and fill my tracks. I tip my head, tongue the flakes and watch the storm clouds march across the skies.

                                  falling ashes
                                  the bitter flavor
                                  of gunpowder



Night Thoughts


Clamor of a bank of missiles outgoing, clang of ‘general quarters’ and I wake. Drenched in sweat, I listen to a soundless night. The far-off howl of the freight jerks me from my brooding and the bed is no longer large enough. I shuffle through the house, joggle the locks, stand in the doorways of still rooms. The whistle, as the train passes through the village, echoes off the mountains, sounding like another freight beyond. I stare out the picture window at the shadows of those mountains until the rattle of the train dwindles to silence. It drags the memory that woke me with it. I stumble off to bed. 

                                  a dog barks
                                  a distant answer




Even Here


An hour out on a hike, crossing through a large stand of hemlock, I enter a small clearing where British Soldiers stand at attention in three platoons on a Map-Lichened rock outcropping. One low-bush blueberry claims a pocket of soil between the ledge and trail. A wren bobs on the shrub and gives me hell for intruding on her island of sunshine. Then she flits to a hemlock branch on the other side of the trail, peers past me and falls silent. I look over my shoulder into the eyes of a cow moose, so close I could turn and pat her nose. She unfreezes first and ambles away. The wren swoops, lands and snatches a caterpillar off the blueberry. 

                                  the last of twelve
                                  faded beer cans
                                                          angry ants


a coyote track
inside mine



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