Haibun by David Meischen

Visits from the Wild

Night gives over to light when our rabbit arrives on the patio. We know he’s our rabbit because of the notched ear, the lame hind leg. No hurry hopping to the bowl of wild rabbit kibble poured for him between visits. He’s feral, yes, ears on alert. But accustomed to us. A streak of tame in him, he doesn’t startle to our voices. We watch him from the kitchen door.

cars rev along Unser
counting breaths
I whisper stay

Our rabbit nibbles briefly, then turns to his water bowl, a double bowl left over from the time of two cats. He shares water with doves and finches who converge around the bird feeder. He sips, wiggles his nose, sips again, returns to his kibble, puts his forepaws onto the edge of the bowl and tips it.

a flutter in the pine tree raptor wings

Blog in Brief Hiatus

I’m heading back east for the unveiling of my father-in-law’s headstone. Jack (Jacob) Feldman–may his memory be a blessing. I’ll be back to blogging in about a week, and always answering email at msagan1035@aol.com

The Jewish Cemetery Association of MA says:

The custom of placing a monument over the grave of a departed person is a very ancient Jewish tradition. The Book of Genesis, for example, records that Jacob erected a tombstone (Matzevah) over the grave of his wife Rachel. From Biblical times onward, wherever Jewish communities have existed, Jews have continued this practice of erecting a memorial in honor of their deceased.
The monument is erected to indicate clearly where a person is buried, so that family and friends may visit the gravesite. It is also a way of remembering and honoring the memory of the person who has died.
Today, we refer to the ceremony of formally consecrating a tombstone as an “unveiling.”

Changes

There seems to be a cultural consensus that “change is good.” It helps us move “forward.” That is how we meet our “goals.” And yet, as any housecat will tell you—change is also bad. For example, running the vacuum. A bad change. Ditto for redecorating. So, which is it?

I like having a vision, an action item, a focus. Yet I won’t put a positive moral judgement on my goal-oriented personality. Sure, I’m trying to maximize. I have also mislaid my car keys, said something insensitive, and spent money frivolously.

And my forward motion isn’t exactly change. Writing a book, imagining a new project, getting a group to work creatively—that isn’t change. It is more like an expression of the essential part of myself. But that isn’t new.

I’ve lived in the same house for half my life. I’m married to my high school boyfriend. However, this house is thousands of miles from where I was raised. The boyfriend is a second husband. So—change or stability? Obviously both.

I love it when I or a friend can experience a fresh start. There is nothing like a sense of rebirth to keep us going. That isn’t change in the consumer sense—not a new car, or a new to do list. It is change in the more profound sense, as in everything changes no matter how we respond.

The more things change, the more they stay the same. True or false? In some ways yes. Fashion for example looks different but feels identical—a cultural ready made that demands conformity—no matter the time or place. The housecat says—false. A vacuum will never be a comfy nap. If you throw out someone else’s beloved ratty T-shirt (or, God forbid, try and wash the toddler’s blanket) it will be obvious that things have not stayed the same. Things are worse, much worse.

I’ve tried to change my basic character, and totally failed. I’ve tried to change my most neurotic self-destructive traits and had unexpectedly good success. I painted the bedroom apricot and liked it. Years later, I painted the faded walls the same hue and liked it again.

I think I’m not so much a fan of change per se as I am a fan of the ability to develop and grow. To emerge, to stretch, to begin anew. A caterpillar can’t turn into a butterfly more than once, but a butterfly can flutter off in a new wind.

Haibun by John Macker

Dreams

I’m immersed in dreams. Years ago, when dissatisfied with them, I used to add a drone of menace. Now, they auger the sublime and the senseless. They sometimes whisper, “stop making sense” right before dawn. Good dreams beg to differ with the dystopia, never boring, they never run out of color, they teach that beyond the weathered and the liminal is the horizon. They help to internalize the far reaches of dusk and love, and when foul weather ends, there are dustings of clarity, sometimes all the blood of the earth dries in the snow. My mother dances with William Holden in heaven, a rose between her teeth. Johnny Cash sings Trent Reznor in my shower. I’ve camped in a side canyon, serenaded by barn swallows on the far side of Mars. An anarchy of denizens : ghost dancers, rucksack poets, desert rats, Basho, compañeros for the journey. Dream senses of place are replaced at dawn, I wonder. A milagro. The world reimagines itself as unpolluted vistas and the warm coals of sunrise

the last things I hear
rivers bend away from rock
long distance deep sleep

###

John Macker copyright 2021

Haiku by Judy Mosher

These evocative haiku were written at the end of summer, upper Canyon Road, Santa Fe at Randall Davey Audubon Center

forest floor
carpeted with brown needles
Towhee rakes and rakes

shady hillside respite
branches intertwine
my healing green cape

hoping to see
what I hear
binocs in hand

old orchard
white tombstones
fruitless trees

gnarly, aged trees
my sedentary ancestors

recently fledged
raucous young crows
form a band

just off the trail
white-washed tibia
apache plume

beside the creek
rooted ferns flutter
under my shadow

M is for Medusa by Miriam Sagan

In our girls’ school uniforms we watch “Un Chien Andalou” in the auditorium. I’d rather be in the bathroom, hanging out and smoking Balkan Sobranies with my friend Juliet. She favors the black ones with the gold filters. They taste of elsewhere. A hole opens in the man’s palm and ants crawl in and out. I’m unimpressed. We have plenty of ants, in every sandy crack in the sidewalk. My father is at war with all nature, setting mouse and ant traps all over the house. And yelling at us if we leave the sugar bowl uncovered. But he is losing the battle. An old mop abandoned on the back porch is colonized by yellow jackets who build a nest in its snaky Medusa head. My father’s three daughters swell from flat-chested childhood into the busty rebellion of womanhood. We roll up our uniform skirts and show our legs, a shadow between the thighs. We believe, for the first time, that we are real, and begin to act accordingly. 

http://lostpaper.blogspot.com/