Haibun Today

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

Kathe L. Palka
Flemington, New Jersey, USA


Parvin State Park, New Jersey

Nearly 2,000 acres on the edge of the Pine Barrens. Both pines and a mixed swamp hardwood forest. Flowering trees and shrubs adorn the woods in spring—rhododendron, magnolia, laurel, azalea. Wildflowers and wildlife abound.

as the woods brightens
fills the upturned blossoms
of a hundred dogwoods

When our sons were young, every year during Easter break we rented a cabin on Lake Thundergust, the smaller of two manmade lakes in the park. A step up from tent camping. Days of fishing, hikes, bikes, and canoeing. After dinner, marshmallows cooked over a campfire. The cabins are little, but well equipped. Rough, wood construction built by the CCC* in the 1930s. The kitchenette and ¾ bath a later addition. Two narrow bedrooms with a thin wall between, and bunk beds. Our two boys took one, and we the other. They'd fall asleep early, after days of fresh air and activity. We'd share a bunk and make love as quietly as possible, then whisper into the night.

mute swans
freed from estates
return each year
to nest with the same mate—
Lake Thundergust

*CCC – Civilian Conservation Corps

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