dVerse Haibun Monday: The Now

For Kim’s haibun prompt over at dVerse. A haibun is a real, not fictional writing of several tight paragraphs closed by a seasonal haiku.


public domain image Emily’s bedroom

The Now
I remember the first time I read the poetry of Emily Dickinson.  I pulled the book out and opened it up halfway through. ‘The soul selects her own society and then shuts the door”. I caught my breath. I read the poem again. I had seen the tattered book down in our library. It was one of the books my grandmother had picked up at a yard sale and brought home. It was tucked in between the Iliad and The Turn of the Screw.  I immediately began reading from the beginning: the short biography, the introduction, and poems arranged by category. I stood there that afternoon and read from the first page to the last. I was 12 years old and I had just discovered one of my favorite poets. The sun faded through the windows and then became dark. I came out of the library in a bit of a fog. “Where have you been?” asked my mother. I showed her the spine of the book. She smiled. I took the book up with me to my room and it was never replaced in the library. It traveled with me everywhere. It lives on my bedside table after all these years.

When I was a junior in University, I decided on a whim to drive to Amherst and visit the Emily Dickinson Museum. I paid for my ticket and wandered along behind the tour guide. I snuck away and stood at the doorway of her bedroom and looked and pondered. After an hour, the tour guide noticed me. She was a middle -aged lady and could sense I was totally entranced. She took me on a private tour. I even was allowed to go into her room and touch her desk where she often wrote. I saw the kitchen and the library and touched things that Emily had touched. I sat on the back steps and inhaled the summer day. I wandered around the yard and looked up at her bedroom window. The museum closed and I had to leave. I went back the next day and the next. I didn’t want to visit her grave site. I wanted to see her as she had lived. I still visit there about every three years. I am always fascinated and enthralled. I felt her presence everywhere, I heard her voice – in the words she wrote, in her home, in the samples of her handwriting. I felt that unique communication of souls in a select society.  “That it will never come again is what makes life sweet.” “Forever is composed of the nows.”

the garden is silent
except for the singing of birds –
I live in the now

public domain image Emily Dickinson museum

public domain image

永遠の愛 (Eternal Love)

She sat on the back steps of their house, the night

Warm and moist, like the bath she had earlier taken.

Black sky full of stars above, the koi pond , black and still below.

He came and sat beside her, missing her presence by His side.

“Can’t sleep?” She shook her head, her glasses

Reflecting ambient light.


He took another tack.

“So, here is my shirt.  The mystery of the missing

Sakura Matsuri shirt is solved.”


“You have on a shirt and no

Bottom.  I have on a bottom And no top.

What would the neighbors say?”


And then bitterly she said:  “They would say, What

Is that extremely handsome

Japanese man doing with that

extremely ugly Caucasian woman?

Like I hear your friends whisper

When you cannot hear.”

He picked up the end

Of her braid and pulled off the tie.

Gently and patiently he

Unwound and spread her hair,

like a shawl, over her shoulders.

He looked up at the sky.

 He looked at her, small and hunched beside him.

He took her hair in his hands and rubbed his face against

Its silk.  He breathed in its perfume.

“I will love you until the stars come

To live in the night sky of your hair.

I will love you until they burn out and turn cold.

 I will love you until they turn to dust and

are blown throughout the entire

Universe.  I will love you with last my breath.

Watashi wa anata o eien ni aishimasu.”

She looked up at him and smiled.  “I can sleep now.”

He smiled and stood and reached for

Her hand.  “Then come and let us sleep.”

Two Haiku

Big Dipper
Across the dark skies
The enormous question mark
Searches for the truth.

Dark leaves on  ground
Feel the thrust of one snowdrop.
Spring stirs in her sleep.

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