Atlantic Alternatives

Haibun Poetry, atlantic

Haibun Poetry


In another life, I’m too late.

My son Frankie and his cousin Mia swim out too far. The waves at Robert Moses State Park swallow them. I cry out. They can’t hear me. I rush into the water, grab Mia’s hand. Frankie slips away from me, caught in the relentless riptide.

In another life, the lifeguards somehow retrieve him. They lay him on the sand. Perform CPR. But I see his face is swollen, and blue. His chest rises and falls with each lifeguard’s saving exhale—and only with each exhale. Mira collapses next to Frankie, screaming his name, her tears staining the sand. The guards work until a supervisor—a paramedic—calls it.

In another life, my son lies in a pearl casket. I shudder and fall to my knees. Crying so loudly that no one dares touch me. Cries my son never hears.

In another life, I’m too late.

But not in this one.

Crushing high tide
My arm surrounding my son
Pulling him ashore


Photograph from

Image Curve’s Manifesto


Frank J. Tassone

I fell in love with writing ever since I wrote my first short story at the age of 12 and my first poem in high school. My free-verse has appeared in the literary e-zine Pif. My haibun has been published in Cattails, Haibun Today, Contemporary Haibun Online (CHO) and Contemporary Haibun, CHO's annual print anthology. My haiku has been published by the Haiku Foundation. My senryu has been published in Failed Haiku. I regularly perform haibun and other haikai with Rockland Poets. I am honored to be a part of the Image Curve community as a contributing poet. Visit my website to see more of my poetry. Follow me on twitter @fjtassone2 and like my Facebook page American Haijin for updates on my latest work.

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