Haibun in the Modern English-Language Style by Ray Rasmussen
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The Muddied Path

An explosive fight, my wife and I struggling over how to cope with our two teenage daughters. We agree that they are in trouble, but not on what to do about it. We both want to believe that we are still in control, that somehow we can influence their thinking, their behavior.

I slam out of the house, coatless, under gray cloud and drizzle. Past the meadow where horses graze. Past the stand of tall poplars.

Damn the rain! Damn the horses! Damn the poplars!

On the pathway beside the swollen stream, Hokushi's haiku comes to mind:

ashes my burnt hut
but wonderful the cherry
blooming on my hill

He lost his hut. Did he have a family? Likely not. And where in this dank place am I to find anything blooming?

I follow the twisting trail until the rain lets up. A mist rises from the creek. Drops hang suspended from spruce boughs. Pink cloud shows through the canopy.

crescent moon
still I turn my gaze back
to the muddied path

published in Simply Haiku, 2005, v3 n4