Kikakuza Haibun Contest 2009-2010 - English Section

Home Sweet Home  

upturned rocks                
an echidna's night
of ecstasy

It's jacaranda time; their blues blend well with the silky oaks' bronze blooms. A joey nibbles on blades of jeweled green. Ah, spring, impossible to ignore, a welcome injection of verve for new life, colours, scents, sounds. The weeds and strangling vines have gone berserk. I have six months' work ahead of me! For days we've endured high temperatures. It's humid, stormy. Yet, in spite of tornadoes, venomous snakes and ticks, I am thrilled to return to this humble home. Sadness has lifted. It is good to be greeted by my dog; no need to stress at sounds of bounding thuds, it's only a passing kangaroo; how wonderful to hear the bamboos rattle and the kookaburras' chorus; see the blue wrens, galahs, the eagles soaring above those rocky peaks. A pacific heron pair has returned to nest, high in the old messmate gum at the bottom of my garden. Today I listened to the chirping of a chick - a white, fluffy “Bart Simpson hairdo” shuffled on top of a carefully constructed stack of sticks. Again, sadly, these parents have the problem of fighting off attacking crows. I guess, like me, they really like this vibrant place, and understand that strength comes through adversity. Without this nature my life is empty.

real life living        
a dead lizard in the sink
snakeskin at the door



Sixty-eight is on the gate
if you should come this way

where Jacaranda petals fall,
spread purple circles on green
carpets curved by azaleas ablaze

with pinks and reds and gold.
Drooping orchids ooze light sweet scents.
Festooned wisteria, honeysuckle hugging jasmine,

rondeletia, ginger, frangipani and more.
Gardenia, portwine-magnolia scented nights;
ah, this perfumed garden divine. Intoxicating, warm

mellow air of early spring in paradise. Dear friend
it's really awfully nice if you
should come this way

where mating pythons
slip and slide,
become one plait

then untwist
slink silently

sunset haze.

Sixty-eight is on the gate
if you should come this way.


first published at <>
august 2005

Avoidance As Therapy
I foresee the rest of my life
will be spent cleaning
mouse-poo off my kitchen shelves,
feeding those darned no-laying hens,
fussing about one dear toothless cow;
a daily search for ticks on the geriatric dog;
tugging fat leeches from my skin,
slashing these overgrown paddocks;
pulling on vines, yanking out weeds,
chopping the wood; planting, planting
basil and tomatoes and beans...
mulching, mulching, mulching
and, if at all, there’s energy left,
relaxing at sunset
without any thoughts
on some lover

bed before moonrise
breakfast with the morning star
letting go the past 


"Avoidance As Therapy," first published in Persimmon Tree, International Issue, at October 2012