THE HAIBUN GALLERY 7 April — a Thursday feature

Updated: Apr 15

hosts: Shalini Pattabiraman & G. Akila

7th April 2022

The Song in Old Men

idle summer day

sucking the meat

from a fig

As an old man, I dream the seasons out. October reds and yellows bury my house, and through winter I nod over the songbook of Ra, feeding sticks to the fire. What else have I to do? lazy me,

autumn’s leaves

stay unswept

Pale morning light condenses starlight’s unutterable simplicity to water-beads on the window. The wet hand of the fog stirs and wakens each folded, sleeping thing — the secret heart and flower dream of seed pods, the mouth-parts of moths, the wrapped leaf becoming a butterfly, the cosmos inside a newt’s cold egg.

Astonished, I see with what holy bearing the greater cloven force of earth comes to each quiet, waiting form, how each lifts and rises to meet the ocean-borne baptism. A few weeks yet, and on forest floor, and up where the high meadow hangs on the ice-ledge, the wild, bright storms of spring will blossom in rainbowed cataracts.

What then remains to do? Past fennel-cutters on a hillside, wet in fog, fast and single-hearted I am swimming the steep upward stream, through clouds in rifts and singing foams, to the water-tombs, where I am promised rest in a sunlit pool, where beneath the hardwood tree I will sleep as promised, my eternal year as loved one, the husbandman of death: pillowed, covered, dreamless.

spring moon . . .

moth to


Michael McClintock

From Modern Haiku, Summer 2003


Some additional links to his work:

The song that springs forth from life is everywhere. What do you hear?

We are delighted to open the comment thread for you to share your unpublished haibun (within 300 words) to be considered for inclusion in haikuKATHA monthly journal.


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