Haibun Today

A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Editor
Volume 4, Number 4, December 2010

Glenn G. Coats
Prospect, Virginia, USA


Stars Over the Water

first light
Grandpa’s honey
on burnt toast

The house at Ocean Gate belonged to my mother’s parents. It was one block away from a brackish bay and used only in the summertime. The kerosene stove in the kitchen provided some heat in April when the house was opened up. Relatives (at least the grown-up ones) slept in three small bedrooms that lined up beside the living room. Children slept on the front porch with the stereo and the Eddie Fisher records. They slept on couches, cots, or on the floor in sleeping bags. My grandmother and grandfather climbed a narrow flight of stairs and slept in the attic.

noisy gulls
my grandmother sweeps voices
from the kitchen

My grandparents watched wrestling on television. They believed it was real and on Friday nights pulled their chairs up close to the screen as Argentina Appolo soared like a bird in the air and Bobo Brazil sent his opponents flying through the ropes. Haystacks Calhoun crossed the ring like the shadow of a mountain and my grandparents were mesmerized. There were villains like Gorilla Monsoon and Killer Kowalski who garnished boos and sneers from the crowd. The hero was Bruno Sammartino who for my grandmother and grandfather symbolized good standing up against evil.

I stole away to the boardwalk where teenagers clung together like flowers in the pavilions. They held each other and whispered. I smoked cigarettes with my friends. We shook pinball machines until they rocked like boats. My grandparents never knew if I had left the house or returned, all of us captivated by the unknown.

in a house that snores
August moon

The haiku “noisy gulls” first appeared in bottle rockets V9, N2 (2008).






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