Haibun Today
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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Editor
Volume 4, Number 1, March 2010


Jeffrey Harpeng
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

 

Daddy-long-legs

Daddy-long-legs is the Balinese shadow-puppet offspring of Kali and Fred Astaire. The legs are more pipe cleaner than stove pipe. They are emaciated kin to that asterisk Kurt Vonnegut used to describe the arsehole of the universe, only Mr. Long-legs is writ with the Rotring pen the great architect used to design the rainbow's arc, and sketch the segments in a dragonfly's wing. Oh, those lines were a perfect asterisk with the emphasis on risk, till his dark little gravity snapped those ink scratches.

The götterdamnedest thing is that old gangly legs don't tap like his daddy, though you might sense the threatening semaphore of his ma. A two step becomes an epileptic polka whenever the band strikes up a tune, any one of those swaying numbers the wind tries out in the tree tops or the power lines. You can see how he tries to please when you whistle on him. A polka mutates into a spider-trot. And if you should blow him off the wall he'll give you a lesson in spider humour. The line gets teased out but he does not fall.

But now in the lounge room ceiling corner where you used to hang out there's just a flyspeck or two.

sweaty night
an Asian gecko's klack hints where
my lanky muse has gone

 

 

 


 

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