HAIKU AND TWO HAIBUN by Donna Fleischer


rail cars stacked with wood
slowly pass the living
I whisper to them, kaddish

originally published in Lilliput Review



The Golden Scorpion

a faint patina of gold, preserved in resin and suspended within
the pink room of a polymer dome. its pincers open, and almost
touching. an ache in the look of it. labial-like folds cover the pale
pink suggestion of a mouth.

long and segmented, an abdomen; somewhere a heart? so little
difference between love and hunger. lodged there, the size of an
ant, some matter that has grown dark.
the tail’s arabesque rises and curves downward, encasing a
tiny, black-tipped stinger. i think of organisms spurting along the
sea bed without light and wonder at how that darkness could not
protect them.

only a hand-held magnifying glass reveals one eye, another —
shining black beads protruding near the back of the head, fixed on

scorpion paperweight–
on a candy pink floor
its slim shadow


Darwin’s Urn

Trapped inside the daily noise of man’s machinery an atonal fugue without music of the spheres
cyclical and blesséd, even when all machines are on off an irritating drone pervades this room without
apology, this power grid. Human beings plug into it with their paycheck prongs. Vacuum pump fluctuates,
fans oscillate, chase proceeds along X and Y axes on worm bores of forged steel. My heart, suspires. . .
down around the corroded canyon of an old cast-iron drainage pipe surrounded by spilled photochemicals
and rusting razor blades, who will believe it, a cricket sings. Aerosol spray can of ant and termite killer
sadly within reach, I hurl it into the trash, smile calmly at the prescience of our possible common doom.
The bug’s little choir lifts me throughout the twelve hour shift in between volume spikes that drown out its
tune when the wee peripatetic heartbeat resumes. Yet such miniature beauty making, I fear, will merely
draw enough attention to be crushed or poisoned. Could cricket be enjoying its peculiar new digs? I flinch
to wonder how we can escape, together, with Sartre and Disney breathing down my neck. Just the few steps
through a door and onto sweet simple grasses outside…
                                                                right effort
                                                                cricket knows
                                                                does not stop its song
                                                                for long

originally published in bottle rockets


I have studied ecology and participated in the first Earth Day 1970. I have always lived
small and local, while experiencing and imagining the great ideas of poets, artists,
feminists and scientists. The title indra’s net best describes my primary experience of
interdependence with this living earth. In Hua-yen and Zen Buddhist thought the Net of
Indra, which originates in the Sanskrit Avatamsaka Sutra, constructs the cosmos as a
multidimensional array of infinite interrelationships that simultaneously and repeatedly
reflect each other and the whole as jewels embedded within each node of the net. As
well as Thoreau would make a related American Transcendentalism work at Walden
Pond, the philosophy in practice would not transcribe to the world of commerce. Yet, now
in the Gulf of Mexico’s broken web one can sense despair. Our urgent and palpable
need for changing how we live is coming alive. For this we need the bread and prism
that is poetry.


Donna Fleischer, has authored Twinkle, Twinkle, from the Longhouse Publishers Booklet Series, and two poetry chapbooks, indra’s net and Intimate Boundaries. She received the University of Hartford’s Creative Writing Award for Poetry while completing her BA in English and communication. Her poems appear in literary periodicals in Japan, England, and the U. S., in anthologies, weekly on the CT Environmental Headlines Web-site, and on her blog, word pond. She writes and edits freelance.

12 thoughts on “HAIKU AND TWO HAIBUN by Donna Fleischer

    • Thank you, Wendy. These poetry actions make a difference, for many. This was expressed moments ago by a friend who wrote me: “The hearts of poets echoes the pain for all of us who cannot find the words to express the horror, the tears and the despair at the gulf coast catastrophe. It is heartbreaking. Love, Ety”

  1. Donna, amazing…brought tears to my eyes. I loved Darwin’s Urn. What an amazing gifted, talented soul you are!

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