Life Amid a Winter Scene [Haibun]

The forest is silent, and winter has painted the woods in earthen hues. Bare black loam is spottily strewn with beige to brown leaves -- dried to a curl and crunch that's almost crumbling. If any animals are moving, it's only at the eyes. There're no skittering feet, no frantic digging, no chirped warnings, and no explosive attempts to flee.

Then, at the base of a downed log, there's a lively scene of vibrant green moss and tender, burnished-orange fungi caps.

winter forest --
all seems dead or dormant,
but one tender scene

Dead Leaf Mantis [Haibun]

This mantis pulls off the dead leaf look. Its abdomen mimics a leaf - desiccated and rolled up upon itself. A barber-sign slant spiral of veins add the perfect touch. Even once one notices the six thin legs, legs invisible to all but a piercing, hunched-over stare, there remains a period during which it is more acceptable to the mind to think of it as twiggy leaves than as an insect. Amid a litter of dead leaves, I'm sure my eyes would never land on this skinny bug, but even on a rocky outcrop that's perpetually swept bare by way of the breezes that whip and wrap around the mountain, it still seems more leaf than bug. 

a dead leaf mantis,
standing in an unlikely place,
yet my mind screams, "Leaf!"

Subconscious [Haibun]

Couriers carry communiques from town to town in the country of me. These secret messages are unprojected, but couriers sometimes sneak peeks. Then, a summary can be read in an expression - a precis that could elsewise not be divined. An expression read from aspect of eye is a hint, and is as reliable as any hint  -- which is to say, not very. A hint is subject to misinterpretation. It presupposes a common language, a lingua franca that doesn't exist because one side has no language and the other is afflicted by the arrogant assumption that all things are understood via language. 

shooting signals
snap through the unmapped
spaces of my mind

Sunrise in the Karst Labyrinth [Haibun]

The sun rises; its fiery form flares in the slit between monsoon skies and rocky monoliths. The crazy array of karsts, pillars, and islets block this bright amber flash from most angles, but here the light aligns with eye. A golden walk painted on the rippled surface stretches to the boat's bow. A thousand boats won't see this rising fire, but this one did, this one time.

the sun squints
beneath thick clouds, painting
a line to us 

Colca Canyon Condor Haibun

The condor soars, riding the updraft, its back sun-gilt, its wings stretched taught and flared at the tip, its head and eye swiveling seemingly independently, as if able to pierce any point with militant precision of vision. The condor is pure power, but knows the economy of the glide. The condor seeks something meaty, for to land on a desiccated pile of bones and fur is the worst kind of insufferable, and so he glides and watches... and glides and watches...

with piercing eye
and readiness to dive
the condor soars