WORLD HAIKU REVIEW   Volume 8  Issue 1   JANUARY 2010




Unseen photos  

 I like to look at the photo gallery of Mainichi Daily News. It's a virtual travel and the place where what is virtual turns into reality is easy to find. I can choose the grass pillow or sand pillow. A woman from sea shore has gone at the same time with me.

I've known nothing about the Kebesu Festival, from October. In the photo were two men with long sticks. One of them stirred the fire, the other tried to calm it. It's an unseen fight.

The two men wore the white identical clothes, the sticks had the same length, their ritual gestures were the same .What differentiated  them, were their faces -  a man was barefaced, uncovered,  the other  wore a wooden mask.

The woman who has gone  from the sea shore at the same time with me approached to them .She had in the right hand a little bag  full of sand . She poured the sand on the fire and extinguished it. Then, she turned her face to me, smiling.

                               A swallow sister -

                               little ones from the burnt nest

                               carried far away

 Clelia Ifrim

-member of IWA - International Writers and Artists Association (USA)

-Books published : The skaters ( haiku ), The God's relatives  (novel ), Dove Zone  (sonnets ) , Centre of Excellence  ( drama )

- Two of her poems were selected by JAXA -Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency - and stored aboard the space module Kibo, on the ISS -International Space Station





A Jungfrau Shelter



Near the river rapids in pouring rain we stop for lunch. The flow of the river has led us through a tiny village and backyard garden with a broom left against the fence, across a rickety bridge, through small clumps of forest. We are weary and soaked and ready for our sandwiches. The broken-down structure is permeated by the smell of old autumn leaves. I drift off staring out the front door at steady misty rain falling on the river.



                                                   rainy mountain trail

                                                   sharing the wood shelter

                                                   a slug and snail



Bruce Ross, U. S. A.





Haibun for the Treatise “The Lion of Jordan” by the Oxford Scholar Avi Shlaim.

I ask Avi Shlaim in person why he does not write about rank and file masses, but peers into the lives of the VIPs. He replies that he is a historian. “I love my little king!” exclaims he.  Well, well...

His book reads like a tendentious history novel.
It is not a detailed scholarship since the author has an agenda to show that the Hashemite Kingdom is not part of the historic Palestine. However he cannot do it with pages after pages describing the asymmetric spans of the Eastern Palestine (Transjordan) and the Western Palestine (Cisjordan) bordering the Mediterranean Sea.

their left wings smaller—
his sumi-e  butterflies
are always upwards

Avi Shlaim inevitably lumps together  Jerusalem and Hebron, Amman and  Nablus where the best high school is a King Talal School. King Talal was a flaky unfortunate father of the King Hussein who reigned the longest and firmest in the Palestinian monarchy.

Mr Shlaim writes, "Balfour Declaration, monumental injustice to Palestine Arabs" forgetting that Arabs benefited from the presence of the European Jews even before the British Mandate by the League of Nations triggering Jewish and Arab immigration to the area.

The Jewish infrastructure elevated the Palestinian Arabs to the higher level of the economic activity and education. The King Abdullah – grandfather of the “Lion”— was himself an immigrant from Hejaz ( the region north of Mecca and Medina) as well as his coterie and many officers of his Arab Legion.

Richard Lion Hearted:
by his wedding church I eat
two Cyprus fishes
As of today Arab areas constitute 85% of the historic Palestine. One may be inclined to define injustice in terms of territory.

Ponder this passage in Avi's book: "Abdullah turned his attention to the mountainous country [?] lying to the east of the Jordan River that nominally formed part of the British mandate for Palestine but in practice was left to its own devices and had degenerated into brigandage and lawlessness."

All parts of Palestine (Galilee, Samaria, Negev, Judah, Gilead) were exactly the same as Moab in terms of their Bedouin population. British used the Biblical term "Moab" for the Emirate of Transjordan they created for the Arabian ruler Abdullah who lost his fiefdom in al Hejaz to the stronger Saudis unifying the whole Arabian Peninsula.  It is British (Churchill in Cairo) who turned the attention of their client Abdullah to Palestine and forbade him to make any incursions by his army into the French Syria.

As for King Hussein of Transjordan (Jordan) it is unfair to bestow on him the play of words on the Biblical "Lion of Judah"— a title of the Jewish kings—at the time when lions presumably roamed the Land of Canaan. Later an Ethiopian Emperor became a “Lion of Judah.”  Or perhaps  Avi Shlaim is making fun of the Palestinian king who was called by the Egyptian president Nasser "a whore" due to the perceived Lion King's unfaithfulness to the steadfast Arab cause of dissolving Israel ?)

As a geography maven I was taken aback when I did not find in the whole volume such an important fact as an exchange of territory between the Saudi Arabia and the Jordanian Kingdom; King Hussein got 18 km of the Red Sea coast to the south of his port of Aqaba  and his seaside villa but relinquished some hinterland of the former British Palestine to the Saudi Kingdom.

It happened in 1965—two years before King Hussein decided to enlarge his monarchy even more at the expense of  the encroaching State of  Israel and ordered his troops to fire from his  Jerusalem fortress at the civilian buildings of the Holy City.

the dark dark red rose
breathing its scent  more… more...
until my exhaustion

Zinovy Vayman