Tending wildfires: A #haibun

blue sky bright cloud formation cloudiness

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“What if …?”


And the catasrophizing begins. The breaks fail. The school finds out I’m a fraud. The well of inspiration dries. The missles launch as the last potable water evaporates. Or the inevitable destiny to live ’til I die in a box on skid row arrives. O, how the anxious mind creates with relentless cunning the doomsday scenarios.


Where are the other kinds of “What if…”? I write the novel that wins the pulizer or the nobel. I write my way to early retirement. I travel the world over earning royalties or pension payments. I perform at the Dodge Poetry Festival. The missles leave their silos on flatbed trucks, header for decommision sites, as the next rain refills low resevoirs. We live simply, and simply live. Frank begins his adult life and we enjoy our golden years.


A breath away. A chosen paradigm to embrace. Is not “what if” the spark for that fire called imagination? And we must tend every fire with care, lest what warms and brightens us consumes us.


trembling leaf

all of the blank pages

as yet unwritten



for Poets United Midweek Motif ~ What if . . . ? (posted by Susan)





Categories: haikai, haiku community

Tagged as: , , ,

14 replies »

  1. Very fine, right through the “trembling leaf” and “blank pages” waiting for you. I like the poetic structure of this entire haibun–thesis through synthesis. Bravo!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. IN the first paragraph, you reminded me of some of the ‘what ifs?’ that tormented me before I retired from teaching, Frank.I prefer the ones in the second paragraph, the ones I still. have occasionally! I love the haiku so much!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I absolutely agree.. what ifs are sparks of fire termed as one’s imagination. But it’s tricky .. there is a thin line that separates imagination from paranoia .. in the sense that sometimes our senses tend to run wild and we become lost in thought wondering.. agonizing upon life’s various turns… we musn’t let these what ifs define our path or divert us from accomplishing our goals ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A perfect capture Frank.
    “Is not “what if” the spark for that fire called imagination? And we must tend every fire with care, lest what warms and brightens us consumes us.”
    I believe those words so much Frank, you have written my thoughts my hopes and my dreams (and my fears).
    Anna :o]

    Liked by 1 person

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