Simply Haiku: A Quarterly Journal of Japanese Short Form Poetry
Contents Archives About Simply Haiku Submissions Search
Winter 2005, vol 3 no 4


The Muddied Path
Ray Rasmussen, USA


An explosive fight, my wife and I struggling over how to cope with
our two teenage daughters. We agree that they are in trouble, but
not on what to do about it. We both want to believe that we are
still in control, that somehow we can influence their thinking, their behavior.

I slam out of the house, coatless, under gray cloud and drizzle.
Past the meadow where horses graze. Past the stand of tall poplars.

Damn the rain!

Damn the horses!

Damn the poplars!

On the pathway beside the swollen stream, Hokushi's haiku comes to

ashes my burnt hut
but wonderful the cherry
blooming on my hill

He lost his hut. Did he have a family? Likely not. And where in
this dank place am I to find anything blooming?

I follow the twisting trail until the rain lets up. A mist rises
from the creek. Drops hang suspended from spruce boughs. Pink
cloud shows through the canopy.

crescent moon
still I turn my gaze back
to the muddied path

Ray Rasmussen Ray Rasmussen is managing editor of contemporary haibun on line and haibun editor of the World Haiku Review. His haiku, haibun and haiga have been published in Simply Haiku, the World Haiku Review, Heron's Nest, Contemporary Haibun (print journal), contemporary haibun online, tiny words and Haiku Harvest. His web site is :