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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 23: 28 April 2024
Haibun: 125 words
By Peter Newton

The Wisdom So Far


In winter, we use a makeshift clothesline that stretches from the window to the metal oval ring above the tub. When not in use, wooden clothespins cling to the worn cotton rope, reminding me of birds. I soak in the tub below. Eventually, the water grows cold enough for a polar bear. But up until that point, I steep in the silence of birds at rest, the height of summer, the heat of it all with its bounty and blur of memory, my ears just under the surface blocking the everyday traffic trying to get in. Sometimes, I think, allowance is what you give yourself. The house music of my heart, thumping in the background.

given   but not   a given   life

Peter Newton
Issue 23 (April 2024)

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 (HSA); 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 HSA; Part-Time Gods (haibun), winner of the Snapshot Press eChapbook Award for haibun in 2021; and Glide Path (haiku), the Second Place Winner in the 2023 Merit Book Awards from the HSA.

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