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Volume 34.3
Autumn 2003



Favorite haiku of the summer issue:

lather, rinse, repeat . . .
a tiny spider goes down
in the swirl
Kathy Lippard Cobb

Favorite senryu of the summer issue:

family picnic
the new wife’s rump
bigger than mine
Roberta Beary

Favorite haibun of the summer issue:

Two Seeds

Thursday, December 9, 1982

Cold after a few weeks of unusually warm weather. Brisk, windy, but bright sun, blue skies. 38 degrees.

The air is full of small flying seeds, tiny puffs from weeds or bushes or trees. These greyish white seeds, not much bigger than specks of dust, fly—or blow—up, down, and around swiftly in the wind.

Saturday, December 12, 1982.

Two of the seeds that have been drifting through the neighborhood recently have ended up in my apartment. They must have blown in through the window I had open the other day. While I was working on the handpress last night, printing the last pages of dark, the seeds wafted down from somewhere above me and landed on a sheet of paper next to the press.

As I bent down to look at them, they darted to the left about a foot and came to rest—still “pulsing” a little—on the wood surface of the table that supports the press and other printing materials. They were flying together—a few of their small delicate filaments touching the other’s—as if they were traveling companions on a flight through the universe.

Each—to the outer limits of its sphere-shaped cluster of white down—was the size of a small pea. The speck of a seed hanging from and within the fluffy ball was a bit crescent-shaped and brownish. It was about as big as a comma in 12-point type, but pointed at both ends like a tiny new moon.

The seed’s down is so fine it is invisible when the light is a certain way. When resting, the seed seems suspended about ‹/¡§ of an inch from the table’s surface, as if just hanging in air. Actually some of the invisible filaments are holding it up. The shadow of the inner seed is cast onto the table, but the shadows of the unseen filaments are nonexistent. I have to change the angle of sight or light to see the down. Of course, when they are flying you see only the down and the seeds disappear.

They seemed alive with an awareness that related to me. I thought about saving them to plant in a pot—and with that in mind, put them in the same small box with air-holes that I’d used to hold the cricket I found last fall. But, like the cricket, they would probably be better off outside.

After a few days, I just opened the window and gave them—still together—to the wind.

Fifth Avenue window
on the JAL Christmas tree
a thousand cranes

by Cor van den Heuvel



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