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Sunday, August 13, 2023


by Richard L. Matta 

A bamboo pipe
sun-bleached to parchment paper white
trickles water like truth
makes deliveries to a receiver pipe,  
and when it’s had enough, it doesn’t lie still 
but sounds an alert. 

Big red dragonflies 
alight on the pipe, as if to refute the value
of the water, and all the while 
little blue dashers 
zigzag for attention. The lower rocker pipe 
fills and pivots and spills 
and smacks a rock and
who should stay in place 
but the big red dragonflies. 

The device is like a gavel for everyone to hear
but despite the crack 
it’s become background static.
Not even a deer or boar
would hesitate to spy and steal 
and disrupt the plentiful garden 
where a shishi-odoshi 
is just an artful design. 

Richard L. Matta grew up in New York and now lives in San Diego. Some of his work is found in Ancient Paths, Dewdrop, San Pedro River Review, Third Wednesday, Gyroscope, and many international haiku journals.