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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 12: March 2022
Haibun: 193 words
By Harriot West



A fan whirs, pushing hot air round and round the room. I’m trying to read Oliver Twist, the book Grandmère gave me, but the pages smell of must, and the book is heavy so I grab some pencils off her desk and watch the blades snap them, one by one, until I have a pile of yellow stubs.

& then I reread Mother’s postcard.

Lazy day sunning. We had a swim before lunch. Then a siesta. Yummy shrimp for dinner. Later we went dancing with a couple from Scotland. Lots of fun.

This morning I learned fireflies can’t live in a Mason jar no matter how many holes I poke in the lid. Tonight we had grits for dinner. I thought they were mashed potatoes so I piled my plate. Nothing to do now but push the porch swing back and forth and listen to it squeak.

& then I reread another postcard.

Last night we had the best lobster. The day goes by so fast we never seem to eat before 10. Leave San Sebastian tomorrow. Hate to go. If only we had more time.

behind this veil of clouds...
a wishing star


Harriot West
Issue 12, March 2022

lives in Eugene, Oregon. She is a three-time winner of the Modern Haiku award for best haibun as well as a recipient of the Museum of Haiku Literature Award. Her first book, Into the Light (Mountains and Rivers Press, 2014), a collection of haibun and haiku, tied for first place in the 2015 Haiku Society of America’s Mildred Kanterman Book Awards. Her second book, Shades of Absence, a collection of haibun and tanka prose, was published in 2018 by Red Moon Press.

More on the Web: By, About, and Beyond

Things I’ll Never Tell You, haibun by Harriot West which was nominated by MacQ for the Red Moon Anthologies, and selected for publication in Contemporary Haibun 17 (Red Moon Press, 2022).

West’s ekphrastic haibun story Picking Sunflowers for Van Gogh first appeared in KYSO Flash online and is reprinted in our 2016 anthology, State of the Art. And we were thrilled when this charming piece was selected as one of 55 winners for reprinting in The Best Small Fictions 2017 anthology, guest edited by Amy Hempel.

Featured Writer: Harriot West in Contemporary Haibun Online (Volume 11, Number 1, April 2015); includes “a brief bit of advice” (86 words, in fact) from West on writing haibun, as well as her haibun “A Brief Analysis of Contemporary Society As Seen Through My Eyes”

Until One Day I Said Enough: Harriot West on Haibun, an interview by Jeffrey Woodward in Haibun Today (Volume 9, Number 1, March 2015)

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