Three Seasonal Haibun by Charles D. Tarlton


A lifetime of changing seasons are stored in my head as if simultaneous one with the others. Red leaves show up on the winter trees, snow falls in the flowerbeds though it is July, and now that one special day dividing summer and spring, and afterwards everyone complaining.

watching the river
why there’s no end to it


I imagine Picasso and Matisse with their portable easels set up alongside one another on the beach at Antibes. Picasso paints the ocean so it looks like a flowerpot. Matisse makes a window in the clouds. It is a crucial moment in the history of painting; nothing will ever be the same.

in these abstracts
no idea
of yellow lilies


It was the first morning that spring came knocking on the door, demanding to get in. It was very early and the sun was fully up, the light tumbling over and running around the clothesline and the birdbath in the yard. We threw windows and doors wide open, took our coffee out on the porch, and waited, for what we didn’t exactly know.

at the open window
I was certain
those were bird smells

Charles D. Tarlton is a retired university professor who has been writing poetry and flash fiction since 2006. He lives in the Pioneer Valley in Massachusetts with his wife, Ann Knickerbocker, an abstract painter.