KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 10: Fall 2018
Haibun: 176 words

Accidents of Light

by Bill Gottlieb

Our friends are across from us at the storied restaurant, beer bubbling its bitter bling, beef feeble in the bowl. H. relates the sad tale of her cat’s last days—the plump lump in his well-petted neck; the mouth and throat blackening, venom spreading, a fatal stain; the final spasms and pants; the silence, severe, reverent.

Earlier in the day, D., whose wife is dying—voice a crawl of slow vowels, breath thready in the thick dark—wanted to know how I had carried on with the care of my dying wife, given vigor even as I grieved.

You set your face in the styles of hope. You pose the hopeless in sunshine, eyes open to the accidents of light. And you close those vacated eyes like the covers of a book you read one summery evening, by a fountain’s talents of water, where a jay sipped and preened, bold as a blue rose—a flower for the newly dead, a flower for the love-worn dying.

camellia blossoms
the blood the body


Bill Gottlieb,
Issue 10, Fall 2018

the former editor-in-chief of Prevention Books and Rodale Books, is the author of 15 health books that have sold more than three million copies, a journalist whose bylines have appeared in many magazines and periodicals, and a literary artist whose haibun and haiku have been published recently in KYSO Flash, Modern Haiku, Contemporary Haibun Online, Haibun Today, Frogpond, bottle rockets, tinywords, cattails, Manzanita, and other journals. Bill lives in northern California near The Mountain of Attention, a sanctuary established by Heart-Master Da, his spiritual guide of 40 years.

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