December 2003, Volume 1, Number 6

Bruce Ross: Haibun


Old Cedar Grove

There was still snow on most of the upper trail up Cougar Mountain. I was here to visit the ancient cedar grove at its top. Just before the old-growth stand is a rock outcrop covered with small stone cairns set up to mark this awesome spot and a wooden bridge across a tiny creek. It is absolutely still. In the silence a red mountain squirrel noiselessly hops across a fallen cedar. The trees begin to tower over you. The atmosphere is deepened even more by the witch's hair lichen drooping like Spanish moss from the lower branches. Some hangs over the snowbound creek and some has fallen into a pool of snow melt where it lies in coiled gray-white stillness like some discarded strands of my grandmother's hair left as a memento. The atmosphere deepens still more. These trees are thought to be 600 to 1,000 years old. I realize that I am in some deeply profound way in a very ancient place.

early spring mountain . . .
the witch's hair hanging from
an old dead tree

Pub:World Haiku Review


Bruce Ross is the editor of Haiku Moment and Journey to the Interior, American Versions of Haibun and author of How to Haiku, A Writer's Guide to Haiku and Related Forms and three collections of haiku. He lives with his wife in Maine where they climb mountains, cross-country ski, and birdwatch.

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