Simply Haiku: A Quarterly Journal of Japanese Short Form Poetry
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Autumn 2006, vol 4 no 3


Sunny Side
Ray Rasmussen


On the radio, Louis Armstrong croons: "Leave your worries on the doorstep, life can be so sweet, on the sunny side of the street."

Downstairs, on our side of the street, my daughter is caught up in a hacking cough.

"Don't worry dad, it's just a cold," she says.

Louis sings on: "I used to walk in the shade with my blues on parade . . ." It's a live recording--the audience clapping and cheering at the end.

Another staccato coughing fit. I switch to a blues station.

Does she believe herself? HIV positive, the cigarettes lower her resistance, make an AIDS response more likely.

mountain ash berries glow
blood red

Ray Rasmussen became interested in haiku poetry after photographing the Kurimoto Japanese Garden [] near his home in Edmonton, Canada. He searched the Internet for Asian poetry to supplement his images and was taken by the simplicity and beauty of haiku and of the haibun style of writing.

Ray's publications are found in Contemporary Haibun, Contemporary Haibun Online, The Heron's Nest, Tiny Words, World Haiku Review, Simply Haiku, haigaonline, Haiku Harvest and Life Sherpa.

His web site, Haibun Journal, contains more of his own haibun as well as the work of other writers in the genre.

Ray formerly served as Haiga Editor and Webmaster for Simply Haiku. He is currently the managing editor of Contemporary Haibun Online [CHO] and haibun Editor for the World Haiku Review.

Ray's personal website is Ray's Web []; his haiku related website is Haiku [].