For breakfast I eat up my vowels, my a e i o u, to which I add from consonants a fricative or two;
After that I move my bowels then write as poets do, and frequently am quite surprised to feel a trill come through.

Monday, 31 October 2011

Halloween Haibun


I saw my granddad strolling up ahead and tried to mimic his walk: the rhythm of his stride, the swing of arms - how he held his head, shaped his hands - and in the moment that I had it I found myself inside his eyes, his length of spine. In shock I stopped and broke the spell, and as I stopped he stumbled, fell. As he rose he saw me standing there, came to me and, telling me "Never do that again," took my hand and walked me home.

a bird's skull:
from its sockets
I see me looking

The Night She Died

I woke in the night and saw her on the landing at the top of the stairs, standing in the darkness with a stillness that seemed to slow everything down. Although she was just a silhouette, I knew it was Mrs. Hall; despite that she seemed so strangely tall, her head nearly touching the ceiling. Against the pull of fear, I pushed myself to get up and make my way to my parents' bedroom. I felt her watching me, but she did not move. At the landing, I edged sideways along the wall, reaching beside me for the handle of my parents' door. The silence and the shadows were broken by light and the noise of my baby sister crying, my parents yelling at each other. Mum noticed me in the doorway and shouted at me to get back to bed; I burst into tears and cried out that Mrs. Hall was on the stairs. Dad looked around the house but there was nobody there. It was only a dream they assured me. Next day Mrs. Hall was found hanging through the attic space at the top of her stairs, her smothered baby shrouded in a sheet. We were moved into her house a few months later. When I saw Mrs. Hall on the night that she died, it wasn't to be the last time I'd see her.

candle smoke
from a pumpkin smile:
darkened eyes

'Witch-walking' and 'The Night She Died' first appeared in World Haiku Review, January 2011

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