Northwords Now Issue 40

The FREE literary magazine of the North

Haibun for the end of Lockdown

by Simon Berry

When we first viewed and visited I never thought to take a look out this bathroom window. From the living room I remember we had admired that unexpected stand of birch across the road. The contrast with the traffic was striking.

Birch in a breeze
Unseen through many windscreens
Leafy waterfalls

In rain the birch seemed almost drab until the sun came through and caught the light. Now as owners of the house we thought we were already blessed enough with that view. Then one day frustrated by frosted glass I flung the bathroom window open.

Rain falls in sunshine
No breeze to stir the birch
See leaves turn sequins

Profiting from prevailing winds and daring the town’s traffic, a seedling must have crossed and sprouted directly below this window. Now as the window swings inward in the breeze, washing me in exterior scents from the tree, I’m level with its canopy of rampant growth. No longer is it an agreeably distant landscape.

Scents sharp as flint
Tree at the open window
Whispering crescendos