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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 15: Sept. 2022
Haibun: 137 words
By Margaret Dornaus

The River

Time is a game played beautifully by children.
—Heraclitus, Fragments

It takes a day or so for me to respond to the painting she’s taken up after allowing her talent to go unnoticed for so long. In the body of her email, she calls The River “her latest.” Her colorful abstract an acrylic departure from the pen-and-ink renderings of birds she once sketched when she was younger. Full of light, her painting puts me in mind of Heraclitus’s aphorism—the one that says no river is ever experienced the same way twice. The one I reject out of hand not only for the philosopher’s use of the word man but also for his undying certainty in the certainty of change over perception.

spawning season
at the heart of the river
the long journey




Publisher’s Note:

Epigraph above is by Greek pre-Socratic philosopher Heraclitus (535-475 BCE), as quoted in Fragments (2001) translated by Brooks Haxton (Wikiquote; link retrieved on 30 August 2022).

Margaret Dornaus
Issue 15, September 2022

holds an MFA in the translation of poetry from the University of Arkansas. A semi-finalist in Naugatuck River Review’s 13th annual Narrative Poetry Contest, she had the privilege of editing and publishing a pandemic-themed anthology, Behind the Mask: Haiku in the Time of Covid-19, through her small literary press, Singing Moon, and received a Best of the Net nomination in 2020.

Her first book of poetry, Prayer for the Dead: Collected Haibun & Tanka Prose, received a 2017 Merit Book Award from the Haiku Society of America. Recent poems appear in The Ekphrastic Review, Lindenwood Review, MockingHeart Review, and Red Earth Review, as well as in the tribute series for Lawrence Ferlinghetti, I Am Still Waiting, published by Silver Birch Press.

More on the Web: By, About, and Beyond

Le Rêve, ekphrastic haibun by Margaret Dornaus which was nominated by MacQ for the Red Moon Anthologies, and selected for publication in Contemporary Haibun 17 (Red Moon Press, 2022).

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