Haibun Today

A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Editor
Volume 4, Number 2, June 2010

Owen Bullock
Waihi, New Zealand



This time it was a new cooker; she boiled the cabbage dry and black. She left me to soak and then scraped furiously. Eventually I was popped out in the shed – abandoned!

For a time I was used by the husband to put clothes pegs in, but when the handle broke on the favourite enamel I was brought back inside. She decided I wasn’t as far gone as she’d first thought.

So, restored to duty, I cradled leeks, carrots and mushrooms and once, when her father came to stay, she made a saffron sauce. Unfortunately, the husband threw me out for good at that point.

I’ve been at the bottom of this garden now for twenty-one years. The birds have been good company, though some away months at a time, like men on oil-rigs. The other day a grandchild picked me up, tipped out the old nest and made puddings of mud and snails, which I enjoyed more than the saffron.

early morning
a thousand chores
occur to leaves

not long
before green shoots
turn brown

stalks making
short rhythms
on bark




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