Edge of Suburbia: Haibun, Haiku and Monoku of Christopher Bays
Christopher Bays’ first full-length collection of English-language haiku, monoku and haibun.
“I’ve stayed away too long . . .” Chris Bays says upon a trip to his homeland. In Edge of Suburbia we are invited as he revisits his childhood — his father’s war demons, his mother’s ghosts, his own loneliness and desire to fit in. We are reminded of the tenuous yet inseparable bonds between family, friends, community and the world we live in and the courage it takes to return to our roots and to listen to the echoes of the seeker inside all of us.
“As the Spanish galleon sank, their ancestors leaped into churning waters and thrashed their way onto this crystal beach.”
The tour guide, a natural story teller, points starboard. All of us on the ferry lean toward the island. I expect to see ghosts. But there are only pale grasses and sand. Seagulls squawk overhead.
A boy next to me shouts, “I see one. Over there!” Everyone on the ferry turns toward a grove of trees rising from behind sand dunes. Dark shadows between the trees appear to be moving. My wife says she sees a flicker of ears. I wonder if a branch could be a leg. A man with a camera the size of a telescope corrects us, “Only salt meadow cordgrass.”
“It’s a baby,” the boy insists. His mom speaks up, “I am sorry. He has such an imagination.” The tour guide chimes in, “Too damn hot today. They are probably lying low in the middle of the island.”
Though disappointed, we laugh it off. The ferry turns away, chugging back to the mainland.
old songs . . .
wild horses whinny
beyond the moonlight