The orchestra played Mahler's 4th Symphony. Timing is everything in Mahler, yet immeasurable, like the water in a leaking clepsydra. The audience sat entranced, glazed eyes peering. It was surreal, like a Homo habilis skull in the hands of Richard Leakey, glaring impassively from its eyeless sockets. Trying to tell, perhaps, of its timeless irrelevance. Irreverence even, as I come to think of it. A kind of gleeful mockery, saying that you too shall be mud in the course of time. Perhaps covered in an old cover of Rolling Stone and pissed on by passing hippopotami. You will disappear, like Basho's frog diving into its pool, and you might yet live forever, like Basho's frog diving into its pool.
the train whistles by
(Published in A Hundred Gourds 2:3 June 2013
and republished in contemporary haibun Volume 15)