Haibun: Fall in Arizona

The haibun is a Japanese literary form combining a prose section and a haiku. I plan on doing one for each season in Arizona.


It is the day before Halloween, the last day of a week-long hitch for a conservation crew in Apache National Forest in eastern Arizona. We have been axing down tall, broad ponderosa pines to clear the way for a cattle fence that will be put up. Physically exhausting but rewarding work, though without any clear conservational value. At noon, we tool up and hike five miles back to camp, then 8 miles to the van. We camp by a creek. The 2012 election is in a week, so the far left-leaning crew talks politics. The election seems somehow distant, less real than the fire warming us in the autumn chill of high desert Arizona, less real than the woods we had lived in and worked with during the week, less real than the trees, than the moon rising above the trees. Their words and ideas, though well thought out and intelligently spoken, continue to slip through my hands, going up and away with the smoke of the fire. I stay silent and listen, to their voices, to the wind in the trees. I look to the moon.

October full moon
Trail crew talking politics
The creek flows by us


A link to a description about haibuns: http://www.poets.org/poetsorg/text/more-birds-bees-and-trees-closer-look-writing-haibun

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