KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 10: Fall 2018
Haibun: 233 words


by Claire Everett
—for Edith

Oh as I was young and easy in the mercy of his means,
Time held me green and dying
Though I sang in my chains like the sea.

—from “Fern Hill” by Dylan Thomas

moon of green corn
a fast-food carton wedged
between stalks

A page chosen at random finds you gathering Rest-harrow, Knapweed, Blackberry blossom, and pink Centory. You speak of strawberries abundant along the banks and it is no task to imagine their sweet calligraphy, illuminated here and there with the darting ink of dragonflies and the shimmer of fritillaries, the like of which few who lately pause here have ever seen. Later, you hear the nightjar, the erstwhile voice of a poet’s dusk.

And in not so many suns from this bookmarked day, the light of morning will find you reaching, but not for your pen, or your brush...

once in chestnut shade...
a broken umbrella
floats downstream

Author’s Note: Edith Blackwell Holden (1871–1920), British artist, teacher, and illustrator of children’s books, became a household name with the posthumous publication, in 1977, of her Nature Notes for 1906 under the title The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady. Her love for flora and fauna played a part in her untimely death, when she fell into the Thames and drowned, having reached for a branch of chestnut buds that she was presumably planning to paint that day.


Publisher’s Note: “Fern Hill” is from The Poems of Dylan Thomas (W. W. Norton & Company: a New Directions Book, 1971).


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