Friday, August 31, 2007

Haibun while contemplating an abandoned bus stop

While sitting on my front porch this evening, I was struck by the contrast between the metal bus stop pole complete with its "BUS STOP ELIMINATED" placard and the gentle brown complexity of the tree next to it. I decided to sketch the scene. The sign has its flag-like blue and white UTA metal sign at the top, with its friendly-looking bus, and UTA contact information. Below are the confusing plastic signs indicating that the route is being changed, and then finally, on the bottom, that the route has been eliminated. Here the friendly bus has been crossed out with a disturbing red naught--an "O" with a slash through it. The metal pole the signs are attached to is galvanized and full of holes. It is firmly sunk into the grass of the parking strip by the corner of my lot. The sidewalk runs peacefully by, unaware that it will no longer feel the weight of people waiting to be transported somewhere out from under the shade of the tree that grows a few feet away.

My elbow rubs against the banana plant next to me as I capture the scene in my sketch book. The trunk of the tree draws my attention: a white knot-hole of a missing limb becomes all important to me. It whorls out over the page with my pencil.

The shadows in the street cross each other, and the solidarity of the sidewalk runs hard over the bottom of the scene.

My pencil scratches against the paper.

I have been careful to leave room to write this between my rendition of the pole and the tree trunk:
The contrast between
Metal and wood wounds my eye
On this summer night

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