Spectacle {a haibun}

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[Photo by Ganeshrg, Wikimedia Commons]

When dragonflies swarm, people stop what they are doing and watch. They call their friends over. They take photos of themselves surrounded by a blur of wings.

This is what happened one day at work.

You couldn’t walk outside without bumping into them. For twenty minutes, all anyone could talk about with any passion was a gathering of dragonflies.

Even people who bolt outside every day with their mind on cellphones or cigarettes or any number of urgencies, even the distracted and the burdened, were compelled to observe.

I sat at my desk watching the dragonfly watchers. I had noticed the creatures days ago when there were only one or two. My desk has a window view.

No one paid them any attention back then, when they were so small in number.

Two dragonflies sew
the seams of clouds, moving slow
across my window

Patterns {a haibun}

There is uncertainty in the growth of living things. But there are also patterns.

All day the leaves were in motion. Now the pelting rain is here and they are still. Branches are crooked things, yet they are beautiful.

There are hints of perfection in the geometric shapes of cells and wings and flowers and fruit. And there is certainty in death and birth.

end of storm…
watching the rain get thinner
eating birthday cake

The Vines {a haibun}

I step outside my front door at sunset, stooping to pick up a loose paper. It is wet with rain, and the writing is smudged. The handwritten words sink in: “Please clean vines off home”. It is signed by the property manager. He gives me one week to comply.

There are no vines to my left or right. Grumbling, I walk around to the back of the house and discover the offender. It stretches from ground to roof, weaving its way through the slats of vinyl siding.

How will I reach that height without a tall ladder? What if I fall standing on something? I do not have the proper cutting tool. There is no one to help me. It is getting too dark to see.

That night, I cry softly. How did the vines grow so tall so fast? Would I need to hire someone? I imagine the stubbornness of the vines–their thickness, their invasiveness, their resistance.

Hot summer morning…
kitchen scissors snipping vines–
one by one they fall.