Cartesian Haibun
 
Waking then was like dreaming, dreaming of demons waking, waking demons dreaming us all awake. No, there should be no space left between waking and dreaming, consciousness and the unconscious mind, loves from near and loves from afar, catechisms and conundrums, conjecture and commitment. Really, whom can figure illusion from reality, dreaming from non-dreaming?
 
Descartes' moon rises, offering no reprieve, so the midnight bell tolls
 



OCD Haibun
 
Why do we write, except in some vain attempt to undermine God, constitute some perfection, though one is never far from failure, the failure to connect or read the other, the failure to hook up with life, the inability to see beyond lives lost or seldom won, in a world so full of opprobrium, it hardly matters which hymn book one would sing from? Where do we go from here, dear brothers and sisters, except to some doom hardly prescribed for us, where the swans do not feed the carp, and the crow does not feed the family dog or cat, with leftovers from the Sunday lunch? Now we gyrate in ecstasy for some damsel or dame, apotheosized on the pavement in her samba-dance, ignoring all the rules of engagement, kissing the many frogs in her mardi gras mini-skirt. So much is left out of synch, it hardly seems fair to berate the Christ, the redeemer, but we fly into our dances, as if the whole world might owe us a living.
 
Perfection comes and rightness goes, where sorrow would live so far below
 



Solipsism Haibun

for Nora
 
What am I disproving here? If I and only I myself are real, and you and your black beret are only objects of my consciousness, then how can I accept or embrace the reality of your body in sepia, or your black beret? It would seem nothing short of madness to posit that we all exist, when I can only postulate my own reality as enduring and eternal. Given that my internal mental state is not deranged, how am I to accept the existence of others - outside my own frame of mental reference? As easy as shelling peas, I might contradict the meta-narrative and cry...
 
My love, my pain is not
mine , and mine alone -
in England, or, America...
 



Hutton's Haibun
 
Concerning dreaming then was like a paradox, like history paradoxically dreaming about battles lost and battles won, Pyrrhic victories intoxicating both the brave and the meek in the paradoxical histories of our making, the contradictory histories of our undoing. So the child concerns himself with the nature of reality, the nature of dreaming, finding people and things as solid in dreams as in waking life. Leading 'little' Eric to wonder whether life itself was a dream, or worse, to imagine whether he only existed in someone else's dream. A disturbing reality altogether. Ergo, one must ask: 'If I find myself asking, "Am I dreaming?" it proves that I am dreaming, since this question would never occur to me in my waking life.' To ask oneself: 'Am I dreaming in a dream,' would seem to prove that one is dreaming. And yet this is precisely what he had asked himself in his waking life. A logical loose end, how does one know one is not dreaming, or that I, or we are not all dreaming?
 
Row, row, row your boat,
gently down the stream, merrily,
merrily, merrily, merrily...
 

    Mark A. Murphy 2015