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  • Writer's picturePenny Harter


It’s been a while since a new poem found me. And this haibun feels quite different from the poems I’ve been posting in recent weeks. Maybe memories of childhood back-to-school time triggered this, combined with the fact that so much is still unknowable about where we are in this pandemic journey.

October Riddles

once again I fail

to accurately count the beans

in a large glass jar

Kick through the growing drifts of fallen leaves to separate the red from the yellow. How many of each?

If two clouds are drifting in different directions, which one will get there first?

Multiply the time of day by the speed of the wind for an accurate map. How many spinning weathervanes know the answer?

elementary, those

pesky word problems

that haunt me still

Tally the clouds at sunset when they congregate on the horizon to sink into coral, purple, and finally dark smudges against the night sky.

How many drooping sunflowers in that farmer’s field are going to seed under infinite stars?

Months of pandemic days have melted into lonely nights. What melted them? Will they fall off the edge of the Earth?

And so we go . . . but when and where?

distant whistles

of a freight train ride

the autumn wind

(c) copyright 2020 Penny Harter

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