Skip to main content

KYSO Flash

Big thanks to Clare McQueen, Founding Editor of the dynamic and inspiring KYSO Flash online journal for publishing a selection of my haibun in the latest issue. There's also a call for submissions for haibun stories for the next two issues in June and November. Read more here.


Stories

once upon a time no one lived happily ever after

Their kids loved the stairs. They’d only lived in ranch-style houses around South Florida before that summer of ’88 when we stayed with them for three months. When we all sat around the table for dinner every night, late into the night, where we laughed and told stories and gave each other Indian names: Walks like Worm, Flies Alone, Lies a Lot.

“The two-storey house,” their kids still say when they talk about it, grown up now, some of them with kids of their own. It had an orange grove to one side, a kidney shaped swimming pool, a giant Melaleuca tree in the front yard. But it was the stairs they loved the most.

At the end of that summer, I heard their mother whispering into the phone behind a closed door at the top of the stairs. “I love you, honey,” she said. Her husband was downstairs watching TV.

When they moved to Georgia they lived in a three-storey house, but they never talk about that or how their mother’s new lover moved into her bedroom on the top floor and their father slept in the basement. The beginning of another story.

First published in KYSO Flash January 2015.

Popular posts from this blog

haiku: a poetry of absence or an absence of poetry?

The following paper was presented at the PALA (Poetics and Linguistics Association) 2015 Conference at Canterbury University, Kent, UK on 16th July 2015. 
Abstract: HAIKU: A POETRY OF ABSENCE OR AN ABSENCE OF POETRY? Minimalism in Contemporary English Language Haiku
The popular perception of haiku as three lines of 5, 7 and 5 syllables persists in the mainstream poetry world and beyond as if nothing has changed since the first Western translators counted the onji, or sounds, in traditional Japanese haiku and created that misconstrued but enduring template fleshy enough to support a traditional English syntax.
And while putting flesh on bones might be a useful metaphor for the construction of formal and free verse, contemporary English language haiku practice is often more akin to the trimming and polishing of bones to create a form where point of view, adjectives and even verbs may be dispensed with entirely. 
This 30 minute presentation will analyse examples of minimal, micro and monostich…

Haibun

When in doubt say ‘yes’ 

November: a month that begins with a syllable of prohibition then slowly denies us colour and warmth. My father's brother has died at 91. This morning’s frost refuses to melt. I watch a day moon swallowed by smoky clouds; leaves shroud the bare earth beneath the apple trees.
But tonight, as if his age and health are no more than a random number, a misconception, my father's voice on the phone so clear, so bright. And the sky beyond the orchard fired by sunset. Yes. Oh yes.
fall
I try
not to





First published in CHO July 2017

haiku commentary ~ Annette Makino

Sometimes life and poetry intersect naturally. I had a brutal wardrobe clear-out yesterday, as witnessed by the pile of clothes hangers in the centre of the bed and a bulging large carrier bag destined for the charity shop.  And then, through one of those random extended internet excavations, I came across this haiku by Annette Makino, published by tinywords a few years ago which I'd commented on briefly. 

hanging in my closet the person I used to be

Reading it again still elicited a similar variety of responses: laughter, recognition, resignation and sadness. And this time part of ‘the person I used to be’ was neatly folded at my feet! 
Most of us keep clothes that no longer fit us, or suit us. I still have an ostentatious, ostrich feather bolero that I bought in the early 1980s and will never wear again but hold onto from a sense of nostalgia. But the haiku also propels me towards imagining clothes that belonged to someone else, a husband, wife or partner who may have left, or died…