August – Haibun Monday

August follows from a grey and fearful July – the closed hatch of cities in lock-down. Concrete and buildings hunkered under shifty, flannelette skies. The grime of recycled messages from haggard, mesh-faced leaders. Closed front doors, a stultifying blank.

Resentment breeds as fast as the virus itself. Different areas, different rules. Anger like pavement cracks clicking and snapping through the suburbs. Alligator grey. Swollen river grey. The chug and swirl of a familiar landscape turned undulous and monochrome.

My friend says she will write an article and send it to the newspaper. She’s a good writer. I remember her essays from school, her debating mind, her uncompromising tone. I applaud her idea. She will arrange her thoughts in strict formation like militant fighters, not like my florid grumpings. I can almost hear the whistle of her accuracy.

jagged sprigs, chosen
bare-fingered, thinly pointed
anger in a vase


Here in Canberra, we are still waiting for the net to fall. Through a chink in the curtains, six raindrops caught in the fly mesh, the early morning sun lies flat, a cast emerald plane beneath a haloed tree. Citrus and peach seep water-colour between tree branches. I tap my foot nervously.

Written for dVerse: Frank J Tassone’s Haibun Monday – August

38 thoughts on “August – Haibun Monday

  1. Worms, I can feel the anger and vibrancy in this haibun and it’s very poetic. While not under lockdown where I live (thankfully, but cases are expecting to rise in the next couple months so fingers crossed, I guess), I too am upset at what’s next with the virus–it really doesn’t look like it’s going to be ending anytime soon. It’s the same old (but new since 2020) routine and it’s tiring. The world has changed for the worse, and I wonder if we would be where we are if people took the virus more seriously when it began. I don’t know. :/ There were and are still so many unknowns floating throughout this.

    I really adore your haiku and the emotion it brings:

    “jagged sprigs, chosen
    bare-fingered, thinly pointed
    anger in a vase”

    I love the imagery here: a flare of thin anger and the fragility of the vase. Two images you think would contrast, they fit like a puzzle here. I also absolutely resonate with these lines:

    “Resentment breeds as fast as the virus itself. Different areas, different rules. Anger like pavement cracks clicking and snapping through the suburbs.”

    It’s upsetting. I also get the vibe of “life goes on” as the piece continues, but the anger builds up and seeps into resentment of the way this life has become. I find that relatable, especially in our society today. So beautifully and poignantly penned, it makes me wish back the days when Covid didn’t exist.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Lucy. I have come to look forward to your responses the way I used to look forward to handwritten letters from my friend. 🙂. I love hearing about you and your Tauro cat and your responses to the world. I think this virus is a horrid strain on such a huge number of people for many and vastly different reasons. But today I heard a comment by a prominent Australian doctor which has set off a whole new wave of anger in me. He said that ten years ago, Covid would not have wound up a pandemic, that it’s a political problem. Because it hit when the people in power included Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, Balsenaro, Boris Johnson, etc, countries have just fended for themselves. This makes me so cranky because politics is largely to blame for the climate crisis too. Politics and money. And these things should be tools to make the world better, not weapons to drive it into the dirt. It’s so heart breaking.

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  2. can feel the tempestuous tenor of this; love the ‘grime of recycled messages from haggard. mesh-face leaders’; ‘undulous’? will have to look it up. something to do with ‘undulating’ perhaps; but my favourite phrase, humorously self-deprecating is ‘my florid grumpings’ 🙂 🙂 🙂 nothing can top that 🙂

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    1. Thanks John. I looked up undulous. It doesn’t exist. But I liked it anyway. Undulating, pendulous… whatever colour it conjures… just go with it. Glad you liked my florid grumpings. Don’t think grumpings is a word either. But what else is creativity for if not to throw a few new words into the mix. 😂

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  3. Such wonderful writing. You describe these times so well. Down here in Victoria we are just coming out of Lockdown No.5. It was a strange grey silent time. I wish you well in NSW – the words you have made up describe that feeling of waiting to see what will happen so well. Here there is a momentary sense of reprieve but for how long.

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  4. We in Canberra have had it pretty easy compared to Victoria (and now Sydney). But because of health issues, I am nervous of this Delta strain. And because of the plights of friends, I am sensitive to the hardships of lockdown. And the longer this all goes on, the more I feel for kids. Losing school camps. Losing opportunities to travel. Losing personal interactions. It’s all pervading. So glad Victoria has beaten it quickly this time though.

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    1. It’s interesting that you read heat and humidity into this. It’s winter here. Re-reading it with your comment in mind, I realize I never mentioned temperature and I can easily see how my descriptions could be read either way. It doesn’t really matter as my piece was not about the season but it’s so interesting that the same words can be perceived so differently. I never thought of summer and you never thought of winter. 😀

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      1. Ha ha! A classic case of making the words fit what we want to hear. I suppose it’s also that the rather breathless expectant waiting is something I associate with the end of summer. In winter I’m too frozen to do anything but grit my teeth and plod ahead.

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      2. I grew up in Brontë country and if I never see another snowflake again it’ll be too soon. I also have a rare blood condition that means cool temperatures make me ill. So I have an excuse for insisting on sunshine 🙂

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    1. Thank you, Ulle. My focus is poetry, emotion, colour. My friend is good at that too. But in academic writing she always was better than me. As I said to her today, anger requires marshalling. You separate out the strings of it and march it into battle if you want a newspaper to publish it. I am good at being angry. But not good at making it… factual. Does that make sense?

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Resentment breeds as fast as the virus itself. Different areas, different rules.

    That’s so ridiculous, Worms… it’s clearly easier to streamline the vaccination process in a smaller country!

    -David

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    1. Oh… there is so much I could write about the “streamlining” our government has achieved. 😂😂. I am not sure that our PM knows that word. Let’s just say science is not his priority and he has not acted with urgency in this matter.

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  6. I love this, especially the haiku.
    I’m getting pretty angry about the whole thing myself. The stupidity and selfishness of people sneaking out of locked down areas and taking COVID with them, the protests… I was in a shop in Queanbeyan last week where a guy was refusing to wear a mask or sign in… The thing about a democracy, especially one like ours where we have compulsory voting (or compulsory turning up at least) is that you can’t just blame the government – they were voted in. If they get in again after all this I’m going to start applying for jobs in NZ!

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    1. I do agree with you… except that our government is corrupt and our democracy is deeply faulty. I think our democracy has become like our economy .. it pretends to be free but is actually seriously undermined by the power of the wealthy to tip the market in their own favour through misinformation or false advertising.

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  7. A great haibun. I could feel your emotion coming through. You all have been through it down under! Seemed like covid was not affecting you too badly early on… and then here it comes again. I hope you can all get a reprieve soon. Get your shots and stay safe.
    Dwight

    Liked by 2 people

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