Haibun Today

A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Editor
Volume 5, Number 4, December 2011

Jeffrey Harpeng
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia



the way to the park
is one flowering weed
after another
a bouquet of small wishes
with such short stems

The children in the park are paper dolls folded from origami sheets. Each was scribed with prayers before they were creased.

Shreds of those scrawled wishes and hopes still show. Where one sock has rolled lower than the other, a blessing circles an ankle. On a girl's brow, when she brushes her hair aside, there is written in flesh tone ink, "When I picture your face, I see all the hope in the world."

On labels under collars are tiny prayers, a list of conditions for care.

The hair of one girl is wound into a dark curl, a small vertigo that is time itself. Half a dozen girls have paper wings, and say they are angels. "No!" says one, "I am a noisy mynah. I will chase the angels out of their nests."

The girls have just flown around the playground on a treasure hunt. The boys rush on feet of waxed brown paper and tin foil. With your eyes closed, you can follow them by the sound of crumpling paper.

The treasure is a Piñata. With a stick, the paper children take turns to give it a whack.

no blackbirds
in a pie       just sugar rocks
broken off
heaven's floor, or
some exploded planet


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