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squeaky train plunges into a fishbowl station. No way forward: the rail
is buried in sand. Next to the station, another fishbowl, a market, but
there is an outdoor bazaar as well, where smells compete with colours
and sounds for your attention. Grilling shashlik sizzles over a live
charcoal fire sending droplets of burning oil in all directions. The
honey man sucks his golden fingers. These tradesmen sitting on empty
polystyrene boxes, what new kind of Silk Road brought them here?
white Styrofoam grains
tumble in the wind
published in "Shamrock" No 9, 2009)
Museum of the Revolution, Moscow
revolutions smell of dust. Behind the red plush curtains, a mahogany
table with a gramophone that plays songs of forgotten solidarity, the
songs now devoid of rage. Nearby, a sculpture of a worker tearing up a
cobblestone street. "Cobblestone, a weapon of the Proletariat." Other
weapons of street fighting, or are these torture instruments? Flags,
plenty of those. Even more portraits. Models of battleships... When you
leave, the machine-gun of the armoured car takes aim at the back of
an Asian-looking face
of Karl Marx
(First published in
"Contemporary Haibun Online" Vol. 8, No 3, October 2013)
"People are excellent advertisements of ideas," a cigarette cowboy lets
out a small chuckle mixed with a puff of smoke. "We use them as
signboards. Welcome to Marlboro town."
The afternoon darkens into
evening. The crimson sun droops down in the West highlighting the
façades of buildings and some country folk hanging low overhead outside
saloons and shops. The way they smile is supposed to help the visitors
to tell the ones from the others.
There are no visitors around,
though. Good old boys are quietly rocking on their lassos and
exchanging words, rather melancholically.
"Cig cowboys won't go on
forever," a man named Winston sweats. "They have all kinds of
"And too many private jokes,
which is also sickness," his pal Kent ruminates.
The nearby hills are obscured
by smoke. The winds have dropped, and the bushes stand stock-still
while a Camel crosses the painted poster with the Montana desert.
in the sycamore
published in "Haibun Today" Vol. 7, No 2, June 2013)
Odd man out, on his own out there, an ash-coloured koala, with fluffy
ears and dark blots on his muzzle that resemble open eyes. The black
slots of his eyes, however, are almost always closed.
In his dream, he returns to
the lost paradise of his ancestors' secrecy. He grumbles contentedly.
Or does he groan? Do other creatures of his kind make the same
His motionless figure is
sharply defined against the pale sky. A bitter and cutting northerly
wind throws shrunken leaves into his enclosure.
the slow air of
(First published in "Contemporary Haibun Online" Vol. 9, No 1, April
Suspension of Time
Little strip of eternity...
Soon after leaving the station the train pauses on a bridge. The night
is devoid of sound. The nearby posts have numbers and yellow markings.
A falling star stops and reinvents itself as a signal light. A brighter
light highlights the entrance to a café. Across the street, a huge
screen shows through the haze. A "Coca-Cola" ad has been swallowed, an
ad for a film disgorged.
after dusk it shines,
the hotel called 'The End
of the Millennium'
(First published in "Haibun
Today" Vol. 7, No 1, March 2013)