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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 14: August 2022
Haibun: 153 words
By Peter Newton



In the upscale food store a mock farm-stand has been constructed to display the more exotic fruits and vegetables on offer. Hefting an avocado, I am unsure how to determine its ripeness. The black-green skin of the avocado is like the skin of some long dead giant. The ancestor of elephants perhaps that wandered the not-yet parched river bottoms of pre-formed Africa. These must have been the beasts that feasted on avocados, swallowing the single-seeded fruit whole. The seed the size of a golf ball that evolved to pass through the animal intact, scarred enough to germinate but unharmed, to root in the black mud of the young riverbed. Unsure of anything except extinction and this need for the back story, the texture and heft of history, I return the fruit to its pyramid. The beast to its ruin.

in the whorls
of my fingertips
bumblebee dust

Peter Newton
Issue 14, August 2022

lives in Vermont where he works as a full-time stained glass artist. He is the author of several books in the Japanese short form tradition including What We Find (haiku); Welcome to the Joy Ride (haibun), which won a 2014 Merit Book Award for the Best Book of Haibun from the Haiku Society of America; A Path of Desire (tan renga with Kathe L. Palka); The Searchable World (haiku), which won First Place in the 2018 Merit Book Awards from the Haiku Society of America; Part-Time Gods (haibun), winner of the Snapshot Press eChapbook Award for haibun in 2021; and Glide Path (haiku), due to be published in 2022.

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