KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 8: August 2017
Haibun: 150 words

Birds Above Us

by Bill Gottlieb

We never learn the name of the talkative old man but Happy is his dog’s. Our dog Max—blind as a cave crayfish—bobs and holds and bolts and barks, playing with Happy, grinning like a curly fool, a genius of now. Above in the lubricious blue the wingspans of pelicans drip spring. Hundreds have been wintering on Clear Lake, circling baitfish with their beating wings, driving them into shallow water for confederates to feed on, trading places and dining in turn, patient as parents, lovers, friends. Their bones like bells are full of air, ring in the sun. The V of their heavenly lanes letter our earthen eyes, ground minds. Beneath their transports the plum trees can’t help but flower into pink applause. We hold hands, two abating bodies born in the round of days, and wish to rise.

lighter than a feather
a blackbird’s


Bill Gottlieb
Issue 8, August 2017

is a certified health coach, the author of 16 self-help health books that have sold three million copies and have been translated into 10 languages, and the former editor-in-chief of Rodale Books. His haibun and tanka prose have appeared in various journals, including Modern Haiku, Contemporary Haibun Online, Haibun Today, Frogpond, cattails, KYSO Flash, and tinywords.

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