An Autumnal Trinity: 3 Haibun

haibun poems


First Staff Day ’13-’14

A hot and humid auditorium. Teachers from every school seated, talking. Some near an open window, some fanning themselves. Most sweating. Like me.

The newest school’s principal, a woman who looked old enough to need a blue working card, instructs many of us to fill seats closer to the front.

Nothing says “we support you” like hosting a meeting in a steam room.

fresh perspiration
a raven’s beak piercing
a squirrel’s corpse

Not the confusing meeting. Nor the shocked aftermath. Nor the tension of choosing the assessment that determines our fate.

It was hearing Sandra B. tell Lou he will teach Global. And seeing UST on my program—team-teaching US History.

And who my partner would be.

numb even to the butterflies
in my belly

Bear Mountain Oktoberfest 2013

Light rain keeps few away from Bear Mountain’s Oktoberfest ’13. The lines for Wurst and the usual stretch out past the length of the cook houses. Visitors fill every picnic table from the cash registers to under the horseshoe shelter cradling the stage and dance floor. So many steins in so many hands. We luck out: college kids playing drinking games have room at the end of their table.

The band plays a diverse range music, from German Polkas to the Ramones. The dance floor never empties.

fall foliage
savoring the first sip of
dark German beer

Thanksgiving, 2013

The first crisis: the VCR won’t record the Macy’s Day Parade. All repair attempts fail. Mom and I brace for Robert’s outburst of anger and disappointment.

It never comes.

a sunlit lawn
parade balloons overshadow
Sixth Avenue

Robert helps me bring up tables during commercials. Frankie is supposed to act as a “scout” — let us know when the parade comes back on. But he brings up two chairs and lingers with us instead.

Rob hustles down to the parade just in time.

plastic table clothes
Frankie checking names off
our guest list

Everything is set, so Frankie and I finish watching the parade with Rob. Santa comes as Robert talks on about something. Then he and I begin the Detroit Lion game that follows.

Shortly after Reggie Bush fumbles, the Pansarellas arrive. It’s not even one.

first greetings
Joe settles in our den
to watch the game

The rest of the family arrives soon after. Mira’s brother Joe ascends the deck stairs. Garbage bags go out. Homemade wine lines the deck. Mira’s sisters, Sonia, Mom and Robert congregate in the kitchen. Anna Maria, God bless her, brings a homemade pizza — and asks us to heat it!

the oven door opens
and shuts

Soon, Sonia asks me to get everyone around the tables. It’s turkey time!

streaming sunlight
the clatter of passed around


The Writers Manifesto


Frank J. Tassone

Frank J. Tassone lives in New York City's "back yard" with his wife and son. He fell in love with writing after he wrote his first short story at age 12 and his first poem in high school. He began writing haiku and haibun seriously in the 2000s. His haikai poetry has appeared in Failed Haiku, Cattails, Haibun Today, Contemporary Haibun Online, Contemporary Haibun, The Haiku Foundation and Haiku Society of America member anthologies. He is a contributing poet for the online literary journal Image Curve, and a performance poet with Rockland Poets. When he's not writing, Frank works as a special education high school teacher in the Bronx. When he's not working or writing, he enjoys time with his family, meditation, hiking, practicing tai chi and geeking out to Star Wars, Marvel Cinema and any other Sci-Fi/Fantasy film and TV worth seeing.

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