Volume 54.2





Favorite haiku of the Winter 2023 issue:

the lone goldfish
circles its bowl

Ferris Gilli


Favorite senryu of the Winter 2023 issue:

the vaccine
I have a choice
which arm

LeRoy Gorman


Favorite haibun of the Winter 2023 issue:

Love for Three Oranges

This summer holiday is meant as a new beginning. Since their father’s death that they are too young to remember, I have kept them so close, I fear they may suffocate. Tied to me by an anxiety which has become an invisible leash, they have become highly attuned to my nerves and—like dogs hearing the ultrasonic whistle of my vigilance—never stray far from my side and are quick to return to heel if I call them back. This place, where there is space and time for them to roam, safe in the countryside, not too many strangers, no amenity beach-fun where they might be hurt in carefree pursuits, carelessly put together by untogether guys, the kind of guys who offer boat-trips, water-skiing, paragliding, with frayed ropes and no insurance. I have to let them be free. I can see they are starting to become like me.

shells fall
broken and bleached
into tomorrow’s coral

The man who comes to clear the pool—and comes with references as long as the Mediterranean day—tells them about a grove near his mother’s villa. He says it is sacred to the ancient gods. It’s only a short walk. Through an olive grove, where the dry dusty leaves hide the plump black fruit that shines beneath them like the jeweled eyes of snakes. They beg me to let them go, to see the magic for themselves. Just an hour, they say, just an hour. He will come for them at eight. They will take their phones. On the condition I don’t call or text every two minutes. For an hour I am in agony. I pace. I wring my hands. I know they are dead. The phone is a hot and slippery reptile in my hand. At nine o’clock they return, with bronzed faces, excitedly telling me about the freshly picked oranges his mother gave them for breakfast.

after rain
on a blade of grass
a string of suns

by Louise Longson              




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