Simply Haiku: A Quarterly Journal of Japanese Short Form Poetry
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Winter 2006, vol 4 no 4


Moving On
Ray Rasmussen


My last day at work. Files dumped into recycle bins; books sent to the library; the computer erased, ready for the next occupant.

The plants have not fared well. Into the wastebasket go the remains of the Crown of Thorns–a friend's gift when I took over as Department Chair. It likely died during one of those interminable meetings where egos reign and little is accomplished.

Mementoes cover one wall. A cartoon drawn by an artist friend shows humans and animals at a round table. Ah, those heady days when I thought environmental issues could be solved by bringing all the parties together: oil men, foresters and ranchers; indigenous peoples, hunters and environmentalists. One new park and one hundred failures.

There are a number of teaching awards. On occasion I run into a middle-aged stranger who holds out a hand and says, "You probably don't remember me, but I had you for a class when I was at university." I'm touched by these unexpected meetings and say, "I hope the class did you some good."

In a photo, my wife and two young daughters smile with arms entwined. The ensuing teen years and drugs wreaked considerable damage. Perhaps they will once again embrace one another.

I look out the window, the sun bright on spring's greenery, the jingle of RV keys in my pocket, the fishing gear packed.

a long winter—
yet how quickly
the snow melts

Ray Rasmussen Ray Rasmussen is managing editor of contemporary haibun online 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:

Ray coaches both haiku and haiku composition. If interested, contact him at: