November 2013

 
After the Fall
 
 
In these moments that wash up wave after wave over my sand-gritted toes, I am redeemed once more by the coolness hidden within the sound of the Pacific's lapping infinity.  
 
What resonances of the body's memory awaken? 
 
Does it manifest once more the taste of lime freeing up the papaya's secrets? The refreshment of springwater trickling over my wrists? The face of the dawn goddess haunting the man-devouring night? The universe unearthed beneath the windbreaking macrocarpas? The delirium of summer honeysuckling through the wind? The quiver of the compass needle's endless yearning? The mildew creeping along the wallpaper? The words that once blew a universe into life? The furriness of childhood-raided peaches? The shiver of penetration? The smell of a long unopened book? The diurnal ebb and flow of a haiku? The pause after a nocturnal breath exhaled? The pain of nails tearing the flesh?
 
without wind . . .
the music that once
knew my soul
 
The Return
 
 
I was born and raised on a post WW2 rehab loan funded farm in New Zealand. My father and his brother pooled their loans to buy and break gumland scars into a livelihood. Dad was an ambulance driver, based in London up to the Battle of Britain, and my uncle was at Tobruk. Another uncle perished on a farm near the Belgian border after a reconnaissance flight over Berlin.
 
rehab farm —
unspent shells weather
into ploughshares
 
Only Connect
 
 
This afternoon I spent several hours in a quiet place on the cliffs above incoming waves looking out to Mana island with clouds swelling up from the horizon. For some of that time an aging Maori couple sat nearby also lost in silent contemplation of their own sublime emptiness. No words were exchanged but the depth of connection between us, the sea, the land, the birds and vegetation brings a stillness that the wind, the sound of birds and the relentless movement of the sea only deepens.
 
The wife of a close friend is in the inexorable process of the last stages of metastasized cancer of the liver. Many of us are going through the process with her in the only way that we can be present to the abiding human loneliness she is now experiencing more deeply.
 
ebb tide . . .
the undercurrents
of silence

cattails  Premier Edition - January 2014
Editor's Choice - Haibun


Editor's Comments

Sometimes the most complex interactions we have with others revolve around birth and death. On the one hand, not one of us can avoid these two events, nor can they be experienced in a way that allows them to be fully shared with others. Yet, there we are in the midst of "the end", without words that matter, without explanations that truly have meaning. In the end it is the "silence" that most fully defines these moments, and completes the "sharing". This haibun brings this fact into sharp relief without a wasted syllable. Silence indeed takes a ‘form’ of it’s own, and fills the spaces in and between.

—UHTS Haibun Editor Mike Rehling, USA