Japanese Poetry Style
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Haibun Poetry


A six-person river raft bobbing up and down in the frigid Animus River. A paddle stretched out too far. One rapid, knocking me overboard.

beyond white foam so many spruces

Break the surface. Still holding the safety line circling the raft. My face, slapped by the river. Again. Again. Back under. Bubbles from my last breath. Jagged rocks scrape my back. One clear thought: I could die here.

river’s roar any moment the call to let go

Hands press my shoulders down. I ricochet above the rapids. Those same hands — my friend and raft partner — pull me aboard.

more paddling last rapids left behind


Photograph by Andrew Spencer


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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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1 Response

  1. 16 October 2017

    […] first published in Image Curve, April 16, 2015 […]

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